Saturday Seed – 28 (Shadowrun)

This week’s seed is being sown for Shadowrun. It is short, and obnoxious, but may open up a new perspective with which to challenge your runners. This will work best with a group that does not have a strong magical presence.

The seed:

Someone in the neighborhood is discussing the group’s exploits in great detail. Who is doing it? How are they getting their information?

Planting the seed:

It will begin small, such as one of the runners being asked a seemingly innocuous question by a street vendor, homeless ork, or perhaps the part-time armed-threat response/grocery bagger at the local supermarket.

The question might be something simple like, “Did you really do X?” where x is the product of something cool plus something highly illegal multiplied by being a secret outside of the team….  How did this rakkin’ scrod hear about it?

As time passes, this will happen to more of the team, and then more often. Things which really should have passed with no witnesses, or things which no one sensible would talk about, get out in the open. How is it happening?

When pressed, the questioner will do all the things you expect cowards and the very dim to do: they will lie. “Sorry, I thought you were someone else.”  “I heard it from –character’s enemy- and I thought it was a lie, so I wanted to let you know he was spreading it around.” etc.

Some groups may come to suspect one of their own has been telling tales out of school.

Few groups like intra-party conflict, so let the doubt and questions build for what you think the players can tolerate, then develop the situation further.

What is going on:

People love a good story, and sharing overheard tales is a part of our nature. Many people also enjoy having others believe the stories we tell about ourselves, and buy into the line we try to sell them about just how cool we really are. There is a certain pride that comes from having a reputation, especially an enviable one, in your neighborhood. It can, however, turn to discomfort when the whole neighborhood knows pretty much every detail of your business… and the whole neighborhood is talking about it.

In this seed, this effect is happening at cross purposes from the runners’ point of view. Someone is telling these stories for the cachet and cool of being the one ‘in the know,’ and the thrill they get in telling the stories well, and hearing them spread like wildfire through the mouths of others is a huge rush. There is no doubt that they will want to keep on telling these stories, and keep on featuring the PC group… as long as they are doing interesting things, or can be made to sound like they are.

Listen carefully to the players and see how they feel about all of this extra attention. The tale-spinner is actually in too much awe of them to ever approach them, or let on that they are a huge, slobbering fan. They will do their best to stay out of the way and admire the group from afar… while taking copious notes.

If the group is fine with the added notoriety, let it ride for awhile. Later, though, have a member of local law enforcement overhear a story which makes a case she has been working on suddenly make sense…  and require questioning of certain key members of the team.

In the midst of other terrible troubles, have a bleeding edge street samurai show up, looking for revenge for a lost relative ‘they heard’ had been put down by a member of the team.

Just when things are looking good, have anyone and everyone the group may owe show up, looking for their cut of the team’s unbelievable profit on their last run. Maybe they all show up at the same time…

You get the idea.

In your setting, you may already have an ideal candidate for “who is doing the talking,” but if not, I would suggest having it be that most obsessive of creatures: the adolescent fanboy/fangirl. Combining the ingenious seeming-invisibility of street kids, with the lack of discretion people have when discussing things when they are only vaguely aware of kids lurking in the background, this obsessive collector of information about whatever they fixate on, could be a major surprise to the group in regard to what they were able to glean on their own. To spice things up though, we need to add in the older sibling, a very discreet Street Mage, who prefers not to make themselves known in the neighborhood. Forced by circumstance and family ties to care for our ‘villain,’ and not much into Dr. Seuss, our incognito mage uses his very special talents of information gathering to weave bedtime stories about the interesting characters on the block, and the strange things they do when they think no one is looking. Turning runners’ grim, money-making ventures into something akin to morality tales, the elder sibling has raised these runners into the status of icons in the mind of the younger sibling. The resulting obsession and the kid’s subsequent discovery of a similarly inherited talent for telling compelling tales, completes the circle of this diabolical plot.

Where this can go is up to you, but there are a lot of options to explore… murder, mayhem, mystery, moving, threats, chases, escapes, revenge, true love… dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria!

I digress~


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  1. […] Euch auf die nächste Runde Shadowrun vor, habt aber keine Idee für einen vernünftigen Plot? Casting Shadows, ein Blog welches sich um diverse Spiele wie Shadowrun oder Battletech dreht, hat ein paar nette […]

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