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How Brutal Are You?

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Crash_00

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« on: (15:26:33/11-19-11) »
I don't consider myself a killer GM. I've had a lot of PC deaths in past campaigns, but they're usually related to sheer PC stupidity as opposed to sadistic urges on my part...no really...I swear. So I've been running Season Two's missions for a local group, and I don't think they are that hard really if approached with a tactical mind set. Even at higher TRs, a good strategy will almost always get you through them.

That said, I have a bad feeling based on a few of my groups members typical strategies (ie bull rush in and blast things) a few of them may not make it through the next few missions coming up. I'm really a let the dice fall where they may GM for the most part, so it doesn't really bother me when PCs die off, but I was wondering how often other Missions GMs wind up with a bit of PC blood on their hands. I've made sure to point out the benefits of peaceful solutions as well as the benefits of stealth and general common sense like taking cover and not attacking overwhelming odds, but for a couple players it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. For instance, last session the physically weakest character (a small mage) tried to take on nine guys by himself (one of them being a mage as well) and managed to escape with one box of health left (after two passes).

Is there any other advice I should be giving these players, or should I just let the dice fall where they do and let making new characters be the learning lesson if they don't make it? The next run I'm doing involves another shadowrun team with a make-up similar to my group, and I foresee them using very similar tactics as most of my group. If two of the players try the standard charge in and massacre tactics, I'm almost positive they'll get come out looking like grated cheese.


KarmaInferno

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« Reply #1 on: (08:40:58/11-20-11) »
I will not go out of the way to kill PCs, but I won't save them from their own stupidity either.

I don't like seeing PC deaths because of some random dice roll, though, and am likely to nudge the odds in those cases. If a PC dies, I want it to have meaning! Preferably because they did it to themselves.

:)


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wylie

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« Reply #2 on: (10:27:19/11-20-11) »
I'm with Karmainferno
I try not to kill PCs, unleaset it is a dramaic moment, or just sheer foolishness

beating the PCs within an inch of their life is different story, letting them burn edge & karma to survive

tzizimine

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« Reply #3 on: (10:27:36/11-20-11) »
I guess I not have the same problems with my players, mostly because I have impressed upon them that Shadowrun is a lethal game and there is no resurrection. If it helps, kill off a few third-tier NPCs (the 'Robert Palson' team that the fixer contact lost because they did exactly what the party was thinking of doing). Either that or set up a run where busting down the door and blasting everything leaves the party alive but the run failed.
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Blond Goth Girl

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« Reply #4 on: (10:40:00/11-20-11) »
I will not go out of the way to kill PCs, but I won't save them from their own stupidity either.

I don't like seeing PC deaths because of some random dice roll, though, and am likely to nudge the odds in those cases. If a PC dies, I want it to have meaning! Preferably because they did it to themselves.

100% on that - Why a single PC would want to pick a fight with a pack of werewolves and be surprised when they die, is beyond me.

wylie

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« Reply #5 on: (10:52:20/11-20-11) »
I will not go out of the way to kill PCs, but I won't save them from their own stupidity either.

I don't like seeing PC deaths because of some random dice roll, though, and am likely to nudge the odds in those cases. If a PC dies, I want it to have meaning! Preferably because they did it to themselves.

100% on that - Why a single PC would want to pick a fight with a pack of werewolves and be surprised when they die, is beyond me.
TOTALLY!!!

Crash_00

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« Reply #6 on: (14:06:49/11-20-11) »
Thanks, that's pretty much exactly how I feel on PC deaths, but I wanted to get a general feel from other GMs.

For the most part, I think 2/3rds of the team will be fine, its only a couple I'm actually thinking won't make it. That said, if they rush an equally prepared and geared runner team, I don't think there will be anything random about their deaths (other than the of course blatant random nature of the dice, but on averages the result would happen).

I've stressed the lethality present in SR as well as all the different ways to get out of combat/live longer(cover, good cover, full cover/blind fire, full dodge, smoke grenades, etc.), but the first eight or so missions in Season Two are fairly cakewalkish, and I think they have ignored it because they are for the most part leagues ahead of the competition so far. The later half of Season Two really ups the ante.

JustADude

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« Reply #7 on: (14:52:47/11-20-11) »
I've stressed the lethality present in SR as well as all the different ways to get out of combat/live longer(cover, good cover, full cover/blind fire, full dodge, smoke grenades, etc.), but the first eight or so missions in Season Two are fairly cakewalkish, and I think they have ignored it because they are for the most part leagues ahead of the competition so far. The later half of Season Two really ups the ante.

Oh, trust me, I learned my lesson after that last little run-in. With Mr. Soft it was all stun damage and huge damage tracks. Getting within one box of "dead" in a single IP made the importance of not getting shot rather clear.

