Wednesday, May 6, 2009

5/5 Shadowrun game: Battle Jitney we love you...

This was our second Shadowrun session. Dan ran both, and playing we had:

Josh-Drake the Dwarven face. Not only good at talking his way into or out of trouble, handy in a fight to boot. The Dermal plating makes him 'pop'.
Joel-J Dogg the Ork ganger. Skills appropriate to a ganger, he shoots, drives, and throttles like a ganger should.
Jay-Teddy Two Eagle the Human mystic adept. Mostly detection spells, with a sniper rifle and a pack full of marijuana.

The first session was an escort mission. We all traveled to the appointed meetup location where we met Fractal, our contact for this job. She told us that we were to get her to an arcology where she would drop off her 'package'. As none of us had brought transportation, she called us a car. We immediately rendered it inoperable. Paranoia combined with lack of expertise led someone (not to be named to protect his reputation) to rip out the rigging in the front seat. Car stop, car no go.

So we ended up walking. As we passed through a seedy part of town, Teddy got the sense that someone was planning hostilities against us. A couple of gangsters hiding in an alley thought they would start something. Likely this was because we were traveling with a very attractive lady. J Dogg used his bravado and gang knowledge to talk them down. These gangers were part of a gang called the Blood Monkeys. Being part of a rival gang may have had something to do with it, but a few moments after we had moved on they attacked.

The firefight was very quick and very brutal. Teddy dropped to the ground and just laid there the whole time, failing at casting spells. Drake ran at them with his shotgun, blasting the two punks, though their cover behind the dumpster made it tough. J Dogg kept himself between the danger and Fractal, getting her to cover between two dumpsters, and then opening fire on the gangsters. A previously hidden elf cast a spell that rocked the dumpsters, slamming them together and squishing Fractal. J Dogg responded with two explosive shells to the head of the mage, and he cast no more spells. Drake jumped up on the dumpster and with his shotgun in the face of the last ganger, tried to end it. The ganger just laughed, and Drake pulled the trigger.

Fractal was surprisingly okay, leading us to believe she was tougher than she looked. We continued on our travel to the Arcology. Our target was a warehouse on the bottom level. Fractal needed to get into the office and plant something. Several plans were discussed. Our eventual plan was to lie our way in.

Drake went to the front door and posed as a representative of a software company looking to unload his wares. The warehouse manager bought his ruse, and Drake called his truck to drop off the software. The truck was real, having been 'acquired' by Fractal for this purpose. The boxes were empty. Fractal went into the office to finish paperwork with the warehouse boss, and J Dogg and I waited by the back of the truck, ready to fake unload some fake bosses. Fractal used her powers or authority to cause a glitch in the loading dock door, and the boss ran out to see what was the matter. Fractal was able to plant her delivery while Drake ranted about the unsuitability of this place for his merchandise, and when she emerged from the office we all piled into the truck and drove away. Mission accomplished. That was last weeks game.

In the intervening weeks while we waited for a job, Drake was able to help J Dogg acquire a new car, so we wouldn't need to walk everywhere. This proved to be handy.

We all found fliers on our doors. The advertised an event at a Club Raven, and included a VIP pass. Since we are shadowrunners, not friends, we never contacted each other about this, but each accepted the invitations for our own reasons. Drake's sharp eyes spotted a watermark that identified this as Fractal's handy work. Teddy knew that invitations like this did not just get stuck in the door of any house, and there was probably something more to this than just a party at a club. J Dogg was certain that his notoriety had finally garnered him some respect and prepared accordingly. He spent incredible amounts of money on appropriate dress, and showed up fashionably late to draw as much attention as possible. This is in contrast to Teddy, who showed up an hour early to watch and see what the deal was, and Drake, who showed up on time. We sat at separate tables (again, not really *friends*) for 4 hours before J Dogg showed up, and then we all moved to sit together. A little deflated that we had been invited too, meaning that the invitation was not issued because of his reputation, he thought that finding a lady companion would soothe his ego.

He spotted an attractive lady across the room who had been looking at him. He approached and laid down his best lines. Teddy was eavesdropping magically and relaying the entertainment to Drake. It was just what you would imagine an uncouth Ork ganger picking up on an attractive human woman in a club would be. After a few moments, J Dogg realized this woman looked familiar. He seemed to think she was a pop star, or famous, while Drake sitting across the room and watching her had picked up on the fact that this was Fractal with a new appearance. After watching him stammer for a while more, we stood up and joined her at the table. J Dogg recovered admirably, telling her that it would do no good to mix business and pleasure.

She had another job for us. This job involved hitting an armored bank vehicle and making it look like a robbery. We were to make it sloppy and again, or real goal was to allow Fractal to plant something. This truck we were hitting did not carry cash, but bank records, and she needed the distraction.

Further details would be forthcoming, so we split up. J Dogg made the most of his night after finding out similar VIP privileges for life are well out of his price range, and Drake and Teddy returned home. J Dogg did not remember much of his partying, but he awoke 2 grand poorer and not feeling up to much the next day. That was our day to prepare, so he lucked out.

