Friday, January 9, 2015

Shadowrun Rat's Nest: Flamethrowers

Ah, yes, the quiet and peace of the pre-holiday season. Exactly the right time to hand out some flamethrowers and assault guns and ask four of my players to do their best and kill the fifth one.

Fog is an adept and wants to add another initiation (a certain magical technique). That requires some sort of test and since he has a mentor spirit, Crow, it should fit at least loosely to the goals and rules of that spirit. Crow hates senseless waste, of things and life, but on the other hand he is not greedy and does not put things over life. From there, I went to creating a situation where lives were carelessly wasted and where greed was a definite option instead of stopping the waste.

Here things get a bit wild. We're in the wastelands around Chicago now and Fog has been scouting for the night, so he's away from the group. The first hint that not all is well is a deer that jumps into the road, its fur on fire. Fog has a WTF moment and drives on (failing several perception tests). Then a couple of shacks by the side of the road go up in flames and he sees people running out. One of them gets shot down by a couple of soldiers? Black OPS? Shit, this looks like it's straight out of Starship Troopers. But he doesn't have much time to think about it because a woman with two kids are running towards him and he lets them climb on his bike and hightails it out of there.

One of the kids loses his grip, but Fog can't slow down, he's getting shot at, the bike is hit. Things are personal now. He still has no idea what is going on, but he's pissed and so he lends the woman the bike and goes off into the woods to find someone to ask some serious questions.

Meanwhile, the group who paid a lot of money for their Starship Trooper experience are having a good time. They don't know for sure where they are, but who cares. There are Bugs to shoot at, they have alcohol and drugs and they get to handle real guns (which don't shot at other players, but at everything else). They have been told that everything inside the compound is fair game and admire the highly realistic special effects.

I was not at all sure that Fog's player would go through with this. I had not been kind to him when I made the stats for the other characters and their weapons. Since it was supposed to be an initiation test, there had to be real danger. But the wager paid off and we had ourselves some beautiful player versus player gaming. In the end, Fog fought and killed almost all the others, even though the prospect of just getting the hell out of there with some top-grade armour as loot was tempting. Crow will be pleased and even a little impressed.

I love the fact that I can do stuff like this with the group. Tell one player: please wait outside. Hand basic character sheets to the others, explain the situation and then just lean back and enjoy the resulting mayhem. No: oh, this is Fog, we cannot kill him. Or: nah, come one, we want to play our own characters, not let one player have the spotlight for the evening. No-one takes any aggression outside of the game, but when they play, they play hard.

This is not something you can do too often, but once in a while it's fun to do something a little different with the game. Whether it's a situation like this or playing another game inside the other, like we did when we played a game of Dread and Shadowrun at the same time.

The campaign is on Obsidian Portal and Fog wrote about the whole thing here

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