Monday, September 21, 2015

Shadowrun Report – St. Valentine’s Day Monkey Burger Massacre and BBQ

[This session happened on September 14th.  We missed a week playing due to Labor Day activities, after missing a week because I wasn’t ready to run due to Real World Issues, so it was good to play again.]

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
Void – female human physical adept B&E specialist, a shadow that blends in easily
Killroy – male human street samurai, specializes in hand-to-hand combat (and apparently machineguns)
Murdoc – male elf kilt-wearing street mage, at home with the hobos

NPC’d Characters
Bookie – male elf alcoholic hacker, favors whiskey with a whiskey chaser
Prometheus – male human street samurai, handy with any firearm

Thursday-Friday, February 13-14, 2076
At Midnight, The Fin received a phone call from Svetlana, a fixer contact who specializes in shopping around wetwork opportunities and odd jobs.  [This was going to be an odd job.]  Svetlana had a rush job where the client was looking for “the Monkey Burger team.”  Svetlana vouched for the fixer brokering the job and claimed the job appeared to be real.  Was The Fin interested?  After thinking it over for a moment, The Fin said she was willing to accept the job.  Svetlana then asked The Fin to meet her at Olga’s Tea House in Tacoma as soon as possible.  The Fin said she would be there in an hour.

Forty-five minutes later, The Fin was at Olga’s, make-up and clothes fashionably perfect, hair in that “I just kicked someone out of my bed to be here” style [because she had].  Svetlana was sitting at a table in a back corner, her two bodyguards occupying the two tables in front of Svetlana’s table.  The crowd in Olga’s was giving them a wide berth.  The Fin was recognized by the bodyguards as she walked up and allowed to sit at Svetlana’s table without any hassle.

After the pleasantries of greeting each other, Svetlana got down to the point: the job was to destroy as many free-standing Monkey Burger operations as possible in the Seattle Metroplex in the next 36 hours…oh, 35 hours now.  The Fin was nonplussed for a moment and then asked Svetlana to repeat herself, not certain she had heard correctly.  Svetlana repeated what she had said and then provided some additional details:

  • 8 of the 16 Monkey Burger locations had to be destroyed by 6:00 AM, Saturday, February 15, or there would be no pay.
  • Each location destroyed paid 3000¥.
  • There was a 10,000¥ bonus for destroying all 3 Flagship locations.
  • There was a 26,000¥ bonus for destroying all 13 drive-through locations.
  • “Destroyed” meant “it would cost more to fix it than tear it down and start over”.
  • The deadline was 6:00 AM, Saturday morning.
  • Payment would be made upon verification of destruction, but no later than Noon on the 15th.

And that was pretty much it.

The Fin immediately sent a “We’ve got a job – get to the office ASAP” group message to the team and then attempted to get more money out of the deal.  Svetlana was firm on the price for the job and The Fin recognized this, so she left to bring the job to the team.  [The Fin rolled 6 hits on Negotiation, but so did Svetlana, giving The Fin 0 net hits and no extra money.]

Friday, February 14, 2076
By 2:00 AM, everyone but Prometheus and Bookie were at the Pleiades Group offices in the Queen Anne Hill neighborhood.  After The Fin laid out the job, the group immediately started planning.  Pretty much the entire team agreed that they would have to hit all the locations at once and preferably when they were closed so no employees or customers would get killed.  This was a job for explosives!

Sin put his engineering skills to work and went over the plans of the Monkey Burger locations the team had acquired the last time they were paid to attack them.  [See the blog entries for the Monkey Business run.]  He located the perfect locations in both the Flagship and drive through locations to maximize destruction with the minimum amount of commercial grade explosives.  [He used Edge and rolled 10 hits on his Engineering roll, which I allowed to be used to reduce the quantity of explosives.]  The rest of the team then started calling their contacts, looking for 10 kg worth of explosives as soon as possible, with cost being no option.  [This meant they were willing to pay the 400% maximum extra dice on the availability roll.]

Killroy’s arms dealer contract, Leona Kinkou, came through first.  She was able to locate and deliver the first 10 kilo package by 7:00 AM [I rolled the necessary successes plus two more, with the extra hits each reducing the time by half].  She also lucked into another package after Killroy stated he needed more if she could get it.  The second package arrived at 10:00 AM [this time three extra successes], but she couldn’t get any more for a full day [zero extra successes], which Killroy accepted as it would replace the 10 kg he started with.  He then set to wiring up the 30 kilos of explosives as demolition charges [20 kg plus the 10 kg explosives he already had from a previous run that ended up not needing them].  The Flagship locations would take 4 kilos each, while the drive through locations would only need 2 kilos, allowing him to make packages for the three Flagships plus 9 of the 13 drive through locations.

