NEWS

Failed Meetings.

  • 33 Replies
  • 2575 Views

Nautilust

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 47
« on: (11:54:25/09-08-18) »
My players completely failed their first meeting. It was so bad that Mr. Johnson shot right past pissed off into being sad for each character. At this rate if this Mr. Johnson doesn't kill them, another one will. It was so bad I think I'm going to have to put together a primer on how to act in a meeting.

However, while I know how to act in a meeting. I don't know how to put that into words. So what would be some good points to add or include?

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 2901
« Reply #1 on: (12:00:40/09-08-18) »
A couple of points to explain:

Notoriety as a rules mechanic, and how they earn it.  Stressing that pissing off Mr. Johnson is about the easiest way to 'earn' Notoriety.

The importance of reputation in the shadow community.  (very easy to segue from Notoriety)

Another mention of stressing the importance of professional behavior in shadowrun in general, and with your contacts and Mr. Johnson in particular.  There's kind of a playing style divide in Shadowrun described as the "Pink Mohawk/Black Trenchcoat" dichotomy.  If your players are very Pink Mohawk, they might need a special reminder of there being appropriate times and places for "pink mohawking it up" and there are times where it's very inappropriate.. such as when meeting with Mr. Johnson.  (Mr Johnons wants to hire shadowrunners, not common punks...)

If the players are novices to Shadowrun/cyberpunk genre, it might help to explain Mr. Johnson's perspective to them.  (he's not simply there to betray them)
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

adzling

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 3213
  • Telling it like it is
    • Building Better Security
« Reply #2 on: (12:12:55/09-08-18) »
details?

My players completely failed their first meeting. It was so bad that Mr. Johnson shot right past pissed off into being sad for each character. At this rate if this Mr. Johnson doesn't kill them, another one will. It was so bad I think I'm going to have to put together a primer on how to act in a meeting.

However, while I know how to act in a meeting. I don't know how to put that into words. So what would be some good points to add or include?

Nautilust

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 47
« Reply #3 on: (12:22:07/09-08-18) »
Let's see, they sat in front of Mr. Johnson and discussed their entire plan in front of him. This took a while. I'd say an hour or two.

They kept saying things in person that would have been better off said over the commlink. Without using their subvocal mics.

They said completely incompetent things involving the things that they are supposed to be good at, in front of Mr. Johnson. This runs back into them discussing their plan in front of Mr. Johnson.

They insulted Mr. Johnson, a few times, and when he said something they told him to step off his high horse and go watch cop dramas.

Everybody has appropriate attire for a meeting, but only like 3 of them wore it, the others just walked in looking like common street thugs.

I think that about sums it up.
« Last Edit: (12:27:03/09-08-18) by Nautilust »

fseperent

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 369
« Reply #4 on: (14:44:49/09-08-18) »
Wow, had to walk a bit after reading that.

I would suggest setting the group together for a binge session of spy and mercenary shows/movies.
James Bond, Burn Notice, and MacGyver spring to mind.
If I'm recalling right, those 3 tend to show how to conduct yourself during a meet.
Or, at least, can show what happens if a meet goes south.

Maybe a "what went right/what went wrong" talk after each episode/movie.

Michael Chandra

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 8960
  • Question-slicing ninja
« Reply #5 on: (15:05:35/09-08-18) »
Force each of them to take the Positive Quality Common Sense. I'd suggest a roll but if they're this bad, forcing the quality is better.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

Nautilust

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 47
« Reply #6 on: (15:42:20/09-08-18) »
I thought about flooding the room with Seven-7 and refusing saves, then we could go play some 5th edition D&D since that seems to be what everyone in the world wants to play.

Kiirnodel

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Ace Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 1471
« Reply #7 on: (02:30:17/09-09-18) »
Were they discussing the job and what they would plan to do for it before they finished the meet?

Why did the Mr. Johnson stick around if they were to the point of making plans for the job. Part of the whole point of hiring a Shadowrunner team is that they act independently and Mr. Johnson has a level of "deniability" for when the job gets done.

Several of these points are easily avoidable by simple GM Fiat, you deciding that the Mr. Johnson would excuse himself after they start to discuss their plans for the job: "Well, I'll leave you to your business. Contact me at this comm-code when the work is done." And he leaves.

It sounds like this is a group new to Shadowrunning, so giving a little leeway when it comes to some protocol is somewhat appropriate. When things that you (as GM) think are inappropriate to be done in the current social setting are being done then simply point it out to the players. Better yet, call for Etiquette tests and with the results include information that their character knows: (1 hit on Etiquette) You know that insulting the person hiring you for a job is a really bad idea. Even 0 hits on this test (assuming they don't critical glitch) should mean that they know better than to bite the hand that feeds them...
« Last Edit: (02:41:13/09-09-18) by Kiirnodel »

adzling

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 3213
  • Telling it like it is
    • Building Better Security
« Reply #8 on: (02:35:16/09-09-18) »
I agree with kiir

Nautilust

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 47
« Reply #9 on: (02:39:30/09-09-18) »
I did, I didn't go with the nuclear option.

