Wow. Just... wow. This run could not have gone any further afield from writer David Ellenberger's intent.
To really get a sense of this, you need some background on one of our Players. This guy has some pretty wild ideas, but he doesn't necessarily think them all the way through. The time I ran Demilitions Run
, he was the player of 'Smokey' (who has since earned a second and more apt runner name of Shenanigans and has something like 5 Public Awareness).
Anyone following Chaos War
, he plays Doc Palmer.
In our Shadowrun Portland
Facebook group, he asks questions such as:
"Can you split your dice pool for palming?"
"How does using levitation to attack work?"
"Do mirrors angle laser beams from beam rifles?"
And my favorite:
"If I cast invisibility on a "loot sack" will the contents be hidden?"
So, tonight, he's playing a character he calls 'Cthulhu'. So you know it's going to be good. Cthulhu is a mage with mostly manipulation spells. And a truck full of grenades.
He is joined by:
Bob Bunny - A troll bow adept with a bunny fetish (I believe he has a knowledge skill of 6 in Leporidology).
El Ojos - A troll luchador, complete with mask
Tannim - the mage who opted to execute the extraction target rather than deliver him to the Johnson in CMP 2012-02
Thunder Wolf - A well rounded street shaman
And two players brand new to missions playing:
Talon - Gun Adept mostly right out of Core
Max - Another mage, with a penchant for the levitate spell.
So, everything started off tame enough. They met with Mr. Johnson, and decided to scout the building during the day and the evening.
For those who aren't familiar, the run requires the Runners to break into the second floor of a 4 story office building that takes up an entire city block. This floor is government controlled, so has it's own security; the rest of the building is secured by KE. On this floor is a hard copy of a file that Mr. Johnson wants copy of. It is imperative that the owners of the file do not know that the file itself was the target. If the Runners can get in and out without being noticed at all, then there is a bonus for them. Oh, by the way, there is a KE percent three blocks away.
So, they go to scout the building. Everything is pretty standard. The walk around the building, see the front and back doors with cameras. They watch people enter and exit the building. They look for magic defenses on the exterior. They try to time the drones patrolling the streets. Talon tries to find a vantage point. One success on his edge roll says that there is one building that is a story taller than their building. From there, he notes that the building has roof access.
As he is looking, he notices Cthulhu pull his Toyota Gopher up to a group of teenagers waiting for the bus. He can't be sure but the bed of the truck seems to be filled with... are those... grenades? If this guy driving around the streets of Seattle with a truck bed full of grenades, just where anyone who peeks into the bed can see them?
Suddenly, the teenagers stop what they are doing and clamber into the back of the truck. Along with a business man who had been walking past them at that point. And a meter maid. I am not sure if there are meter maids in the 6th Age still, but it was the first random person who came to mind.
You see, Cthulhu had just cast a force 7 Mob Mind. It was meant for the teens, but without metamagic, he caught everyone in the radius. So he takes his passengers towards the KE precinct. Because he had a plan.
In his mind's eye, he envisioned his passengers taking a pair of grenades, walking into the KE precinct, and then all suicide bombing themselves, thus removing the precinct form the equation. A heinous plan, but he was Cthulhu, after all.
Unfortunately, even the best plans in Shadowrun unravel... and this plan wasn't tightly spooled to begin with.
As they arrive at the precinct, one of his passengers wonders wtf they are doing in the back of the truck, as 5 of them grab grenades and step out. Walking to the station, 3 more of them drop out of mind control and look upon the grenades in their hands in bewilderment. Inside the station, one of them actually pulls his pins, but his buddy manages to grab them out of his hands and toss them off to the side. Set with timers, they manage not to murder anyone at all.
Cthulhu, meanwhile, peels out, back down the street. This plan has worked, he is certain. Never mind the patrolling drones that have locked onto his vehicle. Never mind the cameras everywhere. Never mind the cops who saw him speed away in his Toyota Gopher.
Talon watches the truck race down the street, followed by at least one patrol drone. "Wow, drones are chasing him!" he calls out on their network. Cthulhu hears this and realizes he can't just stop... not just now...
Meanwhile, Max realizes that this is... the absolute BEST diversion they could ever hope for. He cals it and the team rushes up tot he top of the building to join Talon, who watches a few more drones leave their patrol routes to chase after the Toyota Gopher. Thunder Wolf casts a Mind Net and everyone except Bob and Talon turn off their commlinks. Max levitates them all across the street to the top of the target building. They run up to the roof access door and yank the camera off of it's morning and tilt it away. Then Bob Bunny kicks the door in and they rush to the second floor.
Thunder Wolf has cast Improved Invisibilty on Bob Bunny for the trip down the stairs, and the massive troll goes first, smashing the cameras. At the second floor, Bob takes a short hop and bursts through the door with a massive kick.
Now, this run is called 'Silence is Golden'. The idea is to enter at night, quietly, and try to move through unseen. This time though, 6 Shadowrunners are just plain out assaulting it in broad daylight. Because why not?
Inside, the receptionist sees a large, armed troll smash through the stairwell door and she screams and screams. People in their cubicles all poke their heads up to see what's going on. Bob enters and bellows: "EVERYBODY GET ON THE FLOOR AND NOBODY GETS HURT!"
Wage slaves two buildings over are compelled to lay down. The rest of the team files in. Talon looks around and notices the four cameras recording them enter. He starts to shoot them down. El Ojos rushes down the hall to room 7A. He is followed by Tannim, Max, and Thunder Wolf. Bob yells out, "EVERYBODY TOSS YOUR VALUABLES ON THE FLOOR. COMLINKS AND JEWELRY AND MONEY!"
