NEWS

Spoilers - Chasing the Wind( Don't read unless you are a GM )

  • 12 Replies
  • 2391 Views

antaskidayo

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
« on: <08-29-15/0146:10> »
Quote
Pushing the Envelope
Ames, the owner of Chicago’s Own Pizzeria, grows her
own vegetables and herbs, but has to make deals for
meat. In particular, she frequently buys live pigs from
the local ghouls. She insists on live pigs and won’t take
raw meat from them, so she has to slaughter the pigs
herself to get the meat for pizzas. The runners could
walk in on any step in this process, whether arriving in
the middle of a transaction with the ghouls or arriving
just in time for a pig slaughter.

How do you guys run this part? Are the ghouls here infected metahumans? or just a bunch of Profesional Rating 1 thugs?

antaskidayo

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
« Reply #1 on: <08-29-15/0153:17> »
errr is this the correct place to post this question or do I need to transfer this elsewhere?

TheWayfinder

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 78
« Reply #2 on: <08-29-15/0312:17> »
Quote
Pushing the Envelope
Ames, the owner of Chicago’s Own Pizzeria, grows her
own vegetables and herbs, but has to make deals for
meat. In particular, she frequently buys live pigs from
the local ghouls. She insists on live pigs and won’t take
raw meat from them, so she has to slaughter the pigs
herself to get the meat for pizzas. The runners could
walk in on any step in this process, whether arriving in
the middle of a transaction with the ghouls or arriving
just in time for a pig slaughter.

How do you guys run this part? Are the ghouls here infected metahumans? or just a bunch of Profesional Rating 1 thugs?

Without knowing more in context as to why the PCs would be involved with this at all, or why Ames is dealing with ghouls for pigs, I'd say that I'd handle this rather straight-forwardly.  It all depends, mainly, on what you want your players to accomplish.  Whether or not you believe there might be some combat, it's good to have a few stats ready for use, just in case. 

In any basic encounter, what I usually plan for my players to accomplish comes down to a simple pattern:  Win, Lose, or Draw.  Determine what a Win looks like to you, and same thing goes for a Lose, and a Draw.  A Draw almost always means that the PCs had to leave, without achieving everything they needed to achieve, even if all they did was postpone the bad guys plans for a little bit. 

So, if you believe that the PCs want to stop the meeting with the ghouls, well, that's easy.  Just expect them to open fire; that would probably disrupt the meeting by itself.  If they mean to offer Ames their own pigs, then it comes down to Negotiation rolls.  If they are going to try to stop Ames from slaughtering the pigs, or participate in the slaughter, then you can figure out your victory conditions. 

How many ghouls or thugs are we talking about?  A good rule of thumb is at least one per PC, that way everyone gets someone to shoot at.  I'd go with more if I think that this encounter should be a little more difficult, or less if it should be easy if combat occurs.  Sometimes, you don't want your PCs to be needlessly killed by a small event in the adventure. 

And, for you, as the GM, you have to determine how important this encounter is going to be.  If you don't want a large combat situation, don't make one.  Combat, in pretty much any RPG, can take a long time even if you all know the rules very well, and if you're not prepared, a combat scenario can take easily a half-hour or longer to administer.  Small events, like this one seems to be, shouldn't take longer than 10-15 minutes to resolve, because I'd prepare ahead of time what the enemy is going to be, and what they're going to do when the action starts.  Remember, even ghouls want to live, however horrible that life may be for them is, and when gunfire starts up, a lot of them might probably run unless they've got a good reason not to. 
« Last Edit: <08-29-15/0317:23> by TheWayfinder »

antaskidayo

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
« Reply #3 on: <08-29-15/0328:49> »
thanks for the guidance, it was very helpful =)

TheWayfinder

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 78
« Reply #4 on: <08-29-15/1842:43> »
thanks for the guidance, it was very helpful =)

You're welcome!  I"m glad I can be of help! 

I'd like to point out something that a lot of GMs make a mistake in, and I alluded to it in my previous post.  That is that they have a tendency to make the opposition to the PCs fanatical, that they fight to the death almost all the time.  We've all done it, and I'm as guilty as anyone for that, maybe more than others in my youth when I felt particularly vindictive against my players.  But it's not realistic. 

Sure, there may, of course, be adversaries that are going to fight to the death, but that's only a very small number, probably less-than one percent of the enemies any PC in any game may face (even in the Warhammer 40K RPGs).  When I run my Shadowrun game, most of the enemies my PCs face like to live, and don't want to be hurt.  Getting shot, stabbed, or zapped with magic hurts, and a lot of enemies may not even have DocWagon to help them out.  Even some of the more fanatical elements don't want to get hurt, because that means they'll have to heal up before they can be of any use to their cause. 

So, when the shooting starts, consider the options the opposition has.  If it's better to run away, let them.  And when they do, try to put as many obstacles and distance between them and the PCs as possible, because the goal is to get away from the murderous PCs as fast as they can, if they choose to run. 

