Clutch of Dragons
The idea is to look at the high fantasy side of Shadowrun, with missions focused on the secret history of the world and attempts to acquire various powerful magical artefacts across the world, as well as the politics and rivalries between Great Dragons.
- Human Target
- Mission: Impossible series
- The Transporter
I’d like to run a Shadowrun game influenced by the above, where the PCs are highly competent, highly resourced and highly supported group of drakes working for the Draco Foundation. Drakes are an extremely rare species, outwardly appearing as normal metahumans with the ability to assume a small dragon-like form, which manifests after a period of personal turmoil. Your characters will have either sought sanctuary with the Foundation, or else been rescued from indentured servitude with a Great Dragon. You will have had to face a reality that your existence for many years to come will include fighting, killing, and probably dying. You have signed on to learn how to fight, how to live as a type of dracoform, and what the world has in store for you.
Legwork and planning will be a big part of the game, and much like spy movies, at least some of the fun will come from the times where your plans don’t quite match reality.
You’ll start as a newly-formed team of drakes from a variety of backgrounds. Your missions will be the retrieval, protection, or discovery of information about various magical artefacts from the ancient world, as well as other tasks that advance the cause of drakes in general or the Draco Foundation. One week you might be breaking into a highly-protected secure vault to steal an artefact from a private collector, while the next you might be extracting a captive drake from under the snout of a powerful Great Dragon. You might be discreetly slipped into Desert Wars skirmishes, tagging along in the shadows, practicing simsense-based training within VisionQuest’s UV node, studying magic with some of the top talents of the world, or rescuing your fellow brethren.
Your characters will likely feel a lot like regular shadowrunners, with two key differences: first of all, you’ll have much more support and structure (see above), and second of all, you’ll all be drakes. There will be a great deal of international travel, because that’s the only way to get the job done. That means that characters could come from anywhere in the world, but your home base will be Lake Louise in the Athabaskan Council, southwest of Edmonton. I hope that the campaign will develop in such a way that there will be many high-stakes activities that challenge your characters’ morals and capabilities, with the end result being lots of fun for everyone.
Given the rarity of drakes, the Foundation often hires runners and other freelance contractors to perform close protection, intelligence gathering, battlefield preparation, overwatch or other support. This means that if your team has a particular weakness (e.g. Matrix Support) that the Foundation knows might be problematic for you in a given mission, it will be plugged. The most likely people to be helping out in that regard will be the Foundation’s close allies in Assets, Inc.
Between each mission will be some time where each character gets to work on their own projects. We’ll handle this by email or one-to-one sessions outside the normal routine. This is likely where most personal plot stuff will occur, too.
Characters (rather than players) earn Karma. Everyone will get the same award for surviving a given Episode, for achieving objectives within that Episode, the length of the Episode, and the overall challenge/threat level of the Episode in question. There may also be occasional individual awards for particularly brave or smart play, pushing the overall Series storyline forward, or impressing the group with humour and drama. It’s worth noting that when you’re spending Karma, I might ask you why you want to buy whatever it is that you’re buying – how it helps your character do their job, or helps the team cover a gap. I don’t want the Team Roles to become like D&D character classes, but neither do I want them to be utterly irrelevant.
Character Death and Retirement
If a character dies, or a player wishes to retire a character and start a new one, then their new character is created as normal. That character is then given (and may spend or save) 75% of the old character’s post-creation Karma.