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Copycat Killer - who's who of Bull's family gathering

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psycho835

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« on: (14:25:50/08-24-19) »
So, I was a little bored and started looking through Copycat Killer. Now, it's been a while since I've last been through it, back then I knew next to nothing about SR lore, but this time around, I've noticed a something strange at the very end, when the titular Killer is handed over to Bull and co. Present are:
-Bull himself,
-Marie MacCallister, Bull's wife,
-Tauren, Bull's son.

So far, everything seems in order. But here's when things get weird. Because in addition to the above, present are also:
-Johnny 99, shaman, Bull's old 'running partner,
-Xuxa, talismonger, Johnny's wife,
-Becky, rat shaman, Johnny's ex-wife,
-Penthisil, hermetic mage
.
The problem? Johnny died in Harlequin's Back, which takes place in mid-2050s. Copycat Killer is set in 2072. What's up with that?
Also, by this point Becky has, according to Bull, become a Good Merge Mantis spirit. Out of curiosity: any connection to Becky 99, the Rat Shaman from the Chicago missions? She's in Desolation Angels and those are known to include Mantids.

Could someone clear those up for me? Bull?
« Last Edit: (17:17:51/08-24-19) by psycho835 »

Bull

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« Reply #1 on: (13:52:47/08-25-19) »
Heh.

Copycat Killer was the first time I'd written Bull officially for Shadowrun (His Shadowtalk entries prior to this in SR1 and 2 were all written by someone else), and at the time, I planned for it to just be a one-off thing. I started working on this a couple months before I took over as Missions Developer, and we were still finishing up Season 3 so we hadn't started planning Season 4 yet.  So I was just having fun with it, and wanted to put in nods to the old campaign and characters.

Obviously things got retconned/corrected a bit when we decided to make Bull one of the primary NPCs for Season 4 and I decided on his official canon for Street Legends (Which is still a good deal different than our home campaign canon.)

And just to correct you slightly, Xuxa and Becky were both married to Johnny 99 (and each other) at the same time. Go go gadget Polygamy.

Becky is indeed Becky 99 from the Chicago Missions. In our home campaign, she joined with the mantids to help Bull, Johnny, and the rest survive being trapped in Chicago during Bug City.

During our version of the Harlequin adventures, the final ones of which took place for us sometime in the early 2060's, one of our group needed to sacrifice themselves to "plug" a whole in the metaplanes.  We were wrapping up the campaign, and initially I planned to sac Bull, but Johnny knocked Bull out and sent him home since Bull had a family who needed him. Canonically, this is not the actual Harlequin's Back adventure, just something similar (Harley has done this a handful of times over the years).

I have a story in my head where Johnny actually returns. His "Sacrifice" didn't mean his death, but instead meant he had to stay behind to guard the metaplanar hole. Something bad manages to break through, and Johnny and Harlequin show up on Bull's doorstep. Hijinx ensue.

psycho835

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« Reply #2 on: (15:54:22/08-25-19) »
Heh.

Copycat Killer was the first time I'd written Bull officially for Shadowrun (His Shadowtalk entries prior to this in SR1 and 2 were all written by someone else), and at the time, I planned for it to just be a one-off thing. I started working on this a couple months before I took over as Missions Developer, and we were still finishing up Season 3 so we hadn't started planning Season 4 yet.  So I was just having fun with it, and wanted to put in nods to the old campaign and characters.

Obviously things got retconned/corrected a bit when we decided to make Bull one of the primary NPCs for Season 4 and I decided on his official canon for Street Legends (Which is still a good deal different than our home campaign canon.)
Ah, that clears things up. Thanks. :)

And just to correct you slightly, Xuxa and Becky were both married to Johnny 99 (and each other) at the same time. Go go gadget Polygamy.
Is... that even legal in UCAS? :o
Anyway, the text stated she's his ex. Typo or retcon?

Becky is indeed Becky 99 from the Chicago Missions. In our home campaign, she joined with the mantids to help Bull, Johnny, and the rest survive being trapped in Chicago during Bug City.
So, she's both a Good Merge Mantis AND a Rat shaman at the same time? How is that even possible? ???

