games, writing

Shadowrun Identity: Domestic Placement Agent

A British decker working on behalf of Coutts & Fitzherbert reaches out to the player to serve as a maid or butler to a noble family in London haunted by a criminal past.

in 2013 i started working on a scenario for ‘Shadowrun Identity’, a community project making content for Shadowrun Returns based on existing campaign prompts from the books and whatnot. as far as i can tell the SRI project fizzled eventually and the site now directs to what i think is ads for japanese marriage coordinators. for my part i got as far as an introductory post, the skeleton of one map, and this design document (no idea why the last sentence in it is cut off).

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i never finished because i got a job in a restaurant instead of working from home so i didn’t have any time. also this project was probably too ambitious considering i started planning things before i had even gotten the game/editor. anyways, i still think some of the ideas are interesting and/or funny, especially because i wrote this whole story about english people before ever living in/visiting the uk.

eventually i’ll post papers from my own shadowrun project that i developed with no intention of actually making. it was called ‘district blues’ and was set in an alternate sixth world washington dc

ETA this extra information i found from another document that includes more details of the project. some of this overlaps with the document linked above, some of it is new/different. i haven’t looked through it all so i’m sure there are typos everywhere

shadowrun identity project shadowrun identity project
“A British decker working on behalf of Couts & Fitzherbert reaches out to the player to serve as a maid or butler to a noble family in London haunted by a criminal past.”

the position is actually that of a bodyguard, but [some politician or noble] is doing the hiring under a pretense because he is supicious of even his chief of security
the decker works for Couts & Fitzherbert in a discrete section that fulfills special requests, including hiring shadowrunners, and the politifician has hired them to find a suitable bodyguard who can perform security and investigation duties while undercover to everyone but the client
the PC has been hired as a surreptitious bodyguard, because supposedly terrorists have taken out a hit against the nobleman
[in reality, the nobleman is being blackmailed about his family’s involvement in the government’s illegal kidnapping and extradition of metahumans, and particularly trolls and orcs.  the blackmailer is his long-lost troll twin, who was sent to be raised by a noble family of another country rather than be deported along with other goblinized-people in the immediate aftermath of goblinization. because the noble family was using its airline and transit wealth and resources to help the government illegally kidnap and deport people (in the aftermath of the king being murdered for being turn into a troll — the nobelamn hears about this and decides to send away one his chidren rather than kill it, because even though he thinks its a monster its still his flesh and blood–) , they were able to help their baby troll escape detection on his way out of the country via a diplomatic contact.  now the family, (including the current nobleman) uses the connections and programs it secretly helped start to continue collussion with the British government in its illegal extraordinary rendition program, and the troll twin, after discovering the truth of his parentage, figures out this information and threatens to blackmail the nobleman, who in turn hires the PC under a false pretense in the hopes that the PC will end up killing the troll twin)]
DRAMATIS PERSONAE
British Decker: elf female s6h6c9 – quasi-runner herself who headhunts for Couts and Fitzherbert “special requests”
Couts and Fitzherbert makeover specialist: dwarf male s4h4c7b5 -former footman who went to work as a consultant for Couts and Fitzherbert because there was much more money there

 

Nobleman: human male s6h1c3 -a racist, vain, petty child of priviledge who would be pathetic if he his ignorant tantrums couldn’t result in the deaths of countless people, whether we’re talking about individuals who cross him or the countless poor affected by his policies
Husband: human male s5h5c5 -an up-jumped rent boy who the nobleman brought with him after he took over the family’s affairs following his father’s death
Wife: human female s6h1c2 -a marriage of convenience and politics between two noble families
Head of domestic staff: dwarf female s5h2c11 -former nurse of the previous noble patriarch who had been with the family since a little bit before the nobleman took control and was given control over the family’s domestic issues since the nobleman had little interest in the particulars of running the house
Head of security: orc male s7h4c11b6 -british royal marine, met nobleman during the latter’s (politically) compulsory service in the military and was taken on as security chief/intimidator
Head of food/service: elf male s1h7c4 -relatively recent hire, replaced previous chef who the onbleman accussed/suspected of stealing and selling food on the black market (which has arisen due to the fact that the proles all have to eat variously-flavored soy products)
Gardener at country house: orc female s6h2c14
Mayor of village where country house is located: male dwarf s6h4c12b1
Village hoodlum (red herring for break-in): troll male s7h1c4
Old security person at country house: human male s5h5c1 -caretaker/security person at country house (which is rarely occupied), who bristles when the house if filled and he has to be subordinate to the security chief, who he disrespects for being younger and a troll

