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    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    "Dangerous line of work!" (A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign journal, Player's POV)

    Hi there folks! Some of you may know my previous campaign logs of my gaming group, some may know of the Campaign Logs Archive project (In my sig). I've mostly DMed the group, yet due to real life responsibilities, and dwindling time, our group decided to change pace, freshen things up, and give a try at a Shadowrun game, where I get to be a player for awhile!

    So, unlike previous logs that I wrote, this one is from a different perspective, a player's POV. What can you expect?
    1. Exploring the SR system and world:
    Though the GM and one of the players are SR veterans, and though I have a bit of experience in it, the others are brand new! As such, at times we ask/ make a lot of newbie mistakes and questions. I like exploring game design and such, so there will be some comments/ thoughts about the game, from a (mostly) "new to the system", kind of view...

    2. Lots of humor, lots of roleplay:
    Our party loves to roleplay, and SR makes battles VERY deadly, so we try to evade them. As a player, I recorded a lot of the great exchanges that our party made. Hope you'll enjoy!

    3. Distant updates, but long ones!
    Our group meets about once a month, but then we often play for 7-10 hours. And we PLAY! I also record quite a lot of the stuff, so you get a pretty good feel at what the table was like. If you've read any of my previous logs, you'll know what to expect. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but many enjoy it. Up to you...

    For those unfamiliar with Shadowrun, a few quick notes (If you aren't, feel free to skip ahead):

    Spoiler: Shadowrun primer- the basics
    1.What type of game is this?
    Shadowrun is what former game design articles called "a simulationist" game. That means that the rules and mechanics mostly focus on making the setting feel as "real" as possible. Mostly on the expense of game balance, mechanics ("A gamist game, such as D&D) or with regards to the story and narrative (Such as FATE core)

    I like to look at games from the 8 esthetics of play design philosophy though. As such, SR mainly supports the following:
    - Fantasy: This is it's strongest point! The flavor, richness of the setting, is immense! One of the great appeals of the game is how detailed, complex, and "real" the setting can feel. You can really get lost in the character.
    - Challenge: The game is immensely challenging, and most times just presents the characters with a complex situation, yet with no linear route, not obvious solution, yet plenty of clues. Each mission is usually it's own little sandbox, and character choices matter a great deal, for better and worse. Shadowrun is not about being "fair and balanced". It's a lethal game. You get the job, now deal with it!
    - Expression: lot of room for customization, and a lot of options to make your character unique, hve an effect and be memorable. A lot of the game also involves interactions, so roleplay is very much encouraged and supported.
    - Exploration: Many of the runs involve mysteries, and nearly all of them have twists, secrets and surprises. "There is no such thing as a milk run", as Shadowrunners say. You're going to find out something you didn't expect, nearly in every run.

    2. What is the tone of the setting?
    Very grim to tell the truth. Megacorps rule the world pretty much, the ugly aspects of (meta) humanity are at the forefront, and existence is HARD. Shadowrun often runs on the edges (or delve right into) pretty unsettling stuff. Not "Call of Cthulu outer realms" kind of unsettling, but sometimes even more, since you can relate to it more...

    Shadowrun also assumes the following: Nearly no one is telling the truth, everyone hides something, and for most of the people you meet, you are a tool tool for a job, a "disposable asset", which can be as easily discarded... Every Shadworun player will tell you of how they got betrayed, bamboozled, and set up. Paranoia, of a certain degree, is an essential survival trait.

    3. What sort of PCs?
    They are considered highly skilled professionals, yet usually with some... personality problems. That assumption often causes some trouble, since most players AREN'T highly skilled professionals. The basic assumption is that some element of being a mercenary (Either by choice, circumstances, or necessity) drives you towards shadowrunning. Most shadowrunners are on the edges of society, doign highly illegal and dangerous work. They are not the world's shiny heroes...

    4. Preparation is key: A big part of Shadowrun is gathering the info you need, judge the situation, and then prepare a plan. Planning is big, and can take quite some time. Yet as many know- "A plan is the base for changes", and you have to adjust quickly on the scene WHEN (not "If"!) the sh*t hits the fan... Yet, very very rarely will the team just "Kick in the door and charge!" Why? because...

    5. Shadowrun combat is LETHAL! No kidding here folks. You don't come stalked with massive hit points, being able to take a few great sword wounds, survung a fireball and then just attack. Combat is very dangerous here. No one plays fair... 2 gun shots can drop you, surprise is HUGE, and as you get hit, you suffer penalties, so a very quick and terminal death spiral ensues. If you can- avoid combat. If you can't- make sure you got the upper hand in advance (Planning,remember?) nd if you don't? Well, someone said it better than me!

    6. A bit about mechanics:
    - Shadowrun is not a D20 system, but rather a "dice pool" system, played with lots and lots of d6. For basically everything, you got roll a dice pool, and any 5 or 6 is "success". Your number of successes is your "roll". For example, say you want to climb a wall. The GM tells you "Roll climb, against target of 3." You got a climb pool dice of 9, so you roll 9d6: 2,4,1,5,4,6,3,2,5. You got 3 rolls of 5 or6, so your roll is 3. As you can expect, the average number of successes is third of your dice pool.

    Modifiers usually change the dice pool, and at times the target DC, but usually the dice pool. So if you get a -2 modifier, you roll 2 less d6, not add a -2 to each roll.

    - If you're rolling against someone, then all rolls are opposite ones usually. There is no static AC, spell DC or such. You roll to hit, the enemy roll for defense, you roll casting a spell, the enemy cast to resist, you try to hack into a security system, the system's "grade" rolls to defend. This means more rolls, but also more room to effect outcomes.

    - There are no classes. SR uses a very extensive point buy system. Every aspect of the chracter, from it's race, attributes, skills, gear, special abilities, even contacts, cost points. Advancement is by gaining SR's equivalentof XP- Karma, after each run. Karma is a resource for many things, but mainly improving your character's abilities, yet one by one (You spend on improving your dodging skill, or to learn a spell, not just "level up"). Yet, Karma doesn't gear after creation. For that you need money!

    - No meteoric advancement: Shadowrun characters take very long time to evolve, compared to D20. Your character at the outset will be quite similar to the character after quite a few runs, and will still be very mortal, and die from a well aimed burst, strike or spell. No super hero wuxia here. There is always a bigger fish...

    - Magic: No "Spell slots/ memorized spells". A mage knows some spells (Costing build points/ karma), and can cast these as much as they want, and can choose a level of power for the spell, yet each time the mage casts, the spell's energy can drain him. This is measured as Stun damage (Non lethal damage), which just like real damage imposes penalties (On nearly everything). So a mage needs to think of when to cast a spell... A lot of drain can knock you out, or even damage you physically. There is no way to heal stun other than resting, but most runs are very time sensitive...

    many mages can also summon spirits, which are magical entities on the astral. The mage contacts a spirit before a run, deals with them, and if successful, they hang nearby the mage on the astral, and can offer various services, from combat, special powers and more... Some mages can bind spirits, for longer, and more expanded services, yet that is costly. This is SR equivalent of conjuring.

    - Hacking: Nearly every team also has a hacker, which deals with all of the metrix, information systems and so on... from databases, disabling alarms, and lots more. Some are riggers, who uses drowns, either semi automated or "jumping into them", directing them from inside!

    - Cyberwear and biowear: Many sports various "augmentation"- cyber eyes (with cameras, thermovisions), cyber arms (Wolverine?), and lots of other stuff. Some is mechanical cyber, but some also sport biological grafts, which are easier on the body, but far more expensive. Each character has an attribute of Essence, a sort of life force, which is lowered by each augmentation. Essence is crucial for magic users, so mages usually don't use augmentations. Part of Shadowrun's theme is "Technology and magic don't mix well". But as a street samurai said "You don't have to be a mage to throw a fire ball", before throwing a grenade...

    I think this is enough for now.

    The story so far, or "I joined the party late"
    Due to real life obligations, I wasn't able to join the first run. The GM ran it as a sort of a tutorial run for the party (Since there were 3 utterly new players). The GM keeps his own logs, more to the point. I'll write a brief summary of it, mainly highlights, using that log, and player experiences. I'll then start the log, from whence my character joined the team.

    The Cast! "We're but honest businessmen!"

    The GM
    A long time RPG player. He has played Shadowrun since childhood, and has the vastest experience of the system. The runs are of his original design (As far as I know). He has a great talent for making up characters and playing them on the spot (Improvisation is a key GMing tool in SR!), and a mind for party and game balance. Knows the rules very well, but quite open for discussion, though a bit tough to persuade at times. Also, he tends to have... "not favorable" luck with the dice (As player as well as GM. "Just don't roll a...", "I rolled a 1..." )

    Key gaming aesthetics: I mostly know what he prefers as a player, less as a GM, but from what I gathered: Fellowship is a big one, he likes the party to work cohesevely, as team, with little friction/ conflicts/ secrets. Also a big one for Fantasy (He puts lots of details, a big focus on things making sense, on givign the "feel" of the setting correct), and Challenge.

    Previous characters on my logs:
    - Danves, the cursed duskblade on "Many facets of darkness".
    - Glimji the gnome beguiler on "It began with a crash!"
    - The one armed preacher ("Ain't always been a priest!") from the post apocalyptic FATE game.
    - Andera, the mythic ninja, savior of tieflings ("Master!"), The Numerian Tiger, from the Wrath of The Righteous campaign.

    Ground Zer0:
    About the character:
    SR alias: Ground Zer0(I will use the shorthand "G0" at times).
    Real name: Amelie Deval
    Population survey: a 29 years old female elf, french origin, moved to Seattle.
    Party role: Team leader, hacker, and face.
    Key attributes:
    - Logic 5 (augmented to 7)
    - Charisma 6 (augmented to 9)
    Main skills/ abilities:
    - Hacking skills.
    - Computer skills (hardware and software)
    - A bit of the social skill group.
    - Dabbling in automatics, first aid and such...
    Quick background:
    (Note: I'm not detailing everyone's fullback stories, since that will take long, and may well be kept for future surprises. I'll detail some of the big stuff, and leave enough to explore in game, in character).

    Amelie was orphaned at a young age, her parents employees of the Renraku megacorp. She got recruited, and trained as a hacker, with lots of expensive augmentations put into her body. All was well till her brother, Leon, went through goblinization and turned into an Ork (G0 parents and brother were humans). Renraku don't take well with metahumans, elves they tolerate, but orks? Renraku made Leon disappear, and blocked any attempts on GZ side to find him. So she decide to defect and arranged for an extraction, hiring an international gang known as "The Ancients" through a fixer.

    Yet the extraction failed, Amelie was jailed in the corp's prison, and the Ancients now hold a grudge, thinking she botched the entire thing, putting a price on her head. In prison, she made a contact called "One Eye Ben", who had his hand in everything. Upon transportation to a different site, half a year ago, One Eye arranged for an extraction (Successful this time), and since than she's gone low, into the shadows, trying to find a way to rescue her brother, evade Renraku, and the price on her head. Yet right now, she needed to survive.

    Spoiler: Ground Zer0's image

    And on the metrix:


    About the player: (I'll use "Mr. K." when talking about the player instead of character)
    Sort of our informal team leader. Many times acts as the voice of reason. He read A LOT about Shadowrun, and he might GM the game later on (Currently he wishes to learn the game, as he never played it, and to develop his own campaign). It's worthy to note that he built both JC's character and Purian's character (The other new members). As such, they have some similarities: All are elves, all have some social skills, enhanced by tailored pheromones, and such. Now, both Mr. K and the GM work in computers, so they discuss and debate quite a bit about metrix stuff, of which I know very little. Still, they have fun with it, I hope?

    Key gaming aesthetics: Fantasy is HUGE for this player- He loves immersing himself in the world, loves to feel the flavor and setting to the full, making the world feel very much alive, and "real". Challenge is also big, (He loves pitting his mind and skills against obstacles) as is Expression. (Each character was unique,, with cool roleplay, and liked to leave an impression on the world). Also, he is has a big appeal for the sensorial aesthetic. He constantly adds a lot of visuals for his characters, helps with visuals for other characters, (All the other PCs' pics are from him, except for mine). Even when he DMs, he adds a lot of visuals (He DMed "It began with a crash", which was greatly enhanced by his pics!)

    Previous characters on my logs:
    - Red, the aesthetic yet lethal arcanist on Many facets of Darkness.
    - DM for "It began with a crash!"
    - Jenny the gun swinging biker hotty, from the post apocalyptic FATE game.
    - Andrew the paladin, redeemer of insane dwarves, weilder of Sirius ("Worthy!") in Wrath of The Righteous.
    - Julian, the sorceress turned demi-goddess, in the same campaign.

    About the character:
    SR alias: JC
    Real name: Jerald Colin Denton
    Population survey: A 50+ year old male elf, of American/ Japanese ethnicity.
    Party role: Infiltration expert, muscle and close quarter combatant
    Key attributes:
    - Agility 6 (augmented to 8)
    - Strength 4 (augmented to 6)
    - Reaction 4 (augmented to 5)
    Main skills/ abilities:
    - Athletics skill group.
    - Infiltration skill group.
    - Close combat (Blades, unarmed)
    - Pistols.
    - Some social skills.
    Quick background:
    Quite a spiritual man, though trying not to look like it, influenced by both parents ethnicities (American and Japanese). He was drafted to a the NSA in n early age, full of patriotic spirit. augmented and trained as a stealthy hit man, he first served loyally, yet doubts began to haunt him, after missions he felt dubious about. He tried to act more morally, yet the agency got furious.

    With an aid of an inside person, he learned the truth- that his subdivision was a tool by some higher ups to further their own ends. He manged to arrange blowing the subdivision up, and then disappearing in the shadows, seeking to make a better life, yet with skills and training most suited for one thing- killing. Finding but meager existence as a locksmith, his economical skills worsened, not helped by past memories, which begets low level depression, fueled by slight alcoholism. As his money and options dwindles, JC turns to shadow running, hoping to do better than in his past.

    Spoiler: JC's image

    Now, the image is quite exceptional, since except for the hair, this guy looks nearly like a copy of the player! (Glasses andcigar included! The player is bald though) We were quite stunned by this! A really fitting image!

    About the player: (I'll use Mr. E. when talking about the player instead of character)
    The players is one of our more dramatic and funnier players, and he always makes very memorable characters and roleplays them very well. He is very big on character development, and nearly all of his characters go through a whole lot of changes. Often alternating between the bastard, seeking redemption/ enlightenment, and characters with lots of utility. He is also probably the most extreme player, in terms of trying to create/ provoke powerful reactions, usually due to creating some conflict. He sees this as a tool for personification and character development, yet at times this was less appreciated in the group. Yet his intentions are very good, and very story focused.

    Key gaming aesthetics: Expression is the big one for this player. Whether in character creation, tons of little details (How they dress, talk, accessories, their tone, poses, and so), to interactions (The player loves interacting with NPCs, and PCs), to lots of character development (Nearly from session to session in previous campaigns). Also, a bit of an odd discovery on my part, while DMing him in the past- A strong Narattive focus. The player seeks and enjoys good story structure, and session structure- a good build up, long lasting themes, and most importantly- a good climax/ finish. he often got bummed just to not "closing a story line satisfactory", or a session not having an "ending" (Not for the entire run, but what was dealt with in session). Challenge is aslo big for the player, though as long as his option are kept mostly simple.

    Previous characters on my logs:
    - Ipiks the sneaky lizardfolk on Many Facets of Darkness.
    - Gabriel, the angelic cleric on the same campaign.
    - Killpi, the violent manic halfing on "It began with a crash!"
    - D*ck Mighty, the unscrupulous merchant from the post apocalyptic FATE game.
    - Sena, cleric of Sarenrae, turned to Calistria, who wentbeyond morality, and the visionary of The Vision of the Future.

    (I know far less about this character. The player never fully shared his backstory, and his character sheet. The player often opts for simple characters, who are very, VERY good at killing. So the following info is based upon the little I know, and got from the game.)

    About the character:
    SR alias: Purian
    Real name: ???
    Population survey: A female elf, age ??? Ethnicity ???
    Party role: Long ranged combatant, assassin, drugs and criminal world expert.
    Key attributes:
    - High physical attributes.
    - Very high charisma (Supposed to be "drop dead gorgeous"!)
    Main skills/ abilities:
    - Most guns.
    - Some social skills.
    Quick background:
    I... don't know a lot bout Purian. She is supposed to be extremely sensual and attractive, yet also very cold and lethal... A sort of Femme Fatal. I know she has spent a lot of time in the criminal underbelly of Seattle, selling (doing?) drugs, and some involvement in prostitution (Not sure on which end?). Her outer appearance can be very deceiving, as she is VERY trigger happy, and... unsettling... at times. Most time she is silent though (As the player), looking for the next action/ fix/ excitement. Why is she in the shadows? I'm not sure. Either money, boredom, or something else...

    Spoiler: Purian's image

    About the player: (I'll use Mr. R. when talking about the player instead of character)
    As the player often says "Lets kill some stuff!". He comes to the game to hangout with friends, relieve some RL stress, and have fun. He roleplays less (he is convinced he isn't that good at it), but on the few times he had, it was awesome! The player mostly prefers to listen on conversations, adding odds and ends here and there, but he is quite active in planning and action. VERY good with tactics, and immensely effective with his characters.

    The player has an odd luck. Many of his rolls are... crummy, but when the Sh*t hits the fan, the player rolls like a dice god! A running joke in the group it that they "Hang on" till Mr. R. really start rolling.

    Key gaming aesthetics: Challenge is major for this player. He likes building characters, making them effective, and see his builds and tactics come into play. He sometimes gets bored of a certain build at long campaigns, and seeks to try something new. He is probably the biggest stickler for fair and consistent play (Along with the GM), and hates any sort of fudging or "preserving characters". He LOVES a challenge. Other strong aesthetics are Fellowship (Very much a team players, and loves coordinating. Though he quite enjoys inter party conflict and banter as well!), and Submission. (Sometimes, he just wants to kill stuff. What's wrong with that? )

    Previous characters on my logs:
    - Google the massive half giant psi-warrior. ("Google Kills!") on Many Facets of Darkness.
    - Grum, the archer (on the same campaign).
    - Ayla, the seductive scantly clad healer on "It began with a crash!"
    - The Mutant on the post apocalyptic FATE game.
    - Bob the martial artist (Same game)
    - Harry the evocation wizard in Wrath of The Righteous campaign.
    - Took over the character of Mad Dog, the barbarian Whooper of Demon asses! (Killed dragons and major demons in criticals that dealt bucket loads of damage. I'm quite certain the other players feared Mad Dog more than they feared the demons... )

    Mr. Watson

    A new player to our group! An old time gaming friend of the GM, I also played with him on a sort of late night SR game (Where he played a pyromaniac mage named Cinder). He also has a lot of SR experience, and at lest from the little I played with him, he's very fun, very resourceful, and a very fun addition to the group! (He is quite sarcastic and cynical, but with style, which sits well with our group!) I don't have his character sheet, and only partial background, so here as well the info is partial...

    About the character:
    SR alias: Watson
    Real name: ???
    Population survey: A male human (in a party of elves), in his twenties?
    Party role: Not a clear one, probably the most well rounded character. Exceptional investigator, tons of knowledge skills, the team's medic and "I got the right tool for the job" kinda guy. Also a decent fighter (With a shotgun!)
    Key attributes:
    - High logic and intuition.
    - Decent physical attributes.
    Main skills/ abilities:
    - Very high perception.
    - Lots of knowledge skills.
    - Infiltration skills
    - investigative skills.
    - Some combat.
    Quick background:
    I don't know all of it. I know he went to med school, but hated it (Has a phobia of germs and non sanitary conditions! ). Due to his love of old English literature, he sought to emulate Sherlock Holmes, and started working as an investigator in the shadows. He grafted a LOT of bioware into his body, and has all kind of strange senses and such...

    The player sent us all a sort of a background, in the form of very brief journal entries. It is hilarious, as well as a great intro to the character! I'm posting it in the spoiler. I loved it!
    Spoiler: Mr. Watson's journal excerpts
    21.6.20**: I was born and the world rejoiced (1)
    11.5.20**: Hospitalized again – high fever, blood infection, good thing both my parents are doc-wagon slave wages or this would be the final entry.
    08.09.20**: Finished the last book in my father’s library (2), wish I was born in 20th century England, what an exciting life that could have been.
    01.04.20**: Been really sick for a week – spasms, throwing up, fever and all the usual symptoms. I really hate this microscopic bugs…
    28.10.20**: First day at the Seattle university for medicinal science. What a surprise I’m walking down the path doc-wagon laid out for me, can’t say I’m too excited with my future.
    15.03.20**: Barely finished 1st semester, most of it is useless boring crap, but I guess first aid can always come in handy.
    22.03.20**: I’m never stepping inside that germ infested place again, the last week has been a true hell.
    24.03.20**: Not surprising, my parents did not take well my dropping out of university (3)
    25.03.20**: Kicked out of the house to fend for myself, with almost nothing, at least until I get my head straight again and return to my studies.
    27.03.20**: Found a rundown place in Redmond, guess I’ll have to learn Spanish if I’m to get along with the neighbors. It costs practically nothing but I still need to find a way to make a living.
    15.04.20**: EURICA!! I’ll be a private investigator just like Sherlock Holmes from the books I read (4), just spent the last of my nuyen setting up ads and spams to try and jump start my detective career.
    13.05.20**: Still not a single call… I’m almost desperate enough to sell my body in the streets but the thought of all these unwashed bodies with their diseases is a strong enough incentive not to go down that road.
    20.05.20**: My first case!!! A demented old street Shaman wants me to find his favorite rat, he can’t pay much but he will spread the word of my competence if I find his furry friend.
    21.05.20**: I’ve delivered the remains of old whiskers to the teary eyed shaman – I found them half cooked in an alley where the homeless like to socialize for foods & drinks. After DNA analysis I got a positive confirmation that the remains indeed belong to poor whiskers (RIP). (5)
    07.08.20**: Damn, who would have known that old shaman had such great connections… I’m starting to get a steady supply of paying jobs. Right now I’m tracking a missing person – probably gang connected. I think I need to get a gun for this one…
    09.08.20**: Note to self – apparently a little ARES pistol doesn’t make that much of an impression on gangers, I need to get a bigger gun to get any semblance of respect (6)
    15.02.20**: Just found about a group of private investigators hanging out in the matrix. They’re called the Agatha Christie society and I must find a way to get accepted, but it’s hard because they are a pretty close knit group.
    17.08.20**: Cheating wives can be cunning and ruthless… a mark I was hired to follow and record in the act, hired her own P.I to take care of anyone shadowing her. I was almost done for this time, and was saved by a fluke of luck… just heard of a procedure that upgrades you to a human bat – I think I saved enough to afford one (7)
    31.12.20**: WOW, this sonar upgrade really paid off… catching cheating wives and unfaithful husbands has become real easy, it’s nice to see the nuyens rolling in.
    31.11.20**: Apparently, sometimes a big gun is not enough… just got into a beef with the wrong people, they seem to think my business needs protection and when I disagreed with their point of view I found myself in hospital again with a bunch of new holes where my skin used to be. There goes all my hard earned cash to get myself a nice ortoskin implant (8)
    01.01.20**: Finally out of the germ infested hospital, and with a new year resolution to boot – This year I will do whatever it takes to be a full and trusted member of the Agatha Christie Society. There are some real pros there that can help up my game…
    15.02.20**: I just learned an important piece of information – the founder of the Agatha Christie society was a legendary elf woman called Mystique. According to what I learned, she disappeared about five years ago without leaving a trace. The only hint I’ve found is that Mystique was also a renowned figure of the shadows.
    14.05.20**: Finished all the background checks and information gathering regarding the world of dispensable assets – A.K.A Shadowrunners. I’m ready to go full cover as a shadowrunner and see if I can sniff any trail Mystique may have left behind. Sergei, my cherished info broker managed to set me up with a Johnson (if I understand the term correctly), hopefully my luck continues to shine even in this shadowy world

    1. A wise street shaman once told me that the sun shines on people born on the summer solstice
    2. The only thing left from my father’s English heritage, it contains all the 20th century literature classics and a sizable collection of detective novels. Good thing I can read really fast…
    3. Perhaps the fact that Doc Wagon deduced my tuition fee from their future salaries (including reparations) had something to do with it.
    4. I’ll call myself Watson as an homage to my literary hero.
    5. Due to the partial success of my investigation I did not get paid, but he did spread the word on my competence, maybe it’s for the best - this way I didn’t have to touch his filthy hands…
    6. I also really like the way I look with the Enfield as-7 strapped on my shoulder.
    7. I admit that only through vitamin P I could afford the procedure, but I hate the fact that Doc-Wagon have a personal file on me with all my medical history.
    8. This has been by far the worst experience imaginable, if you are ever thinking of getting yourself a nice sturdy ortoskin – DON’T DO IT

    Spoiler: Watson's image

    About the player: (I'll use Mr. S. when talking about the player instead of character)
    As a new player, I know of him only from that late night SR game we've played, and the current one. The player adds cool style to his characters, and can be very cunning, very resourceful. Always on the look for an opportunity, his past character could be quite unscrupulous. I love his dark sense of humor. t the current group, we're still learning to get to know each other, but so far a very fun fit!

