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Commentary on The Gateway City 
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Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:58 pm
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Post Re: Commentary on The Gateway City
Sounds very cool.

Is this typical of your campaign setting prep or specific to this campaign? If this is typical, is that because of something about Shadowrun makes that level of background detail particularly necessary or desirable? (Or, perhaps you run other systems besides Shadowrun?)

Does Shadowrun give players 'objects' to use the background information during character creation? By 'objects' I mean any mechanic that would allow the players to utilize the background information you provided. So, for example, someone might reference one of your listed mob families as a focus of a trait or disadvantage? (Something like listing family x is a favored enemy or something similar?)

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Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:09 pm
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Post Re: Commentary on The Gateway City
Ram wrote:
SIs this typical of your campaign setting prep or specific to this campaign?


For me, pretty typical of every campaign and every setting I run. Even fantasy games.

Quote:
If this is typical, is that because of something about Shadowrun makes that level of background detail particularly necessary or desirable? (Or, perhaps you run other systems besides Shadowrun?)


Necessary? No. Desirable? Yes. It allows the players to get a better picture of the game world, plus it helps me keep track of everything they can interact with. Obviously I can wing it with the best of them-but this way I can give better, more in depth answers when someone says "Hey where do I get Chinese food in this joint?"

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Does Shadowrun give players 'objects' to use the background information during character creation? By 'objects' I mean any mechanic that would allow the players to utilize the background information you provided. So, for example, someone might reference one of your listed mob families as a focus of a trait or disadvantage? (Something like listing family x is a favored enemy or something similar?)


Yes is the short answer. The more complicated answer is that your background not only determines your skill sets and attributes to a point, but also your equipment; Edges and Flaws (Traits basically); Contacts (People you know who can get you stuff or give you knowledge); possibly Enemies and or Friends, and much more.

Shadowrun is the Setting. The setting is really what makes the game for us. Obviously everyone's mileage will vary.

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Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:04 pm
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Post Re: Commentary on The Gateway City
Little question: Do your group enjoy the tension induced by racism (I'm thinking between meta-humans and humans)? Do you get racist PCs? Or maybe only villains take that role? Or is it something that's discarded because it spoils the fun?


Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:25 pm
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Post Re: Commentary on The Gateway City
boulet wrote:
Little question: Do your group enjoy the tension induced by racism (I'm thinking between meta-humans and humans)?


Yes. We see both traditional racism (Color/Ethnicity based) and in Shadowrun you can add the extra dimension of racial based racism. (Troll's who hate Dwarves, etc....)

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Do you get racist PCs?


Yeah. In fact one campaign we played was centered around a group of Humanis Policlubbers. (Basically the Sixth World equivalent of white power racists.)

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Or maybe only villains take that role? Or is it something that's discarded because it spoils the fun?


We see it as a natural extension of the game world that some people will have prejudices. There should be internally consistent results for any actions taken by anyone-NPC's or PC's. So if you murder someone-no matter what the reason- there can be blow back. (Depending on how public the murder is, what kind of evidence is left behind, witnesses, etc...)

About the only thing we shy away from at our table-and really it's just that we sort of gloss over it-is sex. It's just kind of creepy fro a bunch of dudes sitting around a table getting to in depth on this, so it's generally handled "off stage" as it were. However if it were to play a central role in the game we wouldn't shirk from dealing with it.

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Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:43 pm
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Post Re: Commentary on The Gateway City
Ok, I'm not familiar with Shadowrun (except maybe the original game and a few supplements) but I do see some possibilities here but it's buried under some pretty mundane stuff, IMO. I like the history of the city - transit point for moving "undesirables, it's current role as a border town, etc - and would like to see how that kind of stuff shaped the city and it's inhabitants. For some odd reason I think there should be a cult of human traffickers operating in the city.

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David R

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Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:12 pm
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Post Re: Commentary on The Gateway City
Thanks for all the responses to the questions. I'm sure your players appreciate your prep. Now, some feedback that may be more along what you were looking for...lets talk politics...
SeriousPaul wrote:
Politics:
St. Louis is divided into 28 Wards; each is represented by an Alderman. An additional Alderman serves as the Deputy Mayor and City Council President. Aldermen are elected to 2 year terms, with no term limits. The Aldermen meet once every week, and most have a full or part time job outside the Council. Recent physical altercations at the council have erupted into serious violence, including at least two shootings.

