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NRP - Shadowrun Setup

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« on: April 19, 2007, 07:23:33 pm »

OK, for any who are interested in a Shadowrun narrative roleplay, here are some fundamentals about the Shadowrun world:

Shadowrun is a future version of our own world.  Set in the year 2070, it combines cyberpunk, corporate-controlled society with magic and fantasy races.

Major historical events:
2009 & 2010 - After continually taking more and more land away, Native Americans protest the treatment of their people.  A small terrorist band of Native seize a nuclear weapon silo and threaten to aim it at Washington.  A US strike force goes in and kills the terrorists, but not before the weapon is launched at Moscow.  Moscow fires a counter missile but neither land, both disappearing mid-flight.  Seeing a possible threat, the President sends all Native Americans into "re-education centers" to contain the threat.
2011 - The "Awakening".  At the end of the Mayan calendar, Magic returned to the Earth, signalled by the flight of the first known dragon, Ryumyo around the peak of Mt Fuji.  A rash unexplained birth defects ebgan appearing in new children.  Labelled UGE (Unexplained Genetic Expression) this gave rise to the first elves and dwarves.
2012 - Dniel Howling Coyote leads a revolt and walks his people out of the re-education centers using shamanistic magic.  After he leads a shaman council into causing four volcanos to erupt simultaneously, the US concedes most of their land back to the Natives.  Eventually the South separates and California becomes independant, leaving Seattle as the last American Western port.  Canada's losses to the Native cause their economy to wane and they unite with the US to form the UCAS (United Canadian and American States).
2021 - Goblinization.  As mana levels in the world continued to rise more latent genetics came to the forefront.  Unlike the rise of elves and dwarves, those who underwent Goblinization spontaneously manifest, giving rise to orks and trolls.  Hysteria ran rampant as many church leaders labelled these people as manifest demons and gave rise to what is known as the "Night of Rage", where riots rose up around the world and many of these newly manifest metahumans were hunted down and butchered.
2029 - The Crash.  Out of nowhere seemingly, the world's first AI-driven virus is unleashed on the Internet.  Adapting to all attempts to stop it, this virus brought down the entire infrastructure.  It took the first "cyberdeck" users to ultimately defeat the virus.  Cyberdecks, or computers that allowed direct neural contact with a computer become commonplace and the Matrix is born.
2030-2050's - Corporations continue to gain more power and replace many governments in the power hierarchy.  There are seven corporations that are rated AAA, meaning they can enforce their own laws, keep their own police and have rights as nations.
2057 - The Great Dragon Dunkelzahn runs for President of the UCAS and wins, but is assassinated on inauguration night by an unknown weapon that creates a rift in astral space.  He leaves behind a will, bestowing gifts to seemingly random people.  Several corporations rise up to gain AAA status, while the largest corporation is ripped apart and crumbles under its own weight.
2059 - One of the seven mega-corporations, Renraku builds a massive Arcology in Seattle, but something goes wrong.  A blackout strikes the city and the Arcology shuts down.  An AI known as Deus, who was supposed to operate the building's higher functions, goes rogue and begins experimenting on the trapped humans inside.
2060 - Deus is finally evicted from the Arcology (thought destroyed), though his minons would hold on to most of the Arcology for another couple years.
2061 & 2062- Year of the Comet.  Halley's Comet returns and causes panic amongst the people as further genetic anomolies pop up (called SURGE or Sudden Unexplained Recessive Genetic Expression).  The mana sphere surges upward and brings rise to new dangers.  A new dragon, called Ghostwalker emerges from the rift created by Dunklezahn's death and he claims Denver as his personal domain.  New spirits emerge, known as shedim, who possess the corpses of the dead to lead lives alongside humans.  Cremation policy is passed to prevent shedim possession.  Volcanos erupt all around the Pacific Rim, creating several new islands and leaving Japan in a state of ruin.  Once Halley's Comet heads away from Earth, almost all instances of SURGE cease.
2064 - Crash 2.0.  Deus is reassembled and compiled in the world's Matrix and seizes control of the East Coast Stock Market.  He kills most people in contact with the matrix at that point (but granting power to others).  As he assimilates all the planet's data, a new virus is unleashed, tailored to destroy Deus and all AI's of his kind.  A terrorist cell called Winternight seeks to send humanity back to the stone age and detonates underground nukes underneath several world data havens.  The resulting EMP and the wat against Deus shatters the infrastructure of the Matrix.  In the new Neo-Tokyo a new Matrix technology is being unveiled, having the entire Matrix go wireless.  It is taken as the new world standard and the second Matrix is created.

