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Help with Campaign finale - fleshing it out

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Tech

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« on: (22:42:00/06-05-18) »
Greetings and Salutations, fellow runners and gamemasters.

I've reached the time to write the finale of my current campaign. It's my first real campaign, so I don't have much experience writing things like this, none the less orchestrating something to blow my players minds.

Here's the basis:

The players are worker for a business man who gives them very minimal information on what they're doing and why they're doing it, but they aren't there to ask questions, so it's not a problem.

When they first met their employer, it was a corporate man who was accompanied by a body guard. The man was very twitchy, and nervous, and very frequently relied on his body guard for information and advice. The player don't know it yet, but the body guard is their real employer, and the man they know as "Twitchy" is just his cover. The body guard is freakishly op and could easily destroy everyone in our team with out lifting a finger (Let's just say he's not normal, and bioware has only further enhanced him down the road of badassitued)

The first mission they ran for him was to get a crate from a group of other shadowrunners who decided to short him on the deal and keep what he wanted for themselves. The team was hired to track them down, eliminate them, and locate the crate, which the original team was trying to sell. When the team found the crate, they noticed that it had the Ares symbol printed along the side, and it was really heavy. The Crate contained a prototype laser/microwave long-range, precision rifle (the players still don't know this)

I have a faint idea of what I want the finale to be, but a lot of it still doesn't make sense. Here's what I got:

The players are told by the body guard, who has revealed himself as their real Mr. Johnson, to create a ruckus in a particular area of a Ares building. Pretty risky, but easy enough to do. While doing what they were hired to do, they discover, some how, Mr. Johnsons true intentions - to murder a corporate official with the prototype rifle. The players, for some reason, know that this should not happen, because of some reason. They have to stop Mr. Johnson from carrying out the act, which may mean killing him. This will end with them either on his bad side and probably within the last few months of their lives, or with a dead Mr. Johnson, a prototype laser weapon that Ares REALLY wants back, and no pay (though technically they could try to sell the prototype)

So, that's all. I would really appreciate some ideas as to how to make this interesting, a punch in the gut, and sensible (somehow).
"This Mr. Johnson wants you to pick his daughter up from preschool and is willing to pay you 8,000 nuyen a pop to do it. What do you do, Stas?"
"I shoot him with my krime gun"

belaran

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« Reply #1 on: (17:17:20/06-13-18) »
Some here my tidbits:

>The players are told by the body guard, who has revealed himself as their real Mr. Johnson,

No :)

Make the PCs discovers it, it's way more fun for them. Drop hints (mis)using judge intentions roll, make their contact mention a guy looking like the body guard being in fact an exec and so on..

> While doing what they were hired to do, they discover, some how, Mr. Johnsons true intentions - to murder a corporate official with the prototype rifle

IMHO you need to have a clear justification for why they need a prototype rifle to perform this very specific murder.

>  They have to stop Mr. Johnson from carrying out the act, which may mean killing him.

Why would they want to stop him? Are you PCs "good guys" against murder? If not, little hint, make your body guard an agent of the insect spirit in Ares and the guy he wants to kill old Aurelius. (look up material on Ares in Market Panic or Dark Terror about that)

My 2 cents :)

Streetsam_Crunch

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« Reply #2 on: (18:57:44/06-13-18) »
I completly agree with belaran on the "No" for the bodyguard revealing themselves...

I also LOVE the suggestion of making him possessed by a powerful Insect Spirit (Aurelius is a great pick for that for the reasons given). If you go this route, it's revealed to them when the Johnson tries to 'initiate' them into the fold, as it were, as their reward for their service.

Twitchy would of course be revealing this after overtaking the group- bodyguard is already on route. (you can make this scene really creepy as he gets twitchier and twitchier, slowly sloughing off his human guise to reveal the insect underneath...  8)

As for 'why' because the target is in a vehicle on-route to the office or something, and It's specially armored, and to snipe the target at range effectively would require this laser McGuffin. This also puts the whole thing on a timer they have to race against.

