Contacts and Places:
First a word of note: these NPCs are a bit on the ‘Higher’ side in terms of skills. The Talismonger is actually also a highly skilled and Initiated mage in her own right, for example-but that doesn’t mean, of course, that the PCs can just take *advantage* of all of that. It was more things that just sorta happened to their characters(in that case, it was ‘So, what happens when there’s a powerful mage who *doesn’t* get into corps or running? They become a talismonger, why not?’
It’s more to show that even some ‘Regular People’ can be more than what they seem, and that maybe out there, there exists people who haven’t let the dystopia completely get them. Just a little. Their character sheets will follow in another update(hopefully this weekend), along with things their facilities have to offer being listed in game-format.
Reginald ‘Spanky’ Mcgee:
Spanky is a Fomori in roughly his mid-thirties; he’s not the tallest troll around, but he’s fairly robust, perhaps with a bit of a beer gut, though he’s not particularly overweight. More stocky if anything. His full-blooded Irish ancestry gave him fair skin, plenty of freckles, and flaming red hair which he wears about to his shoulders; his ram’s horns curve around the sides of his head, and he grows no mustache, but a beard underneath his chin. Like many Fomori, he’s even fairly handsome in a cuddly kind of way. He’s got a friendly smile and is very charismatic upon meeting him. It’s kinda hard to dislike him.
Spanky is actually a very well-connected fixer; he has contacts in both the UCAS and Europe. However, he is the type where trust needs to be established before he shows ‘his best stuff’, so to speak.
Spanky deals in a lot of different things; not as much magical(that would be Mama’s domain, which he can put runners in touch with if they don’t know her), but he does have access to several different types of weapons(even some military-grade), and knows people who are involved in Beta-grade cyberclinics(Namely, one Dr. Douglas.) He can get his hands on some light magical equipment, but he’ll even tell them they’re better off going to Mama. He can find them work, but more of a ‘he can connect them to a Johnson’ sort. He himself doesn’t give the jobs-he can put the runners in contact with Johnsons who do have work. Even though he’s only in his mid thirties, he has a lot of connections around in the northwest UCAS, and even a few in the UK area(though he does not have technical ‘worldwide, anywhere’ connections.)
Spanky loves football(soccer) to the point of near obsession. Sparking up a conversation about football with him is a great way to get started chatting. He always wears a jersey of sorts in his bar; under this he usually wears an armor vest, just in case, and sticks to things like jeans and workboots. His pub-a rather large and well-taken care of place, is appropriately named ‘Goal!'(with the exclamation point at the end, of course), and serves many a microbrew that Spanky had designed himself. Spanky does *not* server soy beer in his bar-he finds the stuff vile and insulting. This does help keep some rabble out(as do his bouncers), but he does not overcharge for some of his more standard designs(though his special Coffee-Hazelnut-Chocolate Mega-Stout runs a pretty nuyen and is so thick you reportedly need to chew it.) Indeed, besides football, brewing is one of Spanky’s passions. He has a small brewery in the basement.
Goal! actually has some rather excellent security if nosy runners try to do things. The building is covered in material that is not quite kind to traveling astrally, and he has a very good ‘decker overwatch’ as well as a security system. Meeting at the pub is generally done in three ways; the ‘general’ spot, the ‘secure’ spot, and the ‘Private’ spot.
The ‘General’ spot is well in the back of the place, in the booth area. His bouncers will ensure basic privacy, but it’s still open for ordering things like dinner and the like, and isn’t 100% private, as there could be other meets and stuff there, and you will be seen.
The ‘Secure’ spot is in the ‘upstairs dining room’, and is more secure both magically and technically. The door is locked, and the crew will ensure it stays decent. However, it’s not ‘Private’ in the sense that other meets can be going on at the same time(in different parts of the room.) You do need to go through the bar to get here though, so you will be seen as well, though no one ‘unauthorized’ can get back there.
