|Shadows hold knowledge
Ken Kaze seeks your answers
Secrets are no more
Ken Kaze (ken
'käd-ze) aka "Ken", "Koz"
Shadowrunning look (mug
A lean man moves gracefully through the turnstile of your security
station. His facial features look asian and from the sincerity
you saw in his smile, he looks like a pretty nice guy.
He's short, like all humans, but he walks tall. Looks
like the mighty corporate machine hasn't crushed his will .
. . yet. His clothes are elegant but simple, an apparently
unassuming attempt at business casual. He definitely walks
the corporate walk, but he looks a little dressed down for the
You've worked security long enough to have some idea what
is causing the slight bulge under his armored jacket, but
he looks like he belongs and he almost looks like a cop.
His visitor's pass looks legit and he certainly isn't here
to cause trouble. Besides, he's pretty good looking,
for a human. If he had a little more meat on him and
some tusks, you'd do him.
The closest thing to jewelry he has is a sleek black wristphone
that hugs his left arm. His solid black eyes, barely
visible as he glances at you over the rims of his dark sunglasses,
are deep and liquid; his gaze is penetrating and cold, but
offset by the smile lines around his eyes and the perpetual
hint of a grin in his clean shaven face. Well, it was clean
shaven recently, at least. His very short hair has been
loosely configured into a style that is sloppy and spiky.
It looks a little reckless, but is obviously a result of grooming,
not disregard. Something in his demeanor hints at a
more dangerous person beneath the veneer, a smiling tiger
He stops to tend to a scuff on his shoe, drawing your attention
to his unassuming black footgear. His shoes, partially
framed by the neatly pleated cuffs of his pants, look like
a hybrid between a dress shoe and an aerobic shoe; the kind
of footgear one wears when they spend a lot of time on their
feet. Maybe you should get a pair of those . . .
As you look up, you suspect he has done this on purpose and,
as you were looking at his shoe, he was examining you.
He smiles in silent acknowledgment as he walks out of sight.
On second thought, even though he is human, you wouldn't kick
him out of bed. As your attention falls from the asian,
you notice a rough-looking Dwarf pass, walking away from you
as well; he was probably checked by someone else, so you turn
to the next person in line.
Normal garb, i.e. corporate detective look (mug
- slightly more expensive clothing, solidly in the business
casual region. He will intentionally dress like a
- solid color silk shirts, typically black, red, white.
- ties will tend to be silk and in a solid color complementary
to his shirt
- fake, spectacle style glasses
- scarf of some sort
- broad silver bracelet on right wrist with various magical
runes from various cultures engraved in it, and some turquoise
stones set in it
- an antique silver necklace with a medallion in the form
of a yin yang symbol made of white and black onyx.
- lapel pin
Ken Kaze, Magic Detective
Attributes, Figured Characteristics, & Pools
Edges & Flaws
|Astral chameleon: Aura trace fades as if Magic
were one lower and people suffer +2 to target when trying
to read my aura.
|Day job 2 (Detective): mostly boring, run-of-the-mill
work right now. He works out of his wristphone,
making house calls for most things. Consumes about
20 hours per week.
|Impr. Sense: Thermographic Vision
|Impr. Reflexes 1 (+2 Rxn, +1d6 Init.)