Key Corporations:  Ares Macrotechnology, Aztechnology, Evo, Horizon, Neo-NET, Mitsuhama, Renraku, Saeder-Krupp, Shiawase, Wuxing Inc.
Other Big Players: Lone Star, Emerald City Graphics, Telestrian

North American Nations:  UCAS, CAS (Confederate American States), Algonkian-Manitou Council, Sioux Nation, Pueblo Corporate Council, Salish-Shidhe Council, Athabascan Council, Trans-Polar Aleut, California Free State, Tir Tairngire, Quebec, Aztlan (formerly Mexico)

Magic:  There are three major branches to magic:  Sorcery, Conjuring and Somatic Magic.  A traditional mage has access to spellcasting and summoning.  The spells the cast and spirits they can commune with often take form according to their ideology (a spirit summoned by an American Indian won't look like a spirit summoned by a voodoo practitioner).  Some magicians don't cast magic in the traditional sense, but instead augment their skills instead.  This is somatic magic.  Somatics are typically called "physical adepts".  They can do any number of things, like hypnotic suggestions, to running up walls, making impossible leaps and boosting their strength to impossible levels.

There are several things that magic cannot do, however.
1) No magic can be indirectly targeted.  There must always be a subject to cast upon.
2) No magic can affect space/time.  No teleportation or stopping time.
3) You cannot divie the future with any certainty.  While some have learned the art of divingi it takes some degree of interpretation.  You will see images, but it is up to you to decipher them.
4) Sorcery cannot banish spirits.  You can attack them and force them back to their native plane, but only Conjuring can effectively banish a spirit.
5) Sorcery cannot raise the dead.  Once someone has died, there is no coming back.  While some magical traditions can summon spirits that can possess corpses, this is not resurrection.
6) Sorcery cannot create magical items.  Only pain-staking effort of an enchanter can manufacture foci or other magical goods.
7) Sorcery cannot bridge the gap between astral and physical worlds.  You cannot cast a spell from the astral plane and have it hit something on the physical plane.  Likewise, you cannot hurl a lightning bolt and hit a spirit that is not manifest outside the astral plane.
Cool Sorcery cannot create complex items.  While magic exists to create any raw element, creating non-existant manufactured itesm is impossible.
9) Magic is not intelligent.  Mana only does what it is told.

If you are not born with magic, you can never acquire it.

Technology:  Cybernetics and Bionetics are fairly commonplace in 2070.  Simple implants like a datajack, limbs and eyes are common just about everywhere, as part of the medical community, giving back to people who were born with missing limbs or suffered an accident.  However, the flow of military hardware also exists and can be concealed just beneath the skin.  However, too much metal and the body can't handle it.  The body takes longer to heal, or if stretched too far, will simply pass away.

The Matrix plays a huge role in modern society.  Because everything is wireless, you can be tracked almost constantly.  It's takes a delicate balance to know when to stay on radar (with a good neutral persona) and when to fade into the cracks.  A talented hacker is essential to any Shadowrunner team.

Shadowrunners:  The core of any story in Shadowrun centers on a team of Shadowrunners.  These are people the system forgot.  Often there are no records they exist and they like it that way.  They come from all varieties of lifestyle, from ex-military, ex-corporate, mercenaries, even civilians fed up with the painted area that corps will allow them to see.  These people risk life and limb for cash.  They do the dirty work the corps can't afford to be affiliated with.  Black ops are their specialty, although they are occasionally called upon to do work for other organizations.  Their employers are usually as anonymous as they are and both sides like it that way.

Well, there's a brief primer.  If you are interested in playing and have a character concept, I can help you fill in the blanks and help you to play their role to the fullest.  once we have 4-6 players, we should have a decent number to start the first Shadowrun

J.
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Seer Fox
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2007, 02:54:15 am »

I've got a character I'd like to play.