Now I just have to hope Angus the Minotaur, or whatever name he picked doesn't get trigger-happy again.
« Last Edit: (14:54:46/11-20-11) by JustADude »
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raggedhalo

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« Reply #8 on: (05:06:35/11-21-11) »
Players at my table always keep 1 Edge back in case they need to burn it to survive ;-)
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Kat9

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« Reply #9 on: (13:55:05/11-21-11) »
Well I can't say I have run Missions....missions, personally but I try not to go out of my way to kill characters. It sort of bothers me when players have to lose their creations. I know, as a player, I invest a lot of my passion for gaming into making a fun character. They might not be min/Maxed, they might not even be "the best at what they do," but they're individuals.

This isn't to say I go out of my way to keep them alive, its just that I feel bad when the hammer falls. I rather they make it through a mission battered, bruised thanking Dog they survived. Still, death happens and when I see its going to happen, I try to bend things a little to give them a worthy death. Their death might cause the enemy to pause a moment, their attacker might take a moment to gloat only to get gunned down by one of the team.

Granted even in this there is there are exceptions, if someone is doing something stupid, or irritating I don't feel bad. Had a runner try to attack a Johnson during a meet. I went through detail when they walked in describing the guards the J had. Two wired bullyboys, and a mage on hand. He got hostile with the J, one of the bullyboys told him to calm down. He drew a gun and pow, things went bad.

I didn't feel bad about that at all...

FastJack

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« Reply #10 on: (16:36:23/11-21-11) »
Let's just say that last night's game involved the PhysAd Blademaster's brother being in charge of the SecTeam on overwatch for their extraction target. And her brother had gone the path of the Cyberzombie.

Nothing like having the terminator trying to rip you to shreds as the Invoked Memory Stimulator has him talking in a child-like voice with his sister about the the picnics they used to have as children.

Mason

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« Reply #11 on: (00:48:59/11-22-11) »
Let's just say that last night's game involved the PhysAd Blademaster's brother being in charge of the SecTeam on overwatch for their extraction target. And her brother had gone the path of the Cyberzombie.

Nothing like having the terminator trying to rip you to shreds as the Invoked Memory Stimulator has him talking in a child-like voice with his sister about the the picnics they used to have as children.

That is AMAZING. Why can't my group have that kind of characterization? *scribble scribble scribble*

Malex

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« Reply #12 on: (13:57:40/12-21-11) »
I am trying to get over a recent PC death; mostly the 'WTF were you thinking?!'. He had ample warnings from the drone that killed him to not present himself as a threat yet threw a grenade anyway. His Throw check got him one hit and caught him in the blast. The drone, suffering little damage, opens up on him killing him instantly.

So no, I don't think I'm brutal at all; players just do stupid things that get them killed.
Look past the lies, and all the scary stuff that remains is the truth.

squee_nabob

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« Reply #13 on: (12:57:14/12-23-11) »
I try not to kill people in missions, especially when it is not their fault (if they sat quietly at a table of 8 people while someone else forced the group to go with their plan). The fact that people PAY to play at missions games makes me think I should take their happiness into consideration more than a regular game.

This doesn't mean you should never risk death, but you should risk death because you choose to. I've had a PC burn permanent edge to save the girl from SRM02-03.

Alternatively, I don't want people to die if they didn't vote for the TR. If 4 people say TR 6 because they have 140 karma, and 2 people are at 0 karma and want TR 1, I'm not going to kill the people who wanted to play at TR 1.

The Wyrm Ouroboros

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« Reply #14 on: (23:49:48/12-24-11) »
Being a GM is a particularly difficult task, because you really aren't there to kill characters.  Even people who come to the game and play bull-ahead shoot-everything-first characters are still players coming to the game to have fun.  Would you want to create a new character every three or four sessions?  I know I'd get frustrated.

Please, please understand that killing is Option Z.  Being wimpy and letting them get away with murder, well, that isn't even an option, but there are plenty of other possibilities out there.  If there's no other PC there to witness events, you can say, 'you throw the grenade, you get caught in the grenade blast, the drone opens up ... and everything is black.'  Killing runners is, actually, bad for business for the corps, because killing you isn't going to find out who hired you.

Capture them.

Most GMs don't do this, because it kind of complicates things; easier just to whack 'em and be done.  Capturing lets the player learn with his character, and find out that death is not the worst thing that can happen to his character.  Don't torture them, but ... pressure them.  Implant things, from carcerands to cortex bombs to tracking devices to muscle poisons with antidotes that if they don't get the temporary antidote once a week, they'll start feeling its effects.

Get them to send Corporation / Agency / Organization X information about their targets.  Then information about their team.  Then start having to follow little 'requests'.  Stuff like this.

Yes, sometimes they just beg to be killed, and sometimes it's really difficult to NOT kill them -- but unless you WANT to be the PKer GM, try to find other things to do than tell them, 'okay, draw up another character'.  Imagine them getting caught three times, and having to follow orders from three different groups ...

... 'cause I think being merciful three times is probably the limit.  :P
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