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If you need a magical opponet for your players, which would you choose ?

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Seras

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« on: (17:02:26/01-18-19) »
Hi guys,

I'm building an adventure with a magical major threat that want the players gone, because they know to much.

It's supposed to be challenging, character death is a real possibility, but manageble.

I'm currently torn between:

A: A group of infected. Maybe ghouls, but more likely a coven of Vampires with a strong master Vampire

B: A  Wasp bug hive.

C: A coven of possesion spirits, maybe even Shedim. Something similar to the Aleph society ( They claim to give people their magic back, but well...).

Which of these options have you uesed before and how did it work out for you ?

Thanks Seras


I apologise for my posts beeing weird to read, I am fluent in english, but almost never write in english anymore :-(

Spooky

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« Reply #1 on: (17:08:48/01-18-19) »
I personally would go with option c, because infiltration of the player team is a real possibility there. I have not used any of these myself, since my tables have a distinct preference for the tech side of life in the shadows.
Spooky, what do you do this pass? Shoot him with my thunderstruck gauss rifle. (Rolls)  8 hits. Does that blow his head off?

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #2 on: (17:20:25/01-18-19) »
I presume you're talking about a one-off adventure for an existing campaign.

And continuing that presumption, I'm running with the premise that despite the magical big bad wanting the characters dead because they "know too much", because you're asking for ideas about codifying that big bad the players of course have no pre-existing inkling that the big bad is out there wanting them dead.

Bug spirits are great, but if you haven't already been foreshadowing/using them, they're hard to suddenly jam in and pretend they've always been there.

Vampires work great in this way. Not only are they sneaky like that, it's naturally easy to rationalize prior encounters/events as having secretly been linked to the coven even without the players/characters ever realizing it.  (remains to be explained, however, why the Vampires think the runners know so much when they don't)

If you want to go full bore Shadowrun cliche, make the big bad an honest to goodness dragon.  They work through pawns, and hell the Vampire Coven could in turn have themselves unknowingly been manipulated by the dragon, several steps above them on the organizational chart they didn't evn know they were on!
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, youíre fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Seras

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« Reply #3 on: (17:36:53/01-18-19) »
I presume you're talking about a one-off adventure for an existing campaign.

YES

And continuing that presumption, I'm running with the premise that despite the magical big bad wanting the characters dead because they "know too much", because you're asking for ideas about codifying that big bad the players of course have no pre-existing inkling that the big bad is out there wanting them dead.

They do some legwork about there Johnson, and find out ( by accident, tip) what Mr Johnson REALLY IS
They decide better safe than sorry and to tie up loose ends

Bug spirits are great, but if you haven't already been foreshadowing/using them, they're hard to suddenly jam in and pretend they've always been there.

Vampires work great in this way. Not only are they sneaky like that, it's naturally easy to rationalize prior encounters/events as having secretly been linked to the coven even without the players/characters ever realizing it.  (remains to be explained, however, why the Vampires think the runners know so much when they don't)

See Above
If you want to go full bore Shadowrun cliche, make the big bad an honest to goodness dragon.  They work through pawns, and hell the Vampire Coven could in turn have themselves unknowingly been manipulated by the dragon, several steps above them on the organizational chart they didn't evn know they were on!

I love dragons, but I would like to keep it as an escalation level for later plots....simply for the oh f##k factor of it. ^^
I apologise for my posts beeing weird to read, I am fluent in english, but almost never write in english anymore :-(

PiXeL01

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« Reply #4 on: (19:47:40/01-19-19) »
Depending on the work history of your group with entity working behind the scenes would work.
I had a mission where an ant hive was responsible for some secret ingredient in a recent canned food success story in the Barrens (highly addictive stuff naturally), so say if I wanted to use this hive again then maybe the group did a lot of industrial sabotage that got in the way of the hive and the queen now wants them gone.

Basically both vampires and bugs work this way. Just look  at the groupís run history and then weave a history. (You killed a special pawn, you excuse a blackmail campaign which were in allow the vampires to place a new spy or pawn in the organization and youíre to blame yadah yadah yadah)

Shedim Iíve never used as I donít really see how they work
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Marcus

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« Reply #5 on: (20:35:54/01-19-19) »
I like a logical progression, start simple and work your way up. When in doubt Spirits are always a good option. A nice Toxic mage is a good starting point, being sure to give them some background, be sure to introduce them to the idea of maybe he/she went crazy for a good reason. From there options open up. Bug spirits, Vampires, something appropriate to your city or the character's backgrounds. As note i would not push to much magical threat if your group is  not magical primary.

I would be careful to leave the more arcane magic threats for later on. Messing around with Shediem is not a good place to start, you need a good web of NPC for them to take full effect. Ghouls are fairly punkie sure a ghoul hunt can be a good run, but generally it's more useful to use them as moral lesson of the shadow and developed as contacts.

If you're feeling really froggie, you can add drakes and dragons. Explosing players to great dragons is almost never a good idea, similar to having gods show up D&D, it rarely ends well.  But normal dragons are plenty scary.
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Reaver

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« Reply #6 on: (21:13:29/01-19-19) »
Always remembee too, a mage doesn't need to be toxic or twisted, or follow an insect mentor to be evil, or dangerous!

A good old fashioned 'bad guy' mage can do just fine when other options feel contrived..
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

cantrip

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« Reply #7 on: (22:36:22/01-25-19) »
Option C

Though I'd have a great form free spirit pulling the strings behind the scenes.  ;D

Tarislar

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« Reply #8 on: (22:55:22/02-11-19) »
I like the idea of finding out that a previous/current Johnson is actually a Vampire-Magician.

neomerlin

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« Reply #9 on: (03:14:05/03-30-19) »
I realise this thread is a little old and odds are you made a decision already, but far be it from me to let slide by a chance to talk up how great bug spirits are.

You can't go wrong with bug spirits. Bug spirits always make excellent villains. They have the other-worldly invader feel of horrors, the body snatching potential for subtle infiltration of vampires and shedim, the unfathomable alien intellect of dragons, plus their hybrid forms are a visceral terrifying body horror show. You can do so much with bug spirits. And depending on when your game is set and how familiar players are with Shadowrun canon history, everybody in the world knows what an infestation of bug spirits can mean for a sprawl even if they don't know the exact events that caused the whole Chicago mess.

Plus, insect shamans provide a convenient face for your villain that are menacing and powerful if you need them to be, or disposable because the queen can always find another. And the spirits themselves, being immune to normal weapons, pose the same threat all spirits do to an unprepared group, but individually are not unstopable so you can fill your big action set pieces with them without really reducing the looming threat of the hive.

Insect spirits are great.
« Last Edit: (03:19:17/03-30-19) by neomerlin »