Which pact world would be the best to run a shadowrun game?


General Discussion


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I'm looking to run a brief shadowrun-style game somewhere in the pact worlds system. Where do you think that kind of setting would work best?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Akiton's major cities seems like a good pick. Akiton is a social wasteland and while most of the planet is Mad Max, there are still some huge cities that are ruled by unscrupulous corporations.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Eox would be Lively.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

triaxus has dragoncorps.

Apostae has evil corporations and guilt free mook kills.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Absalom Station has a big janky underbelly and loads of various, powerful interests coming and going. Add in Shadow Absalom, and the Armada and you've got quite some room to play around in.


It’s harder to think of a bad location.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
It’s harder to think of a bad location.

Uh-huh. I could run it pretty much anywhere, but where do you think would be best?


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Verces!

1. Lots of Cybertech: As the forefront of research in cybernetics, and full of Augmented, you'd expected to see lots of flashy chrome and cyberware, which really fits the Shadowrun vibe. (In the Pact Worlds book, the PC Theme associated with Verces is "Cyberborn".)

2. Both Glitzy and Gritty locations: the Ring of Nations doesn't quite have the distopian feel of much of Shadowrun, but it has the canonical kinds of shadowrun locations, with massive glitzy glass and steel skyscrapers for the upper and middle classes, and dark and filthy slums for the poor.

Pact Worlds wrote:
Most of its citizens, both native born and immigrants, live in the Ring of Nations... relaxing in sky-gardens atop their massive urban towers or laboring in the gritty, workaday slums below where the slanted sunlight never reaches.

3. Corporate Warfare:

Pact Worlds wrote:
Verces is a hotbed of espionage and outright corporate assassination, and even the most urban corporate headquarters may find itself under attack from elite mercenary teams making smash-and-grab infiltrations to steal top-secret research or prototypes.

Sounds like pretty much every shadowrun adventure ever!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Verces is literally a cyberpunk dystopia. The Verthani are obsessed with body modification, and the Ring of Nations is a globe-circling urban hellscape.

I am currently running a frontier campaign on a planet recently colonized by the vesk and opened to Pact Worlds corporations in the last hundred years. Their covert wars for the untapped natural resources frame a lot of the action in my game.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The cover art in Data Breach looked very Shadowrun-y to me. It's set on

minor spoiler:
Verces
.

Edit: Ninja-d!


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Dracomicron wrote:

Verces is literally a cyberpunk dystopia. The Verthani are obsessed with body modification, and the Ring of Nations is a globe-circling urban hellscape.

I am currently running a frontier campaign on a planet recently colonized by the vesk and opened to Pact Worlds corporations in the last hundred years. Their covert wars for the untapped natural resources frame a lot of the action in my game.

I don't think there's much support for the dystopia reading. It's just a place with high tech and corporations. So it's no more a dystopia than San Francisco i...never mind.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Xenocrat wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:

Verces is literally a cyberpunk dystopia. The Verthani are obsessed with body modification, and the Ring of Nations is a globe-circling urban hellscape.

I am currently running a frontier campaign on a planet recently colonized by the vesk and opened to Pact Worlds corporations in the last hundred years. Their covert wars for the untapped natural resources frame a lot of the action in my game.

I don't think there's much support for the dystopia reading. It's just a place with high tech and corporations. So it's no more a dystopia than San Francisco i...never mind.

In Starfinder Society scenario 1-16 you go to a section of Verces where they still keep android slaves. I mean. Blade Runner is one of the OG cinematic dystopias.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Verces for the cyberware flavor.
Triaxus has corporations owning territory thus having exterritoriality.
Aballon can easily be retooled into a dystopian sprawl.

Which one to pick depends on where you are on the trench coat scale.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I forgot Verces existed for a bit there, but definitely that.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

In addition to the places already mentioned, I could see some definite potential for Aballon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I guess whichever planet has a place with a climate like the Pacific Northwest? I don't think you can have a Shadowrun experience without at least a couple days of dreary grey weather and rain.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Verces is great from the perspective of it being one big city with countless safe houses, heist sites, and tech firms.

Akiton is wonderful because the thasteron bust has left the planet with experimental tech corporations, pockets of urban tenacity, and a pervasive desperation to not just get ahead, but survive. Also there's a degree to which lawlessness and banditry is just accepted as a fact of life, which leaves the PCs some room to perform dubious heists and not be hunted relentlessly while still potentially suffering the fallout of offending powerful gangs and power brokers.

