I’ve been invited to participate in a relatively new Shadowrun game. Things have already started, but I’ve only missed four sessions. The game is apparently going to mix in some Resident Evil story, with the Umbrella Corporation being a big new player in Denver (where the game is set). It sounds like it could be pretty cool, and there are some friends in the group that I haven’t seen in a while that I’d love to hang out with, and I’ve just been jonesing for a game, so I agreed to join in.
Now the problem is creating a character.
I’ve played a good amount of Shadowrun, which is kind of surprising, considering that I’m not a big fan of the system. I quite like the setting, though, and this is the game that taught me that a good GM can make any game fun and enjoyable, despite its shortcomings.
The street samurai concept has always appealed to me, and that tends to be what I play as. I normally avoid the straight fighter types, but for whatever reason, that’s my preferred Shadowrunner. I’ve played a street mage and a shaman, and have just plain not liked the magic system, so I didn’t want to go that route. The GM has instituted a “no pure rigger or pure net-runner” rule, which I think is wise. I wouldn’t go that way anyway. So at this point, I’m leaning towards a street sam, but not wanting to retread old ground.
Looking at what little I know about the rest of the party, I see a lot of roles taken. We’ve got a face character. We’ve got a battle mage. We’ve got a physical adept. We’ve got a tough bruiser. I don’t often base my character off of what the rest of the party is playing, but when I’ve got little or no idea, then I’ll look for gaps to at least give me some direction. I’m not seeing any real gap with this team, though.
I decided to sit in on the next session (which was the same night that I was receiving the basic campaign info, and so the same night that I was first considering character options). When I arrived, the only character concept that I had latched onto at all was a hard-boiled private investigator type. I knew the bruiser of the party also has some investigation leanings, and I assumed that the face does as well, but it was a start, and overlap isn’t a bad thing by any means.
I spent the evening listening in on an intense combat while flipping through the game books and jotting down thoughts on a notepad. The first place I looked was at the sample characters/archetypes in the main book. There was an investigator character, but also of note was a covert operations specialist and a gunslinging physical adept. The covert ops idea covered an area that I don’t think the party is particularly skilled at. They probably have some skill in that area, but having a go-to guy might be a good thing. The adept brought back ideas that I’d briefly thought about. I’ve never played an adept, though there have been several in the games that I’ve played. I decided to keep that option open, decide where I want to go with the character, and then decide if I want cyberware or magic to enhance that.
I’ve never seen the metavariants available for Shadowrun. I’ve only dealt with the basic Orc, Troll, Human, Elf, and Dwarf options. The Hobgoblin jumps out at me, and it’s not long before I’ve decided that I will either be a Hobgoblin or a Human, depending on how the rest of the concept develops.
I suddenly thought about the character of Mike from Breaking Bad. Not an investigator, but a problem solver. Someone who gets called in to fix things when the plan goes bad. Need a body disposed of? Call this guy. Need a house bugged? Call this guy. Need your apartment “cleaned” of illegal paraphernalia? Call this guy. I quickly thought of another example of this type of character: Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction as “The Wolf.” Again, something goes wrong, and he sweeps in, solves the problem, and goes.
This is a great option! It fits in with the somewhat grim Shadowrun setting. It allows for a wide variety of skills, including many that won’t be covered by the rest of the group. Other than having to deal with a variety of dark and bleak situations, I’m still pretty much free to develop his personality as I see fit. It’s a fantastic canvas.
Now that an idea is coming together, I finally settle on being a Hobgoblin. I can totally see this character with pointy teeth, greenish skin, and beady eyes. The only core choice left is the cyber/magic option. I look at the adept portion of the magic chapter. The rules seem pretty simple here, and glancing through the adept abilities, I see several that would totally fit in with my concept.
So that’s what I’m going with: a hobgoblin troubleshooting adept. Now I just need to make the guy and jump right into the game!
Needless to say, updates to come…