Better yet, as to why they would want to save the big-wig? Ultimately they want to infiltrate Ares with insects. The McGuffin is a high-powered, focused microwave transmitter. It'll slowly fry the vehicle's systems, bricking it and locking everyone inside. If they don't stop the Johnson, well... you get the idea.

If you don't want to go for the insect spirit idea, it could also be competing Exec's. Same scenario as above, using the laser snipe idea. Why to save them? Because it's all revealed to them by a party that just approached them with a counter-offer...

Or

Maybe the 'actual' employer is Aurelius, and suspects another one of the board members is actually a bug spirit. The Bodyguard is a hit-man that was paid (very well) to take out the bug, and your team was hired to be the patsies to get the laser (so they'd be associated with the hit, not the actual assassin- that would also explain how the bodyguard knew about the prototype to begin with). The prototype is also to ensure that it will not only pierce the vehicle, but also kill the bug.

As they're leaving, having given the McGuffin their employer, one of them gets a call... from Damien Knight (have a receptionist make the call and have them wait to some crappy music while they try to decide whether or not they believe it's actually him calling). Once he gets on, he make it clear that he is aware your team was the one who stole HIS prototype. He's also aware of who hired the hit-man, and who the target is (though he won't reveal it was Aurelius).

He then informs your team that everything that's happening is a 'misunderstanding' that he is fixing (the board member isn't possessed- Aurelius is just paranoid). if they do not stop the hit-man and retrieve HIS weapon, life will become very, very difficult... and short, for them.

So, you'll have them fighting Ares forces to get back a weapon to return it to Ares... and a rather determined hit-man.

Me? I'd throw in the other Shadowrun group that has tracked them down (or if they're all dead, another group that that original employer of that job hired to hunt you down- that fact that the bodyguard said he hired that team was a lie) that shows up while your team is trying to get it back themselves, just confusing the issue.  ;D

Just throwing a few more ideas out there!

Crunch~

Tech

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« Reply #3 on: (18:04:05/06-14-18) »
Including a spirit would be an awful idea, I think, because none of the players are even slightly magic based (I have a centaur street sam (with four cyberlegs), who's a burned out combat medic, another freakishly cybered up street sam who likes pistols, swords, and going first every time, and an AI who stumbles around in a bipedal drone that hardly understands the meat world (and that likes to blow things up... a lot)
"This Mr. Johnson wants you to pick his daughter up from preschool and is willing to pay you 8,000 nuyen a pop to do it. What do you do, Stas?"
"I shoot him with my krime gun"

belaran

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« Reply #4 on: (19:36:37/06-14-18) »
No, that is perfect. It means that instead of simply relying on their optimised stats and gear, they'll need to think about what to do ;)

prismite

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« Reply #5 on: (15:53:43/07-13-18) »
To be fair, spirits are a nasty obstacle to overcome w/o magic. A centaur with 4 cyberlegs sounds pretty meaty, so I dont think spirits would be impossible.

Plus, if the group has no magic characters this kind of build up would point out a very big flaw in their group dynamic.
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Reaver

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« Reply #6 on: (16:51:10/07-13-18) »
Really old post, so I doubt Tech needs the advice any more:P

But I happen to agree with Tech on the magic issue.
Magic is supposed to be rare, strange and a little bit frightening. As such, it loses those qualities if used too often, as is the case in many SR games. (and this is coming from someone who plays a mage!)
While magic can be some thing that gets used, it loses its charm - and can feed resentment, if overly used as a stick against groups that really don't employ it.

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Please note that the above statement doesn't hold as true if the party also uses magic...
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Tech

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« Reply #7 on: (16:35:47/08-01-18) »
Reaver, I totally agree, and I actually still haven't run the game yet due to some complications within the group, so... advice is still highly appreciated!
"This Mr. Johnson wants you to pick his daughter up from preschool and is willing to pay you 8,000 nuyen a pop to do it. What do you do, Stas?"
"I shoot him with my krime gun"