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Wanted: Ideas for Teaching a Lesson

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Overbyte

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« on: (21:57:25/06-29-18) »
Some background..  (also see my thread on Ideas for War on Triad)
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).

Recently I ran "Wheeling and Dealing" (from Bloody Business p.48) for my two players and at the very last encounter I was dismayed that Bane, who is nearly indestructible didn't take the opportunity during the final firefight to protect the asset (Spinrad) despite my mentioning multiple times that he should! Even though Spinrad came out OK, surely there should be repercussions. I don't want to just say.. "now you won't get anymore good bodyguard contracts". On the other hand Spinrad thinks a little payback is fair play. He doesn't want to kill Bane, since he could be useful as an asset later, and there is nothing really to be gained by it, but instead he wants to teach him lesson.

What to do.. what to do...
Perhaps put Bane in a similar situation, hire him (on the sly) to do some fake job that ends up with Bane in a bad situation?
It's a little tough to place in a similar situation where he fears for his life unprotected, since Bane is super tough, but maybe there is a way?

Thought maybe you guys had some fun ideas?
« Last Edit: (22:00:02/06-29-18) by Overbyte »
Nothing is foolproof. Fools are so ingenious.

Marcus

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« Reply #1 on: (23:01:33/06-29-18) »
Hmmm "Teaching People a Lesson" in my GMing experience rarely goes how you think it will.
Generally speaking I would never develop a plot that substantially ran along those lines. Villains must have motivations, gain power, gain wealth, get revenge etc. If they have a tool, then they employ that tool to achieve theirs goals. Educating your tool isn't overly useful. If Bane can't figure out how to body guard, then send him in the opposite direction. Hitman are just as useful as body guards.
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Spooky

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« Reply #2 on: (00:43:20/06-30-18) »
In Spinrad's shoes, I would go with some form of practical joke, like sending Bane to meet a new Johnson for a bodyguard contract (no such thing going on) at an Alamos 40K meeting (totally real.... ow.) Then be surprised by the results. "Hey, how'd that meeting go? You what? No I said this other address, you must have misheard me. Sorry that happened..." Or the local (insert xenophobic group here) meeting place/hangout. Or.... well, you get the idea. I think Spinrad would be willing to somewhat annoy bane, but not really piss him off.
Spooky, what do you do this pass? Shoot him with my thunderstruck gauss rifle. (Rolls)  8 hits. Does that blow his head off?

Overbyte

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« Reply #3 on: (01:05:05/06-30-18) »
In Spinrad's shoes, I would go with some form of practical joke, like sending Bane to meet a new Johnson for a bodyguard contract (no such thing going on) at an Alamos 40K meeting (totally real.... ow.) Then be surprised by the results. "Hey, how'd that meeting go? You what? No I said this other address, you must have misheard me. Sorry that happened..." Or the local (insert xenophobic group here) meeting place/hangout. Or.... well, you get the idea. I think Spinrad would be willing to somewhat annoy bane, but not really piss him off.

I kinda like this idea. And if I'm clever I can have it be a series of things before he figures out it is intentional. Especially if they start out kinda small. He goes to the meet and someone jacks his car. He tracks the car down and its parked outside the aforementioned Alamo 20k meet. He could fight, but there are too many. He gets away but annoying things keep happening. The job is a bodyguard gig, but someone kills his client before he even gets there (or it appears that way, since Spinrad doesn't really want to kill people for a laugh). But it looks like Bane did it. Now he has to cover it up? Get out before the cops get there and maybe his SIN is burned.

A veritable "Series of Unfortunate Events" :D
Nothing is foolproof. Fools are so ingenious.

