New GM needs help with his first campaign

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« on: <04-08-15/1308:54> »
Hey folks,

I'm playing shadowrun for one year now (have more experience with other systems though) and am now about to lead my first campgain. We have 3-5 players (not finally decided yet) with a hermetic mage (formerly KE) and an elven face (very usual stuff, some B&E and automatic skills). Third one will be an Oni Street Sam with a dependant or a decker.

I am here to hear what you think about the plot, what kind of "traps" you see for me as a new SR-GM, and if you have some suggestions i would really appreciate to hear about :)

The idea behind the campaign:
[spoiler]The Runners are part of a VR-program-test, sponsored by the Sylvestrians. They either had decided by themselves or were forced to take part beforehand. The clue: they don't know about this fact. The program is planned to get used by patients with psychological and physical diseases. Like a permanent BTL-trip it additionally offers the possibility to "adjust" the past of the patients, so that they can have the live they always wanted to live. To support this purpose, there are five guardians implemented. Following the christian theme they are Michael, Gabriel, Rafael, Uriel and Satanael. I told ym group they have to create new characters and i will start the campaign as every "normal" (yeah, i know, there are no normal runs...) run would do. The location will be Seattle.[/spoiler]

[spoiler]In the real life clinic, where the test subjects' bodies are "stored", a mishap happens. The emergency program gets started automatically. The problem: the dimension of reality for the participants is so high and intense, that the program can't just be shut down. At least, it would drive the test subjects insane, maybe it would just fry their minds. So the emergency program looks like this in the VR:
A circle of summoners calles a shadowspirit into the "world" and into a spirit vessel, called Lilith (arguably the first women of mankind). She is getting pregnant and gives birth to a daughter, Jackie (following the thesis, that Jesus had a twin brother named Jacob, who died before birth). This girl gets prepared by Lilith to shut down the program - i.e. destroy the whole VR-world - as soon as her body is able to handle these immense powers. This will be possible on her sixth birthday.

The intent of this campaign is to bring the players to confuse thoughts, thinking about reality and possibilities. Additionally I am not in the risk of confronting some lore, or making something horribly wrong - in the end it all can be part of the program. I have a good relation to the players and am confident, that they will trust me, if some things are going a little bit overboard.[/spoiler]

How the runners come into play:
[spoiler]Throughout their own background stories they will get in contact with Albuin, a doctor who tries to establish a clinic in the Puyallup barrens with some extras. The building is sponsored by the Sylvestrian Order, located near Loveland: at the corner of Canyon Rd. and 160th. St. Albuin is trying to establish an alternative for DocWagon, for everybody who doesn't have the amount of money but also needs this kind of protection. He hires the runners to work for his response team. While their shift is going on, a group of magicians (followers of Satanael) tries to banish Lilith - and her vessel was customer of Albuin's initiative. So the runners get an emergency call. It comes from the building of a former elementary school deep down in Puyallup, Meridian Ave, corner 264th St., about 9 miles away, near the Petrowsky Farm.

As the players arrive, they discover the circle. It's a bloodbath. A group of critters, led by a Gabriel Hound, has attacked the magicians as they where in the middle of the banishing. Liliths vessel lies tied and chained in the center of the ritual, but she is alive. She was able to hide Jackie from the magicians before she got captured. After solving the critter-problem and returning Lilith the Albuin's clinic, she regains consciousness and tells the runners about Jackie and where she hid her. If the runners hesitate to help, the member of the Order, Ronald Kuhn (a former theurg from the AGS) offers them a bonus rescuing the girl.

Arriving near the hiding spot, the runners discover, that a group of Knight Errant has blocked the building where Jackie should be in.[/spoiler]

Further story line:
[spoiler]The runners will be able to rescue Jackie. After that there will be a confrontation with Michael. Interestingly the five "security programs" have no interest in shutting down the main program. Their main focus is to save the participants (i.e. the runners), so they try to stop Lilith and Jackie. The problem: they all have different intentions and goals. In the end, Michael will die - and with him the stability of the main program. The world is starting to escalate and falls apart. In the end it will be on the runners how to decide - if they want to save the program from the inside (there will be possibilities to do so), or if they get the clue and want to shut down the program.[/spoiler]

Profiles of NSCs/Encounters
[spoiler]Gabriel Hound
B 3, A 5, R 6, S 7, W 4, L 2, I 3, C 2, Edg 2, Ess 6, M 5
Initiative: 9+2D6
Movement: 10/30/+4
Condition Monitor: 10/10
Limits: Physical 8, Mental 4, Social 5
Armor: 0
Dice Pools: Perception 7, Running 8, Sneaking 10, Tracking 8, Unarmed Combat 12
Powers: Compulsion (Immobility), Concealment (Self), Enhanced Vision (Thermographic Vision), Movement, Innate Spell (Mask, self only), Natural Weapon (Claws: DV 8P, AP 1)

to be continued[/spoiler]

Wow, sorry for all those writings (and sorry for my english, I'm not a native speaker by the way). I hope you get a clue of my idea and maybe you are interested to add something or give me some advice, to improve my plot and story. I really looking forward to hear from you :)
« Last Edit: <04-08-15/1352:45> by anchoress »


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« Reply #1 on: <04-15-15/1415:29> »
Wow, Sounds like a lot of fun!  With your setup the only real hurdles I can see you running into would be getting your players to jump in the right direction when the drek hits the rotating blades and them being resentful when they find out that everything they knew was a lie.

It's been my experience that players, particularly Shadowrun players, will do things you never even considered.  Make sure your hooks are big and bite deep.  Also, don't be afraid to be blunt with your clues and hints, even intelligent people can be startlingly dim when playing and RPG.

As far as how they got into the experiment, I'd just tell them, when the time comes, that they had all volunteered for the program, and part of the experiment was giving them fake identities with falsified memories.  I think people would accept that without too much balking.

Your adventure sounds like a lot of fun and very ambitious for a first time GM.  My honest advice, if you haven't run any Shadowrun games before, is to run a few modules first and then go into your homebrew. It would be easy enough to just say that everything that had happened up to that point was also in the matrix.

Whatever you do, good luck and keep up the good work!