A Shadowrun Duels Scenario by Matt Vanek
Sometimes the reason to fight is simple, payback...
[Editor's Note: Not a Shadowrun Duels player? Not a problem, skip to the end of the article for notes on how to use this scenario with other rulesets.]
What is Shadowrun?
"It is the latter half of the 21st century. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. You are a shadowrunner – a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies, surviving day-by-day on skill and instinct alone. When the powerful or the desperate need a job done, you get it done... by any means necessary."
Shadowrun is a science fantasy setting based in a near-future universe in which cybernetics, magic and fantasy creatures co-exist. Thematically it combines the genres of cyberpunk, urban fantasy and crime, with occasional elements of conspiracy, horror and detective fiction.
What is Shadowrun Duels?
Shadowrun Duels was a collectible miniatures game produced by WizKids back in 2003, set in the world of Shadowrun.
Unusually the Shadowrun Duels 'miniatures' are big 1:12 scale action figures each with a separate base that has three Clix dials. This twist on their single dial Heroclix range allows the figures to take damage in one of three areas (Head, Weapon, or Body) as they fight during the game.
A clever multi coloured dice based mechanic also allows for a level of roleplaying to be easily included in scenarios along with multiple options for different equipment and weaponry that can be chosen from before each game.
Rival Gangs: Introduction
Every conflict on the streets has an effect. Gangs, especially, have a way of stepping on each other’s toes and making enemies. Each affront to turf, stolen cache of ammo or tip to the police pushes rivals toward the edge until, finally, only one option is left: Payback.
Setting the Stage
In this scenario, two or more rival gangs rumble in an attempt to kill the opposing gang’s leader.
Teams should be even in points. Dice for alpha team.
Each team takes turns placing 1d4 + 3 pieces (total, not per team) of terrain on the battlefield. The alpha team places first.
Each team deploys at opposite ends of the battlefield with their dials placed against the edge.
Randomly determine which model on each side is the gang leader.
The first team to successfully kill the opposing gang leader wins the game.
Special Rules for Multiple Players
If playing the scenario with more than two people the following rules apply:
Any gang which loses its leader is out immediately of the game.
Alpha team designation moves in a clockwise rotation among players. In addition, to resolve ties between the other two players, the player clockwise of the Alpha team becomes the Bravo team and the player counterclockwise of the Alpha team becomes the Charlie team (further players will become Delta team, etc). In ties, Bravo wins over Charlie. Alpha team still wins all ties in which it is involved.
Not a Shadowrun Duels Player?
As with any scenario ever written, the above can easily be adapted for any gaming system with a little work. If the theme matches you don't need to change the blurb but often a little personalisation for your campaign or setting helps. You also need to check the scale, as long as it works with your rules thats fine. Lastly the hardest part is adapting any special rules the scenario contains to your ruleset. Assassin Nation is a perfect starting point for using one of your current rulesets for gaming in the world of Shadowrun as it is a simple scenario with no special rules.
All Shadowrun Duels scenarios are playable pretty much as is using Alternative Armies excellent USEME Cyberpunk ruleset.
USEME: Cyberpunk Conversion Notes by Craig Andrews
Setup the tabletop to the scale of your USEME battles (usually 15mm but USEME is very flexible).
Choose your forces from the Cyber Armies lists p.27-30 and play!
"Assassin Nation" was written way back in 2003 and has been included in the 2020 Advent Calendar with kind permission from the author. It was first published on Orcs in the Webbe on Wednesday 2nd December 2020.
Shadowrun Duels is now out of print but the figures can be found every now and again on eBay, alternatively you can use any number of near future or sci fi miniatures to represent Runners in your games of Shadowrun.
The Shadowrun Duels rules, including Jeremy Schwennen's expanded Shadowrun Duels Reloaded, can be found in PDF format here on OITW.
For anyone not familiar with Shadowrun there are a variety of places on the internet you can learn more, one of which is the game's Wikipedia page here.