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Origins Mission Review, Five Minutes to Midnight.

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jamesfirecat

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« on: <06-07-12/2234:54> »
Five Minutes to Midnight

Here’s my review of the next mission I did at Origins, some of everyone’s (or at least my) favorite Shadowrunning Team is going back to London.  Will they have more fun this time around and more importantly will they make more money?

[Spoiler]
Mission Quote: (Sound of gunfire)  “This must be that balmly British weather everyone talks about Longshot….  GO THE F*** TO SLEEP!”  (More gunfire)  “I agree Bishop, it is drizzling just a bit…  EAT S&S LIMEYS!”

Meta Quote: So for once, the NPCS did all the hard work, loosing blood sweat and tears just for us to drive up out of nowhere, open fire on them and snatch up their Maguffin…. BWAHAHAHA NOW THEY KNOW HOW IT FEELS!


Plot: Five Minutes to Midnight starts with our runners getting shipped to London with all the gear they could possibly want (which is almost sort of a shame after I took the time to buy a reasonably good restricted gun with a fake license for it after the last run which cost me 2/3rds of the money I earned on that run) so my precautions/fears that gunplay in London will be no fun at all prove unfounded/unnecessary.  Instead, thanks to those diplomatic bags just about anything short of a Panther Assault Cannon will sail through without question.

We arrive in London, just in time to find out that the run we were originally hired for has been canceled.  Muttering in irritation we head over to the nearest bar, preparing to drown our sorrows in their overly warm beer, when luckily one of the tavern’s occupants recognizes us.  It’s Art from our last run and he just so happens to have a new job for us.

It seems that there is a certain doctor in a local British museum who is looking for new employment, and Art just so happens to represent some people who have an interest in his skills.  The thing is, that the Doctor has been a bit indiscreet about his job hunting and there are other parties who might be trying to locate him also.

 For this run it is just me and Bishop along with a bunch of other runners who I am either only vaguely or not at all familiar with.  Luckily we have at least one Technomancer with us so they do some research on the doctor and his location.   

It turns out that he has posted on the equivalent of “Monster.Com” and that among the groups interested in hiring him, one is government backed firm and another which is a shell corp for Neo-Net.  Suffice to say, our team is going to have company on this run, so we get into our van and start heading for the target.

Along the way we learn a lot of unpleasant stuff, like how the place has spirits designed to splat us, and wards, and mages, and well just about every damn thing short of tanks and Thor Shot.  Then we find out something else unpleasant, even as we drive we are being beaten to punch by another team.

Except that these two unfun things end up becoming one very fun thing.  We do a little research and manage to pin point the van that they have their rigger passed out inside of.  We sneak up on him, had our rigger hack their tack net and watch their progress laying in wait.

Just as they were getting within two blocks of their rigger and thus their escape vehicle we decided to teach them the important lesson of why you post always leave one street sam/mage/spirit behind just to watch over your tech guy when he needs to do his matrix thing.
In this case, the lesson takes the form of one of our combat mages stunbolting their tech guy, promptly followed up by me letting loose with a burst from my Ares HVAR since they were too far away for me to use my Ingram.  Said HVAR happens to only have one kind of rounds for it… E-Ex. 

I would feel worse about this (as I try not to murder other shadowrunners if I can avoid it) if I was not aiming at their mage who needs to be not just unconscious but actively dead in order to deal with his spirits.  One of our other runners also takes out their troll who is armed with a panther assault cannon at which point the other team throws down their guns.

 We lazily drive over in our van, dumped their tech guy out of their van, and drove off with their hostage in their van, with us at the wheel. 

Their tears tasted delicious. 

