Monday, May 18, 2015

Shadowrun Report – A Dwarf in Need – Session 3

[This session happened on May 11.]

Player Characters

Void – female human physical adept B&E specialist, a shadow that blends in easily
Murdoc – male elf kilt-wearing street mage, at home with the hobos
Prometheus – male human street samurai, handy with any firearm
Bookie – male elf alcoholic hacker, favors whiskey with a whiskey chaser
The Fin – female human con artist and gambler from India, by way of Russia, posh and elegant
Sin – male human rigger, knows exactly the wrong thing to say and says it

NPC’d Characters

Killroy – male human street samurai, specializes in hand-to-hand combat (and apparently machineguns)

Evening, Thursday, December 26, 2075
Location: The Pleiades Group offices in Queen Anne’s Hill neighborhood, Downtown district

With a deal to broker with the sub-boss of the Eighty-Eights and the authority to do so, the group now needed to locate said sub-boss in order to broker the deal.  At first no one had any idea on how to track down a Triad sub-boss.  Then Prometheus volunteered he might have a contact he could call.  The Fin asked that he give his contract a try, soonest.

Prometheus stepped into one of the unused rooms, closed the door behind him, and called Tomiko Hayashi, an undercover cop working for Knight Errant…and his older sister.  When Tomiko answered, Prometheus replied, “It’s me.”  She immediately asked back, “Which ‘me’ is calling?”  She knows what kind of work Prometheus might do, but as long as he never comes to Knight Errant’s attention, she can treat him as family and not a criminal.  [This is one of the major reasons Prometheus prefers to work as a sniper – fewer witnesses who can identify him and get him in trouble with his big sister.]

Prometheus explained to his sister that he had a friend who needed to talk to someone that her employers might keep track of, Shek Wei Zhe.  Tomiko recognized Shek Wei Zhe’s name and questioned why her brother needed to talk to a Triad sub-boss.  Prometheus explained that his friend had a legitimate business deal to broker, but time was critical, “Talking only – nothing illegal.”  Tomiko agreed to check and promised to get back to Prometheus in an hour and a half.  Remembering that it was the day after Christmas, he wished her “Merry Christmas” and hung up.  Then he remembered he hadn't got her a gift.

While waiting for the call-back from Tomiko, Prometheus pulled Bookie aside and asked Bookie to hack into Amazon and create a gift card for T. Hayashi, but date it so it showed a purchase date of two days ago.  Bookie asked why he would do that and, after a pause, Prometheus replied, “Because I have the 1000¥ right here.”  [See after the End of Session for a detailed comment.]  Bookie accepted that answer and set about hacking the Amazon Gift Card system and retroactively buying a card two days ago.  Rather than transfer the funds, he hacked the system to create a 1000¥ card from nothing and sent it (two days ago) to the number Prometheus provided and pocketed the money Prometheus gave him.  [How could this possibly go bad?]

Just before Tomiko called back [exactly one minute before, according to the GM], Bookie had the gift card created and sent with a purchase date of December 24.  Prometheus answered Tomiko’s call and she gave him Shek Wei Zhe’s current location – an underground casino in Snohomish.  She then added, “Your Christmas gift is at Uncle Luke’s,” to which Prometheus replied, “I didn't know what to get you, so I got you a gift card from Amazon – has it arrived yet?”  In the back ground Prometheus could hear the ‘ding’ of Tomiko’s commlink.  She checked the message and said, “It just arrived.”  “It must have been caught up in the last minute crush,” Prometheus said before hanging up.

After Prometheus hung up, he shared Shek Wei Zhe’s location with The Fin.  The Fin wanted protection when going into a casino looking for Shek Wei Zhe, but not so much Shek Wei Zhe wouldn't meet with her.  So she took Killroy as her official bodyguard and Prometheus and Void as hidden back-ups.  Sin would be monitoring feeds from the Fly-Spy he put on each of the four going to the meet.  He and Bookie stayed at the office with Bookie accessing video feeds where available near and in the casino and Murdoc protecting their bodies.

A block from the casino’s location, Void and Prometheus got out of the car and moved on foot to get into support positions in case things went bad.  Sin, jumped into the car from the office, drove the car the rest of the way.  The Fin was dressed to the nines (along with a physical disguise to change her appearance enough to avoid direct identification) and moved like a casino pro [which her backstory supports].  After passing through the weapons check [it was an underground casino, not a legitimate one], The Fin asked to speak with the manager.

The manager came over and asked how he could be of service.  The Fin introduced herself as Ms. Rai and explained she was here to make a business proposal to Shek Wei Zhe, but had never met the man and did not know his face.  She asked the manager if he could make a formal introduction as Shek Wei Zhe should be most interested in the business deal.  With The Fin pouring on all the charm, the manager said that Shek Wei Zhe was occupied right now, but would be available in 30 minutes.  Would the lady like to wait at one of the tables until then?  The Fin agreed and sat down at a baccarat table.

Thirty minutes later (and up 2000¥), The Fin and her bodyguard (Killroy) were escorted to a small private room in the back.  Sitting behind a table was a very pretty young man who greeted her.  Sensing that this couldn't possibly be a sub-boss of the Eighty-Eights, The Fin asked if he was Shek Wei Zhe.  The very pretty young man asked what business she had that needed to be discussed.  The Fin explained she was representing the current owner of the property at 25738 Polk Street and had an offer for Shek Wei Zhe that would allow his organization to re-occupy the property.  She then asked again if the very pretty young man was Shek Wei Zhe.  A voice from the corner of the room answered, saying, “He is not, but I am.”  