Mirikon

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« Reply #4 on: (02:12:46/06-30-18) »
Alternatively, you could have his next, say, six Bodyguard gigs all being teenage girls, and having to stick around listening to teenage pop music, watching shoujou anime, listening to girl talk, and having to keep wearing the MIB outfit (including uncomfortable dress shoes instead of boots), needing to limit his weapons to pistols, and having the worst combat be when one of the girls asks you to beat up someone at her rich kids school for being mean to her.
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Overbyte

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« Reply #5 on: (02:57:28/06-30-18) »
Alternatively, you could have his next, say, six Bodyguard gigs all being teenage girls, and having to stick around listening to teenage pop music, watching shoujou anime, listening to girl talk, and having to keep wearing the MIB outfit (including uncomfortable dress shoes instead of boots), needing to limit his weapons to pistols, and having the worst combat be when one of the girls asks you to beat up someone at her rich kids school for being mean to her.

Lol.. beat up a school kid for money.. I like it. :)
Nothing is foolproof. Fools are so ingenious.

Mirikon

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« Reply #6 on: (00:12:42/07-02-18) »
Alternatively, you could have his next, say, six Bodyguard gigs all being teenage girls, and having to stick around listening to teenage pop music, watching shoujou anime, listening to girl talk, and having to keep wearing the MIB outfit (including uncomfortable dress shoes instead of boots), needing to limit his weapons to pistols, and having the worst combat be when one of the girls asks you to beat up someone at her rich kids school for being mean to her.

Lol.. beat up a school kid for money.. I like it. :)
And then dealing with the fallout in the runner community when the socialite posts it on their social media.

When coming up with a "Important people are going to screw with you" punishment, take a page out of D&D. You don't target the Cleric's Will Save, the Fighter's Fort Save, or the Rogue's Ref Save. You just don't. A rogue of sufficient level can be at ground zero for a Fireball and take 0 damage if they have Evasion. A Fighter of decent level will shrug off a lot of things requiring fort saves. And a Cleric typically needs to roll a 1 to fail a Will Save. Instead, you go after them where they're weak.

To put it in terms of SR, you don't take the troll combat monster that can shrug off an assault cannon round and throw him into combat. You throw him into social settings, where he has to be NICE and POLITE.
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Reaver

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« Reply #7 on: (14:43:12/07-03-18) »
Keep in mind too, the most effective weapon against a Shadowrunner, Gossip.

Spinrad, could do a lot of things... but that also implies that he doesn't really have a life - as he has time to set up elaborate ploys for someone who annoyed him. The easiest thing for Spinrad to do is simply talk about what happened with others in the "know".

"Yea, I know Bane and Moth. Wish i didn't, but I do. They were hired to protect my ass, and when the shit hit the fan, that trog Bane just up and left my ass hanging in the wind and under fire so HE could try to get some Ego points by punting some of the atttackers! Yea I got through alive but geez man, they got no tactical sense at all!"

Coming from Spinrad, that type of comment is going to hurt the pocketbook, AND get back to them....
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.

Nephilim

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« Reply #8 on: (16:14:48/07-03-18) »
It's worth noting here that the first and most important rule of body guarding is pretty simple :Protect the Principle. A runner who fails to do that, especially for a principal as important (and powerful) as Johnny Fraggin Spinrad probably needs a pretty powerful lesson. That said, when I'm GMing, 'lessons' usually follow into one of the four following categories:

1. Stares and Whispers: This is just low grade interference. On The low end Runner might have a harder time finding jobs, get lower pay, be unable to find gear, have their contacts refuse meets, etc. On the high end the Shadowrunner might have their SINs burned or their bank accounts hacked. The point here is to hurt the runner's bottom line and make it clear the corp is annoyed. It should never be explicitly stated who's doing the hurting, but it should be utterly clear implicitly.

2. Kneecapping: This is a rough up. It's sending some guys to break the runner's legs or bust up some of their stuff. It's not a hit job, and it's not necesarrily intended to cause damage (although it very well may.) The intent here is to establish that the corp is annoyed. That they can reach out and break the runner anytime time they want, so fall in line.

3. Firesale: This is the previous two combined and taken to the extreme. The Runner's Doss is burned down, their car blown up, their secret stashes of gear leaked to KE. The corp is seriously annoyed and looking to cause pain. Generally a last resort, because this can easily escalate into open warfare.

4. And Your Little Dog Too!: The last grade. When the lesson is less for the runner and more for everyone around him. On the low end, it might be kidnapping his friends and family to force him to do a job or three. On the high end it's just sending in a death squad. This level pretty much always ends in death one way or another.

