More high jinks in Seattle, choose your side(s) and hope to be in the money.
Publisher’s blurb: “Crossing the border into Salish-Shidhe territory is not easy under the best of circumstances. Crossing when you’re carrying an item that lights up the astral plane like a phosphorus bomb is even trickier. But the stakes are rising in the fight over magical artefacts that keep finding their way into the Seattle area, and that means the possible payouts are going up as well. If you can play the role of a smuggler to the hilt and make all the right contacts, you have the chance for a serious payday. Of course, you also stand a good chance of making some very powerful enemies, but isn’t that always the way?
“SRM 04-04: Smuggler’s Blues continues the latest series of Shadowrun Missions, building on the plotline that focuses on the magic powers of the city and the lengths they’ll go to go get what they want. Players have a chance to affect on-going plotlines and shape the future of Seattle in the Sixth World by playing Missions.”
Opening with background flavour text – an artefact hunter planning her next move as storm clouds gather – this adventure bodes fair to let the storm break over your ‘runners as they attempt to fulfil their latest task and survive with bodies if not honour intact.
The Introduction provides all the information a GM needs to run a ‘Shadowrun Missions’ game, much is of use if you intend to run this as part of a regular campaign even if it is aimed primarily at those participating in shared campaign events at a convention. It’s pretty much standard for each Mission, so if you run them a lot there is nothing new here.
Moving on, the Mission Synopsis explains what is actually going on. Assuming their ‘Ms. Johnson’ survived an earlier Mission in which she features, they are hired by a familiar face who is trying to smuggle herself and an artefact over the border into Seattle. Needless to say, there are others interested in the artefact and who are quite happy not to have to pay for it. Should the ‘runners manage the border crossing safely, the hunt for a purchaser is on, perhaps with the added incentive of a cut of the proceeds… although there aren’t any side deals, which have been a recurring theme of this season so far, to make.
On to the action, beginning with a virtual meeting with their prospective client, and getting the details of a relatively straightforward job. Once hired, they need to figure out border crossing routes to fetch their client back to town. This is a point at which an group might get bogged down in planning, so it’s wise to keep things moving briskly, especially if running this as a convention game in a set timeslot.
Plans laid, off they go – and you are provided with plenty of material to make their travels entertaining (for you, at least!). There’s even an opportunity for any hacker characters to get into virtual combat, rather than just running intrusions, a nice touch. Although it’s unlikely that the ‘runners will get a chance to actually examine the artefact in detail, a full run-down is provided. GMs integrating this adventure into their own campaign may wish to utilise it.
On the face of it, this mission is a simple one; and even given the various obstacles available to you to throw at your ‘runners, it remains a basic plot. Yet it is presented in a way that will work well with those who are well-embedded into the Seattle shadow-world, building on what has gone before in this season. There’s scope for tactical mission planning as well as fighting and negotiation, although dedicated investigators will not find much to do this time. Keep things running at a brisk pace, and you should all have a blast.
Shadowrun 4e: Smuggler`s Blues is available from: