Shadowrun Episode 1: Stuffer Shack

Posted: 8 May 2012 in Tryouts

Gutz’ player wanted to try his hand at GMing Shadowrun, so we’re taking a couple of weeks’ holiday from Shadows of Keron, and then the plan is to alternate adventures. Here’s what happened last weekend from my PC’s perspective, complete with picture…


It’s the great equalizer. It’ll stop a troll the size of car as easily as the smallest dwarf or the thinnest elf. It ain’t a weapon, spell or even a dragon — it’s hunger. When it’s time to eat, you just gotta get the stuffers into your stomach before you go berserk. What are stuffers? They used to be called junk food or munchies. They’re probably just as good for you as nutrisoy and krill-filler, regardless of those ads from the Nutrition Council. When the pangs hit, there’s only one place to go (especially when the sun rises in about an hour) to find that kind of chow. It’s the place everyone loves to hate: Stuffer Shack.

So it’s 0430 by the clock in my eyes-up display, we’re back from a run, and hungry. We drop into Stuffer Shack, on account of there’s nowhere else open this time of night, and fan out through the aisles looking for our favourite stuffers, or least unfavourite, anyways.

Who’s “we”? Good question. I go by Zanshin, I’m a street samurai – I break things and hurt people. Always a need for that on a run somewhere. This was our first run together so I didn’t get the rest of the names yet, just their PAN addresses – what more do you need, right? So for tonight “we” means a dwarf demoman, an elf lady of some description, a human technomancer, and a refined European troll combat mage.

Hardly a balanced party, but in the sprawl you take what you can get, especially when you’re just starting out.

Inside there’s a fat lady with a fat kid, screaming at each other, a dwarf who looks like he’s the manager, and a pretty elf chewing gum on the checkout. I can see by her eyes there’s nobody home, though.

No sooner have we started picking up bags than in come two people and start checking us out. This is a bad sign, and a worse one is when two more people barge through the door with guns and start yelling to give them everything we got.

Now, I can’t give people everything I got, on account of most of it is built in, and more than somewhat difficult to get out in a hurry. And that is supposing I wanted to. So I take a step to the nearest one and do the tanke o kiru, sliding my katana blade just a little out of the sheath to show we can talk the talk or walk the walk, I don’t mind which, and I say to her “Leave. Now.”

Two things happen then which I am ashamed to say disturb my zanshin. First off, the she-thug kicks me in the head. Second off, the dwarf rolls a flashbang over towards the counter where the boss thug is demanding money with menaces.

Well, none of us is going to take that lying down, except for the fat lady who has fainted.So we pull out our various guns and blades and start to take out some of our frustration on these wannabe runners. After a couple of missed strikes at the girl in front of me, who is better than I expected, and a few holes in my armour which will be expensive to mend, I decide even these clowns are worth the cost of a few bullets and haul out a dear friend who is close to my heart, namely the Ingram smartgun in the shoulder holster.

While I’m perforating a couple of these goons the elf cashier runs out the back, the troll pulls out a sniper rifle from somewhere and opens up, the technomancer has fun torching thug-borne electronics, our elf gets shotgunned through a door and the dwarf rolls another grenade towards the counter and runs out the store. Somebody yells “frag out!” so I drop, taking the fat kid down with me.

Now, from my position on the floor behind aisle 16 (Pot Noodle, which sadly is the most nutritious thing in the joint) I can only see the fat lady, who our technomancer is using for cover, and two of the opposition, so I plug them both. The big guy takes five smartgun rounds to put down, so the gun was a good choice. I can hear shots and explosions, and see the occasional spray of purple fluid or gold powder from a shelf, and over the commlinks I can hear the dwarf having trouble trying to drive the gang’s getaway car. It turns out he can’t drive, because his plan to drive through the door and run over the competition turns into reversing into a street light, then driving through the plate glass window. The shooting and explosions stop, so I figure it’s time to stand up again, and I see it’s all over except for the fat lady singing, ‘cos she’s still out on the floor acting as cover.

The checkout girl, who has just gotten herself a promotion on account of the manager getting shot, thanks us and says maybe we should leave before the cops turn up.

Maybe she is smarter than I think.

So we saunter out like nothing happened, with the troll adjusting his monacle and the rest of us poorer for the cost of ammo and repairs, and richer in armfuls of stuffers and holes in our bods. We are just turning the corner onto 59th Street when the Shack explodes and bursts into flames. I figure there is stuff in some of those products the Nutrition Council doesn’t know about, or maybe doesn’t dare mention.

Next time, I’m bringing my own sandwiches.


End of Session cellphone shot. We’re using red chips for wound modifiers, yellow for stun (not pools of pee as one of the players suggested), and white for people with implants (after the technomancer scanned them). You expect a ton of d6 for Shadowrun games, but maybe not d20 – we are using them to show how much ammo is left in each mag.


The clear dicebox represents the thugs’ getaway car, which has just crashed through the plate glass window. On top of it is the dwarf demoman. Moving clockwise around the battlemat, the others are:

  • Our elf
  • The NPC elf checkout girl legging it out the back door
  • The heavily augmented thug – check out the size of that stack of wound modifiers!
  • My PC, prone on top of his wound modifier chips.
  • The fat kid (kobold mini)
  • The fat lady (myconid mini)
  • Our technomancer, in total cover behind the fat lady. Yes, she really is that fat.
  • Our devilishly-refined European troll with his sniper rifle.

It’s nice to get out from behind the screen occasionally, and our newbie GM did very well for his first run, especially considering none of us knew the rules.

  1. Umberto Pignatelli says:

    Shadowrun! I played it last time 10 years ago, more or less!

  2. thetailrace says:

    I last played around the time of the 2nd edition.

  3. andyslack says:

    I’m ashamed to say I have never played it before, although I know it’s been very popular for over 20 years. We had a blast.

    Interestingly, all of my group picked it up very quickly; some of them still have trouble remembering whether they add the wild die to the trait die in Savage Worlds or use the better score, but the SR4 dice pool mechanic seemed very intuitive to them.

  4. Hi would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start
    my own blog in the near future but I’m having a hard time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!

    • andyslack says:

      No worries. I use the plain vanilla free version of WordPress, because at the time I chose it, it was the easiest for me to understand and the most forgiving of newbie mistakes. That was five years ago, mind, and I’m happy with WordPress so I’ve not felt the need to change or investigate other products since.

      I haven’t done anything more complex with it than pick a theme and schedule posts for future dates. I do tend to write and edit posts offline using Windows Live Writer (also free) because it’s easier for me that way.

      One thing I would suggest is think carefully about the categories or tags you want to use; once you have a few hundred posts, it’s a pain to change those. Not hard, but time-consuming.

      The layout, by the way, is just one of the standard WordPress themes with a couple of standard widgets added.

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