I roleplay with a bunch of 14 year olds who really like to senselessly
kill in Shadowrun. To kill children, their Johnson, their friends,
themselves.... What can I do?
There are some problems even I cannot solve; post-adolescent mindless
violence being one of them. Some people at a certain age are simply too
mentally immature to think their way out of situations. The array of games
(primarily computer) that exist for the sole purpose of allowing people to
blow other people away isn't helping either. All I can suggest is that you
find another group of players.
Did you know that ĎDrekí is a real word? Itís Yittish for ĎShití.
Sure, It's a real word. But until a fair sized portion of the population
starts using it, it's still a dork word.
Are Index Cards a good way to keep track of NPCs?
Index cards work EXTREMELY well. I did that for a long time, and still
occasionally do (Actually, I print out NPC information on index card sized
pieces of paper.) One plus of that system is that you can write up NPCs,
info, and stats at random and then build them into a run. Also, you can
reuse cards for Sec Guards, Gang Members, and other NPCs that don't tend
to last very long in games. One thing I used to do is paste condition
monitors on the backs of all the NPC cards for convenience.
What should the skills and overall power ratings of NPCs be?
The skill and overall power ratings of your NPCs should be about equal to
or a little less than the skills of the PCs. As PCs get better, they'll
start fighting more and more powerful people. There really isn't any kind
of 'normal' NPC skill rating. The idea is to create NPCs that keep
challenging the PCs as the PC's skills improve.
When PCs start out, their skills are pretty low. So the GM should create
NPCs with skills that are pretty low. Generally, beginning PCs get pretty
bad runs. At least mine do. For their first run I usually have them steal
a formula from an ice cream factory. The kind of people guarding such a
factory would have pretty poor skills, but not so poor that they don't
create a challenge for the PCs.
As the PCs get better, the runs improve, and the enemies get more
powerful. Eventually, a PC may have to run against Renraku. A Renraku
guard has skills that are as good as the PC's, if not better.
Also, it is important to make sure the NPCs match the abilities of the
PCs, not just their skills. If the PC group has a magician, the NPCs
better too. If the PC group has a powerful samurai, the NPCs should have a
powerful foe or several less powerful members. The idea is to create a PC/NPC
balance that is 'almost equal, but tipped slightly in the PC's favor'. If
the balance is tipped too far towards the NPCs, you end up with too many
dead players. Of course, occasionally you will want to tip the balance in
the NPCs favor when you want to create a REAL challenge; a challenge that
could possibly get a PC killed.
So, as you can see, you can't really say 'An NPC should have a rating of
(whatever)'. It all depends on the power of the PCs, the situation at
hand, the type of people in the PC group, etc.
If you wanted to create an archenemy for use against the PCs, just look at
the PC's skills and create an NPC that's better. Simple.
Do you improvise on every rule aspect of shadowrun?
You mean 'do I screw with the rules'? Hell, yes. All the time. To me the
rules serve as merely a guideline to how the game should be run. Many of
them are flawed anyway, and almost all of them are overly complex.
However, when I mess with the rules I make sure the 'revised on the spot'
versions aren't biased towards either the PCs or NPCs. I won't bend a rule
one way to shaft a PC and then bend it the other to help an NPC. Everybody
gets equally screwed.
A player in my group is a destruction addict (If his computer didn't
bite, he'd be a Duke Nukem addict). How can I go about dropping a cow on
him & other PCs or at least alter their views to what normal peoples'
A cow might not even phase him. He'd just build another PC, you'd have to
drop another cow, he'd build ANOTHER PC, you'd continue to drop cows,
until, after three or four years of this, Seattle wouldn't even be visible
from beneath a dense layer of rotting space cows.
So you may have to be a little indirect. Whenever the PC goes on a
rampage, keep track of everybody he messes with. Then, at some point in
the game, have everything come back to haunt him. BUT - and here's the
most important part - have the individuals seeking revenge use methods the
PC couldn't physically fight against. Matrix attacks against his accounts,
disinformation which will damage his rep, undercover government units that
shut down his contacts, etc. Elevate things to the point that he can't
even buy a gun, because nobody trusts him. Sic a Life Waster on him (NPCs
From Hell #2). Make his PC's life so miserable that he'll have to be less
violent or things will get to the point that he can't be violent at all
because he can't buy a friggin gun.
My roleplaying group has discussed using the Firearms skill when firing
the Ballista Rocket Launcher because the fireing mechanism is point and
shoot - like a gun. What do you think?