Ain't got a name yet; but he's slim, about 6'0/5'11, Messy crimson-black  hair that's growing long, but has yet to reach shoulder length, and he uses those self-augmenting magic powers you were going on about.

He dresses formally, but in a rag-tag sort of way, his shirt always looks rumpled, has it's collar up or has a few buttons loose, and his tie is either loosely worn or not done up at all. Jacket and shirt sleeves are rolled up to above his elbows, and he wears a somewhat scuffed pair of pants, with equally worn shoes.

I'm not going to go in-depth on his personality. Let's just say he's a hard one to fathom.

Ciat,
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2007, 10:40:28 am »

Count me in,
I am not sure on a name or species yet, other than that all I know write now is that the character prefers skill over brut force. Leans towards ranged fighting over closed quarter but can do both well. The right eye has been replaced with a mechanical one but otherwise has no implants (and does not intend to get any).
Personality whise thinks things trough before acting though will act on instinct and gut feelings at times. Stays quiet most of the time unless there is something of major importance. Even then as few words as possible will be used. Will speak his mind (write his mind) when asked and is honest, (except to lone star officers and megacorp employees and even then will only lie when necessary)
Prefers cold colures, usually whereas practical and comfortable cloths, eats well tough dose have a slight sweet tooth. Neither smokes or drinks.

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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2007, 01:10:30 pm »

My guy is an efficient mercenary, not picky about his employers and loyal as long as he gets paid. He has a communications-type implant, a sort of built-in phone. He has lowlight eye implants, and wears a pair of sunglasses to conceal them except when on a mission.  Short-cropped hair and body-armour, and a worn brown leather jacket. Some sort of assault rifle is requested.  He's an excellent shot and capable in melee.

He is impulsive when risk is low, storming weak enemy positions. He dislikes mysterious behaviour, and is straight to-the-point in all his dealings, with only the barest minimum of formalities. He is honest aslong as that suits him.

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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2007, 02:25:36 pm »

Seer Fox: Any idea how "advanced" an adept you'd like him to be?  Low-level adpets can have between 3 and 8 powers (the few the powers, the more powerful they typically are, since thie magic isn't spread as thin), while advanced adepts can also learn advanced techniques on top of additional powers.  While most characters have two names (their real name and the alias they run by), if your character is a tough nut to crack, he may not even remember his original name...  Smiley

Tau Worlock: What kind of skills were you thinking of?  Were you thinking negotiator, hacker, wheelman, thief...?  There are lots of options open to you.  Any added goodies you want in that cybereye?  If he's a ranged weapon specialist, I recommend a Smartlink (an ocular-integrated targetting system).

Rictiovarus: The perfect implant is a cranial commlink.  A commlink is an item every character has.  It's their cellphone, PC, ATM, PDA, media player and almost any other convenient piece of personal electronics you can think of, all wrapped into a handheld device.  There is no tangible currency any more, since everything is done wirelessly.  By having an implanted commlink, all conversations are internal and nobody can access your link unless you allow them to wirelessly, or they hack into your skull (which means you have bigger problems anyways)

In General: One thing I would ask, in order to keep characters grounded, is a list of strengths and weaknesses.  Knowing what they are good at is great, but knowing what they aren't good at is also handy (maybe physically unfit or incompetant in a certain area of expertise).  Character edges and flaws are also good to know ("He's double-jointed, so he can escape from confinements easier, but he has a slight allergy to pollution").
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2007, 02:47:37 pm »

Negotiator would not work well due to lack of speaking. As for hacker thatís to many implants, the only think he has it the eye. 

Enhanced sight in general and that smartlink sounds very handy, would fit the one pullet one kill approach.

As for weaknesses he has a somewhat distrust of implants (the eye was not his choice), 2062 was a bad year for him but I wont go into the specifics yet.
He is reasonably good with a sword (have to diced what kind) but itís mainly for practise: focus, discipline, and so on, in combat blades are the last resort.
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2007, 02:56:30 pm »

Tau Worlock: Hacking doesn't necessarily require implants.  If you have an external commlink (worn on the forearm or strapped to a belt), you can buy AR (Augmented Reality) Gloves that allow you to hack using the commlink's holographic projector.  You aren't as fast as someone using a neural link, but it can be done.

