Wanted: Ideas for War on Triad

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« on: (21:38:27/06-29-18) »
Some background..
I run a campaign with basically 2 players (and some re-occurring NPCs). One character is a Troll who is cybered to the hilt (Bane), your basic melee combat monster / tank with additional skills. The other is a newer character who is a Ghoul Mystic-Adept (Moth).

Moth's background is that he was a Lone Star cop (adept) that was going to become an H.R.T. sniper, went in for some basic cyber-surgery (cyber-eyes, reflex recorder, etc) and caught HMHVV (he thinks it was accidental but that's another campaign thread). He then gained Mage abilities (and dual-natured) which he needed to learn to use/control. Since most mages would not want to help or teach him, it was difficult for him to find someone willing, but through secondary contacts he located a "down and out" mage named Chen who was desperate enough that he was willing to take the risk.

Chen also saw an opportunity to innact a plan he'd had in the works a long time and made a condition of teaching Moth that Moth help him hijack a drug shipment. Moth did so, they were successful and Chen made off with a literal boat-load of awakened drugs. There was also a cache of standard street drugs that Chen gave to Moth, but Moth threw them overboard (he won't deal drugs). Chen was good to his word and has begun to teach Moth, allowing Moth to raise his Spellcasting skill, learn a few spells, and generally learn the basics of Sorcery.

Meanwhile, Chen has been selling off the drugs he stole and making boat-loads of cash, but his drug trafficking has not gone unnoticed by the local Triad, who control most of the black-market awakened drug trade and whose drugs they were in the first place. So the Triad tracked down Chen and tortured him for information (which he may or may not have given up) and finally killed him. However, Chen knew what he was doing was risky and put a contingency in place. Chen is a vindictive (the negative trait) bastard and put aside some of the cash with a fixer (known as The Whale due to his SURGE adiposis) that he previously introduced Moth to, just in case something happened to him.

It's been days.. and Chen hasn't checked in with The Whale, so the Whale contacts Moth (who has been out of town for a week) and activates the contingency vendetta. He will release all the money to Moth if and when Moth (and whoever he decides to get to help him) eliminates the person or people responsible for Chen's disappearance/death.

So that's the setup... Moth is a basically a longarms specialist (sniper) who has a few utility spells now and some nasty hand-to-hand skills that can be brutally effective even against Astral targets. He is new to shadowrunning so he doesn't command top dollar (like Bane does), but Chen had made a lot of money in the past weeks off the drugs so the vendetta fund is quite large (100k maybe). I don't want this to be a simple.. you go and snipe some Triad guys and the job is done. I want it to be interesting and complex, with a few twists and challenges for Moth. Undoubtedly he'll have to start with some legwork to find out what happened, starting with the signs of violence at Chen's home, delving into some seedy Triad controlled criminal enterprises, and ultimately he'll have to call in Bane for some real combat support, but I'm looking for some fun ideas for some plot details and thought maybe some of you might like to contribute.

So.. Come on in.. the water is fine... well actually its full of blood and drugs.. but come on in anyway..
« Last Edit: (22:00:45/06-29-18) by Overbyte »
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« Reply #1 on: (00:37:07/06-30-18) »
It seems likely to me that a Triad will notice someone investigating them, and do something about it, like red herrings, the "he went thatta way, George" game, etc. Basically a runaround set of tactics to assess the threat level.
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« Reply #2 on: (00:56:33/06-30-18) »
It seems likely to me that a Triad will notice someone investigating them, and do something about it, like red herrings, the "he went thatta way, George" game, etc. Basically a runaround set of tactics to assess the threat level.

