Some of you may wonder where we get all the great adventures that are offered for Shadowrun Missions. Well, the answer is you!
The process starts with the writer submitting a proposal to the Shadowrun Missions Coordinator. Currently, we are seeking adventures that use the new Shadowrun Fourth Edition rules. If the campaign director feels that the adventure does not fit the campaign setting, then the writer is informed as to what might make it acceptable. If the writer wishes to continue after those suggestions, and the campaign director approves the adventure, then the writer proceeds in fleshing out the proposal and writing the adventure.
Once the adventure is finished, it is submitted to the campaign director to check for game balance, general level of difficulty, continuity, and other factors, as well as a preliminary edit for grammar and spelling. The adventure is then returned to the author with corrections and changes. This process continues back and forth until both the director and the author have created a fun adventure.
During the editorial process, the director may pass the adventure to select groups of campaign staff for playtesting purposes, in order to identify any underlying problems. These playtesters will forward their comments back to the director and author for consideration.
Finally, the adventure is formatted and packaged as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file and released for distribution. Because of the long process involved, the initial submission should be filed six months prior to a planned event. The actual adventure should be submitted about four months prior to the expected debut. Keep these time frames in mind if you are writing for a specific convention or event.
So you have an idea for an adventure - great! The first thing to do is to work up a short synopsis of the adventure, a short outline showing any mandatory and optional scenes, proposed rewards, any special events or considerations, and an overview of major non-player characters (NPCs) both friend and foe.
Depending on the adventure, you may be asked to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. This is sometimes necessary if the campaign director asks you to integrate new information into your adventure that has not yet been published.
Once your proposal has been accepted, you need to write the adventure. Follow the tips below to start the process. When you have finished, you will submit your adventure to the campaign director. Your adventure must be submitted electronically via email! Also, please use the "spell check" feature of your word processor before submission! Maps, photos, or other visual player handouts should be submitted initially as JPG (jpeg) at 72 dpi (screen resolution) in order to save space. Once your adventure has been approved and gone through the editing process, final jpegs will be requested. Do not send in Adobe Acrobat or other non-editable formats.
FanPro Shadowrun Commando Program
If you are thinking about joining the FanPro Commando program as a Shadowrun Commando, and already have a completed adventure that you are planning on submitting for membership, you can submit the same adventure to Shadowrun Missions at the same time. Simply send the completed adventure to both the Commando program, as outlined on their website (www.commandohq.com) and to the Shadowrun Missions campaign director.
This does not guarantee that you will be accepted as a Commando, or that your adventure will be accepted for Shadowrun Missions. Your adventure may be accepted by one but not the other!
Adventures should be constructed so that a good team can finish the entire adventure within 3 1/2 hours and an unlucky or inexperienced team should be able to complete about 75% of the mission. If the team is reckless or bickering, they'll be lucky to survive, let alone complete and profit.
The other half hour of the presumed 4 hour slot will be needed for character development.
The team should have a good chance of survival if they perform well. Auto-kill situations and ones where a character's life, or those of the team, depend on one lucky roll should be avoided. Beware of "cavalry charges," high-powered NPCs and other items that will detract from the players' enjoyment. They should feel as though they legitimately triumphed against tough odds amid the usual web of betrayal. This is Shadowrun.
SRM adventures use the concept of "Table Rating" (TR) to vary the difficulty of an adventure to the characters in a session. TR is based on the average Good Karma that each character has earned. Various challenges, such as NPCs or device ratings, should be variable based on the TR used.
Please do NOT have the entire adventure hinge on one (or more) characters having a particular skill or a certain contact. Leave alternate paths to the end if the team is lacking the one "vital" ingredient. By all means, make it more difficult for them, but not impossible.
If your adventure absolutely requires a type of skill (e.g. Rigging or Decking), discuss your idea with the campaign director. We'll create a scenario specific solution. Try to have something for everyone in a team to do. We have warned players not to overspecialize their PCs.
Pre-calculated pools and as many specifics as possible about NPCs and their equipment is greatly appreciated. A simple thing like adding drain and damage information can speed up play. At the least, NPCs should have short descriptions to aid the GM in roleplaying the character and how to handle various situations that may arise in the adventure.
Karma awards are as usual. Karma should be around one to three. GMs will be adding up to three more points for individual playing. Suggestions by the author about how to award Karma, are invited. As for gear and other rewards, including cash, we would like PCs to progress at a slow, but reasonable, rate. Again, GMs have guidelines to allow mediation of huge hauls due to player cleverness. The exception here would be utility items (a freebie pocket comp, wrist 'phone, simsense player, etc.) and consumables (small amounts of ammo, expendable fetishes, patches, cheaper chipware, etc.). Any major items like Foci, Heavy Weapons, Vehicles, etc. should be rare. Spread loot among the interests of a variety of archetypes, if possible. Everyone loves nuyen.
Typically, PCs will be drawn into an adventure for little or no cash, but will find windfalls en route. Or, the PCs can contract a mission for decent nuyen, but will acquire far less loot. Offering split fees or bonuses based on performance is fine and can be used to encourage tactics. Please use the Shadowrun Companion (Revised for 3rd Edition), page 100 for guidance on how much to pay runners for various mission types.
You may also have the employer offer mods/equipment/spell formulae, or other barter, instead of cash. The value should follow the above guidelines. Contacts also make great rewards. Please limit yourself to only 1 or 2 new contacts to each PC. Also, please include criteria for the person to become a contact. Finally, please describe which Contact Type they are, if it is not obvious.