Author Topic: [4E]MET2000 military/police response to death via Runner  (Read 202 times)

Magnaric

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Posted this in the relevant Reddit threads as well in case anyone saw it there. So, in the campaign I am currently GMing, I've run into a bit of an issue in regards to determining the appropriate/accurate response to a PC's actions. The system is 4E, though in this case I don't think that makes any difference since this is more regarding general strategy as opposed to rules.

Tr0l-Slr, Killereye, Nash, Lucky, and Duke, if you read the responses to this and apply them as meta game knowledge I swear to Ghost I will attack the team en masse with Mystic Adept Driver Ants. Just kidding. Maybe.

Anyway, in the last session the team travelled to Botswana to do some magic leyline shenanigans for a job, and since there's no canon lore on the country, I took some info from Wikipedia and tweaked it for Shadowrun. I decided that it was a solid 2nd World country, has a functioning government, still low population (few million), and like today is mostly concerned with poachers because of its large and abundant wildlife preserves/parks. Though the wildlife is largely awakened now.

As such, to assist the country's overwhelmed police and military, Botswana has hired MET2000 to concentrate on anti-poaching efforts, as well as giving them some police powers when it comes to smuggling, fencing, black market, etc related to poaching and the goods obtained from it.

The Wrinkle: Tr0l-Slr, a neo-anarchist hacker for the team, recently took drugs that basically made him immune to fear and think everything risky was a great idea. He then couldn't resist hacking into a military node (an MET2000 APC parked nearby). He was discovered, and in the ensuing combat his signal was tracked to his commlink before he killed the merc spider with BlackHammer. The signal was lost a few seconds later, but they did get to see his approximate location and Matrix ID before that. After this, the team left the capitol of Gaborone in a used HMMWV to head to their mission target.

The Problem: I will freely admit that I don't know too much about military procedure when it comes to investigating stuff like this. At the moment, MET2000 has seen the Matrix ID he used, knows he was responsible for breaching their local node and resulting in the death of their Matrix specialist, and they know the approximate location he was at when it happened. They have currently been given the aforementioned limited police/investigative/enforcement powers by the government, though this isn't poaching related as far as they know, though that may not make much difference.

So what kind of investigaton or response could be expected from them in regards to identifying, tracking, and apprehending/neutralising him?
« Last Edit: (13:02:27/12-05-17) by Magnaric »
"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything."
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Spooky

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Re: [4E]MET2000 military/police response to death via Runner
« Reply #1 on: (15:20:46/12-05-17) »
So, MET200 is not an actual military, they are a paramilitary mercenary force. Closely related, and I have no doubt that there are many military veterans in the ranks of MET2000. So it functions like a military in it's thought processes, so you can think of it as a military force. So, a military force does not respond happily to it's members getting killed. I can easily see them investigate, preparatory to killing the team, "because they must be poachers trying to disable our team in the field". So they're covered as far as the government is concerned, because they are going after "poachers" as their contract stipulates.
Spooky, what do you do this pass? Shoot him with my thunderstruck gauss rifle. (Rolls)  8 hits. Does that blow his head off?

Sphinx

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Re: [4E]MET2000 military/police response to death via Runner
« Reply #2 on: (17:40:45/12-05-17) »
As soon as the spider flatlines, the remaining MET2000 personnel will respond to the Matrix attack by shutting down their own wireless gear and calling for Matrix backup, which will be a priority because there was a fatality. MET2000 will scramble a Matrix response team in Berlin, who'll access the APC systems remotely within a few minutes and scour the logs for digital fingerprints. If they find any active marks, they'll start a trace. If not, they'll build a profile of the hacker's persona.

Meanwhile, assuming MET2000 has combat assets in the region, they'll send an airborne strike team directly to the location where the hacker's signal was traced. They could have boots on the ground within minutes if the attack happened near a staging area, or hours if they were way out in the middle of the Kalahari. Either way, your runner team will probably be long gone. If there's a trail to follow, they'll follow it. If there are witnesses to interview, they'll collect statements.