At the same time, Void’s asked he fence, Sarah, if she had access to 10 kg of commercial grade explosives.  It was a long shot, but it couldn’t hurt to ask.  Sarah said she happened to know where to get ahold of 10 kg of commercial explosives, no questions asked, but it would take nearly 24 hours before she could get it – did Void still want it?  Void said yes and arranged delivery.  Meanwhile, The Fin was able to locate another 10 kg of explosives through her “acquisitions” contact, Aung San, who commented that there seemed to be a run on the explosives right now, so she could not secure and deliver the explosives until 2:00 AM Saturday morning.  After checking with Killroy that 2:00 AM would be soon enough, The Fin asked Aung to get the explosives and deliver them.

After contacting Sarah, Void spent some time checking out the Monkey Burger locations to see if security had been upgraded.  It had.  There were three times as many cameras in place and more security goons in place.  The windows now all appeared to be bulletproof and all the external doors and locks had been upgraded.  Not so high that Void couldn’t bypass them [the corporate work recently had challenged her with higher grade locks], but noticeably better.  Void reported this information back to the Group.

The team planned out the delivery route, planning to hit the Flagship locations first (as they closed at 9:00 pm), and then the drive through locations in Bellevue, Downtown, Tacoma, and finally Renton (all of which closed at Midnight).  After the Downtown drive through locations, the last 20 kg of explosives would be available and Killroy could make the last four demolition charges for Void to place.  To keep things as safe as possible, Murdoc would make Killroy and Void (the delivery team) invisible and Sin would remotely drive one of his rigged vehicles with the delivery team (and the explosives) inside.

Then the team went to their respective homes and rested until the run, except Bookie who spent some time to find appropriate music to record the explosions to.


At 8:00 PM, Void and Killroy loaded the demolition packages into Sin’s car. Sin then remotely drove them on the planned route, observing all speed limits and warning signs.

Against all odds, there were no major traffic accidents nor gang wars anywhere along the route.  Void and Killroy were able to bypass the improved security measures and plant all the charges with little difficulty, including stealing a shake machine and a crate of strawberry-banana shake mix at Murdoc’s request.  By 4:00 AM all the devices were in place and awaiting Killroy’s signal to detonate.  Sin placed several of his aerial drones around town to “just happen” to be in the right place to record the explosions across the city.

At 4:30 AM, Saturday, February 15th, every standalone Monkey Burger establishment in the Seattle Metroplex, all 16 of them, exploded, assuming foolproof disguises as piles of burning rubble.

It was not long after that that the first news stories about fires at fast food restaurants started appearing on the local news channels.  By 5:00 AM the news channels realized that ALL the Monkey Burger establishments in Seattle were destroyed and started reporting that fact.  By 6:00 AM, the national news started reporting on the unusual news story, speculating on what it meant and who might be responsible.

Watching the media frenzy slowly start up, the Pleiades Group sat in their office, eating pop corn and watching the music video Bookie had created with Sin’s video footage and the 1812 Overture.

At 7:00 AM, full payment for the job was deposited into the Pleiades Group’s bank account.  The Fin subtracted the expenses from the job [buying all those explosives] and split the remaining money with the entire team, putting the rounding amount into the Group kitty.

End of Session

[This one wrapped up pretty quick.  I wasn’t certain how the players would face this challenge and was ready for a one-by-one approach if necessary.  They wisely chose the explosives route, but even that would not have covered all the locations if Sin had not had that amazing roll and reduced the amount of explosives needed at each location.  I played a little fast and loose with the explosives amount needed, but it provided just the right amount of tension as the team scrambled to track down enough to do the job.  Killroy’s contact rolled well for the first two batches of explosives and all the other rolls made just the necessary number of hits to deliver in one day.]

[Next session, September 21, we are just doing character maintenance as no one has updated their characters in Hero Lab since we started, just keeping track of things on paper.  This will let me print out updated characters for everyone and make certain no one missed any Karma.  We may also play board games or watch Sneakers as most of the group hasn’t seen it.]