    Key gaming aesthetics: Not sure, but thinking on the following terms- Expression and Challenge seem to be important (He likes to be effective, and finds great ways to do so. And he has a very distinct style and he definitely plays out his interactions). I'm not yet sure other than that.

    The Middle Man:
    Last but not Least- My character! A little break from DMing... I decided to try and play something very different from what I tended to play in the past. (I usually gravitated towards martial or spiritual types). This time I wanted to explore something out of character for me, something to explore- a trickster mage. Inspired by various shape changers characters (Such s X-Men's Mystique) and the beguiler class.

    About the character:
    SR alias: The Middle Man, Loki, And more (He has different names)
    Real name: Adam Sands
    Population survey: A 30+ male elf of an uncertain ethnicity (Born is Seattle)
    Party role: Primary face, magical support, influence and manipulation.
    Key attributes:
    - High charisma and will (for casting and face)
    - Poor physical attributes.
    Main skills/ abilities:
    - High social group skills.
    - Spellcasting. (Shaman with trickster mentor spirit)
    - Decent summoning, but otherwise poor conjuring. (See below on personalized spirits)
    - Knowledge skills fitting a shadow fixer (The SR business, meeting places and such)
    - Spells: Trid Phantasm, Physical Mask, Improved invisibility, Analyze truth, Mana Barrier, Armor, Influence, Control thoughts. (Yep! No healing or combat spells)
    - Quite a few decent connections (Put quite a few points into that!)
    Quick background:
    I've used the FATE core concept of Aspects- short sentences that sum up the key features of the character:
    - An elf face trickster shaman and face: specializes in deception, interaction and manipulation, Yet quite out of his depth in more… physical endeavors.
    - Gambler at heart: Loves the thrill of the risk, though would try to cheat to change the odds at his favor. Loves the game, despite the danger… Or perhaps because of it?
    - Different approach to Shadowrunning: Have worked as a Fixer for a long time, yet due to an unknown complication, had to erase all knowledge of his existence, and fled to the shadows. New to actual running, but with some knowledge of the "business side" of Shadowrunning.
    - Renown and Anonymity Conflict: Born to poverty, but wanting greatness, The Middle Man hungers for power, prestige and respect. This comes into conflict with his paranoia and want for secrecy and security. A constant character conflict…
    - Personalized spirits: Both the mentor spirit- Chi-Ga-Si the trickster, and The Spirits of The Court, which resembles spirits of an old age decadent and scheming noble court.

    (Instead of just saying "I summon a spirit of man, force 6", I decided to create sort of sub- characters: a bunch of spirits (Spirits of The Court) with each one having a basic theme, personality, and powers, from the possible extra powers. I did something similar with my contacts. As the GM said: "You're not bringing a character, you're bringing a cast!". More on that later)

    The Middle Man (MM for short) was born and raised on the streets. Brely surviving early childhood due to poor physicality and health, he relied on cunning, making allies, and trickery to get his way. Quite ambitious, he later used his growing network to become a Shadowrunning Fixer (The person that links between Johnsons (The customers) to SR teams. His appetite grew, andhe began small scams, that grew bigger. As one backfired, and he had his back to the wall, a trickster spirit called Chi-Ga-Si came to his help, and become a strange mentor for his budding magical skills. It later introduced him to the odd Spirits of The Court, who sees him (MM calls himself "The Ambassador" to them). With his new powers, he tried more and more dangerous stuff.

    Shortly before he joins the group, he gets a quick message - "They are coming after you. You got 20 minutes, or you're done." He activated a security back up measure, to erase any trace about him, grabbed his gear, and went to the Shadows. With nearly no money, no idea who he pissed off, and nearly all of his contacts suddenly not responding, he needs to find a way to rebuild himself...

    Spoiler: The Middle Man's image

    Special Note: Thanks to Shadowrun Returns, There are loads of SR portraits on the web. I'll be using quite a few...

    About the player:
    I mostly GM for the group. I am rarely a player. I currently have loads of RL stuff to deal with, so I stepped from the GMing post. It's... weird... for me to be a player, but fun!

    Key gaming aesthetics: Expression and Exploration are big ones for me. I love mystery, and finding out new stuff, and my favorite part of the game is interaction in party and with PCs. Fantasy is and Narrative are also focuses of mine, though less.

    Oddly enough, Challenge, the main shared aesthetics of my group, is not that important to me. When I make characters, their efficiency tends to not be that high. I'm not that minded to that unfortunately. When GMing I do provide good challenges (I think?) but that took lot of time, and for me it's a form of expression. I quite hate dealing with mechanics, and prefer simplicity of rules if I can.

    Inspired by Mr. K, I'm trying to add visuals to my character. I'm more of an audible than visual person, but I'm trying the visual aspect in this game. You'll see!

    Previous characters on my logs:
    - DM of Many Facets of Darkness.
    - Lynn Ardent, the grumpy fighter on "It began with a crash!"
    - GM of the post apocalyptic FATE game
    - DM of Wrath of The Righteous game.

    Ok! Lets do this!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-06-02 at 02:37 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    This post will give a brief detail of the "introduction run", where the GM made a semi-tutorial run for the new players (Everyone except Mr. S, who played Watson). I couldn't play then, and wasn't there to take my regular notes. I'm basing this nearly entirely on his very concise log, which is there to help us remember the main points. This took about 2 sessions. You can jump to the more detailed and personalized sessions (Next post), yet this was the start of it all... Enjoy!

    "Don't call me Mr. Johnson!" (1st run, tutorial run)

    Prior to the game,and the basic Shadowrunnign rules
    The players were quite a buzz! We communicated a lot through emails and such. We thought of making a passing acquaintance of some members of the group, and this might come in later. A little before the session, the GM sent the following reminder, about the basic "understandings":

    From the GM:
    Before meeting Mr. Johnson let's review the basic fundamentals of the shadows:
    1 - What goes in the shadows, stays in the shadows. If you can't shut your mouth someone else will!
    2 - Mr. Johnson brings food to your table. If you don't want to starve - never cross him.
    3 - Your fellow runners rely on you as you rely on them: don't stab them in the back.
    4 - If it's not an obstacle to accomplish your run: Please, don't shoot it.
    5 - Last, and maybe the most important to keep in mind: Nothing is personal - it's always business.
    Getting the team together:

    Ground Zer0 (G0 for short), a hacker on the run, is contacted by "Fat Mike", a street level fixer, whom she contacted a short while ago, reaching the shadows. He tells her he got a job for her. Something small, but probably good to start with, get a bit of reputation, train the team. It doesn't pay much, and Mr. Johnson (A name given to all employers, to save anonymity in the business) is not... well "You'll see". Fat Mike wishes G0 to lead the team, also new to the shadows. he thinks she's the most level headed one. He'll send her their basic details on to her commlink (A portablehub of all the person's electronics. Like a smart phone). G0, very nearly broke, doesn't have much options. The french young woman takes the job.

    A short time after, she gets a quick link, with a few quick descriptions:
    Strong points: Infiltration and close quarters combatant. Skilled with pistols and blades. Disciplined.
    Weak points: Gruff, Strong minded. Possible alcohol problem?
    Strong points: Arms specialist. Also great looks. Cold under pressure.
    Weak points: Trigger happy. Drug problem?
    Strong points: Good investigator. Good head. Good medic. Various skills.
    Weak points: Aversion to dirt and germs. Unproven under combat.

    She also get Mr. Johnson's contact details. Ground Zero sighs, yet decides to call them up. After brief introductions, she sets up a meeting with them, a bit before she sets up a meeting with Mr. Johnson, at a small soycaffe diner.

    Mr. Johnson I presume?
    The team meets Mr. Johnson at the caffe, an unlikely place for such a meeting. And he too seems... unprofessional? The middle aged, nervous man, almost blurts out his own name, before mumbling "Um, Mr. Johnson I mean... Right? That's how it's done...". The team rolls their eyes. A bloody working suit! Yet, they gotta start somewhere!

    Mr. Johnson asks them to retrieve a report for his client (At times interchanging "we" and "my client", obviously not accustomed to this. Suppose to be an easy task: He has a username and passcode to the host, and an encryption key to decrypt the report's file. He needs just a hacker for this job, but might require more, a bit later on.

    Mr. Johnson evades many of the team questions, but it's obvious he is not of the business. Johnson doesn't indicate the fee and tries to take it out of the team. He seems cheap and the team arranges for 600¥ each (New Yen, SR world's currency. Due to the power of Japanese economics). The Report should be handed within 72 hours of when the deal is approved ("Start Date"). The party wishes to think this. Johnson gives asks them to hurry, before leaving.

    A competing offer?
    As they leave, a woman approaches them, with a camera man (Which they immediately neutralize. Not good to have your face known). Suzan Devlin, the supposedly journalist-investigator that deals mainly with environment issues shares some backstage information with the team: Johnson is actually Dr. Bill Clermont (Ground Zer0 quickly verifies this), an academic in the field of energy and fuels. He seeks to address a report from UniOil, a major fuel company. She doesn't explain their motives, but it's obvious that inn her opinion he and his "associates" are incompetent and will get them nowhere. She wants to do something beneficial with it, and asks for the same report, willing to pay 150% of what Johnson pays, and without exclusivity (i.e. the team can benefit from both sources). She leaves her contact information asking the team to update her if they are willing to cooperate, and that she might be able to help them in certain ways (if she can). The party thinks this through, but not coming to a decision yet.

    On their way back, they stumble upon a small Auburn (A region in Seattle) human gang, called The Backstreet Boyz. They want trouble, but the party manages to scare them off. (I think the GM wished to introduce a simple conflict. The party avoided violence, as will become a recurring theme).

    More to the job...
    The party quickly comes to the hard truth: They need even this simple job. So Ground Zer0 contacts Mr. Johnson, and agrees to the deal, He is enthusiastic, but adds another request. This time a risk is plainly involved, so the fee goes up to 1600¥ each. The team is to fetch some samples from the facility where The Report was done and is stored. They get a prefix for the samples code in order to indentify it. Physical intrusion is a must. Start Date arrives and the clock is ticking. Johnson sends them the info and tools promised.

    First complication
    Trying to use the username and passcode (and later the encryption key) proves futile. The Report is not there, and the details were invalid! An online confrontation with Johnson (Who mumbles confused, intimidated by the party) leads to its source of this information: Dr. Timothy Woodrow.

    The party finds his location, and heads to his place. Yet, scouting the surrounding area, they notice Woodrow seems to be tailed- An ork and a human keep an eye on him, sitting in a car in front of his building. They enter the building, with the look out not yet suspecting them.

    A mis identification almost cost a neighbor citizen his life by happy-trigger Purian, (They saw a building tenant with an umbrella under his coat, and She glitched in her perception check,thinking it's a gun!) but it brings the team in a haste to Woodrow's door. They persuade him to let them in, using his fear to exaggerate the situation he's in and that is life are on the line.

    Inside, Woodrow pleads with the party, fearing the stalker, wanting his life back! The team pulls out of him the following info: He was working with his team on that regulator's report appraising a contract renewal with UniOil's research site in Auburn (Bloom Eco Services and Counseling). The report was a total failure against regulations. His team leader, Dr. Esteban Costello approached him after the report was complete, and explained that some people wants the report to ... pass... "Those people are asking "politely" for now, and they are willing to compensate you for the extra work. Just polish the angles and flatten some curves." Woodrow wouldn't take it! his professional integrity is on the line and he wouldn't even listen to "the offer".

    Woodrow sighs, afraid, before continuing his story: A few days later the goons appear. They follow him to work and then back home. They watch him when he's out to the street. They give him the lazy eye. So he signed the refurbished report, where his fellow teammates, Donka Riga and Peter Kastner, have already signed, and The Report is ready and everyone's happy.

    Woodrow seemed desperate. "But the goons are still there!" So he's not too confident what do they want and what's going to happen to him! He got cold feet, and approached network security, telling them he suspects his passcode was compromised and wants it reset (that same passcode that fell into the hands of Johnson), which is why they failed.
    He never looked at the report again since, maybe feeling that like this it will go away. So he can't tell the team if the report was removed. He promises to check it the next day if they get rid of the apes.

    Goons' control
    With a clockwork operation, spearheaded by JC, the team approaches the car, and quickly subdues the goons who identify themselves as Mafia members. They are blindfolded and taken to a ride for interrogation. Playing the bad cop and the worse cop (Purian is not subtle!) the team strike a deal that the goons will take a rest for 24 hours before going back to their stakeout. That's all the team needs to display a false presentation they fulfilled their side of the deal with Woodrow.

    In a surprising twist to their leave-no-witness operation they risk a stalemate bargain that they leave the mobsters alive and the mob won't come after them. It's hard to tell if the goons will (or can) be true to their words, but it seems it was very surprising and unfamiliar to them as well. (As they don't want to mess with the Mafia right now).

    The party has some sort of an idea to make a fake promotion sute called EcoLife, to try and approach the UniOil company, perhaps gaining some access. Yet despite Ground Zer0's efforts- EcoLife company never makes it to the market. (Crappy dice. The start of a loooooong legacy! )

    Checking the site
    The party decides to gather info on the site of their run- Paying a visit to the physical intrusion site- Bloom Eco Services and Counseling facility in Auburn. After some observation and research, they find out the following:
    - It's a two floors building in a light industrial park, with SecuriTech cheap surveillance services around and within The Site.
    - A 2.5 meter peripheral fence topped with barbed wire
    - A rolling-fence gate with an automated checkpoint
    - At least one Ferret RPD1-xt crawler drone
    - Bars over first floor windows and architectural obstacle preventing climbing to the second floor.
    - Security and "meat guards" (Actual people, nitjust robot drones) are for sure, yet not obvious from a faraway watch.

    Calling the doctor, Woodrow ratifies to Zer0 that The Report was moved and he doesn't know where. It's obvious that after what he had endured he's not going to wake the dead and ask about it.

    Near the sight, they decide to get access from some of the personal visiting the diner. At the local diner Ground Zer0 "borrows" 2 access IDs from Bloom's workers. JC uses this time to drink his coffee, smoke a cigar, and reflect on what's ahead.

    Taking stock and making strategy
    36 hours has passed since Start Date, and 36 to go till Due Date. The team calculates their next move. On one hand they have Donka Riga and Peter Kastner (Zer0's metrix agent dug enough information to find them), that might know something helpful or might not. On the other hand they have Dr. Costello that knows for sure better than anyone, but as he might be connected to the conspiracy around The Report, he might as well be alerted or alert someone else - which might prove destructive to their goal.

    The team decides to be cautious and first pay a visit to Donka. They assume that if she signed the "fixed" report, she was as well approached and offered money for her cooperation. And so she can be leveraged by intimidating her that her deed will spill out and will at least ruin her professional integrity and career. And with these thoughts in mind the team drives to her blue collar neighborhood in Auburn, to where she lives with her old father...

    Visiting Donka
    On the way Ground Zer0 tells the party what she found: Donka is a balkan dwarf woman nursing her old father in their humble apartment. A nice report plumbing fee might do good to her, won't it?
    The team pull the leverage on her intimidating that they will tell her little secret if she won’t let them in. Reluctantly, she lets them in and keeps her serious expression (and standing) as Zer0 invites herself to sit.

    The interrogation yields, according to Donka, that her past experience taught her not to get into troubles with “these” people like the ones who made the “offer”. When Dr. Costello approached her with the new task at hand, she asked if she had any choice, and he replied that he believes they won’t be happy with any other choice. So she did it and put it behind...

    The money was a side effect she was willing to take at least to help her cover the debts of her brother. She sounds honest as far as the team can tell. To their queries she added that she knows how to get to the report from her office, otherwise she can’t tell where it is specifically. She told them the number of her office room, and how to get to the cold Storage in the basement floor (where the samples might be stored). She wouldn’t accept Zer0’s compensation/bribery offer (200¥) saying she doesn’t need this dirty money, and it’s always more troubles than its worth.

    As the team is about to leave, a knock on the door and an intimidating voice of someone knowing her. She demands the team move out of sight, and pushes them into a small shelf room. It sounds like an unforgiving group of debt collectors came in with an east European accent. They aren’t satisfied with her promise to pay all the debt soon (probably from the payment she’ll get for the report), and want to make an example: take whatever they can, and break some worthless stuff on the way.

    Igor the troll is sent to find any valuable, Andrei is sent to the kitchen to break some stuff and Sergei do the talking. Donka’s begging them to leave her father’s stuff fall on deaf ears. Well, some ears do listen, and the team makes a move just when Igor arrives in front of them. It starts with talking, but soon Sergei orders his soldiers to strike. The situation escalates quickly from melee to firearms and Andrei loses his head, literally!

    The collectors try to stop the fight and Purian makes a point by shooting Sergei’s leg so he recalls better his promise and not to mess with the team. (She's not one for subtlety...) Zer0 bargains the collectors’ lives for nullifying Donka’s debt. The collectors chose their lives quickly and took their mess out of the house, probably forever. Donka really thanked the team for the unsuspected display of justice.

    Infiltrating the site
    The team decides they have enough information to infiltrate The Site. They will go in, break into Donka’s lab and computer, recover The Report and climb down to the basement, to locate The Samples in the Cold Storage room, and be back home before sunrise for a drink. Well, hopefully...

    Ground Zer0 manages to steal transport (After a few failed attempts, the start of her bad luck. Don't steal kids! ) and drive to the site.

    They walk stealthy some distance, spoof the gate (Basically make it so it can't detect them. Metrix stuff), open after a 2-guards patrol passes around the building. Then they confront the Ferret drone and at the last moment before it spots the team, Zer0 manages to spoof him to go to the back of the building. A lot more security lies ahead, and the night is young…

    Oh oh...
    The team decides to go through the emergency door on the second floor. The climb the stairs, Zer0 breaks the maglock and they go in just as the patrol arrives to a spot it might saw them if they weren't going in.

    Inside, Zer0 aims to take over the security cams. She aims too high- though she manages to escape the electronic defenses, the silent alarm was set on and a patrol was sent to the upper floor... Playing cat and cam-shooting-mouse with the guards the team made it to the ground level, where Donka's lab is - and so The Report should be. Yet as they approach, they notice a complication:

    There's a guard at the end of the corridor where the target lab is, more voices from another corridor ahead and the two on their tails. So they go stall, going to the nearby room- room 119. They climb into the ventilation chute when they hear that the guards unite into a larger group and plan to search room-by-room.

    Ground Zero desperately tries to trigger an alarm on the upper floor to draw the there, when two guards peer into the apparently empty room, and as one of them starts to move away the other - Jim - notices something strange about the ventilation grill. He can't put his finger on it so he steps in curiously and the door behind him shut.

    He glances through the mesh where JC holds the grill artificially with one gecko-glove and holds a silenced pistol in the second. He glances with a bit too much suspicion, and invokes 2 sudden bullets through his skull that put him to sleep. JC is notpleased, and goes grim, the image in his mind, yet he quickly moves on.

    Without delay JC and Watson jump into the room to hide the corpse of Bullet Eyed Jim behind the desk. As they push back into the chute they hear the other guard calling his name, and enters the room, but sees nothing. They're safe for now - and just in time Zer0 triggers a window breach silent alarm and the guards run to the second floor.

    Into the lab!
    With Jim's commlink the team can get an idea of what's going around them. The guard at the end of the corridor is not there so they run towards room 113 and Zer0 breaks another maglock. The swarm into the lab, take defense positions and Zer0 hacks the node to search for The Report.

    Meanwhile the head of security thinks someone might be playing with them, and sends people tolook for Jim. Zer0 locates The Report and copy it to her commlink. The guard can't find Jim as goes back to his place, as the other guards search the upper floor room-by-room. The spider (A sort of a security hacker, the one who runs the cams and web security) entreats them to check the emergency door again after he'd tried to visualize the route of tracks (alarms and broken cams). The guards realize the broken maglock outside and Orange-alert is declared: (The party learns this through Jim's commlink)
    - No one moves alone.
    - The guards in the front desk stay there
    - The 2-guards patrol outside takes position in front of the breached emergency door
    - The 2 drones patrol the southern and eastern sides of the building
    - SecuriTech wheeled patrol in the vicinity is alerted and takes position in front of the building (north)

    Tough decisions
    It's a matter of time before they're found out. Yet they still didn't get the samples. The team hesitates whether to break out guns blazing, or take risk to the other task (in the basement floor).

    They decide to go to the basement as they can break out guns blazing also later. They sneak to the staircase where Zer0 triggers from afar the roof exit breach alarm. As the guards run up - the team climb down the stairs and break the maglock into the Cold Storage room.

    Watson speed reads the index of the storage (Some sort of strange ability he has) to locate the barcode they are looking for, and easily they locate their exact container. Breaking the maglock they steal the metal capsule holding the samples and JC keeps it.

    Getting out!
    They decide to escape through the roof. Meanwhile they understand that the wheeled patrol is in position, that the upper floor was searched room-by-room and the guards return to complete the search in the ground floor. They also realize that the guards won't call the police until Red-alert is declared - meaning the intruders are discovered and are armed and dangerous.

    They make it to the roof exit, and one by one they exit as Zer0 spoofs the breach alarm to not trigger. A guard in the ground floor hears the door opens and closes and comes to check, but the team already made it out. They hide within the elevator's engine room when the guards climb to the roof. They assume it was nothing as they see no-one, but the lieutenant decides that one guard will patrol the roof to supply elevated view.

    After a quick scan JC and Purian exit the engine room and try to check mate the patrolling guard into a corner where they can both shoot him down silently in coordination. They manage to move around trying to circle him in close range, but finally they find themselves waiting behind the engine room, waiting for the guard to move into site. Unfortunately, he heard something as JC made his last move not so quietly, and as the couple are aiming toward one side of the engine room, the guard arrives just behind them!

    In a fragment of a second - just before the guard realizes what he's just discovered, his jaw drops open, his finger scans for the HK227x trigger - JC hears a step behind him. He pounces onto the guard who stands 3 meters behind him, dropping his pistol as he dashes forward, and in a quick accurate maneuver subdues the guard, disarming his SMG and blocks his throat from talking. "Help!" he shouts a whisper through the subvocal mic and the team jumps to help out. Watson slaps the guard with 2 tranqualizer patches and throws him unconscious. They tie him up, gag his mouth and lock him in the engine room.

    They designate an escape route toward the back (south) of the facility. Zer0 spoofs the 2 drones to look away from the route and they all climb down with a rope to the ground. They make a run toward the fence, cut it open and escape into the night. After a hasted walk around they make it to their car and leave the area.

    Getting paid!
    Johnson is very excited and happy. He receives The Report through an encrypted channel and wire the payment (600¥ each) agreed upon. He explains that the capsule should be handed to the other funder, and that he will send them a contact info. Meanwhile, Zer0 contacts Suzan Devlin and sells her The Report as well as she proposed. They get 900¥ each after she verifies what she'd got.

    The funder's contact set a meeting with the team at a view point in north Auburn one hour later. The exchange the samples for a credstick holding 1000¥ each as agreed upon. They depart politely, saying that if Johnson (the funder) will be satisfied and need more jobs he will contact them.

    Run's summary

    Body Count: 2
    Karma: 6 (The XP)
    Street Cred:1
    Notoriety: Zer0- 2 JC- 1 Purian-2 Watson-1
    Public Awareness: Zer0+ Purian- 1 Watson+ JC- 0
    Total Income(each): ~2500¥

    (The Street Cred, Notoriety and Public Awareness score sort of tally how much reputation, of different kinds, does the party and each member get. The initial differences stems from special qualities acquired at character creation).

    Ok, so that was the tutorial session- A bit of metrix, a bit of leg work, a bit of dealing with tough choices, and breaking and entering. On the next run my character- The Middle Man, joins the team, for an... interesting and very fun run. The writing style is quite different, hope you'll enjoy!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-06-02 at 04:59 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Ok folks! I'm going to start writing the run's log. It took longer than we expected (we've finished the run, I'm using back logs), but was GREAT fun! The writing style is quite different than the intro run, hope you'll like it! It gets more detailed... Hopefully not too much?

    Session 1, part 1: Introductions, and starting the 2nd run

    The Middle Man (MM for short) joins for this run. In order not to be left behind, he starts with the same Karma (6 Karma) and the funds (2,500¥). I'll start a few stuff before the run, and then dive in!

    Spending karma- Improvement!
    In SR you can use Karma to acquire higher skills, new skills, improve attributes, and a lot more. Yet it takes time. Your roll for progress, each week, with different stuff needing different roles. You can spend money to acquire tutors (Either real ones or software) to speed things up. Also, you never know how much time passes before the next run. You can "save your progress", but don't dally too long before training!

    The MM for example, used 4 of the 6 karma to try and gain the counter spelling skill (level 1), needing 2 successes, but got only 1. JC tried to lean the use of archery.

    Enter the Middle Man
    New to the shadows, MM contacts Amelie (Ground Zer0), having been involved in one of her extraction attempts before her coming to the shadows. Amelie is surprised that he even found her, and agrees to a meeting, at the docks, at "The Fish & Crab" (An invented sailor pub).

