Out with the old, in with the new

Wild Things was above all an experiment so to speak. I wanted to try out a short homebrew Open Event Campaign as alternative to Missions, due to complications with running those. This involved runs with a reliable upfront Johnson where negotiating with them wasn’t needed (meant to result in shorter runs), and where several essential tools would be supplied.

I personally consider the experiment a success. It drew several people to try out Shadowrun, gave more flavour to the characters and came with more freedom reward-wise. With Missions rewards are strict because two teams running the same Mission need to have the same shots at the same rewards, tables need to be balanced compared to each other.

One downside: Timing is still tough, because flavor scenes are quite fun to have but too many of them can result in a run taking up a lot of time. However the timing was still doable, and I do intend to get better at it.

Yes, I intend to do another short campaign like Wild Things. The date and details aren’t final yet, I still have to cross my Ts and dot my Is. However, currently the goal is to do a 5-run campaign starting the 22nd of September. Like Wild Things (and the normal short Casus Belli RPGs) it will be one run every fortnight starting at 19:30 and preferably ending the runs at 22:00. I’ll make that 22:30 officially based on the results so far with Wild Things, but that will then in fact be the intended ‘end-at-most-at’ time, not ‘we-might-go-over-this’.

The campaign will be called Black Hearts and will feature a Black-Ops team of the UCAS (United Canadian and American States) doing the dirty work normal employees cannot do. Think Mission Impossible, with runs about theft, betrayal, wetwork, espionage and a grand conspiracy…

There will be three notable differences between Black Hearts and Wild Things. First of all most runs will of course be in an urban environment, which means civilians and public appearance have to actually be taken into account. As upside that means sneakily dealing with security, urban camouflage and more fun runner stuff.

The second is that, due to these urban environments, the Matrix will actually come into play. So Deckers, Riggers and *shudders* Technomancers will be allowed. However, I am only allowing these for own characters, I will not make Sample Characters for them.

The reason is that these characters deserve a chance to shine, so I want to be able to construct a run properly to give them a good role in the story. With Missions Riggers tend to be rather out of place and not have a chance to do their good stuff, plus they tend to break the runs sometimes.

The third difference will be Chargen. I experimented with Life Modules with Wild Things, and I really liked it. It meant the characters had actual weaker secondary skills they could employ, plus they had a lot of extra Knowledge Skills and an actual story to them. There were some significant downsides though, such as a lengthy character creation process and characters resembling each other too much on essential points. Such as having only ONE non-Uncouth character asides from the Face.

The lengthy character creation process is the biggest point here. If someone wants to make their own character, I want them to be able to do that without being forced to use a spreadsheet. Furthermore Life Modules, while less so than karmagen, still suffers from Choice Paralysis. So the chargen baseline will be Priority.

However. Life Modules did have some good sides to it, and since it’s a Black Ops campaign I want characters to have a decent bit of skill flexibility. So I’ll perform some restrictions and add a few extras.

Again, no final details yet but the idea I’m currently working with is Priority with Skills A and Sum-To-Seven-Without-As for the other Priorities. So with B being worth 3 and E being worth 0, that means BBDE/BCCE/BCDD/CCCD as possible remaining priorities. This is 1 higher than normal Priority, which is basically sum to ten, to compensate for the restrictions on the single A Priority.

I’ll also give some extra knowledge skills freebie points, and likely also extra contact stuff and several free Fake SINs. This lets players focus their resources on their own characters.

So that’s the summary of my future plans. More info on Black Hearts, and its own information page, in the near future. Talk to ya later, chum.

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