[After that, I’m running the next run (on September 28th) as I have an idea.  Due to my Day Job picking up, it’s taking me longer to prep for the run, so another week off is welcome.  Then the other GM needs to run a couple runs.  So expect the next real session report on October 5th.]

Monday, September 7, 2015

Shadowrun Report – Implants – Session 2

[This session happened on August 24th and is directly related to the metaplot of the campaign.]

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
Void – female human physical adept B&E specialist, a shadow that blends in easily
Killroy – male human street samurai, specializes in hand-to-hand combat (and apparently machineguns)
Bookie – male elf alcoholic hacker, favors whiskey with a whiskey chaser
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, February 10, 2076

Sin sent several of his drones to the target building, timing their arrival to just after sunset.  With the darkness he could now see inside and watched the corporate wage-slaves finish their day.  Gradually they left, taking the elevators up to the corporate housing in the floors above.  At 8:00 PM, security guards started patrolling the floors.  The team, watching the video feeds from Sin’s drones, realized that there was only 10 minutes between patrols when no security was on any particular floor, not the 20 minutes they were told to expect [by the GM who goofed the timing originally].  This meant their available time to move and do what needed to be done was tighter than anticipated, but still usable with their current plan.  They also noted that occasionally employees would return to their workstations after hours, sometimes for just a few minutes, sometimes for as much as two hours.  This was something they would need to watch for during the job.

Sin also spent time investigating the roof or the building across the street from the target for security, as this is where the team would start their infiltration.  The building was a 5-story office building with offices leased by numerous small businesses.  This meant security overall was not as tight and Bookie would be able to loop the roof cameras during the run.

Tuesday, February 11, 2076
The team arrived at the launching roof at 8:00 PM, with Bookie easily hacking the security cameras and looping them.  Scouting the 4th and 5th floors of the RiddleNetics building across the street from this vantage point allowed the team to notice a few things.  Murdoc could now see that the rooms with four interior walls were magically warded.  He could not see the server room on the 4th floor as it was on the far side of the building, but it was likely warded as well, meaning the invisibility spell Void would have on her might not survive her crossing the barrier or worse, warn the mage who cast the barrier that someone just broke into the server room.  Murdoc and Void discussed how to handle it and decided Void would attempt to push through without breaking the barrier.  If the invisibility spell dropped it wouldn’t be a disaster, but it would require more work to keep her off any cameras.

Second, several members of the team noticed that the cubicle directly facing the Archival Records room on the 5th floor was occupied by someone working late.  This was going to be a stickier problem, especially if Void was no longer invisible once she attempted this room or lost the invisibility spell while trying this room.  With too many variables to work it all out, the team decided to go forward anyways and trust to luck and improvisation to get the job done.  Plus, they had to be done by 5:00 AM, so they didn’t have time for a new plan.

Watching the first security patrol make its rounds, Prometheus fired his grapple gun just as they finished walking the 4th floor at 8:28 PM.  The grapple caught the railing of the corner pocket balcony on the 4th floor and Prometheus tightened the stealth rope on a high point on his end.  Murdoc then cast invisibility on Void, Killroy, and Bookie, who only now learned he would be making the crossing in a body bag, carried by Killroy.  At first Bookie refused, but then Killroy said, “C’mon, man – don’t be a Sin.” [This was a reference to Sin nearly dying on a previous run.]

Faced with this argument, Bookie had to agree it would be safer for him, so he climbed into the bag and zipped it up.  Killroy then shouldered the bag’s strap, attached his zipline hook, and swung out across the street on the line.  As the line was descending at a shallow angle, it seemed to take forever to make the transit across, but eventually Killroy arrived at the far end and climbed up into the pocket balcony with Bookie in the bag.  [Killroy is the physically strongest member of the team.]  Void followed across immediately after.  Once she was safely across, Prometheus applied the catalyst stick to the stealth rope, which dissolved.

Void was able to bypass the maglock securing the [bulletproof] glass door and the three of them entered the corner office.  The decorations were typical corporate middle management, with an animated image on one wall showing a ship in storm-tossed seas, the captain (who looked suspiciously like the CEO of RiddleNetics) steering the ship with a firm hand.  Back across the street, Prometheus, Murdoc, and The Fin kept watch on the areas inside the RiddleNetics building they could view in case something unexpected happened.  [Prometheus’ implanted commlink was a high enough rating that it could get a message through the jammers and anti-Wi-Fi paint, even if no one on the intrusion team could answer back.]

