The Family Jewel
The Family Jewel is a short adventure for Shadowrun, Third Edition, intended for use as a one-shot introduction for new players. As it involves some of the intrigues of the great dragons as described in the upcoming Survival of the Fittest campaign, this adventure also makes a great starting point for a new game, and only minor changes will be necessary to use it in an ongoing game.
Preparing To Play
This adventure takes place in Japan, where fear of and prejudice toward metahumans--orks and trolls in particular--is the norm. The makeup of the team of runners suggested for use takes this into account. Suggested sample characters from SR3 are the Adept, Face, Street Mage, Street Samurai, Tech-Wiz, and Weapons Specialist. Other characters can be used, but should be converted to be human first. In addition, all characters should have their primary language skill changed to Japanese.
In 2057, the newly elected President of the United Canadian and American States, the great dragon Dunkelzahn, died. His death stunned the world, but even more stunning to his fellow great dragons was the fact that he left a will. Dragon custom states that a dead dragon's hoard goes to whoever can take and keep it. Now, five years later, the world's most powerful great dragons have agreed to perform a proper Rite of Succession amongst themselves, using their agents and proxies to prove their superiority.
One of the most minor players in this great game is Masaru, an eastern great dragon who has long backed the rebels who wish independence from the Empire of Japan. This often puts him directly at odds with Ryumyo, another eastern great dragon who holds most of Japan to be his through his shadowy use of influence. Masaru is a relatively young great dragon, and has amassed neither the power nor the knowledge that his fellows have. He is quite aware that he has little chance of advancing himself through the Rite of Succession, and has chosen instead to make a two-pronged move that will embarrass Ryumyo and help him understand the ways of his own kind better.
This is where the runners come in. Hired by an agent of Masaru's in Japan, their job is to steal the Utsuro Sapphire, a family heirloom that is in reality a draconic memory crystal, used by dragons to store information. The Utsuro Sapphire holds only basic information, and so has been left where it is by Ryumyo (though he is aware of it and keeps an eye on it), but Masaru thinks it may hold knowledge he does not possess.
A Night On The Town
What's Up, Chummer?
In this scenario, the runners meet up with their Meisho-san (literally Mr. Name--the Japanese version of Mr. Johnson), Yoshitaka Fujima, and are offered the job. Yoshitaka is clean-cut and very professional, and meets them in a private room at Club Bodaiju, a quiet place where writers and poets often meet. His manners are impeccable, and the only thing that seems off about him is that his accent is slightly off. A Perception (8) test will reveal that his accent is Filipino, and that he tries hard to hide it.
Tell It To Them Straight
You receive a call from your fixer. He has recommended you to some friends of his, and a job offer has come up, despite your inexperience. He suggests that you go to Club Bodaiju at 9:00 P.M. this evening and ask for the private room of a Meisho-san, where the job will be explained, and to leave obvious weapons at home or outside.
Upon arriving at the club, you are shown to a small room where a sharply-dressed man awaits.
"Ah, welcome. I am Meisho, and a mutual friend convinced me that you might be right for a job I need done. I offer ten thousand nuyen per person, with half up front, if you agree. The task is somewhat time-sensitive, and must be completed within three days. Agreed?
When the players agree to take the job, read the following out loud:
"Excellent. The task is simple--I want a gemstone stolen from its owner and given to me. It is the Utsuro Sapphire, a family heirloom of the Okitsu family and currently part of the jewelry collection of Okitsu Terao's wife Nami. The sapphire is unique in that it appears to be hollow, but has no other flaws. It should be with Nami's other jewels in her bedroom, and the pair are both out of town for the next three days. They live on the 34th floor of the Maru-ichi building here in Tokyo. After you retrieve the gem, contact me through our mutual friend and we will complete the transaction. Any questions?
This should be easy--Yoshitaka is an experienced professional, and a good way to give tips to new players (all such tips will be couched in apologetic phrases, such as "I am sure you would do such-and-such anyway, but..." and the like).
Behind The Scenes
Yoshitaka is an indirect agent of Masaru--he works for people who work for Masaru, and has no idea of his connection to the dragon. He also has no idea why the gem is required, only that it is. Surprisingly, he also has no plans to backstab or screw the characters, just to do his job.
Pushing The Envelope
For more excitement, a raid by police on the establishment (it is a hotbed of political thought the Emperor disapproves of) while the characters and Yoshitaka are there could easily sow confusion.
