Thicker Than Blood
Sax and Violins
A cool, early October night. Rain like a fine mist falls through the thick fog, making everything dark and damp; staining the rough concrete into black basalt pillars and making every streetlight a yellow beacon that distorts the wet stone with veins of amber light. The soft patter of water droplets against the deep green foliage and trickle of the runoff into the gutters is like a soft play of symphonic violins and percussion to the build up of some natural opus. Mozart, symphony 10 in G, reverberates softly in my skull while I wait against the alley wall and sip my tall soycaf with extra shot. A perfect Seattle night.
When the gun fire begins I hardly notice, playing sweetly against the victorious strings of the second movement. Hard Exit and his new elf friend have obviously gone from the quiet way to the loud way coming out of the building; which is my cue, but not before I finish my caf or they signal me. I pull off my hood and roll my neck in the refreshing coolness of the night before switching on my wired reflexes and unbutton my jacket, then watch as the world slows down to a crawl and I turn up the speed of the music to keep up with my new perspective.
Exit's hand cannon blares as I hear the front door around the corner wheeze slightly against it's hydraulics. I can hear his heart pounding in my augmented ears between the crack of his gun and casings twinkling on the street, an opera of street chaos mingles with the rain and the music being played directly into my cerebral cortex. The immensity of his troll shadow blots out the streetlight as I take a last sip of my caf, and he sprints past ponderously holding the limp body of the daisyeating hacker. I wonder off hand if they managed to get the paydata before she got greased and hear the low, bass rumble of Exit yelling for me to help him as he glides by in slow motion.
The empty soycaf cup drops into the recycling bin next to me as I switch to my jazz station and stroll to the edge of the alley, wild erratic saxophone and drum beats exploding suddenly into my brain. I feel the familiar slide of steel as I unsheath my katana and cross hairs ignite like fire in my vision as my left hand brings my pistol into view. Music throbs and whines as I step smoothly around the corner between Exit and his pursuers. Another perfect Seattle night.
My second foray into a into a Shadowrun chronicle. I intend to keep this in tune with my recent move to the beautiful city of Seattle and hope to enjoy the pleasure of exploring some darker themes with a more mature play group. As Shadowrun does not have an ingrained morals system, and as I am asking my players to develop a more detailed character personality and background, I will be expecting a more complex answer to some of life's more interesting questions; especially as they pertain to a group of people who live on the wrong side of the law.
This is, yet again, an attempt to turn the more "episodic" world of Shadowrun into an on running campaign, and so I will be fudging some of the long term rules such as Karma acquisition and expenditure. I'm also hoping to include a "campaign calender" in order to improve the synchronicity of peoples lives, both PC and NPC, and major campaign world events that don't necessarily include the characters but can affect their lives and the runs they are hired on.
I will also continue to encourage my players to become involved in the wiki and posting their characters by rewarding them with Karma points for their contributions and time taken to expand the game world. This is to include descriptions of many of the NPC's that they encounter, sprawl sights that they visit or include to add further character to the world, and any in character scripting to the weekly sessions to improve the flavor of the world.
Also, I will be applying the house rules posted on my main page, which I will reproduce here.
1. I run Shadowrun 4th Edition, 20 year Anniversary edition. The rules are smoother than general 4th, and it fixes some of the problems with the earlier edition of 4th.
2. Character approval is by Player and GM Committee. Per the game setup of Serenity, where in characters must be a viable "crew" with a useful smattering of skills. I'm going to use this because Shadowrunners are hired for their variable skills and abilities, based on what is useful in their jobs and to create working team that, hopefully, won't get killed. It will, also, help represent the Fixer arranging a team that they think should be able to accomplish the task at hand. The GM and players are allowed to veto another players character no questions asked. If someone says it goes, it goes.
3. If you have the ability to, please pregen a couple of characters. If not, at least have a couple ideas in mind. Making characters for this game can take all night, if not longer. So, if you have a book, please have something to show for it before the game. This also helps me get a sense of your play style, makes rule #2 go more smoothly, and allows you to build a character who lacks any serious holes from last minute builds.
4. You must have at least four points in Contacts. Shadowrunners live by who they know. You'd never get a job if nobody knew who you were, and besides you can't go through life and not meet at least one person.
5. You must have at least 2 Active Skill Points and 4 Knowledge Skill Points allocated to what I shall call "life choices and hobbies". Your life doesn't just revolve on shooting people and running the shadows. Everybodies got a hobby, whether they admit it or not. Some even make for good cover and back stories. Specializations do not count.