|Magical Power 5
|* - Talisman geas (involuntary) - jade & sigils
in silver arm brace, and Gesture geas (voluntary)
Weapons and Equipment
Ares Predator x 2 (int. SL; 1 legit & -1 RC; other
Browning Max Power (street, int. smart link)
12 clips & one silencer
EX hvy. pistol rounds: 67
Normal hvy. pistol rounds: 146
Gel hvy. pistol rounds: 150
2 concealable holsters (ankle & shoulder)
Asp (telescoping metal club, concealability 6/4, (STR)M,
cost 500 ¥)
Grenades: 12 smoke, 13 concussion, 12 flash, 1 off,
4 kg of commercial plastique with timer detonator
|Clothing & Armor
Wrist phone with flip-up screen
|Surveillance and Security
|Surveillance Measures & Countermeasures
|Skillsofts and Chips
Autonav chip: Seattle
Knowsoft Link (0.1)
Image Link (0.2)
Smartlink (pad, rig, processor, PSS, 0.4 Essence)
Slap patches: Stim 1 (4), Stim 3 (2), Tranq 11 (2),
Antidote 8 (2)
Shamanic Lodge, Force 6
Fine Japanese Tea Ceremony set (2 k¥)
Office gear: Armored Curtains (rating 4, 1 k¥)
|Nuyen Remaining (Middle Lifestyle)
Contacts & Buddy
|Buddy: Pete Miller, aka "Rock", is a Physical
Adept bouncer at Armageddon. He is a very large,
dangerous looking Troll. Ken helped him in a serious
street skirmish with the Humanis Policlub and befriended
him. Since then, Rock and Pete often have drinks
together and talk about magic, philosophy, and any number
of topics. Rock's philosophical side never ceases
to amaze Ken. Pete has some sort of contact with
the Shadowrunning culture, and was Ken's initial contact
|Contact: Patches, a Sorcerer Street Doc.
He put in all of Ken's cyberware and seemed to do a
good job. He has a clinic near Seattle University.
|Contact: Malcolm MacDougal, aka "Mac", is a
Hermetic Mage and an old college buddy of Ken's.
Their current relationship is quite casual, confined
to occasional shared lunches. Ken hopes to become
better acquainted with Malcolm ultimately, but he has
avoided that until the dust settles from his investigation
of Howard Walsh. Mac works as an administrator
of a magical
R & D group at Ares.
|Contact: Nicole Bennett, a Hermetic Mage and
Magical Forensics Researcher. Ken and Nicole were
casual acquaintances and even more casual lovers.
Their relationship was shallow, simple, and served a
simple purpose - helping them avoid being distracted
from their research by complicated entanglements.
Ken has seen Nicole occasionally for business or lunch.
Sex has become a rarity for them, as Nicole is married
now. The marriage is one of convenience to a very
unattractive man though, and the sexual relationship
continues on as rare and exciting encounters, almost
always outside Seattle. Ken promises himself he
will stop seeing her if he ever finds his "Miss Right."
She has secured tenure at Seattle University, Ken's
|Contact: Miner, an Ork Decker. Ken found
Miner after hiring a number of Deckers to obtain information
for his cases. She worked out the best and was
always reliable and honest. From her manner and
some of the comments she makes, Ken is pretty certain
she is former academic. She has done questionable
work for Ken at reasonable prices.
At the start of his shadowrunning career:
- Corporations: "Corporations are a force to be
reckoned with, and it's better to be giving than receiving
when dealing with them. The people that work for them
are just like anyone else, but as a whole, corporate entities
are selfish to the point of being evil, for want of a better
word. If you want to get something from one, you would
be wise to start making friends there first. Even
then, don't let your guard down." After run 2: "Corporations
aren't a shadowrunner's friend. They will probably
snuff you out for the bottom line. Don't let flowing
nuyen cloud your judgement."
- Shadowrunning: "Shadowrunning always sounded like
a romantic pursuit. Now it seems like the natural
next step in my life. Corporations take a lot,
and I have no reservations taking some back. I'd rather
not hurt anybody that doesn't deserve it, but I know damn
well that a corporate security guard will happily kill me
in pursuit of his duties. I'd rather not kill him
for his blind dedication, but I don't plan to die because
I refuse to take off my kid gloves." After run
1: Ken likes Shadowrunning thus far. The challenges
he seeks in investigative work are found in shadowrunning,
along with higher stakes and dangerous obstacles.
He likes the intensity of the experience, but appreciates
the day-to-day work in between. At this point, he
imagines that continuous shadowrunning would burn him out.
- Metahumans: Ken could care less what race someone
is, although he keeps a wary eye on Trolls he doesn't know
for the simple reason that they are damn big and he is not.
If you get the job done and don't shaft him, he could care
less if you were a little blue gnome. He has found
it expedient not to openly preach equality for all, but
he would probably step in to stop race crime if he had the
resources and opportunity.
