I Ran Sixth World tonight!
Short version is: Was intended to be a one shot, everyone loved, will probably be a miniseries. Writing these notes as a reminder for the next session; hopefully someone out there gets a kick out of it.
Fair warning before I start: my experience with Shadowrun is the SNES game, the one that came out last year, and reading random discussions on internet forums. My player’s experience was that one of them thinks he had heard of it back in college. I have a lot more experience with other cyberpunk. So, I am aware of the fact that Shadowrun has a history and metaplot, but none of us were going to study it. So if you are the sort of poster I’ve seen on those forums who talks about “canon”, give this post a miss – you won’t like.
OK, so basically the game boiled down to this: you live in the grimy neon cyberpunk world of 2082. The year 2082 is basically the future as seen in 80’s films; Robocop, Total Recall, Escape from New York, Blade Runner, ect. The USA and the Commies are still eyeball to eyeball. Companies are setting up colonies on Mars. MegaCorps were a thing; I based everything on OCP, but used the corp names from Sixth World. As the game progressed, it changed from “the future as seen in 80s” to “a pastiche of the 80s, plus D&D, set in the future”. I think I sparked this accidently by using the 2082 date instead of the book date, but I also believe that this is what sold everybody on the game. Two of the players weren’t even around in the 80s, but everybody gets the references. In the end, I tried to shoot for a tone sort of like Snow Crash (but with less 50 page discussions of memes).
Croaker – Street Doc. Promising young human surgeon, got hooked on meds and lost his license. Works a back alley shop pulling bullets, no questions asked. He kicked the habit about a year ago. Tells himself he’s more cynical and hardedge than he actual is. Recently, he got back in touch with an old flame to help a good client of his named Shazzer “divert” some medical supplies to a clinic downtown.
Tats – Adept – 19yo half Japanese, half Russian elf. Was grabbed at an age too young to remember, and turned into a slave by a man she knew only as The Sheikh. At the age of 13, escaped to the US with the help of a Polynesian Ork named “Buzz”. He taught her to fight, and taught her the mystical tattoos that bind power into her body. In the US, she was taken care by an old woman named Keiko (no Ms, she’s very informal). Tats lives only for revenge against The Sheik, but the only strong memories she has are the “Guo Systems Plc” logo on the machines used to drug her into compliance.
Tedashii – Street Sam – 15yo Korean elf. Sophia Guo was the heir of Guo Systems Plc, the Pan Asian bio and cyber-med superpower pushing into US markets. Up until about 8 months ago, she was the ward of her Aunt and Uncle after her parent’s tragic and mysterious deaths. Her curiosity got her into trouble though and one night in the lab she discovered proof of Aunt Umi and Uncle Hiro’s complicity in her parent’s deaths, as well as proof that the company was the company was withholding a cure for the HMM virus. (I guess they had a big file they kept all this in?) She was caught, and in a rage her uncle tossed her into a vat of powerful enzymes, ACE chemical style. She was barely more than bones and guts when Dr. Midori, one of the employees working late fished her out. Tedashii is a sack of meat in a plastic shell now; doesn’t stand out from a distance, but very noticeable close up. Unlike Tats, she’s not out for revenge, and spends more of her time spiraling into hedonistic self-destruction and back alley modifications.
Shazzer – Merc – 25yo Dwarf. A resident of the mining town Sherringham in Britain. She was from 3 generations of dwarven miners, but when she looked what it did to her mother and father, she knew life in the oricalchum mines wasn’t for her. She ran away from home and joined the army under age. She got involved in some action in Ireland, discovered she had a talent for it, but not a taste for morally dubious orders. When she mustered out she went freelance, taking what work she could get. A friend of hers named Liam “Lefty” McLegin (she’s the reason he’s called Lefty, but they worked it out) gave her a lead on some work in Seattle. She’s now working a missing persons job for Mrs. Guo Umi, who is terribly worried about her runaway niece, and needs her quietly found before some sort of “criminal element” grabs her. They tracked to Seattle via her friend Dr. Midori, but they need a professional to handle it from there…