Month: February 2013

Part 4 of Silver Angel is ready to go. In the finale, the gang starts the hard part of the run, getting in the Caviler Center, dealing with unexpected, and finding out if their run ends in ruin or success.

Jump in and enjoy, Silver Angel, Session 2, Part 2.


Download Episode 004 – Silver Angel – Session 2 Part 2 – Unexpected Company


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Part 3 of Silver Angel is ready to go. In the Penultimate episode, the gang puts the final touches on their raid of the Caviler Center. A few people get knocked out, and the start of trouble really gets brewing.

Jump in and enjoy, Silver Angel, Session 2, Part 1.


Download Episode 003 – Silver Angel – Session 2 Part 1 – No Really, how dangerous is a Pacifist Mage?


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Episode 002 – Silver Angel – Session 1 Part 2 – How Dangerous is a Pacifist Mage?

Second Week in and we’re already rocking another actual play. In this session we rejoin our team as they race to save a potential source of data. We also learn just how powerful a Shaman of the spidery variety works when he doesn’t want to kill.

Jump in and enjoy, Silver Angel, Session 1, Part 2.


Download Episode 002 – Silver Angel – Session 1 Part 2 – How Dangerous is a Pacifist Mage?


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GM Wrap Up: Following the Silver Angel, Part I

Running the shadows of the sixth world for the past twenty years I’ve experienced the 2050’s and their grungy unfiltered reality. I’ve gone the distance and saw the flip from Deck to Link, and the bright and oh so shiny 2070’s. When BQSCIW became BARSCILW. Taking the step back into the lands of first edition and rules, restrictions, and growth of the development cycle has been an awakening experience. My prep work for setting up Silver Angel has set much of the standard I’m going to follow in converting these adventures towards the 4th edition standard.

I’m going to start with a mini-review of the 2050’s guidebook. The fiction, descriptions, places, and character chatter in the book are great. It’s got a wonderful mix of new and old, and I’d recommend anyone to pick it up just to take a walk down memory lane. Then you hit the rules and outside of gear, things start lacking. The Matrix feels really stripped down compared to what we’re used to in 4th ed and a few tables and rules are just completely missing. While an errata exists for some of the missing program costs, these don’t feel completely in sync with the rest of the way Shadowrun handles Matrix purchases. I ended up having the group’s Decker use the program costs from the 20th Anniversary Core book and assigned common use and hacking program labels to the 2050 programs. Magic feels a little awkward explaining what a conjurer can and cannot do with spirits since Mages and Shamans are hard linked to bound or unbound spirits. Again, I’d recommend the book, but do so with caution and willingness to adapt the information between various books.

Silver Angel is a fairly straight forward module. At 32 pages, there isn’t much room for heavy betrayal, double crossing, and side plots. It’s a clean start for the players, serves as a good way to group up some new players, and provides them immediate access to a fixer. As the first Module I’m running, I have to say I’m rather happy with this setup and would recommend this for any starting game master.

Pre-game conversion required converting 19 NPC’s or NPC groups from 1st edition to 4th edition rules. I used the third to fourth edition conversion document Fanpro provided, but I found a lot of skills missing from these earlier characters. Physical/athletics skills are completely missing from these earlier characters, and skills introduced in 4th edition have to be added such as Perception and Dodge. There’s also the nature of the various pools that have to be converted or removed. The few casters were easily adjusted, but the deckers suffered a bit from the vast difference between the 4th ed 2050 rules and the 1st edition rules. A number of Target Numbers had to also be modified as older editions expect players to roll against a high target number, and not just earn a number of successes.

Adapting the game to the players was a fun task. Two of the players are new so they’re feeling out the world of Shadowrun. Even our experienced player isn’t totally in sync yet with some of the requirements of being a runner, so when this session of legwork before the major run started a little bit of GM prodding was required. Silver Angel helps cover this though, as the Johnson for this, Eve Donovan, wants everything to go smooth with this run and requires being a part of planning sessions. This gives me a hand directly in being able to point the players after the right tracks, leading towards the two major encounters of the first two episodes of Silver Angel.

The following paragraph contains spoilers for Silver Angel Episode 2, so skip it until you listen to that episode.

A Note on adapting encounters; Game designers and Game masters can only do so much, and players are great at screwing up events and encounters. Take the meeting with Whisper. The book suggests for players to meet Whisper at The Cutting Edge, but Mr. Grey and Mr. Black insisted on going to the bar in the AM. Their meeting with Winslow was far earlier than expected, so having them leave a message for Whisper was appropriate. The encounter with the grunts should have been at the club, but since they insisted I adjusted the situation to take place around Karen’s apartment. I kept a similar format with the three initial grunts being in the front of the house, and the more advanced cyber thug outback waiting for Karen to make her escape. As soon as car crashes, spells, and gunfire breaks out front, Karen bolts and Silverthorne attempts to take her down. Almost does too until Grey steps in. I wonder what’s going to happen since the players left all four grunts alive (although one barely).

The players still need to get into Caviler and steal Silver Angel from MCT. They’ve grabbed the right data they need to setup the run, now they just have to enact the plan and get out safe. They all have ¥40,000 burning in each of their pockets, and another ¥20,000 if they provide Silver Angel, and ¥17,000 more if they keep it quiet. I’m a little surprised none of them have used this money to see about getting new personal items prior to the run going down. Maybe they’ll spread a little of that around to get what they need to get into the center.