I think you are right about that. They kinda have to know Moth exists, since they figure Chen didn't go it alone and the other street drugs are missing (since they tossed Chen's place and didn't find them). So they should be out looking for Chen's partner(s). Maybe they got something out of Chen before they killed him.
Maybe they recon him they discover he is a ghoul. Then they might try to capture and sell him for bounty. Moth is extremely perceptive so he could notice some of the trackers and counter-attack them. Could be interesting.
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« Reply #3 on: (10:40:15/06-30-18) »
Syndicates respond to threats directly. If the subject were a citizen or someone in authority, it'd start with intimidation ("this new interest of yours is unhealthy, dig?"), escalating quickly to object lessons (dead pets on display), assaults (where the term "legbreakers" comes from), and finally a full-auto farewell. Since the subject in this case is SINless and a ghoul, they'll probably skip straight to the end and start by sending a couple of low-level hitters to solve the problem with automatic weapons. Assuming that doesn't go well, THEN they'll try subtlety. A quiet word with some bounty hunters, affiliated gangs, and corrupt cops will have a variety of unwanted attention coming from unexpected directions. They'll also start digging, looking for pressure points — family, friends, contacts, home, haunts. They probably have a working relationship with Tamanous; they might use that ("send a ghoul to kill a ghoul").

So far, this has all been using influence and favors. Assuming Moth and Bane aren't idle, the triad may start seeing some damage to their business interests. At that point, they'll send their best hitters. Then they'll be able to justify spending some real money to solve the problem: professional assassins and shadowrunners. It just keeps escalating until they get to you, or you get to them.

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« Reply #4 on: (18:25:57/08-23-18) »
I actually have my RL group involved in a vendetta (of sorts) against a Triad ... but the Triad isn't in Seattle, so they have to go to Hong Kong with tacit approval of the Red Dragons to eliminate this already-down-on-their-luck rivals.

Poor sods.  Anyhow.

For your fellows, I'd tend to go with Sphinx's advice on how the Triads react -- though I'd have them escalate very quickly, as the Triads are well-known for resorting readily to violence.  For the players, well, I'd ask them if they want to keep their investigation quiet, and make them split their investigatory hits between 'info' and 'low-key' -- the number of hits they put on 'low key' is the number of hits a counter-investigator (e.g. the Triad's ears) needs to get to catch wind of their interest.  Can make for a long, wary game of cat-and-mouse ...
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« Reply #5 on: (12:43:49/08-31-18) »
When dealing with any of the organized crime groups, its important to remember that they have a hierarchy, as well as a cell system in place...

Basically, there is only a few people that make "decisions", and a whole lot of people that follow those decisions...


You have to determine how far up the ladder that order to kill Chen was given. Was this the Lodge Master that ordered Chen taken out? Or was it a Grass Sandal acting out?
This matters, as it determines just what Moth has to do to collect this payday. A Grass Sandal is much easier to deal with then a Lodge Master!

Also be aware that the Triads in SR have some.. unique methods of keeping secrets..... Namely through tattoo magic that causes a Triad member to bleed out in seconds if he ever betrays the Triad! (Makes getting any info out of a full Triad member next to impossible. They know that the moment they betray the Triad, they die - horribly and painfully!)

Also keep in mind that while in theory the Triads are all one happy family, the reality is many Triads don't get along, and will happily help an outsider remove a Triad from operation in the hopes they can capitalize on their removal by taking over their operations - so they may find some unlikely allies.


Triads are nasty buggers to deal with, anyone who could help him, is probably too afraid to directly get involved. (The Triads are known for making "examples" of people who betray them - see above.) And those that can help, probably have their own motives that Moth will find distasteful ("Sure, we'll help you take out that Triad, so we can take over their slave trade and prostitution rings!")

If he's smart, he will look for organizations that would profit from the Triad getting hurt, like the Vory, the Yaks, or the Mafia - but this comes with its own risks...


The 4e book Vice is great for info on all the organized crime groups in SR. Yes, its an edition behind, but its what I call a "Background" book. Light on crunch rules and heavy on Lore, History, Organization, Operations - which makes it a great book to add to your collection as it doesn't get outdated by a rule system change.
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