Mistrust of implants is common (my character Burn doesn't exactly care for his arm).  As for blades, you can get any form of sword (katana, broadsword, bastard sword) plus any of the Western-style blades can have a monofilament edge added to them to make them ridiculously sharp (though higher maintenance).
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2007, 03:04:04 pm »

Well in that case ill be the groups hacker should nobody else want that role. Monofilament edge sounds good, as for maintenance that should not be a problem, as I see it he would always keep everything in to condition. Ill do some research into swords to see what type I want.

Oh he trust his eye, he just dose not want any more implants in him he distrust them, but in case of the eye a mix of logic and feeling override the distrust.
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2007, 03:47:47 pm »

Gave you my list of strengths and weaknesses.

Ciat,
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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2007, 05:34:59 pm »

Here's a question to all those who are interested...

What kind of a run would you guys like to do?  Anti-corp espionage, assassination, "do-gooder" type stuff, high profile theft...

I have lots of material at my disposal, so I'm willing to cater to you guys to a certain degree.  Smiley

J.
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2007, 06:25:41 pm »

Assassination seems nice, with an element of infiltration involved.

Is there some sort of weakness of magic to signify/justify my guy's mistrust of magic and it's users?

What kind of body armour's are available, and what kind of assault weapons? I'd like to have some balanced equipment, able to deal with a wide variety of enemies. What do you suggest?
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2007, 06:46:16 pm »

Here's my guy I don't know much about the setting but I did a little research and hope you could let me know if this is a plausible character.


Dimitri was born unable to wield magic and has compensated with numerous cybernetic enhancements to augment his reflexes and senses. He became a remote pilot for one of the corporations, using a datajack and Vehicle Control Rig (VCR) to monitor remote drones and transports. A malfunctioning vehicle under Dimitri's control crashed outside a small town. The cargo contained samples of the Krieger strain meta-human virus, exposing the population and turning them into ghouls. The corporation failed to cover up the tragedy and used Dimitir as a scapegoat. His VCR was deactivated and he was imprisoned for negligence. After serving a few years he was released to discover that the general public villified him. Unable to find legitimate work because of his reputation he turned to the shadowrunners. They reactivated his VCR allowing him to join as a rigger.

He is able to give simple commands or "jump into" remote drones and vehicles, giving him control of their senses and abilities. Dimitri has created a small spider like bot from scavenged parts and a simple pet like AI. There is a constant link between him and the bot making it a useful surveillance tool. His advanced reflexes are  above human level but couldn't compete with magic users however his enhanced senses might just give him an edge when needed.

Personality: Dimitir blames the corporation for the ghoul tragedy and prefers to make them the target of his crimes. However there is always a nagging doubt at the back of his mind weather it was his fault. He is self-destructive with a strong anti-authority attitude. All too eager to take on a suicide mission, Dimitri can be a liability but his rigging skills are invaluable to the team. 

Physical Description: Dimitri has an average build that does not convey the enhanced reflexives of his augments. His head is roughly shaved, leaving uneven patches of stubble across his scalp. He often wears an old flight jacket made of scuffed and crackled brown leather. He peers from behind a pair of dark shades, only to conceal the exhausted bloodshot eyes of a man kept awake by nightmares or to hide his alcohol induced hang over.

Let me know if this is ok to start with.
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2007, 07:48:59 pm »

Souns like a solid foundation.  The bonus to riggers is that they can hack vehicles other than their own with the new wireless matrix, so it's good for screwing up enemy pursuit or creating holes in the enemy's drone networks.  The character has a lot of personality and is very flavourful, which I do appreciate.

I can help you fill in some historical references for the back story.  Dimitir... where did his accident occur?  Was he in remote Russia and fled to <city wherever we want to run> after getting out of prison?  I can get a list of corps that run in That corner of the world (or I can provide a list of countries out that way) so we can pick an appropriate corporation for him to hate.

