Monday, July 27, 2015

Shadowrun Report – Everybody Needs Somebody – Session 5

[Apologies for the delay – work and life got busy at the same time.  This session happened on July 20th and is the fifth (and final) session in the increasingly inaccurately expected trilogy.]

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
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

Killroy – male human street samurai, specializes in hand-to-hand combat (and apparently machineguns)
Prometheus – male human street samurai, handy with any firearm

Monday, January 6, 2076
[As Murdoc’s player missed last session, we had to do a quick jump back in time to catch him up with everyone else.]

11:35 AM
Murdoc was sitting in a chair playing solitaire with a deck of 51 cards when Ariston Mirabeau finally regained conscious.  Mirabeau was still spread eagle on the bed in his now ransacked apartment and Murdoc had a gallon-sized Ziploc bag full of Deep Weed sitting next to him.  Noticing Mirabeau was now awake, Murdoc went stand next to Mirabeau to talk with him.  Mirabeau was only semi-coherent and preoccupied with the smell and his apartment being obviously ransacked, so Murdoc hiked up his kilt and pissed on Mirabeau’s head to get his attention.  This worked.

Murdoc delivered the message from Gino (“pay up or else”) and explained that he, Murdoc was taking all the remaining Deep Weed, but Mirabeau still owed Gino for it.  Mirabeau tried to buy some of the Deep Weed off Murdoc on credit and Murdoc responded by casting lightning bolt at the bed, adjacent to where Mirabeau was still sitting.  “I’ll take that as a no,” Mirabeau said as Murdoc stalked out of the apartment, recasting a physical mask on himself to appear as an elderly Chinese woman.

2:10 PM
[This Matrix run was done between sessions on July 24th with Bookie’s player and I so it would not take up time in the actual game session.  Doing so saved us an hour and a half of game time.  We did several things wrong due to a miss-reading of the rules, but I decided to let the results stand.  Bookie was having a bad day as it was…]

Bookie, somewhat recovered from his last run on the print shop and having spent time clearing out any marks on his system, jumped back into the Matrix to insert the false data into the print shop’s systems.

Bookie found the system spider still active and a Knight Errant Matrix Investigator with the spider.  Bookie ran silent and sleazed up to the system, silently placing a mark on the system and once again accessing the necessary database.  This time he was looking for the data bomb when it went off, alerting the spider and the Knight Errant investigator.  What followed was the Matrix equivalent of a pie fight – sloppy all over with both sides looking bad at the end.

Eventually Bookie succeeded in getting the false data planted (it transferred to the Gala’s system via a virtual link) and got out before more Knight Errant Matrix cops arrived or a DemiGOD noticed what Bookie was doing.  [Bookie now pays almost religious attention to his Baby Monitor program.]

2:33 PM
Sin woke up in a dingy room with a skeevy rat shaman standing over him.  Sin’s street doc contact (Dr. Frank N. Stein) had called in a favor with the street shaman to get Sin some magical healing for his near-fatal gunshot wound.  It wasn’t much [only two boxes healed on the damage track], but it allowed Sin to get mobile again.

Sin noticed in his AR display that Kaylee had repeatedly called him in the last hour, so he called her back.  She was very angry at him and wanted to know what he’d done to get the Russians and a major corporation asking around about her and her connection to Sin.  She told Sin to fix it or find someone else to fix his vehicles and drones.  Sin promised everything would be alright once he delivered the package.

As his GMC Bulldog panel van was now drawing attention, Sin jacked into his control rig and jumped into his Hyundai Shin-Hyung, piloting it south from his home to Dr. Stein’s shop.  Once it arrived, he and Prometheus would deliver the satchel with the Rosa Digital logo to the new address in far eastern Auburn.

3:15 PM
The induced coil programming device Bookie, Void, and Killroy needed to complete the job was relatively rare as few people used printed invitations anymore.  Bookie trolled through the local data nets and found three semi-public machines: one was in the University Printing Office, one was in a print shop in the Elven District, and one was the print shop they originally stole the invitation from.  Based on that information, they decided to raid the print shop in the Elven District.

Killroy was called away to repay a favor [his player missed this session due to real life emergencies], so Bookie and Void called The Fin for assistance.  The Fin asked where they could meet and Bookie suggested That One Bar, a decker-friendly bar in the Elven District only a few blocks from the target.  The Fin agreed and called in Murdoc, as she believed his skills would help greatly.

Once the four of them were at That One Bar, they put together a quick little plan to get the job done: The Fin, Void, and Murdoc would distract the print shop staff while Bookie slipped in invisible and made use of the needed machine.  The Fin’s distraction would be a complex job she would keep changing the parameters on, Void would ask for work in Gaelic and play up the vagueness of the language, and Murdoc would come in masked as an elderly Chinese woman who might or might not be sane, demanding copies.

3:20 PM
Sin’s Hyundai Shin-Hyung arrived at Dr. Stein’s place and Sin, Prometheus, and two fencer drones climbed in.  Before leaving, Sin set his panel van on automatic, using CityGrid’s traffic control to send it home.  To reduce the oddness of the panel van having no driver, Sin stationed one of his fencer drones in the driver’s spot.  What’s the worst that could happen?

