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[SR4] Mission Misadventure Madness

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:19 pm    Post subject: [SR4] Mission Misadventure Madness Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So I'm running Shadowrun 4e, using the Shadowrun Missions adventures (with more sizable payouts). Also the Ends of The Matrix rules.

Our Heroes

  • Forra "Fourarms": White Elf from Tir Tairngire (and yes, she's very racist by metatype) with major cyberization going on, including both legs being fully cyber, as well as her "starting" two arms being half cyber, and on top of that an additional two fully cyber arms have been implanted, asura style (pic). Forra's father works for Area in their magical studies division, but she has no talent for magic herself, so eventually he gave up on her, Gendo style. She used dad's checkbook to get as much cyber as possible and then ran away to a life of crime.
  • Sudden Cloud: Navajo/Anglo Human Hacker. Grew up in the PCC, was in the PCC military for a while as a technical analyst. Became an otaku in high school (in the "loves Japanese culture stuff" sense). He believes in all sorts of conspiracy theories, and is kinda like Fox Mulder if Mulder were half-Amerindian.
  • Makoto Mami: Japanese Elven Street Sam. Her parents (elves) were Japanese by ancestry, but they had to leave Japanese territory because of the anti-elf racism. Mami herself was born and raised in Salish Shidhe, learning quite a bit of Amerindian culture as a child. Hates any nations and corps that aren't metahuman friendly, Japan among them.
  • Deep Sea: Japanese Elven Mystic Adept (Shinto-variant tradition). Born and raised in Japan. Worked as an "Infiltration Test Specialist" for a corp (Horizon or Evo), until he was double crossed and had to flee to the Americas.
  • "Honest" Abe: White Human Vampire Hunter. A "cybrid" sort of reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln (but magical rather than technological). He hates vampires, and hunts them with his trusty axe. Also he can hunt pretty much anything else that you can solve with liberal applications of a trusty axe.

Mission 2x01: Parliament of Thieves
The group has all recently arrived in Denver. None of them know each other yet, but they've put out some feelers for work. They're all called in to Denim (a Hopi night club) for a meet at 16:30. It's about 14:00 when they get the calls, but no one has any last minute tasks so they all show up around then. Everyone but Abe is early and tries to scope the place out a bit. Abe is intentionally a few minutes late. Everyone gets directed to the back where five seats been set out. A man is waiting in a large ceremonial mask, silently directing them to sit, and waiting for everyone to arrive.

Once the group is assembled, the man explains that he is the Johnson, and that the mission is a simple one. They have to carry a package from where they are (Denim is in the PCC sector) to an address on Billings Street (UCAS sector). The package is a large manila envelope marked "CONFIDENTIAL" in large red letters on one side, with a tamper-proof seal. It has to arrive by 19:00. They are assured that the package is not explosive or anything else dangerous to the carriers, but they are otherwise not told what's inside. The Johnson warns that 3rd party groups are aware of the delivery taking place today, and they might attempt to interrupt the process.

The group agrees to half payment up front, Deep Sea takes the package in hand, and then they step outside. As soon as they're outside, Abe insists on trying to figure out what's in the package, and storms off in disgust when the rest of the group tries to explain how extremely stupid that plan is.

So they'll have to make two border crossings to get to the UCAS portion of things from where they are. Also, none of them have a car. Forra has a motor-bike, but the rest agree to just call a cab. Traffic isn't too bad, and they make it to the PCC/CAS crossing easily enough. Forra makes her way through customs with her bike, and the rest get out of their cab and will have to get another one on the far side. Mami is often bad at speaking to people, to put it mildly ("Uncouth" quality and no ranks in social skills), so she pairs up with Deep Sea and they pass through as a pair, letting Deep Sea do all the small talk stuff. Sudden Cloud goes through on his own, but muttered about tyrannical government control a little too loudly while waiting in line (failed a Charisma+Etiquette(2) test). He gets picked for a "random" inspection with the new machine that scans way up your butt. Instead of using the normal 3 dice scanner against his Fake SIN (Rating 4), they pull out a 5 dice scanner. Shockingly, it gets the 4 hits required on the first roll. Even though he's busted right then, I also have him roll the four dice for his SIN anyway, but he gets nothing. So, his SIN shows as being excessively fake basically. The thing is... it's a lot of paper work to fill out a whole report... sometimes the inspectors just forget about things, you know? For a small fee of course.

Having bribed the border patrol, he meets back up with the others, and they get into a second cab (with Forra on backup again). Traffic is a little more crowded as it gets later into the day. At one point they're stopped entirely in front of a Mexican restaurant across the street when four Chinese individuals come out and approach their car. In response, a foursome of Japanese individuals gets out of a nearby car and also approaches the group. Deep Sea and Mami notice them right away, but only Sudden Cloud manages to spot the guns they have under their jackets. Forra moves her bike closer and everyone gets to the cab at about the same moment. Instead of an immediate gun battle, the Japanese individual knocks on the cab window very casually. There's not too much they can do other than roll the window down.

Deep Sea: Can I help you?
Jonny: Greetings. I am Jonny. My sources tell me that you are carrying a package. It's a package that I'm very interested in, and I will buy it from you.
An Peng: My own associates are also interested in that package, and we would like to buy it from you.
Deep Sea: Interesting. Make me an offer.
An Peng: 14k nuyen.
Jonny: We can pay 18.5k nuyen, and of course the gratitude of my associates.
Deep Sea: We'll need a moment to discuss this offer.
Jonny: Of course.

So Jonny and An Peng step a little away from the back of the cab. The cab's escape is still blocked by traffic, though now it seems that perhaps that's been deliberately arranged a little down the road by one or both of the groups. Either way, the group chats about it silently via commlink.

