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Why cant missions be more realistic

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Leigion

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« on: (22:47:56/06-14-12) »
Hey Chummers,
I was wondering why some missions seem, how to put this... completely nonsense/ unbelievable/ 0 common sense. I am sorry i don't mean to offend the writers think of this as constructive criticism. A couple of case and points real fast. 1st off ready set gough where the team is hired to steal a fish tank and some other pieces of art then return the stolen art to charity. WTF seriously? How about the one where your stuck in a service tunnel after a ambush and the dead shadowruner on a service latter is rigged to explode. Oh and if you just kinda sit and wait a fixer shows up with a crew to help out the runners. In all technically its GM fiat and doesn't even roll well with players since anyone with common sense will shoot the fixer thinking he had something to do with the ambush. Sorry i cant think of the mission that was off hand, but it involved a truck full of food. Even when i asked my girlfriend and painted the scean to her she even came to the conclusion that the fixer had to know about the ambush to show up with people and the means to get the goods off loaded.

 We are are supposed to be playing criminal freelancers/freedom fighters. Granted we could play something else but basically if their is a johnson involved then its a merc sitcho. I played the game for years have alot of the books and iam not trying to come off as a douche believe me. I am just seriously wondering why no real life reaserch goes into these missions to make them more beliveable? I rember Nigel Findleys work some modules and some shadowrun novels his stuff was pretty believable to a point. Ok granted we got cyberpunk meets magic but still the meat and potato's is doing criminal or at least very questionable things for a buck. Why cant the skeleton of the run be based in reality? Why not consult with real life ex military, cops, criminal originations? Real life writer do this all the time.  In a maximum security prison a carton of smokes can get you a crap ton of information for a story. Hell. alot of people in solitary would jump at the chance to talk to someone that wasn't a cop with a half flung story of data mining him for a small amount of credit.
 
Also quick question maybe i some how missed it in wired or the sr4 book but can someone please explain to me why in the world a criminal would take his cell phone on a job when even if its a throw away phone its going to be handshaking with everything it comes into contact with. Even off another device would notice hey that device just came into my area better make a note of it. Another thing would be who has a meet with a team of free lancers its usual the represent meeting the fixer/johnson in a controlled area. Said person better have street cred or do something pro bono to prove he aint no cop. Usually the fixer knows the guy, knows where to find him or his family. Incase well someone decides to get caught and spill the beans. Oh and if the guy had a recording device at anytime electronic eyes ears bla bla bla yep that cat is going to get duped and then shot for sure possible innocent associates too.
« Last Edit: (19:16:28/06-27-12) by Leigion »

Critias

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« Reply #1 on: (23:02:49/06-14-12) »
I was wondering why missions seem, how to put this... completely nonsense/ unbelievable/ 0 common sense.
Because it's absolutely impossible to think of a "realistic" way to toss together 6-8 random criminals, who may or may not have ever worked together before and who may or may not all have compatible, incompatible, or completely the same skill set, to get them to work together with zero prep time, to fling them into a tense situation (that is dramatic enough to only be resolved through spellcasting, shooting, hacking, aggressive driving, or bald-faced lying), and then to wrap it all up, no matter how competent or incompetent, how decisive or indecisive, how experienced or how wide-eyed, how competitive or how laid-back, that crew of 6-8 people is, in four hours.  And, most of all, to do it all over and over and over again, for as many adventures as there are in the Missions line.

So, yes.  We railroad.  We come up with something cool/different to buck the Shadowrun trends, sometimes.  We lay out clues and offer up helpful NPCs to try and keep the group moving.  We simplify jobs, we spoon-feed information, we try to make sure the PCs can win the climactic gunfight (even if every PC is running someone as shitty as the core book's Weapon Specialist).  We hold the GMs hand and try to tell them exactly what to do, so that they can hold the players' hands and make sure the adventure gets done on time.

Because we have to, just to make the game work at all.

DireRadiant

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« Reply #2 on: (00:07:09/06-15-12) »
My imaginary world isn't real enough for me!

Missions are a totally contrived mechanism used for a shared world.

Extra karma and awards to players who can in the 4 hour mission session come up with the immediate back story to support what is presented to them.

Improvise your RP justification for your characters actions ion the face of the wacky situation. Have FUN with it. :)

Why are you not suspecting the Johnson of setting up the ambush? Help the GM, come up with your own story for it! (Maybe the Johnson is your secret donor clone for your significant other and you know they would never hurt you?)

Leigion

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« Reply #3 on: (08:06:39/06-15-12) »
Thanks for leaving a reply:)
Critias point was how would you get 6-8 random criminals together realistically. Again if we are talking a convention, as in we just grabbed 6 random strangers with some, little or no experience and sat them down with a story and injected what ever type they made into it. Should kid gloves come out along with railroading to fit it in 4 hours probably, but you can still make it more semi realistic. Even if Hollywood realistic to some degree. Example off the top of my head Usual suspects, random criminals locked up together and charges dropped, plot thickens. Ronin, professional mercenary all but one were contacted by the man in the wheelchair. Hitman, works for a agency. Again any of these would work for a convention I could probably think of more from movies or books that joe puplic would know and could atleast get in the door with semi realistic.

