EDIT: so, this is a different group than the first "Shadowrun & FKR" post. I also didn't make a session report for the session 1 of this group though they actually went through the same adventures: Food Fight followed by Silver Angel.
Today I got to run some more Shadowrun with a solid crew! We rolled back and re-did the briefing scene with Eve Donnovan (from the module Silver Angel for 1st edition, a pretty standard run) to add two new characters, and retroactively described how the Stuffer Shack kerfuffle ended up with police on scene, which explained why Arel's player couldn't make it as he had to split.
-John McPain, Dwarf Detective with a Vengeance
-Nuwak Flowfull, a Two-Spirit Tribal Shaman following Wolf
-Yokai, a Street Shaman, under the guidance of Rat
-Joe Sleazebag, a former Bodyguard
-Whiplash, an Elf Rigger
• Meeting with Eve Donovan, the crew got their mission - steal a file called Silver Angel from a secure server located in the Cavilard Research Center owned by Mitsuhama. Expect serious matrix and physical security. Job has to go down at 2am in three days - not before, not after.
• This session would be mostly legwork, so after asking questions and ordering some magical components as well as fixing a meet with one Haruhiko Blake (ex-security chief at the target location). After that, the crew went to Midnight Marauders to find Karen Whisper, whose fried deckhead boyfriend Blue Dreams allegedly had gathered intel on Mt. Cavilard's matrix security. There, Joe and Whiplash chatted up two of her colleagues, letting her know they were friends of Blue Dreams. McPain noticed two suits talking to the bouncer, and kept an eye out for trouble. Nuwak went backstage to talk to Karen and convinced her to come with them. The main crew went outside through the front door while Karen and Nuwak went through the backdoor.
• That's where Wolf warned Nuwak of imminent danger - she grabbed Karen and threw her back inside as the crack of a Walther PMM ricochet'd against the security door. Gripping her knife, Nuwak stayed in cover, making sure Karen didn't run off.
• Through the front door, the crew saw two other goons running off to the side alley. Whiplash jumped into his rigged patrol car while the others got in cover behind the suits' black car. They lined up their shot, waiting for Nezumy to cast a spell on the one lighting up Nuwak's cover. The chaos spell took effect and one of the three goons started singing in spanish, visibly shaken but unable to resist. The other two then realized they were being attacked through magic and took cover as well as they could.
• One of the goons sprayed his own car with an SMG, breaking windows but missing the crew who hunkered down. Another shot Joe in the chest - the bullet went through his armor vest, but not the subdermal plating, and he shrugged it off with a grunt. Then the crew retaliated, blowing up legs and arms of the three goons, while Nuwak ran to the front of the club from inside, to jump in Whiplash's car. The crew made their escape with no time to ask questions as police sirens crept closer.
• At one of Nezumy's hideouts (an old maintenance room in the sewers), Karen thanks the crew and explains how her boyfriend got fried one night working against the Azzies. They'd been looking for her since then so she went into hiding, along with Blue Dreams' floppy disks. She was glad to get rid of them and Nuwak offered to contact one of her tribesmen to help her get out of the city. The crew went to grab the floppy disks then left Karen at the hideout, until tomorrow morning where she'd get to the coyote.
• Next stop, the Barrens. A decker friend of McPain called Zero Sum, a paranoid elf conspiracy theorist, would gladly look at the floppy disks and help the crew if it meant taking down the man, one way or another. With compensation, of course. The visit went well: Zero Sum was off his meds at first and ranted about shadow monsters from another dimension, a great dragon being targetted for assassination and insect spirits taking over Chicago - the usual crackpot theories. He eventually calmed down though, and found the data the crew was looking for. The whole matrix architecture of the research center was in there, curtsey of Blue Dreams (RIP). All the crew would have to do is get Zero inside, protect him for about 5 minutes, and get him out. Zero also offered to add a fake delivery for the crew to act out at the research center, though they'd need info on who usually handles it.
• The next day, after getting Karen on her way to Vancouver, the party met with Haruhiko Blake in the early noon, in an abandoned warehouse on the docks. They played it safe, scouting the location with one of Whiplash's surveillance drone, and found only Blake inside, waiting for them. Talking to him was fruitful - he had maps of the research center, numbers (security, personnel, time windows in case of alarms, etc.) as well as an interest in Silver Angel - he offered 20,000 Nuyens to the crew (the main job is 100,000 if everything goes well, half if they end up making a noisy mess) for it, though no deal was made.
We stopped there after four hours of play. Before next time, I'll let the crew clarify the plan of action and we'll assume the disguises and so on are dealt with during the noon so that we can start session 3 in medias res at the beginning of the operation proper.
• No unnecessary rolling this time, I think this worked well - APIE's combat works even better when you treat it as guidelines and not an automated process. Made some good use of reaction rolls, but aside from that and one instance of "dice, tell me who should get shot", it was diceless. No numbers or ranks on character sheets, just descriptors of their abilities.
• The goons weren't very smart, but then again they were expecting one easy civilian kill, not a team of lethal shadowrunners.
• Nuwak's player (one of the beginners, alongside Arel - who couldn't make it - and Whiplash), the Wolf Shaman, wondered about her character's "viability", either because of a lack of motivation to be a shadowrunner in their background, or of appropriate equipment (the only character with no gun, though I'd say a Wolf Shaman can do well even with just a knife as long as they're going against unarmored baddies).