    Amelie sits at he pub, when The Middle Man enters, sitting at her side, looking at the strange "jaunty decor".
    MM: "Mind if I sit with you, Amelie?"
    Am: "Loki!" (The name he used as fixer) "Sure, sit. I was quite surprised to hear from you. Tell me, how did you find me?" Amelie was pleasant, but obviously suspicious.
    The Middle Man smiled. "I don't like it when operations I'm involved in fail. I... kept an eye on you. You seemed impressive enough, and I don't think that mess was due to you. It affected my reputation as well you know!"
    Amelie drank her drink "Yeah, I'd like to get to the bottom of this as well..."
    MM: "So, how have you been?"
    Amelia shrugged. "Oh, you know, making some business, keeping low..."
    The Middle Man commented "Why? Is there a price on your head?"
    Amelie didn't flinch, yet her tone was slightly sharper. "A price? No, just rumors. So... what brings you to me?"
    At this MM sighed, and spoke more freely. "I too, have... moved to the shadows. I'm looking for partnership. I know of your matrix skills, and I can offer magic. I'm a mage, of sorts... I offer mys services, if you have need of me. I am seeking a job?"
    Amelie drank her drink, thinking a bit. "The fact that you came openly, and didn't mess around is promising. It might work out. I'll need to check with my team. So Loki..."
    MM smiled. "No longer Loki, in the shadows I'm... The Middle Man..."
    Amelie nodded. "And I'm known as Ground Zer0. I'll ask the team, and if we need a mage, I'll keep you in mind."
    MM rose, nodding. "Thanks". He looked around, and cleaned his Mortimer coat. Amelie looked at him surprised. He apologized. "I... don't quite like the dirt." Before leaving.

    Mr. K (Who plays G0) then cursed. "Damn! I forgot the accent!"

    Team hub hub
    (This was a short while after the last run, about a week)
    Ground Zer0 makes a call linking JC, Purian and Watson.
    G0: "Hello everyone!" (This time in a french accent. )
    JC had his video on, in some sort of a dark gloomy dump: "What do you want Small?" (His nickname for G0)
    G0: "We worked well together last time. I think that if another jobs comes along, we work together again, oui?
    She hears various mumbles of agreement.
    G0: "Well, I happened to meet another possible member, a mage. That might be useful, if you agree?"
    Watson: "Do you trust him?"
    G0: "Do you trust anyone? The point is I heard no ill thing of him... yet… We have a common past. I believe we can give him a test run. Is that agreeable?
    JC: "I'll decide when I see this mage! Now let me be, I'm drinking!" He took a better look at the screen... "But your place looks better than mine!"
    G0: "That is... not surprising."
    JC: "Hey! The Dump is an excellent place!"
    Purian: "You're drinking in a place called The Dump?"
    G0 cut it short: "Well, I will contact you all when I hear of something..."
    JC puffed his cigar. "No problem Small, don't forget!"
    Purian: "I trust you, to not trust anyone. Bring him along, and we'll try... Better happen soon. Things are getting boring here!"
    Watson: "Meh We can use a mage."

    "Not without my daughter! (2nd run)

    27.1.2074, morning- A new job offer
    It's an early cold January morning, when Ground Zer0 gets a call from Fat Mike.
    G0: "Morning Mike!"
    FM: "I hope I didn't wake you up! Had your cruasan?"
    G0: "Had two! What can I do for you?"
    FM: "The last Johnson was pleased, I have something new, a bit urgent. It's not ... a common run, but you'll have to talk to the Johnson for details."
    G0: "Oh, I trust you to bring us the best!" (The table: "Suck up!" )
    FM grunts in amusement: "Yeah right!"
    G0: "What details can you give me?"
    FM: "It's a family matter, some lost kid, that it is urgent to locate. The rest you'll talk with Johnson. But it should mostly be leg work. The streets might be dangerous, and the kid… might be as well... (We exchange looks. "What?") You shouldn’t… Oh, you'll be fine!"
    G0 was suspicious: "What's up with the kid?"
    FM: "The Johnson will fill you up."
    G0: "Hmmm... I have added a member, we can deal with magic as well now."
    FM: "Good! Very good! You can use it! You deal may have to deal a bit with the Paranormal…"
    GO: "... How old is the kid?"
    FM: "She is about 20. I will handle connection. He is not much of a professional, but more discreet than the last one. (The others groan in empathy)
    G0: "What kind of money is involved?"
    FM: "You'll discuss it with him. Can't pay as much as a coorperation, but he'll pay nicely. But for now, you're building reputation. It's a good job."
    G0: "I'll keep it in mind..."
    FM: "Just don't... don't let Purian talk... he's private man, no need to intimidate him. Contact him soon. Time is of the essence!"
    G0: "Money is of the essence!"
    FM: "And time is money. Now get to it!". He closes and sends G0 the contact details.

    Ground Zer0 decides to check up the connection first, before contacting the team. She makes a video call to him. The Johnson answers, a mustached man, looking like a simple corporate wage slave, glasses, about 50 years old human. He looks serious, yet disturbed. Possibly of hispanic heritage.
    G0: "Good morning Mr. Johnson."
    J: "I've talked with Mike. You're the one he recommended? Their... leader?"
    G0: "Yes, you can call me Zer0. I understand you're not used to such, so it may sound a bit weird, but we're simple people.
    J: "Simple heh? I watched the Trids- trolls witch cyber arms and guns..."
    G0: "Well Mr. Johnson, what assistance do you need?"
    J: "Um, I need help with finding someone. I prefer not to discuss over the matrix".
    G0: "We can set meeting? Would that suit you?"
    J: "Yeah. My home?"
    G0: "No, another place? Somewhere... less suspicious?"
    J: "Oh right... Don't want those cyber trolls and magic punks in this neighborhood." He laughs, without humor.
    G0 laughs as well. "The Trideo are the Trideo. We ARE simple people."
    J:"Yes... Perhaps after dark? My Place? I think you will need to see my house..."
    They agree, he sends her the details, (An address in Auburn, residential area) and Ground Zer0 immediately puts a matrix agent to dig up all the info she can on the place and who lives there, till the meeting. Time to call the team.

    G0 sends a message to The Middle Man, telling him they got a job, and that she's making a conference call with everyone.
    G0: "Hello everyone, I... Purian, put some clothes on!" (She closes the link for a few seconds, and then reappears). "Well, it's funny we already spoke this week, and I have news of a job! First I'd like to introduce the mage- The Middle Man..."
    Middle Man: "Greetings ladies and gentlemen, I offer my services as the mage of the group."
    JC looks astounded: "What the f**k was that?!"
    MM: "Pardon me if I offended, it was a way of introduction."
    JC turns to G0: "Wait... Is he your b*tch?"
    MM was amused, knowing he was goaded: "Just a mage, at your service."
    JC looks at Middle Man's thin frame: "Eh, Small and Smaller..."
    G0: "Look, he can summon spirits."
    JC: "Sure sure! Spirits. I completely understand!" He seemed to be in another bar.
    Purian asked "Where the hell are you?
    JC: "It's brand new place- The new as*hole!"
    P: What happened to the old one?
    JC: "It got burned down. You see..."
    The Middle Man was amazed as well. These I have to work with?: "Lets get down to business gentlemen?"
    G0: "Right. The job offer is from private person, seeking his daughter, but we need the reputation. He sounds nervous, we need to be gentle, Oui? NOT that kind of gentle Purian, just don't scare him."
    Purian: "Ok, we won't shoot his face... the chandelier maybe?"
    G0:"Allll right... Lets make him feel secure. The job is urgent. I have his address, so me and Watson will dig up a bit on him. We meet him tonight at his house."
    JC: "WHAT?"
    MM: "The setting of his choice, we won't stress him."
    G0: "He wishes to see in his scene. We can't change our mind, but perhaps Purian and JC can scout the place, just to be sure?" (I did mention paranoia is rampant in SR, right? ) "Also, Middle Man, we might need to deal with the paranormal, be ready!"
    (I look at my sheet. Arcana- 4. Quite low... No skills about magical or paranormal knowledge) "At your service! Any other info?"
    G0 checks her agent (She rolls, 0/8 successes. Crap!) "Um, not at the moment, the matrix connection is a bit slow. It belongs to Fred Tietso, he lives in Renton. Look, we come unarmed, it's a quiet neighborhood, and we..."
    JC interrupts: "Again giving me tips Small? Purian! Bring your cannons!" JC laughs, puffs his cigar, raises his glass and closes the call.

    Preparing to meet Mr. Johnson
    Ground Zer0, frustrated by her agent, decide to do the data search herself. She makes an extended search (Basically, this means an effort with a high DC, but in which you can roll a few times, adding up successes, but each attempt requires a set time. Many extended tests are time consuming, which can be limited, yet most matrix searches, even extended ones are quite fast. The main limitations of matrix search are refining of the search (otherwise, it's a long shot) and info available to the public (unless you hack some specific node for info).
    - He worked as a salesman, now mostly selling advertisement places.
    - He is widowed, for about 3 years. He has one daughter- Esmeralda. Yet G0 is intrigued as she finds that Esmeralda is listed under confidential government files, of the Seattle district. She can't access the files themselves from the matrix. There are mentions of population registry, and the police. Intriguing.

    Purian and JC decides it wouldn't be prudent to survey the neighborhood during day light. They didn't quite look like fitting it. As we come close to the time, we start to discuss how to get there. We find out that none of us, other than G0 has any kind of vehicle! She groans, and says she'll pick us up in her Mercury Comet, her pride and joy. The car ends up almost becoming the 6th member of the party, so I'm putting it's pic here!

    Spoiler: Ground Zero's Mercury Comet

    We all squeeze in the car, and drive there, Purian looking bored out of the window. Watson and the Middle Man silent, and JC commenting on the swanky, if cramped ride. "Mind if I smoke?" Ground Zer0 glares at him "Mind if you walk?"

    As we arrive, the others get out,but The Middle Man pauses. " Wait for me a few moments. I need to contact the spirit world…" The others stare at him, yt live him be. The Middle man closes the door, dims the lights, and summons... Glimji The Wise 3/12 successes vs. 0 successes- 3 services from the spirit.

    Spoiler: Glimji The Wise pic & explanation

    Glimji The Wise- Spirit of man power 6.
    Themes of secrets, riddles and suspicion.
    Innate spells of improved invisibility and mana barrier.

    Spoiler: Glimji? Wait, don't I know him?
    If you've read my journals, you might recognize the name. It's the name of the gnome beguiler the GM played as a player on the "It began with a crash!" campaign. I knew I'm bringing all of these mini- characters into the game, and from being a DM, I knew it might be too difficult to remember them all. So, I named and personalized them somewhat according to other characters (PCs and NPCs) in previous campaigns, to help people get a quick "feel" of who is on stage. Spirits and NPCs. I chose Glimji since the GM played him before- a suspicious tricky gnome. I decided to limit myself at first to 1-2 specific spirits at first. Not to over burden the GM, who had enough on his hands.

    MM: "Glimji, I summon thee… to find.. a secret!"
    He couldn't see the gnome, who never liked being seen, but heard his mocking, dismissing voice "Ah, you and your secrets…"
    MM:"I offer a mystery, a look into the mortal world, to the relations of father and daughter!"
    Gl: "That is no mystery! You can be useful, but do not think too much of yourself! Who are... these others... these mortals, near this metal abomination?"
    The Middle Man thought quickly. The spirits of the court were conniving, schemign bunch, only out for their own interests, as far as he understood. "They are allies for now... Tools to harbor, use..."
    Gl: "Them? They almostdo not exist! So dull..." (He was talking abouthow they appeared in the astral. Most had lots of cyber, which reduced their essence) "What use are they?"
    MM: "Oh, they have their uses, as pawns, as manipulators of metal."
    Glimji groaned, dissatisfied. "Very well, I shall stay with you for now, Ambassador" (Middle Man's name for The Court). "Lets see... this mystery..." Glimji will provide up to 3 services (Due tothe summoning roll) Up till sunrise.

    Before getting out, The Middle Man called upon his magic. As he got out of the car, the others looked at his new appearance with surprise, and a bit of worry. The new person smiled. "You asked for a mage, no? Please, call me... Mike."

    Spoiler: Alternate faces and explanations

    The Middle Man can use the Physical Mask spell to assume various appearances (Similar to disguise self, only covering all 5 senses, and even cameras and electronic gear). I'm using the various Shadowrun returns portraits, and other punk/ cyber punk and similar themed pics for his various "faces".

    I rolled for the spell 4/14 success. This put a threshold of 4 successes to anyone who tried topierce the illusion. I also had to roll for drain, but managed to resist. However, any spell that demands sustaining, imposes -2 dice, on almost all rolls. (When a good score is about 12-14 dice, removing 2 is BIG!)
    The Middle Man continued. "Listen to me, I'll talk with a subvocal micro transceiver (A standard piece of gear, enables to converse with linked people, making it very hard for others to hear. We all carry one. "I might be able to tell if he's lying." With that I cast Analyze truth, again 4 successes, but no maintaining 2 spells, at -4 for nearly all rolls. The Middle Man looked a bit distant.
    JC was worried. "You need a smoke?"
    MM: "Just a bit distracted. Perhaps later. Lets go meet Mr. Johnson."


    I'll stop here currently. It's not the end of the session, but I need to go. I'll try adding to it, in the next few days, but at least you got some of the characterization of the PCs. I will probably do shorter updates a piece, just to be able to get to where we are, later on...

    Cheers for now!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-06-02 at 02:48 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Sofia, Bulgaria

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    So far it seems very interesting, also quite understandable for a non-SR player.
    I especially like your personalized spirits, they kind of remind me of the salt mephit hourglass that Kaveman used in his Necromancers campaign (I don't quite remember who originally came up with the idea, I'm sure it was someone on these forums).
    Also, was Watson's player present for the session? You don't seem to quote him that much.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    @ Karion: I think Watson has been slightly more silent due to Mr. S. (His player) being quite new to the group, and both him and us trying to "feel each other out", and the group dynamics. No worries, he'll come to be quite expressed soon enough! (I hope! )

    @ All: I haven't been gone, just quite busy with real life (Pregnancy check ups, getting married, you know! ). Some in the group read so far, and enjoyed it. The GM and Mr. K (Playing G0) wished me to fix some stuff, I'll get to that a tad bit later.

    Lets get back to the story...

    Session 1, part 2: A sad tale, First clues!

    Ok, lets continue!

    27.1.2074, 18:00- Meeting Mr. Johnson

    With a new face, the party goes up the steps, and knock on the door. Fred Tietso opens it for us, motioning us in, looking nervous. The house looks like a family's house, a "homely home". Purian doesn't even glance, JC looks suspiciously around... We notice a picture of a diseased looking wife and daughter… Some of us are bit envious of the place (As you might have guessed, we live in crummy apartments).

    We get to the living room, most of us sit down JC stands near the door. Purian just lays about casually, The MM sits aside, trying to not draw attention and observe.
    G0: "Do not worry Mr. Johnson, we can deal with your mission."
    In his ears, The Middle Man hears Glimji looking around, mumbling: "This one there... He stinks! Why is he standing? Mortals..." (Speaking of JC)
    Fred, speaks in a sad tone, though trying to sound professional: "It's about my Esme, (He pulls out a picture. Looks young, end of her teens, and passes it round). JC comes and copies it with his eye cam.
    G0: "How long is she missing? Does she still look s in the picture?"
    Fred: "No, she didn't take any pictures since she caught the virus (Watson blanches, speaking in some vocal "Virus?", almost starting to hyperventilate, looking around)
    W: "Was she... sick... while in the house?"
    Fred: "In the house? Well, she was sick with the Krieger Strain…" (Watson knows it's a virus of HMHVV- A magical virus that makes people into... ghouls!)
    Watson drops the picture. "I see, I see…".
    Fred continues, teary. "Since the transformation she would would not agree to have any photos taken of her. She would destroy all of her pictures, other than the one I have, and the one at the entrance... She wanted nothing of her past. People called her... a monster... The authorities, they monitor people with this disease. They don't want them to go amok and hunt others, you understand? Not that she ever harmed anyone. She has a wrist band that monitors her. She isn't considered harmful, and so may leave at home... I built her her own living unit. She cut all connections with her friends, people who knew her... everyone!" (He looked angry for a moment. "People are such cowards! Friends..."
    JC speaks in a strangely uncharacteristic sympathy. Gruff sympathy, but sympathy none the less: "I completely agree with you!"
    G0: "How long since she disappeared?"
    Fred: "She disappeared 2 days ago. She meets no one, except for a therapist, as part of the government supervision, to see mentally fit to live in society... If she misses a call, once a week, she might be caught by authorities. This is why I need you to track her down!"
    MM: "When was she with the therapist?"
    Fred: "2 days ago, after that she came back home, acting the usual, depressed and angry. She wanted never wanted to be grouped with other ghouls… she never harmed anyone!"
    Watson asked cautiously: "But... I thought they needed to eat... sentient beings?" (We exchange slightly disturbed looks).
    Fred explained quickly: "No! I mean... yes, usually, but government controlled ghouls get supplied with... metafish, and such. It's not as... appetizing as the "regular" diet, but it fulfills their needs. She didn't harm anyone!"
    G0: "This is very important, and I understand the emergency, but it is also dangerous, and require... discreet and professional work. What about... compensation?"
    Fred looked around at the team: "I didn't know it would take so many people... I have saved some money. I can offer 7,500¥."
    G0: "Since this is a noble cause, I accept!" The others seem to nod, but The Middle Man interjected,
    MM: "If this was my daughter, god rests her soul... Well, I would think of a better compensation, to make sure the job is done right. We are dealing with serious... health hazards (Watson turned more pale), and it's not just finding her, but making sure her little escape doesn't leave any trail, any evidence, which will incur... further expenses..." I roll for negotiation: -1 due to money, -1 due to Fred's suspicious, +2 lacks knowledge of the situation, of, and a -4 due to the sustained spells. (He didn't lie so far). I roll 3/9. Fred agrees, hesitantly "I can go up as 10K, just get her back, and safe!"
    G0 and Watson send a quick message through subvocal "You just earned your pay Middle Man!" The Middle Man sits back in his chair, more comfortably.
    G0 returns to business: "You said you built her her own living unit? Was there any video system in her unit? "
    Fred: "She broke it. She hated any kind of evidence of her... condition."
    JC chimes in: "You also said she has a surveillance bracelet?"
    Fred: "Um, yes, but only for the authorities can use it."
    G0 smiled: "Will see about that. Do you know who was the officer in charge of her case?"
    Fred: "I don't know... But please! Don't contact him, or..."
    G0 assured him: "Don't worry, I won't contact him, but I may be able to get into the system itself. Now, as to the therapist?"
    Fred was dismayed. "It's a government therapist. Works specifically with ghouls, and social depressions. But he gives the reports only to the officials. We never got any."
    G0 sends a subvocal to MM "Can you change your appearance, if we want to trick the therapist." The MM answers "Why yes! At your service!"
    MM leaned forward, talking in a concerned voice: "Any other connections? Close friends? relatives?"
    Fred: "Well... she goes to stray walks at nights. You know how it is with ghouls..." (The GM explains that by the laws in UCAS, Ghouls can be hunted, there was a price on their heads. Yet, the price on ghouls' heads is on probation in the UCAS in recent months and planned to be removed) "I hope no one meets her out at night. She has only one friend she kept touch with- I don't remember his name... some sort of a chubby orc... A Russian name... Boris maybe?
    Watson became intrigued: "How does she know him? From school? Some other place?"
    Fred gives us her high school name, and G0 starts his agent, to make a search. Fred continues "Would you like to see her place?"
    JC is intrigued by the picture at the hall: "One last question- Your wife, I am very sorry about her... What happened to her?"
    Fred sighs, lowering his head: "Jasmin died 8 years ago. She was cremated, and in the cemetery…" Suddenly his head shot up "Though Esme is not stupid! She will not go to cemeteries, ghouls are shot on sight there!" JC looks thoughtful. "Well, just in case, can you send us the location of her plot? Sometime people in need, can do dangerous stuff, when not thinking straight..."
    G0 got up. "lets go see her room. Mr Watson? Your expertise?" Watson, still pale, stood up shakily, his hand going to his respirator.

    As players, we quickly try to sum up potential leads: The therapist, The cemetery, tracking her bracelet, and her potential "comrade"- Boris... 4 leads so far.

    Esmeralda's living quarters- looking for clues!

    Her place is a small living unit, in the yard. Watson stops a good distance from it, his breath turning more rapid "Um, Mr .Johnson? I'd like to talk with you about the last week, any possible details? Back in the house. Lets leave my associates to their work." (Watson suffers a -2 dice pool penalty, due to his phobia)
    Fred looks uncertain, but agrees: "Please, do not mess anything."
    MM: "We shall treat it with the utter respect…"

    Ground Zero asks Fred to go back inside. "Mr. Watson will join you shortly." Watson seems at unease, but agrees to search. Outside... (He finds nothing, though we learn of his super enhanced perception skills. Damn!) Th rest open the door, and see a small room, no more than 4x4 meters, with various teenager stuff, though with no pictures.
    MM: "Ground Zer0, are there any cameras round?" G0 checks, and confirm there aren't. She seeks hidden nodes, but finds none. With relief, The Middle Man drops both spells, and pulls out a respirator, not liking searching a ghoul's place.
    JC looks at him suspiciously: "Why the respirator?"
    MM answers in a muffled voice: "Just a precaution…"

    We start searching the place. JC makes 4 successes finding Esme's commlink. "Hey Small! catch!"
    He also finds a small electronic device called, a book reader (A tablet just for books. Forgot how it's called) JC check it. List of books… doesn't recognize anything. "Watson.. I got books…"

    G0 searches the commlink, doing thorough search: She looks for pics, logs, accounts, communications, everything… She hacks past the simple security measures, and finds the following:
    1. A conversation with Travis Memorial Hospital in Everet. (Another place Watson would love! ) It's a clinical research about ghouls.

    2. Telestrian Industries Corporation (From Tir Angir). They seem to request ghouls to join a research they are conducting.

    3. A recording (Voice message): "I'll hook you up with people who'll admire you. They will love you! Look me up, ask for Bitter Sweet!" (The voice has an African accent, sounds like street talk- G0 doesn't quite understand the speech, but the English speakers understand the jib is gang talk…) G0 links this to everyone. Watson, in the midst of his conversation, replies he knows of a gang "The blood brothers", which is mostly Africans. In Auborn- Renton.

    4. Another audio message: "… Come live with us, the hospital is a stable source to support our community..." There is an adjoining map to the message, showing the City Health South Hospital. (Mr. S, playing Watson, laughs. "You're screwing with me? Another hospital? A ghoul community?!" Yet the GM promises he made the run before knowing our characters. Mr. S. smiles sarcastically. "Oh well. Gonna be a hell of a run!")

    G0 finds nothing more of much importance, other than that Esme closed all of her accounts, closed all of her subscriptions and such... Not promising.

    In the meantime, The Middle Man strains his senses, and peaks into the astral (An adjoining world of magic and life essence. The GM says it looks somewhat like Frodo using the ring on Lord of The Rings, only less black and white, more color to living and magical things, the rest looks dull). MM sees Glimji looking over the place, curious. "I sense… great desperation, great sadness. here..." it says. I roll for assensing- 1/4 success, barely seeing anything, but a strange dimness ll around.
    MM: "I see some of it, hints, traces, not enough."
    Gl: "You will learn... I can feel sadness when Gaia is crying".
    MM: "We mortals see a limited scope and vision, we see only us, yet sometime in it, there is an insight." Glimji grumbles. "We cannot understand your world... so strange, without sense!"
    The Middle Man replies "This is why I am here, to help you unravel it!"
    Glimji sounds curious. "I want to know more about it, this mystery and sadness".
    MM: "Well let us explore to the end of this mystery…". With that, finding no more clues, The Middle Man's sight returns to the world we know, only to find JC staring at him suspiciously.
    JC: "Who were you talking to?"
    Purian muses amused: "The most important person you can listen to is yourself".
    The Middle Man sighs, giving a half hearted explanation about communicating with spirits, but quickly stops at the look JC gives him.
    JC: "Spirits... yeah... Hey! Watson! Where can I smoke here?"
    The Middle Man hears Glimji's chuckle. "I like the Tin Man! Simple one!"
    JC goes out, lighting a cigar, looking at the moon. "It's going to be… a llooonng night…"

    Meanwhile, after finding nothing (and being half relieved that he didn't!) Watson goes inside, talking with Fred.
    Fred: "Now that you mention it, I did hear her last night, going out, but it sounds like she came back very soon, she woke me up- was bit more noisy than usual."
    W: "Was she alone?"
    F: "I think so... Maybe not? She's usually quite stealthy…" (Watson communicates this to G0, who tells him about finding files about experimenting with ghouls).
    Watson asks about these and Fred replies. "She is always looking for a cure. I don't know anything specific though..."
    Watson reassures him, though not touching. "Don't worry, we will find out... Has she contacted any other ghouls?"
    Fred denies it strongly. "No! She hates even thinking being friends with them. She doesn't really thinks she's one of them."
    At this point G0 joins in, asking to see the house security cameras. They go through the cameras of last night, looking at the gate. Suddenly they see a figure, coming into the yard, with a big gym bag. Fred exclaims "This is Boris!" G0 uses the pic and the high school info her agent dug up, to find more info about Boris. She finds his full name is Boris Romanov. A quick search finds out that he sublets an apartment in Renton.