Forra> Can we really just sell it to them?
Mami> Probably shouldn't do that.
Sudden Cloud> So who are these guys?
Deep Sea> Well, the ones from the car are probably the Yakuza. If I'm right, the others from the restaurant are probably with the Triads.
Sudden Cloud> So we don't want to piss them off.
Mami> But we don't want to piss off whoever hired us.
Sudden Cloud> True. Who hired us exactly?
Forra> Yet another criminal organization, I'm sure.

At this point, I personally assumed that they wouldn't sell off the package, so I went to move the scene along a little, "Jonny knocks on the window again. 'Have you come to a decision?', he says." Shockingly though, Deep Sea made a snap decision to sell. And he was the one holding the package. So they hand it over to the Yakuza, he pays them, and he even gives them his number for later. The Triad group is immediately angry but they don't make a fight of it. The Koshari and Chavez Mafia are both angry later, as they eventually get word, but how much can you really expect from some random newcomers to the city?
Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun

Last edited by Lokathor on Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:07 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mission 2x02: Best Served Cold

"I happen to know all the details about what happened, but I have no idea how to recount them in a manner that will make sense to most readers."

The runners get a call at 2pm. It's a lady named Tabby, says she got their number from Jonny Ono. Tabby wants them to meet out at a particular ranch as soon as possible, there's a Johnson who wants a time sensitive operation to happen. They agree to meet at 3pm, and perform some quick searches before they head out: The ranch named is a corporate retreat for mid level executives. The business came into being suddenly a few years ago, but it isn't owned by any bigger corporation higher up the food chain as far as they can see.

At 3pm they meet a man named Jaron Falcone at the ranch, the owner. He wants a package returned to his care, and admits that the package is a 30-something human male. They agree to a group payment of 3,000 up front and 14,000 once the job is done. Falcone explains that an Ares exec was extracted from his ranch around 5am. At 9am a ransom demand came in before anyone at the ranch even knew that anything was wrong. Security footage shows three women, human or elf sized, made their way in around then. Two of them made off with one Jonathan Belenki, while the third messed up the room without appearing to take anything (the footage had been destroyed after the kidnapping and then mostly recovered by Sudden Cloud, so things weren't entirely clear).

The ransom note claimed that if payment to a numbered ZO account wasn't delivered by 9am the next day then Belenki would be killed and information about Falcone allowing the death of an exec under his care would be released to the public. Falcone says that he'll pay an extra 5,000 each for information about the blackmailer, but only if the primary objective (Belinki's safe return) is completed.

First they check out Belinki's room. They find his commlink which got left behind. It's got a safety mechanism to prevent illicit access. Sudden Cloud gives it a try anyway, but trips the safety. The device notifies Ares of the theft and erases all of its data. Falcone's assistant keeps the commlink in his care, since they clearly won't be using that to further the investigation.

After a few calls around, some of which don't pick up, they figure out that the group that took Belinki is probably a local team known as The Black Cats. They visit a bar called the Hardpan, and the bartender sets up a meet under the guise of the party needing to hire them for a mission.

They meet with Kyra in a park. She is interested in their proposed job, but not until sundown tomorrow. "Other business until then, you understand". Kyra leaves to go back where she came from, and Deep Sea sends a plant spirit to track her. She goes back to a DIY Storage place. Low security, but definitely out of the way and off the beaten path.

Around now is when Forra's dad (an Ares exec) calls her back. He's tired from a long day of work, but she offers to send him a bottle of his favorite booze, so he agrees to answer a few questions. He looks at Belinki's file and says that Belinki is undergoing a "loyalty test" at the moment. He doesn't explain more, but Forra knows that such a test is common practice during the vetting process. In this case, it was probably Ares itself that arranged the kidnapping.

Except that it wouldn't make sense for Ares to also arrange for a ransom message.

So they make a call to Kyra again, dance around with some words, and eventually just ask about the ransom. She admits that Ares paid for a take and hold with a set of brand new weapons and armor, but vehemently denies that there's any sort of ransom involved in the operation. Belinki will be returned safely at sundown tomorrow like her contract says, and she's not going to budge from that.

A little after 9pm rolls around, and the whole group gets a mysterious message left on their commlink, offering a meetup in VR to explain how Falcone is ready to screw over the team. Sudden Cloud is the only one that goes, and he meets up with an Icon like a black hole. The metadata gives its name as "Void". Void explains, for a small fee, that Falcone has doctored the security footage of them meeting him to make it look like they were the ones making the ransom demand. Knight Errant will be ready and waiting when they show up to collect the rest of their payment.

They're not sure what to think of all this conflicting evidence when Sudden Cloud gets a call back from one of his contacts. Deep Throat asks what they wanted, and Sudden Cloud lays it all out. Deep Throat checks his files, and says that Void is a new handle on a hacker known as HammerJack, who had some old history with Falcone. HammerJack blames Falcone for some sort of mishap on a run, though the details of that incident aren't clear. Sudden Cloud thanks Deep Throat for this, and hangs up his commlink.

So they decide to contact Falcone. Deep Sea makes the call, and explains about The Black Cats, and about HammerJack aka Void being the probable blackmailer. Falcone says he'll handle HammerJack himself, and says that if The Black Cats return Belinki safely, even after the deadline, that they'll get their payment. So the group decides to just wait it out.

The next days rolls around. 9am hits with no payment made. At 9:10 precisely, Sudden Cloud's commlink chirps an alarm. His automated alerts have triggered on a news story. He's in the news. So is the rest of the group. The news story says that the team broke into the Falcone ranch and kidnapped Belinki. It's obviously more doctored footage, but they've made the public eye for this leg of the 24-hour news cycle.

