NEWS

Adventure idea: Occult graffitti

  • 10 Replies
  • 2612 Views

AndyNakamura

  • *
  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 214
  • Memetic Warfare Agent
« on: <12-22-13/1534:58> »
Inspired by this: http://io9.com/how-do-you-know-you-have-a-magician-problem-summoning-1488060684

Quote
12-19-12, Los Angeles. New graffiti was found at L.A.'s George Carlin High School today marking a new height in the occult graffiti epidemic that plagues the city. Said L.A. Police Commissioner Crowley, "They say the chalk washes away but that's not the problem here. The issue is that these sigils are made by amateur occultists who don't always know what they're doing. They mean to mark their ethereal turf but several of these alignments are capable of awakening Samael."

Here's the thought: just like in the article, a wiz-kid gang is starting to tag their territory with occult symbols. The idea is that not just the physical territory is tagged, but the glyphs also show up in the Astral. Which obviously causes a disturbance in the Force, and all sorts of unpleasant magical phenomena - from minor spirits being attracted, to ley lines warping, to anything short of Cthulhu waking up. For an extended campaign, have the gang be a cat's-paw for someone else, who fed them the info on symbols aiming to achieve whatever goals they're after.
"If you are expecting a rousing speech, or a cunning plan that will get us out of this, I will have to disappoint you. I don't have any. We either do this, or we die. And the world dies with us."
"I paid quite a lot to get all of you here. I expect you to give me my money's worth. Shogun out."

firebug

  • *
  • Errata Coordinator
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2991
  • Scraping the bottom of the Resonance Barrel
    • Moth's Mad Path
« Reply #1 on: <12-22-13/1854:54> »
I love the idea, and may steal it myself.  Being a stickler for setting-canon though I'd just make sure everything that happened was actually possible.  I dunno anything about leylines in Shadowrun so I couldn't say what could fuck with them, but generally a bunch of wiz-punks going around and say painting gang-signs with astral pigments would be possible.  They only last 12 hours though, so they couldn't just accumulate over days unless you decide these gangers stumbled upon something nobody else has done before (which could have very big implications), which I'd avoid.

But a bunch of gangers marking their territory with astral pigments, not realizing the symbols they're drawing actually are calling out some spirits could be a great plot hook.  An urban conflict with a mass of free spirits, having to deal with (and possibly recruit--  because you need magic to fight spirits the best) the awakened gang responsible...  The only question is "Who's hiring the runners and why?"
I'm Madpath Moth on reddit (and other sites).  Feel free to PM me errata questions!
Jeeze.  It would almost sound stupid until you realize we're talking about an immortal elf clown sword fighting a dragon ghost in a mall.

Agonar

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
    • Relative Dimension
« Reply #2 on: <12-22-13/2220:10> »
The only question is "Who's hiring the runners and why?"[/color]

If it's the Runners' home turf, their safe houses, their friends, family and contacts getting harassed by these emerging spirits..  the Runners might just have to get up and do something without being paid.

I like this idea too, and I may use something inspired by this as well...
GM of the Relative Dimension, Actual Play Podcast
www.relativedimension.com

Lysanderz

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 800
« Reply #3 on: <12-23-13/2042:52> »
And my ENTIRELY AWAKENED playgroup suddenly has a major job. Smexy. Free Spirits and Death.

AndyNakamura

  • *
  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 214
  • Memetic Warfare Agent
« Reply #4 on: <12-24-13/1234:35> »
The only question is "Who's hiring the runners and why?"

A lot of possibilities beyond what Agonar mentioned.

- Orc Underground throw together some money to get someone to look into trouble with spirits in their area, since the authorities wouldn't.
- The authorities (Lone Star, city government), if the problem spreads far enough and they don't have manpower at hand (e.g., a slumming tourist is killed by a spirit).
- A shaman or a mage concerned about the state of Astral in the area.
- A rival gang, suspecting the wiz-kids of getting enough power together to attack them (bonus points if the party manages to defuse the tensions between the gangs - or you can have the hiring gang attack the wiz-punks anyway as a grand finalle free-for-all).
- Corp researchers looking for info on spirit control.

