Actual Play – Our first patrol, a shit show (12/20/2017)

GM: Dennis Jordan
Players: Regina Jordan, Adrienne Mueller, Eric Fattic, Karen Twelves, and Sean Nittner
System: Shadowrun 5th Edition

The new recruits, who just made it through their evaluations were sent on their first “routine patrol” with the only FTO (Field Training Officer) that was available.

We also detailed out our shared warehouse space, each adding our own personal touches to it. The place, of course, is ridiculous.

Actual Play – Thin Black Line Character Creation (12/6/2017)

GM: Dennis Jordan
Players: Regina Jordan, Adrienne Mueller, Eric Fattic, Karen Twelves, and Sean Nittner
System: Shadowrun 5th Edition

After quite some time since our Kingmaker game the Daughters of Aloria return in a game of Knight Errant officers, the police force of Seattle in 2072. From the Shadowrun Wiki:

March 15: The Seattle government does not renew Lone Star’s contract, citing its poor handling of the tempo crisis. The city negotiates a new contract with Knight Errant.

Rather than playing as Shadowrunners, we’re playing as cops, which is something I had trepidation about. Would we be the people investigating how corporate greed made everyone in the system suffer, or would we be the ones administering the suffering? We talked about it as a group quite a bit and agreed to play folks looking for justice, and further that the organization we worked for (Knight Errant) wasn’t perfect, but they were trying to uphold their mandate of keeping Seattle safe rather than acting as pawns of the AAA corps.

Character Creation

Ashley “Ash” Pemberton (Regina) – An ork both connected with Project Freedom (metahuman rights activists) and her family in the south. Seeking for the Ork underground acknowledged as a district within the city, Ash is pushing for Prop 23 to go through!

Byron Prescott (Adrienne) – Ex-pilot for Ares Macrotechnology, who had a mission that went south and he wasn’t the same after it. Suffering from insomnia, disassociation, and PTSD, Prescott was considered no longer fit for duty, however his connections with Ares ensured he’d have a position withing the company. And thus he found himself grounded, but still working for Ares.

Lyssa Brighton (Eric) – Raised in a commune the “Concordance of the Stars” and then when that fell apart moved into the foster system and later adopted by parents that pointed her to Catholicism and eventually to MITT under the Dunkelzahn under the HERBS (High Exposure to Radical Belief Systems) program.  Now a mage for KE! Wow, her resume is varied!

Toshiro Hakada (Sean) – A Lone Star officer when they had the contract for Seattle. He got mixed up with Tiffani Brackhaven (the governor’s niece) and the Tempo drug bust, only to find out who was really funding some of the anti-metahuman actions, Toshiro had to look like he was dirty. He that the smallest shred of a case of corruption against Governor Kenneth Brackhaven, but it was something to build off of. That was until Lone Star lost their contract, and anyone that would have trusted him got shipped off to Corpus Christi. He’s still trying to finish that case, but also trying to shed the bad rep of being a cop on the take. Neither are easy.

Tuesday Larsen (Karen) – Grew up in the suburbs of LA, the single child of a well-enough off parents who love here dearly. She was a latchkey kid and the Matrix was her babysitter, always staying appraised of the general zeitgeist, shifting trends and the best MMORPGs. At a young age she dabbled in hacking and discovered her abilities as a Technomancer. Several companies tried to scoop her up. First Horizon, which seemed like they might have been stand up folks but deeper digging showed they had their own skeletons. Wanting to do some good she joined Knight Errant, who gladly added a Technomancer to their salary.

Narrative Control – Episode 69 – Hack my Shadowrun

Welcome back to Narrative Control, Season 3. This season we’re taking calls from listeners and offering up what advice we can about their gaming conundrums. This week we talked to Joe Harney about hacking settings from one game into the system of another’s. In this case we focus on Gordian Knot of Settings: Shadowrun

Hosts: Sean Nittner and Lenny Balsera

Guest Caller: Joseph Harney

Length: 45:07

Show Notes

[00:25] Intro to the show – Hacking settings to systems.
[00:55] Joe starts the call. Used to run Shadowrun, but the system doesn’t do what I want it to do.
[02:36] What isn’t the existing system doing? – Discuss.
[03:41] Are you interested in changing or emphasizing parts of the setting as well? – Discuss.
[05:11] First suggestion – Prime Time Adventures for interpersonal drama.
[06:33] Discussion – PTA will not provide the level of crunch some players are looking for.
[07:14] Tangible advice – Pick a system that allows you to identify: X is important -> assigned to Y mechanic.
[07:35] One system that does this well: PDQ – Scoped qualities.
[09:30] Tangible advice – If you know another system with a high concept similar to the game you’re converting, those might be early options.
[10:12] That’s Leverage – Same high concepts, just need race, magic, and cyberware.
[11:33] Cortex+ is very easy to represent what is important: they get a die.
[13:08] Challenge: Represent the exclusionary force between Magic and Cyberware. Discuss.
[19:05] System: Don’t Rest Your Head – Hackable so long as there is a limited number of places to gain power from.
[20:53] General advice: Find games that focus in design toward a concept that closely matches the concept of the game you want to run.
[21:50] This flies in the face of the idea of using a generic system (Gurps, FATE, d20, etc.)
[22:43] Focused games also self-identify what won’t work. Example: Dogs in the Vineyard.
[24:06] If you were doing d20 Shadowrun look to Spycraft.
[25:10] If you want to do a ton of work reskin Apocalypse World.
[27:07] Hacking Fate – Time required to develop it. Using skills vs. stunts to represent.
[30:30] How tight or how loose do you need to enforce the setting expectations? – Discuss.
[32:12] Introduced a new group to the setting. Concerned that the existing mechanics would turn off new players.
[33:09] The foundation of your hack should be relevant to what enthuses you about a setting.
[34:33] Decide what mode of play you want. Combat-centric? Investigation? Interpersonal Drama?
[35:24] You will have more success selling your own enthusiasm than anything else.
[35:40] Challenge: Present a world where the consequences of actions matter.
[36:33] Suggestion: Technoir. Tools for developing, as you play, the web of interconnections.
[37:33] Challenge: Present juxtaposition of technology and magic.
[37:51] Suggestion: Look at Mortal Coil as it helps you define what magic is (as well as what is important in the setting). Mechanizes that which is special.
[38:39] Tangible advice – Read a lot of games. Steal liberally.
[41:16] Suggestion: Making the world respond: Fronts from Apocalypse World.
[42:19] Suggestions: Aspects from Fate or Distinctions from Cortex+
[43:20] Recap of practical advice.
[44:31] Want to be on the show. Emails us at or post on the forums.

The conversation continues… Here.
Direct download: NC_Episode_069.mp3

Actual Play – Cuts You Up (5/30/2010)

GM: Rich Taylor
Players: Mike, Sean, Paul, Martin, Josiah, et al.
System: Shadowrun 4th Ed

The game had a killer premise. You’re not runners. Your people, normal (or at least semi-normal) people. Most of you work for Renraku, the other two are tourists in the Renraku Archology. Today is the ribbon cutting announcing the opening of the Archology. Today something very bad is going to happen.

Our characters started the game together, on an elevator, stuck somewhere around the 170th floor of the Archology. Something was wrong and it just got worse as we went. I’ll leave out all the details in case Rich opts to run it again, which I highly recommend. It was a great game.

What Rocked