Friday, January 01, 2010

Current situation, and request for character goals

Fall semester for your junior year of high school is beginning. Belinda is still the closest you have to a guardian, as you haven't heard from your parents since shortly after you started school about two year ago.

You're pretty sure that the vampire/blood cult problem is solved, or at least cleaned up for the time being. You know they had a lot of influence at the clinic you uncovered, but you don't know if the corporation that ran the clinic (Azthechnoogy) knew about the vampires. Internet research suggests that Aztechnology/Aztlan (I'll use AZ to refer to them unless the distinction between the corporation and country is significant) at least covertly allow vampires as employees/citizens. Conspiracy theories connecting AZ to blood cults and other murderous-but-sentient critters are also common. With what you've seen, its likely that the rumors are true, but they've done an awesome job cleaning up after the bloodshed that follows vampires and blood cults, and making sure witnesses change their stories or appear to be crackpots. Its also possible that most people believe the rumors, but just don't care.

Bug spirits didn't make their presence felt at all over your summer vacation. Its hard to believe that they've all left Chicago, but they've avoided you for a while. Common sense would tell them that you are a huge threat to them, as you've disputed large groups without casualty and have actively sought them out multiple times. Why they haven't attacked is at least a small mystery. They might just be counting on the inability of children to discover them if they do a better job keeping a low profile... or maybe they're waiting for a good time to strike. Catching one of you alone and replacing you with a good-merge bug would be their best option. Belinda has given you some minor aide in this vein of research, more to scare you out of pursuing it than any other reason. One of the scariest aspect of good-merge possessions, is that the bug end up in a perfect disguise that can even fool magical senses, and get access to all of the powers and memories of the replaced individual. This makes you guys tempting, but still extremely dangerous targets.

You still don't have too many contacts that will help you out after graduating. Belinda is encouraging you guys to attend career planning and job fairs. You don't find them too useful for your bug-hunting problems, but the Ares Rep makes sure to talk to you guys every time you show up, and he makes a point of inviting Markus and any of his friends to Ares promotional events in the area.

Joan continues to use you guys as runners and appreciates help in collecting and refining magical materials as well. She could get a lot more use from you if you were a little tougher and had a little more free time to go collect rare ingredients for her, but she's happy to leave the easy chores to you guys for now. The pawn shop owner appreciates minors to make deliveries for him as well, although his jobs little more risky if you ever open up the boxes. Anything he has that is illegal would be much easier for a typical cop to identify. He pays a little less than Joan as well, but if you ever need small arms, ammo or light armor, he'd be a good source (once he trusts you enough to not tell anyone where you got the stuff if you get caught).

The smuggler isn't too useful as a source for new stuff, but he's always got a market for illegal goodies you need to get rid of, as long as it pays well enough for him (travel costs for ocean-going ships and his banshee are really expensive).

Its also time for you magical group to grow. Eleven people is a lot, but its not too many, so long as the group's goals and philosophy include education, then at least going to school counts towards creating and maintaining the magical link between group members. More real members of the group allow the group to help with more initiations, and provide more members for ritual teams, however, its harder to maintain the magical link between members.

(ooc): Adding new members to the group is supposed to require a month of work and an Arcana test (teamwork test). Unless your group gets over fifteen members, I'll assume the group makes the test. The maximum number of initiations the group can help with (lower karma cost) is equal to the number of members in the group, which isn't going to mean much to the character until they are long out of high school, unless you get some members killed off. Although ritual magic won't help much on your combats, you might be able to find some use for it. In the setting, its usefulness is primarily for assassination, however, they are other used that just take a little more creativity, such as using the earth control spell to raise an island out of the sea (the group I ran for in Gaithersburg decided to raid an island out of the Puget Sound).

