Gateway 2012 Playtest

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Gateway 2012 Playtest
« on: September 10, 2012, 01:55:35 AM »
I ran The Sprawl at Gateway in LA over the weekend. I've quoted my comments on the game below, and the relevant day of my con report is here. It contains a fairly detailed example of character creation. If you follow the "The Sprawl" tag on the linked post, you'll find other con reports, usually with brief descriptions of characters, corporations, and links.

Quote from: Gateway 2012 Con Report
There were four players and we created the following list of corporations:

    Virtual Interface (Data storage and cyber security)
    Aeon Nova (Translation Software)
    IrisTech (Optical technology and consumer electronics)
    RadCom (Hazardous waste disposal)
    Vaser (Manufactured goods)

The characters were:

    Mé Moi (Gina), an articifically sweet looking Killer with a metallic cyberarm. Her father was a corporate exec for Virtual Interface; after he was killed, she was raised by the corporation (owned x2).
    Taylor (Jim), a Hunter with an tacky augmented reality visor implant (cheap cyberware); disowned from a wealthy family.
    Spectre (Mook), a small Infiltrator, utilitarian and nondescript down to the cybereyes. Indentured to IrisTech.
    Shard (Nicco), a burned-out ex-simsense star gone open-source Pusher. Hunted by the holder of all the copyrights on his 24/7 life experiences, IrisTech.

Unsurprisingly, IrisTech and Virtual Interface featured heavily in the Links phase:

    When Shard still worked for IrisTech he filmed an exposé against RadCom (Taylor found where the malpractice was occuring; RadCom clock at 1800).
    Mé Moi assassinated an IrisTech exec who had come into possession of VI proprietary data, and recovered the data (Spectre was the exec's bodyguard; IrisTech clock at 1800).
    Spectre was sent by IrisTech to steal the data back! (Shard distracted the IrisTech security; Mé Moi was investigating the security breach; Virtual Interface clock at 2100).
    Taylor investigated a Vaser VP's personal life (Mé Moi was having an affair with the VP; Vaser clock at 1800).

None of the clocks were very high, so there was no pressing need to alter the mission accordingly. Character generation had taken 1:15.

I've run this mission (The Essilor Sterilisation) a couple of times before and it has played out quite differently each time. On this occasion, the team spent about an hour in the Legwork phase investigating the site and gathering resources. It seemed to take a while for them to make a plan (possibly because the Infiltrator was hacking the facility's system, but not very well!), and they eventually settled on a frontal assault with an EMP blast to knock out the extensive camera system. A couple of key misses (and hard moves) resulted in a well advanced Legwork clock (2200), so the target knew they were coming.

Security was quick to respond to the breach and a bloody firefight erupted inside the building as the team met the internal security forces, and outside, as the external security forces arrived in force and outmatched Shard's enthusiastic gang of open-source simsense fans and activists. Shard himself took several bullets, going down. In the final assault, Taylor put a bullet through the head of the the guy they were supposed to extract. On the brink of failure (Mission clock at 2300), the team evacuated the bodies of Shard and the target; the former was rushed to a hospital by his fans, but too late; the latter was rushed to the meet with their employer. They handed over the body and received their payment, but as they looked, somewhat unbelievingly, at the briefcase full of money, they were bathed in the light of a dozen or so halogen spotlights. The credits roll to the sound of safeties clicking off; Taylor had missed the Getting Paid move. (The whole mission played out in about 2 hours - I rushed the end a little as I incorrectly thought we were running out of time.)

It was the first time I'd seen a non-Hacker use the Matrix rules, and it was good to see that it worked, but was suitably difficult. It was also the first time I've seen the team miss the Getting Paid move; previously the clocks haven't been nearly so advanced at the end.