All of the prep was done by Drake. With the silver tongue to get things done, he only needed Fractal to supply the contacts. His first step was to obtain a solid vehicle. He was directed to a junkyard and a fellow who seemed more than happy to help his rich new client. He showed Drake this:
Sort of. Ours ran on tank-like treads. It was in rough shape, but for a pretty sum Drake was able to get it running and towed to our ambush spot.

We also needed ammunition capable of piercing the heavy armor that these trucks had. Fractal was able to find us a supplier. We were almost ready.

Drake needed to buy the most obscene lead throwing, fear inducing, highly illegal gun he could find. Somehow Fractal tracked down a supplier, and we now had the Terminator (the bottom half anyways) on our side.

The next day we all piled in to J Dogg's ride and drove to the spot. J Dogg parked around the corner, and got in our tank. Teddy set up down the road, on the first floor of an old building. Drake got out of sight on a side road, and we waited for the armored truck.

J Dogg started up the tank, and notified the whole neighborhood of our presence. Not only was it extraordinarily loud, the clouds of black smoke it threw up were prodigious. Behind the wheel. . .I mean steering levers, was an ork. He had a ski mask on with a skull on it. He was wearing big thick goggles. It was a mental picture to frighten children. When Drake spotted the truck he gave the signal, and J Dogg started forward. The tank maxed out at 35 mph, but it was enough. J Dogg's timing was perfect, and just as the armored truck went through the intersection it was T boned by our Battle Jitney. The collision hit in the less armored cab of the truck, shredding it and it's occupants, and drove the whole mess into a building. Literally. The front end was lying inside a building, with surprised occupants now staring into the face of this smoke shrouded beast, piloted by the terrifying ork.

As soon as things came to rest Drake opened up with his machine gun, throwing a burst of 6 shots right on target into the rear of the armored car. Teddy had his sights on the doors from his perch, and the instant he saw something he pulled the trigger. J Dogg heard the two guards inside panicking, and just as one began an obvious call over the radio for help, a loud plink, and a thud. Teddy's second shot was a wild guess as to where the other guard might be, but it turned out not to have mattered. Drake heard the second shot follow the first, and several plinking ricochets, with the other guard falling dead to the floor soon after.

Drake left his position and hustled to the armored truck. Fractal came out of the shadows, looking different yet again, and joined him. His powerful gun made short work of the doors, and a couple bursts allowed him to yank them open.

Now is when he and J Dogg tested their action chops. Drake made a show of dumping out drawers and loudly cursing about the lack of money. J Dogg menaced the occupants of the building he had smashed, telling him not to forget the Blood Monkeys were here. He was dressed in their colors, which helped.

Teddy, not having anything to do, and just sitting in the car, decided to be helpful and drive around to pick everyone up. He did not get the welcome he expected, as a crucial part of the plan had been a clean getaway in the car, that was now tied to this crime scene. Things went further south when they spotted a Lone Star checkpoint ahead, already established to keep the perpetrators from fleeing.

Fractal used her abilities to try and find an alternate route for us, but our luck ran out. We Turned down a side road, only to have a Lone Star patrol car pull in behind us and flip on it's lights. We pulled over like good, law abiding citizens.

More acting was required. Before the officer could do anything, Drake shouted "Don't you know who this is?". He was playing on an earlier event. After our meeting with Fractal in the club, Drake had make a big production on the way out, hinting that he was a big time record producer and J Dogg an up and coming rapper who had just turned down a very lucrative deal. This had made J Dogg's night, and now it was an attempt to keep us alive and not arrested.

The officer bought it, and even when he pegged J Dogg's SIN as fake, he did not connect us with the crime. He fined us and let us on our way, even going as far as to radio the checkpoint and tell them we were cool to get through.

The cherry on top? When Drake returned home the flag on his mailbox was up. Not a common occurrence. Inside was an address. When Drake went to that address, he found an old abandoned gas station, and sitting in the lot was our Battle Jitney, somehow recovered from the crash.


We started this weekday game since a couple of us have never played shadowrun and have always wanted to. After two sessions it is certainly living up to it's expectations, but as I have expressed to the guys, I think we could play almost anything with that group and have it work. They are a good group of guys.

I am still so new with the Shadowrun rules that I don't think my customary picking apart of what happened is really warranted, but I can't *not* do it, so. . .my uninformed opinion will have to do:

I love the setting. I have always dug post-apocalyptic themes, steampunk themes, and shadowrun has a feeling of both.
I am still feeling out the rules. I like the openness of magic, but a mystic adept is not really the right character to fully experience the system. So far I have been hit and miss with the do or die things, but very satisfying with the detection things.
Combat is not as scary as the rules make it seem. Last night we did not use a battlemat at all (I think had we not so efficiently won, effectively killing all opposition in 1 round, it might have come into play, but probably not).

I have a hard time separating the rules of the game from our roleplaying. A lot of what we did was totoally rules neutral. 75% probably could have been done in any system. One thing I like is the episodic nature of the setting, but even that could be adopted to any rules system.

Thoughts/impressions? Feel free to comment.



joel said...

I think that Dan has done a good job of streamlining the rules to speed up play while we all learn the rules.

A few more sessions and I think I'd like to try the full combat rules to see how those play out.

Chelonia said...

I'm so glad this was fun for you guys. You deserve to have some damn FUN at a game after...uh, recent events.

Hmmm, maybe J-Dogg can set Dan and I up with a vehicle too...