(SR 4e) Explosives and the ramifications thereof.

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« on: <11-02-16/2107:53> »
So, I've been trying to cook up a demolitions/grenades focused character. And I heard a rather interesting take on it, essentially saying that while they're useful skills, the reputation of someone who routinely uses bombs and fire and gas and etc to solve their problems is going to take a nosedive rather quickly.

Now I can see the bombs. The general rule of thumb is the more you cost the corps, the more money they're willing to throw into hurting you. Leveling a corporate building is a good way to get a hitsquad after you.

But I don't really see the logic behind the rest? I mean I guess if you set a fire that spreads.


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« Reply #1 on: <11-05-16/0522:35> »
It the "professional" thing.

Shadowrunners, are supposed to be professionals, even if they live on the fringes of "civilized society" (Not having a proper SIN, usually living in Barrens or low class areas). Corporations, the primary employer of Shadowrunnners, expect a level of professionalism in the people they hire.. Mostly because of the "unspoken rule" that Corps run off of - After all, Corp Wars are bad for profits. So they try to keep body counts and property damage to a minimum generally. The loss of Paydata and a couple of guards is just the cost of business. The loss of the entire accounting department, a Building and the Paydata? Someone's head is rolling other then just the Runners...

That is not to say there isn't a use for an explosives expert on a team.. after all, some locks can't be opened easily, or the best way into a building might be from under it.... And a gas bomb that renders an entire floor asleep is definitely useful. But mass property damage, mass killing of non-combatants? Yea work will dry up pretty fast....And then there is that whole "Terrorist" label that get applied to you.... Once again Knight errant doesn't really care about someone who shoots a few people (that is every Friday night in the Barrens!).. but they really don't like people that drop entire buildings...

But then again, there are individuals that will still pay for such services. Organized Crime against other groups, Terrorists, Eco-activists, the criminally insane..... But then you have a whole other different set of problems that most other Runners don't generally have to deal with.
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« Reply #2 on: <11-05-16/0823:28> »
What Reaver said and something else: I as a Shadowrunner wouldn't want to work with somebody who could accidentaly poison me, blow up and or set me on fire (my high-end streetsam is pretty much immune to those things but she still worries about her team).


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« Reply #3 on: <11-05-16/1605:19> »
So, I've been trying to cook up a demolitions/grenades focused character. And I heard a rather interesting take on it, essentially saying that while they're useful skills, the reputation of someone who routinely uses bombs and fire and gas and etc to solve their problems is going to take a nosedive rather quickly.

On the bright side, there are only so many RAW ways to gain notoriety. Depending on the overall results, toxins, arson, and explosives may only count towards "pissing off a Johnson" and "incredibly obnoxious behavior", but there's a risk of "getting arrested", "killing an innocent" (or dozens of them), "earning a powerful enemy", and/or "exceptional bad luck".

Bombings are an excellent way to Send A Message, to Whomever May Be Concerned. They do draw investigative attention from law enforcement, governments, journalists, "concerned citizens", etc., to a facility that might not stand up to such scrutiny. Booby traps hopefully draw such attention to personnel that might be similarly shady. On the other hand, using a pound of C4 to open a locked door, when a crowbar is safer, faster, and quieter, screams "Amateur!" or "Psycho!".

Runners with a chemistry background also tend to be the maniacs who like to cook their pyrolytic homebrews in the basement, or kitchen, or bathroom of your team's safe house. Eventually, they're going to glitch on that chemistry roll, and here come the Feds.

Fire. Well, any magician or shaman that can summon a fire spirit generally will, at which point it sucks mightily that most impact-resistant armor is made of plastics. It's a traditional way destroying paper records (immune to cyber skills!) - explosives may just scatter them. It's also a more horrific way to die than Joe the Security Guard signed up for. Like explosions, fire where fire isn't expected draws investigative attention.

Any runner working with an arsonist who gets off on watching buildings burn down with people inside has to wonder when and where the next victim(s) are coming from. Still want to share your safe house with them?

Toxins and drugs boils down to chemical warfare: incidental casualties at best and intended casualties at worst, and these are the things that scare people the most because they never know when the hammer's going to fall on them. (RL example: my fellow TA/lab partner considered hiding his coffee cup when one of the reagents for my thesis work turned out to be just as black, and entirely soluble in water, as coffee. Going by the LD50, it was also one of the least lethal chemicals in the chem cabinet.  8))

At one time or another, someone's liable to glitch and spill something while hand-loading their capsule rounds, splash grenades, or splash mortars. Such chemical spills may well fall under the "Concentration" rules on p. 255. Do take a minute to read them and then reflect on how many combat turns there are in 2-10 minutes.

