Run report 1

Yesterday was game day, and I ran most of the first half of the fifth major adventure in my campaign’s story arc. I (re)discovered that not having a very clear idea of all the capabilities of my player’s characters can lead to encounters being far easier than I intended them to be.

The relevant situation is that one of my players wanted his character to find an assault cannon, which, considering what I’m planning on pitting them against in the future, is not an unreasonable thing for him to have. So I had one of the character’s contacts, an info broker, approach him with info about a criminal syndicate bringing in a large weapons shipment. They had the time and place, so they were able to set up an ambush to hijack the shipment.

I intended it to be tough, but winnable encounter. They were outnumbered 3 to 1, the stats for their enemies were higher than normal for Shadowrun grunts, and the 3 “elites” had quickened Deflection spells on them, which would give them a lot of extra dice for dodging ranged attacks, and firearm dice pools nearly as large as those of the runners. I did not count on spirits and tear gas.

My players opened their ambush by sending two air spirits to attack the elites. This completely ignored the Deflection spells, as the air spirits weren’t using ranged attacks, but trying to Engulf them and choke the life out of them. This also completely preoccupied the biggest threats. They followed up on the air spirits with several tear gas grenades. The grenades, while not a huge deal in and of themselves, did give me one problem; none of the bad guys were equipped with low-light or thermographic vision, while most of the runners were, which meant the bad guys had way higher penalties for trying to shoot through the cloud. That is, anywhere, since they were all in the cloud. Finally, of course, I once again underestimated how powerful extra initiative passes are, figuring that numbers would be enough to counteract that advantage. Unfortunately, the tear gas and spirits negating any advantage numbers might have provided.

Next session I intend to have them ambushed, which I hope will be more effective in causing some damage.

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