Shadowrun is no dungeon crawl

Yesterday, we played the fourth or fifth session of our cassettepunk Shadowrun campaign.

It was huge fun, the characters had one interesting fight against two corp goons (during which the troll ex-bounty hunter finally could show what he was made of… impaling a physad elf on his horn, is all I’m saying), and they finally gathered all information they needed to start the run.

I treated legwork very handwavey. If they narrated cool stuff and/or rolled well, I gave them a piece of information. This worked beautifully.

But then it hit me.

I could handle this way simpler.

And I remembered Ray Otus’s variant of the so-called “dungeon move” for Dungeon World. The premise is as simple as promising: How can we skip tedious dungeon crawls and cut right to where the meat is? I know, this sentence disqualifies me in the eyes of many OSR fans, but if I’ve always, ALWAYS, hated one thing about old school fantasy – it is the godforsaken dungeon crawling. It doesn’t hold any fascination for me. Okay, back to Ray.

For the Plundergrounds zine, Ray’s fantastic OSR zine, he wrote this dungeon move:

When you attempt to navigate the labyrinthine twists of the dragon hoard, describe how you do it, and then roll+INT. *On a 12+, hold 2. *On a 10+, hold 1. *On a 7-9, hold 1, but you encounter a hoard denizen and/or find yourself in a bad place. *On a 6-, the dragon is one step closer to detecting your presence and location! This is in addition to any hard move the GM has in mind.

Spend 1 hold to find something valuable or useful. (Spend 2 for both.) Spend 2 hold to get a clue as to the dragon’s whereabouts. Spend 4 hold to get a clue as to how you might possibly harm the dragon.

Spend 5 hold to find an exit, locate the dragon, or find her nest.

One person rolls each time you navigate. The group’s hold from multiple rolls is pooled together.

So, let’s adapt this baby for Shadowrun:

When you attempt to navigate the labyrinthine twists of the corporate building, describe how you do it, and then roll 2d6. Add nothing if you have no intel. Add +1 if you have okay intel. Add +2 if you have good intel. Add +3 if you have top-notch intel. Add –3 if you have fake or incorrect intel.

*On a 12+, hold 2. *On a 10+, hold 1. *On a 7-9, hold 1, but you encounter a guard/drone and/or find yourself in a bad place. *On a 6-, the security system is one step closer to detecting your presence and location! This is in addition to any hard move the GM has in mind.

Spend 1 hold to find something valuable or useful. (Spend 2 for both.) Spend 2 hold to get a clue as to the whereabouts of your target. Spend 5 hold to get a clue as to how you might elegantly retrieve what you’re looking for.

Spend 5 hold to find a safe exit or locate the CEO HQ.

One person rolls each time you navigate. The group’s hold from multiple rolls is pooled together.

 

3 thoughts on “Shadowrun is no dungeon crawl

  1. That's great. Dungeon crawling really doesn't fit in the fiction, right? I would go further and say that resource management neither does (just look at Conan: he needs a torch or a rope, there it is lying around).

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  2. I love how you tied it to intel (I guess that getting it is a quest on its own) than to INT as an attribute (which makes that score just too good)I could base a whole ruleset around this: You dont even have to map the dungeon with that. Also it has ingrained the wandering monster mechanism.I'll probably have a table to check what object they find. I don't like the idea of players deciding if they find treasure or specific objects

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