- Dislikes/Hates: Ken prefers not to get dirty,
but his professional ethics are strong and he rarely thinks
twice about in the course of a job. He does not smoke,
and prefers not to dwell in heavy cigarette smoke.
He dislikes killing, but will do it. Drinking is a
social lubricant in his mind; he drinks, but responsibly,
as he greatly dislikes being drunk. He can drink sake
when the occasion calls for it, but he has never been able
to acquire the taste.
- Likes/Loves: Ken loves the pursuit. Investigating
mysteries and exposing truths and secrets is very satisfying
for him. He likes to compose haiku when the mood strikes
him. An ideal day of relaxation for him would be reclining
in a forest clearing with a thermos of green tea, alternately
speaking to nearby spirits or simply staring at the sky
and reflecting on his life. He is a shaman of the
Sky Father, so he actually enjoys rain, the more intense
the storm, the more jazzed he gets.
- Goals: Get back in shape; he had really let himself
go in university, and the pistol team was not exactly an
athletic past time. Find a magical group; he needed
to hone his magical skills and he needed a group of people
he could trust to back him if a corporation decided to come
after him. Try to come to grips with his family's
- Family: he has lost touch with them, but intends
to remedy that . . . some day
- Yakuza and organized crime: "They are a reality
of the streets." He does not endorse them or despise
them. He also sees little difference between them
and a corporation, except that they put up less pretense.
"You have to take people for what they are, just be aware
of where their loyalties lie and how strong they are."
He likes the cool, business-like nature of the Yakuza; the
subtle, traditional ways of the triad; the swaggering, chummy
attitude of the Mafia; and the unpredictable, familial ways
of the Seoulpa. As always, the people he can deal
with, the entity as a whole leaves something to be desired.
Ultimately, he'd prefer to maintain friendly relations with
- Cultural Influences: Ken grew up in Seattle, not
Japan. His early childhood was more closed and he
was surrounded by Japanese people, their culture, and their
language. Through the course of his life, this influence
was diluted progressively. He speaks both English
and Japanese without an accent. He used to know a
little cityspeak, but that was a decade ago, and by now
it had been integrated into yuppie catch phrases.
The lingo that filled the hard streets of his adolescence
were now nothing more than buzzwords tossed about by cocky
stockbrokers trying to sound tough when playing sports in
their air conditioned health clubs. Ken has no great
love for any one culture. He views them all essentially
equally. His previous views of corporate culture have
fallen, but he knows now that he had been a little too hopeful.
If there is one culture he still has unusual respect for,
it would be Ancient Japan; yet he fears that if he learned
more about it, his views would be likewise deflated.
- Religion: Religion has played a small role in
his life. Having bootstrapped his way up from the
streets, he has had little use for traditional, organized
religion. He firmly believes that most religions were
simply the twisted dogmatic spawn of the Awakened culture
that fell asleep five thousand years ago. He has always
had a greater trust for the more individualistic philosophies,
such as buddhism, tao, etc. He walks his own path
with Sky Father, and he believes others should likewise
seek their religion within themselves.
- Affect: He shares the cynicism of the common
man, but rails against giving into it as many do, feeling
it to be a capitulation of spirit. Most people would
describe him as affable and upbeat, but not too much so.
Generally people like having him around and talking to him,
and he likes dealing with people, especially those willing
to have in depth discussions on complex issues.
- Killing: Ken has killed people and it has bothered
him surprisingly little. He is aware of his relative
nonchalance and wonders if it is some genetic legacy of
his cold-blooded parents. After run 1: Killed two
guards pre-emptively in to escape with team; it did not
bother him, and he is unsure if he should be worried about
- Awakened Community: "The Awakened community is
a lot more tightly knit than the unawakened community is."
After run 1: A patrolling Mage almost thwarted his
mission and got him killed; this was a real slap in the
face for him, his first real confrontation with a "fellow"
Awakened.. His idyllic view of camaraderie with the
Awakened community in general is fading. Ken realizes
that now he was probably a lot more realistic in his perspective,
but he still thinks there is hope. After post-run
2 stuff: "The Awakened community is not really any more
tightly knit than the unawakened community is. Magical
groups are the place to find community among the Awakened."
