Introduction: New Seattle
by Michael Mulvihill
New Seattle describes one of the most important characters in the Shadowrun universe—the city of Seattle. Filled with megacorporate conflicts, underworld criminal activities, political maneuvering and international tensions, Seattle is a breeding ground for runners because its shadows are so numerous and so dangerous. Running in Seattle hones every skill you need for shadowrunning, and if you're good and lucky you can score the big nuyen. If you're not so good or so lucky, Seattle is one unforgiving slitch—she'll spit you out and watch your body slowly sink in Puget Sound.
Descriptions of each area of the Seattle metroplex offer information for both the gamemaster and players. Basic facts about the district include security ratings for the neighborhoods, plus places of interest, movers and shakers and even the gangs that call each district home. For the runners who are less skilled or who get a bad break, a complete listing of hospitals is also provided for each area of the city.
Information in New Seattle is presented as a series of electronic documents collected by the famous decker and system operator of the Shadowland BBS, Captain Chaos. The good Captain has many contacts, all of whom are more than willing to share their expertise on any subject. It's important to recognize, however, that everyone has an angle and an agenda, including shadowrunners. Other shadowrunners (some more famous than others) give their two-cents worth of input, advice and contradictions through personal accounts and rumors. In many cases, they totally dismiss what was previously stated and give their own version of "the facts." This style of presentation gives the gamemaster plenty of material to generate ideas, create campaigns—and always to play with the facts. Everything in this book is true to the character who wrote it; how that truth is interpreted in your game is, or course, up to you.
New Seattle begins with the city's relationship with its neighbors. In the Pacific Northwest and History sections, you learn about Seattle’s isolation from the rest of the United Canadian and American States: its unique situation as a port and smuggling center, and as a buffer between the paranoid elven state of Tir Tairngire, the Japanese-controlled city of San Francisco and the isolationist Native American Nations. These sections place Seattle in the big picture as these entities organize, terrorize and maneuver to put themselves on top of the heap.
Welcome to Seattle gives you the scoop on getting in (and getting out) out of the metroplex as well as the intel every shadowrunner needs to know about this UCAS outpost. The chapters The Body Politic, The Seattle Underworld and The Corporate Sector spell out for both player and gamemaster exactly who’s who and, even more important, who’s in who’s pocket. The Body Politic is about a government under siege: the governor is missing and her appointed replacement has a famous name and an even more famous knack of pleasing those with big piles of money. This section provides a quick snapshot of the mayor of each district, along with information on the UCAS military presence and the external relations that Seattle has with its neighbors and political partners. The Seattle Underworld takes a look at the big players in the shadows, from the new Mafia capo and new Yakuza gumi to the chaos-creating Seoulpa Rings and Triads. The gangs controlling part of the street-level action are also covered in this section. Finally, The Corporate Sector breaks down the megacorporate presence as well as the local players who hold power in Seattle equal to the megas.
The bulk of New Seattle breaks down each area of the metroplex in mood and theme to give players and gamemasters a feel for the district and neighborhoods. From the corporations that own a piece of the action to the gangs that walk the street, from the bright lights of the Downtown hots spots to the neighborhoods where the workers live to the anarchy of the barrens, we focus on the people and places of interest to shadowrunners.
In Game Information, we cover Lone Star security ratings and response time, and offer the gamemaster information on making the Lone Star non-player character an exciting and interesting part of the game. This section also includes unique adventure ideas for each district of the metroplex. The final section of the book is a listing of specific locations that the gamemaster can use as targets, meeting places, or just for flavor.