Monday, June 29, 2015

Shadowrun Report – Everybody Needs Somebody – Session 1

[This session happened on June 22nd.  It starts slow and builds.  Also, to quote Void’s player: “Hellhounds suck.”]

Player Characters

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
Bookie – male elf alcoholic hacker, favors whiskey with a whiskey chaser
Killroy – male human street samurai, specializes in hand-to-hand combat (and apparently machineguns)
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

NPC’d Characters

Prometheus – male human street samurai, handy with any firearm

Monday, January 6, 2076
8:00 AM
Void, having just finished her early morning workout, received a phone call from her decker contact, Scottie Jim.  A decker friend had to ditch his cyberdeck and needed someone else to pick it up before Knight Errant found it.  Void asked if Knight Errant was active in the area.  Scottie Jim eventually admitted they were actively searching the area and the decker friend had just been grabbed by Knight Errant.  The pay for the job was 9000¥ upon safe deliver of the cyberdeck to Scottie Jim.

Void agreed to do the job and asked where the cyberdeck was located.  Scottie Jim said it was at 13424 WA-99, in Everett.  It was hidden in a storage area for used/abandoned construction cranes and landing gear, back behind a Jimmy Jack’s parking lot.  There was a chain-link fence and some guard dogs, which would likely be patrolling the yard.  Void was in Downtown, so she told Scottie Jim it would take her about 30 minutes to get there, but she was on her way.  Scottie Jim sent her some satellite shots of the site, with an arrow pointing at the garage where the cyberdeck was hidden in a trash barrel.

Void hopped onto her motorcycle, wearing her chameleon suit as it looked enough like a set of biker protective gear to not draw attention.  She also had a satchel to put the cyberdeck in to hide it from Knight Errant once she had it.  The only weapons she had on her were her throwing knives – combat was not her thing.

8:30 AM
Void arrived and parked her motorcycle back behind the Jimmy Jack’s, near the fenced-in yard.  She had passed through a police blockade to the south to get here, but Knight Errant did not seem too concerned about people trying to get into the area they were searching, more about people trying to leave.  Working out her path in, Void noticed that the fence was not electrified, did have some barbed wire on the top, and had some “Beware of Dogs” signs attached to it.  On the far side of the gate she noticed a sign announcing this was a security animal training company and back on the property she spotted some dogs.  Not just dogs, but hellhounds, recognizing the coal-black pelts from descriptions she’d heard.

Void’s plan was to climb the fence and make her way across the yard either walking across the top of equipment stored on site or jumping from equipment to equipment.  This would allow her to avoid being on the ground with the dogs.  Flowing like liquid shadow, Void was able to get up over the fence and on a tree in the yard, but the branch was rotten and broke under her.  [She rolled a glitch on the Athletics check after acing the Sneaking test.]  The noise the tree made caught the attention of some of the dogs, who padded over to investigate.  Void quickly and silently scrambled up onto the adjacent folded crane unit and avoided the dog’s attention.  [She has the Adept power Traceless Walk, which was enough to keep the hellhounds from catching her scent.]

Void ran along the top of the folded crane to the end furthest along.  She then scouted out the various distances she would have to jump to make the next leg of her path.  The garage roof was a little farther than she was certain to make, but an RV with a blue tarp covering most of its roof was well within her capacities and from there she could easily make the garage roof.

Void backed up on the folded crane and then got a running start for her leap.  She sailed gracefully across the 15-meter horizontal distance and the accompanying 12-meter drop, landing squarely on top of the RV.  During her leap, Void was able to spot a group of aerial drones sweeping the trailer park adjacent to the property she was breaking into.  She estimated she still had several minutes before they got to this property.  Unfortunately, the RV she landed on did not have a solid roof underneath the tarp and so she sank down into the RV as the tarp sank under her weight.  [Remember: 12-meter vertical drop during the leap – Traceless Walk won’t help you with that.]

Falling into the RV did two things: it alerted the hellhounds, which started barking furiously as they zeroed in on the RV, and it disturbed whatever was in cages inside the RV.  Void heard scales slithering and things moving in cages.  Muttering, “Snakes.  Why did it have to be snakes?”, Void ran up the tarp [Traceless Walk again] and leapt over to the roof of the garage.  [FYI: Those weren’t snakes.]

