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Running Elven Fire...Any Tips?

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Jack Hooligan

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« on: <06-03-20/0949:57> »
Im using the Anarchy system to run the old school module, Elven Fire. Any tips or suggestions on running this module? Anyone remember back this far? This will be the first adventure for a new party, so far Im thinking theyll start off as concerned citizens getting sweeped up into the gang wars in their neighborhood and their experience here will lead them to becoming shadowrunners. The adventure does seem to leave a lot to the gm though, so experience will help. Im thinking of getting the old Sprawl Sites also to help supplement the adventure.

Tecumseh

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« Reply #1 on: <06-03-20/1258:22> »
Sprawl Sites is one of my favorite books and I still use it to this day, so I strongly recommend that.

I read through Elven Fire but never played through it. One of my memories is that they did a good job of using real world locations and geographical references that were consistent and made sense.

One thing you might have to roll back is that a lot of this turf (I think there are references to Dexter and/or Westlake) have been massively developed in the last few years as South Lake Union has become a hub for tech companies, especially Amazon. So if you're using any sort of street view, it's going to look a lot nicer in the current day than it would have in the 90s when this was written. Depending on which in-game year you're going to use, you'll likely want to to downgrade a lot of the buildings to warehouses, workshops, light industrial buildings, and the like. You'll probably want the gritty "don't go out after dark" atmosphere, even though you're close to all the megacorps downtown. (But remember that in the early editions, the gangs would come out at night and rampage through Downtown and the surrounding areas for the lolz. The Halloweeners would light things on fire and duke it out with corp security for giggles, which was not only part of the grimdark 1980s-future atmosphere but also lent some reasoning for why people would be so interested in arcologies and other enclaves that were protected from the rest of the world.)

Jack Hooligan

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« Reply #2 on: <06-04-20/1210:54> »
Thanks for the tips. I'll gave to consider how much fealty I want to give to maps. We'll probably be playing over Zoom, so it may just all be narrative.

Jack Hooligan

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« Reply #3 on: <06-04-20/1633:05> »
I'm a little unsure how to handle the first encounter in the book. Basically the PCs are hanging out in the street when a drive-by happens. the nature of drive-bys mean...they shoot while rolling and keep going. So...how do the PCs have an actual encounter here beyond just taking cover? It seems I'd have to introduce a device that stops the car so the PCs can battle the gang.

Maybe I should move this to the GM Lounge forum?
« Last Edit: <06-04-20/1647:25> by Jack Hooligan »

Tecumseh

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« Reply #4 on: <06-05-20/0217:33> »
Well, like the encounter says, it's mostly just to set the tone of how bad the violence has gotten. Whether the PCs engage the punks is almost secondary. They can if they want - and/or if it makes sense for their character - or they can just take cover and stay safe. Both are entirely valid options. I'd only stop the car if the PCs manage to stop it. (Shooting the tires, shooting the driver, planting an Earth elemental in the middle of the street for the car to crash into, etc.)

The point is to set up the premise that the violence in the city is so bad that the PCs are getting caught up in it through no fault of their own. Sure, they're likely violent criminals themselves, but the drive-by is random violence, not the controlled, precise, professional violence of the PCs. So if the PCs don't bite, or tend to the wounded, or some other non-violent course of action, let it play out rather than forcing the fight. This is a chance to let the characters emerge.

Jack Hooligan

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« Reply #5 on: <06-05-20/1015:11> »
Great points on the purpose of that first encounter. Thanks!

Since this is the groups first adventure, we don't have previous sessions for me to sprinkle in news bits or events ramping up the gang wars. So, before meeting with the Priest and Lone Star troll, I might pull an additional event or two out of Sprawl Sites book, so the PCs can taste several acts of random violence which will more likely spur them to action when called.

Tecumseh

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« Reply #6 on: <06-05-20/1256:31> »
Yes and no. Remember, the idea is to convey how extraordinarily bad the violence is, to the point where the violence is both lethal and random. Ideally the characters should feel, "This is bad and something needs to be done about it or I might get shot in the back through no fault of my own."

Again, I love Sprawl Sites, so definitely use it, but I might lean toward some of the non-violent (or less violent) encounters so that when the violence happens, the contrast is obvious. I like Yakuza #1 and Rich Folks #3. I haven't run Rich Folks #4 or Media #5 or Corp Folks #2 but they can be good for RP. Trolls #3 and Trolls #5 are fun. The latter turns into a bar brawl but things don't have to get lethal. A classic fight with fists, bottles, and pool cues can help draw a distinction between non-lethal brawls and highly-lethal drive-by shootings.