Thursday, May 30, 2013

Meet The Mage part 2 - The New Guy

This is going up later than expected, sorry about that, but work has been fun this morning. Anyhow, as I said in the place holder post I had a light Shadowrun session after the previous busy one and used it to introduce the new character. Today I want to talk about how that went. Mostly as it was kind of neat.

The Issue
Why was there a new guy? Well, as I mentioned before during the mission one of the PCs died. They burned the edge rank to survive, but felt it was a good time to retire their character. The character would still be in game, as an NPC, but they would be a contact more than a runner. Their skill set was a lot better suited for that anyhow. The player was also going to use the opportunity to fill a major gap in the group's skill tree by bringing in a mage. Course, even in a Pink Mohawk Shadowrun campaign picking up a new PC isn't as easy as bumping into the guy on the street.

My Options
I had several options before me. The most obvious was to arrange a job that both the PCs and the new  PC would be useful for. I considered this. it wouldn't even be too hard. The only problem is that those kind of meetings can be very "one and done" type meetings, especially with how Shadowrun is set up. It left too much to chance for the new PC to just kind of drift through the game without a chance to latch on and make the connection, and one of the problems with my players is that they are actually good enough that they don't treat PCs special just because their PCs, nor will they modify their characters to act out of character for something blatant if it doesn't work. These could be negative qualities I suppose, but I like it (anyone who has had issues making players care about NPCs would likely agree, I think. :) )

So instead of that I went for option two. It's more direct. More blunt. But it also gives the first meet the right feel. The new PC was new in town and looking for his brother who was a Shadowrunner. The established PCs are looking to replace two recent losses to their team, and hopefully get a mage. A mutual contact put them in touch (the new guy needs work while he looks, and since his brother was a runner why not there. the group needs a mage. It works.)

The Meet
The meet happened in a Runner's bar that the PCs have frequented before. Despite the public locale the meet goes down partly as a first - blind - date and partly as a two way job interview. Questions are asked, statements are made, and no one is really sure on how things are going to go. The meeting moves to a more private locale and the group breaks down what they can do. A temporary working arrangement is made, and the group now needs to get a first job.

Why I Like This
I like this for two reasons: One, the session was completely dominated by Player to Player RP with very little NPC interaction. It was a light session, but the PCs all got to interact, establish the new work flow and all that fun stuff. It was just kind of cool to see, and I love having players I can trust with that. The interactions were also good because it gave the new player a chance to feel out who their character was when off the job and relaxed.  Two, I think the way this was handled works well for the world that Shadowrun is. In a normal adventuring game you can just meet someone and join up. In Shadowrun though it's more than just an adventure it is a job. I liked the seriousness the players handled the meeting with, and I feel it had an appropriate atmosphere.

Now the question is where to go from there.

1 comment:

  1. I've had a flurry of player turnover in my Dark Heresy campaign lately. At first it was a little off-putting ("Is it Me??) but I'm fine with it. It started a group of mainly strangers & no matter what any tell you, you don't know who your regulars are until they've been regular for a good while. The shakeout is part of what helps you find the right crew.

    Anywho, the point is it seems like I've been working in a "new guy" like every week. I've been having them write a personal backstory for their character, which I add onto. Then I write a whole 'nother involved piece on why fate has brought the new guy into contact with the cell of Acolytes.

    I feel good about all that but would like there to be more in-game interaction with the new guy as a new guy, kind of like what you described. I'd like for the characters to have reason to discuss with each other their backgrounds... but haven't yet figured out how to interest them in that.