Absalom Station is pretty good, but I'd take it out of the top billing because it doesn't have enough places to run or lie low. The Stewards and size make it a tricky place to do crime.

Triaxus's dragon-led corporations just scream Shadowrun.

Apostae has some great Shadowrun potential with all of the drow houses and their competition.

———

Of all of these, I'd choose Akiton as the best option for a Shadowrun campaign. I mean seriously, Maro is just asking for a heist adventure, especially one that involves tangling with some of "pig-growlers."


1 person marked this as a favorite.

If I was running the game I would probably run it on Absalom Station...though I would have jobs take them to various other planets...So to answer your question I would say all of them.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What about Castrovel? Sure, the Lashunta talk about meritocracy and academia, but there's an uncomfortable amount of corporate power there. Lots of biotech firms, but also lots of environmental worries.

Really, the Pact Worlds are very suitable for a Shadowrun-esque game, it's just that the different flavors are smeared across planets instead of countries.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Regarding Castrovel, I think the place has too many strong cultural elements beyond that of corporate intrigue to really be a great shadowrunning place. Even in a place where a megacorp is really powerful, you have too many competing interests and ideals that don't fit with the megacorporate control paradigm. Places with a strong ubiquitous belief in individualism just aren't good cyberpunk, not when even the corporate execs believe in the same culture.

Verces really is the best place, since its not only extremely cyberpunk in aesthetic, but its also the most flexible. Its not a dystopia, no, its just a -topia. This is a good thing, it means things can go as gritty as needed, however gritty that needs to be. Whereas on Apostae, by contrast, its like the entire planet exists inside a Mitsuhama corporate facility: one style, one theme, and universally hostile.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Metaphysician wrote:

Regarding Castrovel, I think the place has too many strong cultural elements beyond that of corporate intrigue to really be a great shadowrunning place. Even in a place where a megacorp is really powerful, you have too many competing interests and ideals that don't fit with the megacorporate control paradigm. Places with a strong ubiquitous belief in individualism just aren't good cyberpunk, not when even the corporate execs believe in the same culture.

Verces really is the best place, since its not only extremely cyberpunk in aesthetic, but its also the most flexible. Its not a dystopia, no, its just a -topia. This is a good thing, it means things can go as gritty as needed, however gritty that needs to be. Whereas on Apostae, by contrast, its like the entire planet exists inside a Mitsuhama corporate facility: one style, one theme, and universally hostile.

I don't know I think Castrovel works well representing of the Native American Tribes of the shadowrun universe. There is more to Shadowrun than the megacorps.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Akiton, Verces, Triaxus would be my top three picks.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Verces has the added benefit of being in a constant light state. With constant night or twilight, heists and intrigue can follow a different time table.
-Beta


I don't really see how Akiton would fit Shadowrun.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Verces -> Contiguous UCAS
Castrovel -> Tir Tairngire
Akiton -> CAS
Absalom Station -> Seattle
Triaxus -> Germany (S-K land)
Aballon -> ?
Eox -> Aztlan (bloodsports are national sports)


Ascalaphus wrote:

Verces -> Contiguous UCAS

Castrovel -> Tir Tairngire
Akiton -> CAS
Absalom Station -> Seattle
Triaxus -> Germany (S-K land)
Aballon -> ?
Eox -> Aztlan (bloodsports are national sports)

I don't agree with most of that. The similarities are rather superficial.

Verces->UCAS is ok, at least the more urban east coast. Although you could substitute many other 1st world countries for it like the ADL. After all Verces is not one country but many which cooperate a lot. That sounds more like the ADL to me.

Castrovel->Tir. Not really seing the similarities besides having elves. I think a more spiritual NAN country would be a better fit. Or even better, Amazonia.

Akiton->CAS. Why? The CAS is a developed country not unlike the UCAS and is doing well economically, especially when Ares moves there (if that happens with all the bug problems they have). A better fit would be the Athabaskan Council which got exploited and then discarded or a wild sprawl like GeMiTo.

Absolom->Seattle. Dont really see what they have in common. By its very nature its more similar to an Acrology than a city.

