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Shadowrun Campaign #3: Shades of Gray

"Hoi Omae! Scan this. You got da skills to score some wiz cred if you're willing ta risk your hoop. You know, running the shadows and drek. I know a guy..."
Six Caps, Ork Ganger and novice Fixer

Real world location: Rice University Start date: 15JUN2003
In-game location: Based out of Seattle In-game Start Date: 15JUN2063

I Wanna Play!- What you need to know to get into the queue
Character/Team Building Guidelines - The basics
Bonus Karma - Goodies!
Life Goes On - How will I handle Lifestyle in an open campaign?
Spending Karma - How will I handle Karma expenditure in an open campaign?
The Talent Pool - The players and characters.
People & Places - The movers and shakers and the places...they move and shake?
Gameworld Calendar - When stuff goes down...
News Stories - Anything that I send out to the team via the media of the gameworld.
War Stories - the tales of the runs as told by the runners.
Wall of Shadows - those that have fallen in the shadows.

Players take note - the are at the bottom of the page.

I Wanna Play!

Great! First, e-mail to find out if I am accepting new players, and then get your three characers to me more than a week before the game.

Gameday - Show up on time, earlier if you have things to hash out with me before the game starts. You will need:

  • Filled out character sheet & a list of any purchases (karma or nuyen) you wish to make with that character
  • Pencil & scratch paper
  • Dice - about a dozen each of two different colors is good, three colors would be perfect
  • Books for all rules pertinent to your character, e.g. if you have cyberware from Man&Machine then have that book (support the game!)

Character/Team Building Guidelines

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Drop in and play a pregenerated PC
  2. Make/pick your own PCs

Drop in and play a pregenerated PC

Just like it sounds. Show up to play. Pick 3 pregens that you would like to play, and whichever one gets picked during hiring will be the one you run. No prior commitment and no prior work. It doesn't get much easier! Please show up at least fifteen minutes in advance to pick the pregens you want to throw into the pot for hiring.

Make/pick your own PCs

I am using what I call a "talent pool" approach for this campaign. Each player will have 3 Player Characters (PCs). One will be the active character for the run. The others will be inactive, but will still earn a fraction of the karma and money of the active character. Yes, that's right, they get cooler just sitting around doing nothing. It also means you have a skilled character to take over if your PC is geeked (killed).

But what if you don't feel like making three PCs? You can always pick a couple of archetypes to fill out your trio. Heck, you can just pick an archetype for every PC.

We are using Shadowrun, 3rd edition. Check out my house rules and advice on character creation.

Bonus Karma

  • (+1 pt. per session per team, for all of the player's PCs) Chronicler - one person volunteers to chronicle the events that take place during the run, type them up in an e-mail, and send them to me.
  • (+3 pt. per session per player) War story - write up a war story, see the stories page for details.
  • (+1 or more pts.) Background [at least 200 words] - Ideally, will explain your skills and establish enough character to provide a good role-playing basis.
  • (+1 pt.) Physical description [at least 200 words] - preferably something narrative that communicates mood, bearing, clothing, weapons, attitude, demeanor, build, etc.
  • (+1 pt.) Lifestyle [at least 200 words] - preferably something narrative that communicates not only where your character lives but how. The "feel" of the neighborhood and "a day in the life" info would be nice too.

Life Goes On

I don't have the time or energy to play out the disdvantages to living at a Low Lifestyle. So, how will I handle Lifestyle when characters are likely to come and go at random? I am going to assume that PCs that successfully enter the Shadowrunning biz will live at Medium lifestyle at a minimum. While they are not active, they are making ends meet with other work.

  • Although you can create a character with crappy Lifestyle because he's out of work, his house blew up, whatever, once character creation is over, they will be movin' on up immediately.
  • All PCs will immediately assume a minimum Medium Lifestyle (or higher) for their primary Lifestyle after creation. They are still welcome to have some secondary Low Lifestyles for safehouses and such.
  • Inactive PCs do not pay Lifestyle, so they are living well for free in a sense (they find enough work to pay the bills until a run comes along).
  • Active PCs
    • If the PC has a Lifestyle(s) already, then 1/2 of a month will be used up during a standard run (more if the run lasts a long time).
    • If the PC does not have an adequate Lifestyle, then the PC purchases a month first. They are welcome to pay that at any time during the run (they might well be taking the run to pay the rent).
  • Yes, this means that inactive characters will slowly stockpile money, but I can live with that.

Spending Karma

Active PCs can spend karma at the start of a run in which they are activated, or up to five days after the gameday (Basically, up to the Friday after the gameday).

  • For skill levels up to 3, don't worry about training time or rolls for success.
  • Above level 3, I will resolve the training rolls and figure out the time accordingly.
  • Karma spent before the run can take advantage of the training time since the character was last played. Karma spent after the run will have to be accounted for from that point on in the gameworld. There will generally be 14 game world days between runs.