If they have to fight, consider at what point will they decide to quit and run.  Usually, I assign someone as a "leader," even if he's not.  A group always has someone to key off of, and if that person decides to leave, or is hurt or killed, the others will usually run (though all, or some of them, may like the guy enough to help him).  They may even surrender, and beg the mercy of the PCs, however little, in my experience, there is. 

I'm something of an armchair criminologist, in that I read a lot about crime (being a mystery fanatic) and I apply this to my games, and if there's anything I understand about the criminal element, it's that they're quite narcissistic.  I don't mean that they have a huge ego, necessarily, but that they think mainly in terms of themselves, first and foremost.  In Shadowrun, most of the enemies will likely be of the criminal element, be they street punks, gangers, and organized crime soldiers, and most of these aren't fanatical enough to fight to the death.  They are quite cowardly, craven, and aren't the kinds of guys who will give anyone a chance to shoot back at them if they can help it.  Of course, I'm not talking about the elites, like standard Shadowrunners or Mercenaries, or folks with belief in certain agendas.  I'm talking about the kind of criminals that appear in any garden variety blotter report in any given city:  Thieves, muggers, vandals, drug-users and dealers, prostitutes and johns, gangers, and wannabes, like criminals who are trying to become Made Men in a syndicate, where they can relax and get some protection and feel like they're big shots.  These kinds of enemies will always run in the face of a determined threat, like the PCs, in part because they can't afford to be hurt.  Getting hurt costs money they don't have, and if they're injured enough that they can't get cash their in their usual ways, they will suffer for it. 

Professional adversaries may fight back, but again there is a point where they will run away if the opposition is too tough for them, or seemingly so.  More professional adversaries will gladly retreat in order to gauge their opposition so they can know best how to address them.  Retreat, however, is not running; it's relocating to a safer, more defensible area, to regroup and determine what to do next. 

A general rule of thumb for me is that in any engagement, with particular exceptions, when a group suffers 25% losses, they will run or retreat.  If they take more than 50% losses in the first couple of rounds, they may even surrender. 

So do that for your bad guys, and watch how your PCs react.  They might find it challenging to pursue, so be ready for that. 

« Last Edit: <08-29-15/1850:07> by TheWayfinder »

antaskidayo

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
« Reply #5 on: <08-29-15/1925:47> »
Quote
I'm something of an armchair criminologist, in that I read a lot about crime (being a mystery fanatic) and I apply this to my games, and if there's anything I understand about the criminal element, it's that they're quite narcissistic.

Awesome, Shadowrun is definitely for you. Most of my tabletop orientation came from D&D and Pathfinder, so I got alot of stuff to adjust from medieval era gameplay. I just saved your post on a notepad, and will definitely get them printed out later - these are really awesome tips, thanks mate =)

Beta

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1836
  • SR1 player, SR5 GM@FtF & player@PbP
« Reply #6 on: <08-29-15/2241:05> »
Off the original topic, but re: "when does the opposition give up?" Read also the grunts section of the core rule book(starts at page 378) which covers professionalism levels and provides sample npc characteristic for each level.  It is actually a pretty useful section, IMO.

To the original question, I've also not read that mission, but that bit sure sounds like one of those "add some local color and oddness to the adventure" bits.   They matter in terms of making an adventure memorable, but may not really have a noticeable plot impact-- but without having read the mission, I don't really know.
Tipperman  --
speechthoughtmatrix

TheWayfinder

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 78
« Reply #7 on: <08-29-15/2242:24> »
Quote
I'm something of an armchair criminologist, in that I read a lot about crime (being a mystery fanatic) and I apply this to my games, and if there's anything I understand about the criminal element, it's that they're quite narcissistic.

Awesome, Shadowrun is definitely for you. Most of my tabletop orientation came from D&D and Pathfinder, so I got alot of stuff to adjust from medieval era gameplay. I just saved your post on a notepad, and will definitely get them printed out later - these are really awesome tips, thanks mate =)

I play D&D/Pathfinder as well.  That game, yes, you're more bound to have fanatical enemies in the form of monsters, particularly in dungeons and lairs.  Monsters have different psychologies, and also fantasy games are approached differently than a game like Shadowrun, which I see as primarily cyberpunk/crime, with magic thrown in.  Sure,lots of us tend to approach it like D&D, but that's a mistake because what offers that little something special, that cyberpunk feel, isn't the technology or the razzle-dazzle, but the people who live in it.  How they live and adapt to the tech, the crime, the corruption, even the monsters of the world, can make a game cyberpunk or horror or sci-fi, or whatever. 

I'm a little funny when it comes to Shadowrun; I don't look at it as a dystopia.  Sure, it has features of it, but, so do lots of fantasy settings; I think the most dystopian setting I've ever seen, short of Warhammer 40K, has to be Ravenloft, by far.  But Shadowrun, despite all the bad and awful things, isn't in the realm of 1984 yet.  From the novels I read back in 1st and 2nd Edition, life for normal people is pretty much the same as it is today, but with dragons and magic and stuff.  The average person in the Western Countries, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan probably lives a life very relatable to what we live today.  I blast it out a bit, make it more stressful and intense for them, but they're not much different. 

But, having said all that, to me, the principle focus of Shadowrun isn't the shadowruns, it's crime.  The players are playing criminals (unless you want them playing in a Law Enforcement thing or a Corporate thing). 

