The Pitch

Influences:

  • TV:
    • Alias
    • Human Target
    • Spooks
  • Film:
    • Bourne series
    • Collateral
    • Haywire
    • Mission: Impossible series
    • Ronin
    • The Transporter

Concept:

I’d like to run a Shadowrun game influenced by the above, where the PCs are a team of highly competent, highly resourced and highly supported “intelligence contractors” (read: salaried shadowrunners) working for Aegis Cognito. Your characters will receive their assignments from their AC handler, along with all necessary intelligence dossiers and high remuneration, in exchange for a high success rate and total confidentiality.

Your characters won’t need to worry too much about legwork, as their handler will be able to detail other operatives to gather information you say you need. Planning will be a big part of the game, and much like spy movies, at least some of the fun will come from the times where your plans don’t quite match reality.

You’ll start as a newly-formed team of Aegis Cognito operatives from a variety of backgrounds, whether ex-military, ex-intelligence, ex-corp, ex-shadowrunner or something else. Your job spec will be that you’ll do corporate espionage, whether that’s datasteals, extractions, or even wetwork or demolition jobs. There’s a tendency away from paramilitary work but Aegis Cognito are a mercenary corporation and operate without much of an ethical dimension aside from the profit motive.

Your characters will likely feel a lot like regular shadowrunners, with two key differences: first of all, you’ll have much more support (see above) and second of all, you won’t ever meet Mr. Johnson. Your handler will essentially fill the role of fixer, being both the source of your mission briefings and equipment (although a lot of missions will need you to engage in on-site procurement). There will be a great deal of international travel, not least because Aegis Cognito has twenty-two offices across four continents and you could be working out of any of them at any time. That means that characters could come from anywhere in the world. I hope that the campaign will develop in such a way that there will be many high-stakes activities that challenge your characters’ morals and capabilities, with the end result being lots of fun for everyone.

Downtime

Between each mission will be some time where each character gets to work on their own projects. We’ll handle this by email or one-to-one sessions outside the normal routine. This is likely where most personal plot stuff will occur, too.

Earning Karma

Characters (rather than players) earn Karma. Everyone will get the same award for surviving a given Episode, for achieving objectives within that Episode, the length of the Episode, and the overall challenge/threat level of the Episode in question. There may also be occasional individual awards for particularly brave or smart play, pushing the overall Series storyline forward, or impressing the group with humour and drama. It’s worth noting that when you’re spending Karma, I might ask you why you want to buy whatever it is that you’re buying – how it helps your character do their job, or helps the team cover a gap. I don’t want the Team Roles to become like D&D character classes, but neither do I want them to be utterly irrelevant.

Character Death and Retirement

If a character dies, or a player wishes to retire a character and start a new one, then their new character is created as normal. That character is then given (and may spend or save) 75% of the old character’s post-creation Karma.

The Pitch

Corporate Intrigue raggedhalo