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[SR4] Role for crafter/support during a run ?

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Paehrin

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« on: (13:58:31/10-02-19) »
Hi, it's me again.

My game taking form, I spoke with the players to get an idea of what they would like to play as character (all of them are completely new to Shadowrun).
One of my player was having a pretty good concept, and she wanted to focus mainly on crafting (armorer, etc.), having a shop, making somewhat of a living from it (probably getting the Day Job and SINer negative qualities) and would be running the shadows in order to get money to assure her kid a somewhat decent future existence.
She told me that during the runs, she would like to act as "the man in the chair", providing support this way, and being the wheels of the team. Possibly the medic too, but not on the field directly. She mentionned investing some points in contacts too.

Problem is : she doesn't want to be a hacker, or deal with the Matrix in general (so that also leaves rigging out), or be a mage/shaman, etc. She doesn't want to be a "combat" driver either (so an occasionnal car chase would be alright I guess, but she is no pilot). I'm kinda struggling to find things to do for her when the other people would actually be doing the run. I mean, it would be pretty hard to coordinate a team without using the Matrix or drones in order to get visuals etc. She doesn't want to be a sniper either. I guess she could be very useful during downtime and legwork, but I'm afraid she won't have anything to do besides "I'm sitting in the car and waiting for them to get out" for a session or two when the run actually begins.

So far the team seems to be : Her, a gun-adept, a combat mage, and a troll bouncer of some kind. Do you have any suggestion of what I could do to have her occupied during the run ?

cantrip

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« Reply #1 on: (14:08:21/10-02-19) »
Possibly the team's Face? If they pick up a few social skills, they could be the lo-key friendly negotiator rather than the slick con oriented face.
Keep an eye on the guards and communicate to the team, provide distractions where needed and of course be the ready to step in and help where needed character. Get gear and store it/fix it for the team at their store.
The 'glue' for the team as it were.

cantrip

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« Reply #2 on: (14:10:07/10-02-19) »
If they want to run drones, they could also do that through AR - wouldn't need to be a rigger just to keep an eye on everyone.  8)

PatrolDeer

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« Reply #3 on: (14:42:01/10-02-19) »
Possibly the team's Face? If they pick up a few social skills, they could be the lo-key friendly negotiator rather than the slick con oriented face.
Keep an eye on the guards and communicate to the team, provide distractions where needed and of course be the ready to step in and help where needed character. Get gear and store it/fix it for the team at their store.
The 'glue' for the team as it were.

Yeah, I was also thinking that she could act as the face and the fence. Being an armourer, she might now how to handle a business, so all the negotiations for prices, getting illegal gear, pulling contacts might be easier from someone who is an insider.

I don't know how the skill set and attribute list works in 4th E, but she could dabble a little bit into covert ops. Specifically in my mind are locks and lock picking besides engineering.
Her crafty hands and knowledge of tools could be handy in entering locked spaces, hot wiring/disabling adversaries cars, ...

Paehrin

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« Reply #4 on: (08:30:51/10-03-19) »
Thanks for the suggestions. I think our mage is going to be the official face too (probably crafting a tradition or using the shamanic one, but being more oriented towards spell than summon). I'll suggest to her the face aspect nonetheless, but as she usually has to play one in our group (she usually is the one to step up^^), idk how it'll go.

I like the idea of covert ops, and I'll remember the "sabotage" aspect of engineering (I'll try to give her cars and such that she can disable).

If they want to run drones, they could also do that through AR - wouldn't need to be a rigger just to keep an eye on everyone.  8)
I feel that you still have to dabble into the Matrix inner working to do that, don't you ? Like electronic warfare, people trying to hack your drones (and so having to protect your system with agents, ICs, or even doing it yourself), etc.

But I still feel that even being the face and the B&E person, once she got the team in and gets back to waiting outside, there won't be a lot to do. Usually, fights will break out after entering, and I have no clue about what she could do to support her fighting teammates while being outside of it.

Do you have any suggestion as to how she could coordinate the team without dabbling in the Matrix (outside of combat of course) ? I was thinking that, for exemple, the team could have gotten the blueprint for the building of a run during legwork and she could direct them via comlink (old school type, like they are saying where they are, they find the place on the map, and direct them to where they should go), but that is still pretty limited.
And/or any idea about how to involve her in her teammate's combat if she's not on site ? What could she do ?
« Last Edit: (08:33:56/10-03-19) by Paehrin »

PatrolDeer

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« Reply #5 on: (17:03:41/10-03-19) »

Do you have any suggestion as to how she could coordinate the team without dabbling in the Matrix (outside of combat of course) ? I was thinking that, for exemple, the team could have gotten the blueprint for the building of a run during legwork and she could direct them via comlink (old school type, like they are saying where they are, they find the place on the map, and direct them to where they should go), but that is still pretty limited.
And/or any idea about how to involve her in her teammate's combat if she's not on site ? What could she do ?