6. I will require a backstory, physical and personality description, and goals for your character. Why exactly did your character start shooting people and running the shadows? How do they feel about it? What is their ultimate goal? Want to be rich, to be famous, or just to get out of the gutter? This, also, applies to rule 2. If you lack character information, you don't play that character, no exceptions.
7. Everyone must own a commlink! Yet another piece of equipment that EVERY shadowrunner must have to make his job worthwhile. "You'll never get a wiz job if your fixer can't reach you, omae."
8. I will be enforcing the starting rule for equipment aquisition. I.e. You may only have items with an aquisition rating max of 12.
On the Run
I am including a weekly session report; pioneered by Bill, a fellow gamer from Reno, for mine and the players benefit. Every week after the game I will be posting a brief rundown of the previous session for reference sake and to allow the players to add their own comments and in character rundown/conversations for the sake of character development.
|Episode 1||Episode 4||Episode 7|
|Episode 2||Episode 5||Episode 8|
|Episode 3||Episode 6||Evaluation|
The Usual Suspects
Below is the section provided for the players to post their charcter history, description, and character sheet. You can access the a wiki character sheet here, again graciously provided by Bill, and simply copy and paste it into your character's page. : Wiki Shadowrun 4th Ed. character sheet
|Character Name||Brief Description|
|Two-Face||Dwarven ex wagemage who used to work for Fuchi. Grumbles about "wiz kids" and most anything that came about after 2060. An armchair scholar and sometime gambler, but primarily focused on magical theory and subscribes to a few academic journals. Has a passing interest in explosives.|
|Jackie 13||A human street samurai who, until recently, was an Aries convict forced to participate in a work release program know as Urban Brawl. During her time she was an infamous member of the Aries Predators, know of having killed thirteen people in game.|
|Ling Ling||She is a strikingly beautiful Asian elf and something about her seems to put everyone at ease. She is an avid conversationalist and enjoys talking about all manner of things, especially the local music scene. She can be found on many nights at various clubs enjoying the shows. She works loosely with the Ancients buying and selling drugs.|
|Martin||A mulatto ork hacker with a very forgettable look & demeanor. New to the Seattle scene, his complete lack of available history combined with his considerable skills suggest a man who had to cut & run and is just starting his new life in Seattle.|
Below are a series of traditional and original sprawl sites for reference, of which I will also be awarding Karma points for detailed descriptions.
|Aces||A scummy bar in Redmond that caters to the roughnecks, addicts, and outlaws. The clients are rough and aggressive, the booze is watered down, and most of the windows are boarded up or have bars on them, but that's just the way the regulars like it. Don't go there unless your packing or can handle yourself in a fight, and even then don't go there.|
|The Alabaster Maiden||Located on the corner of East Mercer and Broadway, The Alabaster Maiden is named after Gabriella Dematto. According to local legend, she overstepped her abilities while trying to escape from a go-gang and inadvertantly became permanently petrified as the alabaster statue that now stands at the entry into the club. Recent magical research on the statue has proven this to be no more than an urban legend, but rumor persists that the statue currently residing in front of the club is not the original. The club is a favorite of the city's younger mages and shamans.|
|Arcology Commercial and Housing Enclave||Dominating the Seattle skyline, the ACHE was claimed by the UCAS government after it was forced to step in and retake Renraku's Seattle Archology. This enormous green and silver glass tiered pyramid encompasses ten city blocks on each side and is almost thousand meters tall. The ACHE now houses roughly 150,000 people in government run "welfare housing" that is effectively a minimum security prison for the poor. The first five floors are still the largest mall in Seattle (no longer just Renraku subsidiaries), with the sub-basements and top floors controlled buy the UCAS military.|
|Aztechnology Pyramid||Aztechnology's 72 floor Archology located between Roy and Denny Way along Broadway and 16th Ave. The pyramid is home to 5,000 permanent residents, and covered with ten ton blocks of carved grey quartz that are illumunated from inside at night.|
|Bellevue/Redmond Wall||A ten meter tall ferro-concrete wall topped with razor wire and patrolled by Lone Star "peace-keepers" and drones, The Bellevue/Redmond Wall literally divides the haves from the have nots. Starting at I-90, the wall runs the entire distance of East Lake Sammamish Parkway, intersects and runs along Redmond Way to the 405, and then all he way up to a hard point in Bothell. It is a testament to the paranoia and disregard of the rich.|