- Eco-Terrorism: After run 2: He never
really thought about until now. Probably not a good
thing to have people dying to save a tree, but it wouldn't
hurt for someone to slap the corporations around a bit to
keep them in line and "green".
- Tribals: After run 2: Ken feels he
needs to get to know them, haven't met any that aren't eco-terrorists
yet. Their mysticism is interesting, and Ken hopes
to take a trip into the tribal lands sometime on a journey
- Physical Fitness: After run 2: Ken
has put a higher priority on physical fitness after being
knocked out cold by a Tribal Adept with one shot.
"A strong mind in a weak body is like a katana wielded by
a glass arm."
- Magical Groups: After post-run 2 stuff:
They do exist. They seem the best hope for an Awakened
person to realize their personal vision of the Awakened
world and community. Anyone that is Awakened should
seek out a group that suits them.
- Professionalism: After run 3: Get the job
done. Avoid unnecesary collateral damage unless that's
Run 1 (Datasteal from DEM)
Run 2 (Courier mission for Vogel)
- Awarded 7 good karma for mission plus 1 for serious action
- Karma Pool up to 1.8
- Spent Karma:
- Unarmed Combat 2 - 4 karma
- Intimidation 1 - 1 karma
- Pistols B/R 1 - 1 karma
- Clubs 1 - 1 karma
- Athletics 1 - 1 karma
- Unspent karma: 0
Run 3 (Recover and redirect researcher
and his research)
- Awarded 6 good karma
- Karma Pool up to 2.4
- Spent Karma:
- Joined The Sixth Guides - 3 karma
- Unspent karma: 3
- Awarded 8 good karma for mission (+ 3 unspent)
- Karma Pool up to 3.2
- Spent Karma:
- (3) Increase Athletics to 2 - this relates to a general
rediscovery of physical exercise and a continuing concern
that he is not in good enough shape for shadowrunning.
- (3) Meditation 2 - Ken will be studying meditative
techniques, starting with the Tea Ceremony he plans to
give for his Oath of Initiation into his Magical group,
the Sixth Guides (see Ken's Magic
- (1) Negotiation 1 - he's used a lot of negotiation
in role-playing with decent success, he's probably learned
something significant by now; there's also the torrent
of fast-talk he rained down on Lou in this run.
- Unspent karma: 4
Ken has a "Middle" lifestyle. He chooses to live in a
nicer place in a crappier neighborhood to discourage casual
investigation of his personal life. He lives in a large
complex to facilitate getting lost in the crowd. However,
he keeps his office in a more socieconomically neutral location
so as to discourage neither the wealthy nor the poor.
Neighborhoods (GM e-mail)
The office is in a nicer part of the Central neighborhood (Lone
Star rating A) of the Seattle District. This neighborhood is
just SE of Downtown, close to Ken's old SeattleU stomping grounds
and the hustle and bustle of the heart of Seattle.
Ken's apartment is in the southern Seattle District neighborhood
of Riverton (rating B/C) along the Green River about halfway
between SeaTac Airport and Downtown. The neighborhood has
a small business area of miscellaneous stores, plus a Festival
Foods canning plant and the Emerald Center Mall. Labor and
service jobs at the airport also draw
many residents from Riverton. Ken chose the place because
it had enough of a low-class gritty feel to dissuade corp
types, but is still a far cry from the Barrens. Ken's apartment
building, Fiesta Towers, is one of the nicer one's in the
neighborhood (although one couldn't tell from the outside
pollution and graffiti).
The mafia runs some small time gambling and extortion operations
in Riverton. The area has a single gang called The Pack who
serve as muscle for the mafia. Their presence is rather low
key, content with their current position in life. You get
the feeling that most of the gang
grew-up in Riverton and so is at least mildly sympathetic
to the families there. There are rumors of another larger
gang moving into their territory, but Ken doesn't know any
Business - Skoto Investigations, Inc.