Current Roster:
Markus (Matt)
Takeda (Paul)
Radcliff (Rob)
Bob (Kevin)
Sedrick (Andy)
Lu Bu (Barry)
Derric (NPC – Hemetic Mage)
Andrew (NPC - Christian Theurge)
Sean (NPC – Norse magician)
Sara (NPC – Shinto Priestess)
Karyn (NPC – Shaman, Dragon)
(we can talk about adding new members during the session unless you guys want to RP recruiting via posting here.)

Next, to help make the games move a little faster, I need to know your characters goals and motivations. Not only the mechanical goals the players have for the characters, but the in-character goals for each character. In-character goals don't always have to be reachable or necessarily in line with the player goals. They also don't need to show up in each (or even any) game session. The point is to know what direction your character is planning on going, and have some idea of how he plans to get there. Also think about how you can get into situations that might lead your character to reaching goals that the character might not be aware of, or get into situations that make the goals you might have for the character make sense (You'll have to look at example for that sentence to make more sense). Also, start thinking about how your character might react to being forced to become a shadowrunner. Your characters should be honestly considering becoming criminals right now, but eventually you are going to be forced into living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland (quarantined zone) that will be nearly impossible to escape from. Then before you get out of Chicago, nearly all of the citizen's get zeroed, and will not be able to recover their true SINs, and will need to decide if they want to stay SINless, or try to get new SINs.

NPC Goals (a.k.a. Examples)
Derric – NPC Hermeic Mage
First and foremost, Derric needs to survive high school. Why combat skills are necessary to survive high school only fate can know, but all of the magical Threats in the greater Chicago have decided that he will learn to fight. This makes being at least a semi-competent fighter in the physical world mandatory, and learning to fight better in astral space a requirement as well. Luckily, learning to fight better with magic fits in to his other life goals, so at least he doesn't feel like thats a waste of time and effort. Also, in order to deal with the current threats to his life, he needs to learn where the nests and hives of the bug spirits are, so they can be taken care of. While he knows he's not powerful enough to destroy them all himself, certainly, if they could be pointed out to the popper authorities, they could be dealt with.
As for his real life goals, during and after surviving his combat training (a.k.a. high school), he plans to work as a free-lance magical security consultant. He already has some work in that field by making and maintaining wards for small businesses that can't afford established professionals. He'll need to learn a lot more about magic tan his peers would normally learn in school if he wanted to start right out of high school, but thats not too much of a stretch considering his contact with major magical threats, and his fast advancement in magical power (graduating high school with one initiation would be a significant accomplishment). Having a good reputation and good (and more) magical contacts will also help, as will being a particularly power mage wit access to powerful magical resources. To increase his magical power, Derric needs to summon a powerful ally spirit, both to help him survive the current magical Threats in his life, but also to help him research new spells and design focus formulas.
His more mundane goals include learning more about non-magical security to complement his goals in magical security, and to learn a little more about mechanics so he can do more than just his own oil changes. Having just come of age to get a driver's license, he plans on getting a street-legal bike in the near future. Having once loved off-road biking as a hobby growing up, he wants to be a little more serious about it as a way to escape the stress of the magical world once in a while (not to mention that such skills are still useful). He thinks about looking for a girlfriend, but his relationship goals are more centered around finding a good breeding partner than a real love life. He believes that elves are superior because of heir long lives, and that the awakened are superior for their ability to access power that the non-awakened are denied. Since both are inherited traits (in his point of view), he'd only consider a relationship with an awakened elf.
His final goal, what he'd consider the crowning achievement of his magical career, would be to become powerful enough that he could cast effective combat spells in space, or at least on a space station. (this would require a magic rating of 15 or higher for the biggest space stations or 19 plus to open space, and any foci or spirits he brought along for the ride would also need to be just as powerful).

Find bug hives/nests
Increase combat skills to 4, max out magical skills
Get security related skills to 4, magical security to 6
Summon ally spirit, at least force 8, maybe higher (costs around 100 karma)
Find more contacts in the magic industry and get a reputation for magical skills. (might require improved social skills)
Improve mechanics and piloting (ground)skills to at least 3.
Increase initiate grade and magic attribute as much as possible.

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