Sunset rolls around, and The Black Cats drop Belinki off in a deserted alley. The team picks him up and gets him safely to the ranch. Falcone is furious at the PR mess that this has turned into, but they did get Belinki back in the end, and Falcone is a contract man, so he grudgingly pays out the rest of the money and tells them to get off his property.
Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mission 2x03: The Grab (pt 1)

"You'd really take a job to kidnap a 12-year-old?"
"You said that's what the woman hired me to do!"
"Oh, yeah, well that did happen."

Sunday, April 3rd, 2072. The time is 20:30, and the group has just left the Falcone ranch in semi-disgrace. They're hungry, so they go to a Stuffer Shack and buy some snacks. After that, everyone returns to their new housing arrangements. They all decided to move after that whole "pissed off the Koshari" deal, and so they're still in the middle of unpacking boxes. Luckily, housing is cheap in Denver lately (-10% living expense), since they just had the Winter Olympics of '72, and all sorts of Olympic accommodations are now vacant. Some of them are a little more slap dash than others though. Everyone lives in the UCAS sector of town.

  • Sudden Cloud lives in a an apartment built on top of a sushi shack. He's got this month paid for, and the sushi is good, but it always smells like raw fish, and it's always a little too hot from the refrigeration units in the restaurant below belching out all their waste heat.
  • Makoto Mami lives on the 7th floor of a low-income apartment building, with a month paid for. There's a window, but no balcony. The walls are sound-proof enough. Not too bad.
  • Forra is staying in a hotel penthouse. Two months paid, and the bellhops do all the unpacking for her.
  • Deep Sea finds a 2nd floor apartment with a fire escape out the back, and pays a months rent on the unit.

Once they're home, and able to relax, Forra contacts a friend of hers, Slick Shady, and arranges for him to deliver a six-pack of cyber shotguns, along with the licensing. It takes about a week to show up, and then another of Forra's contacts, Cybotnik, is able to install them in her cyberlimbs easily enough.

Sudden Cloud decides to customize his IC program with a Dana persona. It's an off the shelf lady avatar, very business-like, but he also starts adding some extra romance routines in his spare time.

Makoto gives Tabby a call the next day. They have lunch in person and Makoto goes over the basics of what she can do and what she knows that the others can do. Tabby is relatively new to being a Fixer, she got most of her clients from Falcone a while after he went legit, and so she is happy to have more teams in her stable. The latest run was a bit of a disaster for Falcone, but they technically did complete what they'd been hired to do. Notably, Tabby is a cat-woman changeling.

Later that night, Makoto has Sudden Cloud do a little research on this Jonny Ono character. Turns out that he's a Wakagashira-hosa for the Yamato-gumi. So he's just one level below the Oyabun (clan leader) of the entire Yamoto-gumi. These days it's pretty spread out across the globe, so there's more than one wakagashira-hosa, but Jonny Ono is in charge of Yakuza operations within Denver and the local area. Like some sort of arch-bishop. Makoto thinks that this is super cool, so she calls Jonny the next day and asks to be put on the short list for work. He says that he'll have someone contact her soon.

Deep Sea goes around town to bars and haunts, asking around about a face to face with a new Fixer. It always pays to know more people. After about a week of chatting with folks and lining a few pockets he's placed in a room with a Mr. Blue, a tallish Troll. Similar to Makoto's situation, Deep Sea gives Mr. Blue a rundown on him and his team. Mr. Blue is a cool customer, and always wary of unknown faces, but says that he will keep all this information in mind should an appropriate situation arise.

Next Sunday, the 17th, is when the first call comes back. Around 16:00 each of them in turn gets a call from an Asian lady that greets them with a "konichiwa". She want to meet with them at 17:00, The Rattlesnake Grill, to discuss an operation. Deep Sea is the final one to get the call, and as soon as he hangs up with the woman he calls the rest about the job, they all say "yeah, we know man". He then proceeds to try and bring up the subject of better group cohesion and how people should tell each other about jobs, but there wasn't much of a time gap at all, so they mostly brush him off in a "yeah, dad, thanks" sort of way.

Meeting up at The Rattlesnake Grill, the woman more formally introduces herself as Lady Jade, and then they go inside. The restaurant is very active with families and groups, plenty of chatter fills the air. They get a table off to the side of the room and order some food. Lady Jade, Deep Sea, and Makoto all get Snake Steaks (with house specialty sauce), Sudden Cloud gets a rack of ribs, and Forra, not seeing any "fine dining" food options on the menu, grudgingly orders a rare steak wrapped in bacon. They go over the business while the food is showing up.

Lady Jade slides them a photograph of a young girl, saying her name is Catherine Westmore. They need to grab her, then bring her unharmed to another team waiting at a safe-house in the Aurora Warrens. The unharmed element is given extra emphasis, there's no payout if she's injured during the grab. Use of non-lethal stunning weapons (tasers, stun drugs, etc) is authorized though. Lady Jade isn't actually privy to much more in terms of details, but she also knows that the mother is a Donna Westmore, that works for Federated Boeing. The deadline is Wednesday evening. They agree on a price of 12,000 each, and then the meal arrives.

A good time is had by all, with a round of cinnamon apple sopapillas and coffee. Deep Sea orders the double shot stuff. Lady Jade pays for it all, writing it off as a business expense on her criminal taxes, and they all go outside. She's gets out her keys and is about to get into her car. "I suppose I'll be seeing you all soon," she says. That's when a powerful voice booms out over the parking lot. "The only thing you'll be seeing soon, Lady Jade, is your grave!"