Ken uses the professional name "Ken Skoto". Skoto (actually
skotos) is Greek for "shadow" and it's a personal joke
that it sounds Japanese as well. His business cards and
business dealings use this professional name as well.
Again, he retains the first name Ken, confident that such a
common first name is unlikely to help someone track him.
On the contrary, if someone was looking for his "real name"
they might exclude anything with the name Ken. In the
end, it helps insure that he will at least respond to his alias.
Skoto Investigations is a small, single office with an adjoining
storeroom and private bathroom with a shower. The office
is not well-appointed, but it's elegant austerity hides whether
it is a matter of lacking funds or an aesthetic choice.
His office benefits from various magical protections (see
Magical SOPs below).
Nifty gear in his office includes
- Armored curtains (rating 4)
- When needed (usually bi-weekly) Ken summons a F5 hearth
spirit and has it create a F5 Ward around his office, but
not visible from the outside of the building.
- Ken maintains a F5 hearth spirit while in the office
on standby (which is defined as waiting in the metaplanes).
- Upon leaving the office (day and night), Ken orders the
hearth spirit to confuse anyone who enters the office except
- At the end of the day, Ken opens the window and summons
a F4 sky spirit. He commands the spirit to confuse any physical
(larger than a dog maybe) or astral (any size) entity that
comes close to the window (a zone extending 4 meters in
the plane of the wall and 1 meter perpendicular).
- While Ken is in the office, he periodically summons a
F3 1 hr watcher and orders it to shout out a warning if
any astral entities enter the office.
to be continued . . .
Up on a Soapbox About Magician Adept
"Magic in the Shadows" has sentence in it that reads: "If a
magician adept initiates, she can choose to either gain an extra
Power Point or learn a metamagical technique." This appears
to mean that unlike all other Adepts, Magicians, and Aspected
Magicians, an MA could not gain a power point and get
a metamagical technique. The GM of the campaign Ken is
in has already agreed to this beforehand, but I felt bad about
the prospect that I might be unbalancing the game. So
I read over the rules and have come to a conclusion:
A Magician Adept (MA) should be able to advance in
initiation grades normally.
One could 'sort of' create a Sorcerer with an MA. If
you pump two points into Astral Perception and four into Magical
Power, then you have a Sorcerer with 24 Force Points.
Have you cheated the system? Obviously not. However,
taking Geasa, you could have Magic 6, 36 force points, and
Astral Perception, which would be the same as a Sorcerer,
but all of your ability is held hostage to your Geasa.
Because that method requires complete reliance on a Geasa,
it's somewhat unfair to consider them equal. To take
advantage of being an Adept, you would have to take the point
you would spend on Magical Power and spend it instead on Physical
Adept stuff. Of course, you will need two full power
points just to shed your Geasa. However, there is the
ability to Conjure. How valuable is that? That's
a real wild card. Spells are clearly useful, but Conjuring
depends on a lot of other things. Of course, MAs
MAs pay the building points (BPs) of a full Magician, five
more than an Aspected Magician like a Sorcerer, but they lack
the ability of Astral Perception and Astral Projection.
Aspected Magicians lose one Magical Skill and Astral Projection.
Astral Projection as written is a remarkably useful ability
that can be a really beneficial wild card for a player to
use. Conjuring can be useful, but it requires money
and/or great ability to be really useful. Regardless,
the ability to Conjure is not in itself worth five BPs.
MAs are essentially watered down versions of Aspected Magician
with access to both Magical skills. Their ability to
gain Adept abilities is directly balanced by the fact that
their Magical Power is bought from the same points.
They pay five extra points to have access to Magical Power,
and they are not given Astral Perception (though they can
buy it). Additional development via initiation again
is balanced as the points that would make them formidable
Magicians are the same points that would buy them Adept abilities.
APe costs 2 points (cf. starting amount of 6) to buy, and
without taking Geasa, they can not match the abilities of
a starting Aspected Magician.
So, they seem pretty well balanced. If anything, you
might say they have spent a couple of BPs too much.
There is no need to make initiation harder on MAs, and absolutely
no rationale. So, MAs should have the option to take
a Power Point and take a metamagical technique.