You have to use a different system of logic when firing weapons of mass
destruction (i.e. rocket launchers). It's more difficult than simply
pointing the little designator and pulling the trigger. You have to ask
yourself: "Am I hitting the right part of the target so when the blast goes
off it A: does a sufficient amount of damage?, B: doesn't catch me in the
blast? C: doesn't blast parts of the target back at me?" etc.
Many role-playing games out there require a specific skill for EACH
SPECIFIC WEAPON, which makes sense. If you've ever fired a gun, you know
that even different pistols can require drastically different styles of
aiming, reloading, etc. If, in reality, you fired a .45 revolver like you
would a 9mm semiauto you'd find yourself with a .45 revolver lodged in
your forehead (the recoil is BIG) and a broken wrist. To say that you
could fire a crossbow like a pistol is ludicrous. Pistols and crossbows
have dramatically different projectile speeds, distance to drop ratios,
Shadowrun divides ballistic weapons between Gunnery and Firearms for the
sake of convienience. I'm glad they did, because I know that I don't want
to have to mess around with the 8000 different skills which result from
such a system. (PC: I'd like to give him the finger. GM: Do you have the 'obscene
gestures' skill?) The specialization/concentration system is the next
best thing to having those 8000 skills.
The Ballista system should require the Gunnery skills because it is not
even friggin CLOSE to being a firearm. Even if the little laser designator
may vaguely feel like a gun, it's attached to an extremely large,
extremely complicated targeting system which, in turn, is attached to a
highly destructive projectile. Yeah, it might feel like a gun for a
second, but when the ballista round explodes 2 feet in front of you
because you happened to tag the edge of a tree instead of your target
because you forgot about the importance of getting the EXACT target,
because you were using the same firing logic you would if you had a Hold
Out pistol in your hand.....I'm sure you'll see the difference.
Do you think a 50 year old character is more likely to know more than a
25 year old PC? A middle aged person tends to be less over confident than
a teenager or young adult. Could this be dealt with using Edges and Flaws?
It should be dealt with using roleplaying and a collection of small edges
or flaws. I'm against creating a Middle Aged Person edge because I've met
a LOT of stupid, irrational, wimpy middle aged people. I've also met 17
year olds who could bench press Volvos, successfully debate the death
penalty, and who have seen much more of life than many 50 year olds.
Using the various education edges and flaws, you can custom create an
individual's experience and education. The age category is really rather
Iím having trouble using a cross-over character. The GM in one game
plays really rough while the GM in the other isnít nearly as violent. What
can I do?
The easiest solution is to not use cross-over characters. Even if both GMs
are fairly reasonable, crossing over tends to cause conflicts. In fact,
I've never actually seen a cross-over work well at all. So, if you want a
quick fix, just use a different set of PCs for each GM.
If you need to use cross-overs, talking things out will be difficult.
Remember, the opposing GM could just as easily tell you to increase the
power of your games as you can tell him to decrease his. Your best bet is
to try to find some middle ground. Start my examining how things work in
the world of Shadowrun and how you can both adjust to fit this 'reality'.
Your friend sounds way, way off base and incredibly unrealistic. Let him
know he needs to adhere more closely to the way the world of 2050 works
lest he make the game unbearable ridiculous.
What do you think about female role-players?
I think female players are great. It's a shame they're aren't more of
them. One thing I've found interesting about female players (not all of
them, mind you) is that they seem to make far better roleplayers than
males. Most of the female players I've had in my groups had never played a
role-playing game before. The personalities of their characters seemed
dramatically different than their normal personalities. Either that or
their PCs would embody amplifications of traits that were more recessive
the the players personality. Timid female players played aggressive PCs,
or peaceful individuals would play rather violent characters. Sometimes
the personality transition was rather frightening.
I think more females than males feel pressured to stay away from
roleplaying because it still carries the stigma as being a hobby for
freakish adolescent boys. I'm not trying to sound sexist; I'm just basing
my opinion on general observations. I'm also not saying that females are
generally 'afraid' to roleplay; I'm just saying that, with a predominately
male population, roleplaying might not be the first thing to cross a
female's mind when they think of hobbies.
90% of the female roleplayers I've encountered were 'recruited' by male
players (usually friends, girlfriends, or spouses). When I first started
roleplaying, recruitment is how I managed to get females into my group (no
females in my old high school were active roleplayers.) I didn't have any
problem obtaining female players which, in a way, bothers me. They were
excited about playing and made damn good roleplayers, yet they never, ever
played - or made an attempt to play - ever before.