In the absence of direct contact, everyone involved contributes to an incident report, which gets handed over to CID (criminal investigation division) for follow-up. This is basically a legwork phase, in which military investigators try to identify the hacker, then connect him to known associates (if any) and determine current whereabouts. If they don't make significant headway within a couple of days, however, the case goes cold and gets shelved, pending further developments (e.g., more attacks, anonymous tips). If they were able to at least ID the hacker's persona by street name / rep, they'll post a bounty, effectively outsourcing any further investigation.

Magnaric

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Re: [4E]MET2000 military/police response to death via Runner
« Reply #3 on: (23:13:07/12-05-17) »
So, MET200 is not an actual military, they are a paramilitary mercenary force. Closely related, and I have no doubt that there are many military veterans in the ranks of MET2000. So it functions like a military in it's thought processes, so you can think of it as a military force. So, a military force does not respond happily to it's members getting killed. I can easily see them investigate, preparatory to killing the team, "because they must be poachers trying to disable our team in the field". So they're covered as far as the government is concerned, because they are going after "poachers" as their contract stipulates.

Yeah, I read a few comments on the various Reddit threads I posted this to and the general consensus is that they'll use the "he might be a poacher" angle to justify a full-blown investigation. Being that they lost one of their own in an unprovoked attack, they'll be pretty anxious for payback.

As soon as the spider flatlines, the remaining MET2000 personnel will respond to the Matrix attack by shutting down their own wireless gear and calling for Matrix backup, which will be a priority because there was a fatality. MET2000 will scramble a Matrix response team in Berlin, who'll access the APC systems remotely within a few minutes and scour the logs for digital fingerprints. If they find any active marks, they'll start a trace. If not, they'll build a profile of the hacker's persona.

Meanwhile, assuming MET2000 has combat assets in the region, they'll send an airborne strike team directly to the location where the hacker's signal was traced. They could have boots on the ground within minutes if the attack happened near a staging area, or hours if they were way out in the middle of the Kalahari. Either way, your runner team will probably be long gone. If there's a trail to follow, they'll follow it. If there are witnesses to interview, they'll collect statements.

In the absence of direct contact, everyone involved contributes to an incident report, which gets handed over to CID (criminal investigation division) for follow-up. This is basically a legwork phase, in which military investigators try to identify the hacker, then connect him to known associates (if any) and determine current whereabouts. If they don't make significant headway within a couple of days, however, the case goes cold and gets shelved, pending further developments (e.g., more attacks, anonymous tips). If they were able to at least ID the hacker's persona by street name / rep, they'll post a bounty, effectively outsourcing any further investigation.

This...is some seriously amazing and detailed information. I have the PDF of 10 Mercs and was planning on rereading the section on MET2000 to refresh for next session, but this is absolutely excellent from a procedural standpoint. A lot of what you mentioned I think I'm going to make happen, being the drone/Matrix/magic investigation and boots on site within minutes. There's going to end up being a few behind-the-GM-screen rolls to determine if they're able to follow the trail of the Runner team or not, but he wasn't able to edit logs or anything before ditching the node after the spider got killed. They have seen his Matrix ID, so even if he changes it they'll likely be able to start putting together some solid info on him.

There's also the fact that there were 2 Awakened individuals in the vehicle with the hacker at the time, a Magician and an Adept. Both have the Masking metamagic, but one did cast the Heal spell on the hacker during the fight. So there may be some residual astral "fingerprints" that will help lead them to the target, or at the very least give them a lead on associates.

Either way, thanks again for the info. The hacker's(and team's, to be honest) life is about to get a LOT more tenuous.
"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything."
-Wyatt Earp