Bookie accessed the terminal built into the office desk.  It was significantly less effective than his cyberdeck, but it was hard-wired into the buildings matrix systems and registered as belonging there, allowing Bookie a freedom of action he would not have had otherwise.  He immediately started looking for the requested paydata.

Once Bookie was inside the system, Void exited the office and made her way to the server room, leaving Killroy to keep Bookie safe.  Void arrived at the server room well before the next security patrol stepped out of the elevator.  She bypassed the card-reader maglock easily and then slowly started pushing through the magical barrier.  She could feel the barrier resisting as it flowed across her, but she passed through it without breaking it and with the invisibility spell on her intact. [She rolled a single net hit against the barrier, but that was all she needed to get the single spell on her through.]  Void let out a quiet sigh of relief and then located the terminal she needed.  She plugged the datastick with the first computer agent into the terminal and hit the Run button.  Then she settled to wait the five minutes it took to the agent to run.

Three minutes into her wait, Void heard the beep of someone accessing the server room door with a passcard.  Three human males wearing what could only be described as “movie ninja costumes” hurriedly entered the server room, shushing each other.  Not certain what was going on but recognizing non-professionals, Void backed up against the wall between the two banks of servers she was standing by.  The three “ninjas” started setting up a microcamera, an AR projector, and a motion sensor in front of the row Void was hiding in.  They were clearly setting up some sort of prank, but Void was concerned they would either accidentally bump into her or make enough noise to draw the attention of the guards.

They almost alerted the guards, shutting up just as the guards were passing the door.  One of the two guards paused to listen and then opened the door to look in.  The “ninjas” hid and each held their breath until the guard decided it was his imagination and resumed his patrol.  The “ninjas” started to laugh until they shushed each other again.  Void was contemplating stabbing them, but decided she didn’t want anyone wondering what a shadowrunner was doing in the server room.  Still, these clowns offended her sense of professionalism.

Once they were done setting up their prank, the “ninjas” left, making way more noise than they thought they were.  Void waited until she was certain they weren’t coming back and had not been spotted by the security patrol before studying the problem in front of her.  The “ninjas” had set up their prank right in front of the banks Void was hiding between.  Looking it over, she realized she could reach the power switch of the motion sensor without triggering it as she knew exactly where it was [she watched the “ninjas” activate it].  Once the computer agent finished running, she retrieved it, turned the motion sensor off, pocketed the AR projector, stepped past the motion sensor, and then carefully re-activated it.  Following the path of the “ninjas” out of the room, she then made her own way across the 4th floor, returning to the corner office where Killroy and Bookie were waiting.

While Void had been dealing with the server room, Bookie had toured the local matrix and located the bonus paydata on RiddleNetics bid for Aquamatics.  Bookie also located evidence that one of the account executives was skimming money from the company.  He copied that evidence as well to see if Mr. Johnson would pay extra for it.

With half the job done and the bonus paydata secured, Void went back out to the pocket balcony.  Balancing on the balcony railing, Void focused her chi into strengthening her legs and then ran up the outside of the building to the balcony on the next floor.  [Void used the Strength Boost and Wall Running adept powers plus some Edge to accomplish this feat.  It was impressive.]  She then tied off a rappelling line that she, Killroy, and Bookie would take to the ground when they left.  [She did not toss the rope down at this point to avoid a pedestrian noticing the line and alerting security.]

Void broke into the corner office on the 5th floor (which had better quality decorations than the one on the 4th floor – this executive was clearly more self-confident).  She could see the cubicle lights from whoever was working in the cubicle facing the door to the Archival Records room, but did not have the angle to see who it was or what they were doing.  Void waited until the next security patrol passed by.

Once the patrol passed, Void left the corner office and approached the cubicle, staying low to avoid being seen.  She used her endoscope to peek into the cube without having to look over or around the cubicle walls.  Sitting in the cubicle was an elf woman playing a MMO on the company server.  There was also a timer counting down that Void realized was timed to when a security patrol would next pass by – what Miss Elf was doing wasn’t corporate approved!