I donít have any choice but to play with uninterested players. Is there
any way I can get them interested?
Read through some of my Corner articles and see if you can't get them
interested. I don't understand why they'd want to play if they don't want
to play. If they refuse to get interested in the game, you have two
choices; bump them, or continue playing with unenthusiastic players. Start
by trying to get them to create PCs they'd actually enjoy playing. Play
Freud for a while and figure out what type of PC best caters to their
Some of my players did some really nasty, senseless killing and, for
some reason, I let them off the hook. Now Iím regretting it.
Just because you let them off the immediate hook doesn't mean you left
them off the long term hook. Have that shit they did come back to haunt
them - for the rest of their lives. Nothing is more sobering to a
merciless character than the endless possibility of immediate death. Scare
the hell out of them. Have people occasionally plant a bomb in their
vehicles or ruin a shadowrun for them. Find a way to blackmail them with
'hidden' video of their crimes or have a psychotic relative of a victim
try to ruin their entire career. Make sure that the runners would have a
very difficult time fighting back (i.e. move the families to different
parts of the country and make sure they rarely work together.) Create an
invisible enemy that will make them regret what they did until the end of
Do you ever start out the PCs with high powered characters?
I rarely start out PCs in a high powered game. I don't know how most
people play, but in my games PCs start out with nothing and have to work
for the privilege of being able to go on a high stakes mission. If you run
a game (or short series of games) with new PCs each time, I can see the
logic in making them powerful. But if you're in it for the long haul, I
still think it's more fun to start out with nothing. Also, unlike your
players, very few people seem to be able to responsibly roleplay heavy
duty PCs right off the bat.
Iím part of a role-playing family. My son and I role-play a lot.
I've only encountered a father/son gaming team one other time in my life.
It didn't seem to go well. When the son GMd, he'd wax his dad in the first
15 minutes, apparently out of frustration from when his father grounded
him 15 years earlier. When the father GMd, the NPCs would run around and
demand that the runners mow the lawn, paint the house, etc.
An annoying player in my group complains a lot. For instance, a NPC
survived a grenade blast and the player had a FIT. What can I do about
Make sure the annoying player gets hit by a grenade. Odds are he won't
complain when he's able to resist the damage. Point that out.
Also, any time the annoying player's PC gets beat up in a way that he
previously would have complained as being fatal, point out the fact that
he's being a hypocrite. These people always whine until it's their head on
the cutting block.
Seeing as how I never write out anything, I sometimes have trouble
keeping track of the big picture, mostly with being consistent. Any tips
First, do take some notes. You can get away with not writing down anything
BEFORE the run, but you have to keep track of who's who DURING the run or
you'll start contradicting yourself.
Second, tell the players that it's be nice if they took notes as well. As
the GM, you don't have time to go leafing through your notes every time
the players want to know an NPC's name. If they keep notes as well it'll
speed everything up.
My PCs arenít afraid of anything. What can I do?
Send in some truly psychotic NPCs to completely fuck up their lives.
(Check out NPCs From Hell, specifically the Life Waster). Make these NPCs
really, really frightening; ugly as sin, scarred (both mentally and
physically), and unpredictable. Have these NPCs nail one of the PC's
favorite contacts to a wall, kill their girl/boyfriends, cover their
vehicles with blood, etc. Use toxic spirits and psychotically cybered
hitmen. Create NPC mages that specialize in hideous customized spells
(Acid/Lightening Blast, Incinerate Limb, Castration By Fire). Work all of
these elements into a run somehow (i.e. The runners had to break somebody
out of a mental institution and, in the process, released 100 mental
fuckups, all of whom have a psychotic attachment to those who set them
free.) Make things not make sense, even though things normally should.
Give these NPCs threat ratings of 8.
In other words, do whatever it takes to let the players know that they
can't rely on anything or anyone. You can also have everybody the runners
have ever screwed over decide to gang up and avenge themselves. Make the
runners realize that everything they do, no matter how frivolous, may have
a catastrophic outcome. Don't let them turn on the water without having a
stream of blood pour from the faucet. Make them afraid of EVERYTHING.
Keep this up for a gaming session or two and then gradually allow things
to return to normal. But, as a reminder, have someone psychotic pop up
from time to time.