Triaxus->Germany. It can be seen that way, but not because of a simple "Here be dragons" comparison. The Dragoncorps on one side and the Allied Territory could be seen as symbols for the fractured ADL government on one side and the Megacorps on the other side and the Skyfire Mandate stands for the MET2000.
But a other fit would be Areas like Hong Kong where the corps have total control.

Aballon. Might fit a very restrictive Sprawl although I couldn't name one that fits. Or the Renraku Acrology if Deus hadn't taken over.

Eox->Aztlan. They share bloodsports, but the political situation is completely different. Imo a better fit would be parts of Africa or Chinese warlord territory. In Africa you also would have the undead theme with Asamundo.

Edit: But such comparisons are nonsense anyway. We are talking about entire planets. Except for some one-settlement planets you would be able to find everything on all planets.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Am I the only one who thinks your Shadowrun campaign should use the entire Pact World setting as its backdrop? There are so many places to go and explore the seamy underside of the Pact.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ixal wrote:
I don't really see how Akiton would fit Shadowrun.

It's got barrens and NAN-like areas with smaller enclaves of corporate activity scrabbling among the collapsed economy.

Shadowrun is a lot more than datasteals on AAA corps in the high security luxury areas.


Xenocrat wrote:
Ixal wrote:
I don't really see how Akiton would fit Shadowrun.

It's got barrens and NAN-like areas with smaller enclaves of corporate activity scrabbling among the collapsed economy.

Shadowrun is a lot more than datasteals on AAA corps in the high security luxury areas.

As I said like the Athabaskan Council (assuming I got my NAN right), but imo thats not the usual Shadowrun. And you can have the combination of corps+barrens on nearly every planet with a better SR feel.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Hmm wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks your Shadowrun campaign should use the entire Pact World setting as its backdrop? There are so many places to go and explore the seamy underside of the Pact.

I kind of want them to be dirt poor and not have easy access to a ship. Being under the heel of a local crime boss isn’t such an oppressive situation if it’s easy to up and leave.


I change my vote to pick whatever planet you like. Apart from 1 city outposts they are all big enough to support any SR scenario you want.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

You don’t think any planet is best?

Some seem definitely better than others - I wouldn’t use Aucturn, for instance. I could make it work, but other places would be better, imo.

My initial thoughts were Verces or Akiton (likely the latter since its intended to be a gritty, desperate take on Shadowrun with more gangs and fewer all powerful corporations) but one problem I’m running into with Starfinder is that my mental picture of the various places doesn’t always line up with my players’. I was curious if anyone had other impressions that gave them a Shadowrun vibe.


I don't think there's much benefit in limiting yourself to one planet.


Steve Geddes wrote:

You don’t think any planet is best?

Some seem definitely better than others - I wouldn’t use Aucturn, for instance. I could make it work, but other places would be better, imo.

My initial thoughts were Verces or Akiton (likely the latter since its intended to be a gritty, desperate take on Shadowrun with more gangs and fewer all powerful corporations) but one problem I’m running into with Starfinder is that my mental picture of the various places doesn’t always line up with my players’. I was curious if anyone had other impressions that gave them a Shadowrun vibe.

Aucturn would fall under the 1 settlement clause.

Many people fail to realize how big planets are and apply the Star Wars "One planet, one biome" thinking also to societies.

But honestly, on every planet with large scale habitation, that includes Akiton, you could add any possible Shadowrun type city and it would fit, simply because they all are so big.
So pick the ones where you like the secondary attributes like ethernal winter or no day-night cycle most.

You wouldn't even have to leave the planet at all. After all SR itself is limited to one planet.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Hmm wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks your Shadowrun campaign should use the entire Pact World setting as its backdrop? There are so many places to go and explore the seamy underside of the Pact.
I kind of want them to be dirt poor and not have easy access to a ship. Being under the heel of a local crime boss isn’t such an oppressive situation if it’s easy to up and leave.

Aballon.

All despotic drow family megacorps, mostly dealing military black market. It's not exactly like any particular part of Shadowrun, but it doesn't get any more cyberpunk than having to buy air to breathe.


Hmm wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks your Shadowrun campaign should use the entire Pact World setting as its backdrop? There are so many places to go and explore the seamy underside of the Pact.

I did....though I do think Absalom should be central...as it has the most diverse and ventures opportunity.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:

You don’t think any planet is best?

