So I am seriously considering getting into Shadowrun (5th), but I am concerned as to how you get the premise to work in a campaign.
Assuming you play a team of 'runners, my impression is that it would play in quite an episodic fasion - with little to tie each run together into a compelling story. Sort of like a dungeon crawl with a sci-fi skin, do another run, buy better stuff, rinse and repeat.
So I am very interested to hear how other SR gm's plan a 'story arc' of sorts, without it seeming forced (getting screwed over by your Mr. Johnson would get old fast I imagine). How do you work in the big bad when the players are basically guns for hire?
I am always right. I thought I was wrong once, but I was wrong.
Back in the days of 2e, I ran a campaign that started very episodic with the players taking espionage jobs from some anonymous boss. They slowly started to put together what they were fighting against, and realized their employer was a small resistance group. The actual story involved people being experimented on against their will, etc, - but that's not important. What mattered was the slow transition from mercenaries to champions of the disenfranchised. It was a pretty fun little campaign. They were very satisfied when they finally put a bullet in the head of the corporation CEO. I let the players each narrate their epilogue - one of the players installed himself as the new CEO. We never got around to running the sequel campaign where he must be stopped.
Oh, and just a heads up - I'm not sure how familiar you are with the earlier editions, but 5th is a peculiar thing.
Every edition previous to 5th is plagued with the same [potential] problem or challenge - team fragmentation. It took a very skillful GM to not say "ok guys, you can take a 4 hour break while I run the hacker through this computer system and after that I'll need the rigger for about an hour to run this chase sequence then the rest of you can finish infiltrating the warehouse while the hacker and the rigger make dinner."
5th fixes this by reducing the uniqueness of the character types. I'm not saying its a bad thing that each of the player types doesn't have their own [vastly different] game system anymore, it's just very different.
Despite how hard it is to run a game in 2nd or 3rd, I find it to be much more colorful, unique, and interesting. However, 5th works better and doesn't feel as mechanically out dated.
I'm just saying, if you haven't, to check out some of the older stuff; it's a very different game. Even the world fluff is completely different.
I appreciate 5th for its accessibility and streamlining, but it doesn't feel like Shadowrun to me. It lacks the complexity of searching through multiple catalogs for 6 hours choosing the perfect hardware to put into my deck. But these days not a lot of people consider that to be fun. It also lacks the sweet 1980s view of the future that Cuberpunk means to me.
But at the end of the day, you know what type of GM you are and what type of players you have.
Post by D.T. Pints on Sept 1, 2013 10:31:41 GMT -8
What I experienced in my 2nd edition campaign was a "series of 'apparently unrelated' events" that in the end lead to a big HOLY SHIT moment finding they were all tied together. I'm trying to think of the name of the published scenario that we ran through...but maxinstuff check some of those out and I think you'll get a better idea of how the premise can become a campaign.
A big part of bringing depth to the story is dealing with the fallout from the previous runs. We often compared playing Shadowrun to playing a Thieves Guild campaign. Steal shit, sneak around a bunch, run from the guard (cops), get hits put on us by the people we fucked over.
Last Edit: Sept 1, 2013 10:32:01 GMT -8 by D.T. Pints
There are strange things done under the midnight sun...
I haven't played Shadowrun since 2nd edition was new. But some ideas.
Your Big Bad could be a Corp.
Mr. Johnson hires you to do X against Corp #1. Then another Johnson hires you to do Y against Corp #2. So on and so forth.
But either all the Corps are subsidiaries of a Megacorp or owned by the same person and grow to dislike the team. Hiring out Lone Star etc.
Your Big Bad is an Opposing Team of Runners.
It's a dog eat dog world if another team starts getting Cred it will start taking jobs from the PCs. It's all about the cred and the nuyen. Like a popstar if your team isn't topping the charts then no one cares who they are.
Best thing about this Big Bad is killing the other team is an option, but a bad one to make.
It would be very frowned upon and would probably have the rest of the Local ShadowRunners gunning for the PCs. Honor among thieves and all that.
And trying to out run the other team could be tension building.
Lastly I think the setting for Shadowrun is pretty well thought out (or at least it was in the 90s). You could potentially play shadowrun for years and not have the PCs be runners. There's tons of stuff.
Last Edit: Sept 5, 2013 15:20:41 GMT -8 by malifer
Post by simonsays on Sept 15, 2013 23:03:12 GMT -8
I've started reading through the new edition and I am loving it. I haven't been exposed to the other editions so I'm coming to this without any prejudice and I have to say that the potential with this system is pretty staggering. I haven't finished my first read through though I have skimmed most of the core rules and I am giddy with anticipation. I haven't played an RPG since the 90s and its nice to see a world and system that seem to have matured much as I believe I have.