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Campaign advice: start with Ashes, Copycat Killer or Back in Business?

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mcv

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« on: (17:22:32/01-09-19) »
I posted a while ago about my plans to run a campaign consisting mostly of Season 4 Missions and 5th edition adventures that go well with it, culminating in Shattered State as the finale. I read a bunch of really cool adventures to use, but I really need to pick one to start with, as I'll probably need it this Sunday.

The 3 main contenders are the ones listed above. All 3 of them seem like appropriate places to start from a story perspective, not least because all of them do a good introduction to the Orc Underground, and, from what I understand of these really are adventures that belong(ed) at the start or before season 4.

Back in Business is obvious: it's the first adventure of Missions Season 4. The big, big, major downside is that it's all in SR4 rules, so I'd have to start right away with conversion, and I'd rather not do that. However, the big upside is that it links to the Earthdawn experience this group already has (I'm pretty sure the players will recognise the obsidian shard for what it is). Also, it's a good intro for both the Orc Underground storyline and the Artefacts storyline of Season 4. I plan to focus on the Orc Underground storyline, but if the players are far more interested in the artefacts, starting here makes it easy to switch.

I haven't read anything else from the artefacts storyline yet, but it sounds like it involves Lofwyr and Lung, and originally (now long ago) I was planning to have this campaign work towards a dragon-related plot of my own devising. Maybe Back in Business and the Artefact storyline would help with that, although I've kinda abandoned that idea for now.

Copycat Killer takes place before season 4, so maybe it makes more sense to run that first. Big advantage is that I can probably use many of the stats from Carbon Copy, which is basically a remake of this, so much less conversion work. I really like this adventure. Only real downside: I feel like they should have known McCallister for a bit longer before they get called by him for something so personal. Also, seeing him broken will be much more effective if they first know him happy.

Ashes from Sprawl Wilds is also a nice intro to the Orc Underground, but it takes place after Season 4. Of course I don't have to let that stop me. But I also read on some forum that Ashes from Sprawl Wilds is actually a reworked version of an older never-published mission by the same name. And in fact, Back in Business refers directly to the fire in Ashes. So it makes sense to start here if I manage to rework it to fit better before season 4.

Sadly, the original Ashes seems to be completely unavailable. I will have to make my own guesses about the differences. One thing that strikes me is that in Ashes, Knight Errant has an agreement with the Orc Underground/the Skraacha to take over some systems in case of emergency. This sounds pretty unlikely pre-prop 23. Does anyone have any good ideas on what I should change about Ashes to better fit it before season 4/prop 23?

So 3 good paces to start, and they all have good reasons not to use them as the first adventure in this series.

I think Ashes first makes the most sense. I believe it doesn't have Tosh Athack yet? All the others do. (I fear they might be either best buds or mortal enemies with him by the time we reach Shattered State.) But without the original Ashes, it's hard for me to decide what I should change about it.

mcv

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« Reply #1 on: (08:18:45/01-10-19) »
Some googling around for information about Ashes brought me to this post by Bull himself, which I somehow hadn't come across before.

His advice:

Quote
Ashes (Just remove any references to an earlier fire/prop 23.  Alternatively, run it straight and move this to after SRM 04-12).
Copycat Killer
SRM 04-00 - SRM 04-03
Humanitarian Aid
SRM 04-04 - SRM 04-12
Carbon Copy

And Manhunt can be run anywhere in the middle there as a filler adventure.

I'm probably going to drop a few from this, but it sounds like Ashes doesn't need all that much adaptation. Although he doesn't address KE's agreement with the Skraacha.
« Last Edit: (09:22:33/01-10-19) by mcv »

PiXeL01

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« Reply #2 on: (16:22:14/01-10-19) »
I started with Ashes in my group actually. Itís a good story
If Tom Bradyís a Spike Baby, what does that make Brees and Rodgers?