By this time, the hellhounds were on to Void.  They knew she was on the garage and barked furiously while standing in front of the open-door garage.  All six of them.  From the roof peak Void could see the Knight Errant drones were sweeping in this direction and had concerns they might have audio sensors and be attracted by the dogs barking.  She slid down the side away from the drones and started using her throwing knives to pry up roofing tiles and then start (quietly) hacking an opening in the roof she could squeeze through.  Due to her escape artist training, the hole did not have to be too large and she was able to gain access after just a few minutes.

Before squeezing in, Void visually checked the interior.  She saw empty wire kennels along the north wall, old machine tools scattered along the south wall, and an empty expanse of concrete in the center.  The roof was supports by a wooden substructure made of A-frames.  A single metal ceiling support stood in the center of the large two-vehicle repair garage and next to it was the only 80-gallon metal drum in the entire garage.  Void could just see inside that it was a trash can – the place where the cyberdeck was hidden!

8:45 AM
While Void was slowly climbing down the metal to avoid drawing the attention of the hellhounds, Sin was back as his place and received a call from Kaylee, his mechanic.

Kaylee had a rush delivery job for Sin.  A fellow rigger was holed up in the north garage of the Everett Beacon Mall and needed someone to show up, pick up a package (a satchel with a Rosa Digital logo on the side), and take it to the Tacoma Ferry Terminal.  The pay for the job was 18,000¥ and would have some corporate interference, so Sin should bring someone with, like, a shotgun, to ride shotgun, but he needed to get going now.  The meet was at 9:10.

Sin accepted the job and immediately called Killroy, asking where Killroy was.  Killroy was at The Gun Club, where he was teaching The Fin how to shoot better.  Unfortunately, The Gun Club was in Tacoma, the opposite direction Sin had to go.  After a short, barely coherent conversation, Sin hung up and called Prometheus.  Prometheus was in a part of Renton that was close to a freeway and close to where Sin was, so he told Prometheus to get to the street corner with weapons and Sin would be right there to pick him up.  Prometheus, not having anything better to do, grabbed his gym bag of guns and went to wait on the corner.  Sin arrived minutes later and picked up Prometheus.  [Prometheus still does not know how he ended up in the panel van – one moment he was standing at the corner, the next he was clinging to the seat inside Sin’s panel van while the van accelerated away.]

8:50 AM
Void had climbed down to and in the barrel in the garage and found the cyberdeck she was looking for without the hell hounds being any the wiser.  She put the cyberdeck into her satchel and then climbed back to the roof substructure.  Before climbing back through the hole in the roof, she paused to look through to see what she could see.  Her hunch paid off as one of the Knight Errant drones was just passing over the garage.  It paused and then backed up as the operator noticed the freshly made hole in the roof.

Cursing under her breath, Void looked down for a way out of the garage that did not involve going through the open front doors, right past the barking hellhounds.  She spied a normal-sized back door and climbed back down to the floor and picked the dead-bolt lock to exit out the back.  There was a gap in foliage cover between the back door and the trees near the back fence and Void had the bad luck to be spotted by a second Knight Errant drone as she ran across that gap.

Ejecting stealth for speed, Void ran part way up the chain-link fence and attempted to leap over the barbed wire on top.  [She glitched.]  Slippage on the fence meant she ended leaping into the barbed wire and somewhat clumsily rolling over it and falling to the ground on the other side.  Her chameleon suit protected her from the barbed wire and the fall, but the noise attracted the attention of the hellhounds.

As Void regained her feet, she saw three hellhounds come pelting around the corner of the garage.  Feeling somewhat safe for having the fence between her and the dogs, Void took a moment to catch her breath and work out where the Knight Errant drones were.

This is when Void learned that hellhounds breathe fire.  At range.

The lead hellhound stopped barking and opened its mouth wide as flames poured out under pressure, freely passing through the chain-link fence, and splashing across Void.  Even with Void’s combat sense, she took the brunt of the elemental attack and her chameleon suit started to melt onto her.  [Really poor rolls on the Defensive and Armor rolls.  She took 7P damage after all was said and done.]