Shek Wei Zhe then dropped the invisibility spell and stepped forward from the corner he had been waiting in.  He was an older man with a more worn appearance.  He and The Fin negotiated for the next 15 minutes.  At the end, Shek Wei Zhe was only willing to pay Sam 52,500¥ a month for ‘rent’ and hush money and no more (2500¥ less than the minimum Sam would accept).  The Fin suggested this might just be a short term problem with Sam and that possibly a new deal could be arranged with Sam’s descendants.  This caught Shek Wei Zhe’s attention and he openly wondered when this issue might become a problem for Sam’s descendants.  The Fin replied, “No sooner than Tuesday.”  Shek Wei Zhe then asked The Fin if she knew anyone who might be available for such a job.  The Fin admitted knowing a group who could do the work, but they were under contract until Tuesday.  Shek Wei Zhe thought about it and then agreed to pay 55,000¥ this month, due to this new information and the possibility of it being a short term arrangement.  He also said he has a job for Ms. Rai’s friends “once they have completed their current contract.”

The Fin returned to Sam’s place to present the agreement and get Sam’s signature on the appropriate papers.  She also discussed with him the bonus monies on the contract and that The Pleiades Group had achieved both conditions and wanted confirmation they would get paid, even though the main part of the contract had not actually started yet.  Sam agreed, but the bonus monies will not be paid until the end of the main contract (the protection job).  This was acceptable to The Fin.

[At this point we backtracked in time to allow Murdoc’s player to use the three preparation days to wrangle some spirit support.  It didn’t go well and he only ended up with a single Force 5 Fire Spirit.  Turn’s out it didn’t go well because we were rolling too many dice for opposed summoning test, so we’ll have to re-do those rolls again.  Sigh.]

11:00 AM, Friday, December 27, 2075

The Pleiades Group arrived at Sam’s place in Bellevue to officially start the protection job.  Prometheus was wearing the Green Mohawk Dude earring to disguise himself, The Fin and Void were physically disguised, and Murdoc was physically masked to look like a “hot babe”.

End of Session

[When Bookie’s player asked why he’d hack Amazon for Prometheus, everyone around the table stopped to see how I’d have Prometheus answer.  My first thought was “Because I am heavily armed and know where you sleep.”  Then I realized that, while Prometheus would normally use that as his reply, he would have a different answer for people he works with and I had to think up a different answer on the spot.  The GM stated he thought Prometheus was going to mention he was heavily armed and I answered “It was the first answer, but Prometheus wouldn’t say that to teammates, so he had to come up with a different answer – hence the pause,” and everyone at the table laughed.  This is how I know I’ve successfully developed Prometheus’ personality and gotten it across to the other players – they have a feel for what he might do or say.]

[Before this session, I sat down with another (long-time) Shadowrun GM and we discussed the ethics of the situation and what were the likely consequences of the PCs either taking a job to whack Sam after this job was over or selling paydata on the improved defenses.  There is a good chance that the Pleiades Group could earn a point in Notoriety as a result and Svetlana’s loyalty (the Fixer who brokered the job originally) to The Fin might drop, either temporarily or permanently.  Mitigating factors are the limited number of people who would know (Sam, Shek Wei Zhe, and Svetlana) and the low likelihood of the two who lived to talk about it.  It depends on how good a client Sam was for Svetlana and whether or not she thought The Fin might be angry at her for possibly setting The Fin up against the Eighty-Eights.  This is a good ethical quandary for the players to work their way through and I’m eager to see how things play out.]

Session 1
Session 2
Session 4

EDIT: corrected the date the game happened.


  1. My 2p: Unless there was a specific 'Non-Compete' clause in the original contract, there is not really an ethical question. He's hiring MERCENARIES! They stay loyal as long as the contract is valid - past that point, you take your chances. That's why Mercs tend to get screwed by their employers so much (to prevent better paying competitors from scalping the talent and their information.)

    1. Yeah, we're not so worried about him, as he'll be dead soon, it's the Fixer who brokered the deal and what she thinks about the situation. The Triad sub-boss will likely stay quiet on the subject, as he would lose face inside the Triads for losing ownership of his building like this.

      It is still an interesting dilemma: how bad is it to suggest you're willing to perform a hit on the guy you've just taken a protection contract with?

    2. It's called 'Double Dipping' - about as bad as doing so with the dip at a fancy party. If you ever want to be invited back to those types of parties, don't get caught breaking the social etiquette. If being bodyguards is not your thing and you prefer more 'wetwork' then go right ahead. If word gets out about your Double Dipping, then nobody is going to hire you for protection jobs ever again (or they'll write more ironclad contracts...)

  2. ...also, does it seem odd to you that Two different Russian Fixers have hired the group to go up against the 88's? (Mak Attack and Dwarf in Need). Is the Russian Mob looking to move in on the Triads and thin the competition a little?

  3. Maaaaaybe?

    Actually, several runs have negatively affected the Triads in general (e.g., the raid accidentally triggered by Prometheus in The Third Run hit the Ghost Tigers, a separate group inside the Triads). This has not been by design, but the aggregate story may develop where that is the case.

    The other GM and I are trying to space out where the jobs come from, it just turns out that The Fin's contacts are both more detailed and mostly Russian due to her backstory.