 

 

 

Troll Twin: troll male s4h0c0 – sent away to live with the family of a foreign ambassador rather than being givne over to the British govenrment’s secret goblinization deportation program. learns the truth of his parentage when his adoptive parents die and he is unable to collect on their will because his genes don’t match. while this sends him into poverty, British nobles’ obsession with lineage makes it relatively easy for him to figure out his real family because there were extensive studies tracing the lineage of british noble houses.  though it takes a long time and a lot of trouble, he is eventually able to smuggle himself into england in order to reconnect with his family, only to find that his brother wants nothing to do with him

 

 

 

 

A three-act play

Act Ithe player starts in the seatle airport, waiting for a sub-orbital flight to London
SCENE 1:
Fade in to just before stepping through automated security system
the machine asks the player for identification and ticketthe player has both and has the option to:give identification and ticket -player goes straight through to the terminalNumber sequence [decker check] -robot responds with : please proceed, governorsay something like “No way, fascist robot!” -Robot responds with: I accept your exercise of free speech, under code …. [robot lists a bunch of laws etc], citizen. If you do not have identification and a ticket, can you please step aside so that other passengers may board? Here is a ticket for a free soy-namon bun, which you will find located next to the ticketing counter.Flirt with it [charisma check] -which leads to the revelation that the robot security machine is slightly self-aware, which causes it to malfunction and semi-explode
while waiting in the terminal, the player can buy food or beverage, watch the news, connect to the net for a fee, check messages [which includes some initial background info about the job (name of contact, name of company, tickets, fake id, check bank account history (which shows them being poor but then getting a large deposit)/withdraw money.
player inventory:ticketsfake idcash

the terminal features scrolling news tickers, tv screens, and flight information boards, as well as digital signs showing where to line up for the flight
news/bookstore with food and drinksrestaurant and barexecutive club (player has ticket/identification needed to gain access thanks to company/client)
the player has two in-game hours to walk around and see stuff before hte flight leaves

flight sequence: exterior of plane on the tarmac, sitting in the terminal in Seattle while it’s raining out
exterior, plane in noon sky
exterior, plane at parabolic height,
exterior, plane in late afternoon sky
exterior, plane in sky in dark, poison-looking clouds
exterior, plane on tarmac in London, one again in the rain

after flight sequence the player is met at the airport by the decker,
SCENE 2:
who takes him/her to their hotel in London, where there is a barber and arms dealer ready to make the player look the way he/she needs to for the job, and so that the player can get whatever weapons he/she wants (the decker apologizes that the player had to travel via commercial flight and thus had to leave his/her weapons behind, but it was neccesary to maintain the cover, as anyone watching would expect to be able to track the new maid/butler at least to the airport)
the company is willing to offer the player bonuses if he/she completes certain side-tasks, such as findoung out information, planting bugs, or stealing data (including a special ending)
the player gets outfitted, and then whenever he/she is ready, they go to the client’s house

the client lives in a nice, brownstone-type house in a fancy/rich part of london, but the mother and children are out of the country on a vacation somewhere, and the father amd his husband [they live in a megage a troi] are going to their country home for a “working vacation,” but in reality it is because he suspects that someone is trying to murder him
the player arrives as the father’s staff is rapidly moving things out of the house and gettinge everyone ready to travel, because they are leaving for the country that night
when the player arrives, he/she has to check in with the head of the household staff, and it becomes something like a Downton Abbey episode, although there are suspsicious things about
at first the father acts like he does not know/care about the player character other than he or she being a new hire, but before they leave the house he makes some kind of contact, maybe telling the player to watch out for some other member of the household
maps/map areas:airport terminalshotel roomnoble house (3 floors) first floor: entrance hall, kitchen, den/lounge/bar second floor: dining room, playroom, office third floor: bedrooms
end of Act I
Act II
while at the nobleman’s house in the country, someone reports seeing a monster in the forest whilst they are out on a hunt. later in the week, a keycard goes missing during a garden partyfinally, there is a violent disturbance in the garage one night, and while the security team is checking it out, the nobleman’s safe is robbed, even though it is supposed to only open to someone with his biological signature
a mysterious note is left in the safe, and soemhow it makes it seem like those responsible want to be paid off at a drop location back in London
the nobleman and his husband
SCENE 1:interior of country house
(include locked room that doesn’t show up on matrix schematics, but which contains a nursery outfitted for two babies, although one of the cribs is broken and there are signs of a decades-old struggle)
interior of house (three floors in center wing, two floors in either side wing)
center wing includes large entry hall, massive library, dining hall, den, office/study, and bedrooms
east wing includes greenhouse, kitchen, larder,
west wing includes blocked off nursery, workshop (carpentry, 3D printing, etc.), garage/stable