Now in immense pain, Void ran, ran for all she was worth as her motorcycle was on the opposite side of the property.  She barely escaped the hellhounds, only doing so by accidentally straying outside the boundary the hellhounds were allowed to burn due to their training.  She could hear sirens as Knight Errant patrol cars approached from the south, so she rode her motorcycle north until Doc Wagon pulled her over to treat her.  During her short ride north she called The Fin and explained 1) “hellhounds suck” and 2) she would like some help avoiding Knight Errant patrol cars in Everett.  The Fin told her to find someplace to hold up until she and Killroy could get there.

9:10 AM
Sin and Prometheus arrived at the northern parking garage, second level, and were looking for their contact.  As Sin came around a corner, he saw some corporate troop types in body armor stop beating someone and walk away, one of the troops carrying a satchel with a Rosa Digital logo on the side.

Sin accelerated and attempted to run over the guy carrying the satchel, but the corporate troops responded with surprising agility and avoided the vehicular attack.  Rather than respond in kind, the leader of the corporate troops ordered them to pile into a Rover Model 2075, which they did.  The driver of the Rover then started to pull away.  That was all Sin needed and he started chasing the Rover through the parking garage with Prometheus and the troopers exchanging gunfire.

After some fancy maneuvering (and cutting across two rows of parked cars), Sin ended up in front of the fleeing Rover, where he hit the brake.  He then ordered Susan to deploy out the back of the panel van and engage.

The corporate troops leaned out the sides of the Rover to bring their Ares Alpha assault rifles to bear.  Their attitude shifted rapidly when Susan, Sin’s Steel Lynx with a bright and shiny machine gun, rolled out the back of the panel van and started firing.  The driver of the Rover attempted to flee by driving backwards, but clipped a car on his left and plowed into a parked Mercury Comet on his right.

A ferocious gunfight broke out between the corporate troopers and Susan with Sin jumped in.  [Prometheus was watching Sin’s panel truck and unconscious body.]  At the end of the gunfight, 5 of the corporate troops were dead and the rest running for their lives.  Susan needed a new paint job, but was otherwise unharmed.  [Sin’s player used 4 Edge during this fight to keep Susan from taking any damage.]  Sin collected the satchel and the bodies of the dead troopers (to sell for parts and cybernetics).  Once those were loaded in the panel van, Sin and Prometheus drove back to see if their contact was still alive.

Their contact was alive, but very injured.  He had a Doc Wagon contract, but couldn’t finish the job.  He told Sin to take the satchel to the Tacoma Ferry Terminal and turn it over to a dwarf in a green suit, going by the name of Mr. Johnson.  The dwarf would pay them 36,000¥ upon delivery and all the money was theirs as his team had no use for money anymore.

9:15 AM
Void was beside the road, still being treated by Doc Wagon as a Knight Errant patrol car approached.  Just before it would have pulled over, it’s red and blue lights came on and it accelerated north.  Void could hear over the Doc Wagon team’s radio that there was something going on at the Everett Beacon Mall.  Void started to relax a bit, feeling safer.  Or maybe it was the pain meds finally kicking in.

9:27 AM
Murdoc woke up to his commlink ringing.  It was Gino’s tone, so Murdoc answered.  Gino had a deadbeat mage deep into him for a lot of deep weed and the prick wasn’t returning calls anymore.  Gino explained he’d pay 3000¥ for Murdoc to go over there, kick the door down, and explain to Mr. Ariston Mirabeau in no uncertain terms that he was to pay Gino all the money he owed Gino ASAP.  Gino also told Murdoc he could keep any deep weed he found at Mirabeau’s – Mirabeau would pay for it, one way or another.  Murdoc got the address and started climbing out of bed.

End of Session

[So this run is a bit of an experiment in overlapping runs and obligations.  One thing I’ve learned barely a third of the way in is that I spaced things too far apart.  I’m tightening the timeline for the rest to get a greater sense of overlap and a need for time management on the players’ part.]

[I also learned that newer players may understand that something called a hellhound is bad and should be avoided, they might not be aware that they can breathe fire.  This eliminated metagaming during the hellhound encounter, but I ended up scaling the encounter back to avoid massacring a PC due to lack of in-game knowledge.  As often as hellhounds are used as security animals, I think people living in the Shadowrun universe would know something like “hellhounds breathe fire” as common knowledge.]

Session 2

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