I have a question for you. I know, that from BJ's corner, you dislike
kick ass PCs. But what if that is the only way to stay alive? My GM is
having us go against the Yakuza, Renraku, Aztechnology, just to name a
few. I want to play a more down to earth PC, but the only way to survive
is to have a initiative of 9(16)+1D6(3D6), which by the way my starting
character has. What are your suggestions to remedy this?
Well, you shouldn't be fighting Renraku right at the start of the game in
the first place. My players don't run into Renreku, Fuchi, etc. until
they've been running for a few months, perhaps even a year (game time).
The GM shouldn't be sending you up against people with +3D6 initiative
until way, way into the game. If he/she would back off with the first game
Renraku assaults, you wouldn't have to create such a kick ass PC.
Shadowrun is (or should be) a game of struggle. When a PC or GM (or both)
start creating PCs and NPCs from hell, there's no struggle. There is only
initiative rolls and violence. Struggle means starting out shitty,
interacting with other shitty people, and slowly working your way out of
the shit. Only after working hard, building your contacts, strengthening
you skills, and learning every in an out of the world of shadowrun do you
take on Renraku.
Out veteran GM is always trying to get the novices to GM more often,
but then he constantly complains because weíre not as good as he is. What
can I do to make him stop complaining?
The GM just has to face the fact that not everybody GMs the same. This
difference in GMing style becomes increasingly apparent when you compare
the style of a veteran GM with one who is relatively new. Veteran GMs are
often blind to the fact that it will take a new GM some time before they
are able to create complex scenarios. While the veteran GM is playing a PC
they always have the 'Well, if I was GM I'd do this....' thought in the
back of their head. Well, they're NOT the GM and they have to realize
Your veteran GM just needs to give everybody a little bit of time to get
up to speed. Sure, he'll have to grit his teeth every once in a while to
keep himself from grabbing the NPC sheets and taking over the game, but
he's got to give the new GMs time to get better. If it makes him feel
better, ask him to give the new GMs a little bit of advice. Just bitching
doesn't solve anything. A good way for the vet GM to help the newer GMs is
to give a post-run critique on what the newer GM could have done better.
Only after the game should the veteran GM vent his frustrations, and then
only constructively. During the game he should just play his PC and leave
the GMing up to the GM.
Why on earth did you write about cows in Blackjackís corner?
The whole cow thing is an inside joke of sorts (between me and my veteran
visitors) which started about a year and a half ago when I wrote something
about dropping cows on PCs. Since then I've mentioned it a few times in
other articles and, when the 'bombing' incident occured, people began to
send me copies of the article.
Basically, if you didnít didn't like it it was probably because you didn't
Now I have to write a follow-up article explaining the whole thing lest less
devoted viewers think I'm insane. Grrrrrrrr.
I wish you would finish your Philadelphia Sourcebook. It looks like
itíd be really kick ass.
Yeah, try telling FASA that.....
I think somebody ripped off your 501 Shadowrun ideas and didnít give
Thanks for the tip. The page looks like it's run by some kid who doesn't
quite understand the concept of 'credit where credit is due'. I could
tolerate kids tooling with guns, drugs, and knives, but I draw the line
My group of runners came face to face with a dragon and werenít even
afraid of it. They actually asked him if heís ďpee in a cutí (See Grimoire
if you donít understand why this is funny). How can I motivate them to be
a little more respectful?
You mean how do you scare the piss out of them? Well, as far as dragons
are concerned, remember that they have the ability to do learn and carry
out magical acts other than those listed under their powers. They can cast
spells and perhaps even summon spirits or elementals. Give your dragons
lots of scary spells and make them damn good at using them. Blindness and
Pain are two good ones (if they don't exist, make them up) along with some
kind of spell that destroys weapons. Dragons can also hire (meta)human
support and, since they tend to be kind of wealthy, they can equip them
rather well. Also, Dragons tend to be a bit smug, self centered, and vain
and would most likely find a 'Pee in the cup.' comment incredibly
offensive and immature and would want to teach the runner a lesson for
having the gall to ask such an idiotic question.
A mage in my group uses astral perception too much. Every time thereís
a knock at the door he astrally perceives through it and ruins any
surprise I might have waiting. What can I do about this?
Uh, he can't do that. Even in astral space you can't see or assense
through solid objects. Check out Astral Space on page 145 of the rulebook.
It explains how the magician can go through the walls (if theyíre
Projecting), but not see through them. The not see through them part
applies to Astral Perception as well. In order to see what's on the other
side of the door the magician would have to astrally project and then move
through the door. If the NPCs waiting outside the door are smart, they'll
have their mage Astrally perceiving so he can see if somebody tries to
take a peak at him. If the PC magician pops through the door, the NPC can
blast him because they both have contact with the astral plane.
