Monday, June 2, 2014

Shadowrun Rat's Nest: Steal this Selkie

Cast of characters:
Glitzy - fixer
Fog - scavenger and unwilling leader of the group
Zoé - street girl
Stanley - street doc
Jet - professional thief
Rusty - pilot and data courier

The campaign is on Obsidian Portal

Last time, I introduced a couple of selkies (seal-human shapeshifters) kept in the New England Aquarium as a bit of flavour. Of course my players decided to free them. In a manner very untypical for Shadowrun, they talked about their plan for all of, I don't know, thirty minutes and then just went ahead. If you don't play Shadowrun: entire sessions can be spent planning a good run and it's entirely possible for the run to last much shorter than the planning phase.

This time, they are flying by the seat of their pants. There isn't much of a plan except: talk to the selkies, ask if they want out, walk out with them. And basically, that's how it went down because I'm not going to throw much of a security force at them in an aquarium. The hard part of the plan comes now because the selkies, in their human form, are extremely attractive and really stand out. People will remember seeing them. Also, everyone in the group's thinking about sex, just at the back of their mind, but the thought and the desire is there. A couple of drunk guys on the subway were distracted by Zoé, who now has to deal with them. On a dimly-lit parking place next to the hotel where the group is bringing the selkies. And by deal with them I mean that the plan is to knock them all out with the help of Fog.

And then they either drive the selkies a hundred miles or so up or down the coast or, and I really love this, they fly them to Seattle. Get them an illegal SIN (passport) and just smuggle them out of the country and then back in again (the middle of the US is now the Native American Nations). This would be asking for trouble even if Rusty wasn't in trouble with some other runners who want the data he's carrying around in his head and who might just think this is important enough to try and catch them at the first stopover in the NAN.

Players, and I include myself here, do such wonderfully stupid things. Just because they can or because it seemed like a good idea at the time. The selkie run is incredibly stupid, but it's brilliant roleplaying, very much in character. I'm enjoying myself very much and I think my players do, too.

Sunday, June 1, 2014



This is my hive, it's a top bar hive I built using instructions from The Barefoot Beekeeper. It's basically a big box on stilts, with bars covering it and a roof. The bars are for the bees to hang their combs from and give me easy access without disturbing the bees too much.

Some of the bees

this, I believe, is a drone, a male bee - it's not visible here, but his eyes were enormous

and here's the whole swarm, two days after moving in

I got the swarm from another beekeeper and I was very excited and a bit afraid they'd all fly off. I did spray them with water to keep them from flying, but I had never done this before. But they were very well behaved. I only got stung three times, all at once, I think I must have pinched those bees by accident.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of holding a hand full of live bees. That I learned on this day.