The ‘Private’ spot is reached from a different part of the entrance, and is in a specially made basement room. It actually costs considerable nuyen to ‘rent’ this, but it’s extremely secure. Spanky himself uses this for some more of his delicate deals. One of his bouncers will personally escort people down and wait for the meet to get done.
The bar is actually two levels high. The second floor is open to the public(just not the ‘secure dining room’ which needs a heads up from Spanky.) There is plenty of room to drink and enjoy what is most likely a football game playing on one of the many monitors. The bar itself is in a fairly ‘high lifestyle’ part of Seattle, though not quite that of the really high rollers. It does not look terribly out of place, but nor does it look too posh; it looks like a nice, clean, very well maintained sports bar.
Spanky’s bouncers have been mentioned. While he has some generic, ‘ordinary’ bouncers milling around, his two ‘primary’ ones are old friends of his-Huginn and Munin, a pair of seven foot tall elven twin brothers. Powerful looking, with long white hair, violet eyes and no beard-growth whatsoever, they almost even dress similar; black cargos and combat boots, with tank tops-though Huginn favors a lined leather longcoat, while Munin favors an armored leather jacket. They are roughly around thirty years old, and are extremely good at what they do, being highly experienced near street legends over in Europe(they are apparently mixed Scandinavian, though Icelandic seems to be their primary lineage, given that they sometimes speak it to one another in lieu of English or Sperethiel.)
Spanky’s cook is a firecracker; a tough, no-nonsense British human woman in her late 40s known simply as ‘Maude'(who may resemble Dame Judy Dench a bit, only younger and less refined.) Maude is completely mundane and with no cyber(some say she may also be without humor, but not in her earshot)hates nutrisoy and refuses to cook with it. She’s foul-mouthed and generally grumpy, but good hearted all the same, and is an *excellent* cook. She carries a tazer that she’s not afraid to use, though she is not a combatant. She comes from Spanky’s past, and apparently came over from the UK when he came to the UCAS. It’s rumored she was a cook for a prestigious British boarding school which got bought out and closed. (And yes, Spanky’s pub also only serves real food, but he actually has some reasonably priced burgers on his menu. The steaks will cost you, though.)
Under the rules, if he is used in your game, his Connection rating should never be more than 1 point higher than his Loyalty. So a runner can have him at C2/L1, but will have to earn more trust before Spanky shows his more ‘C3’ side, and so on. Spanky’s Connection rating has a Maximum of 7(which the player will need to get to ‘Friend for Life’ level with him to get.
To gain Spanky’s trust, they have to remember he’s more of a ‘Neutral with Good, if Pragmatic Tendencies’ type. He has some friends who have been known to be a bit on the ‘crazy’ side, but at the end of the day, out and out rotten actions are something that he does not like to be a part of. Wetwork is fine, and he’s got a fair limit to how far he’ll accept going, but there are lines.
A good rule of thumb, if the PC’s ‘earn’ Spanky as a contact, he is gotten at C2, L1. (He will give folks he’s dealt with from time to time a *small* discount on food and beer. ;)) It’s then, of course, up to the PCs if they wish to foster a relationship with him to get access to his better goodies. (For a GM note, you could also limit the Availability of gear that he will procure. C2 will be limited to Availability of 12, and then add 2-3 availability, as you feel appropriate, per Connection rating after that.) He will begin introducing his other friends to the PC’s at Loyalty 2(or, well, giving them word where to find them.) Likewise, in regards to the jobs that he can find for him-the higher his Connection rating, the better-paying Johnsons can be procured for the runners.
Note that a character can have a higher Loyalty rating with one of his friends than Spanky himself, should they choose to do so.
Given Spanky’s high Connection rating, screwing him over would be a bad, bad move. Huginn and Munin are more than his bouncers, they are two of his best friends-and he has friends with several other prime runners and more than one street legend at his physical-and magical, or Matrix based-request.