I want to create a PC who is really good with animals. Any ideas?
Well, here's a few ideas on how you might be able to get things to work.
Most of these ideas aren't in the rulebook and you'd probably have to
clear things with the GM before using them:
#1. You could make the PC an adept of sorts. Some kind of 'animal adept'
who uses his magic for the sole purpose of communicating with animals. If
I were the GM I'd allow you to keep the powers as long as your magic
rating doesn't fall below 2.
#2. Purchase some kind of 'Animal Empathy' edge and create a new Animal
Control skill. An Animal Empathy edge isn't too unrealistic; I personally
know a few real people who can get along with even the meanest of animals.
Some people just have a knack for it.
#3. You could give them a little bit of headware. I don't think the
animals really start going nuts until they get a few complete essence
points knocked off.
Uh, I'm out of ideas. One thing I wouldn't do is use a whip or club to try
to control them. You want the animals to work with you because they want
to, not because you scare them into it. I'd still have the PC use the
clubs and whips, but only as weapons against enemies.
In any case, the Animal Empathy edge combined with some kind of skill
would probably work. Animals are generally very intelligent and could
probably be taught how to understand hand signals and simple words if you
worked with them long enough.
I just found out the my PC has been going through Hell because of the
Month of Chaos run that YOU wrote up!!
Watch it, or I'll write up a DECADE of Chaos adventure!
Why do you keep posting ripostes with stupid comments that donít have
anything to do with Shadowrun or role-playing?
Because itís my page, fucker.
It seems that when me and my cousin and I play, I am always the GM. I
don't mind it but it seems he never wants the job and I like being a PC
once in a while. Is there ANYTHING I can do to get him enthusiastic about
being the GM?
There's really not much you can do to force a person to want to GM. Some
people don't like to do it because it seems so formidable; you have to
know all the rules, be able to think quickly, be able to control 3 billion
NPCs. You may be able to con him into GMing by letting him know that
you're not expecting too much out of him. He may just be afraid that he'll
screw up. Let him know that, if he does, it's OK. Don't expect him to be a
I have a player who constantly uses his normal personality. Is there
anything I can do to change this?
I know there's an article on Blackjack's Corner that talks about such a
problem, I'm just not too sure which one. Hunt through them and see if you
can find it.
One thing you can do is to find all of the flaws with his current, eternal
persona and exploit them. Force him to change his ways by using things he
always says or always does against him.
Also, demand that this player create a thorough character history. The
history will require that he play the PC in a certain way, a way that
makes sense when compared to his past. You can even go so far as to demand
that he write up his PC's entire personality and force him to tweak it if
it sounds like it's the same old deal. Then, if the player doesn't adhere
to the personality he's written, withhold karma. Make sure he gets no
roleplaying karma whatsoever unless he sticks to the guidelines of the
personality he's written.
I wish I had a decent gaming group like yours.
Hah! A decent gaming group like MINE? My group is the bunch of idiots that
inspires most of my writings. Sure, I've cleaned them up a little bit, but
even with my vast arsenal of GM/PC advice at my disposal I have problems
with the PCs. Many, many problems. As soon as you clean up one problem,
the players go and create another one. It's like somebody's paying them to
I have a player in my group who knows the rules too well. Is it bad
when players know the rules better than the GM?
Well, there's two kinds of Rule Knowledgeable Players, one of which is
good, the other, bad.
The good brand of these players know the general rules, as well as having
thorough knowledge of the rules which deal with their archetype
specifically. I openly admit that while I'm golden as far as knowing
general rules; many of the more involved aspects of magic, decking, etc.
sometimes elude me, usually because I'm busy roleplaying 1,000,000 NPCs.
For example, I can't remember off hand exactly how an Acid combat program
works. If a Decker used one on an IC, I'd love for them to tell me what
it's doing and how. Just little things like that. I like to be able to
turn to the players for rule information when my brain locks up.
The BAD brand of these players are the ones who know all of the rules, and
then INSIST on sticking to them. If you stick to the rules it's possible
for a Troll to survive an assault cannon shot, for somebody jumping off a
40 story building to survive, etc. There comes a point when common sense
outweighs the rules and it is the GMs job to determine when this occurs. I
override rules alot, perhaps more often than I should, mainly because so
many of Shadowruns rules simply don't work in certain situations, a prime
example being point-blank situations. As the game progresses I'm
constantly tweaking the rules, letting rolls slide here or there, upping
target numbers or lowering them if it would seem logical, all in the name
of making things make a bit more sense than they otherwise would.
