The game that killed a 3 year campaign

November 24, 2012 - Actual Play

Another post collecting my contributions to the Shadowrun community over the years. One of the most memorable games I have GM’ed was in response to the player’s mercenary, no-one stands between me and my pay day approach to everything. The game took on a weird vibe towards the end that resulted in a 6 month hiatus from Shadowrun for the group and ended a 3 year campaign.

The PCs were hired to kidnap and hand off a girl to another team. Initially the PCs had an issue with the amount of pay but decided to take the job regardless (money is money I guess.). The PCs reconnoitered the target and discover she had no protection, was 14 and they could easily grab her on the way home from school. Not once did they wonder why they were being paid for a snatch and grab of a defenseless target.

So they execute the plan and arrive at the agreed place to handover the girl, a low-lifestyle apartment or as I described it at the time, “it looks exactly like the apartment your playing in”. The PCs are watching the news coverage of the girl they grabbed earlier when the other team arrives, two shooters armed with shotguns*. The PCs suspecting this is where the real game begins start sizing up the other team. I let them know that it would be a 50/50 match up as the shooters took up advantageous positions but continued to engage in friendly banter. The PCs, getting anxious wanted to be paid. Unfortunately for them the shooters were just hired bodyguards and were waiting on the doctor who would pay the team when he inspected “the goods” as they said.

After a few raised eyebrows later and several attempts to renegotiate the deal (including offering their bank account details in the hope they would get paid later) fell through. The players started bickering amongst themselves about whether it was a good idea to take the job and if they could take the shooters on. They knew they would lose the hacker and mage in the firefight (acceptable losses for the two PC shooters**) but weren’t sure if they would both make it alive (which was unacceptable).

So after a good real life 30 minutes of debate the doctor shows up, hands the PCs their pay and lets them know they can go. The PCs found a moral bone in their bodies and suggested they hang around. The doctor didn’t care either way so let them stay.

After hearing the terrified screams of a 14 year old girl the PCs decide it’s time for a rescue mission and open fire on the doctor killing him instantly. Unfortunately for the NPC shooters they now found themselves along way from the only exit and must shoot through the PCs to escape. As predicted the mage and hacker were the first to go down, followed later by one of the PC shooters. The NPCs never made it to the door but did let off a frag grenade as a parting gift.

The girl and 1 PC made it out that night and we didn’t (couldn’t?) play Shadowrun for a long time after that. The players still don’t let anyone stand between them and their pay day and still don’t investigate their employers. If they had that night they would of realized they were working for Tamanous as part of an organ harvesting job. Instead we ended the campaign with a weird pedo vibe.

* They also came equipped with the exact same morals as the PCs.
** Being a street samurai is very different from the typical shooters my PCs play and I never refer to them as such.

3 thoughts on “The game that killed a 3 year campaign


Nice story, didn’t saw the end coming. I agree that without proper background check, GM can look like a devious person 😛

Sean Holland

Always check your employer just enough to make sure you are not being set up but not so much that you make them decide that you are a liability. It is a fine line to walk but that is why Shadowrunners make the big yen, right?

Shadow Spear

It’s interesting to see other people’s play styles. Before I joined the military I played pretty straight forward street samurai types who would shoot first and ask questions later. Now, I tend to be the group leader who people get pissed at because I over analyze everything and research the hell out of a potential employer or a mark. Good article! Wish there was a Shadowrun group near me.


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