As for his, bar, Goal!, Huginn and Munin are particularly skilled and geared; each one alone would be a match for an entire team of runners. They are extremely good bouncers, in other words. Huginn(the Samurai) is loaded for bear with bioware and Beta-grade cyberware, with Munin a four-times initiated Adept(with some light bioware). Both brothers have Exceptional Attribute: Body and Strength, have max Body, Agility, and Strength base, 5’s in their other stats save Logic(which are 3 each), and have 8-10 in their primary skills, 5-6 in secondary, and 3-4 in their tertiary. (I’ll probably get their sheets into the same section I do Spanky by the numbers.)
However-given that Spanky does not like blood all over his floor(he has a few stories about that-two of the more famous involves Huginn’s decapitating of a would-be assailant with his katana and Munin discovering someone trying to poison one of the taps and curb-stomping him in the corner for his trouble), any of his bouncers, including Huginn and Munin, will generally just strike to knock out and disable people, unless an actual attempt is made on Spanky’s life. In that case, the twins tend to show their lineage’s ‘berserker’ tendencies and turn the would-be assassin into red pastey substance on the floor. (If attempts are made on the lives of the other bouncers, they also are more willing to strike to kill, but if lethal force is attempted to be used on *them*, they are more amused if anything and just perform a good lesson-teaching before depositing the runner onto the concrete outside in a ballistic fashion.)
It should also be said that Maude also helps clean the place and it’s rumored that Huginn and Munin are more wary of her yelling at them about the blood than they are what any general runner can do to them physically.
Huginn and Munin may become contacts, but use them carefully. It can be assured that they just won’t come kill stuff for a phone call. They’re very powerful, so use discretion on what you allow them to do. It’s possible to become better friends with them, but they have a personal code that they just don’t go using their heavy abilities for low reasons-these guys hit AAA-style stuff on the odd time they do it(and then would require a credstick so fat players are likely not able to pay it anyway.) These are the type of runners that *turn down* AA work as being dull, and they also always work together-so they have to be hired by the pair.
Spanky’s other bouncers are more basic. His generic bouncers are the equivalent of Professional Rating 4 with roughly similar stats, wear Armored Jackets, and have either Shock Gloves or Stun Batons and are often armed with an Ares Predator with either Stick n Shock or Gel ammo(depending on the GM’s mood.) They never strike to kill, only disable or knock out.(They have high Non Conductivity ratings on their armor. For a rule of thumb, they probably throw around 6-8 dice for stuff, and have only minor implants to GM discretion; smartlinks, maybe some dermal plating. They do have earbuds/contacts or glasses with audio/visual rating 3, to better see and hear troublemakers, and at least a good Perception score.)
He has two mages who swap shifts; a dwarf and an ork. They are more geared toward Counterspelling and Astral activities, though do have guns(with SnS/Gel rounds), stun batons, and access to Stun Bolt and Stunball spells if necessary. They are often not seen in the primary areas(and are generally made with roughly the same power as starting PCs, if GMs want a rule of thumb. Spanky’s decker friends are never seen, and are likely made with similar stat and skill levels with starting PCs, but they have excellent decks.)
Spanky himself isn’t really much of a fighter. He has some basic self-defense skills, but really, his thing ‘being a fixer.’ He keeps a shotgun loaded with gel or SnS behind the bar, along with a baseball bat, if he really needs them, but he generally dislikes fighting, and isn’t particularly good at it.
Goal’s! security is fairly tight, as said. In terms of ‘Raw’ security, assume the Maglocks are all Rating 8, with a variety of keycard or keypad readers(the tightest stuff has a Biometric lock that only Spanky, Huginn, or Munin can activate.)
Flora Hernandez, ‘Mama’
Mama is a human woman, in her middle fifties. She’s short, heavyset, and has long, slightly curly black hair worn down, streaked with gray. She wears little makeup, but tends toward big dresses(sometimes with a floral print), which gives her a slightly ‘matronly grandmother’ look. She’s tanned, and talks with a noticeable Spanish accent, though her English is fluent. She seems to like jewelry; taking to rings, necklaces, and earrings-these may or may not be foci. Mama walks with a stick at times; her age is starting to somewhat get to her, though she reacts surprisingly quickly for a woman her age. She has been practicing magic since she Awakened before a lot of runners were even born.