El Ojos kicks in the door to 7A, runs in, and contemplates the meaning of the number 3. Talon takes out another camera. Bob runs into the cubicle area and kneels down, collecting the 'loot'. An edged edge roll nets him a turquoise rabbit's foot on a keychain. Bob Bunny is VERY excited by this.
Meanwhile, the government security agents are filing out. Tannim attempts mind control on the group. Thunder Wolf launches a stun ball. Max considers napalming the security guards but decides to go see if El Ojos needs any help...
...just in time to see the troll luchador carrying the file cabinet towards the street facing window.
But the troll tosses it. Acting quickly, Max casts levitate and holds the file cabinet in mid air for a moment before directing it back to himself.
"Toss the others," he says, while he begins to go through the file cabinet, looking for their particular file.
Outside, Bob is collecting more trinkets and Talon finds the last camera, giving it the bird just before pulling the trigger and turning it into junk. Thunder Wolf rushes around the corner and Mana Balls the security forces, knocking out three, but catching a burst of gunfire from the remaining guard as well as a lightning bolt in the face for his efforts. He drops to the ground. Suddenly, the team loses their Mind Net and realize that they maybe should have kept their commlinks on as a back up.
Bob decides to go give El Ojos a hand with the file cabinets (there are 5 total). Max is still rifling through cabinet #3.
Talon rushes forward and grabs Thunder Wolf by the arms, trying to drag him back. The mage is just there, along with the remaining guard. Then, Tannim steps around the corner. The two mages have a fairly epic mage battle while Talon drags Thunder Wolf back and administers first aid, eventually stabilizing him, though not healing any of his damage. Bob and Ojos toss the 4 cabinets out just as Max finds the file and pushes cabinet three out the window. Bob grabs the file and jumps out the window as well, racing to his bike and yelling out that he's going to make sure they all get paid.
Tannim finishes the mage and the remaining security guard drops his gun and puts his hands up. Max napalms all of the filing cabinets and they watch them burn for a few moments before all exiting the window and making their broad daylight escape.
Cthulhu drove a few blocks before he heard from a drone loudspeaker, "DRIVER, PULL OVER."SO HE DOES!!!
So, on initiative rolls, Cthulhu gets 6+1d6 and the rigger drone gets 11+4d6. And there are four of them. Cthulhu tries to angle his mirror to see them and rolls perception. Out of 2 dice he gets... two 1s.
He is absolutely certain that there is just the one drone. 100%. No doubt about it.
"DRIVER, STEP OUT OF THE VEHICLE AND PUT YOUR HANDS UP!"
Cthulhu yells out, "I CAN'T, THE TRUCK IS RIGGED TO BLOW!"
"REMAIN IN THE VEHICLE, DO NOT START THE VEHICLE."
Cthulhu casts 'Magic Fingers'. He then grabs a grenade with his magic fingers and pulls the pin. He gets ready to guide the grenade onto the drone and just set it on the drone, somehow. However, with only 1 pass per initiative round, by this time, the FR team shows up. So, instead he guides the grenade onto the windshield of their car.
So, you are a pair of KE fast response officers. You are responding to a... I guess a terrorism suspect. As you pull up to his truck, which is overwatched by 4 armed KE roto-drones, a hand grenade floats out of the bed of the truck, bobs in the air towards you, and then settles onto your windshield. WHAT DO YOU DO?!?
Well, these cops jump out of their car and rush behind to cover. After the grenade goes off, they decide, "Frag it, this guy ain't blowing us up today."
Two KE Officers and four Roto-Drones open fire on a pick up truck. Through the miracle of edge, the occupant survives. The HTR Team arrives and position themselves. They decide to give the man one last chance.
"DRIVER, STEP OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE WITH YOUR HANDS UP!"
Cthulhu plays it cool, plays it stubborn. "I can't
!!!" he insists. "The truck is rigged to explode if I step out of it."
HTR puts a single high explosive grenade into the cab of the truck.
OF COURSE!!! Even chunky salsa can be mitigated by the permanent expenditure of an edge point, and against all odds, Cthulhu survives. He is pulled from the wreckage of his vehicle... a few weeks later, Cthulhu wakes up in a hospital, mage-cuffed and masked. After he recovers enough to stand trial, he goes before the KE Kangaroo Court and is found guilty of terrorism and put in jail, where each day for the rest of his days, he attempts to con the guard into removing his mage-cuffs and mask and wishing he had another edge point to burn for the four net hits that would convince the guard that this was a good idea.
The Runners got paid and to show how much they really appreciated the diversion he created for them, they used Cthulhu's share of the money to put a prison hit on him. This way, he could never roll over on them and plus... who wanted to spend a lifetime in jail anyway? Normally, Mr. Johnson wouldn't give money to the remaining runners for one who got nabbed... but in this case, for this purpose, I allowed it.
For a brazen, day-time hit the group got an assortment of Street Cred, Notoriety, and Public Awareness. Those with distinctive style got TWO points of public awareness. Luchadors have distinctive style. It's a prerequisite.
They got paid. The intent was for the Government not to know which file they were after. Having burned all of the files in the room... they accomplished that, whilst giving Mr. Johnson the original file.
The moral of the story is... there is no moral. This is Shadowrun. Get in, get out, get paid.