The group looks and sees a squad of gang members about 20 meters away. They've got a bunch of samey looking leather jackets (blue and green) with short spikes on the shoulders. The one that spoke has bigger spikes on his shoulders. They've all got pistols in hand.

Forra: Hey now, there's no need for trouble here.
Big Spikes: Stay out of this one, or you're going down too.

So Forra begins to walk toward the group calmly, to diffuse the situation without shouting across a parking lot, but they take that as a sign of who to start shooting at first. Initiative!

The goons unload on Forra, who goes on full defense while she flips towards the targets. Sudden Cloud makes a small effort with his taser, but he's only got 1 pass. Deep Sea dispatches a Plant Spirit to knock them all out with Noxious Breath. The gang leader gets a strong shot in against Lady Jade (6p). Mami uses her own taser to drop some gangers. By the time that Forra has flipped all the way into the melee, there's only a few left. She dispatches two of them with her hidden cybershotguns. The next turns starts, and the final two flee. However, the plant spirit is out on the hunt, and it knocks them out after they get only a little ways away.

Deep Sea and Sudden Cloud rush Lady Jade into their truck. Mami stops to render some first aid onto the gangers that got shot with the shotguns, preventing them from bleeding out on the pavement. Then she also gets into the truck, and they drive to a place that Lady Jade gives them. Forra walks around and tries to pick the pockets of the gangers. Commlinks, some assuredly unlicensed firearms, nothing of note. However, all this extra fiddling around has Forra there for a little too long, and she can hear the siren song of Knight Errant in the distance. There's a mild chase, but Forra is eventually able to give their roto-drone the slip.

The rest of the group travels to a traditional Chinese magic shop owned by Zhang Wong, who recognizes Lady Jade and immediately takes her into the back to begin healing her. Several minutes later they come back out front. Lady Jade says that the ganger attack is part of an unrelated matter and that the mission is still on, and the deadline is still Wednesday evening. Wong says that he's very grateful to the group for saving Lady Jade, and he offers them the "friend of the shop" discount on magical goods should they ever need it. Lady Jade says she will find her own way home, and the group leaves.

They meet at Sudden Cloud's place, and they do a quick search around. They pull up records on the girl (she has cybereyes), the mom (confirmed to work at Federated Boeing), the girl's school (a top public school), the mom's condo (in a normal suburb). Sudden Cloud has a yakuza contact (other than Jonny Ono that is), and he calls to ask about what he's missed. Turns out that the dad of the girl is an assassin for the yakuza, or at least he was until recently. He's since left the clan for some reason. Not much more they can do so late at night, so they pack it in.

Dawn Of The First Day: 60 Hours Remain (Monday, April 4th)

Forra drives past the Westmore's condo to check things out. There's maglocks on the door, motion sensors on the yard, nothing too out of the ordinary for a suburb. The windows are adjustable tint, and they're turned to max right now. There's some cars on the street, but it's hard to know which cars go with which houses for sure. No car in the drive way.

Sudden Cloud drives the truck to the girl's school and sits on a bench out across the street. He starts up a Find Mind program and tries to get a fix on a girl with cybereyes in her PAN. However, there's hundreds and hundreds of kids in there, and the security system has the building's IT Admin throwing signal defense across the entire complex, so it takes him not just minutes but hours to sort through everyone.

GM: It's gonna take you a long time to sort through and find what you're looking for.
Sudden Cloud: Okay.
GM: Well, around lunch time a uniformed Knight Errant guard comes out of the school and crosses the street towards you.
Sudden Cloud: What!? You said this was a school! Why are there guards?
GM: Even modern schools have officers, and Shadowrun is an even more dangerous place. Creep outside a school for too long and someone will check it out. They're always paranoid about predators and shit. He walks up to you.
Guard: Afternoon, Sir. Can I ask what you're doing out here today?
Sudden Cloud: Well, can I lie to him? Like I tell him that my girlfriend works at the school.
GM: Yeah you can try that, roll Charisma + Con and he'll roll the same.
Sudden Cloud: Fuck yeah, 3 hits.
GM: He got none, so you're at 3 net, which is pretty good. What happens is that you don't tell him that your girlfriend works there, since you know he could ask who and check her on the staff list too easily. Instead, your bench is out in front of a frozen yogurt shop, and you spin him a wild tale about just having been broken up with, and this shop is where the two of you went on your first date, and you're really broken up about it. He gets kinda weepy himself.
Sudden Cloud: Oh yeah man, I play it up. I tell him about the asshole she left me for.
GM: Oh! He's all the way gone with that detail. Someone left him too at some point it seems, and he goes back into the school sobbing.

When school gets out, Colin watches Catherine goes. She's picked up by a brick wall of a man, with short cut hair that's going a little white. The man looks every which way, and his gaze stops on Sudden Cloud a little too long. Sudden Cloud is pretty sure he just got his picture taken. The man gets Catherine into a large black SUV and drives her home. Sudden Cloud gives a light chase in the truck, and when he's close enough he sends a Taxman over to Catherine's network, stealing all her cybereye recordings so they can be checked for any clues. That done, he breaks off the SUV pursuit and goes back to his place to check the recordings. Most of them are just recordings of her playing with her friends, or her last birthday, or things like that. There's almost no footage with her dad present. There's also no footage at all within the past 3 weeks, when she had been making regular small recordings up until then.

Forra continues to check the Westmore condo off and on until about 9pm at night, and though she sees Catherine and the man park in the garage and go inside, she doesn't see anyone else go in or out during that time, not even Catherine's mom. Forra also breaks off and goes home at this point, satisfied enough with the results.

