The Traditional Rat Hunt

When I started my Shadowrun campaign, I instructed my players to create characters who had never been on a real shadowrun before. I wanted them new to the shadows. Most of my players had played Shadowrun before, but none of them, including me, had ever played 4th Edition before, and there was a six or so year gap in the game’s continuity between editions, which included some pretty significant events, like the transition from the wired to the wireless Matrix, and I wanted to ease them into 2072.

At the beginning of the first session, Breagh, Riptide, Panzer, and Red (Rook doesn’t join until later) were called together by one of the contacts they all had in common, a fixer named Reno. He gave them a small talk about how shadowrunning requires you to be more than thugs with guns, magic, and cyberware. Then, rather than sending them to an actual Johnson (the term often used for employers in Shadowrun, as they desire anonymity), he sent them off to do a favor for a friend. Said friend owned a bar, and her basement was infested with devil and demon rats.

One of the big features of Shadowrun was the Awakening, when magic returned to the world at the dawn of the Mayan calendar’s predicted Sixth World (thus the use of that term). The natural world experienced the Awakening much like humanity did, as formerly hidden astral genes in many species’  genomes expressed and new, Awakened creatures came into being. Two of those types of creatures are the devil and demon rats. The devil rats are nearly meter long, naked, angry rats, and demon rats are even bigger, but covered in hair and capable of spitting acid. Reno figured that if the runners could wipe out an infestation of these things, they could probably handle real shadowruns without getting killed right away. I figured I could use a relatively low danger encounter to ease into my role as game master and start getting used to SR4’s ruleset, particularly as it relates to combat. I definitely made several mistakes, the biggest being that astrally perceiving magicians cannot see through solid objects. A projecting magician can move through those objects, but they’d be doing so blind.

The document below contains the notes I made for myself for that first session. I later on took to writing full adventures, with description and far more detailed notes on relevant game mechanics. I’ll be getting to those as time goes on. The first session also included a subplot where the bartender they were killing rats for was worried about a friend, who had been kidnapped by Humanis policlub members (read: KKK who had metahumans like elves and orks, along with anyone magical). My players, however, failed to investigate that subplot. C’est la vie.

MiniRun 1 Rat Hunt


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