    Not getting more from Fred, JC calls Watson about the book reader, though he has to read the list for Watson, who dare not touch it. (Watson has knowledge about 20th century literature!). One book triggers his investigator senses- "Crime and punishment". Using his "Psychology of criminal mind" knowledge skill, with JC checking the most read portions, he comes to realize that Esme was obsessed with the moral questions of what it would be like... killing someone... (The group begins to get worried by this...) Watson comments to the rest of us: "I think she might be contemplating... murder... We better hurry up!"

    Ground Zer0 in the mean time finds phones of Boris, the therapist's address and phone, and no special info on the mother's death (On JC's request). She also looks at Esmeralda's own matrix search:
    - It looked as if she's been looking for info on clinical trials involving ghouls.
    - A curious bookmark, about a mystical therapist, which suggest to ghouls a spiritual therapy to improve their lives. It seems Esmeralda sought reviews about it, and she found reviews which looked quite good. The add refers to "Father Shannon", and gives a phone number, nothing else. Ground zer0 mumbles. "Great, probably a cult who prays on the desperate. I wonder what they are REALLY up to! Damn!"

    No further clues emerge, not that we need more. If at all, we'll have to narrow down the search. Ground Zer0 messages the team, asking for more ideas. Since no one has any, she sums it up. "Ok, lets bid Johnson farewell, get out, and think of a plan."

    So, what have we got so far?
    The Middle Man puts on Mike's visage again, before they meet with Fred, with G0 promising him we'll have Esme soon enough, and keep him updated. As we leave a safe distance, towards Zer0's Mercury Comet, Watson feverishly tries to clean and sanitize himself. On the way JC, worried by Watson's words, speaks to the Middle Man.
    JC: "So... Ghouls... what do you know about them?"
    The Middle Man thinks to himself Practically nothing? yet answers "I know a bit, but I have a few resources to learn from..."
    MM: I my have a few resources to learn about them.
    JC: "Focus on how to fight them, kill them..." He says, in a grim, serious voice.
    MM: "As far as I know, they are s flesh and you me, there are also dual beings, existing simultaneously both on the material world, and the astral, perceiving in both. (Thanks the GM for cluing us in! ) "I shall try and learn more about them..." he thinks it might be time to make a call...
    JC however, had a few more pressing questions, as MM removes his mask: "Hmmm... What else can you do?"
    MM: "You asked for a mage, no? I can change appearances, make things appear as they are not, make them invisible, and affect thoughts... make people more... amenable…"
    Purian was curious: "Can you change the properties of a specific organ in a person?"
    MM was confused: "Um... What?"
    Purian: "Say, change a heart to a cucumber, or such...?" Her mannerisms implied amused curiosity, and addressing worlds of experience the Middle Man didn't know, and wasn't sure he would like to...
    MM: "Um… no…"
    JC glared at her, and talked more practically: "Can you distract people?"
    MM, smiled a bit "That, I can manage…"

    Mr. E, JC's player, then tells us, that he took one of Esme's socks from the room. The GM was suspicious, and the rest of us confused. "What for?", yet Mr. E. just smiled. "Oh, you'll see..."

    At Zer0's Mercury Comet, we discussed our situation and leads so far:
    Time frame: We got 5 days left, before Esme's appointment with the therapist. She must show up then.
    1. There was the therapist itself. We might need to find a way to access the files on Esme, and maybe fool/ stall the therapist.
    2. There might be a connection to the dead mother. Might she have visited the cemetery?
    3. The tracking bracelet might help find her. It would certainly help the authorities. Yet Ground Zer0 was not thrilled at the idea of hacking into a government system. Waaayyy dangerous!
    4. The friend who visited her before her disappearance- Boris Romanov.
    5. Ghoul experimental research: Travis memorial hospital in Everet & Telestrian industries Corporation (2 places).
    6. Bitter Sweet, most likely some sort of a gangster? ("I will hook you up!" Possible member of The Blood Brothers, a Renton- Auburn gang of African descent)
    7. The strange audio message: "… Come live with us, the hospital is a stable source to support our community" With the map for the City Health South Hospital. Community? ghoul community? Watson shuddered, even JC didn't like that idea.
    8. "Father Shannon": Spiritual advisors to ghouls ("Will get you back to life!")
    9. Crime and punishment: A Russian novel, dealing with thinking about the morals of killing someone… worrisome….

    That's a lot of leads! But with but 5 days, we needed to focus on which to pursue first. We decided that to leave the experiments for now- too big to tackle without further info. Same goes for the ghoul community. We need to learn more about what we're dealing with first. We decide focus first on leads that are easier to pursue and might give us more info, and dangerous ones. The ones we mark first are:
    - Boris Romanov: A friend who happened to visit just that night? He DEFINITELY knows something!
    - The Therapist: We needed to know what her condition was. Watson's discoveries and assessment worried us. For her sake, as well as ours.
    - Bitter Sweet: We didn't like the sound of his message. Sounded like trouble.
    - Father Shannon: Likewise...

    Time for some leg work!

    (A brief explanation about Contacts: Part of the SR game works by using "contacts". People who might do you favors, for money or favors. As part of the character building, you point some points into making your connections. They can't circumvent a run, but they can help. Contacts have 2 main ratings: Loyalty (Self explanatory, ranging from 1-6, how much they are willing to do for you, and Connection, also from 1-6: their "pull" in the world. Also, there is their area of expertise, but that is very much a case- by- case basis).

    Ground Zer0 starts a search on the two research sites, just in case, since these will take time.

    Watson calls his info broker. "I need list of people who were accepted by Telestrian Industries for ghoul research. Also memorial."
    Info broker: "Won't be easy, won't be cheap. Telestrian will be hard, but the hospital may be easier…" Watson, low on funds, decides to start with the Hospital. he specifically seeks which company might be funding the ghoul research, and to what ends. The info broker tells him it will take some time.

    The Middle Man calls Lynn Ardent, a Knight Errant detective (Former from Lone Star).
    MM: "Hey there Lynn, preparing for a long night?"
    Lynn: "Loki? Actually, I'm on my way home, quite tired. What's the matter?" (She still knows him under his Fixer's name)
    The Middle Man seeks to approach the matter, as delicately as he can. "Well Lynn, been a bit tough lately. I'm helping some people... I was wondering, I have heard of tracing bracelets, put on people- criminals, dangerous folks, ghouls... Can you tell me a bit about it? A person's life is in danger, and we seek to help."
    Lynn didn't answer for a bit. "The population centers looks for dangerous people, of various kinds. What have you gotten yourself into? Why ghouls? A peculiar addition to the list Loki... Dangerous stuff!"
    MM: "Ghouls? No, not about them" 6/13 con. Lynn grumbles "Well, just beware where you're sticking your hand into! I can't help you with that, people might ask the wrong questions." (A quick talk with the GM. Though Lynn has a connectivity of 4, her Loyalty is still only 2, like a respected client, but not one she'll stick her neck for). The Middle Man thanks her, and closes the chat, wishing her good rest.

    He tries another Contact- Travian Killpi, a former doctor, who know works as a slightly upscale street doc. Nickname "Scales".
    Doc Scales Killpi: "Yes? How can I patch ya? Or is another team got riddled with bullets?"
    The Middle Man mentions the hospitals on the leads, asking if he knows anything about them.
    Doc Scales: "Hospital! Don't deal with them no more! But Central South Hospital? I know that place. A pretty sh*tty hospital, if you ask me! I wouldn’t go there. It had a good name in the past, yet they never much upgraded the technology. Pretty old standards, deals with the poor..."
    Watson has an unnerving suspicion, about the source of food for the ghoul community, and messages to Middle Man, who asks: "Doc, do you know if there are any organ leggers working with them? Any connection?"
    The Doc goes silent: "I don't know about organ leggers Loki. I wouldn't try crossing them, or meeting them. Crazy people!" The doc finishes the talk then, not liking where it's headed...

    The Middle Man also calls Jerribeth of The Cloth, his mystical connection, wishing to learn more about ghouls, but she doesn't answer. The Connections didn't yield much this time.

    About Middle Man's connections

    As with the spirits, the contacts are fairly personalized as well. And they too, are named after previous characters in previous games, with little twists. I'll touch upon the contacts as they come more into play, if they do. A very brief summary:
    - Google: A childhood friend (Even knows the MM real name!), low level gangster. Gave the MM his current place to live in and hide.
    - Lynn Ardent: A copper, detective, quite jaded, yet still fairly honest.
    - Travian Killpi: Ex-doc, now street doc. He was kicked out of practice due to "questionable" methods. Helped Loki patch up runner teams. Deals with cyber too.
    - Jerribeth of the Cloth: belongs to some mystical circle, owner of an awakened resources shop, and the only one of his contacts who knows of his magical skills, even tradition! Unknown motives.

    Time to decide
    Ground Zer0 starts her Mercury Comet "We got as much as we could so far. It's time to go visit a Russian." We start the night drive into Renton...


    Next update: The conclusion of the first session! Everyone's favorite government agent makes an appearance! Middle Man dealing with lots of strain! And... why did JC take Esmeralda's sock? All, next time!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-06-27 at 11:39 PM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Session 1, part 3- Of Russians, agents and amazing disappearing acts!

    We get into the car, The 3 guys in the back, the two gals in the front. (The future is feminist!) Yet on the drive there, JC pulls out Esme's sock, and throws it on Watson, to JC's amusement. Watson freaks out, and tazes JC, who none the less laughs. G0 shouts back: "No fighting in the car! You'll damage the upholstery!" (At the table everyone is cracking up! We're all late in our late thirties to early forties, but sometime we act like 3rd graders! ) JC retrieves the sock, into his jacket, Watson nearly pukes in the car (G0 quickly stops and pulls him out till he is ok), but after some shouts from Zer0 ("Yes mom!") and after she comforts her car that it's alright, we continue the drive. G0 glares at them, JC grins evily, Watson is pale, Purian is bored, and The Middle Man is quite... well... without words...

    Getting ready to meet Mr. Romanov.

    We reach Boris Romanov's neighborhood, a fairly poor place, run down, 4-5 stories, train-chain buildings. Purian loads her gun "Lets go corner ourselves an ork!" The Middle Man whispers "Ill be right with you". This time however, the party doesn't see a new face. They don't see anything in fact! The Middle Man whispers to them. "I'm right behind you, don't look for me, I'm invisible". (Physical Mask spell, also a sustained spells. Fools most normal senses, including those of electric means, such as cameras). Expecting trouble, The Middle Man wishes to remain unseen...

    We come to the building, and search for the name Romanov. 3rd floor. All apartments face the street. Mr. Watson pulls out a lazer microphone, and target the windows of the apartments (It's a device that translates the vibrations of windows to speech! Used for spying! ) One apartment has loud music playing, another is silent, in the last there is a couple arguing. (The GM improvised quickly there!) Yet upon listening, the argument sounded domestic, we figured it probably wasn't that one.

    G0 comes up with an idea- We wish to gain info from Boris. We assume he's her friend, so we want to get on his good side. So...we send someone who looks to be from law enforcement, giving him the scare, and then come again as people who wish to help Esme. We decide to send the MM (As face) and JC (As muscle and intimidation. Also, if things get messy).
    MM: "JC, any thoughts?"
    JC: "Well, you're going to be the bad cop, and I'm going to be the worse cop!"
    Not much to add to that, the MM makes sure no one is looking, and drops the invisibility, putting on a new face

    Spoiler: Mr. Smith

    Well, we are going with intimidation!

    Yet the spell took a toll (Didn't resist all drain, suffered 2 drain, which reduced all roles by a further -1. -3 to all with the sustained spell). The Middle Man looked slightly fatigued. JC was worried "Are you all right?" Yet he MM just waved the concern and spoke softly. "Glimji. I don't want any surprises. When we get to our query, I'd like you to assense the place". (Look into the astral. He's far better than the MM at that. 2 services remaining.

    "The bad cops!"

    We go up the elevator, up to the third floor, JC looking at the agent beside him suspiciously. We reach the apartment, apartment 12.
    MM: "Mr. Romanov. Open the door please!" We hear loud music, punk music, yet no answer.
    The Middle Man turns to JC "Would you knock, a bit louder?"
    JC knocks on the door roughly, yet there is no answer.
    The Middle Man speaks politely: "Mr. Anderson, enable us entrance into the facility."
    JC stares at him: "What?"
    MM sighs: "Open the damn door!"
    JC shouts: "Open the door, we are government officials!"
    The music comes down, and someone comes near the door. We hear a small voice, with a slight Russian accent "How can I help you?"
    MM: "Mr. Romanov, if you will not open the door, you will be in violation of... (Here the MM gives out some fake names of government regulations) Rolling to negotiate, with some penalties, yet 3 successes!

    The door opens a crack, JC notices it seems to be heavily fortified. An orc looks out, a bit chubby, with a sort of a baby face "What is it? I did nothing!"
    MM: "This is government business, the DSM IV (It's actually a psychiatry book! but it sounds like a government branch, doesn't it?) requires your compliance." Giving a tight, humorless smile.

    Boris quickly opens the door, and the duo goes in. The apartment looks crappy, (The party: "What, like our apartments?" The GM: "No, nothing looks as crappy s your apartments!" ). JC walks in first, and after The Middle Man comes in, JC makes a point of closing the door behind him. The Middle Man looks around, with disinterest. "Are you familiar with one... Esmeralda Tietso?" He mumbles knowing OF her. We explains that we are looking for her, for her safety.
    Boris mumbles in fear. "I don't know! I have no idea where she is!" (We roll to sense if he's lying, as MM didn't want to sustain the Analyze Truth spell here, yet we don't think he is... Well, not directly).
    MM: "Mr. Anderson ,check the place. While I talk with the gentleman." JC nods, and quickly starts to rummage through the piles of clothes and odd mechanical gear and trash all around.
    MM: "Please tell us ll you know of her In the last month."
    Boris is partly distracted by JC, who does not appease his mind. "Well, I go to her house at times, help her a bit, bring her stuff. She rarely goes out to the world you know..."
    The MM seems unimpressed. "How would you gauge her state of mind lately?"
    Boris looked distressed: "Oh, since the... change... she god depressed, angry. I tried to comfort her, help her, but she is so angry..."
    MM raises an eyebrow. "Angry? Do you think she may be dangerous? To herself? To others?"
    Boris quickly refutes this "What? No! No, Esme is gentle person, a kind person. She wouldn't hurt anyone..."
    MM decides to push him: "Not dangerous? She is a Flesh. Eating. Ghoul! They all break, sooner or later, and when they do, it's their loved ones that they eat first. The ones who could not save them. (3/ 10 successes)
    Boris delays. "I realy don't know…" Yet we sense he doesn't want to believe it.
    MM: "We know you were there on the night of her disappearance. That you brought a bag, what have you been doing there?" (We assume he helped her escape somehow)
    Boris: "I just came there with the bag, bringing her some clothes and stuff!" Yet we sense that he is lying, A conman knows a con. JC, while working around, notices a lot of electronic circuits, gadgets and stuff. He motions at the MM, behind Boris' back, at his hand.
    JC chimes in "So, you love electronics? I bet you turned off her bracelet?". The Middle Man joins "Mr. Anderson, he seems to be not cooperating!". Boris slightly panics, and we see his eyes dart to one of his wrist. JC spots a part of the covered bracelet. Yet we act as if we saw nothing, didn't notice his quick glance.
    I speak to JC in subvocal "We're done here", and then address Boris: "Well... Mr. Romanov... Thank you for your cooperation. Be sure to inform us of developments? in case she calls?"
    JC grunts before we leave: "Stick round, don’t go to far…" his stance heavily implies it would be a BAD idea.

    On the elevator down, JC looks worried at the sightly fatigued Middle Man: "Well, this went well!" MM speaks softly: "It could have gone better, but on the whole, yeah quite well."
    JC: "At least we know we shouldn't try using the bracelet to find her."
    MM: "Yeah. And hopefully our little show will ease the ground for the others. Hope they'll do better."

    "The good cops!"

    The Middle Man goes to rest in the car, JC keeps watch. We wait for about 15 minutes, before he other 3 go up.
    Ground Zer0 knocks."Boris! My name is Laurence! Please, Fred sent us, there is a serious threat for Esme's life! We followed the government agents here..."
    Boris quickly opens the door, looking like he had better days. "What's going on?"
    G0: "Fred fears for her life, due to the danger on the streets, but also due to government."
    Boris lets them in. The quickly sell the story- hired by Fred, having tracked the agents, and followed them here. "We know their type, they won't stop. They are relentless, Like hounds!"
    Boris is fearful, and angry "What do they want from her? She did nothing bad! Why won't they just leave her alone?"
    Purian speaks with her soft, lucrative, yet unemotional voice. "For them, she is an... "unsavory person" on the loose. She is unsupervised, and that is unacceptable to them."
    G0: "She has been gone for 2 days. Soon enough they WILL find her, and they WON'T ask questions… They will just make it look like she tried to attack, and make sure they don't need to track her again. As I said- we know their type!".
    Boris became frantic "So what do we do?"
    G0: "If you want to help her, save her, help us find her!"
    B: "I don't know where she is..." This time the party believed him.
    G0 tried a more soothing voice: "Tell us what you know."
    Boris sat down on a dirty sofa, sniffing: "She looked for a way out- Some clinical trials, something to help her, not be in her stage, in her cage… She wanted to find a new life, but she was impatient... She was desperate to leave, I couldn't change her mind…"
    G0 emphasized "No light at the end of the tunnel, no hope..."
    B: "Yes! No hope! She wanted to find it. But she didn't confide in me, she wanted to make sure I won't be in danger."
    G0 played along: "They will find it with the bracelet." (Wanting to make sure)
    B wiped his face, giving a slight grin: "Not anymore!" he showed them the bracelet "I just hope she is safe… That she is far away… But even if they come to me, I don't know where she is!" Purian spoke on the subvocal "Great! he can't help us! Lets loose him!"
    G0: "You might get in serious trouble for that." G0 is convinced he told the truth.
    Purian: "Has she talked about any new kind of treatment?"
    B: "She was desperate about exhausting the opportunities. But the research she looked into didn't seem to satisfy her- nothing that was supposed to make her better, truly better..."
    Purian: "Did she ever mention "Father Shannon"? Please, anything might save her life." (Watson in the meantime takes a more thorough look in the apartment, finding the gym bag, yet it's empty). Yet despite various lines of questioning, (Bitter Sweet, City South Hospital, ghoul community) it seemed that Boris indeed knew nothing more. Whatever plans Esmeralda had, she didn't include him on them. Purian asks if he has any recent picture, but apparently Esmeralda wouldn't allow any to be taken as a ghoul.
    G0 finishes: "We shall try to save her from the agents. But if anything comes to mind, even if later, please call us, this might save her life…"
    Boris sobbed: "She said she will try to take the risk, to find a new life…"
    Ground Zer0 felt a pang, and comforted him: "You are a good friend Boris, at least she got you! Watson also added. "Taking off the bracelet was a good idea. Yet if she misses her therapist appointment. Well... The government has other means..."
    Just before we left, Boris mumbled something else, in urgency: "She was hesitating, if she might be able to kill someone, if it was possible... I don't think she can, but if she struggles, don't let her do it!"
    With that alarming note, the party exits...

    What's next?

    Back at the car, the party discusses Boris' last warning, and Watson summary on Esme's fascination with "Crime and Punishment". We come to a theory- Esme is on a path of desperation- T kill or not to kill? She's been seeking ways to reverse the transformation (We decide to ditch going after the research leads for now. They look far less promising), and has been looking for spiritual help (Father Shannon). She might have sought Bitter Sweet, for an opportunity to kill? Either some sor tof a gladiatorial fight? A BTL? Maybe she seeks to kill criminals/ low lives/ scum, justifying a kill?

    Yet we can't yet find Bitter Sweet. Too little info. We can try Father Shannon, or the hospital. We discuss many of the leads. It's getting late. At the end, we decide we need to understand Esme better, and go to the Therapist, to break into her files.

    27.1.2074, 22:00. The therapist clinic

    Ground Zer0 checks where it is. It is in Renton, but just beside the police department.
    G0: "GREAT! Just what I need!" We quickly discuss options. They wish to break in, and after MM's invisibility, they ask for him to make them invisible, to go in. The Middle Man doesn't like this- too many people to hide. Yet still wishing to prove himself to the team, he agrees, but asks to rest a bit first (Due to the drain before).

    Meanwhile, as he rests, they park the car nearby (Not TOO near).G0 and Watson goes to look at the entrance and find the therapist's name- Gilebert beaco. His office is at ground level. stops nearby… She scans, seeks a node in the office, but it seems there is one there, not connected to the matrix. They both seek another entrance, not the front one. They spot a side window, though protected.

    As they huddle about possible breaking and entering plans, The Middle Man speaks softly with Glimji The Wise.
    MM: "Ah Glimji! The mystery thickens! A woman, transformed, faces abnormal hunger, and a test of self control… Seeks a new life, with one who loves her enough to risk imprisonment… A strange people the mortals are, no?"
    On the astral, Glimji grumbles: "Bah! You're making it Much more dramatic than it is… Haven't seen anything REALLY mysterious yet!"
    The Middle Man ponders, and whispers: "The real mystery, I think, is Has she killed, will she kill? Isn't that the real question, Master Glimji? Want to bet?"
    Glimji "I don't understand this…" He sounds a bit frustrated "I wonder where she is now..."

    After the rest, the party comes with an idea- Can't The Middle Man astrally project? Scan the area? By astrally projecting, the mage's soul lives it's body, and can roam the astral, traveling at great speeds, pass any non living barrier (And the earth, which does feel like a living barrier). This led to a small discussion- due to experience with previous games where parties used astral projection to map out areas, the GM decided that while astral projection is good for assensing living things, and magical things, it is not good to get your bearings, or localize people well enough. The real world looked dull, vague, like a smear... Good enough! Also, we decided you can project only from a mana barrier.

    The Middle Man asks Glimji to erect a man barrier (A unique power to it, since it has the Innate Spell ability, of such a spell). The Middle Man slumps in his chair, and his spirit departs.

    The world looks strange, his companions different, yet quite dull, their colors diminished, tainted (All that cyber and reduced essence). The MM floats towards the clinic, and tries to assense it, quickly coming to the conclusion that he'll need to better his training in that skill (Assensing 1/4). At the compound, there are about 20 life forms, none wakened, meta humans. Most look sleeping… 2 other forms do not, moving,awake. A security patrol? No spirits… His skills doesn't enable to tell much more, so he returns.

    G0 welcomes him returning. "Happens to me some times as well, on the matrix. We need to go. JC, Watson, Middle Man and myself. Purian, you're our get away, if things get... problematic."
    The Middle Man grumbles, and start making the 4 of them invisible, suffering some drain, and at the end barely managing to sustain all 4 spells (-8 to all!) JC helps guide him, as the Middle Man strains so much he can barely grasp his surroundings...

    We get close to the window (Middle Man barely walking). G0 goes into Virtual Reality (A matrix function, which overlays the real world with the electronic data and symbols and such). Watson coordinates the team, apparently seeing them? "Got Ultrasound" He whispers through subvocal. JC grumbles "Ultrasound? What, you're Batman now?"

    What follows is a lot of matrix and hacking stuff, which I barely understood (Nah "Didn't understood" is a far more accurate term! ) But... Ground Zer0 dice are against her, and the GM is rolling great. At one point she triggers a matrix alarm. JC, remembering the previous run is astonished. "What? Again? You're bloody useless!" G0 manages to mess around, and... "divert" the alarm or something, finding a file, and starting to download it. However, she also senses the node, as a security measure, starts to reboot itself. She doesn't have long!

    And the file is encrypted! She shuffles some programs (or other matrix mambo jambo stuff! ) She seeks info on Esmeralda Tietso and... glitches! (A roll where at least half the dice show "1", considering that hacking are the skills in which she got most dice, that is an impressive piece of bad luck! ) Glitches confer very slight drawbacks, usually just flavor touches, and the node seem to partly phase out, freaking G0 a bit. (Unlike critical glitches (Where in addition to a glitch, a serious complication occurs, even life threatening). JC continues "How the hell do you do that?" (Mr. K. is frustrated: "I can't believe it! I must be the unluckiest hacker alive!)
    G0 stays, copying nearly the entire file, before the system reboots, and ejects G0, who suffers stun due to the bio shock.
    G0, now back with us, groan in subvocal: "We got it. Lets get out of here!"

    We get back to the car, where the Middle Man dismisses the spells, collapsing in his seat. With Watson speed reading Quality, and uses his psychology to learn more- Gilbert, the therapist, says there is no progress, and that he is frustrated. Yet he thinks Esmeralda does not show violent potential, and that despite no improvement, she is fairly stable. His final recommendation is: "No need to increase the security protocol. However, I do not see how she will improve. She will only get worse… It seems she can't accept being ghoul, yet shows a great deal of anger at all those who left her..." We try to take it in, yet the Middle Man gasps, exhausted: "Well, that's a good night's work. Now, lets get some sleep!"