End of Session, we'll find out what happens next time.
Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun

Last edited by Lokathor on Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mission 2x03: The Grab (pt 2)
"They're approximately scrupulous."

Monday, April 4th, 2072. It's 21:00 and Forra decides to pack up her surveillance of the Westmore's condo and then head back to meet up with the group. She meets with them around 22:00 and they all begin to discuss what they learned and how they'll go about kidnapping the kid.

It's then that Sudden Cloud brings up that maybe they shouldn't kidnap a 12-year-old kid. Partly because her dad is some sort of top assassin, and partly for the ethics of the situation. They argue about it for a while, with Makoto and Deep Sea on the side that there's no moral difference between kidnapping a kid compared to kidnapping an adult, and besides they were told to keep the kid totaly safe anyway, so she probably won't be harmed. Sudden Cloud maintains that clearly it's worse when you target the kid. Forra doesn't take much of a stance, except that they did get paid so they have to finish their work as a matter of professionalism. Sudden Cloud agrees to go through with it, but that there needs to be no more stuff against kids in the future.

This is when Sudden Cloud's yakuza contact, Murakawa, calls him back. He explains that his extra digging turned up some info, so Sudden Cloud has him lay it out from the top.

  • Lady Jade is ex-yakuza; used to be super loyal to the yakuza but a few years ago she left them to go into arms dealing for unknown reasons. It didn't really hurt the yakuza business (which is mostly gambling rings and prostitution), and in fact it helped them some of the time, so they eventually began to encourage it from time to time. These days she's one of the best arms dealers in the Denver area. She recently switched protection group from the Godz, so that explains the hit on her at the restaurant.
  • Kazuya Hotomi, the father of Catherine Westmore, is definitely a top assassin, and he definitely has a very particular set of skills. He only recently left the yakuza, and under conditions that no one is willing to talk about. "If you're asking if this is the kind of guy who could make good on a threat or something like that, then, yes, he could kill you and everyone you know without much of a second thought."

Sudden Cloud goes back to wondering if they should do this, when they'd make an enemy like that. Makoto insists that, since they basically failed both jobs before this one, they have to start putting in some extra effort to get a job right eventually. Once they're done arguing over the morality of kidnapping kids compared to kidnapping adults they move on to arguing about the plan of how they'll kidnap this particular kid. They rest overnight and then set out in the morning.

Dawn Of The Second Day: 36 Hours Remain (Tuesday, April 5th)

Deep Sea calls up a Force 4 Plant spirit (4 services) and it puts a Guard on everyone to keep things moving smoothly all day. Forra picks up a new outfit and scouts the condo. Deep Sea sends a watcher into the condo to count how many living things are inside. There's six living things, including four humans and a troll. One of the living things spots the watcher spirit though, and the fact that their watcher can be spotted at all gives them a good deal of pause.

At 8:30 they order some smoke grenades from Lady Jade, along with a mini-welder. They explain that they want to fake a fender bender as a way of getting them out of the car while they're driving Catherine home from school. This sounds safe enough to Lady Jade so she agrees to get them the smoke grenades by 10:30. Forra goes to the grenades pickup, and Sudden Cloud goes to the Federated Boeing public offices. He grabs the EUE data off of the secretary guy at the front desk, planning to spoof a call from Boeing about getting Catherine out of school early because her mother was injured. Sudden Cloud sends the data to Deep Sea and Deep Sea puts on a Physical Mask spell to look like the secretary. They route a call through the Boeing mainframe and to Holm Elementary. The person that answers readily agrees that Catherine should go see her injured mother, and says that they'll be waiting for someone on her authorized pick up list to arrive. Deep Sea drops his first Physical Mask and then casts a second to look like the guard that picked her up the other day.

This is where I flubbed it a tiny bit. Boeing should have perhaps noticed when two people with the same Access ID were logged into their system at the same time. And the school should have noticed that Deep Sea didn't have the Access ID to identify himself as Catherine's guard. Oh well.

Deep Sea picks up Catherine, with Makoto as the driver, using a rented security SUV just like the guard had. Catherine is too worried about getting to her mom to think much of never having seen Matoto before, so she just goes along with it and they take off down the interstate. Catherine keeps panicking in the back seat and mumbling and crying, so Makoto turns up the radio to drown her out.

The area they need to take her to is finally visible on the horizon when a very loud and regular sort of sound can suddenly be heard outside the SUV over the radio. A sort of pulsing, thumping kind of noise, like some sort of large and heavy motor. Deep Sea looks out the window to see an Ares Dragon tailing them low and fast (imagine something like this). The door of the Dragon is thrown open and a woman inside aims an HMG turret at them while a troll can be seen doing the final prep on some sort of rappelling harness. Initiative!

Forra is trailing the SUV on her bike, with Sudden Cloud on the rear seat. He grabs her tight, she uses her lower arms to secure him, and he goes into VR to control the bike while Forra does the shooting part (another flub: Forra's bike doesn't have rigger adaptation yet). A gun battle ensues, with Forra taking out most of the Dragon occupants with ease using stick and shock ammo, though she took a very nasty Force 10 Powerbolt herself. It would have near-instant killed anyone else (12P damage net) but Forra has a stupendously tough 15 wound boxes. Deep Sea's plant spirit manifests and uses Accident to stall out the chopper's motor, causing it to lose speed and eventually crash into the highway while they get away.

By now of course Catherine has realized that the person in the car with her isn't the real person that she knows, but there's not much she can do about it. They drop her off with the other team and use their medkit to get patched up a little bit. Lady Jade is very pleased and wires the rest of the money into the certified credsticks she gave them before. Things are good.