If we are talking a group of friends that meet every Thursday night and maybe with a new guy once in a while. Then why cant we up the scale on realistic material for them. How do 6-8 random criminals get together for a lick in the real world? Well again since real life criminals as in career criminals that never if ever did a honest days work other then a front to pay taxes. Criminals run in packs for the most part and what i mean by this is if your a thief then you know a fence even if its a pawn shop owner who happens to look the other way. Serious drug dealers as in clearing something like a grand or more a week usually know a wide ranch of people from strippers to gangsters and everything in between with a slew of channels to find anything they really want. In almost every single case of real life career criminals they are all partly connected to organized crime some how some way because wether its a club a gang an organization insert has the man power and network to put their fingers in what ever they want, that will potentially make a buck.

Take a specialist type as in lots of skills they had to learn to do thier job hackers or mercenary's. Hackers are not singular they work in groups swapping information programs passwords what not. Even the ones stealing bank accounts hardly work alone. Mercenaries almost always have military experience. Ex military or trained by professionals that have made a name for themselves to even vouch the new guy in. Real life example check out Logan Heights gang trained by the cartels. You can data mine them all day for source material for shadowrun.

For the comment "my imaginary world isn't real enough" Wow just wow. Take dragnet that whole show was based on real cases. I couldn't tell you how many law shows do a episode from something that made a headline. They twist it around enough that no one can get sued but still. How about fictional writing check out old school sci-fi 40 years back to now. Look what type of tech we have today its almost prophetic in the notions some people have come up with. Cloning, body modification, they even have limbs that work via neurological impulses today.

I guess what i am trying to ask is, are there any plans on making "episodes" ripped from the headlines? Any new source material geared more towards law enforcement, military or criminal fiction that stems in real world practicality?

VuuduuHedd

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« Reply #4 on: (11:05:16/06-15-12) »
I think if Shadowrun were more realistic then it'd be lacking the whole reason we play it. Sci-Fantasy noir crime game. I'm totally down with whatever insanity Missions throws at me since it's a game about magic orcs shooting bad (or good) guys and elves replacing 85% of their bodyparts to make themselves killier.

If anything, your GM could houserule some of the more fantastical elements out of the Missions books and run them a bit more real.

Critias

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« Reply #5 on: (13:04:54/06-15-12) »
If we are talking a group of friends that meet every Thursday night and maybe with a new guy once in a while. Then why cant we up the scale on realistic material for them.
You absolutely can.  Every single scene of every single Mission has all kinds of optional stuff that GMs can do (or not do) to alter the difficulty or otherwise change the tone, and there's absolutely no one, ever, that's going to come to your house and tell you you're running an adventure wrong. 

Missions have to be written with not that group in mind, though.  They've got to be readily accessible to the convention-going crowd, which is going to be composed of folks with all different skill levels and experience with the game (GMs included), but also people that may or may not want realism.  It's safer to give people high-octane gaming that's gonna hook 'em on the setting, not an episode of Law & Order or something.

Quote
I guess what i am trying to ask is, are there any plans on making "episodes" ripped from the headlines? Any new source material geared more towards law enforcement, military or criminal fiction that stems in real world practicality?
Probably not for Missions as much as you'd like, because how do you run that when people show up with a Pixie, a techno-mage, a shaman that can turn into a miniature dragon, and four guys who can throw fireballs?  They don't want realism, and they'll either not have a good time, blow it all up, or not have a good time while blowing it all up.

Shadowrun is not realistic, and depending on the group of players no given adventure can even really support much realism.  You can't randomly inject one adventure's worth of "reality" into the setting, the best you can hope for is verisimilitude; what passes for reality in Shadowrun's reality.

Now, all that said?  I'm not trying to bust your chops, here, I'm just trying to explain why "realism" is a dangerous thing, and difficult to inject (in small doses) into a setting as wacky and over-the-top as Shadowrun.  Aside from all that, though?

If you've got a bitchin' idea for a Missions adventure with some ripped-from-the-headlines premise, and you think other folks would like to play it?  Talk to Bull, write it up if he wants you to, and CGL'll cut you a check.  Missions can always use more writers.
« Last Edit: (14:00:50/06-15-12) by Critias »

raggedhalo

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« Reply #6 on: (05:59:36/06-16-12) »
Also quick question maybe i some how missed it in wired or the sr4 book but can someone please explain to me why in the world a criminal would take his cell phone on a job when even if its a throw away phone its going to be handshaking with everything it comes into contact with.

You put it into hidden mode precisely so it doesn't do that.
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Leigion

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« Reply #7 on: (06:53:07/06-16-12) »
to Critias, I am not trying to bad mouth writers I was only trying to have a open dialog with a few questions and points. I am sure their are plenty of hours burning the midnight oil, brainstorming, editing, play testing, fixing flats, reediting and packaging it in a nice ready to play format. Not to mention working under a Damocles Sword called a deadline.