At this point, Bishop, and I decided that the time had come to take proactive measures to make sure that the delivery site is secure.  So us, the technomancer, and one of the other runners who was more of a face than anything else went for a ride  ("Hooligans, this is Striker, we're gonna go visit the goal posts and make sure the opposing team hasn't come out to play and nobody tries to steal the ball from you...") .  While we were getting there however it turned out that another member of our team (the team still with the Doctor and hanging around ten min behind my and Bishop's vehicle) took some kind of thingy off of the target that the other team had given him.  They threw it out the window and it exploded at which point they suddenly found themselves getting attacked by another small group.

 They got tied up in that fight and by the time they were just starting to emerge from it (or ten seconds or so later given how brutal shadowrun combat is and how little time each pass let alone each round represents) a force launches an attack on the location of the meet where the Johnson is waiting for us. 

Sadly the two other runners who are accompanying me and Bishop aren’t worth much in combat, but luckily the two of us are members of the Brotherhood of Changelings and are all too ready to step up the plate and throw down with an entire SAS strike force. 

Half a dozen or so of them rappel down to the roof from a helicopter while another four try to bash their way in through the front door with a quartet of drones for fire support.  Someone tries to banish Bishop’s spirit but it shrugs it off and throws a stunball at the group on the roof but they shrug that off in turn. 

Bishop throws a bigger stunball and they all go down like bowling pins.  Meanwhile I lean out the window of our van and start shooting my Ares HVAR at the SAS forces on the ground, thus showing off the power of American made firearms, and taking two of them out of the fight.
Our other mage was able to send over an air spirit to help us.  That spirit engulfs our Johnson so as to keep him safe and starts to get the hell out of there.  One drone chases after him, and blasts away at the spirit (missing thankfully) while another tries to directly attack the other team.  The third starts to book it right on out of there since its side is losing pretty badly and the last one starts shooting at me and Bishop. 

First it fires on Bishop and discovers that he finds 12 P worth of machine gun fire delicious and soaks all of it.  Then it changes targets and opens fire on me, and discovers that I have nine dice of passive dodge and avoid its attack. 

After that I blow away the drone attacking us, and continue to fire on the SAS guys on the ground.  One of them gets hit and goes down, while the other does everything he can to dodge and still gets hit pretty hard.  Bishop uses his magic to cause the drone chasing our air spirit to get caught in a dust devil and explode. 

The drone chasing after the other team gets hacked and told to stand down, while Bishop’s spirit flies up to the copter and convinces the pilot to land.  We take control of the copter and use it as a decoy while our Johnson lets us know of a secondary location for the meet and we manage to escort him there where we turn over the doctor, get paid and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

Pros/Things I liked: The run has a number of good fire fight situations, be it ambushing the other runners, defending the running convoy from attackers or trying to defend a building from an SAS strike team.  The fights were powerful enough to make us feel threatened but at the same time not so dangerous to gank us before we properly knew what was going on, even though we had split the party. 

Granted we had around 8 people when we ran this adventure so the “split” was the equivalent of breaking up one overly large shadowrun group into two reasonably sized groups.  I really enjoyed this mission as it got my blood pumping more or less from the word “go” once the first round of combat began.  As a Street Samurai, I was glad that there was a lot of firefights, and even better each fight had its own individual feeling to it, even if I only get to take part in two of the three of them.

Cons/Things I didn't like: We wasted a bit too much time with various bits of tom foolery in regards to the museum that were totally pointless since we did not need to actively break into the place.  Weather it was dealing with a doppelganger that they sent back to try and replace Bishop’s spirit, breaking through their cyber security or trying to contemplate our own break in plans, all of that could have been avoided and in the process giving us more time for further skullduggery/betrayal/combat

My suggestion is for Art Johnson to simply tell us this…  “I need you to do this job fast, I’ve heard rumors that another team is already getting into position forget about trying to break into the museum, just make sure to get your hands on the doctor before they can finish extracting him themselves.”   He might even suggest that they’ll be breaking into the museum around the time that he finishes up his next five minute long beer. When running a mission in a con letting a run go long is going to be problematic so anything that helps make them more lean and mean is probably a good thing.
[/Spoiler]

I hope you guys find this review enlightening and useful!