Mr. Johnson was supposed to be there to give them additional information as they asked questions. I made the wrong decision of keeping Mr. Johnson there. I made mistakes too.

So now I'm addressing what happened, with the group, and putting appropriate measures in action. Part of which is going to have to be a discussion about what is appropriate at a meeting.

They were devising their strategy for how they were going to do the mission, at the meeting with Mr. Johnson. Next time that happens Mr. Johnson is just going to leave.

Everybody made mistakes, and by the time we were done, I had just dealt with the worst meeting I've ever seen.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 2901
« Reply #10 on: (02:51:26/09-09-18) »
I did, I didn't go with the nuclear option.

Mr. Johnson was supposed to be there to give them additional information as they asked questions. I made the wrong decision of keeping Mr. Johnson there. I made mistakes too.

So now I'm addressing what happened, with the group, and putting appropriate measures in action. Part of which is going to have to be a discussion about what is appropriate at a meeting.

They were devising their strategy for how they were going to do the mission, at the meeting with Mr. Johnson. Next time that happens Mr. Johnson is just going to leave.

Everybody made mistakes, and by the time we were done, I had just dealt with the worst meeting I've ever seen.

Sounds like you're on the right path.

I also like the suggestion upthread about scheduling a group-viewing of some heist and cloak-n-dagger movies.  Sounds like the players may be new to the kind of strategizing that shadowrun requires.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Ech0

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 43
« Reply #11 on: (04:52:01/09-09-18) »
Looks like you as the DM and the rest of the group would simply like to play different "versions" of Shadowrun. You have different expectations.  :-\

Are they completely new to the game? Then talk with them, how -you- and -they- would like the world to work. They'd like to goof around a bit and have fun. You'd like them to play their alter-egos like the hard-edged pros that they are, or better, should be.

The characters would probably know how to react in a meeting with a potential Johnson; they don't.
Don't "punish" the players around the table via game means. That is an asshead move - and kinda childish on top. Your aren't there to educate or school them via in-game means. You are grown-ups. You can talk about stuff...

Michael Chandra

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 8960
  • Question-slicing ninja
« Reply #12 on: (04:57:41/09-09-18) »
There are Johnsons that are basically stooges, mooks sent to do the dirty work of someone relevant. But there are also plenty of Johnsons with actual influence themselves. And you can't easily tell which. So assume the second because assuming the first is a horrible idea.

I second Echo that you might want to give them some warnings, or let them roll relevant skills then tell them 'you know X could be a bad idea given Y'. If they keep it up, suggest Common Sense at a chargen costs discount.

On the other hand, Echo, a player should not have to be informed not tell their temporary BOSS to sod off and go watch cop shows... That's something I shouldn't have to tell my players is a bad idea. If they're willing to state THAT kind of thing, they're beyond warnings.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

Nautilust

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 47
« Reply #13 on: (05:20:33/09-09-18) »
It's another case where I thought I was very very clear about what I intended to run and no one listened. So it's going to be an uphill battle.

However I haven't really punished them or anything. Mr. Johnson gave them a very stern warning and put them in their place, They even reacted to that bad, because then all of a sudden they WERE professionals and he was throwing a tantrum. Which is right about the point I thought about killing them all.

I'm not going to do that just yet though. I'm well aware that my initial thought is usually way too violent, and I have to step back for second and tone it down a bit.

That said if they continue on at this rate they will hit a Mr. Johnson that decides to kill them. But it'll be after several warnings and efforts to fix the issue. Afterwards we can play like, checkers or something. That might be more their speed.

I don't think it'll come to that though. I think their intelligent people, I just have to be very very painstakingly clear what it is I expect and then ask them if they can do it. If they can that's great, if we can meet halfway we might have to pull things back, they're playing AAA runners, maybe street level would be better. If they can't do it, I think we'll play something else. I like to play realistic games with organic characters, except for combat which I'm fine with being over the top.

Ech0

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 43
« Reply #14 on: (05:36:05/09-09-18) »
Before you decide to "teach them a lesson in-game", just tell them that you haven't had fun that last round. You were annoyed and, frankly, bored. You've put work into preparing the adventure for them, and they dick around and just want to one-up each other.
It's childish, one way or another.

If that does not help, apply "rule #0: Don't play with jerks". Pick up that board game (maybe even the Shadowrun ones) and play that instead.