Ze strony: Shadowrun Survival Tips

Shadowrun, like many gritty cyberpunk role-playing games, can be very lethal. A simple mistake can kill a character. The last thing you want to hear in the middle of a run is "we should probably remember that for next time." I've found myself saying that far too often, so I've assembled this list of reminders for myself and anyone else looking for tips. <P>Shadowrun is very sensitive to how the GM chooses to run the game, and which books are being used. While hopefully these tips are of use in many games, you'll need to adapt them to your own situation. <p>For some worst-case examples what can go wrong during a Shadowrun game and some laughs, check out <a href="">The CLUE Files</a> (The site is being transitioned. If it's not at the previous link, try the <a href="">old copy of the CLUE Files</a>.) <p>Despite all of my planning, I still suck at Shadowrun, so if you have any suggestions for survival tips, <a href="../../email.html">let me know</a>.

Stick to a plan

<P>A well implemented but faulty plan is better than changing your plan constantly or wasting time trying to find the perfect plan. Unless the initial plan is fundamentally no longer possible, stick to it.

Check for tails

<P>Is someone tailing you physically? Have you been electronically tagged? (Buy and use a jammer.) Is there a magical tail? (Search for one astrally. Have a mage chase off awakened pursuit. Shaman spirits can be ditched by changing domain (City to hearth or visa versa). Elementals can be ditched by fulfilling their task (good luck guessing) or be destroyed.) Is the person or thing you grabbed tagged in any of these ways?

Maintain a disposable hideout

<P>You will eventually be tailed, bugged, or otherwise followed. When you are, you'll be happy your hideout is disposable.

<P>Everyone should kick in for a low lifestyle apartment. Keep it lightly stocked with the above supplies. When in doubt for someplace to regroup, lay low, or whatever you need, use the hideout. When you're found, you can easily cut your loses and flee.

<P>Since you might be trailed to your hideout and not realize it for several missions, change your hideout every single mission.

Be well equipped

<P>Every team should have:

<P>Communications Devices. Cell phones or radios for everyone. You will eventually get separated, and these can be a lifesaver.

<P>Medical Supplies. Stim patches and Trauma patches are a good start. You're Shadowrunners, you're going to be shot at, you're going to get hurt. Be ready for it. Even if you've got magical healing, sometimes it isn't enough. Have these available. And remember to avoid slapping a Trauma or Stim patch on an Awakened character if at all possible, they will not thank you for it.

<P>Lots of Ammunition. Conserving ammo is a joke. You can always drop it later if you don't need it.

<P>Fire or Acid. You're going to bleed in a fight. That blood can be used to target ritual magic on you. If someone has a ritual component for you, you're screwed. Before leaving any fight scene, burn the area. This also helps remove evidence that might lead to you.

Provide Plausible Explainations

<p>People want to see normal, boring things. Guards generally don't want to find shadowrunners. So if something odd happens, if they can possibly believe that something mundane happened they'll believe that.

<p>For example, if you're slowly moving an outdoor security camera's point of view, bring a bird and a partial bird nest with you. If you're successful, put the nest on top of the camera. A guard curious about the shift in angle will see the partial nest and assume that the bird pushed it out of alignment. If you accidentally jerk the camera, stun the bird and leave it near the camera. The guard will assign that the bird smacked into the camera. Neither case is terribly plausible, but to the security guard it's more comforting than the thought that armed killers are wandering the premises.

Free Will Is the Weakest Link

<p>No matter how much technology you throw at a problem, creatures with free will are the weakest link. Historically this meant just humans, but these days it includes meta-humans, spirits, and artificial intelligences. Beings with Free Will are suspectible to bribery, are lazy, become bored. Look for where humans enter the security system and you'll typically be looking at the weakest link.

Exploit Play

<p>Locks have "play," a small amount of theoretically unnecessary movement. This play is what <a href="">allows lock picking to work</a>. If you remove the play, you can't pick a lock. However, if you remove the play, the lock is so tight that it won't rotate at all, even for the legit key.

<p>Most systems have play. Without some play systems typically break down. You absolutely, positively need ID to enter the building? What happens when someone steals your ID? How can you get into the building to get a new ID issued? Heck, how can you get in in the first place to get the ID? Any motion in the yard triggers an alarm? What about squirrels and birds? Absolutely uncrackable safe that can only be opened by a password memorized by the company's CEO? What happens when the CEO gets run over by a truck?

<p>Seek out the edge cases and determine where a system needs play to cope with the real world. Then arrange exactly those circumstances.

Exploit Interactions

<p>Security is a set of procedures and technologies. All of these taken together form a system. Typically a system's weakest point is where different procedures or technologies intersect. This is where you should strike. In particular, what happens when the procedure for dealing with shadowrunners intersects with other procedures.

<p>For example, a corporation with a policy of clearing the building during a bomb threat has provided a handy way to clear the building. How would they respond to a shadowrun during a fire? During a gang war? A chemical spell?

<p>Similarly, the autogun systems might be set up to not fire on authorized people, but to fire on unknown people. What happens with you use an authorized person as a body shield?

<p>Create the worst possible set of circumstances for your opponents during a run. Most runners instinctively know this, but you'll be even more successful if you actively seek out opportunities.

<p>It's work considering that Identification, Authentication, and Authorization are actually separate problems and often represent separate procedures that with loopholes between them. Identification is usually the easiest to fake. Authentication might be as foolish as just looking at the (faked) ID badge, or might involve a cross check in a database (better have a decker). How are you authorized? Again, examination of credentials you can abuse, or a database check? Look to these weaknesses. Perhaps an ID from a contracted janitorial services company is the ID. The local business doesn't have direct access to the janitorial company's database, so they authenticate by examining the ID. Access to various parts of the building is encoded on the ID. You can make a fake I to get access and encode it with bogus permissions to get where you want to be.

<p>For way more on this, check out <a href=""">Beyond Fear</a> by Bruce Schneier.

Random Notes

<p>These notes will be incorporated eventually.

  • Before holing up somewhere check thickness of walls for grenades. (Do you get chunky salsa, or holes in the wall?)
  • If holing up somewhere, have a plan on where to flee to if it's compromised.
  • Plan sleep schedule in advance.
  • Double check things your employer is handling. Are they providing the safehouse? Did they vet the kitchen staff or guards?
  • Check the weather report.
  • Truck bombs/fertilizer bombs, cheap and effective (wow, that's going to get me on a watch list) Might be useful for breaching an outer wall or simply as a giant distraction.
  • How easy is it to steal cars in your world?
  • Loot the enemy? Military armor and weapons?

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