Shadowrun is a fantastic roleplaying game that mixes the familiar fantasy roleplaying games such as D&D with the dystopian future that is just around the corner à la Cyberpunk.
The players typically take the role of a shadowrunner, or an ostracized member of the society that are infiltrating the big bad corporations. Hoping to survive, hoping to make money.
Missions are ready made adventures for the 4th edition Shadowrun. I have typically made my own games but since I have not ran Shadowrun earlier I thought Missions would be good starting point.
In an earlier post I blogged about experiences running Shadowrun CMP 2010-02 Copycat Killer. The first Shadowrun Season 4 Mission picks up the pieces and continues the story. I’m not including any spoilers to this post so you can safely read if you are interested to play the “Back in Business” mission.
So lets get back in business. As with the Copycat Killer the quality of writing is very good in the “Back in Business”. It’s not just boring background info and description of scenes but it is an interesting read even if you are not going to run the game for anyone.
The missions are available as PDFs only from shops like DriveThruRPG and BattleCorps. The document has the game divided into scenes and the scenes are furthered divided into parts read to players, background information and suggestions what do if players go way of the rails in some ways. Going of the rails is one of the appeal of tabletop RPGs so this info is useful so that GM can keep the story intact or modify accordingly.
The document has all the NPC stats the game master needs and has plenty of handouts for players. There are also maps available but the maps include colorful backgrounds that makes me cringe. There is no way I’m printing those pages. So I eventually made my own that I found to be much better.
This is the official start of the Season 4 missions and thus the missions purpose is mainly introduce cast of characters that will make appearances as the story develops. Each mission is also their own adventure so they have a full story arch. This time the players were hired to find and rescue a missing arcanoarcheologist Fiona Craig.
The feedback from my players were mostly positive but there were two scenes, scenes 5 and 6 to be precise, that caused some friction and questions. I don’t want to tell what happened because I would spoil it but one of my players felt railroaded. In another words he wasn’t given much opportunity to change the situation. So anyone running this mission for players, be careful how you handle these scenes. In some ways the scene does force certain things to happen but a major character is introduced in the process so it is hard to change. Ok, that was probably too cryptic.
Overall I enjoyed running the mission immensely and the players seemed to have fun too. It’s all that matters. A promising start for the series that can be recommended to other gamemasters and players.