Mama is a talismonger, and a powerful mage in her own right, practicing Santeria, whose Patron is Legba. She has much knowledge on magic and everything therein; magical threats, groups, and she is very adept at creating talismans and foci. If she cannot create them, she knows those who can. She is also a skilled herbalist, and is a good magical healer, as well.
Her shop, ‘Elekes’, is located in a more low-key part of town; one needs to go through a few alleys to find it, and then end up going down some seedy looking stairs. It’s well protected though-she is a powerful mage, as is her son, and they can well ward the place. People popping to the Astral may see some rather scary looking spirits hanging out, looking disapprovingly at them.
Mama has a son, Joshua, who is also a practitioner of Santeria, and who follows Ghede. Joshua is an undertaker, and is a strange man for all of that; he can be a contact in his own right. He’s usually seen in black slacks that seem a bit too short, boots, a collared shirt, a jacket, and often does have a serving of of Rum on him, making him fairly obvious, if one finds out what he practices, who his patron is.
Elekes has a smell that is a mix of herbs, burnt woods, smoke(Mama has a penchant for cigarettes), and tea(which she pours and usually spikes with some rather strong liquor, but the woman can hold her drink.) It rather chaotic looking; it almost looks like a bomb hit some parts of it, but Mama can pick out what people need. The shelves are mainly full of low-level stuff like herbs and reagents, giving the shop it’s telltale smell(which isn’t all unpleasant, just a bit reminiscent of an herb attic or something.) There are some shelves full of books; actual paper ones, pharmacopoeias and the like can be found here.
Mama herself can be a bit cranky and sarcastic, but not unfriendly. She more or less has a dry way of speaking and talking, almost nonchalant. If the PC’s behave, she may even offer them some tea. If they really behave, she may offer them some of her ‘special tea.’ Which may be pretty stiff stuff for those unprepared.
Mama isn’t as strict with Spanky in terms of the whole ‘Connection/Loyalty’ thing; Mama has a Connection rating of 6, but she won’t require the PCs to be super-friends with her to have access. She will, however, demand higher payments the lower Loyalty. This can range from extra nuyen(for more moderate stuff, she’ll sell off the shelf stuff for regular prices, as well as fence magical gear), to flat-out exchange of goods for the best stuff; this could mean her sending the runners out on some rather exciting material gathering adventures.
GMs can roll as they think appropriate if she has(or they want their PCs to have access to) whatever spell formula and foci they deem appropriate on hand, or if it’ll take her a bit to find some.
Joshua’s specialty has more to do with ‘Undertaker Stuff.’ Remembering that he does practice Santeria, the GM is free to be creative with what sorts of services he can provide. (Note: Gaining Mama as a contact does not make her son automatic, though gaining one or the other as a contact will, of course, make it easier to at least get in on the ground floor. Joshua is the more minor of the two; he has a Connection rating of 3 for his appropriate line of work, and is created by standard PC rules.)
As for the shop’s protections, Mama has some high level spirits on hand, bound, and ready to wreak havoc. Mama is Initiated three times, and she’s got rather high magical skills, making her a more uncommon type of talismonger. She does not like to flaunt this power though, and has no interest in shadowrunning itself; which is why she chose the job that she did. However, crossing a woman who is initiated, practices a type of voodoo and is very good at Ritual Sorcery…I’ll just say the GM should have fun with this one. Mama is very smart, and isn’t going to let herself be robbed or gunned down. She has a lot of contingency plans; one does not run a talismonger shop without them, especially with Foci valued as they are. Her Force 8 Spirits(usually several of them) will pop out and give direct attackers a very hard time, but Mama herself-while she has a couple of combat spells-is more the patient type. Again, be creative. 😉
The shop’s basic protections are high-level Maglocks and the like. Her most valuable stuff is kept in the back, under lock.