Except that... late on Thursday, Sudden Cloud's IC buzzes. He left it searching for Catherine Westmore on accident, and it unexpectedly pulled up another news article. He taps the arrow to load it up:

The Denver Daily wrote:
Innocent Life Taken
A tragic drama, which began yesterday between kidnappers and law enforcement authorities, came to a tragic end this evening when Catherine Westmore, the handicapped eleven-year-old daughter of Federated Boeing engineer Donna Westmore, was gunned down in the streets of the Aurora Warrens. A group of criminals were holding the girl for ransom over the last forty-eight hours, but ingenious Lone Star investigators succeeded in locating the kidnappers and the girl yesterday afternoon. When authorities descended on the dilapidated house, a standoff ensued. Authorities representing both Lone Star and Federated Boeing spent many hours negotiating for the release of the girl. It seemed headway was being made when the kidnappers agreed to release their hostage under the terms that they be granted deportation from the UCAS Sector instead of being tried under UCAS or corporate sovereignty for their crimes. What authorities were not prepared for, however, was an as yet unidentified sniper who mercilessly executed the girl as she was being passed from the kidnappers into the hands of Lone Star representatives. The killing resulted in chaos. Several officers were wounded, and every member of the kidnapping team was killed, in a gunfight that brought the standoff to its explosive conclusion. Lone Star is currently offering a reward for any information leading to the identity and successful apprehension of the sniper responsible for this tragic turn of events. If you have any information regarding this heist, please follow normal procedures for threat identification.

Recovered footage from Catherine's cybereyes shows everyone in the group except Deep Sea as being the kidnappers (he argues that he kept his physical mask on the whole time, at least as long as Catherine would have seen), giving them yet another notoriety point.
Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mission 2x04: Thrash The Body Electric
"We're not dumb, we just don't think about things logically!"

April 7th, 2072. A Thursday.

It's late at night, and Sudden Cloud is sitting in his apartment. The clock on the microwave shows 22:03. The apartment is almost totally dark, with only the city lights coming in the window giving any illumination. Sudden Cloud sits frozen in horror at the images overlaid on his vision by the SimRig. He plays the news story back just one more time. And then just one more time again. The clock says 23:45 when he finally stands up. Going to the fridge, he pulls out the vodka and downs three strong gulps before going back to the couch. Sitting down, he begins to comb the Matrix for anything and anyone who might know something more about that mysterious sniper. Unfortunately, rage and vodka don't help much when it comes to the Matrix, and Sudden Cloud passes out late into the morning without having found anything.

April 8th (Friday)

It's only morning and Mami is already late! She runs out of her apartment with a piece of toast in her mouth and her bag over her shoulder. Today is her first day of school! She appears at the bus stop where Deep Sea is waiting, but he has a stern glare on his face.
"Bakayaro!", he shouts, "This is what you always do! This is why we're here in the first place!"
"Gomen~", she mutters quietly.
Deep Sea erupts into a long tirade about respecting others as a way to have respect for yourself, and then leads Makoto around the city. He forces her to speak to all sorts of strangers, and then after each stranger eventually runs off in a panic he tells Makoto how to improve. After a week of this she's at least managed to stop herself from frightening the general populace, and her elvish good looks count for something too. The week after that is a non-stop series of poker games. Deep Sea always wins by the end of each game, but by the end of the week Makoto can at least hold herself back from grinning when she has a good hand.

Sudden Cloud has poured himself back into the work that he finds familiar as a coping mechanism, studying all the details of electronics and computers. He has enough experience to know where to look and what to practice on his own. He also studies the finer points of Exploit programs, because those seem to be exceptionally important to his work so far.

Forra isn't troubled by the outcome of recent events, but she does take the time to practice her gun work. Cyberarms require constant upkeep and calibration to be optimally effective, and with twice as many arms you need twice the calibration. She's good with those SMGs of hers, but she might as well be good with all the other types of guns as well.

Once he's done teaching Makoto, Deep Sea goes around town and asks about what the local magical situation is. He calls up Jonny Ono to see if there's any Shinto groups in the area, but Jonny really doesn't like this weird elf guy, so he says nothing to Deep Sea despite it being public knowledge that Jonny is himself an Adept. Deep Sea instead gets a lead when he sees a poster recruiting people to join Horizon's magical group. You don't even have to be a Horizon citizen to get in! The spokestroll explains it all in a bubbly and positive way, but most of the technical elements go totally over Deep Sea's head (Logic 1, no Arcana or other Knowledge skills). It seems that they want to have as many people in their magical group as they can for some sort of research purpose. You just have to show up to the meetings at least once a month and you have to provide a thesis of your current magical training level when you join. They mention that it counts as a Material Link, but Deep Sea again has no idea what this means exactly (no Ritual Casting), just that bad things can happen if they're misused. The troll assures him that all material links are kept in a very secure vault and used for record keeping purposes only. Deep Sea is happy to have found a group at all, and so he takes their rulebook and goes home to study all the bylaws of the group meetings. Don't wear your formal khakis to the meeting if it falls on a Friday, simple rules like that to avoid embarrassment and such.

Makoto also takes a break from studying to take Tabby out on the town. She's still pretty bad at talking to people, but she knows about the top local clubs, so she's able to pick a good spot and then drunkenly explain to Tabby about how she's wants Tabby's business to grow as much as Tabby does, and how she'll even take some lower paying missions if that's what it takes to get Tabby's rep up.

Time passes in a montage and everyone pays some rent money so that their skills can go up. This brings us to an afternoon in early May.

Saturday, May 7th, 2072.

