Thursday, September 19, 2013

Shadowrun Aspects

The Anubian Ambassor Looks Askanse

What do you love?

What do you hate?

What would you KILL for?

What would you DIE for?

It was about 20 years back. I'd just returned to my Home Town. 

Gotten a job. Not great money, but not bad either. I could get back on my feet. Lick my wounds. Make plans. Move on with my life.

Management thought I had skills. They made me an Operator, with a 100 square mile turf. 

But I always had my eye on, well, further advancement.

And in those days you could go far. This was before Maggie's Gang started looting corpses. Even the stupids did OK, went Corporate, became a Dakker. You couldn't even call it selling out back then. It was making a living, and it worked for a while. 

Sure, half the city was toxic. But at least the whole goddamn town hadn't become a Barrens yet. The Company was still running things, calling the shots. No zombie malls back then. No chop shops either - just legitimate clinics. 

This was before law enforcement went to hired guns, all contracted out and legit. Internal Affairs kept everything on the up and up - or at least created the appearance of being a watchdog. They went through the motions of investigating the cops' drug dealing and murder sprees from inside their little armored hole Downtown. The Gangers were still pretty well bottled up in all their little 'hoods, so nobody complained too much about a little corruption.

Yes, it was still a Company Town back then. A Big Orange Box that was still riding high. For sure, your right: hindsight is 20-20. Everybody should have seen that the fall was coming. But back then the average person couldn't see that the ground was just about to give way. But few of us were ready and waiting when that happened. We were poised for action and hungry to build a rep and win some credits. They called us runners.


The questions at the top of this post were my entree into Shadowrun gaming - but you won't find these questions in any edition of Shadowrun. You had to figure things out for yourself back then.

You wanna play the game? Sure, bro, but you gotta answer a few questions first.

It was back around '92/'93.

The Questions were +Amon C Horne's. He was the GM that got me back into the game. He set the Stage. There wasn't a Table. We moved around the room. Acted. Played it out.

The Questions were intense. So were the sessions. The GM had the answers, but he wasn't telling. Some of us were human, some elves or orks. One or two were something else completely, like a Pale. I remember some freeloader named Chameleon, and a really murderous ganger named Judas.

Those were the days.

All we going for us was the grid, our guns, our 'ware, our gear, and our fellow runners. You and your team had to figure it all out for yourself. Or god help you.  The OSR thought they dreamed this up, but the way we rolled was Old School even back then.

And those Questions. Like I said, everybody had those Questions. Desperate times, back then.

Each of us had our own Answers. Answers that told us who we were. Why people turned to us to fix things. Why we'd take a risk.  What we'd go out on a limb for. What set us apart.

What made us hard, desperate, and mean - and once and a while, maybe just maybe, merciful.

Looking back on it all, it's easy to see those were our Aspects

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