UNlike explosives and fire, team members or innocent bystanders walking in on a lethal indoor spill before dispersal/oxidation is complete, may be unaware of a problem until the toxins take effect and it's far too late.

So ... it depends. Like magic, careful application of these tools in the appropriate setting is a good thing, just remember to check for tracer tags and to cover your tracks.


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« Reply #4 on: <11-06-16/0156:47> »
The demo/grenades guy who punctuates every job with a BANG is in the same category as the Troll street sammy that only switches from his troll-sized battleaxe to use his assault cannon. Is it effective? Sure. But it is very, very, VERY loud, and you're only going to get jobs where you need to be loud and send a loud message. Those kind of runs often tend to be ones that runners don't come back from, either because they get killed during the run, get hunted down after the run, or are silenced by Mr. J to keep things from getting traced back to him. In other words, you're going to be one of those people that defines the statistic of most shadowrunners being dead inside a year.

Other than someone putting together a suicide squad, the only two types of groups that are going to hire people like that are terrorists and bughunters. Your life expectancy may actually drop taking those runs instead of a suicide squad run.

The key to remember about Shadowrun is that you are professional criminals. Emphasis on the 'professional' part. Sure, there are some neo-anarchists, ecoterrorists, and other sorts in the mix, but most runners are in it for the money, which means this is a business. More importantly, it is a business that relies on a certain level of discretion. Explosions, for the most part, are the exact opposite of discretion. Are there times where it is useful? Damn skippy there are! Breach charges, flashbangs, gas grenades, smoke grenades, EMPs, and all that are certainly an excellent choice for anyone whose job includes forcibly intruding into places they definitely ought not to be. But once you bring out the high explosives or the frag grenades or start dropping buildings, then you're going to be getting more attention, and that is bad (remember that discretion thing?), so if you get a rep for doing that too often, you're not going to find as much work. Now, that isn't to say there aren't jobs where you CAN go and drop buildings or the like. Taking on a Yak safehouse? Working in the Barrens? A corporate lab in the middle of nowhere? Go for it, so long as things don't spill over onto someone else's property. Otherwise, you best make sure it looks like an accident. (Hint: that is more difficult than you'd think with explosives, unless there's a helpful meth lab in the area.) 'Electrical fires' are still a great way to eliminate the building of someone you don't like, or someone you're paid not to like.

If you can't make it look like an accident, then make it look like someone else is to blame. Spreading ecoterror group tags and propaganda before blowing a corporate lab is a nice choice. Dressing as Halloweeners to firebomb a business is perfect (so long as other gangers don't see you). Regardless, you don't want anyone thinking this was in any way connected to YOU.

Why? Because just like stealth killing everyone in the building, including lab workers and janitors, causing massive property damage moves you straight to the top of people's TO DO lists. Did a datasteal, and got in a bit of a shootout with corpsec, but didn't go out of your way to kill anyone? That's part of doing business, and while they may come after you, you're not going to be a priority. Blew up a building, killing everyone inside and getting the job put on every news feed in the sprawl? Yeah, they're going to be hunting you hard, so that they can make an example of you. And they're also going to hunt whoever hired you, so they can make examples of THEM too.
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« Reply #5 on: <11-08-16/0302:58> »
...well, the FAE in the oil drum on that high rack in the old wrecking yard which took out the entire Yak hit squad sent after us was very effective.  Fortunately we were already on the flight on our way out of town with no intention of ever coming back when they blindly triggered it.

Some days you just need that "eraser" which makes a "beeeg-bada-boom".

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« Reply #6 on: <11-10-16/0401:46> »
To be fair, it depends on what kind of game you're playing in.  The Mad Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight is perfect for the pink mohawk game; getting noticed and having your 'face time' go through the roof is part and parcel of that kind of game, ICly, and OOCly let's face it - explosions mean everyone's having a blast.

In a less live-fast-die-young-leave-lots-of-corpses game, whether that's mirrorshades, black trenchcoat, pink trenchcoat, or black mohawk, explosives are useful as a 'Plan O' - O for 'Oh shit', or a distraction, or a sudden slam of violence the opposition isn't expecting.  Demolitions have uses; the professional runner knows that those uses don't include 'all the time'.
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