SunRunner

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Re: [4E]MET2000 military/police response to death via Runner
« Reply #4 on: (09:25:45/12-06-17) »
If one of the runners cast a spell, he left a spell signature unless he took the time to scrub it. That can put awakened assets on the trail of the runner mage. If any of METs mages can get an astral signature off an unscrubbed spell aura then they can start trying to trace him astrally either directly or by summoning a spirit with the Search power and having it do the looking for them. Keep in mind that mages are rare so its pretty common that mages are kept in a centralized bunker and they Astrally project to the location where the unit will be calling for magic back up. This means the astral mage can be there in a few rounds depending on how on the ball you want them to be. Mages that astrally QRF like that tend to see if anything is astrally active and engage it and if it its purely a meat magic issue will summon a spirit and have it manifest to engage the meat threat. Keep in mind these guys tend to be specialized for this type of security so they have high probabilities of having 2 or 3 bound spirits on call in addition to the on sight summoned one as well as being prepped with a good astral combat skill rating high prob of a weapon foci as well as appropriate spell selection such and mana combat spells like Mana bolt & Ball as well as Astral Armor and Mana Barrier spells being some of the key spells for this kind of work. Also if the runner mage is not astally active the Astral security mage will just sit around astally chain summoning spirits until he runs out of endurance or the runners finally succumb to spirit combat. Either way it can be a good way to force them into a fire fight with a couple spirits so that meat reaction forces such as drones have time to get on site.

Magnaric

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Re: [4E]MET2000 military/police response to death via Runner
« Reply #5 on: (09:57:05/12-06-17) »
If one of the runners cast a spell, he left a spell signature unless he took the time to scrub it. That can put awakened assets on the trail of the runner mage. If any of METs mages can get an astral signature off an unscrubbed spell aura then they can start trying to trace him astrally either directly or by summoning a spirit with the Search power and having it do the looking for them. Keep in mind that mages are rare so its pretty common that mages are kept in a centralized bunker and they Astrally project to the location where the unit will be calling for magic back up. This means the astral mage can be there in a few rounds depending on how on the ball you want them to be. Mages that astrally QRF like that tend to see if anything is astrally active and engage it and if it its purely a meat magic issue will summon a spirit and have it manifest to engage the meat threat. Keep in mind these guys tend to be specialized for this type of security so they have high probabilities of having 2 or 3 bound spirits on call in addition to the on sight summoned one as well as being prepped with a good astral combat skill rating high prob of a weapon foci as well as appropriate spell selection such and mana combat spells like Mana bolt & Ball as well as Astral Armor and Mana Barrier spells being some of the key spells for this kind of work. Also if the runner mage is not astally active the Astral security mage will just sit around astally chain summoning spirits until he runs out of endurance or the runners finally succumb to spirit combat. Either way it can be a good way to force them into a fire fight with a couple spirits so that meat reaction forces such as drones have time to get on site.

This is an incredibly good writeup for magic follow up, much appreciated. I planned to figure out/make stats/roll dice between now and the next session in regards to this, but this gives me an excellent focus. I'll have to reread some rules on Astray tracking, signatures, and spells/spirits, but that's what the weekend is for.  :)
"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything."
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SunRunner

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Re: [4E]MET2000 military/police response to death via Runner
« Reply #6 on: (14:31:27/12-06-17) »
Astral tracking is in the basic rule book, so is the Search critter power and the rules to use it. Keep in mind with none of the possible modifiers a spell aura lasts for Force Hours, so a force 6 spell aura lasts 6 hours, quite a long time. It also takes a complex action while Astrally perceiving to scrub the signature and reduce its duration by one hour. So six complex actions to completely  scrub a force 6 spell. Also they must be Astrally active and able to perceive auras to take this action. This is important as Mystic Adepts that dont invest in the Astral Perception power CAN NOT scrub their spell auras and leave them behind every time they cast and some one else has to scrub their spells for them. Keep in mind that a spirit could do this for them for a service if they have one sitting around or are smart enough to summon one immediately after the spell is cast and then task them with aura scrubbing. But that causes drain and other issues.

Some other spells that can be fun for Astral support mages are the foci disruption spells as even if the enemy mage is not astally active, if hes got a power focus or a sustaining focus or any other foci for that matter on they can shut them down with that line of spells even from astral space as all foci are dualnatured when they are turned on and active.

Magnaric

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Re: [4E]MET2000 military/police response to death via Runner
« Reply #7 on: (22:51:22/12-06-17) »
Huh. Somehow I was completely unaware of those spells. I'll have to check those out.

And yeah, I figure tracking them on the Astral won't be an issue so much, it's just a matter of doing the proper intel/assessment work, keeping tabs on them while the strike team/ordinance/etc is prepped for a response.
"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything."
-Wyatt Earp