Overall the game has been a great success. I’m loving this module and reading through some of the other first edition works is drawing my attention. There’s a lot left just to fill 2050 and 2051, and I wish I had picked up these modules when I first started to game to help me learn faster how to run the world of Shadowrun.

Stay tuned to this Friday when Silver Angel Session 1 Part 2 drops.


Episode 001 – Silver Angel – Session 1 Part 1 – Getting Acquainted


Change is in the air, Chummer. They call this the year of Shadowrun, the time of great upheaval, signs of a new age, a twisting of the world we know and love into something bigger and meaner. Call it an evolution, a shift, or maybe just an awakening. Doesn’t matter how the exact dice lay down. All we know for sure is that if you’re addicted to the loving drug of the Sixth World, then fella you’re gonna feel that bone breaking metamorphous and it’s gonna hurt good. A new edition is just over the horizon, two digital games, and an army of side games ranging from cards to miniatures to some corporate war board game. Gives me the shivers something fierce in a way I love.

But change comes at a price. Flesh is ripped, data is lost, and friends become ghosts. Sometimes the things we know and love have to become something very different to survive, and the Hiddengrid is going through such growing pains. The great SysOp Zendead started this place. Brought some much needed Shadowrun audio love to the Matrix, and though the beacon flared sparingly it flared mightily. There were a number of voices that joined Zen, from new runners to some who’ve been there since the 2050’s went VR2. We got to enjoy a great actual play, and we started to learn more about the core mechanics near the end there. But time, time’s a dirty slitch who frags with your plans when you’re not looking. Time rips leaders and loyalists away, and keeps you from the mountain no matter how much you want to climb it.

So with that we come back around to change and survival. The landscape’s shifted out there. Hiddengrid isn’t the only voice echoing out across the RTG’s. New Voices praise the Sixth World and new places to gather and share the awakening have found nesting grounds. The voices grow and whispers are heard everywhere. What Hiddengrid was doesn’t necessarily need to be anymore because others hold those banners. Time to reassess, find out what safe houses haven’t burned to the ground, and pick a target. Well, we’ve spent some Karma, and decided to pull out an old strategy guide. Hiddengrid isn’t fading, isn’t becoming an echo. It’s becoming a new podcast with the burning spirit of the old blazing through it.

First things first, the captain of this ship is changing. Zen’s out; off fighting the good fight with life, time, and some nasty dragons life’s thrown at him. And I’m taking his place.

*Dramatic flash of lightning*

*Chair swivels*

*Everyone Gasps*

That’s right, nulloperations is taking the helm. I promised you a few months ago a project that was to join up with Hiddengrid, and instead of casting out sails alongside Zen’s mighty galleon as a little skimmer, we decided to throw up our grappling hooks, steal all the pay data, and let sail our flag. Today I give you the new direction of the Hiddengrid.

Hiddengrid: The Sixth World Chronicles goes live now.


Download Episode 001 – Silver Angel – Session 1 Part 1 – Getting Acquainted

That’s right! It’s here! I know, I know, “What took you so fragging long?” Look, I’m sorry. Some nasty IC hit up the first few attempts at recording this past summer and then some jerkoff uploaded some asshole sprite onto my system. I don’t want to talk about it anymore than that. All that matters is we’re here, we’re recording, and we’re producing for your audio pleasure. We’re bringing you weekly Actual Play episodes of real players playing real campaigns in the Sixth World. We’re not just going in with the random stuff though. Oh no. We’re going for a theme here for this game.

With Shadowrun Returns coming out, it sparked the release of the book that’s our holy grail, the 2050 Sourcebook. Why does this special setting book matter? Well, clearly you haven’t listened to the episode yet. It’s where we’re starting! We’re going old school and starting characters off back in the good ol’days. We’re also looking at running in some of the classic adventure books, up-converting them to 4th ed (and eventually 5th ed) rules, and slipping ahead through time adventure by adventure. You’ll get to see how these old modules worked and what it takes to run them today. I’ll be explaining my method for conversion and what and why I left some behind. Characters will grow, learn, and die fighting. A group of Shadowrun noobs will fall in love. Also, we might even buy some nerps.

That’s not all though. Turns out, Zen’s not completely gone! While times not on his side most days, we’re forcing him to carve out enough time to join a game once awhile. Zen won’t be the only guest player though, as we’re going to kidnap other folk’s Matrix feeds and force them to join the table from time to time, and see what they like about being stuck in the Sixth World. It’s a mess of change and we’re moving ahead with it.

You’ll be noticing a few major changes with the site in the next few days. First of all, the forum’s toast. There are some major new and old places to chat up the Sixth World, and Hiddengrid doesn’t want to dilute them. Don’t worry, we’ll be making our presence known on the realms so you can keep in touch with us. The Gallery’s going, and the download section is being folded into the blog. We’re also going to be introducing regular content. Post episode commentary will be going up, brought to you by me and the players. Review of Shadowrun related content and content inspired by or inspiring Shadowrun will also go up.

Things are changing, and we’re working with the way the wind’s blowing. This digital ship is casting off again, and we’ve found a Matrix stream we like. Come join us in the Sixth World, and the tales we will chronicle. We’ve got karma to burn.


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