If he did run in Russia, he likely had some contact with the Vory (Russian mob).  The Vory see prison time as a badge of honour, to show what you can do and they have a language in tattoos that denote rank.  If you were tattooed in prison, you likely still have connections to the Vory and can pull in favours.

Part of what make a shadowrunner useful isn't only what they can do, but also who they know.  A key contact that can get you that rare gun or a passkey to enter a building can mean the difference between life and death.  So, if you know what kind of contacts you want your character to know, feel free to tell me...  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2007, 07:57:04 pm »

Thanks, i would appriciate the help and those are some very nice additions to the character. Connections with the Russian mob would suit the character nicely.  The accident would have happened in a remote area as only the townfolk were effected, most people only know about it from the media and corporate spin. Which corp would you suggest given the location?

The only contacts I had considered were a few sympathetic co-workers at the corp that believed the accident wasn't his fault. They could help out ocassionally, getting him recent designs and blueprints to keep him uptodate on new lines of vehicles and drones.

Are there specific tattoos used by the Vory or should I just create one?


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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2007, 08:23:39 pm »

OK, Russia did not weather the decades very well.  Magic returning allowed most of Eastern Russia to separate into a nation called Yakut, which treats humans as third class citizens.  The hardest hit Russian cities (in human-controlled Russia) are any small city along the Russia-Yakut border, so those would make good spots for the ghoul outbreak.  Most of the old gulags are out that way as well.  As for a corporation responsible, I'll give a a selection from the biggest players...

Saeder-Krupp:  This is the largest of the AAA mega corps and has a really low PR standpoint.  However, they are too big to abolish from the country.  Run by the Great Dragon Lofwyr, SK is a heavy industry company primarily but Lofwyr has his talons into just about every type of business on the globe.  In Russia, they concentrate on raw materials and oil.  Despite the company being German in origin, almost all branches are run by Russians and has some ties to the Kremlin and the UGB (the new KGB...secret police)

Zeta-ImpChem:  This is a large AA corporation that has been in Russia for several decades and has a very good standing.  They deal in pharmaceuticals and medicine on the surface, but also dabble in biological research and chemical plants.

Evo:  This is a second AAA megacorp, with their world HQ in Vladivostok.  They are extremely popular in Russia, but they originally called Japan home, so got off to a late start in Russia.  With the main Russian launchpads now in the nation of Yakut, Evo has rebuilt the Russian space program from top to bottom almost single-handedly and used the Russian platforms to launch the ship that created the first Martian colony.  As a member of the PPG (Pacific Prosperity Group), almost any business imaginable can come through Evo.

My own inclination would be Zeta-ImpChem...they dabble in the right areas of research and have the clout to make the people think they weren't responsible in the use of such a nasty disease.  Both the AAA's are possible as well, since both would have a viral research lab somewhere in their worldwide network.

The Vory are pretty widespread in the world (only really shut out in the orient), so a contact with them is quite useful.
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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2007, 08:36:50 pm »

Zeta-ImpChem seems to be the best choice given the viral accident. If he has done some work for the Vory then it's possible he has had some dealings with the other comapanies as well, perhaps the ocassional favour for the mob.

Dimitri is a non-magical human so I imagine he isn't on good terms with the meta-humans of Yakut. Maybe a few bad experiences have coloured his perception of all meta-humans, that could make for some interesting conflicts.
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« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2007, 09:03:34 pm »

It depends which ideology he has been more immersed with.  In Russia, all metahumans are considered equal, so long as they are Russian.  In Yakut spirits and shapeshifters rule the nation (species most other nations consider unintelligent).

It might fit that both work....treats all branches of metahumanity equally, but loathes shapeshifters and spirits.

Where would people like to run out of?  Most games of Shadowrun start in Seattle or Hong Kong, but I have notes on most parts of the world, if we want to do something different.

J.
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« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2007, 09:31:13 pm »

Run it out of THE NORTH POLE!!!

Seriously though, I don't really mind where we run this from. It's the destination which is important, see.

Also, my guy's codename is Macaulay. His second codename is Remurcy Tait.

Ciat,
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2007, 09:43:33 pm »

How about a futuristic version of London?
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« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2007, 10:09:03 pm »

I can do London... it isn't pretty, but it's a good dystopian setting.  Smiley

J.
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