|The Body Mall||Abandoned after the Trojan-Setsup plant had a partial meltdown in 2013, a series of shadow-docs set up shop here offering all kinds of medical practices, both legal and illegal. Connected heavily with Tamanous and the 162's, this place is revered as much for its cut rate cyberware as it is for patients disappearing.|
|The Big Rhino||Once an exclusive ork and troll only restaurant, the Rhino now caters to anyone brave enough to venture into its hall. Large portions of "traditional" ork cuisine with lots of meat and thick sauces are served in dining hall style with tall mugs of beer and other strong drink. They even offer regular tours of the Ork Underground every couple of hours.|
|Cavilard Research Institute||A research firm in Bellevue that switched hands to Mitsuhama during Crash 2.0, and has since become one of their infamous Zero Zones.|
|Club Penumbra||On the corner of 5th and Yesler and accross the street from the ACHE. Once the premier Runner meeting spot in downtown Seattle, this moon themed nightclub has not updated it decor, and some would say the music, in years. The fact that some older Runners still congregate here makes this club almost a cliche. However, with the owners looking to sell the place the Yakuza and Mafia have suddenly become very interested in it.|
|The Crash 2.0 Memorial||A large black obelisk in Cal Anderson park, on Capitol Hill, that memorializes those that died during the second Matrix crash. Situated on the top of the hill near the Cal Anderson fountain, it scrolls the names of those that died in a constant AR and VR feed.|
|Dante's Inferno||After all these years Dante's is still one of the number one clubs in Seattle. Wreathed in AR flames and circled by demons, this club offers the latest in ear bleeding and mind destroying beats and a devilishly good time on its seven layers of hell.|
|Fungitech||With multiple offices around Seattle and a major grow facility located in the Snohomish Ork Underground, Fungitech is a strange corporate star in the Seattle area. They provide a number of fungus based foods, medical materials, neurotoxins, and Awakened materials to local buyers; and promise the release of an all new fungus beer in the upcoming year.|
|The Glass Onion||Some of the finest dining from the far east in downtown Seattle. This traditional Japanese styled restaurant offers good food at an affordable price, and private rooms for business meetings. Rumors still abound that there may be naga living in the basement, but whether they are captives or not is unknown.|
|The Jade Tortoise||A Chinese/Japanese/Vietnamese restaurant in Queen Anne that offers exceptional Far Eastern cuisine and who's owner and head chef is an illustrious foodie.|
|Lou's Tattoos||Located in the International District, Lou is a Japanese dwarf and tattoo artist of exceptional skill and insight. Rumor has it that Lou is magically active and that his assistant, Selena, is a free spirit.|
|Matchsticks||A private jazz club in Queen Anne that offers a number of private meeting rooms and quiet booths to enjoy a nice dinner.|
|Mitsuhama Zero Zone||Amid a beautiful and expansive Japanese garden, six grand black and silver skyscrapers tower over lake Washington's Southwest shores. Surrounded by a twenty foot wall that resembles traditional Japanese architecture, Mitsuhama's Zero Zone is as serene as it is secure, emphasizing the companies policy of "zero penetration and zero survival."|
|Numereji||A small talisman shop in Capitol Hill that carries a wide array of oddities from across the planet.|
|The Plastic Gardens||Once an attempt to create an indoor tropical garden in Redmond; squatters moved into these gigantic domes after the regular populace left, and turned it into a series of thriving subsistence farms amid the tropical flora. Now these musty gray and brown domes are the home of the few successful residents of Redmond, and a constant target of starving gangers and warped critters of the barrens.|
|The Puyallup Crime Mall||Amid the ruins of Old Puyallip, The Crime Mall is the ultimate gray and black market and home to many experienced smugglers. Secured with an array of defenses and elbow deep in mercenaries, The Mall has stood the test of time against all odds and remains the one stop shop for all kinds of illegal goods. Just don't come knocking without an invitation.|
|The Rendezvous||An old bar in central Belltown that was once a speakeasy. The Rendezvous has updated its classic theater for simsense interaction and still holds private parties in the old speakeasy basement.|
|Sable's on The Sound||Fine French dining in Belltown offering a picturesque view of The Sound, with both above and below the waterline seating.|
|Weapons World||Two floors of nothing but Grade A Bang Bang. Located at 6th and Olive, Weapons World is the leading chain dealer of firearms, firearm accessories, milspec equipment, body armor, and hunting gear. All you need is a SIN, a license, and the nuyen and these fine people can make all your high caliber wet dreams come true.|
Friends of Friends
This section is reserved for the wide array of NPC's the characters might meet, as well as their contacts and other major personalities of Shadowrun.