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #3 on: (08:44:18/01-11-19) »
Ashes is after the real Mayan Cutter, right? So then KE is already in place, but still new and yes, without agreement with the Skraacha.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

mcv

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« Reply #4 on: (05:29:34/01-12-19) »
There's one typo in Ashes where it suddenly mentions the Big Rhino entrance instead of Longstrungs entrance. Could that have been in the original? But Back in Business shows signs of the fire near Lordstrungs entrance, so it must have been there.

Although there's also an inconsistency in the entrance between Ashes and Back in Business: in Ashes it's a stone staircase near a transit terminal, in Back in Business it's a double escalator inside Lordstrungs department store. I have no idea if either of these options get mentioned anywhere else.

Looking on Google maps, was it at Fifth and Pine? https://www.google.com/maps/search/fifth+and+pine+seattle/@47.6116931,-122.3367006,19z shows a Nordstrom department store with an escalator near a transit stop. (Maybe I should edit that map and print it.) Although several descriptions in wikis mention that the entrance is from their basement. So maybe the escalator leads to the basement and there's a stone stairwell from there? But it can also be closed off from the rest of the store so the entrance can remain open when the shop closes.

Tarislar

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« Reply #5 on: (23:00:17/02-11-19) »
I'd say run them in chronological order starting with Copy Cat since its the earliest.

Bulls list is a good one.

I think there is also the Elven Blood group of missions that you could do after Ashes that takes you from Seattle into Tir.


mcv

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« Reply #6 on: (07:42:44/02-12-19) »
I think there is also the Elven Blood group of missions that you could do after Ashes that takes you from Seattle into Tir.
As it happens, one player plays an elf from Tir. I'll have a look at Elven Blood. I'm getting a bit worried that only focusing on the Ork Underground may get a bit tedious after a while. I need some variation.

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #7 on: (21:52:19/02-12-19) »
I actually did something like this when I started my own group a while back.

I actually started with Splintered State, and then I ran a bunch of the Season 4 missions (hotfixed to SR5 rules) afterward. For a lot of them, I simply swapped the flavor from being pre-Prop 23, to being fallout post-prop 23. For the most part it worked out. I simply planned on never running the last 2 or 3 Ork Underground missions.

One of the nice things about using Season 4, is that it had two pretty much independent story lines: Ork Underground (odd numbers) & Artifact Rush (even numbers). So you can keep the mix going by running everything. I do recommend mixing in a few other missions here and there, otherwise they are likely to feel like they are just bouncing back and forth too much. You can also mix up the order on a few of the scenarios, most of the Artifact Rush missions are very independent.

I also recommend the Elven Blood missions, but plan to run all of them back to back, since they essentially make one extended story. Similarly, Boundless Mercy is a series that takes the group out of town to Montreal for the last half, and it has ties to one of the Artifact Rush modules too.

If you have any questions on converting the SR4 Missions to 5th edition rules, feel free to PM me.

Tarislar

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« Reply #8 on: (22:40:48/02-12-19) »
I think there is also the Elven Blood group of missions that you could do after Ashes that takes you from Seattle into Tir.
As it happens, one player plays an elf from Tir. I'll have a look at Elven Blood. I'm getting a bit worried that only focusing on the Ork Underground may get a bit tedious after a while. I need some variation.

As Kir noted, the S4 missions are actually 2 different stories w/ only a small amount of overlap so its not all Ork UG.

IIRC you might get away with running the very first elven blood before the rest of them, but I think the 2nd one takes you fully to Tir for the rest of them.

I forgot about Boundless Mercy but as stated that one starts in Seattle too.

I'd probably run at least 1/2 if not 3/4 of the S4 before tossing in EB or BM because IIRC those were much harder opposition on par with the last 5 S4 missions for sure.

Maybe even come up with a couple small side runs of your own devising that are easier & work those in during the first 1/2 to give the group more time to gather karma/cash.

I'd say complete every pure Seattle mission then head to the Tir for the last EB runs, then on returning finish off with the BM runs that lead to Montreal.

Over all you can probably keep busy for a long time & get the characters up to 200ish Karma by the time you finish off the runs out of town.

It might require more conversion but the S1 Missions were also in Seattle (SR3E Rules) and at the very least might be good for ideas even if you didn't want to do all that conversion.