    With that, Ground Zer0 starts her car, to drop people at their places, to resume tomorrow.

    With that the session ended!


    All in all, this was a blast! I loved the interactions in the group, the personalities, the dynamics. We felt like a team still forming, still trying to understand how we work together, who these other people are.

    And I LOVED the concept of the run! When we started to collect all of those leads, I got a huge buzz! So much to explore! (As an exploration aesthetic enthusiast, this was HUGE for me!), My mind reeled and boggled! And I loved the hidden question and mystery of Esmeralda herself- why exactly did she run? And will she win her own struggle? This hooked me tremendously, and the rest as well!

    Ok, gonna take a little break. The run is far from over, and as it went, the... "less professional" sides of our team showed up... It'll be fun, and funny, I'm sure!

    Next Session! About living arrangements! Tricksy spirits! Card games! Becoming a ghoul! Street fights! One of us nearly dies! A dark spot on someone street reputation! Speeding cars and breaks! And a touching moment near the end.

    Join us, next time! IF. YOU. DARE!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-06-27 at 11:52 PM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Hey, not a log update, but the GM and Mr. K. have sent me some clarifications and corrections. I've fixed the stuff in the log (No really BIG changes, I think), But for those interested (We even got an extra karam point that the GM missed! You see? Making log is important! ):

    Originally by the GM (In emails):
    ... UniOil a SMALL FUEL COMAPNY?? it's one of the biggest :P


    ... the Backstreet Boyz were human gang; and I don't think that the regions of Seattle are best termed "neighborhood", as Seattle is a metroplex and each region is actually a [21th century real] city and it's surrounding settlements - each has its own governor in Shadowrun.


    Reading through I discovered that just under pressure of time Watson has the "right skill/power [speed reading + sorting through] in the right time" which is something that might grant the PC a +1 Karma. Because my method of GMing (after trying also otherwise) is to always give the same Karma to all - thus both keeping balance and not putting the players in a contest - I will grant such Karma bonus to ALL PCs, yet, I will not grant it more than once (probably 0) per run (it worth like 5 Karma bonuses of this kind, which is quite a lot) .
    Note: sometime I plan the events so that some skills/powers you have might help, so these incidents don't comply with the above bonus

    2nd run notes:
    1. Fred Tietso (not Dietso, he's Hispanic not Korean)

    2. Matrix (not Metrix) search is not that time-consuming. Doing it properly it's a matter of minutes at most, so the limitation is mostly on your refining of the search (otherwise, it's a long shot) and info available to the public (unless you hack some specific node for info).

    3. MM tells Zer0 he recalls her cyber-skills, yet in 2074 cyber-skills are something different than in 216. What she has is matrix-skill, while JC and others have cybers-skills ��

    4. Zer0's car should be named after such a relationship (Kol Korran even calls her the 6th team member), but that reminds me that you soon should think of gathering funds together to buy some bigger car (sort of a mini-van or more), because you're really squashed into the back of the car if you're geared up.
    To which Mr. K. Responded:
    Originally by Mr. K (In emails):
    1. O. K.
    2. Are you implying something?? 😉
    3. She got skill!! Her constant failures got nothing to do with it…
    4. And give up on Amanda?? Are you crazy??
    I think we got a name for the Mercury Comet folks!
    All of the above got fixed.

    By Mr. K. (In emails):
    One minor thing, Ground zer0 history - all was well with Renraku till GZ brother, Leon, went through goblinization and turned into an Ork (GZ parents and brother were humans). Renraku don't take well with metahumans, elves they tolerate, but orks? Renraku made Leon disappear, and blocked any attempts on GZ side to find him, that's why she finally decided to defect from the company. She looks for any clues about Leon whereabouts whenever she can.
    Also, about two matters that I wasn't clear about, in the intro run:
    Originally by the GM (In emails):
    1. About the citizen nearly losing his life due to trigger happy Purian, in Woodrow's building, the tutorial run: The neighbor had an umbrella or so at hand, and Purian (Mr. A.) rolled a glitch (or critical) on perception and that's why she thought he had a gun and almost got him killed.

    2. About the blurb of EcoLife not making it into the market (Tutorial run):
    EcoLife was a fake site that Zer0 tried to code quickly as to lure workers from Goldman's. Mr. K. rolled miserably so it didn't air. But I am not sure what was the plan for this site and that's why I said Mr. K. can elaborate more.
    Mr. K:
    Truthfully, I don't remember anymore...
    I think they wanted to come as consultants or such, and have a site to back them up. Anyway, just writing it without explaining it, will only confuse the reader, better take it off.
    Mr. K:
    Why take it off? Her failures should be documented! 😄
    So I went with what the GM remembered, and yet kept it in. Sorry if I confused anyone!

    And... some compliments:
    Originally by the GM, in emails:
    I really enjoyed reading the 1st run (luckily my boss didn't notice what I was doing).

    Recommendation: don't start to read before you have enough time, it's addicting! Maybe you should make a novel out of it?

    Why didn't you say it's stop in the middle! I'm in suspense!
    You might not get your karma after all!
    Um... Maybe I shouldn't have written that...

    By Mr. K. (In emails):
    The last part you wrote, the part of the log since the MM joined was awesome!!!! the personal thoughts, feelings, humor and expressions you described with every character brought the story to life in an incredible way. I loved it so much!!!
    can't wait for you to keep writing :) (seriously, i mean it)


    I totally agree with the GM! Finished the entire log this far! Addictive!
    What can I say? I like compliments!

    See you next time!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-06-28 at 02:33 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Halfling in the Playground

    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    I really enjoyed my reading there I will have an eye on your next posts. Thank you for sharing this great run.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Quote Originally Posted by Harmelyo View Post
    I really enjoyed my reading there I will have an eye on your next posts. Thank you for sharing this great run.
    Thanks Harmelyo! Glad you like it!

    I've been busy, so the update comes a tad late. Now, before I get to the session itself, I'd like to emphasize something I mentioned in the opening post, discussing SR. The game assumes the PCs are elite professionals, knowing how to execute an operation with high skill, efficiency and timing. Yet, most players are... less than the game assumes. This often leads to quite... "embarrassing & unprofessional" mishaps, as some of the team's effort in this session will show. Lots of discussion, some unfocused blundering, and one character almost dies!

    Who? You'll have to wait and see!

    Session 2, part 1- Talk with The Trickster, a serious group talk, setting the bait
    (2nd Run- "Not without my daughter!")

    In the last session, we met Mr. Johnson, who requested us to locate his daughter- Esmeralda, who happens to be a ghoul, and disappeared 2 nights ago. Our time limit is 5 days, before she need to report before government regulations- a therapist on her case. We investigated her living pad, discovered MANY leads, and decided to first check out Boris Romanov- a friend of hers who visited her on the night of her disappearance. After some deception and a "bad cops, good cops" game, we discovered that he took off her tracking bracelet. We then made a sort of a matrix break into the therapist's files (Along with triggering security systems). In the course if the short investigation, we've learned that Esme may be thinking about... killing, for the first time...

    In between sessions
    I was so stoked from the session! So many leads, so many theories, and I guessed that the run will culminate with Esme on the verge of the kill, and us needing to stop/ persuade her. (Exploration, Narrative and Expression aesthetics). I freaking loved it! I also wanted to play up a bit the mentor spirit aspect, but not having it be overbearing. So, I communicated a bit with the GM (Though in retrospect, I think I did it a bit too late, and too little), about a small scene I'd like to try, and a talk The Middle Man will have with the team.

    27/1/2074, near midnight: Driving home, where ever THAT is, for a night's rest

    From the end of the previous session:
    ... the Middle Man gasps, exhausted: "Well, that's a good night's work. Now, lets get some sleep!"

    With that, Ground Zer0 starts her car, to drop people at their places, to resume tomorrow.
    JC however has a different idea: "Or… you can drop us in pub? I'm not tired like the old folks…" (JC is probably the oldest of us. But you can't tell, can you- damn elves! )
    Purian coos amused "If you're not tired, you can come to me..."
    JC blinks at her. " Um… no thanks…"

    We suddenly realize that we don't know where many of the PCs actually live! The GM opens up a map, and we discuss option. Ground Zer0 lives in Everet, The Middle Man in Auburn, and... I forgot to write where the rest live.

    We discuss what shall we explore tomorrow. We quickly agree to try and find out more about "Father Shannon", who promised "to get you your life back!" as part of his advertisement. Sounds like a cult that preys on people in distress. Watson sends a message of inquiry to his group, while Ground Zero decides to do a bit of a matrix search.
    Everyone is dropped near their local (Most are still too paranoid to actually give their addresses), though JC is dropped by some bars, and goes to forget the image of the guard he killed on the previous run. "War... war never changes..."

    A late night talk with Chi-Ga-Si

    The Middle Man gets into his new dump of a crib, bolts the door, and then sinks to the partly torn sofa, dropping the sophisticated and elegant mask. "Chi- Ga- Si, We need to talk, about the latest game…"
    A big grin and bright blue eyes appear to emerge from the door he just closed. "Well, a new game, with new players? What is the goal? What is the price? What are the stakes?"
    The Middle Man, somewhat tired physically, yet sharp mentally, speaks his mind. "The goal? Reputation, funds, the trust of the group... But the stakes? I think... It is a soul. Esmeralda's soul. That is the main stake of this game."
    The grin on the door melts, and the shadows in the dump of an apartment move, shift, as if something is passing in them, by them, through them. "Her soul? It sounds more like her life are at stake, no?"
    The Middle Man focuses, putting his fingers together. "Yes, of course, but more than that. She contemplates killing... becoming a monster... she is on a verge." He sighed "And we know too little of her. What cards are played against us in this game... Yes, it IS her soul that's at stake in this. I can FEEL it!"
    There was a hint of a grin, of amusement, in the curtain, as a sort of a figure, barley visible, barely there, seemed to make a sort of a subtle shape from it's folds "A game of unknown? Then what is your plan? Your strategy?"
    The Middle Man pondered this briefly. "We have many clues, many leads. We need to learn more of her, before facign her. She is driven by Hunger, and Desperation. Both play hard to win!"
    The shadowy figure now seemed to sit across the table from the trickster mage. it's grin wide, as if amused greatly by some inside humor, one understood only by it, and was not assured to amuse others. "So you wish to collect cards, more cards. The game will be over, and you'll have your cards in your hand, before playing them." The words were soft, yet mocking, testing...
    The Middle Man was insistent though. "Hunger plays a high hand, I'll need something up my sleeve to counter it!" Chi-Ga-Si played its own game. You never knew what was an advice, a ruse, a lesson or a test. Most times- all together. The Middle Man decided to raise "Wanna bet on it?!"
    At this the shadows moved, as if intrigued, amused... "A bet? Yes... a bet! The bet shall be, to see if you can get her back, to her father, to her former life..."
    The Middle Man considered this. "She ran away from that life, trying to find a solution for her condition. I was thinking to maybe find an alternate solution." Yet Ch-Ga-Si's smiles stayed as it is, challenging. The Middle Man smiled himself, staring at the mentor. "Fine. I'll take that bet!"

    The spirit vanished, as if it has never been there, except for a slight echo of a laugh, a teasing, mocking, testing laugh...

    The Middle Man quickly prepared for bed, thinking quickly. Before sleeping, he sent the team a message: I'd like to talk to you all, we need to think this through... good night."
    Only JC replied, the only one presumably awake. "Well Little Man, what troubles you at night?".
    The Middle Man replied briefly "The hunger of ghouls, we'll talk tomorrow. Good night".
    JC replied briefly as well. "This isn’t even close to the truth, little man. Good night."

    Some "behind the scenes" notes, and about Chi- Ga- Si:
    I think due to the too late, and too short communication I've had with the GM about this, and due to no previous mages actually role playing their trickster spirit (Or most other spirits), that both of us weren't fully prepared for this talk, and improvised so- so... I wanted to have Chi- Ga- Si be felt in the game, but not overbearing. So my idea was to have a talk with it, once in each run- As part of the tutoring, in each run, they will both decide upon a "game", and possibly a "bet", to undertake as part of the learning, as part of the run. Possibly also a small chat after a run/ between runs, but not necessarily. This way I wished to portray the interaction and tutoring of Chi- Ga- Si.

    Also, the bet might replace/ be a version of the trickster spirit hindrance (Being compelled to perform a clever trick). I assumed that with the new group, running the game, and everything, the GM will find it hard to remember to spring something like that on the MM, so I thought in this way, by making"A bet", he could plan this in advance. Something that will require some extra effort, and not simple, by the MM. I think the GM still steered it to the main quest, but hopefully we'll make it work better next time?

    As to Chi-Ga-Si: (My own invented content, inspired by obvious sources. Not part of the SR cannon)
    Trickster Mentor Spirit- Chi-Ga-Si!
    The Middle Man's mentor spirit, teacher of magic, and the one who introduced him to the Spirits of The Court. Chi-Ga-Si acts as a trickster, teacher, competitor, and joker. It is a consummate shape shifter, (Though his color schemes are of and its motivations are unknown, except for a great delight in mischief, whether on Middle Man's enemies, friends, or the Middle Man himself.

    Chi-Ga-Si's Influence: Often when Chi GA Si appears, he appears with some sort of a gambling game, whose purpose is to outwit the opponent, often without knowing all the rules, or some other handicaps. This is his way of teaching, (Or so the Middle Man thinks). It is not patient teacher though, and he may try to force The Middleman to trick others, overriding the mage's own sensibilities. (As is written in the spirit's disadvantage, page 202 of the core rule book: A Trickster character must make a Willpower +Charisma (3) Test to resist an opportunity to pull a clever trick or prank, even if it is to the detriment of herself or her friends.)

    The Middle Man, with Jerribeth' assistance, glanced but a few facts about the mysterious mentor:
    1. It, or very similar descriptions, are mentioned in many places in history, as a great spirit of mischief and trickery. It first appeared in Chinese and Indian myths, later in Dark Ages Europe, but is also mentioned in the myths of Amerindians. Mentions of it can be found in ancient times, as old as about -2,000 B.C, yet they seem sporadic at best, every few hundred years…

    2. Chi-Ga-Si rarely reveals itself, and can choose to be perceived by specific individuals, while remaining utterly undetected by others. This at times led to the assumption that those who see it, and converse with it, are either mad men, prophetic, blessed, cursed, or all at once. (In game terms, it means the spirit can appear to The Middle Man, but others can't perceive it).

    3. Chi-Ga-Si is a consummate shapeshifter, yet favors shapes of cultural clever or trickster manifestations. His color schemes seem to favor black, red, blue and purple.

    4. A strange assertion that seems to repeat itself is that Chi-Ga-Si never lies. He always tells the truth, and alternates between cryptic riddles, and blunt harsh truths.

    5. Chi-Ga-Si loves games, bets and dares, and many that deal with it find themselves as part of a game, unknown to them. It almost always accept a challenge, but almost always seems to cheat, yet within the rules of the game. It rarely loses, though it had happened.

    6. Nearly at all times, it's appearance in this world, is followed by some great chaos and mayham.

    28/1/20174- 2nd day to the run. Morning: Group talk

    We decide to meet at JC's bar. He says everyone there keeps to themselves ,we can talk privately.
    GM: "The as*hole is not open in the morning…" (This gets quite a few laughs from the group, till the GM catches. We're 3rd graders with toilet humor jokes at times... ) We decide on the bar just next to it. We each arrive on our own, yet the GM asks what each of us brings, and we talk about concealability of gear. Most decide to bring pistols as weapons, or sub machine guns in concealable hoslters. The Middle Man brings no weapons. (Mr. E, JC's player: You got NO weapons?" Me: "I'm not skilled in using them. I play a face, and have magic. Carrying weapons will most likely defeat my purpose. If I end up drawing a weapon, I'm in too deep a sh*t to need one...". Mr. E. still insists: "You carry... NO weapons?!")

    About concealability, why it's important, and a quick anecdote
    As people who basically operate outside the law, we need to be careful not to attract attention. The various law enforcement agencies, guards and security forces can give you quite a lot of trouble if you're carrying an assault rifle for example... Each piece of equipment has a a size, which affects how hard it is to conceal it (And I'm not even startign on electronic and magical detection methods).

    You do end up using the heavy, powerful, highly illegal stuff, but you need to be wearyof when to get them, and how to hide them.

    The GM and Mr. S., the veteran players, at times mention one of their earliest runs, many years ago, when on their first run, the party took ALL of their gear. And then they met got into a traffic jam, by a police check up point. So, they dumped a lot of their gear, which they spent many BP on character creation, on the side of that road, just not to get spotted and jailed.
    That was some nasty and mean GM! I like him!

    The Middle Man starts: "Well, I sent you the message last night, wishing to discuss something. As we know, being unprepared in the shadows, leads to someone being dead. I think... we're going to face some difficult decisions, tough decisions, and yet our team is new. We need to discuss this ahead of time, less we regret it in the field..."
    The team mumbles, seeming to agree. Yet JC presses. "What's on your mind?"
    MM: "The ghouls. We're rushing towards this, yet we know too little. If we face Esme, or other ghouls, do we have a plan? What do we know?"
    Watson mumbles uncomfortably: "They are contagious…"
    The Middle Man presses: "What if she... eats someone? What if one of us gets infected?" The team share sombre looks "We need to talk!"
    G0 steps in: "Well first, we need to be professionals. Which means we deliver her to her father. We get her, willing, or not, asleep if needed. If she finds a perfect life, well, that's her problem. We got a job to do. As to ghouls? I find it a high probability that we'll face some. We already suspect a small community of them. Mr. Watson? Any suggestions?"
    Watson swallowed hard: "My shot gun will keep them away… But... If they bite me, kill me!"
    JC seems slightly on edge: "Well You know me, Our job is to deliver, I don't have time for mambo jambo crap." Yet this seemed forced, and his eyes were on the Middle Man, not liking this. Less the danger, more about possibly forcing Esme back.
    G0: "Purian, what do you think?"
    P: "Well, we just started to familiarize ourselves with one another. If it's gonna break us, we weren't supposed to be together. But I think? We can do this… I have a good vibe…" She smiled her half distant smile.
    G0: "I don't think we should be cold hard bastards… If we see things don't go well, we talk and decide…"
    MM interrupted: "We may not have time to talk…"
    G0 thought for a second: "We shall pursue as planned… We have to work as a professional group, like a military unit. When we have time, we think, but when we don't, we all try to achieve the goal, by the best way we can."

    The Middle Man looked a tad displeased, and decided to push a bit forward. He pulled out a deck of cards, and laid some on the table. "Do we even know who we're playing against? here we have Esme (Places the card of "8"), her father (A "6"), Boris (A "4"). And we guess there is Bitter Sweet, (A Jack) and Father Shannon? (Put an inverted card, unknown). Yet, the strongest motivation, the driving force, and what will win, if we don't think this through, is the King. King Hunger! (Placed the King). We need a better hand!" The Middle Man seemed frustrated, and to show that just threw 3 random cards on the table "No to mention Mr. Dinner, Miss Lunch, and baby breakfast!" The others (Characters and players) Looked stunned. (I guess I could have tried this better... ) "If she killed others, eaten them, do we still return her? To her father?"

    Ground Zer0 thought. "We restrain her. Do what we can without needlessly endangering ourselves).
    W: "We could stun her, or tranquilize her..."
    G0: "He is right… "
    MM: "How do we subdue her?"
    W: "Flashpack grenades, Tranq patches, tranquilizer… the possibilities are many…" (Said our SR veteran)
    P: "I had a friend that was a religious man. God frowns about killing people, but he's a bit fuzzy about Knee caps!" (If you don't know the origin of the quote.... If you don't know the show- watch it! Mr. R. is a huge fan of Joss Whedon's work!)
    The Middle Man looks a bit shocked at the... highly pragmatic, yet still quite aggressive approach. "May I suggest, a bit of a... wild card? just in case?"
    Ground Zer0 looked a tad suspicious, but agreed to hear. "Of course…"
    The Middle Man placed another card on the table- The Queen. "I suggest, her mother. I can use my magics to either impersonate her, or create her image, and speak through it. Esme is fighting Hunger with nothing other than herself, and I think she is losing it. She doesn't trust her father, and not Boris. Whom will she trust? Listen to? I think her mom."
    G0 looked hesitant, weary of this approach: "How do you plan using this, and why? Why her?"
    The Middle Man explained: "It might give her an edge in her fight, or us Give her pause, make her doubt, give her… hope?"
    Watson disliked this: "We are in a time limit here, and we still have a lot to check. We can't divert resources exploring her dead mother, we should continue by logical steps."
    The Middle Man shrugs. "It's just something I thought about. It might give us an unexpected ace..."
    G0 doubted: "Aren't you playing a very dangerous game here?"
    MM: "We're in the shadows. It's a dangerous line of work!" (Bam! This sentence was repeated in various iterations, especially between these 2 characters, and so I chose it as the title! Now you know! )
    Ground Zer0 ponders this. "Yet it this fails, she will be infuriated, and we'll lose ANY chance of winning her back. I agree with Watson. We try to follow the logical steps. Yet keep that plan, we may just need it later, if we don't succeed."
    MM: "But I'll need to investigate about her, learn, to make it believable..."
    Yet Ground Zer0 ruled: "If we have the time. Right now, lets focus on other ways of doing this."

    Playing it safe vs. Betting high
    I'm not that much of a risk taker myself, yet as I mentioned- I'm trying to play something against my character. Plus, I think that could have made for a GREAT story, and something to remember. Oh well... I think the group was still quite weary of The Middle Man at that point, to go into too much risky adventures...

    Deciding on a plan

    G0 focuses the team's attention on the matter at hand: "I looked of father Shannon, but there is very little info. Some mention of his general area, and but one phone number, from the add, to call. I couldn't find anything else. We'll need more concrete data if I'm to be able to focus my search."
    W: "Hmmmm... We might get Esme's voice recording, and maybe call him in Esme's name?"
    Purian quickly objects: "Unless… she is with him?"
    JC jumps in: "Wait, if we talk with him, can't you track his position?"
    G0: "That is an excellent idea! Someone can call him, and track him down!"

    This prompted the following explanation by our GM:
    [SPOILE]We have a brief discussion with the GM about the possibilities of tracking a phone line. (And later also by the spirit's Search Power). He explains that though it has been done in spy movies and such, if we allow this, or allow gaining lots of info just from taking a pic of a person and running a search on them, it will have 2 ramifications:
    1. A lot of the SR investigative flavor and theme will be lost. In game, he explains it by the development of very sophisticated and nigh fool proof measures to prevent it. Sure, not the best, and we all acknowledge it, but go with it for the sake of the game.
    2. Preventing the easy tracking of someone by a phone-call or by the spirit Search power is also - and mainly - because it might be used against the PCs, and much easily as groups with huge resources are against them. [/SPOILER]

    JC: "So we can't? Well, maybe this sleazeball, he might just come to his a caller's home? We give him an address, and once he comes, we have a nice, calm talk." His posture leaves no imagination at to the type of "calm" he has in mind.
    G0: "That may not be a bad idea! Middle Man, can you do this?"
    MM: "Hmmm, I think I can. Who shall I play? A recently turned ghoul from rich family, willing to pay what it takes, to get some help?"
    W: "I don't think so, the religious types always pry on lost souls… people who can "go missing"... If you're from a rich family, people will go looking for you..."
    G0: "We need not make it complicated- a good lie is a simple lie. Too complex, and it falls apart.
    The Middle Man agrees. And we start talking details.
    Watson gives an amusing impression: "Help me father! I need help, I need guidance, I need…"
    JC sighs: "Idiots. I need coffee…" (He grabs a pot, and adds a bit of whiskey to it…) "Right, lets do it!"
    MM: "Do we have a specific place? One to draw him to?"
    JC: "We'll need safe house, a place where people won't mind too much who goes in, who doesn't come out..."

    We start making lots of suggestions, till the GM (Like me in previous campaigns) stops us: "Wait, so what is your plan?"
    Watson summarizes for the group: We lure him, We meet him, and plant a tracker on him, or on his vehicle… By someone stealthy. (Purian and JC raise their hands).
    G0: "We'll need to learn about him. I might try tapping into his commlink. Middle Man- you'll need to keep up the charade while I do."
    JC adds: "I'm not liking The Middle Man being alone. I will be inside the place, as backup." He looked at the Middle Man. "Last time we did well as a team! Eh?"
    MM grins and nods: "Of course, Mr. Anderson…"
    Purian adds: And I'll plant a tracker on his car.'
    JC: "Where do we set the meet? A sleazy one night motel perhaps?"
    We all look at Purian, who rolls her eyes. "I probably know a few places..." (Mr. R. laughs at this)

    Trying to set the bait, yet plans change...

    Watson checks where to buy a tracker, fast, and undetected. The Middle Man wishes to see ghoul pictures and moves, to impersonate better. G0 shows him some real photos and vids (Not shows on the trid), and Middle Man learns. Ghouls are blind, mostly using baille and other touch sensorial aids to read & write. (Such as the book reader we've found) They can see through the astral, but not in the normal world, or through electronics.