As Miss Elf was wearing headphones and AR goggles and clearly involved in a large combat online, Void realized Miss Elf probably wouldn’t notice anyone or anything that walked by behind her, hence the timer.  Freshly emboldened, Void stepped over to the Archival Records door and bypassed the lock on the door.  She slowly pushed through the magical barrier and again the barrier gave just enough to let Void and the invisibility spell through.  Void closed the door just as Miss Elf’s warning timer went off.  Looking [invisibly] through the door window, Void could see Miss Elf switch her video display over to a spreadsheet full of numbers and curves [with a small window still showing the battle] just before the security patrol passed.  Once the patrol passed by, Miss Elf switched the battle back to the full-screen.

Inside the Archival Records room, Void located the needed terminal and ran the computer agent.  Just over five minutes later Void exited the Archival Records room with Miss Elf none-the-wiser.  Void then exited the office to the pocket balcony and signaled for Sin to drive up the getaway vehicle.  She then dropped the rappelling line down the side of the building and rappelled down to the street.  Killroy and Bookie, who were waiting to see Void go by on the rappelling line, exited the 4th floor office and followed Void down the line to the street where Sin’s vehicle drove up.  Killroy and Bookie climbed into the car as Void applied her own catalyst stick to the stealth rope rappelling line.  As the line dissolved, Void entered the car and then Sin (remotely) drove the trio away.

Meanwhile, Murdoc, Prometheus, and The Fin left the staging building, taking a separate vehicle away to the offices of the Pleiades Group.  There Murdoc and Prometheus transferred to Sin’s vehicle while Void passed the datasticks over to The Fin.  Bookie supplied a third datastick with all the embezzlement evidence on it, explaining what it was to The Fin.  The Fin then took a nap in one of the side rooms as the meeting with the client at Jack’s Box Seats wasn’t for another eight hours.  The rest of the team dispersed.

Wednesday, February 12, 2076
At 6:00 AM, The Fin arrived at Jack’s Box Seats.  In the dawn light and without all the AR illusions, the area looked sparse and disreputable.  There was a single vehicle parked by the front door to the sports bar.  The Fin parked her car next to it and got out of her car.  As she approached the other car, the front door of the sports bar opened and an orc woman in a suit leaned out and asked her business.  The Fin indicated she had a meeting and the orc woman waved her inside the sports bar.

Inside the closed sport’s bar, seated at the only table without chairs on it, was a human male in a an expensive but off-the-rack business suit [the type of things The Fin notices], a Shiawase Cyber-5 cyberdeck and a Fairlight Caliban commlink sitting on the table.  The Fin approached the man who asked her if she had the datasticks.  The Fin slid the two computer agent datasticks across the table  and the man slotted them into the cyberdeck.  After checking some AR readouts, he picked up the commlink and said, “We’re good.”

At that point every screen and display in the entire sports bar activated.  On every one of them was the grinning face of a troll in a tailored business suit that The Fin immediately recognized – it was Mr. Jumbotron.  He congratulated The Fin and the Pleiades Group on a job well done and asked if she had any additional information.  The Fin told Mr. Jumbotron she had the entire RiddleNetics bid package, plus evidence one of the account executives was embezzling.  This caught Mr. Jumbotron’s attention.  He and The Fin negotiated a while before settling on a good price for this additional paydata.  The Fin slid the third datastick with all the paydata across the table to Mr. Jumbotron’s flunky.  Mr. Jumbotron then had all of the agreed upon money transferred to the Pleiades Group’s company account.  After a few pleasantries, The Fin left the meeting.  On the way home she split the money and paid the team their shares.  When she got home she immediately went to sleep – she was still short on sleep.

Later that day, the local news channels broke a major story about RiddleNetics using the homeless in the Redmond Barrens to test their anti-nerve gas filters.  Evidence had been leaked by “unnamed internal sources” at RiddleNetics, including videos of the failed tests.  Many of the test subjects died without ever being told what they were really testing.  Shortly thereafter the story went national and RiddleNetics had to start performing major damage control.

Thursday, February 13, 2076
At midnight The Fin received a call from Svetlana.  Svetlana had a rush job from a client who was asking for “the Monkey Burger team”.  Was The Fin interested?  Thinking on it a bit, The Fin asked, “When’s the meeting and how much are they offering?”

End of Session

[Next run: The Saint Valentine’s Day Monkey Burger Massacre and BBQ!]

[Also, I'm back on a project at work with a major client,so my writing time is back to being a little crimped.  Therefore, session notes might not get updated as promptly as I'd like.  On the plus side, I'm still employed and I can't argue with that right now.]

Session 1