During our version of the Harlequin adventures, the final ones of which took place for us sometime in the early 2060's, one of our group needed to sacrifice themselves to "plug" a whole in the metaplanes.  We were wrapping up the campaign, and initially I planned to sac Bull, but Johnny knocked Bull out and sent him home since Bull had a family who needed him. Canonically, this is not the actual Harlequin's Back adventure, just something similar (Harley has done this a handful of times over the years).
Makes me wonder how many teams went through this. And how many runners stayed behind.

I have a story in my head where Johnny actually returns. His "Sacrifice" didn't mean his death, but instead meant he had to stay behind to guard the metaplanar hole. Something bad manages to break through, and Johnny and Harlequin show up on Bull's doorstep. Hijinx ensue.
More like "cosmic Horrors ensue".

So, final question, should we ever replay that adventure: who's canonically present at the end?
« Last Edit: (15:58:25/08-25-19) by psycho835 »

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #3 on: (16:01:02/08-25-19) »
We THINK Becky is a Rat Shaman. Players suspected she's secretly a bug since forever.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

psycho835

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« Reply #4 on: (16:12:40/08-25-19) »
We THINK Becky is a Rat Shaman. Players suspected she's secretly a bug since forever.
Now that you've mentioned it... She does has Spirit Bane (Insect) quality. Thing is, you can only take Spirit Bane for a type of spirit you can summon. Of course, she also has a bound Beast spirit. Oh, and despite having magic gear, skills, spells and metamagical techniques, she lacks Magician quality. Man, this is so confusing.

Bull

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« Reply #5 on: (05:20:30/08-26-19) »
Is... that even legal in UCAS? :o

It's never specified, though some of the novels and other fiction suggests that after the awakening, things were a little less... constrained by traditional mores.

Quote
Anyway, the text stated she's his ex. Typo or retcon?

Double checking, it does say ex, doesn't it? Remember, it's been like 8 years since I wrote that, but if I had to guess why I did that, it was because while they weren't divorced Becky did stay behind in CHicago with the Mantids when the rest of the family got out.  Something like that, maybe?

Quote
So, she's both a Good Merge Mantis AND a Rat shaman at the same time? How is that even possible? ???

She's not a Rat Shaman, she just used to be before she merged. And has both a high magic, high force, and masks her aura very, very well.  We wanted to keep the bugs out of the Chicago Missions until the latter half of the season (several missions include some deliberate misdirects since players would expect it), *and* we didn't want trigger happy players to pick a fight with a major player for the overall campaign if/when their GM let something slip or they got a lucky Assensing roll, so we just handwaved it.  Assume that at any given point, Becky was willing to burn edge to maintain her Masking. :)

Makes me wonder how many teams went through this. And how many runners stayed behind.

My old GM (Steven Tinner, GM to the Stars, RIP) tended to heavily modify anything we played.  And this adventure ended up being the finale to a 7+ year campaign.  IIRC, I don't think an actual sacrifice is necessary in the adventure as written.

Also, I never actually intended to make the specifics part of official canon. I always kept it vague, just noting that Harley caused Bull's death. Another writer had asked me about some specifics though, and ended up putting it into the Harlequin write up in the Street Legends Supplemental eBook.

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So, final question, should we ever replay that adventure: who's canonically present at the end?

If I was writing it now?  Probably just the immediate family, Bull, Marie, and Billy.  Xuxa is in Amazonia, and Penthisil is...  I have no idea where he wandered off to.  They were all secondary NPCs in our game, not other PCs, and Penth was one of those who came and went depending on if Tinner rememebred him or we thought to call him. (Outside of Bull & Johnny, there weren't really any other permanent players.  We had a number of folks bounce in and out over the years, but it was ultimately always the "Bull & Johnny show").

Fun fact:  The free spirit, Daytripper, in the adventure Tinner wrote for Season 5, SRM 05-04 Liberation?  He was another regular NPC from our game.

Johnny called up a Hearth Spirit (back when those were still a thing in 2nd ed) and rolled stupid well on his dice (I think he got a 30+ on one die.  Again, 2nd ed, different dice rules) in our old apartment in Chicago.  The spirit showed up befuddled and looking like Don Knott's character, Mr. Furley, from the TV show Three's Company.  After that, he would just randomly show up and hang around, often watching a TV no one else could see and laughing at it like crazy.  DUring Bug City and the CZ, we set him free, and he changed his name to Daytripper. :)

[/quote]
Now that you've mentioned it... She does has Spirit Bane (Insect) quality. Thing is, you can only take Spirit Bane for a type of spirit you can summon. Of course, she also has a bound Beast spirit. Oh, and despite having magic gear, skills, spells and metamagical techniques, she lacks Magician quality. Man, this is so confusing.