I don't want to be misunderstood with how i used the word "realism" as in someone in the real world believes, because of last week episode of missions... they can now heist a armored car, despite the fact they left their pocket mage at home, but did bring their mothers Buick. That's not what iam saying just to clear that up really fast.
what i am saying with a healthy dose of kids its a fantasy and don't try this at home( for the lawyers and head cases out there) why not use the settings rich history and flavor, to tell storys of greed, corporate puppeteering, economic ruin and unsettling things that go on in the underworld with a semi believable, realistic  premise. Not walking out of a museum with a gigantic fish tank no offence.
 
I believe thier is still a sizable market for the adult theme cyperpunk/noir/magic. Its been going on since the 80's and growing. I get your point bring new players in. No doubt you guys have but what about  the fans that are 30+ and or old time players not to mention the ones moving away from the kids stuff rpgs. Slap a parental advisory on something and watch it move like hot cakes. White wolf to HBO people tune in for the adult content.
 
Any who I'll take you up on your offer about writing something for missions, if you give me a chance. I was working on a carrier episode that had car chases plot twists and cool tactics for my group but i can fix it to make it more main stream. If i can't i got no problem ripping something from the headlines and twisting it for shadowrun. Email me the parameters of do's and don'ts and tell me how to get a hold of bull to send it. Thanks

CanRay

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« Reply #8 on: (12:24:50/06-16-12) »
You'd have to talk to Bull about Missions, and he's a busy ork.
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KarmaInferno

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« Reply #9 on: (14:18:23/06-16-12) »
Do remember that the "realistic" gritty black trenchcoat noir game is only one of several sub-genres within the overall cyberpunkish setting that is Shadowrun.

There's also the other extreme, Pink Mohawk, and there are a LOT of folks that like that play style. And a whole range of variations in between.

The campaign has some adventures that cater to one side, and some to the other, and some attempt to do a little of both. Some will be more like Mission Impossible. Others like Burn Notice. Others like The A-Team.

In short, not everyone likes what you like, and Shadowrun Missions needs to take that into account.



-k
« Last Edit: (14:21:29/06-16-12) by KarmaInferno »

VuuduuHedd

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« Reply #10 on: (00:20:36/06-17-12) »
What about the Impossible Pink Burn Team?  ;D

CanRay

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« Reply #11 on: (01:46:54/06-17-12) »
What about the Impossible Pink Burn Team?  ;D
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Leigion

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« Reply #12 on: (12:02:38/06-18-12) »
I defiantly should make myself more clearer. Maybe shorter posts? Ok when i said cyberpunk/noir/magic I meant each sub group of those three maybe not all three at once. That's allot of rule memorization to make it all blend seamlessly together. I didn't include pink Mohawk because well... I honestly think of Night City when I think of that. Cyberpunk game you know where its encouraged to play over the top anime no plan just shoot style. Pink Mohawk means that to me, with extra dose of cheese. I don't know if you meant it as over the top or 80's feel, some people mean 80's feel.

sting123

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« Reply #13 on: (14:31:21/06-18-12) »
Hi I am a long time viewer and first time poster.  I made an account just too throw my two cents in.  I've played shadow run since the second edition and I think I understand what Leigion is trying to say, so if I have this wrong, please feel free to correct me.  Are you talking about making 'missions' or a side element project, feel like the wire or sons of anarchy blended in with cyber punk genre sprinkled with magic and elf's?  I am reaching here, but if you are talking about that and making it feel more logical in response like if a swat team gets called and your pinned down with no back up plan, you're pretty much toast...if that is the scenario, I would be willing to buy it!  That be wicked fun with my group.
 
I think it would be more for adults and groups who have played it a bit through and not so much for new players or DM's but hey you never know...  When I first started the group in which I was playing with, we played gritty and edgy.  Gang bangers, go go gangs, and mobsters felt real, feds watching them and everything.  They are not cardboard figures to shoot at and it was so fun knowing that if we goofed up we could die, and plan C was last ditch effort.  Lone star book was awesome, by the way we should have a mission line that's for more edgy players, that feels more mean street...not just bigger and badder enemies, but where you have to think more and live with the consequences good or bad.  I think there is a market for this, because other players on different sites talk more about liking the rough feel then the pink Mohawk style.  Finally, I just wanted to say real quick, you have some good points and you should turn in some of your ideas and see if they like them, because I do!

   
   
   
   

Leigion

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« Reply #14 on: (04:57:42/06-19-12) »
to Sting, your 1st paragraph sums it up. I do like the other points about are not cardboard cut out feel and the feds are watching the the organized crime. That's a excellent point considering when are they not trying to pin a R.I.C.O. case on an organized outfit?
Yes both polarities of law and crime would be nice to see in a mission. Maybe a status block of how fast the cops would show up and what degree of force would they start with and how fast it escalates. I agree the Lonestar source book was good. It had an overview of how cops in the future would counter magic, hacking, and shadowruners.

Bringing it back to missions in 2nd season people were gaining reps with different criminal elements and later in 3rd season it was rep with corps. I think having both elements in play adds a nice touch. Players begin building their own webs of complications just moving in the shadows.