3:28 PM
Sin started receiving distress signals from his panel van.

Jumping into the panel van (via his rigger controller), Sin discovered that two Rovers, all in black, were taking turns trying to run the panel van into the I-5 median.  Sin did a quick fade and swerve, tricking the lead Rover into running itself into the median while Sin clipped it’s rear panel, forcing it to come to a stop facing against traffic.  The opposing vehicle was able to reverse itself and start catching up to Sin, blowing past a Knight Errant police cruiser that just came up an on ramp to respond to the traffic disturbance [critical glitch on the roll to catch up to Sin].  Red and blue lights immediately came on and that Rover was out of the chase with other things to worry about.

In the meantime, Sin floored the accelerator in the panel van.  He and the other driver slalomed through the traffic, with Sin’s better driving skills paying off.  After a couple of quick dips off and back onto the freeway, Sin shook off  his pursuer and avoided any further Knight Errant attention to boot.

3:32 PM
The Fin walked into the target print shop and started placing a complex print order.  As the employee taking the order was an elf, The Fin was “helpful” and repeated all numbers in Sperethiel…incorrectly.  Even so, the employee was starting to get a grasp on the order when Void walked in and started asking questions in Gaelic.  Not a speaker of Gaelic himself, the employee called in the team member who did, this not being an unusual event with Elf visitors from Tir na Nog.  When he turned back to The Fin to resume discussing her order, she took the opportunity to change all the quantities and paper weights she was asking for, one set in English and a different set in Sperethiel.  The employee pulled out an actual piece of paper to start writing the numbers down on…

Meanwhile, the print shop’s Gaelic speaker only had a basic understanding of the language and Void was something of an expert.  Void used the normally vague-ish language to become extremely obtuse as to what she was asking for, randomly agreeing and disagreeing with anything the employee was able to say.

Then Murdoc entered the shop.

The lead employee, wanting to provide good customer service (even to Humans), paused his conversation with The Fin (who of course picked up the note paper and started erasing and changing numbers on it) to ask the elderly Chinese woman (Murdoc in physical mask) how he could help her.  Murdoc started to demand copies loudly in barely coherent broken English.  The lead employee, seeing what a train wreck that conversation was going to be, called the third and final employee in the shop to the front and dropped him in front of the elderly Chinese woman and said, “Help her.”  Murdoc immediately started yelling and berating the third employee for “Copies!”, slamming his cane on the counter occasionally, completely cowing the Elf who had never talked with clients before, let alone crazy elderly Chinese ones.

During this linguistic pandemonium, an invisible Bookie slipped into back office and located the machine he needed to change the data embedded in the hard copy invitation.  The noise from the front slowly rose in volume as all three conversations tried to talk over each other.  Bookie quickly powered up the machine, made the changes in the circuity programming in the invitation, shut the machine back down, and then walked back out the front door.

Murdoc, who could see Bookie leave through his own invisibility spell, continued berating at top volume for a few more seconds before ending his tirade and hobbling out the door.  The Fin FINALLY agreed on a single set of numbers for her job, took the price quote given to her, and left.  Shortly after that, Void ended her own conversation by saying, “Yes, that is what I want.  Thank you for agreeing.”  She then turned and left.

The three print shop employees, somewhat shell-shocked, looked at each other as if to say “did that actually happen?”  The lead employee quickly stepped to the front door before any other customers slipped in, locked the door, and flipped the sign to “Closed”.  The three shop employees silently walked back to the breakroom and smoked weed until they felt calm again.  This took some time.

4:30 PM
Sin and Prometheus arrived at the new rendezvous.  This time Sin had one of the drones deliver the satchel.  The drop-off went off without a hitch.

7:30 PM
Wearing a UPX delivery uniform, Void entered the Hellhound Club and delivered the Full Moon Gala invite (in a shipping envelope) to Mr. Johnson.

End of Session

[The last two parts were brief, but it was late and I wanted to wrap up the run.  After the hilarity of the print shop, everyone was well entertained fine with that.  Karma was awarded and payouts were tabulated.  Payout for these runs was uneven, ranging from 9000¥ to 28,000¥, but that’s life.]

[During post-game discussion, everyone agreed they had a good time playing, especially when I shopped out NPC dice rolls to players not directly involved in whatever was happening at that moment.  Everyone enjoyed having a solo opportunity for their character to shine and show their character in the character’s best light, even when things went awry.]

[This kind of run takes a great deal of prep work up front as the GM needs to have everything worked out ahead of time and plotted on a timeline.  On other runs I was able to flesh out the details for “the next bit” between sessions, but on this run I had to have all of the starting points, goals, and NPC stats ready up front so I could jump into the next thing when each part happened.  I only dropped one event: the call from Mr. Johnson to steal the invitation was supposed to happen when The Fin was inside the “No Outside Wireless Connections” zone on her run.  As that call was not at a fixed point on the timeline (and I worked out an actual timeline in Visio), I missed dumping it on her at an awkward point in her run.  Ah, well.]

Session 1

Session 4

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