    Still in the pub, We need a quiet enough place. The Middle Man goes with Purian towards the restrooms, while JC leans on the doors to them, his intimidating stance... discouraging anyone from approaching. They check no one is there, and the Middle Man finds an empty stall, goes in, and uses his Physical Mask, to look like a ghoul. (5/14 successes! Nice!)

    The ghouls mask

    After a short call, a woman answers, sounding old, no video though. "Spiritual deliverance, how can we help you?"
    MM:"Please, I need help! I heard..." (taking a pause, breathing fast, sounding distressed) "I can't take it, I can't take it anymore!"
    Receptionist: "Be at ease child, it's ok! Father Shannon can help you! Just be relaxed… We can set you with an appointment..."
    MM: "An appointment? Go out? I am not sure I can wait… I feel... I need... I think it's stronger... I'm not sure..." (Trying to make it happen quick: 13 dice, -2 sustain, +2 bonus supporting evidence… 5/13!)
    Recept: "Just relax, just don't do something for you and others. We'll make you the first appointment we can manage child!" (She seems to check something) "You can come to Father Shannon's office… in about 1 hour?" We don't like it, knowing well that the mask won't hold under too much scrutiny, and we don't want MM to be alone in it's office at the time. I decide on the fly to try and lure him elsewhere. We also suspect this may be an attempt to check us. Ghouls evade light by any means possible. (Or... we may have been quite the paranoid bunch, who knows? )
    MM, Sounding dissapointed, distressed… "In the light? At these hours? I'm not sure... I will try, I will try…" The breathing quickens, sounding mor desparate. "Won't the people there be afraid? Travel the street? Can it be... after dark? Somewhere safe?" The MM tries to give a few suggestions the team agreed upon, but...
    Rceptionist "I'm afraid Father Shannon cannot come to you. Due to some hate groups, we wish to see you first. There is a bus station, where you can come to. Fairly secluded, after dark." (She gives the info on the place).
    MM tries again to persuade: "Out in the street? They will hunt me down! Please! I beg you! I can't... I can't travel outside!" (Even breaking into a sob) "Some where where no one will… see me…"
    Receptionist "You need to be strong. Find somewhere to hide, till it's dark, and harm no one. Resist just a while longer child!"
    MM: "I am desperate, Please!" (The group graciously adds this... )
    Time to roll: Negotiate 13, -2 sustain, -2 for lacking info,and another -3 for... something we don't know? I roll 3/6. Good enough?
    Recep: "I'm realy sorry, there is no way… We don’t' do it anymore… We ran into some violence before. Hang on child, hang on!" (Damn!)
    MM finishes "I will try to wait, Not sure if I can, But I'll try..." Before closing the chat.

    We go back to the group, and the Middle Man relays the conversation.
    JC sums it up. "Crap. I'm not liking this."
    Watson however notes something else. "After dark? It's morning now. What do we do till then?"
    JC groans. "More plan? I need more coffee..."

    I'll stop here for now. In the next part you'll see what we come up with, when we have no concrete plan. Quite amusing, in it's own way... I hope to be able to write it soon.

    Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-06-28 at 12:00 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground

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    Sep 2015
    London, UK

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Ah, I love a good Shadowrun log. Eagerly awaiting the next update.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Quote Originally Posted by SZbNAhL View Post
    Ah, I love a good Shadowrun log.Eagerly awaiting the next update.
    Thanks! It may take a little While till I update though- My wife gave birth to our son 3 days ago, and we're learning being new parents, and totally focused around the little guy for now! We're totally under his spell!

    So it will take a little while, a few days I gather, till I can sit down to post appropriately.

    Thanks for understanding!

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Spamalot in the Playground
    DigoDragon's Avatar

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    May 2008
    Orlando, FL

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Thanks! It may take a little While till I update though- My wife gave birth to our son 3 days ago, and we're learning being new parents, and totally focused around the little guy for now! We're totally under his spell!
    Ooh, congrats! Being a new parent is probably the closest to being excited and scared outta your mind at the same time.
    Digo Dragon - Artist
    D&D 5e Homebrew: My Little Pony Races

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Quote Originally Posted by DigoDragon View Post
    Ooh, congrats! Being a new parent is probably the closest to being excited and scared outta your mind at the same time.
    Yeah, the little guy already gave us a bit of a scare on the first day back home. "But what does he WANT?" We said at about 4:00 AM, trying to understand the source of his crying. But we're learning, adjusting, and now rotate between him sleeping, diapering, feeding, washing, and lots of hugs, cuddle and skin-to-skin. We found the last helps comfort him quite a lot...

    But this is a Shadowrun journal! Hardened mercenaries! Schemes and assassinations! Dark and grim! ("Whoooose a cute boy?! You are! Yes you are! Oohhh, that was a big burp!") Um... where were we?

    Session 2, part 2- A hospital visit...

    So, our attempt to lure Father Shannon was delayed till evening. But it was still morning! What shall we pursue now? We had a few options: Look for Bitter Sweet (From the Blood Brothers gang, around Auburn- Renton), Visit the City South Hospital (Where we suspected there is a ghoul community), or maybe check upon the research that Esme was interested in? While Ground Zer0 tries to scan options, and Watson checks other sources, The Middle Man makes a call.

    So, about this party...

    The Middle Man, knowing that he might need to impersonate a ghoul convincingly later, try to contact Jerribeth of The Cloth, (One of his contacts. Loyalty 2, Connection 3) a store owner of paranormal items and information, and an explorer of such matters. We roll, yet this time he manages to get hold of her.
    J: "Loki? Long time no see! What can I do for you?"
    MM:"Well, I intend to go to a Halloween party, and I'm thinking to come up looking like a ghoul."
    J: "Don't you have the best costume?" (Jerribeth knows of MM mage abilities and tradition. She helped him seek info upon Chi-Ga-Si in the past).
    MM: "That I do, but looking like someone is one thing, acting like someone… I haven’t dealt with many ghouls in the past, and I know just the crap on the trids. Not exactly my preferred customers..."
    J: "Luckily for you! So this is a costume party?"
    MM: "Of a sort… I was looking to learn how they think, feel, react, behave..."
    J: "Well, don't believe the trids. Yes, there are ghouls who are like animals- driven nearly entirely by urges, needs. Yet quite a few retain a lot of what they were before, and think, feel, like we do, only with their... condition.. .affecting them."
    The Middle Man mused: "So they can turn more beastly? At what point does ghouls become more animal than metahuman?"
    J: "It's not like that. Nearly all of the "beastly" ghouls as you say, devolve so after the first infection. Those who manage to not deteriorate at first, usually retain their mental abilities mostly."
    MM: "And infection? Just by bites?"
    J: "Any kind of body fluids, any open wound is a practical guarantee. Quite infectious." (Watson grumbles in discontent)
    MM sees him, and adds: "Any cure? Perhaps magical?
    Jerribeth sighs: "None so far. The chances that anti viral treatment will succeed is tiny. Don't buy into the adds some companies put out. As to magical? No, not that I know of at least. Loki, what kind of a party is this? What are you getting into?"
    MM: "Oh, just cheking my options. Might try out something different. After all- in purple, I'm stunning!" (Kudos to those who get the reference, without using search engines! )
    J: "Ok. Keep safe. Always a pleasure."
    With that the call ends. Watson REALLY doesn't liek the news, slightly jittery, and on the cusp of hyperventilating.

    A call from father

    Ground Zer0 digs up a bit of info about The Blood Brothers, the gang we think Bitter Sweet is part of. Nothing special there, they mostly deal with prostitutio, some street drugs, and some BTLs (Special chips that encode a "better than life" experience. Basically ,you jack them in and experience some seriosu sensations/ thrills and more, that were recorded by other people's brains. Seriously addictive, with some quite horrific experiences for the more extreme clients). We suspected that Esme might have been contacted to make a BTL for them- record the experience of being a ghoul? Maybe of killing? Eating someone?

    G0: "I don't think she will try this, she is too intelligent!"
    MM: "I'm not sure she is thinking that intelligently now..."
    We might have continued, were it not for a sudden call, From Father Shannon! The Middle Man jumps towards the rest room again. (Purian: "You got some kind of a bladder problem?") and shifts to the ghoul visage. (5/14 successes, yet with 3 drain! -1 to most rolls, on top of the -2 to sustain).

    The Middle Man tried looking desperate. "Yes? Yes?!"
    Shannon: "Good day girl!" (He does sound fatherly, a bit like a Santa Claus) "I understand you're in stressful situation…"
    MM makes a show, of being on the verge of breaking down, shuddering, slight anguished whimpers...
    Sh: "I have been in this situation many times. Do not worry. Can we turn the video on though?
    Can I see your face?"
    MM turns it on, making sure to look away form the screen, as if blind (Ghouls only see in the astral. In the material world they rely on smell and sound). "I can't take it anymore! I feel... I've never... It's just too much! I feel it... inside... too powerful! Everyone's afraid…". The Con roll is not that great- 3/11... Not that bad, but we hope it's enough?
    Sh: "No child, you are just different, there are many people who share this unfortunate problem. I hope you are in a safe place now… it may unnerve others, who do not understand..."
    The Middle Mans speaks as if in deep frustration. "Others, I wish I could know others! I am so alone, so alone…" sobbing a bit.
    Sh: "Do you have any friends, people you can rely on?"
    We think he's trying to ascertain if anyone might come looking. "No one can know! No one! Please, they'll think I'm a monster! But there are rumors, and..." Again sobbing, looking desperate, panicked.
    Sh: "Well, we can meet after dark, as I said, till then I..."
    The Middle Man tries to move things sooner, barging in "Please, I can't wait! I want to... DEVOUR…" (The Middle Man adds a deep guttural effect to the last word)
    Sh: "I understand, but you CAN control yourself! Just a while longer. Think of a diet, of control, of what's important..."
    The Middle Man curses inside. It ain't working. He tries to build up the character in the meantime. "I can... I can try... So hard! Anything in the meantime?"
    Sh: "Keep safe, keep hidden, distract yourself. Meet me at (Gives the location of a rundown neighborhood, a bus station?)"
    MM: "There? In the open? But won't people see?"
    Sh: "Were long clothes, and keep to the side of the street, the corner. Keep low."
    MM: "I'll try... I'll try! I'll get there, I hope..." Finishes with a sob, and disconnects.

    The party isn't pleased by this.
    W: "They'll have watchers there, to ascertain that it's real."
    JC: "This sounds like a trap. But if someone tries to pick you up, we stop them!"
    G0: "No! We will track them- it'll be our chance of finding out their hideout!"
    JC looked at her critically: "Are you insane? He goes alone?" The Middle Man also looked uncomfortable at the prospect.
    W: "Well, this is a chance we're willing to take!" (The players laugh )
    G0: "Didn't you say it's a dangerous line of work?"
    The Middle Man grumbles...

    The meeting is scheduled to around 19:30. What till then?

    Still undecided?

    So... Not much progress. We go over our options again, and decide that since we have near tono info on Bitter Sweet, we'll check the City South Hospital first.

    G0: "Well, we can either go there, talk, and sniff around, or we can try the Matrix."
    P: "Well, we can try the matrix, and after that fails, we'll go there."
    G0: "Thanks for the vote of confidence!"
    JC: "Of course! We're right behind you!" (To Purian: "Load your guns!")

    As we drive to the place, in Ground Zer0's car, JC moans in frustration "Again with your cramped car?"
    G0: "Excuse me, what sort of wheels do YOU have?"

    "The hospital visiting hours are..."

    As we reach the destination, we see a simple enough hospital. The Middle Man seeks to rest a bit (To offsethis drain, in preparation for this evening). Ground Zer0 decides to go in, with Purian. Watson refuses to go in. "I'm not going in THERE! I'll snoop around on the outside." JC remains near the car in the meantime, social interactions not being his forte, he keeps as back up.
    JC: "Hey, can you give me the car keys? If we need to make a quick get away?"
    G0 looks at him. "You plan on scratching me car, aren't you?"
    JC: "Hey, I'm just gonna pimp your ride! Really, a man has some good intentions..."

    We start what might be a tradition, with Ground Zero and Purian often pairing up (Team "Hot elves"), JC often teams with MM (Team "odd balls") and Watson often snoops alone, clicking his tongue to produce the sonar. (As Mr. E, who plays JC put it- "Freaking Batman!")

    G0 and Purian decide togo through the front door, Ground Zero looking ill, and Purian supporting her. They are stopped at the entrance by a security guard. "You got any weapons? Anything to declare?"
    Mr. R, Purian's player (Who works as a pharmacist) whisper "Remember kids! The magic word is... "Tuberculosis!"
    G0: "I feel weak, difficulty breathing... I think I coughed blood this morning..." before handing out her fake SIN, and Purian her fake gun license.
    The guard backs off worried, wishing to deal with both as little as possible. "Ok, just don't draw your gun, ok?"

    They go into the ER, with lots of places to sit, some medical stuff around, and announcers over the AR about who's in line, safety procedures and such. A fairly crowded place. At first, G0 looks for a rest room (At which point Mr. R. notes "Our reliance on rest rooms starts to concern me, doesn't it concern you?) She finds a place where she can slump a bit, and look for nodes. After sifting through some general customer nodes, she realizes the hospital main info is on their own terminal. She'll need physical access. She sends a message to the Middle Man. "We'll need some distraction, or your invisible magic again."

    Grumbling in the back seat, MM rises, and heads inside, with JC as backup. Watson still refuses. The Middle man puts up another mask, of a mroeelderly man, yet suffers drain again!
    MM "Come my son, help your sick father!"
    JC "Right, cause we look SOOOO much alike!"

    Spoiler: MM's mask for the hospital

    We manage to go inside easily enough (All are elves, all gain bonus to charisma, and Mr. K. build G0, JC and Purian all with bioware of pheromones. Mr. S. who plays Watson: "What? It was my dump stat! No wonder I wear a mask! Elves..." ) We come near them, when GO receives an AR message, for Laurance Chateau (Her fake SIN)- she starts getting bombarded slowly by hospital forms she needs to fill, and to come and see the doctor...

    What follows are a series of, lets face it, quite misguided and silly attempts by G0 and the MM to impersonate sick people, and arrange for a doctor to leave their room, so G0 could access the computer. We don't get far, and JC and Purian just stay back, laughing at "the 2 wise asses" JC buys himself a bag of chips and snacks. "Best. Show. EVER!" JC inquires a nurse about an Enema for his dear dad...
    We discuss various ideas over subvocal:
    - Astrally project? And see what exactly?
    - Impersonating a doctor? Too many familiar faces and procedures we don't know.
    - Cause a scene/ distraction? (JC and Purian are up for it, a bit... too enthusiastic to do so... we decide against it).
    At the end we realize we're stumped. While we try and devise a plan, the GM goes over to Watson.

    Should we have looked for a shoe shiner instead?

    Meanwhile Watson sniffs outside, trying to find someone who might know about the place. He spots a street food vendor, with some indications of an Indian descent, and tries his luck. The GM improvises a voice on the spot, who sounds a LOT like Apu from Simpsons.
    Vendor: "Good day sir, you sick?"
    Watson looks over the greasy food, the stains on the cart, and VERY carefully buys... something... and holds it... at a distance… "Not Yet..."
    W: "So, you've been working here for a long time?"
    V: "From 6AM till 6PM! Every day!"
    Watson decides a more direct approach. "Can you help me? I'm looking for my missing brother."
    The Vendor blinks: "Maybe look in information? They can call him. Why is he missing?"
    Watson uses his... theatrical con specialty? Really? He makes a bemoaning cry of anguish. "We think he turned into a ghoul! Oh my brother!"
    V: "Your brother turned into a ghoul? Tsk tsk tsk... Better hope it's not genetic!"
    W: "I heard there might be ghouls around here... Do you know anything? Anyone?"
    V: "Well, I don't think so..." He then thinks a bit. "Bu there areno devil rats! So, good side to everything, yes?" He beams at him.
    W: "Do you think there is anyone who knows more? Anyone else I could ask?"
    V: "I don't know. You say he got ghoul sick? There is the hospital, maybe ask there?"
    Watson shudders, which the vendor interpreters differently. "Do... do you miss, your missing brother I hope he isn't a ghoul, or he'll EAT YOU!" (At this point the whole thing got a bit silly, and half the party was rolling laughing. The way the GM portrayed this random vendor was hillarious! It's unfortunate I can't quite make it so in text.

    Watson felt he might be still hiding something, so he gives him atip. "Look, I know how it works, everything comes at a price. I really… REALLY want to find my brother… before the ghouls eat him?"
    V: "Wait, so he isn't he a ghoul?"
    Watson gives him the eye.
    V: "Well, Might be ghouls around. Might not be. I close at night, before dark. I see no ghouls! But people say they sometime see."
    W: "Where are they? "
    V: "From around? I don't know..."
    W: "Where are the sewers?" (Because, you know, it HAS to be sewers, right? )
    V: "Why the sewers?"
    W: "Isn't it where ghouls hide?"
    V: "I have no idea.. maybe the janitors know? I wouldn't go looking around. If it's ghouls, then it's too late for your brother…"
    Watson looked crestfallen: "Yes, gotta be careful..."
    V: "Yes, never too careful! Good day to you!"

    Last ditch attempt?

    The other 4 realize they got nothing, and go outside. JC grabs the Indian food from Watson "Thanks! I was hungry!" Nom nom nom "You eat that?!"
    The Middle Man gets an idea, and ask JC to go buy some soy hamburgers. "As cheap and as greasy as you can." JC looks at him suspiciously "What? You eat it too?" Yet 5 minutes later, comes back with a bag. The Middle Man asks him to accompany him, and goes into a small alley.

    There, he gives the food to some street bums and beggars, takes down his mask, and makes a small flourish of a request "King Harry, The benevolent King! I, The Ambassador, calls you for a feast!" (King Harry is an air spirit, a sort of a king of beggars. Extremely obese and hideous)
    Yet the summoning fails, and the MM suffers a bit more drain. The Middle man takes this a as bad omen, speaking inwardly "King Harry does not answer… I do not have the favor of The Court... And I need to rest. What have I been doing wrong? Think! Think!" On the outside he seems disturbed, annoyed and discouraged. JC helps him to the car.
    "The spirits are displeased with us" The Middle Man explains to JC, irritated.
    JC "Why? What did I do to the spirits?"
    Yet the MM is grumpy, and doesn't joke back.

    The team is somewhat demoralized. (PCs, the players feel they are stumped, but having fun nonetheless). Ground Zero decides to change tactics. "The Middle Man needs some rest, if we're to have any chance with Shannon tonight. So he rests, and the rest of us- we go and survey the meeting place. We need to come up with a plan, a real one this time!"

    As the Middle Man goes to his beauty sleep, the others go prepare, for the mysterious encounter with Father Shannon...

    So... not quite the professionals we thought ourselves to be, eh?

    I'll stop here for now. How did that night end? Well, quite unexpectedly, I'll tell you that! A point that will undoubtedly be remembered for a long, long time...

    I hope to get to write it soon enough, as long as my kid enables me. I write these posts in small segments, when I have the time. Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-06-28 at 12:02 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    DigoDragon's Avatar

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    May 2008
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    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Yeah, the little guy already gave us a bit of a scare on the first day back home. "But what does he WANT?" We said at about 4:00 AM, trying to understand the source of his crying. But we're learning, adjusting, and now rotate between him sleeping, diapering, feeding, washing, and lots of hugs, cuddle and skin-to-skin. We found the last helps comfort him quite a lot...
    Yeah, he's going to be learning how to communicate too, so at first it all sounds like the same kind of crying. Trust your instincts and it will get easier to figure out what he's saying.

    As for the game, wow, no crazy firefight? Seemed like the last time I played, every hospital mission ended with us getting shot at. XD
    Which made our team's fire support character reallllly like going on hospital missions. Hmm, that might of been a self-fulfilling prophesy.
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  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Quote Originally Posted by DigoDragon View Post
    Yeah, he's going to be learning how to communicate too, so at first it all sounds like the same kind of crying. Trust your instincts and it will get easier to figure out what he's saying.

    As for the game, wow, no crazy firefight? Seemed like the last time I played, every hospital mission ended with us getting shot at. XD
    Which made our team's fire support character reallllly like going on hospital missions. Hmm, that might of been a self-fulfilling prophesy.
    We are starting (Just starting) to figure out what his different motions, sounds and moods mean. A learning process? At times he's really calm, looking around (I know they can only see shadows and lights at this point, and can't focus, but still), with what seems like utter wonder on his face. It's really something!

    No firefight yet, but we didn't really know what we were doing in the hospital. Quite a blunder at that point. We were worried that Mr. R, who plays Purian (A gamer who likes to "Lets kill some monsters!" and chill) isn't getting his slaughter- quota, yet he seemed to enjoy the general dynamics. We'll come to a fight soon enough, though... a very uninspiring one, a mark on one's reputation...

    Session 2, part 3- A trick gone too far...

    So, The Middle Man rested, while Watson used his contacts to get us a tracker device, to plant either on coming vehicles, or upon The Middle Man himself. He got a very small, concealable one. They went early to survey the area- a fairly rundown neighborhood, in a fairly deserted part of the place. Fairly open space... I t will be hard to put our people in their, and not be noticed. "The place will be watched" comments JC, who REALLY doesn't like the plan.

    Near evening, about half an hour before, Watson prance there, and sits on a nearby bench, looking as if jacked into the matrix, in his own world. We decided that due to his super senses, he'll be our single man nearby, while the others are in reserve, in Ground Zer0's car nearby.

    The Middle Man, doesn't quite like this as well, but he still wishes to prove his value to the team. Somewhat agitated, he pulls our a card from his deck- the Queen. "Madam, I call upon thee... I m putting on a mask, to infiltrate others. A matter of appearances..."

    A semi transparent figure appeared, it's face hidden behind a fan, her eyes bright, alluring. A feeling of grace, elegance and sweet scents followed it. (Summon test- 6/12 vs opposed 3/6. So 3 favors, yet suffered 2 drain again...)
    The madam spoke in her soft fragrant voice: "Appearances? Who shall deceive who? Who shall play the better role? Games of lies and deceit?"
    MM: "I have some companions as backup,if the need arises, my lady…"
    M: "If the need arises... You prepare for failure?"
    MM: "Just a... contingency. A matter of precaution. Yet, I would wish you to accompany me as well, yo understand "
    The Madam gave The Middle Man an appraising look, fluttered her fan once, and disappeared.

    Spoiler: The Madam

    The Madam is one of the more mysterious court spirits, between a high class lady and a brothel madam (Inspired by The Madam from the FATE log). She focuses on illusions, masks, appearances and etiquette, while also being a sensualist. Her innate spells are Physical Mask and Trid Phantasms.

    The Middle Man uses his magic to appear as the ghoul (6/14), calling herself Jasmine Kards. He makes her appear nearly like a beggar, and breathes in. It's show time!

    Things go wrong.

    It's about 19:40, Watson is in his place, as if submerged in some sort of a Matrix affair. The Middle Man comes from a few blocks away (From Ground Zer0's car), and approaches, trying to play nonchalant, but with enough clues of being distressed, for anyone playing close enough attention. Jasmine passes a man with a dog, and tries to evade it, looking frightened. She reaches near the bus station, finds a darker corner, and sits down there, as a beggar.

    About 10-15 minutes pass, when her comm link rings- It's Father Shannon. MM links the conversation so the others could hear.
    MM: "Yes? Yes?
    Sh: "Hello child. I haven't got your name before?"
    MM: "They called... they called me Jasmine, before..."
    Sh: "There are some problems, we cannot meet now… I know you were waiting, but I can't explain at the moment. We can't meet right now..."
    MM: "No! Please! You are my only hope!" Trying to sound panicked, distressed. "Please, If not you, then who..." (In his mind: "Crap! Crap! Ah hells!". The players exchange quick glances: Something went wrong here… Maybe the dog smelled you wrong? Maybe Watson's presence tipped them off? Maybe they saw the car?)
    The Middle Man decides to try and play it nonetheless- perhaps there is but suspicion, or perhaps it's a test. 13 dice, -2 sustain, -2 for other unknown reasons- 1/9. I debate if to continue the charade. The GM tries to hint at this point: "You remember Chi-Ga-Si's words: "You are only accumulating cards, the game will end with you still holding your cards."

    I had no idea what the GM meant, and tried to think how The Middle Man would react. I played him as trying to prove himself still, and thinking that this is a trick as well, and that Shannon is testing him. So... I used his Edge (Edge is sort of a luck/ karma/ action points and similar effect on other games- a limited resource, that can be used to amplify tests that are really important. So I got to reroll the failed rolls, and got 3 more successes. 4 total. But, MM has only 1 edge, and now 0. Hopefully 4 are enough?

