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Advice for a new GM

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RHat

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« Reply #15 on: <04-19-13/2049:45> »
I myself am new to the GMing of this game and our little group of 4 runners is about to start our first session Friday night. One of the previous posts mentioned dont use "on the run" from the runners toolkit. I picked it up the other day and flipping through it (on the run) seemed alright to use as a starting point. Our guys have NO role play experience at all and I have been trying to give them the gist of the setting which they have taken to enthusiastically.

So just wanted some pointers as to why on the run would be a mistake to start the guys off on their RPG path.

On the Run is a piss-poor example of a good run in that in order for the players to actually get into around 75% of the 'adventure', their characters would have to be completely unprofessional and question (and dig into) the motives surrounding the Johnson's hiring them. Really, if a team did this, they would probably never get work that paid more than 10 nuyen again.

Seeing as the general alternative is getting killed when a job turns out to be something more than was let on...  When a Johnson hires runners he has to be expecting to be checked into.  It's due diligence, not unprofessionalism.
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Mirikon

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« Reply #16 on: <04-19-13/2056:55> »
There's a fine line between the two. After a certain point of digging, it definitely strays into unprofessional, unless you've been badly burned before. Checking to see that the Johnson is who he says he is? Part of the gig. Double-checking the intel given at the meet? Expected. You get the package from the guy who was going to be selling it, and then start asking questions about what the package is and why a music mogul wants it? Now you're straying into unprofessional.
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RHat

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« Reply #17 on: <04-19-13/2246:28> »
There's a fine line between the two. After a certain point of digging, it definitely strays into unprofessional, unless you've been badly burned before. Checking to see that the Johnson is who he says he is? Part of the gig. Double-checking the intel given at the meet? Expected. You get the package from the guy who was going to be selling it, and then start asking questions about what the package is and why a music mogul wants it? Now you're straying into unprofessional.

Except that in order to properly secure and transport it, you need to have some idea of who might be coming after it.  Which means you do, in fact, need to have some idea of what you're dealing with.
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Mirikon

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« Reply #18 on: <04-19-13/2320:10> »
Getting it to the drop and getting paid before anyone knows you have the package is still the best means of securing the package en route.
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All4BigGuns

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« Reply #19 on: <04-19-13/2325:04> »
You're being paid to acquire and deliver it, not to question why the employer wants it. The why is none of your concern, and in the case of a closed/sealed container, what it is is none of your concern.
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RHat

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« Reply #20 on: <04-19-13/2339:10> »
Getting it to the drop and getting paid before anyone knows you have the package is still the best means of securing the package en route.

One would hope.  But it's not always the case - if they know about the exchange in advance, for example, and your defence relies upon people not knowing...

And, frankly, if it was just a matter of rapid delivery, you wouldn't really need runners in the first place.
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #21 on: <04-20-13/0633:02> »
The only reason I ever saw in On The Run to dig into the package is that you're told the guy stole it and he makes rather clear he is the actual owner. If the Johnson doesn't feed me full intel, fine. It's my job to dig and I don't need to know everything about the employer anyway. But don't lie to me. You lie to me, I have to double-check everything. Tell me you want the thing stolen, fine. Tell me I'm retrieving stolen goods when it's not stolen goods, that's pissing me off.
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Red Canti

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« Reply #22 on: <04-20-13/2049:09> »
There is absolutely nothing that drives players away from a game like a GM who gleefully reminds their players how pathetic and ineffectual they are compared to any given nameless NPC thug.

Except a GM that doesn't even take the time to remember the character's name.
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Doom Unicorn

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« Reply #23 on: <05-14-13/1631:25> »
I'm about to GM On the Run this weekend as our first run, and my plan is to have Mr. J tell the players his employer got wind of a significant data haul, but he doesn't know anything about it except that its valuable to some people he considers his competitors. Mr. J needs them to get the haul, verify what's on it, find out as much as they can about what makes it valuable, and make sure no one else gets it.

His only lead is that he knows someone out there is trying to sell this haul, but he hasn't been asked to make an offer directly, so he needs the runners to start by putting their ear to the street. From there, everything proceeds as written.

From what I've read, I don't think this changes anything about any NPC's motivations or actions. Sure, if the shadowy employer knew what was on the disk, he'd know the runners could get more money elsewhere and never encourage them to find out what's on it, but I don't see any reason the shadowy employer needs to know what's on the disk. After all, if he got the offer email or knew what it was, why didn't he tell the runners who sent it instead of wasting their time tracking it down through Nabo? Or tell them about any of the various leads?

OR, maybe the shadowy employer is JB himself, and the whole thing is an elaborate test to see what the runners are made of for his future machinations, so there's no explanation necessary for why he does the convoluted things he's doing except that he wants to watch the runners work.

Disclaimer: I'm new to GMing Shadowrun to maybe I'm talking out of my rear end :)
« Last Edit: <05-14-13/1633:38> by Doom Unicorn »

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #24 on: <05-14-13/1643:34> »
You do hit one snag there. With that adjustment, you pretty much guarantee that nearly no runner would reach the parts of the mission where the runners dig into the info and are contacted by other motivated parties. Which can be a good thing, really, though it wastes the intrigue.
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Doom Unicorn

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« Reply #25 on: <05-14-13/1658:25> »
I'm obviously not sure how my players will handle it, but I assume someone will still be alive that knows about the disk's existence by the time they get it -- meaning someone who REALLY knows what it is. That person will have talked to someone else about it (the people in the hacker bar talking on shadowy forums, or Loomis whining out loud about it to the gangers who pass along the info to someone more connected, or Ari blowing up out loud at people while in his offices), and suddenly all the same people who were looking for it before are looking for the runners. That doesn't mean they'll find them right away, and in the meantime, the runners will want to figure out what's on the disk as per Mr. J's instructions -- first to play it at the hacker bar, then to find the original studio in hopes of getting the engineer who made it to decrypt it, then her turning out to only know enough to send them into looking into The Shadows, and ultimately them visiting the haunted house and (hopefully) learning enough there to feel like they can tell Mr. Johnson. I think I'm confident they'll end up doing everything up to visiting the haunted house, and I'm not too upset if they skip that since its a little more complicated a scenario than I'm comfortable with just yet. I'm OK "railroading" the offer from Risa and her crew -- either JB heard about it from one of the above events, or he's the one who hired them in the first place and is making the offer to test them -- but if the runners decide to stay honest, then I'll just save that battle scene to toss into another adventure (Risa will be mad they ignored her, and Ari is a vindictive SOB).

What do you think?

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #26 on: <05-14-13/1704:41> »
Hm... Given how the disk is already on the market at the time, clearly JB has been looking into it already and has someone monitoring the matrix to see if any chatter pops up. If the runners are told by the Johnson to figure out what's with the disk so he knows what kind of buyers to set up, then they will leave a trail that JB's hacker can pick up on yes.
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