SCENE 2: grounds of the house(employee sees troll somewhere on the grounds and thinks that it is the “ghost of [wherever they are])
front lawn/driveway, back lawn/garden area, forest/hunting area
the immediate grounds of the house are surrounded by a wall/low hedge that serves as a boundary to different areas so that the forest area is a separate section
SCENE 3:safe is robbed, investigation into theft, opportunity for player to find the actual ghost (who reveals some of the family history, including another secret room where aborted troll babies, who were born to the family after the initial twins, are kept in jars)
some kind of evidence, letter, or communication indicates that the shadowy party wants to meet, and the employer (nobleman) acts as if the person wants money
the office/study is open, which was previously locked, and the player is able to possibly break into the nursery
the player is also able to enter bedrooms in order to “service” the rooms but in reality investigate

ACT III
Back in London
SCENE 1:back at the nobleman’s house during preparations for the drop.  the house is dark, shadowy, and empty, as opposed to the first act, where it is brightly lit and filled with people

 

SCENE 2:on the way to the drop, the player meets up with a representative of the  decker from before, who provides weapons and additional money if the player retrieves both the money for the drop and whatever was stolen (without alerting the client)
the player meets with the representative in a metro station, and the rep. gives the player a code for the lockers that contain weapons, money, and depending on the archetype of the player, drones, fetishes, etc.

 

SCENE 3: the drop, where all is revealed, and depending on player actions, the player can choose to side with the troll twin, the client, expose them both, blackmail them both, or kill them both, or it becomes clear that the troll twin really just wanted family and to be loved by his brother, but as he goes to hug him, the nobleman kills him in a fit of disgust. the player can then agree to dispose of the body, threaten to turn in the nobleman, or attack him
depending on prior player actions, the nobleman’s husband (who is generally nice but naive) has followed them there out of suspicion, and might discover them at various stages
if the player agrees to dispose of the body, the mission completes and the player gets a bonus from the company since he/she ahs returned with information they might use to blackmail the nobleman
if player threatens to turn him in, the nobleman will attempt to bribe, which the player can accept or deny
denial leads to the same thing as attacking outright, which is a fight
depending on how suspicious the husband is, he might appear at various stages to witness different points (the shooting of the troll twin, the attempt at bribery, or the gunfight)
if shows up during initital shooting, is horrified and threatens to go to the police, so the nobleman kills him
if shows up during bribery, doesn’t understand what is going on and either is safe (if player accepts bribe) or hides and survives the gunfight
if shows up during gunfight, is accidentally killed by nobleman, who reveals himself long enough for shadowrunner to take him out or capture him
(depending on how the player approaches the drop, there can be lots of fighting, stealth, or facework)

SCENE 4:outside the airport, the player completes the contract with the hiring company, gets a sort of mission debrief, and gets paid according to how he/she performed. the story ends with them boarding the plane in London

if the player has done everything “right,” he/she has enough money to afford entry to the super-super-special club in the airport

 

SIDE STORIES:
The nobleman is suspicious of his security chief, thinking that he knows about/is in cahoots with the troll twin, but in reality the security chief has been mysterious because he has been in contact with the head chef, because the security chief is interested in learning to cook
The head of the domestic staff has squirreled away money and valuables that she stole while serving as a nurse for the previous patriarch, which the player can use to lean on her for information if he/she finds out
the previous chef wasn’t actually stealing food to serve on the black market, but once he was fired, he contacted the new chef, who does steal food and uses the old chef as a fence, with the gardener helping out
if the player character is a decker he/she can steal info from the nobleman’s computer regarding political/defense issues to sell to Cout and Fitz

 

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