    Yet Father Shannon seems unpersuaded: "Sorry child, it is for your own safety…"
    The Middle Man decides to change tactics: "Very well, when I end up eating someone, it's upon you, and you alone!" (The players: We F*cked this up. Damn!")
    Watson uses his various bioware enhancements and senses, yet didn't notice anyone.
    Frustrated, yet determined to outwit Shannon, MM sends a subvocal message to the others: "Leave me be, they might be testing me…" The others look doubtful.
    The MM finds a corner, and starts crying, scratching her head, letting out guttural grumbles "What now? What now?" he tries to play out the role.
    The others wish to call it all off, but the Middle Man requests to continue. "Wait, we have nothing to lose… not any more…"
    They reluctantly agree t to try it out. At the MM request, Watson prepares to leave, to try and disconnect his presence from that of MM, yet G0 warns- "Not straight after she went away…" Watson waits, and then goes back. The others stay alert, though JC exits the car, to be ready.
    The Middle Man, as Jasmine, decides to try playign out as a ghoul, if someone is observing. He goes into deeper allies, letting out sounds, slight moans of frustration, sifting through garbage, and looking somewhat disjointed. keeping this act for about 10 minutes, going deeper inside, he then notices the lights of a car coming near, slowly.

    They were challenge level 0, just so you'll know.
    The Middle Man whispers, suddenly realizing he's more alone than he planned. "My Lady, I may need your assistance soon…". The party quickly debates- are these Father Shannon's people? Ground Zer0 thinks otherwise. "Probably some neighborhood patrol checking out Miss Trouble."
    The Middle Man tries to act more normal, like a street bum, yet the car comes closer, closer. Suddenly he hears a voice, of a young man, demanding. "Hey Lady, what are you doing here?"
    The Middle Man covers his face, still keeping the mask on. "Just passing through, on my way home." He notices there are several people on the car.
    The man in the car questions on. "Yeah? Where is home?"
    The Middle Man searches his knowledge of the place, but as an ex-fixer, his knowledge of the city mostly focuses on meeting places and such. He gives a vague answer, which doesn't seem to please the men in the car..."What's happened to your voice. Sounds like you were smoking?"
    The voices become more taunting, more menacing. Bully voices. "You seem to be in the wrong place are in the wrong direction…"

    The Middle Man then hears the doors unlocking, and steps coming towards him.

    What a way to start a career!

    Init! Now, in Shadowrun acting first is REALLY important, since once you hit someone, the wounds reduce their dice, so a death spiral ensues. Also worthy of note is that we are using the 5E method of initiative (As far as I understand)- You roll your init +1d6 to find your initiative order. Abilities that in 4E gave more phases, now add more dice. And... once all have acted, any who got 11+ in their init, act again in order of init, and any who got 21+ may act a third time (Very rare).

    MM rolls for init- 10. (He's quite crappy for actual combat. Invested nearly everything in other things. I though we had muscle to spare. Only... the muscle wasn't there! )

    One goon strikes MM with a club, trying to make him fall, and in response MM rolled a glitch, and so fell on the ground, with his subvocal ejected by the force of the fall. The party suddenly hears nothing, and sprints to action!"No time for a smoke! Damn! I told you not to send him alone!"

    On the floor, the MM turns, seeing 2 standing forms, and 2 others in the car, made as silhouettes by the car lights. Still thinking he might be tested, yet also starting to fear this (He's never been in an actual fight. He'd known the SR business from far, but not up close). So he throws back the long hood, revealing it's ghoul face! "We have the right to live!" he shouts, before trying to cast invisibility, yet with only 2 successes, and drain (The dice were not good).

    One of the goons can't see MM, yet the other does "Sh'es right there!" Appearing as a ghoul has less the opposite effect. "Sh*t! A ghoul?! In our neighborhood? And a mage? Not on our turf!" And they just get more violent. The one who sees Jasmine kicks her for more stun damage.

    The party starts to act, yet they kept a good distance, (About 400 m awa by car, less through foot). and it will take them some time... JC just sprints through the narrow streets and such, full speed! Purian and G0 start the car and accelerate, while Watson rushes as well. They discuss quickly in subvocal.
    Watson: "Father Shannon guys?"
    G0: "I don't think so. Just neighborhood hoodlums! The "ghoul" drew too much attention..."
    Watson isn't convinced. "I don't know... came often fast, no?"
    Ground Zer0, quite surprisingly, still decides to try a more covert approach. "Let me try andt alk to them, we don't want to fully blow our cover."
    Yet the others don't think so, and draw weapons. G0 tries to persuade Purian by her side. "We need to be subtle!" Purian looks at him coldly, while pushing the safety off her submachine gun. "I don't do... subtle." JC draws his Katana while he runs. "Yeah, subtle flew off the window when Smaller hit the ground, or didn't you notice?" G0 grumbles. "Great!"

    While my team have fun debating, the goons keep kicking MM, ("Ghoul! Don't show your face here ever again freak!") who starts suffering serious minuses with all the stun damage. He dismisses his invisibility, becoming panicked by the violence, and resorts to... less subtle means as well. "Not again! Not AGAIN! He concentrates on the silhouette in the driver seat, and whisper "You. Are. MINE!" and cast control thoughts. (For those coming from a D&D background, it's a very short lived domination effect). "Drive over them! Avoid me!" He snarls. The driver, controlled, then tries to run the two goons over, but rolls badly on his drive test. They turn to him "What the hell are you doing John?". Then one turns to the MM "A f*cking witch!" They really try to kill MM now...

    (The party: "Well, at least we'll have a better reason to visitthe hospital?" Mr. E: "Or the mortuary?")

    G0 tries to speed up towards the beating. The GM says: "Should be easy, Just don't roll a …" and she rolls a Critical Glitch! (Similar to a glitch, but far more serious, even life threatening. Mr. K, who plays G0 asks "Just don't hurt the car! Zer0, the others yeah but not the car!"
    G0 uses here edge to change the critical glitch to a regular glitch, and she just prsses the breaks instead of the accelerator, bringing the car to almost a halt.
    JC shouts over the link: "What the...?! It's the last time you're driving!"
    (OOC: "How much points have you got in driving?"
    "Um, none?"
    "And YOU got the car?!" )
    One goon tries to help John, whiel the other keep bashing MM, who losses concisousnees (No more available stun track), and start getting real, physical damage as they kick his ribs, legs, and more... This looks grim. The GM mumbles. "I can't believe it. They are threat level 0 goons. What a way to start a career!"

    The party rushes, and come into direct view of the scene. Watson shouts. "I see them, he's right in the middle.... Oh, now I understand his name!" (The players are half concerned, half laughing at my expense. ) The others... start divvying the loot? (JC: "I want their car!" Purian "You think they might have any cash, or cyber?"). Thanks a lot guys!

    The party also sees some... thing... happening there. They see 3 people in the car, which starts speeding away, with the fourth running towards it frantically.
    Purian takes aim. Mr. S. asks "How hard will it be to hit the driver?"
    G0 seeing her shouts "You want to kill civilians?!"
    She looks at him for a second, not really comprehending. "Range, moving targets..." She decides to wait for a better shot.
    GO is worried "Why do you want to do this?"
    P: "Simple sweet retribution. They hurt him, I hurt them. Not complicated..."
    G0: Why do you do this?
    P: For simple, sweet, retribution…

    G0 tries to turn the cr to block the road, but worries about her chances. To which I reply "I heard shadow running was a dangerous line of work, is it not?"
    Mr. K. rolls, yet glitches, and doesn't block the speeding car making a getaway. A getaway from what you may ask? From the shimmering glowing form of a spirit, vaguely woman looking, yet terrorizing to behold! The Madam makes sure they run, and then vanishes...

    JC arrives seeing them scoot away, and take the car's pic. The party reaches the bleeding MM, laying crumpled and beaten on the floor. Watson jumps out, pulls his med kit, and goes to work. The Middle Man was done to only 2 physical remaining. Once Watson makes sure he's ok, he looks up. "I need better conditions." Ground Zer0 suggests her place, in Everet.

    My thoughts on the entire episode
    I had mixed feelings about it all as this was going. I knew the Middle Man was taking a big risk, yet thought it's appropriate for him. Had the others refused (such as with the idea about looking info on Esme's mom), I'd have backed down, but I think the rest wanted to see where it would go as well.

    Tell the truth, I was partly surprised the goons weren't Father Shannon's people, as I think I got into The Middle Man's mind a bit too much, and the trickster got undone by his own tricks. At first I was bummed out- that failure stung, and stung bad, yet I decided to use it tofuther the story. It actually quite fit, as MM tried to put on a face of "being savvy in the buisness", while never have done ctual wet work, and this showed this perfectly! Also, I initially envisioned that MM will take time to trust and ally with his team mates, more fully, yet now he had a much better reason to, and sooner than I though he would. It placed a sort of a debt on him, which will bind him well to the party, more than "just business".

    Also, part of his personality is that he thinks he is smarter than he really is, and this suited as well. I decided to make it into a sort of a humbling and learning experience.

    I disliked the GM saving the MM by the madam. While Challenge isn't a big aesthetic with me, I don't like to to "saved by the GM". I was quite willing for the MM to die there. Yet, now that he's alive, I decided I'll have to somehow "make up to" the madam. I will need to discuss with the DM later about possible re precautions, and a possible "price".

    Needless to say, this has gone down in our group as the most humiliating and shaming defeat in the history of Shadowrun, ever! Well, at lest I got noted?


    I'll stop here for now. We only got a bit more to continue to the end of the session. But next time.

    Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-06-28 at 02:22 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    London, UK

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    We are starting (Just starting) to figure out what his different motions, sounds and moods mean. A learning process? At times he's really calm, looking around (I know they can only see shadows and lights at this point, and can't focus, but still), with what seems like utter wonder on his face. It's really something!

    No firefight yet, but we didn't really know what we were doing in the hospital.
    For a minute there, I didn't realise that the second paragraph was returning to the journal and I got really concerned about your expectations of parenting.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Session 2, part 4- Aftermath and return to the hospital

    Heya folks! Last update for this session. Just a bit more to go.


    The quick drive to Ground Zer0's place was silent, a furious silence. As they got there, Watson laid down The Middle Man, and set to work. He healed 3 boxes, yet he was still out cold. (No healing other than rest can undo stun damage). While he rested the others talked.
    JC was pissed: "That was terrible! Last time he goes on a job alone!"
    P: "Hmmm, well, I'll find them, and then? I'll make things...interesting." G0 and her go back to the scene to retrieve the MM subvocal mic, while JC stays to guard and Watson monitors.

    After an hour, The Middle Man regains 2 stun. He wakes up, and winces in pain "Where...? How...?"
    W: "We don't know what happened, we heard a strange voice, saw a spirit form, and then silence." ("Oh, and a squeal! I'm sure he squealed!" ) "I saw a woman running after the car, really fast!"
    JC: "She was unnatural, supernatural..."
    The Middle Man sighed: "The Madam, Not someone I'd like to owe favors, But I guess I do now."
    W: "What the hell were you thinking?"
    JC: "Mr. Watson, that's enough. Smaller, you've been beaten badly, this is the last time you go by yourself!" He seemed genuinely concerned and disturbed by the event, almost... taking it personally?
    MM groaned: "Where are we?"
    JC: "First rest,then we'll answer the questions… If you want, I can get you a cigarette. It helps dull the pain. I suffered.. .a few punches... in my day, I know."
    The Middle Man gives a slight strained smile: "Well, there is first time for everything, give me one…" JC also gives him a bit of soycohol… MM drinks, "Well, that sure woke me up!"
    JC:"It gets me up every time."
    Seeing the MM is ok for now, letting him rest, JC takes a look at Ground Zer0's place. "Nice place!"
    G0, who's listening through commlink warns him "No you don't! I've armed the cleaning drone! Don't. You. Dare!"

    As he rests, the Middle Man calls upon Jerribeth.
    J: "Got back so fast? Not much of a party!"
    MM: "Well, the party turned much rougher than expected ,they didn't quite like my costume." He gave a pained sound, as the crack on his ribs hurt when he breathed.
    Jerribeth was silent for a second. "What do you need?"
    MM: "I need to get back on my feet, and the only thing I know can do this is magic. You know someone?"
    J: "I might. I'll need to make a few calls. Not sure if I can do this tonight though. I'll try as best I can."
    MM: "Thanks Jerribeth, I will owe you for this." He then falls asleep...

    Purian and G0 reach the scene, but don't find much. ("What, not even his teeth?!" Me: "Not in the face! Not in the FACE!" ) Ground Zer0 calls the team.
    G0: "You understand we haven't moved an inch in finding Esmeralda today. We're right were we started."
    W: "Perhaps even backwards- if Shannon is involved, it'll be hell to get to him now."
    G0: "I thought of maybe looking at the hospital, at night, but I think we'll need to rest."
    W: "We've blown 2 days, we onlygot 3 left. We don't have time!"
    The Middle Man sleeps, and they rest for a little while. (The GM: "Just like Andera, chained for all eternity due to a random encounter!" He commented upon his chracter in the Wrath of The Righteous Campaign we played. The party laughed. )
    They decide to wait a bit, to let the MM rest… he sleeps bit.

    After some rest, the Middle man recuperates somewhat, up to 2 stun damage, 5 physical damage.
    It's 00:30, and we decide go to seek ghouls under the hospital, even if wounded.

    Hospital visit, take 2! (Without the vendor this time)

    When we stop near the City South Hospital this time, the place looks deserted. We decide upon a slightly different tactic- The Middle Man brings up a mana barrier, and then astrally projects. Again the world of vivid life, (Though the team members seem quite dim, due to all the augmentations). The astral MM moves towards the hospital, which feels like a background disturbance, somewhat nauseating. Most likely due to the sickness there, though not major. He moves through the hospital, yet other than sick auras, he notices nothign special. He decides to go under the hospital.

    There, he finds some strange beings- looking like sort of walking thin skeletons, with but holes where eyes are supposed to be, holes that shine horribly, and a powerful aura of hunger and need- ghouls! The Middle Man approaches, but keeps his distance, trying to communicate. "Dwellers of City South Hospital, I, Ambassador of The Court, with only to speak with whomever leads you, and wish no harm."
    The ghoul turn their black hole gaze towards The MM, and snarl and growl at him, trying to frighten him, shoe it away. (Ghouls are dual natured beings, so they exist on the astral at the same time)
    The Middle Man tries again "The Court knows you have a community here, we wish to help you conceal it! we wish you no harm."
    Growl, snarl, a few further attempts, till The Middle Man realizes that these are feral ghouls, not of "the bright kind".
    The Middle Man traverse the area underneath the hospital, though distances and exact locations are hard to figure out. He meets 3 other small group of ghouls, all feral, one devouring... something. Not great help, so he rises from the ground, to find himself out of the hospital.
    The Middle Man returns to his body, reporting what he found. Watson says "Knew they were in the sewers!" Yet Ground Zer0 isn't pleased. "This doesn't help us much. We can't quite find our way to them, and from what The Middle Man describes, these aren't the ghouls we're looking for." (Which of course, brought this up)
    Watson then suggested an idea. "Look, they probably come here for meat, right? So where do they dispose of the dead? Or of tissues? We need to look for some sort of medical refuse here."
    Ground Zer0 access the files she took on the place before. "Well, there is a crematorium."
    Watson shudders slightly. "The things I do..." pulls out his respirator mask, and says. "Then lets go there."

    Excuse me, did we interrupt anything?

    We decide to move towards the crematorium, which is a side building, with it's own separate entrance. Most move with stealth, The middle Man uses invisibility. The guys seem to be expecting trouble, as Purian brings her assault rifle, JC pulls out his katana, and Watson his shotgun. JC, our stealthiest member, leads the group.

    We come to the wall of the crematorium, with a light, a security camera, and a maglock. At a nod from JC, G0 diverts the cam, and we come close to deal with the maglock, only to find the door slightly open.
    P: "I check for traps" Which is the players way of saying "I'm opening it" . Watson uses his endoscope to look inside, and sees a short corridor, and then another door, with a light coming underneath.
    We go inside, JC in front, Purian after, and the rest behind. JC hears a threatening voice. "Well, we know what you are moving. We cannot let you do this in our turf. This is our business here!"
    A frightened voice replies "I… I don't know what you're talking about,…"JC uses Watson's endoscope past the crack in the door, and sees 4 people, all are humans, the one at the back, which was threatened by the other 3, looks like a maintenance guy, he looks pale, and with very thick glasses. The other has have clubs (The Middle Man: "Run away! The horror, the horror!" ) And one guy with a big knife…
    Purian quietly puts away her assault rifle, drawing her Submachine gun with the silencer. JC then pushes the door and rolls in, taking them by surprise!

    The crematorium battle

    Now, this is the first time we got to a full fight (At least with me included), so I'll break it down a bit for those interested n how the system works. We all rolled initiative, with the more heavily cyber guys rolling more dice, and getting higher numbers.

    JC 19
    Purian 17
    Watson 15
    G0 13
    Boss 12
    Thugs 9
    MM 7

    Round 1, phase 1:
    (As mentioned, we first go by the order, from high to low. Then we do further phases. In the 2nd phase act all between 11-20 again, in the 3rd phase all between 21-30, and so on. Usually onyl 1-2 phases, rarely 3).

    JC slashes at one of the gang, yet rolls very poorly- 1/18? (8 agility, 7 skill, 2 specilization, 1 reach. G0: "Wow! It was almost as bad as my rolls! I wouldn't give you a salad to chop!" ). Yet due to the surprise, the boss can't evade, and just roll a damage resistance roll with his armor, and the katana carves a deep wound in his side.
    Purian again "checks for traps", this tiem by kicking the door and pushing a thug.
    Watson comes closer, and G0 coems to the entrance, and looks back to cover, in case any others are outside and coming. The invisible Middle Man, seeing her weapon suddenly aimed at his general direction, rushes in, past her, in between.

    The janitor guy, with the thick glasses, panics and runs back through a back door.

    Round 1, phase 2:
    JC moves inside, slashing at another, wounding deeply.
    Purian shoots at both wounded. (You can either do 1 complex action, such as a melee attack, or 2 simple actions, such as gun shots) She rolls well, and takes both down. JC mutters in admiration. "Nice shots!"
    Watson decides to run after the janitor guy. "Could be some hospital technician or something! Must not alert others. Might be connected to the ghouls!" So he weaves inside and rushes towards the escaping man.
    G0 enters the room and yells the boss "Now, you better surrender, or it may be obvious what will happen next, isn't it? The choice is yours…" Yet... persuasion is 0/8…? (We all laugh "Boy, we suck!")
    The boss looks hysteric, goes on full defense and runs through the back door as well. Watson may have intercepted him, but had no melee weapon.

    Round 2:
    JC runs inside pulling his poistol and shooting at the boss twice- 2/14 (miss) and 6/13 (Hit, taking wounding him).
    Purian does the same, and the boss goes down. We reach the escaping janitor guy.

    A talk with the ghouls' Middle Man

    Watson seeks to subdue him, and pulls out his tazer, yet suddenly a strange spirit, looking like a bloated and slightly disformed figure floats between the two- spirit of man! The party halts.
    Watson speaks to the frightened man "We're not looking to hurt you, We don't want to hurt decent folks. We just saved you from a shake down… eh?"
    The janitor guy shouts "I am not involved with them, we are not gangers! Why you came here!?"
    JC puts his sword down, and pistol back in it's holster, talking strangely amiably. "We are not here to harm you, we just seek a friend of ours. We don't care about those gangers, we just look for the ghouls…" We summarize those must be organ dealers.
    MM finally arrives, dispels his invisibility, and cast Analise Truth. 2 successes
    G0 speaks "look, we have never been here, organ dealers are not popular with us. You're supplying the ghouls, aren't you?"
    JC stepped in. "If he helps people with their back to the wall, I will help him."
    G0: "We have no issue about that."
    JC turned to the janitor: "Why did they harass you?"
    Watson: "Yeah. What did they want?"
    The janitor guy answered briefly. "Organ leggers. Rotten bunch!"
    W: "And the ghouls?"
    The janitor seemed uncomfortable. "Ghouls? If they come here, they will be shot, on sight!
    The Middle Man listened so far, partly to them, but partly fascinated by the floating guardian spirit. He turned his attention to the man: "I am The Ambassador, what is your name?
    The Janitor looked confused at the change of subject. "Me? I'm Elijah, but people call me Elay."
    MM: "We are friends of Boris, looking for a friend who has lost her way. We came here prepared for trouble, willing to defend our selves, but we intervened when they seemed willing to hurt you. Can you lead us to the ghoul community? We know there is one here, our friend sought it, to help her. "
    Elay looked doubtful "I can't take you to the community, but... perhaps I can arrange a meeting."
    The Middle Man smiled. "That will be good. We'd like but to converse with them, might even make some sort of a deal?"
    Elay seemed to be persuaded. "It will take a me a little time to arrange a meeting with Darian, their leader. he might be able to help. Give me some time."
    Ground Zer0 however commented. "We don't have much time. Please, can you take us there now?"
    Elay was doubtful, yet agreed. "If you wish... I can try and get you there. Maybe at the outside, while I talk with them?"
    Ground Zer0 was a tad suspicious. "Where outside?"
    Elay: "I can take you where there is an entrance to the sewers, Maybe you can wait there for a few moments, before I take you in…" (Watson: "Sewers? I'm not going into a sewer!"
    JC looked at the back room, where the bodies of the organ leggers lay: "Do you want us to eliminate the evidence?"
    Elay looked at him suspiciously. "Yes?"
    Watson then had an idea. "If you have some spare body bags here, in the crematorium, than we can get them to your friends. As a sort of a peace offering."
    The MM feels weird about giving the bodies to the ghouls, yet Watson added on this: "And who knows? We're shadowrunners, in a dangerous line of work. We might be able to bring you a steady supply!"
    JC: "It's good I brought my Chainsaw. Do you like chunks or slices?" (The MM almost hurled. "Have we come to this?")
    As Elay agreed, and brought some body bags, and the party went to their grissly work, The Middle Man changed subject: "Who's this spirit?" Yet the Gm looked at me blankly. "It's a spirit of man. It has no name." (I forgot for a sec that that it's what I do, not the game).

    The party also checks the gangers gear (Some guns, some knives, some drugs, armor vests) and some commlinks. (Ground Zer0 wants to collect some to use as decoys and throw-away. Watson however takes one of them. "Hey! Any commlink is an upgrade to mine!" (He got the worst commlink possible on character creation. Figured he'll get one soon enough.)

    After a short, and disturbing while, ("Where the hell did JC learn to do THAT efficiently?", "Do you really want to know?) With the body bags secured, and hoisted on JC, Purian and Watson shoulders, Elay came approached us. "Right. I talked with Darian. We're gonna meet them now."

    And so we left the crematorium, and went to meet with the leaders of the ghouls...

    And with that ended the session. All in all, a fairly messy session, with lots of trial, and mostly error. Yet, it was fun, and we hoped we were coming close to the end of the run. The GM promised there is notmuch left, and that the next session will be the end of it.

    Just goes to show that he underestimate our potential to complicate things...

    Thanks for reading! I hope I'll be able to post the next session soon, depending on how the kiddo behaves. Never cross Mr. Johnson!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-06-28 at 02:32 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Orc in the Playground

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    GMT +1

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Grear read so far.
    I have been playing SR for years (mostly 3rd/4th Edition)
    And my main char, who was a sociopathic medic, would have had a lot of fun with this.

    Don't deal with dragons.
    Geek the mage first.
    Never trust an elf. (ok, difficult with this group)
    Safe ammunition.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Some in the party seem to read the log, thew GM amongst them, and he commented on a few things, which I decided to correct. I'm adding these in spoilers. Nothing that major (I think), but for those of you who'd like to know, feel free to read. But first, I'd like to comment on this:

    Originally by the GM, by emails (This was translated from Hebrw):
    I updated the name of your campaign, which so far I called "Newbies" campaign, to differentiate it from my veteran group, to "Dangerous Line of Work".
    It shall now be referred to as "DLoW" (Pronounced as "Di- Low", or "dice low", which definitely relfects your throws).
    Well, at least we got a sort of a reputation?


    As to the clarifications and corrections, for those interested:

    Session1, Part2:
    Originally by the GM, by email:
    1. Again, Fred Tietso and not Dietso.
    2. should be "deceased looking wife" and not "diseased"
    3. When MM asks when she was with the therapist you wrote Fred answered that she wanted to connect with other ghouls. Fix: she never wanted to be destined to live and be with other ghouls.
    4. The price on ghouls' heads is on probation in the UCAS in recent months and planned to be removed (the GM explanation part)
    1. Fixed.
    2. At the pic she looked diseased. She became deceased later...
    3. Right. Fixed that. I think I got it mixed by the communications to the ghoul community.
    4. Added the explanation.

    Session 1, Part 3:
    Originally by the GM, by email:
    1. Boris apartment: 2 apartments face the street, and 2 to the back; the sound was not of a loud movie but a loud music.
    2. Boris didn't disassemble the bracelet as this would alert authorities: it feedbacks life pulses to assess it's on a living being. The bracelet was move to his own wrist, and he's darted his eyes towards his wrist
    3. concerning point 2 - as far as I recall, and as far as it makes sense - you didn't take the bracelet off Boris' wrist. It would require tempering (hardware/electronic) which I'm pretty sure we didn't get into
    1. Ok... Didn't know it made such a difference, but I fixed it. I did write in my own notes about a couple arguing, and remember us at first debating if it might be Boris and Esme, yet you said it sounded more domestic...
    2+3. I thought the bracelet was used to track people mostly? In my memory and what I wrote in my notes we noticed the disassembled bracelet in his overall, and wished to reduce trouble for him. But ok, I fixed that. G0 was very worried of the trouble Boris is getting himself into...