Mami gets a call from Tabby. There's a Johnson with the sort of job that's well suited to Mami's group. Meet at the Golden Aspen Chalet at 17:00. Tabby hangs up and Mami hooks everyone into a quick group call to tell them about the meet. Before they start moving though, Deep Sea suggests some ground rules. Things like "If you have a problem with the job, mention it before we agree to the job" and stuff like that.

They all agree that the rules pretty much make sense, and head out to the Golden. It's kinda into the woods, and the group is expecting some sort of rustic truck stop, but when they turn off the main road they're surprised to find that it's a quality dining establishment with a valet and everything. The man at the door asks if they have a reservation, and when the meeting at 5 is mentioned they're shown a private room off to the side of the main dining hall. It's got a Renraku Executive Privacy X on the long dining table, wifi blocking paint, the works.

After a few minutes a large troll opens the door and peeks inside. He appears to scan them up and down with some sort of cybereye sensor and then nods. A moment later the Johnson steps into the room. The Johnson is a tall, trim man dressed in a stylish but unpretentious blue suit. The cut of the suit speaks of a man who stays in shape, and his smooth baritone voice says management more than a power tie ever could. He directs everyone to order before they move to the business. The selection is mostly seafood options along with traditional Pueblo and Sioux dishes. Forra gets the most expensive lobster available, sushi for Sudden Cloud, shrimp scampi for Deep Sea, and Mami can't decide so she has "whatever the Johnson orders" (a spicy crab dish).

Then they're told of the job. It's simple: Over the next week, disrupt the operations of Rocky Mountain Dynamics. They're a smallish company that makes electric motors for small to medium ground and water craft. There are to be no deaths, and no major destruction of the facility. Also, just in case it did need to be said, no environmental damage to the area. They're offered a thousand each up front, and negotiate a final price of an additional 17k each at the end. Deaths of RMD employees will take 1/3rd out of the final payout, as will any major facility damage. Environmental damage won't pay out at all. They're given a simple pager and told that they'll be contacted via it if there's any change, but otherwise they should attempt at least three disruptions within the next five days. The group leaves the restaurant around six and they head home to begin planning.

May 8th (Sunday)

Sudden Cloud starts out by doing a data search to see what he can pull up. As he was told earlier, RMD is a small company in the Pueblo part of town that makes electric motors. Good that things check out so far. There's some satellite images available, and the team is able to make sense of some parts of the facility. The photos only show the place every few hours, so they can't be too sure on anything. Sudden Cloud drives up close and uses a Taxman program to sneak the data off their public node. However, as soon as he begins to access the files an unseen data bomb goes off. Sudden Cloud assumes that every other file he just grabbed is also going to be trapped, and so he begins to carefully undo all the bombs. It's easy enough, just time consuming, and he spends all day on that.

Mami calls her "gang member" contact to see if they can get some gang assistance. This contact was paid for at creation but not used until now, so I ask which gang they're from. The idea at the time was that they'd be an Azzy of some sort, but there aren't really any Aztlan gangs in Denver in the 2070s (that I know about at least). The mission suggested four different gangs though, so I had the player pick from the Godz go gang (who they pissed off already last mission), the Ghostriders go gang, the Zombies thrill gang, and the Dambusters thrill gang. They ask what the differences are, but none of them have any gang knowledge so I just tell them about the outfits each gang wears. "1940s Brittish flyboy outfit" is enough to sway everyone that the Dambusters is clearly the gang to go with. They're delighted to hear that the Dambusters are known for their improvised explosives as well, so they give them a call.

Mami speaks to her contact, John Edgeworth, and is able to get the leader, Wallis, on the phone with Deep Sea. Wallis goes for more of a 1940s British nobleman look, and an obviously silly British accent. He's not super serious about the whole theme deal, but he's super serious about thrills and about getting paid. They know the area RMD is in, and for a few thousand they agree to help blow up the delivery trucks RMD uses and get away on the nightly train that passes by the facility. The group agrees to not only pay the money but to also disable all the security cameras in the areas during the attack and provide some physical protection as well. The train passes by RMD at 9:30, so the attack has to be done just before then. It's a little before Sudden Cloud is totally done with the databomb disarming, but he just puts that on hold for the operation.

So everyone gets up close to the fence of the facility. Deep Sea summons a plant spirit to lay down a Concealment on their group, though it can't get all 15 of the Dambusters at the same time. The group agrees go to in first and disable the cameras, and then they'll call for the Dambusters to move in. The Dambusters offer up their wire cutters, but the Concealment effect from the spirit wouldn't cover up a hole in the fence on the cameras. Instead, they just climb the fence (Sudden Cloud gets scratched up a bit) and then move across the tarmac and into the administrative office. RMD runs two servers, and the security server (which controls the cameras) is kept off wireless except for in specific, Faraday protected rooms where there are the proper re-transmitters. The group has to get to one of those rooms to crash the server, and then all the cameras will be shut down at once. Sudden Cloud readies his Jedi Trick program and they easily slip past each maglock in their way. They go inside the building, past the entry office, down a hall. It's all dark and quiet, no alarms yet.

