June 15, 2013 - Actual Play

After a two hour character generation session it was time to play. I forget what the job was but the players decided that their first stop would be a joygirl for more information. I’ve always remembered the joygirl because I had to ask the players how a joygirl could have anything to do with what they currently knew. In true sandbox fashion they explained it and I ran with it. The joygirl still having no clue why she’s talking to a bunch of cybered up shadowrunners starts pressuring the PCs for some cash, just 50¥ so her pimp doesn’t beat her later. The PCs being the alpha dogs they were didn’t feel the need to pay, they could handle themselves – after all there were four of them.

So after five minutes of trying to get this clueless joygirl to spill the beans on a job she had no idea about, her pimp comes over and starts hassling the PCs about paying for her time or getting lost. Already the PCs can feel the crowd starting to watch them and so can the pimp. Immediately the street sam pulls his predator and opens the pimp’s stomach with a well-placed explosive round. The pimp is on the ground and knows he is going to die today, on the corner he grew up. But he’s not going to be the kid who lay down and died

Surprise round over and the pimp is bleeding out all over the pavement with a serious wound and the street samurai has his gun leveled to finish him off. Then we roll initiative. Never have I seen such an abysmal roll from group of players – even with the serious wound the pimp was going first.

“It’s alright. He cannot hit shit with a serious wound” Said the street samurai.

“If he is smart he will run” dared the troll.

“I’d run” said the mage.

“Fuck that” exclaimed the pimp.

And with that the pimp raised his predator at the street samurai and rolled the dice – all the dice exploded.

“You can take a moderate wound right?” the troll jokingly questioned the street sam.

The dice continued to explode until the last dice tapped out at 41 exploding the street samurai’s head, pasting bone and blood on faces of the street sam’s friends.

“This is my corner and I aint no punk”

Stunned the rest of the players finished the pimp off and got out of dodge. Two hours making a character and five minutes later the street samurai was dead, his body harvested for parts not long after.

Recent editions have softened on the subject but combat in Shadowrun is deadly and you’re always one bullet away from the grave. When you’re making decisions as a GM or player you need to be conscious of this fact and decide is my character prepared to die? Is my character prepared to die for this?

3 thoughts on “Death


For me the most interesting aspect of this story is how and why the PCs got into trouble with the pimp in the first place. The PCs thought they were bigger than the street, so big they could roll over small fry. The ensuing action was a nifty example of how that sort of attitude can bounce back at you pretty hard. Nobody is bigger than the street.

Stuart Duncan

For me It was more than just the street pushing back. It was about a guy who didn’t have a lot of options growing up. Maybe he got his predator before most kids and got a bit more respect. Maybe his sister started hooking and needed some protection. Either way he ended up pimping girls on the corner he grew up on. It wasn’t just his workplace, it was his home.

Sure he could of left the girl there with the cybered up freaks – he had heard stories about the damage they could do. Instead he decided to stick up for himself, I mean it was only 50 Nguyen right? Those guys could afford it and if they didn’t want to pay they would just scare him off. Nobodies going to hassle him about running away from a street sam. Instead the players decided to shoot first and he found himself on the pavement, he knew he wasn’t going to make it so he did the only thing he could do.

Stuart Duncan

@Geoff, It’s true that the article ignores the puppet master archetype which is often a powerful figure in Shadowrun but I wrote the article with the intention of making my villains more visible and meaningful to the PCs.

This comment has come up on the google+ comments related to the article. Sorry if I didn’t make it clear about the focus of the article.


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