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Needing advice on a good starting campaign.

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Evilshima

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« on: <06-19-13/1106:55> »
I am wanting to try my hand at GM'ing and have a group of friends that have not played Shadowrun before except for one player and he played a while back. I'm looking for some premade campaigns to get a start on this with. If we all have fun and I feel like I'm getting more comfy doing this I will try my hand at a self made campaign but I want to try something less challenging first. I have been looking around for some good premade campaign's but I have been having problems finding some. Any advice on where to look or what to try would be fantastic!

GiraffeShaman

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« Reply #1 on: <06-19-13/1149:35> »
Have them do some milk runs to get used to the system. Some maglocked doors on an office building or warehouse and voila, you have a milk run. Have them fight a good amount of gangers too.

Get used to combat first, then the basic skills system, then the magic system. After that try out the decking and vehicle combat systems if you are feeling adventurous. If you are planning to convert over to 5th edition when it comes out in a month or two, I'd advise not spending too much time learning these advanced systems, since they get a big overhaul this edition.

Check out this thread. I put a milk run in there called "A Boat Load of Taxes."

http://forums.shadowrun4.com/index.php?topic=11240.0

GiraffeShaman

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« Reply #2 on: <06-19-13/1212:50> »
I'm copying some text below from some of my earlier posts with some stuff that might be useful. Saving myself some typing. :)

There's 2 essential parts to a typical shadowrun: Meeting the Johnson and penetrating a security system. There's a 3rd part that is optional, but fairly important, the legwork section.

Meeting the Johnson usually is done at a bar or night club of some sort, often in the back room, but this is not a set rule. There is sometimes a meeting with a Fixer first, but often this is done by phone/text. The runners get the vague outlines of the run, decide if it's something they want to do, and if so then negotiate a price. At this point the runners are given more details on the job and can ask questions. The Johnson sometimes provides help with the run or sometimes will provide it if asked. (Fake key cards for example to get in the target site) This is a great time for a GM to help out beginner players with ideas on how to infiltrate the site.

Instead of a dungeon full of monsters, shadowrunners penetrate security systems. This is usually to get into some building or group of buildings. The basics you need to have is a layout or at least a general idea of a layout, guard stats and patrol habits, command centers and other large groupings of guards, physical security (ie drones, cameras, motion sensors, fences, and more), magic security (if any), and matrix security (If any, usually at least a small amount) You also want response times both for the police and any additional security the site has contracted. (Could be their own forces somewhere nearby or some other contracted company) The generic shadowrun is the runners breaking into a building to get a hacker to an offline system to steal paydata. But sometimes the target is something physical. And kidnapping valuable employees for a "career change" is another common shadowrun.

The third optional part of a shadowrun is the legwork section. Not strictly necessary, but it makes richer stories and it lets certain character types like Faces get a moment in the spotlight. This is mostly meeting with contacts to get information about the run. It may involve solving a mystery or it may involve things like learning the physical layout of a target. Sometimes an entire shadowrun can be mostly legwork. For example, you are hired to find some rich corper's runaway son or daughter. (The legwork section of the run usually is set before the security system penetration)

(From yet a different post...)
 
You should have stats for every NPC they might fight on site. In addition you want stats for any possible responding forces or police. You also want social stats for any guards, receptionists, or other npcs they might have oppose on the social level, such as conning their way past the npc to avoid a high security chokepoint. In addition, it's a good idea to have some stats for really typical npcs in the world on hand, just in case. Typical ones include police officer (Lonestar or Knight Errant), typical security guard, typical ganger, and typical lieutenants for all these types. You probaly also want some elite forces ready, especially for the police. You probaly want some drone stats too, especially recon drones as they are often first responders for many security services.

Best bet is to try out a few test runs using only the book archtype characters. Keep it simple and introduce combat and social skill basics first. Then introduce magic and breaking and entering skills. Save more complicated parts of the game, such as the Matrix and vehicle combat for later. Once you have magic and combat and skills down, then have them make real characters and start the real campaign.

Your best bet is to go easy at first and focus on story telling. You can also use tension encounters to liven things up without killing everyone. For example, the cops pull them over. No combat happens unless the players are dumb enough to set it off, but it livens things up a bit. It's quite easy to become a killer GM in Shadowrun, so go easy, at least at first. Remember many of the lower level corps use non lethal measures with their security guards. (As opposed to the sadistic and wealthy MCT goons who love killer drones and deadly nerve gases)

There isn't really a set limit on how vast a campaign goes. But this is a dystopia and generally the runners don't take over the world. It's a huge victory if they survive 5 years in the shadows and retire. Many many runners die in the first year. It's usually good to break things into seasons like a TV show, with a big story arc to go along with it. And campaigns sometimes end suddenly, so this way if that happens you at least got to tell a few story arcs.