Like I said above, we were obfuscating her deliberately. She's a Mantis Shaman that fakes being a Rat Shaman, and is pretty powerful (I never actually gave her any "real' stats, though one of the authors may have in one of the Season 9 Missions, I'm not certain as I had stepped down from Missions by then).

Lormyr

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« Reply #6 on: (07:51:13/08-26-19) »
Thing is, you can only take Spirit Bane for a type of spirit you can summon.

This is not accurate, at least in 5th edition.

Interesting background info though, I honestly had no idea.

mcv

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« Reply #7 on: (07:53:32/08-26-19) »
Good timing for this discussion: I'm in the middle of running Copycat Killer for my group. I hadn't given much thought to who all these people were, but it did sound like rather a big crowd of high-powered people. I hadn't heard of any of them, but is Johnny 99 someone a Shadowrun veteran might have heard of? (I've got one of those in my group.)

Also, if Becky returns in the Chicago Missions, it could be interesting to include her. (Not sure yet if we're going to Chicago; I've got more than enough material in Seattle, but I'd like to keep the option open.)

psycho835

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« Reply #8 on: (09:08:46/08-26-19) »
Also, I never actually intended to make the specifics part of official canon. I always kept it vague, just noting that Harley caused Bull's death. Another writer had asked me about some specifics though, and ended up putting it into the Harlequin write up in the Street Legends Supplemental eBook.
Wait, he caused Bull's death? Not Johnny's?

Like I said above, we were obfuscating her deliberately. She's a Mantis Shaman that fakes being a Rat Shaman, and is pretty powerful (I never actually gave her any "real' stats, though one of the authors may have in one of the Season 9 Missions, I'm not certain as I had stepped down from Missions by then).
In Chicago missions she has Magic 9, Initiate Grade 4, Assenssing 6, Spellcasting 7, Counterspelling 8, Ritual Spellcasting 4, Banishing 7 and... Conjuring 8? Shouldn't that be Summoning and Binding? Ghost damn it, now I will be wondering whether or not it's deliberate.

This is not accurate, at least in 5th edition.

Interesting background info though, I honestly had no idea.
Whoops, sorry. It's the other way around - only spirits that AREN'T part of your tradition. And to think I gave up the idea of a spirit hunter REALLY hated by all the nasties because of that screw up. Oh, well, maybe it's for the best. I imagine getting Becky as contact would be rather problematic with Spirit Bane(Insect). Or does that not affects mantids for some reason?

Bull

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« Reply #9 on: (14:47:29/08-26-19) »
Bah.  Johnny's death.  Never post while tired, kids.

Bull

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« Reply #10 on: (14:48:25/08-26-19) »
For the rest...  don't overthink it. :) 

CanRay

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« Reply #11 on: (15:15:41/08-26-19) »
Everyone's forgetting Bull's sorta-nephew, Jack!!!  Slamm-0! and Netcat often leave Jack to be babysat by Bull.  The kid is picking up a lot from his "Uncle" Bull.

Mostly, he picked up "The Drek Song" from Uncle Bull.   ;D
Si vis pacem, para bellum

psycho835

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« Reply #12 on: (15:33:01/08-26-19) »
Everyone's forgetting Bull's sorta-nephew, Jack!!!  Slamm-0! and Netcat often leave Jack to be babysat by Bull.  The kid is picking up a lot from his "Uncle" Bull.

Mostly, he picked up "The Drek Song" from Uncle Bull.   ;D
Long as he does not stumbles on any of Panthers "Uncle Bull" is stashing all over the place...

Bull

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« Reply #13 on: (18:00:34/08-26-19) »
Long as he does not stumbles on any of Panthers "Uncle Bull" is stashing all over the place...

Those are all biometrically locked to Bull and Billy. There won't be a repeat of the "Incident of '67". ;)

psycho835

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« Reply #14 on: (18:56:55/08-26-19) »
Long as he does not stumbles on any of Panthers "Uncle Bull" is stashing all over the place...

Those are all biometrically locked to Bull and Billy. There won't be a repeat of the "Incident of '67". ;)
Huh. I've just took a look at your stat block from Street Legends and they really are outfitted with biometric locks. So's the warhawk. Talk about responsible parenting. ;)