Saturday Seed – 30 Shadowrun

This seed is for Shadowrun, and in the spirit of Christmas, it offers up an opportunity for the characters to explore ideas of charity… or not.


The seed begins with death and likely ends up with death. For those with an interest in magic, and the typical urban magician’s frequent obsession with image, it will aid the effect of the seed on your story greatly to emphasize what seem like signs and portents as the characters work their way through the different layers of mystery.


The seed:

A new group has been operating near the territory of your group’s characters. It will work best if you can have rumors, but no real signs of the group appear one or two sessions before you decide to really try using this seed. I think a good way to do it might be to use reports of the group’s activities and posturing as a way to make your own crew feel good about themselves, and compare how far they have come since they first started running the shadows.


What makes this new group unusual is that it is comprised entirely of sparkers, and they are very tightly knit. Young, well-equipped, better-looking than most, and prone to putting on cliché displays, ‘The Murder of Crowes’ has not been taken very seriously by more experienced runners, but common street smarts indicate that no group of 5 spellcasters is to be ignored.


Graffiti with a fanciful rendition of the group’s initials M.o.C adorned with their overly dramatic crow logo silhouetted behind the letters slowly starts to spread as the group begins to stake out their territory. Often traveling together in the form of crows, they try to lend an air that they hear all, know all, and sit in judgment over everyone. The people in the neighborhood mainly decide to just put up with it in hopes the crew will either grow up or get bored with the spooky crow shtick and try something else….  that is until someone kills them all.


Planting the seed:

Normally, no one would care that a group of showy runners had gotten what was coming to them, but this time it turns out that at least one of them was a bored rich kid, trying to get a little danger and excitement before going to work at a cushy job complete with key to the executive washroom. No one misses a dead, nobody. Too many law enforcement officers, private investigators, carrion feeders, glory hounds, and sycophantic junior execs want to be the one to solve this kind of crime, though… even if they have to frame a real nobody in order to do it.


This gives multiple leads into the story. The characters can become suspects, or they can be framed, or they can be offered payment to help solve the crime, or offered payment as a pretense to solve the crime, but actually to set them up, or some combination of some or all of these options. Alternately, they may decide to investigate on their own in order to shake some real money out of the families…. or maybe,  just maybe, they will find some reason to investigate and track down the killer for more altruistic reasons, such as protecting their neighborhood, or paying off bad karma. Who knows?


What is going on:

With this kind of story I like to have it seem like a simple, palate-cleansing tale with a quick resolution, but then twist violently into something else all of a sudden. I am sure you like that too, don’t you~? That is why you are here.


One way I like to set up this tale is to have the deaths seem to be definite, premeditated murder. All of the details for how it occurred will be there to find, but motive – and with that understanding, the clues that lead to the killer – will be slow in revealing themselves. It will be easy to believe that the killer acted from cruel intentions.


It will be obvious that the killer waited for the gang to be gathered together in their crow forms, and slew them all at once: first by electrifying the roof on which they perch, then by hosing their frying bodies with machine gun fire, finishing off with a fragmentation grenade. Blood and feathers everywhere.


As they close in on the killer, the group should have several opportunities to set up meetings with various groups interested in paying them for what they have learned. Tracking the killer will require talking with a lot of people, establishing real connections and having real street cred. No average rent-a-dick will be able to pull it off. It needs to be ‘guys from the neighborhood.’ As the clock on the investigation ticks, the services of the characters will become more and more valuable.


Ultimately, however, the group will learn that the killer was actually some pissed off troll who didn’t even realize that the Crows were transformed human mages. The story of the killing, in the right perspective, may actually be quite amusing. It could have conceivably happened to anyone. He got tired of them crapping all over him and his stuff, and ‘laughing about it.’  This is one troll who really hates birds, and he felt that these particular birds were singling him out for their fecal attentions.


Sycophants being sychophants, someone – or several someones – will have already reported to superiors that they can deliver the killer, and pressure will be brought to bear on the group to deliver. This brings us to at least two interesting options: trying to nail the killer without diverting funds to our characters, or the group suddenly finding they want to protect the killer from the forces out to capitalize on the revenge business.


This may even lead them to trying to set up a frame of their own, in order to deal with a problem group they have been wrestling with…  or, maybe, it will see them try to sort things out and explain the misunderstanding…  Hmmmmm.




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