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Shadowrun: Mission: 04-03: Rally Cry $3.95
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/04/2011 06:58:59

It seems that politics in the Awakened World is just as dirty as it is now... at least if the opening flavour text about a plot to make it appear as if a congressman supports an organisation he actually has no time for is to be believed. This opener is followed by the standard boilerplate of how to run a 'Shadowrun Missions' adventure, especially if you're at a convention, before providing an overview of what this mission is all about. You guessed it, political dirty tricks! At least 'runners are honest about it, they do what they do for a nice fat credstick.

Earlier adventures in this, the fourth season of the shared campaign, have suggested at political undertones and manoeuvering behind the scenes. In this one, the characters become more directly involved. This could prove interesting, especially for those who have already thrown their lot in with one or another faction in Seattle (which, as it happens, includes one of my players...), who may find themselves faced with supporting group activities, going after the money or doing something that they might find repugnant personally - or a deed that they embrace for personal reasons, never mind the pay! Interesting times, and the chance for some interesting role-play - but to be handled with care lest the entire adventure be derailed.

The whole thing starts, as these things do, with meeting a Mr Johnson in a nightclub. For those developing their own Seattle the club will make a good addition to the scene, as ever, and is worth including as a location after this adventure... or even before, if you have other things going on in your own campaign for which it would be suitable! Anyway, it's a straightforward hiring, with a little side action for those who wish to develop the scene.

Of course, as the 'runners go their merry way to set up the operation for which they have been hired, it becomes apparent that they are not the only ones to know that something will be going down! As usual, there's the chance to play this to their advantage, and maybe make some nuyen or earn a favour in the process. They must tread carefully, though: do they really want to be associated with political dirty tricks, however peripherally?

The next few scenes are for use depending on how the 'runners wish to approach their task... and again may provide little snippets of background colour for other adventures even if they don't get used this time around. This then culminates in a political rally replete with all the heavy security you'd expect when two opposing groups are staging demonstration and counter-demonstration in the same place. Throughout, there are suggestions for coping with set-backs and escalating the situation should you feel that the 'runners are having it too easy, although this adventure is possibly more linear that others in this series by its very nature. Some critical things need to be accomplished or the whole thing will fall apart, but there are suggestions for how to ensure that they are achieved even if the characters' tactics are poor or they are unlucky with their die rolls... nicely, ways that ought not to appear as outright manipulation provided that you are ready to bring them into play if problems arise.

Mission accomplished - and, as I said, this adventure relies on it happening even if you have to help it along a bit - there's a twist in the tale that leaves some interesting future potentials set. Neat.

While this adventure needs to run its intended course, there is sufficient here for you to be able to conceal any railroading of events... and it is a fascinating way to embed your characters deeply into the current politics of Seattle, whatever - if any - their own opinions might be! I look forward to my group meeting this one!

[5 of 5 Stars!]