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My Review of Back in Business *****Spoiler Alert****


My review of SRM04-00 Back in Business  :-\

My first impression on opening my PDF was of the excellent artwork-Maria Mercurial is still hot as ever (she must have elven blood  ;) ).  As I began reading through the first few pages, it struck me that this was not the same kind of mission I had grown to known.  The one page fiction foreshadowed my thoughts as I read on, eagerly anticipating each word.

I groaned a little as I read the synopsis, as I thought “Great, yet another artifact hunt  ::) .”  A veteran of the Dawn of the Artifact series, I was a little concerned about rehashing that same plot line with my players.  As I continued to read, however, I felt a sense of excitement growing.  Finally after many years, a little more detail about the mysterious Ork Underground!

With the opening of scene one, my roller coaster ride of emotions spiked again as I saw that the characters were going to get to see Mercurial live.  Knowing my characters, they’d do the run for an autographed t shirt and maybe a chance to meet her!  The lack of table ratings had concerned me, but when I saw how Pushing the Envelope gives the game master options to step up the challenge, I was impressed enough not to worry any more.  Max Duggan, depending on what the characters do, won’t be much of a problem physically, but dealing with the after effects might prove interesting.

Scene Two gave me goose bumps and made me wish I was playing.  The chance to save Mercurial from 4 deadly toxic spirits?  :o Too cool! It made me think of the Liam Neeson movie, Taken, which I loved.  I have a image in my mind of one of my Street Samurai players extending his had to Mercurial and quoting the Terminator movies  “Come with me if you want to live.”  MacCallister is a well thought out, nostalgic character that really impresses me, I hope to see more of him in the future! (I noticed his commlink icon was the same as Bull's forum icon!)

Moving on to the next scene with Laurent Nazaire, I had a flash back to Raiders of the Lost Ark when the Nazi says to Marrion ,“ Surely he told you there would be other interested parties?”  Groan again, I was immediately worried about how my player will react, sometimes they lack patience.  The Chulos is a good addition, although the text says they are mounted on bikes and are armed with Uzi III’s, but the stat line doesn’t include this.  I plan to pump up the encounter with them being on Jazz and having Ex-Ex rounds in there Uzi’s (my Street Samurai’s will have regular bullets bouncing off them, doing only stun damage.  Ex-Ex rounds allow me to degrade their armor, even with no actually penetration)

On to Legwork and roleplaying at the hotel, which my players have shown a real knack for lately, and then here comes the Ork Underground (sort of)!  Scene 5 and 6 are Shadowrun masterpiece’s of action, roleplaying, threats and a chance to have the ADA owe you!  Although I plan to have the Reality Hackers on Jazz, as I did the Chulos, it still promises to be a fight worthy the runners.
The defacto leader of my runners is a former KE man, so my plan is that he and Tosh know each other (the player has a knight errant contact with a loyalty of 4 who hasn’t been fleshed out yet).

On to the Underground!  I will have to work the ghost gator in SOMEHOW, even if my players treat Pip well. Personally, I see Pip as a great opportunity and possible contact for the runners.

The final scene is a little anti-climatic for me.  It reads a little too much like someone was watching Pirates of the Caribbean when they wrote it (Captain Jack Turner, REALLY?  ::) ).  This is the place I would have placed Jack’s Gator Shaman friend or maybe Jack’s Pet ghost gator that makes a ticking sound like a clock.  I just don’t see this scene as a challenge to any group of runners that have gotten this far.  Pushing the envelope doesn't do anything to make it better.  I will have to work on some ideas before I run it for my group.
Overall, a good mission, well written and thought out although the ending could have been better.  The payout for returning the ARTIFACT seems quite low, not sure the players won’t just hang on to it and try to sell it themselves-I know I would.  I would make a few minor changes here and there, but all game masters will do so when running a pre-made mission-you adjust it to your style, your players and your story.

My hats off to the SRM staff, by far one of the best missions I have seen in a while.  I look forward to seeing the next mission.  I'll update this after I run it next week.

Thanks for the review Thalandar!

Since I wrote this one, all I can say is that in my defense...  I'm a cheesy SOB.  I love me some nostalgia and classic Shadowrun, and I love throwing in silly little in-jokes and fun asides.  :)

Anyway, please, if you're on Facebook, post a link to this review over on the SR Facebook Page:  We're running a contest over there, 6 random reviewers will get a chance to have characters show up in a future Mission.

No defense needed Bull!  I love the cheese!  I already posted the link on facebook (I am Matthew Overstreet there, you can't missme, i am the guy in the camoflage!


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