Savage Words Shadowrun Play Report - Session 2Recap of Session 1
So last time I introduced the players to the system using the free introductory adventure from one of the early seasons of Shadowrun Missions. The one where they guard the meeting of fixers at Freeway Park. They managed to get through that with no real combat and only a single shot fired (as a distraction). Then just to give them a taste of combat I ended the session with a quick version of Fast Food Fight.Player Characters
Dex Null - Dwarf hacker / rigger. Played by my 10 year old son, Gavin.
Sune - Elf cyborg / cat theif. Played by my 15 year old daughter, Fiona.
Cleopatra - Elf mage / face. Played by a 13 year old friend of the both the kids, Emily.
Pendragon - Human mage / face. Played by a 14 year old friend of the kids who lives nearly an hour south of here, Dylan.
So we ended up with 2 mages / faces. I made a total of 15 pregens and that's just how the picks went. Initially Pendragon was not
a face. But at the start of tonight's session Dylan was talking about how he wants to approach the character and it became obvious he wants to avoid combat and try to talk his way out of situations first. So the Quirk Hindrance I initially built his pregen with (that was giving him a -1 Charisma) got swapped out for the minor version of Pacifist.My Swag
I've used the Combat Cards from the Explorer's Society website (which is no longer around but it looks like all the downloads are available from the +Pinnacle Entertainment Group
website now) to make cards for all the gear, cyberware, and spells the characters have. It's hard to find minis appropriate for Shadowrun so I've taken some inspiration from virtual table tops and made character tokens instead. I got some 1 inch "flattened" bottle caps, a whole punch, and some acrylic disks from Amazon. After a lot of searching I ended up making extensive use of the character portraits published on the Shadowrun Online / Shadowrun Chronicles Facebook account. A beneficial side effect of the bottle caps is my magnetic status markers from Alea Tools stick to them without any modification. My Chessex Battlemat has gone missing in action in the nearly 2 years since I last ran an active game. When I replaced it I went ahead and ordered the Action & Adventure decks. I introduced the Adventure deck tonight. But for the Action deck I'm using some cyberpunk themed poker cards. Minis for baddies are pulled from figure flats, bags o'zombies, and the occasional prepainted plastic mini I've been able to find on the cheap over the years.House Rules
I've stripped down the skills list to only 15 skills: Athletics, Driving, Fighting, Hacking, Healing, Intimidation, Investigation, Magic, Notice, Persuasion, Repair, Shooting, Stealth, Streetwise, and Taunt. Races balance out at +4 per the race creation rules. Cyberware is based on the Super Powers Companion, with Essence and price translating into Power Points. Essence starts at 6 and there's no way to increase it or recover it once it's lost. The magic system uses the No Powerpoints rule. Both mages and shaman start play with Summon Spirit / Elemental , Environmental Manipulation, and Assensing (converted from the Shadowrun core) as cantrips. They also get to choose 3 other spells. Strain cannot exceed Essence, and some magic focused Edges have minimum Essence requirements. I didn't end up with any physical adept players but the plan was for those to essentially follow the Adept edge without the requirement that it be added on top of the Miracles Arcane Background. Gear is mostly just applying Shadowrun names to core book gear. Prices mostly follow Shadowrun, although some of the infiltration and surveillance equipment seemed strangely over priced so I dropped that to a level I felt comfortable with. Drones follow the robot rules from the Science Fiction Companion. Hacking is mostly narrative although mentally I'm taking some inspiration from both Dramatic Tasks and Mass Combat. I've filled in some gaps using the free cyberpunk rules from Tipple Ace along with +Mike Evans
's conversion (available on his blog). I offer bonus Bennies for: showing up in costume, showing up with a prop, bringing a snack for yourself, bringing a snack to share. So if you show up for a session in costume with a prop and carrying enough food for everyone then you could get up to 4 bonus Bennies.Campaign Plan
I'm running them through the 1st edition (or maybe 2nd edition?) adventure / mini-campaign Harlequin. I'd love to be able to weave it in with totally unrelated runs, but school will be back in session before I can even get all the way through the 8 runs in Harlequin. I'm not counting on being able to continue regular games much past the start of the school year. Once we're through with Harlequin we'll re-evaluate the situation. We may or may not keep playing Shadowrun. We may or may not keep playing at all.Tonight's Session
Tonight's session was Harlequin chapter 1: Physical. The team is hired to break into Sylvan Information Systems to steal the manuscript for an upcoming book written (by hand) by Ehran the Scribe. Spoiler warning for a 20+ year old adventure if anyone cares about such things.