    Session 2, part 1:
    Originally by the GM, by emails:
    1. Purian, Watson and JC all live in Redmond - correct me if I'm wrong
    2. Watson suggests ways to subdue Esme: Flashback grenade might be a huge success as a street drug, but actually he said FlashPack grenade
    3. Preventing the easy tracking of someone by a phone-call [or, wasn't mentioned here, by the spirit Search power] is also - and mainly - because it might be used against the PCs, and much easily as groups with huge resources are against them
    1. I don't remember, when they say so, so will I.
    2. Flashpack, Flashback... Why with all the confusing names? Ok, fixed that.
    3. Added the explanation, it's all under a spoiler there now.

    Session 2, part 2:
    Originally by the GM, in email:
    Sess2, part2:
    1. As you already manipulate and edit our dialog I found this addition might be good: (original in black, addition colored)
    Vendor: "Good day sir, you sick?"
    Watson looks over the greasy food, the stains on the cart, and VERY carefully buys... something... and holds it... at a distance… "well, not yet"
    I try to keep brief notes WHILE playign the game, so I may not get everything correct. I do try and remain true to what was said, as best as my notes enable me, and my memory, and when I don't have enough written, at least to the spirit of things. (Usually happen when I play the MM, and so can devote less to keeping notes).
    That said- I added this.

    Session 2, part 3:
    Originally by the GM, by emails:
    1. Summoning the Madame you indicate you have 6 success and she rolled 3, so how can it sum up to 4 services?
    2. Watson wanted to follow MM from afar, but MM asked him not too, as to be authentic as possible against ppl watching. So Watson made it to the car.
    3. The glitch of MM taken down to the ground with the club hit, disconnects his sub-vocal microphone and shoots it away. That's why the team has no contact with him just after he screamed first
    4. JC realizing the length he might have to run and climb obstacles changed his mind and didn't run but stayed in the car, as far as I recall (Mr. E. asked to rephrase). At most - if I'm wrong - he ran back quickly to the car
    5. The Madame act didn't technically saved MM's life. He was already unconscious, and even with the brutes keeping on beating for sure, at worst he would have filled his Physical monitor. He's not dead yet, just takes longer to heal. For the Madame it felt the right thing to do when the ambassador was both suffering and disappointing (the council). It felt more dramatic then just leave MM beaten on the ground until the team arrive
    1. You're correct- 3 favors. I must have missed the key and pressed 4 instead. Fixed.
    2. Watson did stay there for quite awhile. He left only once the jig was found out, and MM insisted to try continue play it, did he leave. I didn't know he got to the car, but I'll fix it.
    3. Hmmm... forgot about it. Fixed.
    4. Oh, I guess I missed that. (I was busy with getting my ribs and *ss kicked, and thining up a new character. )
    5. "At worst fillin up his physical monitor"? Doesn't that get him to dying? I doubt that in the middle of their enthusastic beating of the mage/ ghoul/ someone who toook control over their friend, they would have stopped before each kick to check his vital signs. The Middle Man is quite easy to kill, once he's down (As we've seen). Filling up his physical monitor just meant he was a kick away from not needing ANY hospital no more. In the MM eyes anyway, the Madam DID save his life. Aaaaannnd... I like the idea of him owing a debt, to this mysterious spirits who's motives are unknown to him.

    Session 2, part 4:

    Originally by the GM, by emails:
    1. JC and Purian went back to the scene to find (and they did) MM's subvocal mic
    2. The "maintenance guy" (the masked ghoul) had a very thick glasses - not dark ones
    3. "We just shaved you from a shake down" - what the hell was I missing?
    4. Elijah doesn't (and can't) speak with Darian before-hand. He suggested he will go and contact you later, but you didn't want to wait, and thus persuaded to take you down there immediately. If you recall, the ghouls community were ambiguous towards you - as you came by surprise
    1. Fixed.
    2. Fixed.
    3. It's "saved", not "shaved". Watson was referring to rescuing him from the organ leggers. The typo was fixed.
    4. Fixed, sort of, I think. I do remember him asking us to wait outside at first, but we went inside at the end.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-06-28 at 10:08 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Hi again! It took me awhile to get updating again, due to being busy in RL. (New kid, work and more) I know it's been awhile, but I hope to be able to catch up.

    Session 3, part 1- Ghoulish dealings

    In the last session, we tried bating Father Shannon, but somehow got revealed. The Middle Man, who overplayed his tricks, got pummeled to a bloody pulp by some hoodlums, rescued by his spirit- The Madam (Since the team couldn't get there fast enough), and got partly healed, licking his wounds. Due to the time pressure, the party decided to go back to the hospital, and managed to locate a contact to the ghoul community- Elijah, who worked in the mortuary and biological waste disposal. The team managed to persuade Elijah to lead them towards the ghouls. They also decided to "make them a peace offering", but... chopping the bodies of the organ leggers that tried to rob/ blackmail Elijah, and putting those into body bags, which they now carried with them.

    2:00 AM, third morning of the run- On the way to meet the ghouls

    In between sessions, I thought of a small musical piece for atmospheric mood...

    On our way to meeting the ghouls, we talk between us through micro receivers:
    G0: "So... when we meet the ghouls... What's our game plan?"
    JC: "I say we just tell them we were sent to find Esme."
    MM: "Really? Honesty? What if they say she's alright with them?? I suggest we try and bluff them, put bit of pressure- The police and government looking for her, and so on..."
    G0 agrees, but raises another question: "What if we find her, but she won't come to us? We can try and persuade her, but what if that fails?"
    MM: "Well, as you've mentioned- we'll have to subdue her"
    (Mr. E. jokes "What, no persuadetron?"- device from the game "Syndicate", which mad people follow you blindly).
    Watson: "Would her father agree, if she's "roughed up" in the process?"
    MM: "But... who'se gonna try and subdue her? Who's insane enough to try and slap a tranq patch on an angry ghoul?"
    JC grins. "I'll do it. I'll handle the bitch."
    MM thinks, and responds bit later: "Ok... But please me time to persuade her. I may not have the ace, but perhaps bunch on unlikely kings…"
    Watson: "I can't believe we're going to meet ghouls..." he says, through the respirator, looking agitated and panicked.
    G0 however seems in a surprisingly good mood, humming a strange song ("Teenage mutant ninja turtles", in french! )

    In the sewers

    As we start going inside, we worry we may need to retret quickly, so G0 crcks open a light stick, nd smears on the walls before each turn. Watson, partially hyperventilating, scans EVERYTHING with his sonar.
    Watson Uses "photographic memory" to remember it all. The MM prepares for the negotiations, casting Analyze truth. JC in the mean time hs a conversation with our guide- Elijah.
    JC: "So, you are familiar with the terrain?"
    Elijah: "Um, yes- I live here?"
    JC: "Are they all like you? Friendly?"
    Eli: "Others are more suspecting. But I feel you got good intentions… (Party: "And you look Delicious!" )
    JC seeks to light a cigar, which makes the GM doubt him ("A cigar? What kind of a stealth warrior re you?" to which Mr. E. responds "A cool one? A stylish one?" They decide he smokes one of his odorless cigars, which he did buy! ) "So, Elay, you smoke?"
    But the GM is a bit annoyed by this, and Elay responds irritably "Stop, you're ruining my concentration!"
    JC: "Hey, just making conversation! A long road... Are we there yet?"

    Conversation in the dark, and dubious dealings

    As we progress we notice eyes in the dark, watching us. G0 communicates "We're getting close. act regular." We come to a wide intersection, where 8 ghouls congregate. Purian reaches for her weapons, but Elijah raises his hand. "Where is Adrian?"
    A ghoul approaches, looking a bit better than the rest (Not that it's sayign much) JC is pleased. "Nice meeting you!"
    G0 steps forwrd "Darian I presume?" (um, not exactly Dr. Livingstone…) "We were sent to inquire on the welfare of a recently turned ghoul, Esmeralda Dietso. We do not seek violence, and have brought a little gift to help in this difficult situation here." G0 snaps her fingers and JC stesp forth, dropping the body bags. "We brought treats..." He says, amused by his own joke.

    We hear voices, hungry, rasping voices in the dark. "Traaaaiiitorrr..." Watson is further agitated, his senses noticing quite a few figures all around. It seems not everyone liked ELijah bringing strangers here...
    G0 continues: "I know this isn’t... common practice, but we believe we are all met beings. And though you've being infected by that awful virus, I do not blame you for it. I hope you will be able to assist us."
    Darian speaks in a very smooth and calm voice. "Well Gentlemen, I trust Elijah's judgment, though most of my community disapprove. We've been through a lot, we're seen by animals, prejudiced by others. So you coming might endanger all of us. We seek to make a small and peaceful community, which is why we made this arrangement. Why should we believe you'll keep our secret?"
    G0 presses her former point. "I believe you are just as meta humans as the elves and trolls."
    MM however feels this is the wrong approach. He tries something more... base "Does it really matter? Yes, there is fear, prejudice, and so on… but we have no interest in blowing up your secret. We have other interests... mainly- Esmeralda..."
    JC decides to put his piece: "I'm not a man of fancy words. As long as you live, I will take your secret to the ground. Deal?" JC put his hand forth, to shake. We all blanch a little.
    Darian steps back " I do not wish to infect you."
    JC blinks: "Infect? What you mean to infect?"
    G0 explains about the ghoul condition briefly. JC's eyes widen, so he thumps his chest instead. "All good!" (This is what happens when we play only about once a month...)
    Darian: "Why do you seek her? You're some sort of mercenaries?"
    MM: "Actually, we're Shadowrunners..."
    Adrian grumbles: "That's the same. You might sell our secrets for good enough pay".
    MM: "Yes, we are mercenaries, and as such we are professional, we keep trust, and we keep tour business. We act professionally. Neither you or your community are part of our job. And as Shadowrunners, we know what it feels like to be pursued, hunted, despised and used. It may sound odd, but... we do seek to make her life better, or at least less dangerous. My companions are even more... sentimental about assisting her.
    Adrain: "You think you can compare? You are not seen as monster! Shot on sight!"
    MM: "Yes, I do not understand, or have a solution, but neither do I wish to make it harder."
    Some of the ghouls hiss: "You mock us? You are far from us!"
    G0 tries to placate: "We are all meta humanity!"
    Ghouls: "You think you're like us? We were like you, but now we're hunted, like animals, like beasts!"
    G0: "We don't have the answer, we just wish to help the girl, and her father… Your secret is safe with us. It is matter of personal and professional integrity."
    MM has an idea: "Perhaps, as a show of good will, between two different populations, perhaps I can be your ambassador?"
    Watson, has his own idea, a more... practical one: "We have a business proposal. As shadow runners, we come upon many… corpses, and we need disposing of them. If we can make an arrangement, we can bring you corpses, and have more of an incentive to keep your secret. A win-win situation?" The Middle Man seems appalled by the suggestion! ("You wish to start trading in corpses?")
    MM: "I can be your link to the upper world, you can be our link to the underworld."
    Darian sounds sad: "We don't know much, but our little area. Not much worth seeing here..."
    MM: "So lets try it out, it will take time, and we'll see where it goes..."

    Adrian looks around, one of the ghouls hisses, but others do not… Adrian turns to us."We'll discuss such... deals... later on. Contact Elijh. (Mr. S rejoices. "Body disposal!" and makes various Sweeney Todd references…)
    Adrian: "What are your concerns about this Esmelralda?"
    GO speaks plainly, and explains her father's concerns, and the governmental regulations.
    Adrian: 'So you come in the name of her father?"
    MM steps forth: "Not just her… She is on the verge, on an edge, on the edge of a decision, of succumbing, of killing. We wish to preserve her humanity."
    Adrian: "So.. you wish to persuade her? How?".
    MM: "We have a few insights, perceptions, that we wish to attempt, and I've recently had a... sort of experience as a ghoul..."
    Adrian: "But how did you find us? Why did you come?"
    G0:" It was leg work. We did some investigations which finally led us to you."
    Adrian: "But if you are such "experts", and found us so easily, then we are jeopardized!
    G0: "The evidence we found was very minor, and we don't think others will follow it. It's a very slim chance. I don't think you're jeopardized. (Mr. E. begged to differ: "We didn't know they even existed 3 days ago, and now we're here, and we're no special intelligence agents!")
    G0 promises to erase all material that can lead to the ghoul community. We then get to the actual business...

    Adrian: "I've met Esmeralda, suggested her to the community, but she didn't accept living here, just amongst the ghouls. She doesn't want to kill out of hunger, but she might... If she does..."
    JC: Where did you meet her?
    Adrian: "Near the hospital ,our scouts met her. About two weeks ago."
    The MM tries asking about various other leads. Adrian doesn't recognize any names.
    Adrian: "She did talk about someone called Easy, that might help her... She seems caught in his charm. Didn't sound like a ghoul, but a crook to me! I believe he is some kind of a criminal."
    GO: "You just have this name? "
    Adrian: "I think he's in Maple Valley, In the mall. Kept saying he will make her dreams come true. (It's n area between Auburn and Renton, it's a major Maple valley mall.)
    G0: "Well ,I hope we can find her sooner than Easy will make he life very hard."
    The Middle Man asks bout any clues to understanding Esmeralda's experience as a ghoul, but Adrian has nothing to add.
    G0: "Well, we have our job caught up for us. We need to find her fast!"

    The party tries out some ideas with Adrian.
    JC: "I have a feeling it's some sort of fighting games, illegal arenas?"
    Adrian: "Yeah, this is a rumor, something humans are likely to do…"
    The Middle Man seeks to talk after the run is over, a possible connection. Watson likes the idea, really thrilled about body disposal "services".
    Adrian: "Just beware, her anger might be turned on you. Don't make her feel cornered."
    MM pulls out a card, a joker's card, and hands it to Adrian: "I am the middle man, I stand In the middle, Between you and the others. Contact us if needed. If someone comes from us, he will carry such a card. The same if you approach us." (This is part of the Signature negative quality. The MM carries many such joker cards...)

    The party takes this to heart, and with that lead, leave the ghouls to be...

    So... what's now?

    As we go out. JC complains: "Ah crap, we need to check a mall! I HATE malls!"
    G0 suggests we rest, and rethink. She suggests her apartment. As JC seems quite pleased by this, she quickly adds "And no smoking in my place! You have no idea what upgrades i put on the drones..."

    Near 03:00 AM we reach Amelie's place, and settle for a night.
    G0 sets her matrix agents: "Easy, maple valley mall, ghoul, illegal activities". She and Watson ties to dig and find something of use in the metrix, but it's too little to go on... They do find it's a Blood Brothers territory.

    The MM goes into the shower, closes the doors, and speaks to his mentor "Chi-Ga-Si, I have learned the lesson, but too late, but perhaps that as well can be used."
    Chi- Ga- Si's voice drifts from the taps. "A lesson that cannot be learned, is not lesson."
    MM: "I think I can learn. But... it's strange the others helped me such..."
    Chi-Ga-Si: "Reallly? How did it feel, being beaten as a ghoul?"
    The MM grimaced. "It felt like I was a helpless child on the streets again. I did NOT like it!"
    The Middle man sighed. "I think I also incurred a debt- The Madame have probably saved my life. And now I need to think of how to compensate her. I do not think it will be wise to the court's help till then. I tried to call king Harry, and he did not oblige, I think I am not in their favors… I will need to think about this..."
    Chi- Ga- Si's slightly mocking, ever amused voice challenged: "I think that very soon our wager will be decided... But you are wrong about The Court- Their spirits do not cover for each other, you can try the others. The Madame will contact you, in her own time, as Madams do…"
    The MM sighed. "As madams do... However, I think I may be able to use the bruises. I will keep those, and avoid magical healing." (He later contacts Jerribeth, asking her to stop seeking a healer for him.) He touches some of the bruises and new scars. "They may aid in persuasion..."

    We all go to sleep (G0's apartment has a comfort level of 1. The GM laughs- "you all sleep on the floor!" Purian adds "Oh! In one warm bundle?") and decide to resume the search on the morning.

    Making a few more calls

    We make various attempts with our contacts.

    Watson tries calling Boris again, and asking about the mall, about the Blood Brothers, Easy, bitter Sweet, and anyone she might be angry about, but gets quite frustrated when Boris knows nothing of import.

    The MM calls his police contact, to find info bout The Blood Brothers, but she's busy and replies she'll do that later.

    We're stumped… We still got the two research leads, but think those re red herrings. We have no idea of how to find Easy, but think of maybe grabbing and interrogating a blood brother. G0 suggests sending in the MM, but he refuses. "Not going alone again!"

    Purian decides to contact her drug dealer, a gang leader from Tacoma, Zachri El Hazai (Arabian descent). The conversation... was flavorful...
    Z: "Oh! Hey sweety!" (The party seems suspicious. "You said he was a "professional contact"?)
    P: "Hello hun, how are you?"
    Z: "What can I do for you sweety?"
    P: "Well, we do some weird sh*t to get along."
    Z: (You can almost hear him grinning) "Yes, some WEIRD sh*t!"
    P: "So listen, I'm going to step into a turf of a gang, and I want to know how deep is the crap I'm going into. Heard about Blood Brothers?'
    Z: "Yeah, a bunch of (derogatory term I won't put here) from Auburn!"
    P: "Know anyone there named Easy? Bitter Sweet?"
    Z: "I don't know them personally, but they have some freaky voodoo crap!" (The party groans)
    Purian curses: "Voodoo, Damn! Can you give me a name, someone to talk with, a connection?"
    Z: "Tell you the truth sweety, I don't really know any of them, I just know Malfinia, A voodoo Black orc. I wouldn't mess with her. I don't do any business with them. "
    P: "Any chance you can find someone, or someplace we can use?"
    Z: "Anything to grab your booty again? If you want, I can send you a ride!"
    P: "Sure, that's the way…"
    Z: "I'll see, but not sure how good I can find... Maybe if you make it worth it?"
    P: "We'll see…"
    Z: Think about it…

    Still no progress. We decide to go to the Blood Brothers turf, either learn of a central place, or kidnap someone? So we hop unto G0's Amanda, and go to Maple valley.

    Going to stop here for now. In the next part there are more confused blundering, drug dealing, and coming up with a complex plan...

    I do hope I get to update this soon enough, but RL my make it difficult. We'll see how it goes. Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-10-04 at 07:25 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Dangerous line of work- A Shadowrun 4th edition campaign Journal, Player's POV

    Session 3, Part 2- Drug dealing jumble

    So, we were in the cr, going towards the mall. This of course led to playing this!

    We decide to go into the nearby area, where college guys may come looking for drug dealers. MM changes appearances, and we go in- G0 with Purian, and the MM with Watson. JC in the meantime stays by the car, ready to back us up, or be a getaway driver. (Mr. E. "I'm going to use full air conditioner, music, the works!")

    Purian tries to use her knowledge of the drug world, but... glitches. GM says: "This should be interesting." They go around and suddenly hear "Looking for some fun ladies?" They turn to see an aging balding human, around 4o years of age.
    G0: "Actually, we do! What do you have to offer?"
    Shifty man: "You want fun, feeling good? You don't go with shopping bags. I can offer the best of the best, eh?"
    Purian seems unimpressed: "Really… You don't say..."
    The dealer looks her over. "If you want, we can barter in something else than money... why don't you come here t the back?" He motions to a small yard, behind a bar."
    Yet G0 is concerned- this is supposed to be Blood Brothers territory, which are of africn descent, and the guy is plainly... caucasian. She speaks in subvocal "I'm not sure this will work, but we're gonna check it."
    We suspect an ambush, or police. Watson approaches slowly, seeking anyone watching this, while MM continues on, still acting as a drug seeker.
    JC in the meantime smokes his cigar. "Yeah... this will wokr just great!"

    Meanwhile, in the small yard...
    Dealer: I have EX, Some Bliss, some Tempo. What you want?" He eyes Purian quite openly.
    Purian: "Do you have some Galack?" (Apparently an addciton of hers?)
    Dealer: "I got better than Galack!"
    Purian: "Really? you lie to your first time customers?"
    Dealer: "It's like Galack, just cooked different, Look, I'll give you two for free."
    G0: "Look monsieur, I must be surprised, I thought most here are black?"
    D: "Oh, you want it big? Some white have it big as well!" (Mr. K quickly adds: "Please don’t show me! Please don't show me!" The rest of us faacepalm. This is goign down fast!)
    G0: "We don't want to get into drek dealing with wrong people."
    Dealer: "No problems! Jimmy knows the area!"
    (JC in the meantime starts quickly changing into armor. "Going swell, ain't it?")
    G0: "We were told to only deal with the black brothers."
    D: "No worry, I'm good! You will come back, and no just for the drugs!" (Wink wink? Really?! )
    Watson notices 4 black gangers, one of them a woman coming quickly.
    G0: "I'm sorry, we're buying only from the black brothers".
    Dealer: "Look, I can get you..." but then goes pale, as the gangers get into the yard.
    One of the gangers steps to Jimmy "Dealing again on our turf again?"
    G0 turns aside with Purian, looking afraid (fro real. She ain't packing much heat).
    Watson comes closer, yet the MM in his own pace. (G0: "What, you ain't coming?" MM: "Hey, shadowrunning is dangerous business...")
    JC finish dressing, and starts pacing quickly towards the scene...

    A tough spot
    The ganger beats up Jimmy, and take his drugs. (G0 records it)
    The woman speaks: "Jimmy, give me one reason why not to blow your brain up!"
    Jimmy is obviously terrified: "I didn't know anything!"
    She comes up his face "Oh, didn't you?"
    G0: "He told us he'll get us the best in town."
    She doesn't like this. "Oh? Did he?"
    G0 and Purian smells something... Jimmy just wet his pants...
    Purian adds to the fire "And... he said he's got bigger than any black guy here."
    One of the guys takes this personally "Oh. did he?" (Mr. K. "They don't have much of a vocabulary, do they?" Mr. S. remarks "This conversation is deteriorating fast!")

    Another smell is added, as Jimmy goes pale. Purian speaks in subvocal "He just added Num. 2..."
    Yet the woman glances at them two, and smacks Jimmy. "Get out of here! I don't wantto scare the customers".
    Jimmy runs away, to the arms of Watson, and throws up!

    G0 Speaks in subvocal: Playtime's over, we need some muscle! We're not here for the drugs..."(Purian: "Wait, we're not?")
    Watson however, decides to help poor Jimmy...
    Gangers: "I apologize for the rough introduction. We sell the best stuff…"
    Purian: "Heard that before...Do you have Galack?"
    G0, who's more focused tries a different venue: "We have a business proposition. We heard you're looking for some ghouls."
    The Blood Brothers look at her curiously: "You are cops?"
    Purian: "Do we look like cops?"
    They started getting annoyed: "Did you come to but some drugs or what"?

    (The following is bit vague, my notes have been a bit corrupted here...)
    Meanwhile, Watson is joined by the MM, and they seem more focused about getting some info form Jimmy, quite relying on G0 and Purian's social skills. "You'll do fiiiiiinnee... We're just around the corner!"
    The Middle Man, decides to use his Influence to make Jimmy live the life of crime" :You've had enough, it's not with it! Time to go home to he wife..." and so on. Watson and MM prove the good samaritans, talking him out, and trying to fish any info he got about the gang. Yet Jimmy just sobs, agree with them, and leaves them his bag with dope.

    Meanwhile in the alley, Purian gets into a serious discussion about drugs. ("Wait, how does she know all this?" ) and G0 uses P+G0: Purian tries negotiation, while G0 tries to break into their commlink. He fins out that Bitter Sweet & Easy are the same person, nd get his contact details.
    Purian talks about Galack, and distracts the others. She knows her stuff.
    G0 Breaks in (Didn't record successes and such). Seeks inside the nodes "Bitter Sweet/ Easy/ Esmeralda" Finds out that Bitter Sweet and Easy is the same person. He extracts the contact details! Purian provides enough time for him to crack the defenses and copy it, and then they bail, more or less elegantly...

    Now, how convulated can we make this?

    Back at the car, we rethink. We got Bitter Sweet/ Easy's number, but what do we do with it? A long discussion and several ideas emerge:
    - We call him, but the MM tries to appear as Esme! We say we're interested, but weary of betrayal, and so seek to meet in a neutral place, and grab him! But... what if he already met Esme? Or even holds her? We decide against this.
    - JC has another idea: The MM mimics Jimmy (I instantly don't like that plan!), we lure some angry gangers, grab them, and use them as info/ leverage!
    - Watson suggests trying to use Esme's commlink to try and contact Easy s her father, worried and willing to pay ransom and such. G0 is quite worried we might complicate him, but lacking any better ideas, we go for it.

    So the MM puts on Fred's mask through his illusions, and calls Bitter Sweet. We get to the voice mail "I'm Esme's father, She's gone missing, and I'm willing to do anything! Pay anything, just don't hurt her!" (He makes a good "distressed dad" act) "She's all I've got after her mother's death! Please! Just don't hurt her!"

    Little did we know what a mess we're getting into...

    I'll stop here for now, and continue a bit later hopefully. Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-10-06 at 10:48 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

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