In the new TV series Better Call Saul, the spinoff of Breaking Bad, one of the coolest characters in there is Mike Ehrmantrout, and he tells this geek who's just made a deal selling pharmaceuticals he stole from his company to a bunch of gangers that he's a criminal now.  The guy says that he's not a bad guy, but Mike says,

"I didn't say you were a bad guy, I said you're a criminal.' The guy asks what's the difference?

"I've known good criminals and bad cops, bad priests, honorable thieves-you can be on one side of the law or the other, but if you make a deal with somebody, you keep your word. You can go home today with your money and never do this again, but you took something that wasn't yours and you sold it for a profit. You're now a criminal; good one, bad one-that's up to you."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYaXYPi2N4E

That, to me, encapsulates what Shadowrun really is all about.  Sure, the game also primarily focuses on capers, but I tend to think it's a little overblown.  I've ran whole campaigns where the biggest caper my players did was busting into a Triad base and killing everyone there to rescue a girl before she was sold off to China as a sex slave.  We like our games more down-to-earth, where it feels less like Mission:Impossible and more like Breaking Bad, Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The French Connection, Carlito's Way, Heat, etc.  They are seedy, gritty; my PCs deal with monsters from time to time and drug-dealers, gun-runners, prostitutes, gangs, organized crime, with not a lot of infiltrating of heavily defended corporate strongholds for some strange program, weapon, gear, formula, whatever.  I do, on occasion, get into Magical crime, particularly with regard to Insect Shamans and the like, but I never let it interfere with the gritty crime drama or the cyberpunk aspect. 

That's how I run my games. 

Because of that, I'd say that most of the street punks and criminals that my players run into are no match for a typical shadowrunner, especially one that's cybered or magical.  In part, that keeps things in perspective, so that when they do run into talent of their caliber, it's taken with the seriousness of a heart attack.  Those Triad guys my players whacked were serious talent, some even better than they are, and they went in guns blazing. 
« Last Edit: <08-29-15/2249:30> by TheWayfinder »

antaskidayo

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
« Reply #8 on: <08-30-15/0642:57> »
Quote
"I didn't say you were a bad guy, I said you're a criminal.' The guy asks what's the difference?

"I've known good criminals and bad cops, bad priests, honorable thieves-you can be on one side of the law or the other, but if you make a deal with somebody, you keep your word. You can go home today with your money and never do this again, but you took something that wasn't yours and you sold it for a profit. You're now a criminal; good one, bad one-that's up to you."

Wow thats a damn good line there, I think I might need to watch that series for inspiration, thanks mate, yer awesome =)

Jayde Moon

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Ace Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2464
  • Shadowrun Missions Developer
« Reply #9 on: <09-05-15/1408:37> »
Another thing to consider:

Ames and Chicagos' Own Pizzeria are a long-standing and respected establishment.  That they deal with the Ghouls from Long Pig Farms is also generally well-known and tolerated.  The Pushing the Envelope bit here is mostly to see how the players react.  They should be able to mop up the floor with the ghouls.  But how does this effect their meeting with Ms. Johnson, who probably doesn't want a set of super trigger happy thugs for her run?  Maybe she offers them less money (you are well within your means as a GM to do this even in a Missions game).  Maybe she doesn't offer them that part of the run at all, and as the characters are sullenly leaving the establishment they get the next call from their fixer for the other parts of the run.  Further, word gets out of the attack and maybe they earn a point of Notoriety for it.

It's also a chance to see how your players might feel about Ghouls.  Remember that Ghouls are not necessarily evil or bad guys (though many of them are).  The Ghouls at Long Pig Farms are definitely trying to make their way in the world without resorting to murder and even cannibalism at all.  They have actually tried to GMO the pigs to provide them with the satisfaction of eating human flesh (something they don't HAVE to do to survive, but like to do as an addiction to the taste).  So some folks understand this and applaud it.  Players in this camp might shrug their shoulders at the whole thing and see it as just biz.  But some people might have fear of HMHVV, or perhaps they have a family member who was murdered by feral ghouls, and now they have it out for ALL ghouls.

Anyway, I've never actually added this part to the run, because I'm usually constrained by 4 hour time slots :P  I would be interested, if this hasn't happened already, to read how it turns out.
That's just like... your opinion, man.

antaskidayo

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
« Reply #10 on: <09-06-15/2239:41> »
what book can i find references for areas on chicago? and other stuff not covered on missions?

Jayde Moon

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Ace Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2464
  • Shadowrun Missions Developer
« Reply #11 on: <09-07-15/0128:42> »
Feral Cities from 4th Edition is the most recent book with information on Chicago and where a lot of Missions Season 5 takes as it's source.  Long Pig Farms is mentioned several times, with a small write up on page 48.

Also, the book "Crimson", by Kevin Czarnecki, features Long Pig Farms and some good insight into Ghoul Culture in Chicago.  I highly recommend it as a short and fun read!
That's just like... your opinion, man.

antaskidayo

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
« Reply #12 on: <09-07-15/0215:42> »
awesome dude thanks =)