Author Topic: Newish GM trying to get back into the game.  (Read 224 times)

NullAndVoid

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Newish GM trying to get back into the game.
« on: (01:15:22/08-17-17) »
First off new member here, Hello everyone!

A little back story on myself.

I haven't ran the table top shadows in awhile (late 90's early 2000's). Back then I did a few larger campaigns, never as GM however (I have Co-GM'd a few GURPS games which was surprisingly really fun).
Since (and before) I have played the video games (SNES, SEGA, and the new PC games).

Recently I've gotten together with a pretty fun group. Problem is the GM only knows D&D (not my forté) and is a little lackluster and lazy, in not so many words he's a "Munchkin" player/GM.
We've recently ended a campaign where we pretty much destroyed the world along ourselves, and are now in a limbo sort of deal with starting a new session.
I have a majority of the group on board with doing a Shadowrun campaign.
Main problem is, no one really knows what Shadowrun is besides myself. They're interested, but not familiar with the lore and the world. I also haven't GM'd in a long time, however I know I can be better than our last GM (no offense to him) . My other problem is I'm going off of a really old core rule set. Second Edition is the only rule book I have (I'm old school like that), and frankly I'm not ready to dump money into newer books if no one is interested in running the shadows.

Now onto what I have sort of planned.

A couple of the players are really inexperienced with roleplaying, so I'll allow them to pretty much play "themselves" in the game setting.
And I'm going to have the main game setting be local to our area, Duluth Minnesota, so everyone is comfortable with the layout of the land (Twin Cities could be a fun area to get into as well). And allows me to use Google maps and whatnot for ease of mapping.

As far as I know there's very little lore to our area up here in the north.

We have a pretty popular "sea port" mainly exporting iron ore from the "Iron Range" here. So I'm thinking those industries can have something to do with the story line.
We also have a large Native American population due to reservations that can add a fun "tribal" twist to it all.

One of the things I always struggle with as a GM is how all the players know each other and why they're running together.
An idea I've been playing around with is they all have an experimental brain implant they don't know about, and the streetdoc that implanted them got killed which triggered a "dead man switch" which sends them all to the same location (work in progress, not set on it).

I haven't put too much more thought into the campaign as I'm not sure everyone wants to play Shadowrun.

My main thing is, how does this sound to experienced Shadowrunners to be going off of such an old ruleset (2nd edition), and in an area with every little to no lore?
Am I doomed to fail? Or do I have so much room for creative improvisation that the world is mine for the making?

Thank you everyone for making it through this wall of text, and I look forward to everyone's input... and don't worry about criticism, I can take it.

Tecumseh

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Re: Newish GM trying to get back into the game.
« Reply #1 on: (01:45:12/08-17-17) »
Welcome to the boards. Plenty of us have come back to the game after long hiatuses so you're not alone there.

Definitely set the game in a location where the players will be interested and engaged. If that's Duluth, then perfect. You're right that there's little lore for the area. Whether this blank slate is intimidating or exciting is up to you as the GM. I'm sensing more excitement than trepidation, so I think you're on the right track. Plus, the group's general lack of Shadowrun experience means that they're not going to call BS on you if you get the lore wrong.

As far as lore is concerned, the only point I'll make is that the large Native American population that is currently in your area will almost certainly have relocated to the Native American Nations following the Treaty of Denver. Of course, if you want to disregard that then you are more than welcome to.

If the group is uncertain enough about Shadowrun that you're not willing to commit to buying some of the new books, then your best bet is to begin with the Quick Start Rules. See here:

http://cdn.shadowruntabletop.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/E-CAT27QSR_SR5-Quick-Start-Rules.pdf

This will give your group a high-level overview of the rules, plus enough of the mechanics to run an encounter, which is provided in the PDF. Sample characters are also provided, with enough art and description of the game world to give your players a good sense whether they'd like to continue or not.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

NullAndVoid

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Re: Newish GM trying to get back into the game.
« Reply #2 on: (20:13:33/08-17-17) »
Thanks for the reminder on the Treaty of Denver, I had completely forgotten about that.

I also looked into some lore and looks like this area is part of the United Canadian and American States (UCAS) and has the UCAS dollar instead of the Nuyen (4 UCAS dollars = 1 Nuyen).
The Minneapolis-St. Paul area (we call them the Twin Cities) ,known as the MSP 'plex, is the largest smuggling hub in the UCAS and only behind Denver when it comes to North America. So this could be a fun route to take. Don Marco "Fat Cat" Catarone is the leader of the Mafia that runs the smuggling routes. Even if the players don't want to be smugglers, maybe they're hired muscle, or crossed them in some sort of way. Maybe they'll get contacted by a rival Mob that wants to take over the area. It's an area I didn't really think about before, but will definitely put more thought into.

Other than that there really isn't much lore to the area. Which is kind of exciting because I get to shape the world to my liking.

I'll probably base the campaign out of the Twin Cities because it seems like it could me a lot more interesting than our small city of Duluth. I'm sure we'll make a smuggling run or something up to our hometown as it is a port area, but probably won't spend the majority of the time there.