A stupid question, but have your group talked together on how to involve the character ? That would be one thing, talk about it together.
Another suggestion would be to simply start with her character concept and let her evolve in-game. She might get some more feel for the game as she gets better understanding of her capabilities.  If the mage is a face as well, maybe there is not enough spot-light place for her, so try to find her a place together with the group.

On the other hand, an Armourer is in my eyes a Combat Engineer, a Sapper, or Breacher.

I am right now imagining her with big ballistic shield to create cover for the gun adept. A LOT of grenades (stuns, flash, teargas, for covert approach, otherwise count in that HE) to dash out TONS of utility. She can have that medical skill set to tend to wounds in between firefights and those entry tools, lockpicks, maglock cards, thermite bars, welders, ropes, climbing gear, gecko gloves... just what ever the legwork brings up, she can manage to get thanks to her profession and business contacts.

cantrip

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« Reply #6 on: (20:20:48/10-03-19) »

On the other hand, an Armourer is in my eyes a Combat Engineer, a Sapper, or Breacher.

Demolitions - I like it! :)

Kirklins

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« Reply #7 on: (21:29:46/10-03-19) »
So what I'd do is sit and talk with the player. Well, listen to the player. Ask her what she sees her character doing to contribute to the meeting with Mr. Johnson, the footwork, getting in, getting the goods, getting out, and getting paid. What's the most likely thing to go wrong for her character and what's her default plan B?

Note you don't do that as a checklist. If you've got a good rapport you can pull enough of those out of a "who is your character on a run" discussion to fill the rest. And besides, she may already have brilliant answers that we haven't considered.
GM in training
for a long, long time now

Paehrin

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« Reply #8 on: (00:44:15/10-04-19) »
I really like what you are suggesting, this would be awesome I think. The thing is, I don't know if she would like it.

I have talk to her, in order to explain to her what concerns me, she seemed to understand. She's gonna talk with the mage, to see if they could split the "face" role (maybe one leaning more in one type of interaction, and the other another). I managed to make her understand that B&E isn't specifically about action, she could be the asset that her team try to protect.

I'll try to talk to her more, see indeed what she would like to do specifically as you suggested Kirklins. I think one of the issue is that none of the players have ever played a game of shadowrun (except Food Fight 4.0 that I ran as an intro to the system), so they don't have the experience of the rythm of the game. Maybe I'll run the first run, and let them (and her specifically) adjust their character afterwards.

Reaver

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« Reply #9 on: (02:52:38/10-08-19) »
I really like what you are suggesting, this would be awesome I think. The thing is, I don't know if she would like it.

I have talk to her, in order to explain to her what concerns me, she seemed to understand. She's gonna talk with the mage, to see if they could split the "face" role (maybe one leaning more in one type of interaction, and the other another). I managed to make her understand that B&E isn't specifically about action, she could be the asset that her team try to protect.

I'll try to talk to her more, see indeed what she would like to do specifically as you suggested Kirklins. I think one of the issue is that none of the players have ever played a game of shadowrun (except Food Fight 4.0 that I ran as an intro to the system), so they don't have the experience of the rythm of the game. Maybe I'll run the first run, and let them (and her specifically) adjust their character afterwards.

What you might be dealing with is a case of "choice paralysis".. There are so many options in SR, she can't decide what she wants to do!
And if she is really new to SR mechanics, the "hows" and "whys" of various dice pools can be intimidating to new players.

There is nothing wrong with starting off with a rough idea of a character, and then working into an actual role on the team after a few runs and understanding how the mechanics and the setting work.  The trick here is to build a character that is adaptable to any role with the right investment of cash, ware or karma...

Now, you have fit a "flatliner" into a game just fine, if you as the GM as willing to work at it.. it just means you may have to tone down your plans until her character "gets up to speed" with the dedicated runners...

****

And if you were REALLY inclined to, you could make her character the Mcgriffin of a sub-plot for your campaign... "Help little, lost Suzy find herself in the deep dark shadows of <insert city here>"
take the base character as a "flatliner" (old slang term for someone who tries to Run the Shadows without the skills or ware), and grow her into an effective Runner through play... the only catch here is player co-operation on all sides. 
 
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.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #10 on: (02:55:17/10-08-19) »

What you might be dealing with is a case of "choice paralysis".. There are so many options in SR, she can't decide what she wants to do!
Incidentally, this is why I hated BP chargen and never want karmagen as the default character creation option: I spent hours on spending and constantly moving around my last 10 BP on a character in SR4.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

Paehrin

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« Reply #11 on: (17:16:53/10-08-19) »
It might be choice paralysis. To be fair, since all the players are new to SR, they were all a bit intimidated by the dice pool and the setting (I think that's why there is no matrix guy in their team, and the only mage wants to be a spell slinger that doesn't deal with spirits). I don't want to push them too hard, the system is overwhelming to new players, and being myself still fresh in it, I tend to see this as an opportunity to learn at a steady pace.

Maybe she's a flatliner too, but I think the campaign I prepared should allow her to grow, but I'll be carefull to make sure of that. Thanks a lot for all the feedback, I'll keep you posted on it :)