This campaign will start in Seattle. International travel is possible and likely, so I hope your SINs are in order. Hong Kong, Cairo, Dublin and Neo-Tokyo are all potential vacation destinations.
The following are exceptions to traditional Shadowrun canon:
Renraku Arcology never experienced the events detailed in “Shutdown.” Though “Shutdown” did not happen, all other events detailing the Deus AI did. Therefore, the Renraku Arcology is still owned and operated by Renraku, and not by the UCAS.
Dragons do not exist in this version of Shadowrun. The characters represented by dragons still exist, but are now generally metahuman mages.
Immortal elves do not exist in this version of Shadowrun. Unlike draconic NPCs, these folks do not have analogues.
Paranormal critters do not exist in the same way as canon. If one runs into a hellhound, basilisk or wyvern, its origins would likely lie in genetic and magical experimentation, rather than Unexplained Genetic Expression (UGE). AAA Corporations invested in such research include Wuxing, Aztechnology, and Saeder-Krupp.
Magic in general is present, but a little less front and center than in traditional Shadowrun canon. This is more a technological world than it is an arcane one. Or rather, the secrets of the Awakening have not been unlocked as quickly. At least by most. There are no mechanical consequences to this.
Your group has just completed a very successful run and gotten the attention of some of the movers and shakers of Seattle. With the run’s payday, the group has paid off the debt owed to one the Triads, the Yellow Lotus. The team is now free and clear, and finally in a position to make some real nuyen.
Though it is recommended that the team be balanced (Street Sam, Decker, Mage/Shaman, Rigger), it is not necessary. Some things will be considerably more difficult, but other things will be much easier with a more homogeneous team. That being said, the encounters will not be modified based on the makeup of the party.
Death and Taxes
Death comes quickly in Shadowrun, and resurrection spells do not exist. We’ll have a few sessions to play with the rules and get everyone used to the system, but after that, safeties will be off.
Though death can be sudden, Edge can also be used to keep the reaper at bay. The normal rule of Not Dead Yet, has been changed slightly. It now goes by the name of “Dramatic Editing.” By spending a point of Edge, a player can add a detail that wasn’t previously there (i.e. “I’m going to spend a point of Edge, and find the burner commlink I thought I left at home in my bag,” or “The camera tracking us experiences a glitch and futzes out for the few moments we’re on screen”). Dramatic Editing must serve the scene and cannot generally be used to make drastic changes on fixed details. For example, say a Johnson pulls up to the parking lot in a Rolls Royce sedan, armor plated and bulletproof. The meet goes south and the Johnson escapes in his Rolls Royce. The Rolls Royce is a fixed detail. A player would not be able to say, “I spend a point of Edge, and the Rolls Royce is now a motorcycle.” A player could say, “I spend a point of Edge, and as the Rolls Royce squeals out of the parking lot, the tire shredders pop out of their housing and absolutely destroy the wheels the Rolls Royce is running on.” A player could also say, “I spend a point of Edge, and notice a motorcycle near me. The owner happens to have left the keys in the ignition, so I jump on it and give chase.” The more dramatic the edit, the likelier it will fly.
By burning a point of Edge and invoking Dramatic Editing, a player can rewrite a death so that the death never occurs.
Dramatic Editing cannot occur as part of cutscene, nor can it be used in direct opposition to dice rolls (that’s what the other uses of Edge are for). Any items directly acquired by Dramatic Editing will be written out as soon as the item goes off-screen.
Someone betrays you.
I will be taking volunteers at the character creation session. The chosen volunteer will function as a plant within your team that will help with some goals and passively sabotage others. The team will want to discover who is the plant, and the plant will work to keep their actions hidden. It will require some offline interactions during the week, and they will be aware of some of the overarching metaplot in order to further their patron’s plans. The traitor will accrue bonus karma for every session they remain undetected (to be used when the inevitable reveal happens).
Chummer is a great character builder that will simplify the process of creating and tracking your character. It will also make it easy for me to see what your characters can do. I highly recommend it.