|An Shou Tian||Red Pole of the Wo Shing Wo Triad. Professional Chef and foodie. Owner of the Jade Tortoise, a Chinese/Japanese/Vietnamese restaurant in Queen Anne.|
|Andrea Elkhorn||EMT and ambulance driver for Doc Wagon. A Sioux Nation citizen who came to Seattle for medical school; Andrea bears the physical and emotional scars of being beaten, raped, and set on fire by The Halloweeners.|
|Ariel||Owner and purveyor of The Dark Roast, a small private coffee shop she runs in Downtown Seattle and that caters primarily to the robust tastes of her fellow Orks. Buxom and dreadlocked, and with only the hint of a New Orleans accent, Ariel knows a lot of people and has a number of loyal customers that come up from the Underground...and some say that when he's in town, Dante prefers to get his coffee in her little shop down the street.|
|"Aunty Kasau" Tosashi||Oni immigrant who grew up on Yumi island. Stay at home mother of eight, barrens baby-sitter, and wife of Osaku Tosashi.|
|Black-Feather-Boy||Salish Raven Shaman and avid comic book collector.|
|Blood||Information broker, organlegger, and seller of second hand cyberware. Rumored to have connections to Tamanous, among other unhealthy habits.|
|Blythe Waters||Elf Ghoul and vocal political activist for the Ghoul Liberation League in Seattle. Licensed Surveyor and Civil Engineer for the State of Seattle.|
|Bolin||King Yee of the local Sun Yee On Triad.|
|Buttons||Ork Knights Errant Veteran Beat Cop. He's been around the block a couple of times and has a good ear for what's happening in the 'hoods and the Ork Underground. Though he's got a good heart, he isn't above a little "Street Justice" and "Urban Renewal", and stays happy as long as his beat just stays quiet.|
|Cap Cortez||Troll Lieutenant of the Redmond gang the Rusty Stilettos. Gun runner, drug dealer, and area enforcer. Cortez, like most of the Stilettos, is a mutated and partially insane mess from living in Glow City his whole life. His flesh is rock hard from excessive dermal plating and enormous bone spurs.|
|Charity v6.8||Self-proclaimed "High Priestess of the Airwaves". Charity claims to be an "Alternate Intelligence" AI. Public whistle blower, blogger, and pirate Trid broadcaster. Loud, abrasive, and angry with a penchant for Max Headroom antics, speech hacking, and the sign off "We'll meet again...when you're ready to travel the most secret path of all."|
|Dirdrik Vladnikov||Vory v Zakone information broker. Runs an small entertainment insurance business in Capitol Hill.|
|Doc Wilson||Grizzled street doc in the Redmond outskirts. Respected by the local neighborhood for his medical aptitude and feared for his small army of drones. Happy to take bodies or parts thereof in payment. The locals don't ask too many questions and gangers trying to muscle in quickly learn to leave well enough alone.|
|Finger||Devilishly fast elf changeling with an itchy trigger finger.|
|Gruff||Head of the local troll and orc gang, the Trogs, Gruff is untrustworthy and underhanded, but happy to deal with anyone if the Yen is right and they aren't daisy-eaters. Gruff's pride and joy is his wide array of elf skulls taken from other gangers and elfs who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.|
|Hanso Shotozumi||Oyabun of the Shotozumi-gumi; the largest organized crime family in Seattle.|
|Jason "Shin"||Whip thin and wiry muscled, Jason is a devilish, dark haired, youth with an almost permanent psychotic grin plastered on his face. Dumped from his bike at high speed during a turf war with the Ancients, Jason earned himself a limp, a cybernetic right arm, and the nickname Shin from his fellow Eye-5ers. Jason is a joker, though many on the receiving end of his jokes would not think of him as being very funny. He is known for his "nut checks" Often leaving the subject of his joke thinking they are on the verge of death only to reveal that "I am just fuckin with ya chummer".|
|John Silverston||An Aboriginal Kuradji; owner and proprietor of Numereji, a small talisman shop in First Hill.|
|Jimmy The Saint||Dwarf Street Doc and cyber/body-mod specialist. Probably better with nano-tattooing, piercing, and a blowtorch than actual medical care, but he can keep his mouth shut and doesn't ask questions for the right price. Jimmy operates his own shop out of his apartment in Lower Queen Anne.|