I suggest always having small shadowruns on hand to run. These can be extremely basic. The point is you can use them to speed up a session that is running slow and also they make sure you are never empty handed. Also some books that I've found extremely useful for creating stories are the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th edition Seattle guides. Each of the edition has different things in it that I found of great use. 1st edition sprawl sites is also excellent for run ideas. The Genesis shadowrun video game can give you some ideas for basic runs if you can find a copy or emulator. I'm sure the new Shadowrun Returns game will have some great run ideas as well.

« Last Edit: <06-19-13/1215:56> by GiraffeShaman »

Walks Through Walls

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« Reply #3 on: <06-20-13/2024:03> »
If you are looking for good premade adventures the Missions adventures do a good job of having everything you need (as much as any adventure can plan for anything the players do) already done for you in an easy to use format. Season four is relatively inexpensive via Drivethru rpg.

Other than that there aren't a lot of premade adventures currently. More of the focus has been on fluff, setting, and plot books then complete adventures.
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Mirikon

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« Reply #4 on: <06-20-13/2106:35> »
I'd suggest running some of the Missions. They're cheap and easy to get hold of, and they have step by step guides to help DMs prep, and to help them try and scoop things out when players go off the rails, as well as suggestions on how to tailor encounters for the group. The Horizon adventures are another possible route to take. I wouldn't start out with the Artifacts campaign, as that tends towards the high level.

Do not, under any circumstances, throw a new group into On the Run. The module isn't really all that high level, as far as the encounters go, but unless your group is paranoid enough to dig deep in trying to uncover a whole lot of stuff that is above their pay grade, you're not going to touch half the module. If they are the professional "I do the job, I get paid, I go home" type, then you may never even hear the name JetBlack.
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Evilshima

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« Reply #5 on: <06-21-13/0316:42> »
Thanks a ton everyone! I just needed some basic ideas and also for the mission stuff aren't they made for 3rd edition? If not I will look into them if so then I will need to figure out how to modify them for 4th. Not sure if I will like this and if everyone will like it as well so we will just plan on using 4th edition for now.

Mirikon

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« Reply #6 on: <06-21-13/0909:05> »
The first season was for 3rd, but 2nd season on was 4th. Season 4 (the most recent one) is even set in Seattle. You'll find them on DriveThruRPG.
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #7 on: <06-21-13/0936:42> »
Unfortunately you missed the 25% off sale they ran on BattleShop last week.

If you go Missions Season 4, might I suggest you skip the even ones (2,4,6,8,10,12, don't skip 0)? There's at least 3 in there that are real nasty, with a deadly assassin, bugs and even a high-force Shedim in a background count that pretty much kills all Foci and cripples any magical character to being worth less than a Hacker in combat. The Ork Underground story is a really nice one, I ran 3,5,7,11 as a short-session 7-session campaign. You'll want to add 0 and 1, and seriously consider skipping 9.
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Mirikon

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« Reply #8 on: <06-21-13/1624:42> »
Meh, if they don't face the nasty threats, how are they ever going to learn? Plus, there's always the choice of trying to AVOID fights with those who are clearly going to wipe the floor with you.
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ZeConster

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« Reply #9 on: <06-21-13/2132:52> »
Meh, if they don't face the nasty threats, how are they ever going to learn? Plus, there's always the choice of trying to AVOID fights with those who are clearly going to wipe the floor with you.
I think the problem lies more in having to deal with nasty threats that are better suited for characters who've been through a season already.

All4BigGuns

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« Reply #10 on: <06-21-13/2134:57> »
Unfortunately you missed the 25% off sale they ran on BattleShop last week.

If you go Missions Season 4, might I suggest you skip the even ones (2,4,6,8,10,12, don't skip 0)? There's at least 3 in there that are real nasty, with a deadly assassin, bugs and even a high-force Shedim in a background count that pretty much kills all Foci and cripples any magical character to being worth less than a Hacker in combat. The Ork Underground story is a really nice one, I ran 3,5,7,11 as a short-session 7-session campaign. You'll want to add 0 and 1, and seriously consider skipping 9.

Such seems to be the case in published adventures in general. Some D&D modules make me think the ones who wrote those are serious sadists...
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GiraffeShaman

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« Reply #11 on: <06-21-13/2257:00> »
Quote
Such seems to be the case in published adventures in general. Some D&D modules make me think the ones who wrote those are serious sadists...
What, you don't want your PC step into a place called the Tomb of Horrors?

Mirikon

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« Reply #12 on: <06-22-13/0746:22> »
Quote
Such seems to be the case in published adventures in general. Some D&D modules make me think the ones who wrote those are serious sadists...
What, you don't want your PC step into a place called the Tomb of Horrors?
Don't forget the joys of wandering through the mystical land of Ravenloft.
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