The protected room is totally obvious with matrix perception, it's the only place where signal can't see, so that part isn't hard to figure out. Deep Sea brings up a watcher spirit and has it check the room for any sort of major ambush. I also decide that, since Deep Sea is a Shinto magician, and also a super criminal, his watchers appear as gang members from the Edo-era, like out of Samurai Champloo. They call him "boss" a lot and stuff. The watcher reports that there's two people inside the room, and they don't have guns as far as the watcher can tell. Sudden Cloud opens the lock and then Forra kicks in the door with guns drawn, ready to stick-n-shock whoever is in there. Unfortunately, all that she can see is a room full of 5ft tall cubicles. Whoever is in the room is sitting or lying down behind one of them, out of sight. Deep Sea calls out, "Hey, Gary, you in here?" to try and trick the occupants into standing up and poking their heads over the cubicle walls, but they can't hear him... because they are the security hackers in VR (though the party doesn't know that quite yet). Unfortunately for the team, they weren't exactly as stealthy as they thought they were, and the opening of the doors gave the security teams just enough of an idea of where to look for the Icons they'd detected. Two guards kick open another door to the side of the group and fire blindly in the direction of the group. Actually, just one of them does. The other is momentarily confused about the target zone being seemingly empty (thanks to the plant spirit's Concealment) that he doesn't fire (critical glitch). The bullets don't connect, but it's time for...


Forra immediately turns and stuns out the two guards. Mami moves into the server room and begins to sweep the place for the two living things inside. Sudden Cloud can't see the security node among all the Matrix chatter, it's been well hidden. He scans around some and picks up the Icon of one of the two security hackers, but still not the server. Deep Sea commands the planet spirit to move into the room and non-lethally neutralize any opponents, but it has to spend a pass Materializing. Both hackers land a Backdoor on Sudden Cloud, but they don't open the connection yet. The spirit floats a little into the room and moves up above the cubicle walls until the hackers are in sight. To its eyes, they appear to be pretty neutralized, but it goes for a Fear anyway (with an impressive 9 hits). The hackers are affected as hell, but can't really "flee" the area, so they take the spirit's Magic as a penalty on their hacking actions at least. Mami moves farther in and sees the two hackers, immobile and in VR. She hits both with her stick-and-shock Thunderbolt, one is stunned out and the other is barely able to keep going.

The hacker that's still active triggers his Backdoor and tries a Crash program, while both his IC and Sudden Cloud's IC immediately begin sending Crash signals at each other. Forra moves into the server room and unloads a short burst of stick-and-shock on the non-stunned hacker, causing massive stun overload and actually putting the hacker at 9p/1s out of 10 available wound boxes. The hacker is down, but actually their network is still running, so the two IC programs continue to try blasting each other. Sudden Cloud's wins out, and the hacker's network fails. Sudden Cloud begins to scan around for the security server's Icon, confident that things are clear for the moment, when the Plant spirit flinches in response to something.

The Plant spirit reports that an impudent watcher has attacked it in astral space. Next round there's a whole swarm of watchers making a series of useless attacks. The round after that the Plant spirit suddenly explodes in a shower of mana. Deep Sea hasn't been slacking though. He sets up a Physical Mask spell to disguise himself as one of the guards. Forra has grabbed the commlinks, guns, and ammo from the guards as well, and she throws one to Deep Sea. He checks for an optical port and with luck it's there. Trodenet into the guard's commlink, add it into his PAN, start searching for its Access ID. Seconds later Deep Sea has completed his disguise as a guard both Physically and Matrixly. It's about then that his Power Focus explodes with more mana backlash, totally out of commission. Deep Sea doesn't know anything about foci and how to fix them, but this one will clearly not be working any more tonight.

Mami guards Sudden Cloud, not sure what else to do, mostly not sure of what an exploding Plant spirit heralds other than "probably something bad". She picks up the less-wounded hacker as a possible hostage and stands ready with her Thunderbolt. Sudden Cloud spots the security server, connects, and begins to Crash it down. It's about then that a cloud of frozen lightning appears in the air above him and Mami. Without missing a single beat she holsters her Thunderbolt (assuming that stick-and-shock won't do much to a creature that's made of lightning), quickdraws her Ares Light Fire 70 with the regular bullets and fires. Pouring some Edge into the shot, there's 12 net hits. The spirit has to go onto dodge just to avoid being immediately disrupted, so there goes its turn on the second pass. Mami continues to rapidly unload on the elemental, and by the end of the third pass it's faded back into the mana.

Only about 60 seconds (5 rounds) have gone by since they kicked the door into the server room, and this operation isn't nearly done, but that's where we end for now. Catch you next time chummer.
Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun

Last edited by Lokathor on Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:59 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Love how this campaign is playing out.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Oh man, I actually like the Missions format, even though it's pretty bare-bones. Season 2 is a lot of fun, and I see your players are having a lot of fun with it, too. How are you finding the Missions layout itself when doing prep?
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The missions format is... acceptable. I usually wish that the stat blocks of people introduced in a scene were right there instead of at the back, since most people are only in one scene anyway. Similarly, after the mission is assigned things seem to open up into the classic "legwork" phase but they also put that at the end of the document instead of as soon as the players would start doing it. So far I've had to copy over and arrange most of the key points of the adventure into a secondary document to make it more readily accessible during game play. It's not the worst, since that helps with familiarity a lot, and GM familiarity is key to a smooth game. My "Campaign Notes" so far are just a bunch of the NPC stat blocks they give as printouts in case the PCs try to call someone they've met before. The individual adventures each get their own doc as well when I prep the adventure (example). It helps a lot to have those attack profiles and armor values written into each stat block for likely combatants. I'm constantly forgetting what an armored jacket, lined jacket, lined coat, or whatever has for ratings.

Also, many of the stat blocks were clearly written by people who didn't quite understand the game, similar to the example characters in the core book. Many characters are missing keys sorts of skills they should have, like most of Frost's runner pals in the 3rd mission not having the Perception skill at all.

Starting next session we'll be demoing some movement rules that are basically the After Sundown movement rules ported into Shadowrun terms.
Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun
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