Sunday, August 1, 2010

Shadowrun Campaign Journal #3

After a session which consisted mainly of downtime investigation and off color jokes the party was eager to make something happen. Bring a little action to the shadows of the Outer Edge. Gathered in Mr. White’s warehouse they discussed their options and worked out some potential plans. The ultimate goal was to flush out the Trashcan Man and free themselves of his blackmail, but being the wily raccoon shaman that he is that was not going to be easy. They checked in with their contacts again but not much was moving on that front so they decided to set a plan in motion. Puppy picked up the waitress at the local Long John Silver’s, but she did not yield as much information as Puppy was hoping that she would.

The party assumed that if they made some sort of move on the drug dealer Dark Cloud that Trashcan Man would be in the area watching it go down. Why would he be doing that? Well, his covetous nature made them think that he would want to be involved in whatever was happening, but also as a blackmailer he would probably want to record the whole situation as a future source of income and manipulation. With this in mind the party rolled over to the area of Dark Cloud’s warehouse, not entirely sure of what was going to happen.

Most of the party sort of had their own desired outcome for what they wanted to happen and how it was going to happen. They considered trying to have a face to face with Dark Cloud and let him know that there was a hit out on him. They also toyed with the idea of ignoring him all together and looking for an alternate way of getting Trashy to make an appearance. There was also some debate about the use of the infamous autocannon. Katsin was dead set about not using it, while Mr. White was extremely anxious to bust it out and mow down some degenerates.

Here was the setup that was settled on. Katsin and Puppy snuck up to the rear of the building and were going to keep an eye on the rear exit. Mr. White was going to stay in the van of equipment and monitor the area and provide whatever kind of backup was required. Phil the Kill was going to sneak his way into a nearby building and set up a sniper’s nest, keep an eye on the front entrance of the building and see what happens from there. Before settling into his nest Phil also placed a mobile camera on the roof of the building adjacent to where he was. Mr. White would use this to monitor the area from the van. Seemed like a solid perimeter that they had going on. But what were they going to do with it?

After watching the door for a little while Phil spied a junkie approaching the door of the drug dealing warehouse. He knocked and a couple of moments later two men came to the door. A short transaction went on between the junkie and the two men and then shots rang out. Phil took the open shot and the head of one of the guards exploded like a ripe pumpkin. The junkie grabbed something from the corpse and started to book it down the street, the second guard was taken out by another shot from Phil. The junkie got about 50 feet from the door of the building when he shredded apart by automatic rifle fire. Four men with assault rifles had emerged from the front door and ripped him to pieces in the middle of the street. One of the men came up to the van of Mr. White which was slowly creeping onto the scene and pointed the gun in his face, telling to get out of the area. He complied.

Alerted by the sounds of gunfire Katsin and Puppy came charging from the back of the building and engaged in a brief firefight with the assault rifle wielders. The fight did not last that long and was ended when Mr. White ran several of them over with the death mobile. Katsin was injured in the fracas. Glancing at the monitor in the van he noticed something on the roof of the building that Phil was in. Nothing showed up in the regular display, but the thermographic readout showed a human sized figure crouched on the roof watching the fireworks below. Mr. White radioed to Phil that there was “snow on the roof”, whatever that means. Reading between the lines Phil figured out what was happening and started to make his way up the fire escape to take out the new target.

Everyone was a little on edge at this point, knowing that Phil was alone to face the biggest threat that was out there. His climb up the fire escape was hindered by a Spirit that caused the ladder to move away from Phil, however his quick reflexes saved the day and after dangling from the side of the building for a second he pulled himself up to face his foe. I did not work out so well. Phil was immediately blasted with a Manabolt that shook his brain around quite a bit. His foe dropped the invisibility that he was using and Phil got a clean look at him. A scruffy, dirty looking man with dark goggles around his eyes and black gloves, he eyed up Phil as he was getting ready to finish him off. Phil was able to get a shot off with his Ares Predator wounding the shaman, but was hit with another Manabolt and dropped, seemingly dead. Mr. White was watching all of this from the monitor. He saw Trashcan Man run over to the body and quickly search Phil, stripping him of anything of value in a matter of seconds. Clearly not the first body that he stripped.

Mr. White pulled the van around and picked up the rest of the party and sped over to the building to help out Phil and take out the Trashcan Man. By this point there were various neighbors in the street watching the festivities, nothing anonymous going on here. Several locals were exiting from the building and Katsin scanned them for magical auras, one of them glowed and showed obvious signs of magical power. Katsin and Puppy made a move for the magic man and he bolted back through the alley. Katsin threw some magic at him, but he did a good job absorbing the damage. He dropped his illusion and revealed his true form, it was the same guy from the roof. His magic targeted Puppy, forcing the troll to lose control of his mind and he shot Katsin in the back, seriously wounding the combat mage. A Power Bolt was more than Katsin could handle and she dropped dead on the sidewalk. The celebration was short lived for Trashy as the hum of the autocannon filled the air and tore his body apart. Jumping from the van Mr. White ran up to the roof and checked out Phil and got ready to do some medic work. But it was too late for Phil. The sniper was dead. With half the party now worm food the survivors got into the van and headed back to the safehouse.

And this concluded our first Shadowrun mini campaign. I designed it to go for three weeks, which is exactly what it did, and I felt that it was a lot of fun. It was great to play a game other than D&D and I think that the whole grouped like it. It was the first non D&D game for all of them and it was cool to see them all learn a new system and get into their characters.

I thought that the arc of the story was a good introduction to Shadowrun. To me the game has always had a couple of central themes. And one of those is the double cross and I wanted to make sure that I got that into the plot. No one likes to be manipulated and it was fun to watch how it all played out. Plus we had big firefights, nonsensical plans and death. That pretty much sums up Shadowrun right there.

I’ll admit that I am a little bummed out that the campaign ended, I was just starting to really get into it. Mr. White has already expressed some interest in continuing the game and I suspect that at some point Puppy and Mr. White will recruit some new runners to round out their team. Like I had said previously the rules of the game are really not as bad as I remember them, things actually flowed pretty easily once we got going. I give the experience two thumbs up.

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