The Mayor is elected to 4 year terms, and currently the office is held by the very popular Justin Mudd, an Ork who used to be a corporate mercenary and combat biker. Mayor Mudd ran on a platform of trying to fairly provide services to the various poor and underprivileged communities that have traditionally been ignored by the city and various corporations for the last few decades.

The Mayor has recently been at odds with the United Corporate Council-which represents the various large agricorps, construction companies, transportation companies and biotech companies in the area. Comprised of 7 members the UCC technically operates only in an advisory capacity, but is widely believed to control many of the Aldermen in the city.

Given how much space you spend discussing the crime in the city, I recommend you consider more info on some of the city and state agencies that are going to be involved and potential targets for corruption. The police chief/dept, the prosecutor/office, and the whole judiciary are the obvious ones. Then you can get into the details of current St. Louis and see what you can make work for you...Dept of Public Safety and or medical examiner maybe...homeless services might tie in if you go with the human trafficking suggestion... This gives more possibilities for friends / enemies or just conflicts in general given that number of criminal families you are working with. I also like that it might help diversify the kinds of criminal activity that might come into play when you think about it from this end.

Then you might want to look at Missouri's elected officials at the federal level...this might be great if you want them to take a side trip to DC at some point...

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Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:01 pm
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Post Re: Commentary on The Gateway City
I welcome all of the questions and input!

David R wrote:
Ok, I'm not familiar with Shadowrun (except maybe the original game and a few supplements) but I do see some possibilities here but it's buried under some pretty mundane stuff, IMO.


*Nods*. Yeah that's how I see it too.

Quote:
I like the history of the city - transit point for moving "undesirables, it's current role as a border town, etc - and would like to see how that kind of stuff shaped the city and it's inhabitants. For some odd reason I think there should be a cult of human traffickers operating in the city.


Luckily Shadowrun has an established history of Human and Organ trafficking playing a part in the setting.

Ram wrote:
Given how much space you spend discussing the crime in the city, I recommend you consider more info on some of the city and state agencies that are going to be involved and potential targets for corruption.


Yeah it's on my to do list. Yesterday was the night I play in another Shadowrun group, so I am hoping to get some more done today. This is kind of a busy weekend for me.

Quote:
The police chief/dept, the prosecutor/office, and the whole judiciary are the obvious ones. Then you can get into the details of current St. Louis and see what you can make work for you...Dept of Public Safety and or medical examiner maybe...homeless services might tie in if you go with the human trafficking suggestion... This gives more possibilities for friends / enemies or just conflicts in general given that number of criminal families you are working with. I also like that it might help diversify the kinds of criminal activity that might come into play when you think about it from this end.


Yeah and it gets even more complicated because many cities in Shadowrun subcontract their services to various Corporations-Lone Star Security Services is one of the largest private providers of Municipal Law Enforcement for instance. So I need to nail all of that down before we start.

Quote:
Then you might want to look at Missouri's elected officials at the federal level...this might be great if you want them to take a side trip to DC at some point...


This could be a possibility but down the road a ways. But it does remind me of a questions been asking lately-how many states are there actually in the UCAS, and how are they managed politically.

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Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:01 am
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Post Re: Commentary on The Gateway City
I wonder if you should drop a Fear the Boot Easter egg in your setting.

Just talking shit. Move along :)


Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:37 pm
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Post Re: Commentary on The Gateway City
boulet wrote:
I wonder if you should drop a Fear the Boot Easter egg in your setting.

Just talking shit. Move along :)


Hmmm? :| I don't listen to the FtB podcast but I do post on their role playing forum. Are they from St. Louis?

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Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:42 pm
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Post Re: Commentary on The Gateway City
SeriousPaul wrote:
Hmmm? :| I don't listen to the FtB podcast but I do post on their role playing forum. Are they from St. Louis?


Bingo! Who knows, they might have some notes on a Shadowrun version of St Louis somewhere...


Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:44 pm
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