|KitKat Boom||A changeling "catgirl" who lucked out on the cute side of SURGE. Also, an accomplished seamstress, sticky fingered shopgirl, and an avid clubgoer.|
|Keiko Shotozumi||Daughter of Oyabun Hanso Shotozumi. Keiko is an ex-shadowrunner who deleted a great deal of information from Shadowsea on the Seattle Yakuza before leaving. Her old runner team were, assassinated per Hanso's order, soon after her return. Keiko has been permanently blacklisted from Shadowsea and is viewed with little else but disdain by most runners.|
|"Krissy" Gajra Samanthi Kishen||Bartender at The Rendezvous and lead singer for the Indian Neo-PRock Trip Hop group "Plasma Burn Sarangi".|
|Lao||Ancients ganger and second in command to Green Satan. Satan refers to him as Bratach Falan, his black banner, and Lao lives up to the title. Second only to Satan with a sword and on a bike, Lao handles much of the dark business of the gang, including their drug smuggling and dealing with any threats that Satan believes are below him. Lao is an executioner and shrewd businessman, his dark eyes and demeanor oft belaying his rough leather clad exterior.|
|Mr. Matz||Enigmatic Johnson of South American descent and a particular taste in Mayan and Aztec art and artifacts; and, one might say, an unhealthy fascination with Aztechnology.|
|Ms. Konietzko||Russian Johnson with draconian sentiments about her jobs and any failures there of, but a willingness to back her runners to make sure her jobs are accomplished.|
|Oma Endofski||Russian Troll neo-agriculturalist. The gun toting Trog ex-ganger and vigilant defender of her squat/garden in Puyallup.|
|Osaku Tosashi||Oni immigrant born on Yumi island. Auto mechanic at Ares Auto Supply and Repair in Burien.|
|Otto||Veteran smuggler and original member of the Puyallup Crime Mall. Otto's gun shop would make a Weapon's World salesman blush, but if he senses your not on the level for even a second you could end up with a "free sample" of what his store has to offer.|
|Paku Ikibaku||Fixer of multiple mixed backgrounds who normally resides in the International District and is fluent in a wide number of languages.|
|Mr. Patel||Referred to by those that work for him as "the Bear," Mr. Patel's countenance inspires that in any that enter his presence, and is often mistaken for a very large Ork. First among thieves, Patel stands at the middle of the Vory V Zakone's intrigues in Seattle.|
|Peter "Cola" Weyer||Human talismonger in his 50s with a fairly successful shop north of UW. Buys, sells, and trades memorabilia and equipment from the 20th and early 21st century. Especially fond of his Coca-cola collection. Long time friend of Two-Face and one of the few who know of his past with Fuchi.|
|Red||Rastafari Dwarf hacker who has been in the shadows since before Crash 2.0, and claims to be one of the few who survived being jacked in during the crash.|
|Sensei Frank||Master of mixed martial arts and street fighting tactics. An active pacifist and Zen buddhist, Frank teaches his students everyday survival in the city. Rumors have it that Frank is a retired Street Samurai, and despite his calm demeanor, is heavily cybered.|
|Violette Statique||Untrustworthy and dark, Violette never meets her patrons in person, and if hard copies must be exchanged a courier is sent. Attached to a shadow network of artificial SIN creators and thieves, Violette is a living enigma who does not speak of her past. Her matrix persona, a lovely woman wrought of shifting purple agate, is her only face. Rumors say she is part of The Network, and purveyor of more than just artificial identity.|
|Yamashita Kazunari||Kyodai of the Shotozumi-gumi Yakuza family. Yamashita is a gang enforcer in the International District.|
|Walter "Wrecker" Jones||Hailing originally from Tennessee, Wrecker is an impressively large troll and, despite his size, is quite an effective mechanic. An Ex-Trog gangmember, Wrecker has many contacts with the local gangs and can lay his hands on all kinds of interesting things.|
|Zippo Jill||Heavily modded razorgirl and Nightmare's second in command. Jill is an old school Halloweener with a severe firebug and a sociopathic hatred for life and order that is only surpassed by Nightmare. She is also the only person that has seen Nightmare without the mask and knows his true identity.|