I also think I'm going to stick with running the 2nd Edition, I already have the core rulebook, and it takes place in the 2050's. Which is an interesting time frame for the UCAS. in 2055 Chicago is overrun by bug spirits. And the political happenings of 2056 and 2057. Which I'm sure I'll incorporate into the storyline one way or another (whether the players engage in any of that will be totally up to them).

I don't meet up with the group again till Sunday evening, so I have sometime to look more into some campaign ideas... and refresh myself with rules and everything.

Beta

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Re: Newish GM trying to get back into the game.
« Reply #3 on: (11:02:41/08-18-17) »
A couple of quick thoughts:

- pdf of almost all old SR books are available on drivethrurpg, so if you want support books for 2nd edition you may be able to get them.

- 4th /5th edition made some changes that make the rules more robust.  Whether that matters to your group, I don't know.  FWIW I got back into SR when myson found my old second edition rule book, but after I looked at the changes I chose to invest in fifth and run that.

- Duluth may have seen major Corp investment  into the port.  Thunder Bay is now part of the AMC (A NAN nation), so the food from the remains of the Canadian part of the prairies that used to ship out through there probably goes to Duluth instead.   And when Chicago shuts down, largely cutting the rail network, Duluth probably gets even more shipping traffic as a way around Chicago.

NullAndVoid

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Re: Newish GM trying to get back into the game.
« Reply #4 on: (11:51:50/08-20-17) »
Quote
- Duluth may have seen major Corp investment  into the port.  Thunder Bay is now part of the AMC (A NAN nation), so the food from the remains of the Canadian part of the prairies that used to ship out through there probably goes to Duluth instead.

I like this idea. I don't really know enough about the corps however. I know they have different rankings, A, AA, and AAA. Any idea which corp would make the most sense to show interest in this area?

Quote
And when Chicago shuts down, largely cutting the rail network, Duluth probably gets even more shipping traffic as a way around Chicago.

Another great idea. My campaign will be taking place before and during the fall of Chicago. Now if the players decide they want to go out that way will be completely up to them.
However Milwaukee WI isn't too far away from Chicago,so I'm sure they'll get some of the shipping traffic up that way as well. The only lore I know of Milwaukee is that Lore Star has an Academy there. Anyone know more about that area and it's history?

Anyway, I'll be meeting up with the group tonight. So I'll know more later if they're all interested, and what type of play style they're looking to run.

Beta

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Re: Newish GM trying to get back into the game.
« Reply #5 on: (18:25:51/08-20-17) »
Shiawase was the original mega, and does a lot of infrastructure and agriculture (among other things), so they seem like a possibility for presence around there. They are very traditional Japanese and human purists mostly.

Area is known for their weapons, but mega corps are into everything and it is based in Detroit,  so between getting materials to its operations and simple logistics, it could be there.

Saeder - Krupp is the largest mega at that time I think, German, and infamous for being owned and run by the great Dragon Lofwyr.   When in doubt, SK is always an option.

Two thoughts on things that will have changed the city:
- when the NAN states formed, a lot of 'angles' left those areas.  So could have had some refugees in any of the cities you are looking at.  Where did they settle?  Did this make slums? 

- what was destroyed in fires or riots or whatever.   It is a dystopia, always helps to set the mood if something popular was destroyed and an ugly Corp enclave built there.

- in 2029 there was the night of rage, where racial based riots happened around a lot of the world.  What happened in your cities? (If anything).   Make Duluth different from the Twin cities, or even make the two sides of the twin cities different.  So some areas have many more or a and trolls still, while some other areas are quite racist.

Good luck!

NullAndVoid

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Re: Newish GM trying to get back into the game.
« Reply #6 on: (19:47:14/08-21-17) »
GREAT NEWS!

Met up with the group last night, and everyone is super excited to run a Shadowrun Campaign!

I was a little concerned that the other GM was going to feel like I'm pushing him out of the way, or that he was set on playing D&D. But he's the most excited out of the group. I think he's a bit relieved to be out of the shoes of GM for a bit.

I pretty much just told them about the universe, lore, and just general ideas of what we can do.

So now I have to seriously start thinking of campaign ideas.

I'm thinking next week will be character creation, and a mock run to get everyone familiar with the rules, setting, and combat.

If anyone has any ideas on what would be a good start for everyone to get into the game (remember I'm the only one that really knows the universe and my knowledge is limited at that).

I'm just super pumped to be running the shadows again!

Beta

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Re: Newish GM trying to get back into the game.
« Reply #7 on: (22:42:14/08-21-17) »
I think every edition had a "food fight" starter scenario?  If it isn't in the core it should be available on line and easily adapted if you only find for another edition.

Also the shadow run " missions" adventures for at least season one are available online as free pdf, and the starter in there is actually a pretty decent scenario if they can survive a session without combat (probably).  I think originally written for third edition, but it didn't differ too radically from second, so should not be hard to convert.