It's funny. Players always hate it when the GM overrides the rules when
it's detrimental to them but doesn't say a word when it helps them out.
You can save yourself a lot of arguments by giving the players a break
from time to time (something all GMs seem to do anyway) so you'll have
something to fall back on when you turn the rules against them.
Player: But the rules say I get to roll to see if my cyber-eye is
GM: Gee. You're right. Hey, since we're sticking to the rules, how 'bout I
give you the full damage you should have received from the HMG burst
instead of simply dropping it to Moderate?
You havenít posted a new BJís corner since July and youíre not updating
your page! Basically, YOU ARE PISSING ME OFF!
Look: I've been working 16 hours a day on a film that isn't even mine,
chasing around obscure vehicles mentioned in the script (many of which no
longer exist), ending up is the weirdest fucking places you can even
imagine to buy handcuffs at 12:30 at night because the cops in the film
forgot to bring their own, not to mention the fact that my car is on the
verge of death, I'm about out of money, and I ran out of Gentleman Jack
last night at about 10pm right when I was on the verge of becoming
comfortably drunk. In addition I've been trying to stop smoking, negotiate
my way out of Temple University, write two computer manuals, find an
actual paying job, and do my laundry which has piled up to the ceiling. I
haven't even had time to get laid, which is not helping my level of
agitation in the slightest.
So just chill the fuck out and give me some time to get my shit together,
p.s. Thanks for the feedback.
I have a magician in my group who never uses his magic and acts like a
Sammy. Can I do anything about this?
If the magician isnít utilizing his magical skills, make up some reason to
have these skills slowly slip away from him. It's easier to do this if
he's a shaman (i.e. the 'losing contact with your totem' excuse), but with
a mage you may have to be more creative. A simply 'out of practice' excuse
may work to lower his skill. Either that or make sure the enemy always has
a magician with them so he'll be forced to fight it with magic.
I have a group of players brand new to Shadowrun and was wondering what
I should have them do on their first run.
For the first run with a new group of players I like to not have a run at
all. What I mean is that I usually let them roam around the city, talk
with their contacts, meet a few people, and just generally screw around. I
do usually have them go on a 'mini-run' of sorts, which usually involves
something uncomplicated like stealing something from a gang or delivering
a package. You don't want to over complicate things by sending them on a
full fledged run right off the bat. Full runs involve a lot of rules and a
lot of planning and, in general, a lot of not-so-fun work. So the first
day is spent getting them acclimated to the environment and rules, not
dumping everything on the new players.
So, for the first day, let them run around, get in a little trouble, throw
in a firefight or two so they get used to the rules. Then send them on a
The player probably knows [when to yield], but the runner does not
_have_ to know this, they have character-flaws like any other have them.
But knowing when to yield and when to stand strong is what 50% of the
game's all about! Shadowrun is a web of negotiations, battles,
infiltrations, etc.; ALL of which require the runner to make a decision as
to whether or not they should 'go for it' or 'hang back'. A runner should
know that there's no profit in dying; the PC in Powerless didn't know
this. This flaw was simply TOO BIG.
To sum up: I agree that characters can have flaws; but I still believe
that there are some flaws which make the character so incompatible with
the Shadowrun environment that it would make their very existence and
survival unrealistic. Take, for example, a character who NEVER surrenders.
Now, if this character was surrounded by security forces because he
assassinated a corporate CEO and the security said 'Lay down your weapon'
and the character, following his predetermined traits, decided to say
'no', I don't think I would be wrong in blowing him away. It would be too
unrealistic to let the PC survive and, even though this is a game, you have
to draw the line somewhere.
The situation I portrayed in my writing 'Powerless' is almost exactly like
the security guard situation I described above, only the guns were
concealed and the adversive (not a real word) means more subtle. The PC knew he was in no
position of power - I made it VERY, VERY, clear to him - and he
essentially said 'fuck you' to somebody who had a gun to his head.
Nobody survives in Shadowrun with such an attitude.
Do you use Docwagon and Docwagon contracts?
My PCs live and die by Docwagon. My Docwagon people are cool too; they
don't take shit from anybody. Why would they be worried about getting
hurt? The ambulance is only a few feet away....