The only real problem here is if the players refuse the deal. If so, the adventure is over. Remind ornery players of this, and if they still choose not to take the job then this one-shot game will end.
Hit 'em Where They Live
What's Up, Chummer?
In this second scenario, the runners come up with, prepare for, and then execute a plan to steal the sapphire. They have up to three days to spend checking on things, and a decker can find out quite a bit in that time. The Maru-ichi matrix system is fairly weak, with a rating of Easy Orange and system ratings 4/10/10/10/10/6.
Tell It To Them Straight
You've done all the preparing you can, and now it's time to make your move. The adrenaline is rushing--time to earn your pay!
First we sneak, then we fight. This should give most of the runners a chance to strut their stuff, no matter their specialty.
Behind The Scenes
The Okitsu home is one of four on the 34th floor, and is located in the southwestern part of the area. Nameplates outside of the other three apartments read Konoye, Harada, and Saionji, and the target apartment bears a similar Okitsu tag. The front doors have a rating 5 maglock, and are protected by a camera. These precautions can be shot up, which will make noise and draw security, shut off onsite by someone with an Electronics skill, or controlled by a decker with access to the host.
A building security guard walks the halls every ten minutes, and entry to the floor is allowed only through an elevator or by getting onto the balcony of an apartment somehow and then entering that apartment (balcony doors have a rating 4 keypad lock--thee Okitsu door's number is 25712571).
Getting onto the apartment floor requires some creativity on the part of the players--allow any reasonably intelligent attempt to succeed. Once inside the apartment, it is easy to find the sapphire. Any character who assenses it will notice that it has a slight enchantment of an unidentifiable type on it--this is because it is a memory crystal.
After the runners find the sapphire, a squad of four security guards exits from the elevator--one of the other residents reported something strange, and they have been sent to check it out. They will attack the runners on sight and call for back-up--the characters now have a very limited time to make their escape, as another squad will emerge from the elevator every ten combat turns until a total of 20 have arrived. These guards use gel rounds, and any captured runners will be turned over to the police. The best way out is via the balcony, but if all of the guards are defeated somehow the runners are free to walk out the front door. Note that the guards all arrive using the elevator, which can be controlled from the Matrix, but don't point this out--let the players think of it.
Pushing The Envelope
Making one out of every eight guards a mage with bound elementals will turn up the heat for stronger characters, as will extra alarms and security systems inside the apartment. Switching the rounds the guards use from gel to regular or flechette will knock things up a notch as well.
There are two main problems that can occur here. First, the runners may be noisy breaking in, attracting security, or even fail entirely to get into the apartment, much less get the gem. If this happens, so be it. Some runs fail--it happens.
The second problem involves escaping. Players may forget about the balcony or simply think they lack the gear to escape that way. Keep in mind that every floor above the first has a balcony and they are all layered, so that a careful runner can let himself drop to the balcony below and either break into the new apartment or keep dropping until he reaches the ground. Have the runner make an Athletics (4) Test for every five floors descended this way. Those who fall take D Physical damage, with a power equal to the number of floors from their falling point to the ground.
Picking Up The Pieces
If the runners have made it out safely with the sapphire and deliver it, they will have made a friend in Masaru and an enemy in Ryumyo. This can be a great beginning to a campaign, if you want something more than a one-shot game.
If you plan to continue using these characters, award individual Karma according to the rules in SR3. Award Karma to each team member based on the following achievements:
|Surviving the run||1 point|
|Getting the sapphire||1 point|
|Escaping without being arrested||1 point|
Cast Of Shadows
The only statistics really needed for this adventure are those of the Maru-ichi security guards.
Maru-ichi Security Guards
These guys are pretty well-trained but should be no match for seasoned runners in small doses. They use gel rounds to keep damage to the building and its inhabitants to a minimum, and turn over anyone they catch to the police, though they have been known to kill orks and trolls from time to time.
Dice Pools: Combat 5
Karma Pool/ Professional Rating: 1/2
Active Skills: Car 4, Etiquette 2 (Police 3), Pistols 5, Unarmed Combat 4
Knowledge Skills: Japanese Law 3, Security Procedures 3
Martial Arts: Brawling 4 (Herding, Vicious Blow)
Weapons: Ares Predator [HP, SA, 7M stun, 15 (c) with 2 extra clips (both gel), laser sight]
Range (TN): 0-5 (3), 6-20 (4), 21-40 (5), 41-60 (8)
Armor: Light security armor [6/4]
Gear: Flashlight, plasteel restraints, transceiver (Rating 5)