Dr. Marshall Douglas
Dr. Douglas is an ex-corporate cybersurgeon, and a very good one, who now runs a shadow clinic in one of the more middle-class parts of Seattle. Of course, the shadow part is sorta hidden; it’s a fairly ordinary clinic from the outside, and you need to know what to ask for and whom. Douglas is a man of middling height and build, and probably in his fifties; he might just resemble Morgan Freeman a little bit, with short-cropped gray hair and a bit of a beard. He often wears glasses(which are modified.) Despite being a cybersurgeon, the only ware he has himself is a single datajack.
Dr. Douglas had actually worked for an AAA at one point in his life, ‘long ago,’ though he refuses to say who it was, for safety’s sake. He had a different name then(which he also isn’t telling-though he had gotten it legally changed.) Dr. Douglas was involved in the research and creation of some new, very secret pieces of cyber and bioware before(though he also won’t tell if any of it actually made it to the market.)
Douglas is actually a fairly kindly man, occasionally known to lecture those who come in consistently for ‘repairs'(IE, people who don’t take care of themselves particularly well.) While he wishes the world were a better place, having been through some of the ‘high end’ part of it, he realises the importance of shadowrunners and how some of them at least manage to pick away at the corps enough that they don’t get even more of a foothold than they already do(and ruling almost everything, he figures, is enough of one.) Dr. Douglas, given his time in the field, knows other doctors and cyberware dealers, and can find a lot of things for people who need it. He actually has some Beta grade connections, and it has been rumored once or twice that he can find Delta grade stuff, though whether he doesn’t choose to, or just if it’s quite hard to find, no one knows. He is excellent at installing cyber and bioware, his facility is very clean and ideal to heal up in, and he is good at repairing ware as well.
Dr. Douglas does not deal much in used cyberware. It bothers him; people guess it’s again from his past, though he *will* fence it for others, he will not actually sell it. He also will not fence organs himself…though if pressed, and if in good standing, he is willing to point a runner in the general direction of where one might do that, though he tries to stay as ‘clean’ as a shadow doc can. He actually charges reasonable prices for things like healing and medicine(along with a lecture for ‘regulars’), but fairly standard for the ‘usual’ stuff.
Douglas looks tired sometimes; like his past manages to wear on him, and occasionally likes to take a shot of strong scotch, though he’s never seemed to have a problem with the stuff. Even though he seems skilled enough to be able to perhaps disappear to another country, he seems rooted here for reasons that stay unknown. In reality, he wants to sort of ‘repay’ the ‘little guy’ for the stuff he did/sold his soul out for the twenty or so years he worked for a corporation, doing some pretty nasty testing stuff.
The clinic is known simply as the Autumn Sunset Clinic, and it needs a little bit of legwork to discover the shadow side of it. Dr. Douglas does actually work there as a regular doctor as well. The receptionist knows what to listen for. The true nature of the place can be found through Spanky, or by asking around other avenues, as it’s not a Super Secret Shadow Clinic. While your general non gangers or whatnot won’t know, the ‘shadow community’ probably heard of the place.
Using Dr. Douglas:
Dr. Douglas works a little more like Spanky in terms of his ‘connection/loyalty’, though not as extreme: he is actually Connection 7 maximum, but will have a potential connection rating of 2 higher than Loyalty. (So at Loyalty 1, it’s 3, at 2 it can go up to 4, and so on.) He can get ahold of Standard grade, Alpha grade, and Regular/Cultured Bioware as anyone else can. He generally needs Connection of around 6 to net the Beta Grade, and for the people who manage to get him as a very close contact, he can point them in the direction of Delta Grade, and he’ll install it for them(if they get it, of course.)
As said, he won’t fence organs, but at Loyalty 4+ he’ll nonchalantly point runners in a direction where to unload that type of stuff.
Douglas is not a combatant at all, having only extremely basic training in a sidearm. Security at the clinic is likewise standard. However, he is a Friend for Life with Spanky and co, so crossing him will still potentially screw up the runners’ lives rather efficiently.Douglas and the clinic itself actually has a bit of gang protection. He’s been known to patch them up, and since his patching-up prices are very reasonable, gangers don’t want to lose their source of rather inexpensive healing. It’s a trade off thing.