Or, throw them all together, and have the runners maneuver between conflicting forces...
« Last Edit: <12-24-13/1240:01> by AndyNakamura »
"If you are expecting a rousing speech, or a cunning plan that will get us out of this, I will have to disappoint you. I don't have any. We either do this, or we die. And the world dies with us."
"I paid quite a lot to get all of you here. I expect you to give me my money's worth. Shogun out."

AndyNakamura

  • *
  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 214
  • Memetic Warfare Agent
« Reply #5 on: <12-24-13/1241:12> »
And my ENTIRELY AWAKENED playgroup suddenly has a major job. Smexy. Free Spirits and Death.

Let me know how it goes, if you don't mind. I'm curious.

And you all are welcome. There's more where this came from.
"If you are expecting a rousing speech, or a cunning plan that will get us out of this, I will have to disappoint you. I don't have any. We either do this, or we die. And the world dies with us."
"I paid quite a lot to get all of you here. I expect you to give me my money's worth. Shogun out."

Horsemen

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Chummer
  • ***
  • Posts: 228
« Reply #6 on: <12-25-13/1548:41> »
A really ugly twist to this would be to add a Wendigo into the mix as the one behind giving out the arcane sigils.
Agent #191 Catalyst Demo Team

BetaCAV

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 303
  • 2-legged devil rat
« Reply #7 on: <12-26-13/1622:57> »
An even uglier idea (i know it's not a competition, buuuut....)

The Astral Pigment used is tainted with a strain of HMHVV-X, giving rise to seemingly random HMHVV cases with no typical vectors in evidence. (Or, if you want to go "olde scole", insect spirit pheremones. Heck, why not both... just stat up some Mosquito spirits. Be the most despised GM in the 6th World.)

Even once the culprit(s) are discovered and stopped, there's a LOT of dark cleanup work to be done, and some of that may conflict with whatever sense of conscience the runners may have, despite being necessary. (Kill a ghoul today to avoid killing 10 next week? What about an edge case that has been exposed, but isn't showing symptoms(... yet)? What about an edge case that the character has known for a while, and likes?)

AndyNakamura

  • *
  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 214
  • Memetic Warfare Agent
« Reply #8 on: <12-26-13/1728:47> »
@Horsemen:
How would the Wendigo fit in this? Unfortunately, I have no I info on those at hand.

@BetaCAV
IMO, that would be putting too many plotlines into one story. HMHVV would detract from the stated theme of the mod - Astral phenomena. OTOH, your idea might be a good continuation, esp. if the party largely fails - astral activity somehow attracts the bugs, who start spreading the plague. That's when the unknown vector I investigation and moral issues can be thrown at them.
"If you are expecting a rousing speech, or a cunning plan that will get us out of this, I will have to disappoint you. I don't have any. We either do this, or we die. And the world dies with us."
"I paid quite a lot to get all of you here. I expect you to give me my money's worth. Shogun out."

Naptown Wendigo

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 15
« Reply #9 on: <12-27-13/0639:43> »
I love it!

Something like that would probably attract the attention of the Astral Space Preservation Society. Could make for a nice dustup between them and whoever is sponsoring the wiz-gang with the runners in the middle.

Horsemen

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Chummer
  • ***
  • Posts: 228
« Reply #10 on: <12-27-13/2327:57> »
I am not entirely sure what the board allowances are for providing links but doing a search on Shadowrun Wendigo should give you a decent overview.

In essence it is an ork or metavarient of one that has been afflicted by HMHVV.  When they transform they express as shamans.  They drain essence through cannibalistic  practices which often include influencing a group to share in its feast.  This eventually causes transformations in those partaking but until then they appear to share in the power of the various rituals.

 
Agent #191 Catalyst Demo Team