Once I got that out of my system, I scoured the internet to find out what the best published adventures for the game were. I ultimately decided to run these four: Queen Euphoria, Dreamchipper, Mercurial and Elven Fire. All of them are for earlier editions of the game. But I have never been shy about converting stuff for my own use. The conversion proved to be a bit harder in Shadowrun than I expected. We are heading into spoiler territory, here, people...
We finished Queen Euphoria last night. From what I could tell, it is regarded as one of the very best Shadowrun adventures ever made. Now that I have run it, I will say that it is indeed very fun. You can buy the pdf here for $4.
It's broken up into two parts. In the first, our heroes the shadowrunners are hired to abduct/kidnap a movie star named Euphoria for 3 days. She's supposed to be promoting a new snack food, and a rival company doesn't want it to happen. The runners presumably succeed and let her go at the end of part one.
In part two, someone else abducts Euphoria, and this time our heroes are hired to track her down. It turns out she's been taken by a shaman who is obsessed with her. The shaman has all of these insect monsters at his beck and call. He has put Euphoria in a cocoon to transform her into his ant queen.
At four bucks, though, who cares? It is a great deal.
One thing I love about this adventure is that it is an early 90's vision of the future. People in this adventure don't read the newspaper when they wake up - they read the morning fax. When it's time to make a phone call, you activate your wristphone.
Another thing that cracks me up is the flavor text. It tells the
I mean, there's a part where the flavor text has them get so drunk that they pass out in a bar and wake up the next day in the bar's stockroom!
There's a big section in the back on NPCs and places the heroes might try to find information on. I am glad I remembered to read up on social skills in 5th edition, as the "etiquette" skill is used a lot in this.
Converting the stats
Boy was this hard. In retrospect, I should have just re-skinned a ganger npc stat block. One thing that was confusing was that the true form ant spirits have immunity to normal weapons. At first glance this is quite alarming. My players are street samurai, they don't have magic! How can they kill this thing if it is immune to normal weapons?
One thing I love is how the ant spirits are vulnerable to insecticide. My players actually figured this out on their own! It was great - they ended up firing gas grenades full of insecticide from grenade launchers at the bad guys.
They Paid Attention The Whole Time
I knew this was a good adventure because the players were focused the whole time. A lot of times when you run a D&D adventure, the players are "on the rails" and don't really engage with the scenario too much. But because this adventure plops clues in your lap and makes you do the rest, the wheels were turning the whole time.
My Players Still Don't Know the Rules
My group is like me - they aren't too worried about rules. But wow, 10 sessions in and they literally don't know how many dice they roll to attack or defend! Their character sheets are like hieroglyphics to them. Thankfully I did a lot of studying before I started this campaign and I have handy sheets of rules notes so I can guide them through each session.
The Best Part of This Adventure
- Grenade launchers
- Security Armor and Helmets
- Thermographics and electronic tracking devices
The lower level of the warehouse is basically like the movie Aliens with Ant-monsters in their place. My players fired off insecticide grenades all over the place and thoroughly enjoyed the slaughter.
There Was a Wrinkle
Before they went on the raid, my players decided to take care of some other business. They have this friend who does computer work for them. He is 40 years old and lives with his mom (she looks like Barbara Bush). In previous sessions, the heroes had promised to give the guy a truck worth 50,000 nuyen (dollars) as payment for all the times he'd helped them, but they just forgot all about it.
|Delicious Shadowrun flavor text|
I know next session we'll have to deal with the fallout of this. Her character is addicted to novacoke (basically future-cocaine) and becoming more of a loose cannon. I have cooked up a little scenario involving a dead man's switch (when the 40 year old guy dies, an automatic message is sent to his imprisoned girlfriend offering her all his money in exchange for revenge).
Now that I am in my late 30's, I just don't like downers in my entertainment any more. This adventure says that Euphoria cannot be saved - the cocoon has altered her irrevocably. I decided I didn't like that. In my game, Euphoria hadn't changed yet. She was comatose, but would recover. So our heroes were in fact able to save her.
One other great thing is that the corporation hid recording gear in the heroes' security armor. 6 weeks after this mission, a simsense movie is released called "Against the Hive Masters" starring our heroes. They loved that so much.
This is a great adventure. It really "feels" like Shadowrun. Not only that, but it is a very easy read. If you ever run a Shadowrun game, this is definitely one to run. It might even make a great introductory adventure. Part one is very simple and straightforward. Part two is a bit more complex and really shines all the way through.