If your runner is a combat monster, 2 and 4 can be hard to pull off, but every character has weaknesses. He might be able to take a grenade to the chest without flinching, but how well can he shrug off getting hit with mana spells? It's also worth noting that this is shadowrun where there's always a bigger fish in the sea. If you need stats on something able to go toe to toe with your runner, I can help you out. As a side note, on the subject of 2, I've found that an effect strategy for combat monsters is when a corp mage shows up and mind controls them into breaking their own legs. It has a tendency to rattle even the biggest badasses.
« Last Edit: (16:16:54/07-03-18) by Nephilim »

Overbyte

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« Reply #9 on: (00:36:30/07-04-18) »
Keep in mind too, the most effective weapon against a Shadowrunner, Gossip.

Spinrad, could do a lot of things... but that also implies that he doesn't really have a life - as he has time to set up elaborate ploys for someone who annoyed him. The easiest thing for Spinrad to do is simply talk about what happened with others in the "know".

"Yea, I know Bane and Moth. Wish i didn't, but I do. They were hired to protect my ass, and when the shit hit the fan, that trog Bane just up and left my ass hanging in the wind and under fire so HE could try to get some Ego points by punting some of the atttackers! Yea I got through alive but geez man, they got no tactical sense at all!"

Coming from Spinrad, that type of comment is going to hurt the pocketbook, AND get back to them....

So, this is the kind of thing I thought about first, but then I wondered.. how are they going to recover from this (more specifically Bane since he was really the one that should have guarded him)? Obviously in time, he could work his rep back up, but that is why I was leaning to a "lesson". because it is more transient in nature, although I think putting the word out that they suck as bodyguards is more "realistic".
Nothing is foolproof. Fools are so ingenious.

Mirikon

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« Reply #10 on: (15:23:10/07-06-18) »
Keep in mind too, the most effective weapon against a Shadowrunner, Gossip.

Spinrad, could do a lot of things... but that also implies that he doesn't really have a life - as he has time to set up elaborate ploys for someone who annoyed him. The easiest thing for Spinrad to do is simply talk about what happened with others in the "know".

"Yea, I know Bane and Moth. Wish i didn't, but I do. They were hired to protect my ass, and when the shit hit the fan, that trog Bane just up and left my ass hanging in the wind and under fire so HE could try to get some Ego points by punting some of the atttackers! Yea I got through alive but geez man, they got no tactical sense at all!"

Coming from Spinrad, that type of comment is going to hurt the pocketbook, AND get back to them....

So, this is the kind of thing I thought about first, but then I wondered.. how are they going to recover from this (more specifically Bane since he was really the one that should have guarded him)? Obviously in time, he could work his rep back up, but that is why I was leaning to a "lesson". because it is more transient in nature, although I think putting the word out that they suck as bodyguards is more "realistic".
That's why you make it so that the only jobs they can get are relatively low paying, low combat, and annoying (like guarding teenage girls and having to watch chick flicks with them), while having their fixer 'politely' tell them that they've got a major black mark in their files, which reflects badly on him, and so until you earn back that trust, you're stuck doing crap jobs. If they don't like it, well, the Halloweeners are looking for fresh blood.
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brasso

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« Reply #11 on: (09:14:28/07-10-18) »
Yep, this is where Notoriety comes in. We had a spate of this in our game where they were meant to be bodyguarding someone, and got paranoid thinking he was doublecrossing them (he wasn't) and bit his fingers off! Weeelll... they got to pick up some Notoriety as well as very little pay, and then some of their contacts stopped picking up the phone, and it took twice as long to get a job (having to pay two lifestyles with no pay), and when they did it was poor pay. Actions always have consequences. The next Johnson even laughed at them for their lack of professionalism  :P
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Overbyte

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« Reply #12 on: (18:55:06/07-10-18) »
Well.. there are a couple of problems with the "you can't get a decent job anymore" thing for my game..
1) They can't get decent jobs.. that's kinda a problem since we don't play that often..
2) There has to be some way to get out of the rut.. and just "time" leads back to (1).

Which is why I was looking for ideas on something more interesting as a "punishment", that still makes sense, that is a one time deal rather than.. "welp you blew it and now no one will hire you for any serious work for a long time". Sure I can just say "no one will hire you for body guarding anymore", but realistically that would just mean their fixer no longer presents them with such jobs which results in not much game impact since they just take other jobs (of which there are many types).

This is why Spooky's idea of a "practical joke" or just "screwing with" the chars is closer to what I was thinking (looking for).
Nothing is foolproof. Fools are so ingenious.

Reaver

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« Reply #13 on: (19:05:45/07-11-18) »
Well.. there are a couple of problems with the "you can't get a decent job anymore" thing for my game..
1) They can't get decent jobs.. that's kinda a problem since we don't play that often..
2) There has to be some way to get out of the rut.. and just "time" leads back to (1).

Which is why I was looking for ideas on something more interesting as a "punishment", that still makes sense, that is a one time deal rather than.. "welp you blew it and now no one will hire you for any serious work for a long time". Sure I can just say "no one will hire you for body guarding anymore", but realistically that would just mean their fixer no longer presents them with such jobs which results in not much game impact since they just take other jobs (of which there are many types).

This is why Spooky's idea of a "practical joke" or just "screwing with" the chars is closer to what I was thinking (looking for).


Don't get us wrong, there is always work...

You just don't want THAT work.

You know the work I am talking about... It usually starts with a nice meal, in a nice restaurant, with nice Johnson, with a nice smile. It usually starts with "we want you to test our security".... All said with a nice glass of wine. Of course this is only a test, of course the guards will only be using less lethal ordinance. Of course we won't arrest you if we catch you, you're helping us remember?

Yea, THOSE jobs are always available.


As are those OTHER jobs... you know, the "take this large bulky package to this address and leave it on the front step. Try not to shake it too much too" jobs....

The ones where they need a face seen putting something somewhere. (but don't really need a face seen leaving.. in the same direction at once). And then suddenly that place has a gaping hole in it... or a funny smell; and people bleeding from the eyeballs.


But yea, the "good" jobs dry up for a while. And it happens when the Johnson is pissed. that's the circle of life in the shadows.

The Johnsons have the work, but need the team.
The Fixer has the team, but needs the job.
The team needs the work, but doesn't know the johnson.
The Johnson contacts the Fixer, the Fixer contacts the team, the Team meets the Johnson and gets the job. Does the Job and gets paid.
However, If the Johnson is unhappy, Then he ALSO tells the Fixer, and now the fixer can't use the same team for same johnson, and risks his rep more if the team screws up again....

Its all one parasitic circle.

Now, how does one break a downward slide? They do shit jobs until people have forgotten about their fuck ups. How long does that take? I dunno, how badly did they fuck up in the community's eyes? (lets face it, some celeb whining about a broken nail after the runners deal with 200 cyberzombies intent on her head doesn't carry much weight... But a celeb that took two to the face because the runner was "on smoke break" has a legit complaint!) Sometimes its a couple of "bag man" runs. Typical fetch and pick runs that are low risk and low reward - jobs you give newbs. Sometimes it takes longer or something "bigger" to break that cycle. (like surviving a suicide run, or pulling off their own run). Sometimes all it takes is some good old fashioned begging. Followed up with copious amounts of fellatio and salad tossing. But its not like you needed your Pride, right? 
« Last Edit: (19:08:28/07-11-18) by Reaver »
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.

Mirikon

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« Reply #14 on: (16:15:44/07-12-18) »
Another one of THOSE jobs. Say the word is out that the team just can't cut it as bodyguards. So they get a job to do the opposite. You get to go hunting a toxic shaman. Except he lives in a cave you can only access by diving (or using Shapechange, like the mage does), and it is located in LA, so you get to go diving in LA water. Won't it be such a shame if something like bullets, claws, or radiation bolts rip your protective suits while you're trying to get to and from the cave... And gee, that'll put a limit on what you can bring with you in terms of weapons and armor. And so on.
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