They were polite but firm with the orks in the elevator, handling it mostly through role play with a couple of Persuasion rolls thrown in. Strangely, no one asked about or suggested they just take the stairs instead. That's honestly what I expected to happen.
They didn't even try to negotiate on pay. But they did ask some questions about Sylvan, particularly the security setup. They didn't seem to worry much about who was hiring them or why. The focus was on getting the job done. They did some legwork with the contact lists. I had drawn up 3 different sets of maps depending on how well I thought they covered the bases. They were thorough in their questions to me (and their contacts) and rolled well. We saw several raises at this point of the game. I ended up handing out the version of the maps with the most info.
The plan they came up with was to send in Dax Null and Sune, break in through the parking garage, make it into the main computer room, then take down the security system from there. Then Cleopatra and Pendragon can just waltz right in. They can start a physical search for the manuscript while Dax Null continues to hunt for relevant info in the matrix. Splitting the party was a little
dull for the mages, I think. But the way it worked out actually kept the matrix part of the run from bogging down because by the point everyone had something to do.
They bought some smoke and flashbang grenades as well as some (nonlethal) gel rounds. Everyone but Sune already had silenced weapons. The goal was to get in and out without drawing undue attention or having to kill anyone.
Sune is an Acrobat with high Stealth so she had no problem getting over the fence and sneaking around. I gave Fiona a chance to help her unskilled (but Gifted, thanks to some headware) little brother get over the fence. But she chose to watch him struggle. Instead he nearly doubled her roll, even accounting for her Acrobat bonus.
My plan was to call for 3 Stealth checks to make it from the fence to the parking garage gate. I also roll a single d6. If both players make the Stealth check they encounter a Barghest on a 6. If anyone fails they trigger an encounter on a 5 or a 6. On the 3rd round the encounter die came up a 6 and Gavin failed his Stealth roll. He wanted to Bennie it but I pointed out with a 6 on the encounter die it wouldn't matter. I set up the map and the Barghest ended up exactly 15 hexes from Dax, the extreme end of short range for his silenced Ares Predator with laser sight. His Shooting roll was actually kinda weak but since he didn't have to move to get into close range the bonus from the laser sight landed a hit. He aced his damage roll and knocked out the Barghest in a single shot. We didn't even get through a full round of combat.
Gaining access to the building and to the computer room went well. They got smart and went straight for the security system once Dax got into the matrix. They turned off the security cameras and unlocked all
the doors except for the caretaker's apartment, which they put on lock-down. There were still 3 Barghests on the grounds so Cleopatra and Pendragon got the same deal with the 3 Stealth rolls. They also ended up getting a 6 on the encounter die on the 3rd roll, but Cleopatra got a raise and Pendragon got two
raises on the Stealth roll so I let the encounter slide.
After some searching and some cross-team communicating they eventually figured out who Ehran's editor was, which office was hers, discovered the safe, and found the combination in the computer system. Pendragon stole all the staplers in the office and some Elven jewelry found in the safe. (Since it's not Sylvan data it technically doesn't violate Morlock's requirement to not go snooping for pay data).
Then they decided that since the caretaker lives on site he must have a car. And they were willing to spend Bennies to make it something interesting. So he owned something small and sporty that all 4 of them couldn't fit in. The dwarf volunteered to ride in the trunk. But then they figured out no one had the Driving skill so the cyberware that let's Dax ignore the unskilled penalty was their best bet for being able to actually drive out of there. Sune contorted herself into the trunk. Dax sat on the manuscript so that he could see over the steering wheel. Then taped staplers to his feet so that he could reach the pedals. A Hacking, Repair, and Driving roll later and they were scott free. Didn't even have to deal with the Barghests on the way out.
No one used their Adventure cards. Although in hindsight Emily had a card that could have maxed their haul from the safe. As it stands they rolled and 11 on 2d6 anyway so her forgetting to play it didn't make a huge difference.
They took their pay from Morlock, fenced their stolen goods, and spent the majority of their haul on a step side van. Cleopatra spent her first advance on the Driving skill. Pendragon took the Charasmatic Edge. Sune and Dax haven't spent their advances yet.
We're 2 sessions in and they're already turning into The A-Team.