I have had a very busy week so far and so when it came to dealing with the Shadowrun game last night I decided that I was going to take a classic module and rework it into the way that I wanted to run it. Queen Euphoria is the module and I am looking at that particular module because of the dark places it goes and the corruption it speaks of. I have already got some neat diversions from the main plot and I have reworked it to be much more inclusive too!
I had not realised it until last night as I was rereading the first half of this module how totally biased toward men these things are! Every read aloud text and piece of information talks about “Gentlemen” and treats the women in it as set dressing. I actually, on realisation of that, felt bad that it had taken me this long to realise it. I feel like a bit of a hypocrite saying that I would not look at Mongoose Traveller because of the sexism inherent in it when I used to play Shadowrun solidly. But at least I have worked to eradicate this from the module now and updated it, after all it had a Dwarf sitting in his managers office reading the daily fax? FAX bwahahahaha, how dated games about the future become.
So we got the game under way last night and I realised a little something about Shadowrun. The planning stages of things tend to go insane and plans become elaborate things with the players if you leave them to it. The players have to detain (kidnap) a big sim-sense star called Euphoria. They are given her address and a safe house to take her to but the detail is left up to them. It is a bit time critical so I impress this on them and make sure they are aware of the passing of time.
The group started with a solid plan, and the plan that is expected by the module, where they simply break into her apartment, take down the security and take her away for the three days. They case the building and nothing really stood out as troublesome to that plan but it suddenly escalated. Why not stage a fake assassination attempt and then approach her to offer security? Or how about we decimate the security and pass ourselves off as the only group that could handle it. Then came the putting all their eggs in one basket when they decided to impersonate a security company and save her from the fake assassination attempt.
They then got in contact with a Lone Star Senior Detective (one of the players contacts) and she got them some Knight Errant uniforms. Not knowing that one of the players was a troll and another an ork, one suit was very tight fitting and there was no chance the troll could fit it. Now they had official Knight Errant uniforms they could get so much more out of the plan. So it shifted now to taking them down as she exited the building. Perhaps pulling them over as they headed to the first gig. But of course that would mean stealing a Knight Errant vehicle. Sounds good they all say – lets go somewhere not too flash and have the troll go on a rampage until a patrol shows up, kill them and take their car.
So a complete complicating of a simple plan that takes it from low profile moderate risk run to a multiple part rampage that endangers many lives. And that is what happened. Well, the first part anyway. The players found a supermarket and Bulk (the troll physical adept) went in and started causing trouble while Smokey took up a sniping position and Big Mal (the Face) and LJ (Street Sam) got into the Knight Errant uniforms. Bulk killed a tweaker in the supermarket and was attacked by an old Chinese lady with a shotgun that ran the store as crowds started to form out the front.
Then Knight Errant turned up, two dwarves in a modified vehicle to suit their stature, and a trained dog as well. they got out to ascertain the situation and were presented by a troll eating a frozen burrito with a bunch of cleaning goods and a dead tweaker in a shopping trolley. It quickly dissolved into madness and mayhem with Bulk admitting openly to the murder and then the appearance of LJ and Big Mal as “backup” on foot. The Dwarves glitched their suspicion roll and took the backup at face value when the sniper put an explosive round into the back of one of their heads. Two rounds of non surprised combat and it was all over, including some dead teenagers that were filming the whole situation on their comm-links where the sniper dropped some fletchette grenades among them.
They hopped in the car and that is where we left it. I am going to think about what to do at this point. Does the media, having heard the call show up? What about the chance that Knight Errant simply track the car to its final destination, or maybe disable the car in an awkward spot for them. One way or another they have drawn a lot of attention. There were survivors from the street and in the longer run of it the group will now be known as “cop killers” providing them with poor support from Knight Errant and in fact they will likely be hunted. Perhaps I will just let it slide for a day or so and then add in another complication a little bit along once the investigators have got what they need from the scene, making the detaining (kidnap) of Euphoria that much more difficult as they have to fend off those that would find her and the heat that is on them as Knight Errant mobilise for revenge. Whichever way it goes, it is going to be fun.