Some seem definitely better than others - I wouldn’t use Aucturn, for instance. I could make it work, but other places would be better, imo.

My initial thoughts were Verces or Akiton (likely the latter since its intended to be a gritty, desperate take on Shadowrun with more gangs and fewer all powerful corporations) but one problem I’m running into with Starfinder is that my mental picture of the various places doesn’t always line up with my players’. I was curious if anyone had other impressions that gave them a Shadowrun vibe.

I think StarFinder has elements but overall it is too optimistic so I would change some things...

1) I would probably have a more of a cold war status between the Pact Worlds and the Vresk.

2) I would probably reduce the power of the Pact World government.

3) Change the Swarm to operate more like bug spirits in Shadowrun.

4) up the learhity of the system.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Cheers. I hadn’t thought of some of those. I totally agree that the whole feel of SF is a little too optimistic, as you put it. Many of the setting assumptions would change.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:

Cheers. I hadn’t thought of some of those. I totally agree that the whole feel of SF is a little too optimistic, as you put it. Many of the setting assumptions would change.

I suspect you could do a lot of that with just focus on the characters immediate setting. That's what they're going to be paying attention to, after all.

There may be nice places elsewhere, but you're stuck in this hellhole.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Cheers. I hadn’t thought of some of those. I totally agree that the whole feel of SF is a little too optimistic, as you put it. Many of the setting assumptions would change.

I suspect you could do a lot of that with just focus on the characters immediate setting. That's what they're going to be paying attention to, after all.

There may be nice places elsewhere, but you're stuck in this hellhole.

For sure. That’s the main reason I ruled out starship ownership, pretty much immediately. I’m sure it’s possible to make it work, but to me, it just doesn’t have the right vibe.

“Being stuck in this hellhole” is a theme I want to carry through the campaign.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
Hmm wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks your Shadowrun campaign should use the entire Pact World setting as its backdrop? There are so many places to go and explore the seamy underside of the Pact.
I kind of want them to be dirt poor and not have easy access to a ship. Being under the heel of a local crime boss isn’t such an oppressive situation if it’s easy to up and leave.

Just have a crime boss who can reach anywhere in the Pact Worlds. For some reason, your PCs can get a ship but can't get their hands on a Drift Drive....


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Yeah, it's possible to achieve but not as stifling (imo) as being trapped geographically. Giving the PCs easy travel via a starship is inherently empowering.

The very first campaign we ran actually involved the PCs being in debt to the mob (who'd funded the starship purchase). That worked okay but the PCs were more privateers-on-demand rather than shadowrunners.

I do like the fact the pact worlds is so diverse though. Its easy to find many solutions to anu given problem.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Actually, you know what would be kind of perfect? The rings of Preluria from the CRB, p 467.

Prelurian Text:
Preluria is a massive, green gas giant inhabited only by an aloof species of psychic gas oozes that are as much immune to the planet's acidic gases as they are made of them. What Preluria lacks in civilization on its surface it more than compensates for in the teeming settlements found on its wide orbital rings. Consisting of millions of ice and mineral bodies of all sizes, the rings of Preluria host countless hidden smugglers' bases, mercenary training facilities, and retreats for wealthy, influential, or misanthropic individuals from across the galaxy. There is no centralized government, with an ever-shifting landscape of political alliances, rivalries, and uneasy neutralities spreading across the immense disk.

The largest settlements among Preluria's rings are found on the 23 bodies big enough to provide natural gravity of varying intensities, most of which have normal natural atmospheres. It is from these bodies that the strongest factions of the rings wage war against one another. Among the most powerful factions are the mercenary Vorlath, who shift loyalties to ever-higher bidders but also maintain their own independent ambitions; the seemingly peaceful Xystrian Brotherhood, whose agents pose as pacifists while sabotaging their enemies; the Prelurian Patrol, who attempts with erratic success to eliminate the system's criminal elements and keep order; the Freugan Salvage Company, claiming any valuables found on any of the rings' particles; and the Reivolan Institute, who conducts questionable experiments and research, welcoming scientists who are prohibited from practicing on other worlds.

Smaller bodies house a variety of surface and subterranean structures, either as part of conglomerates or held by individuals with no ties to their neighbors. Some of these have artificial atmospheres, though most are barren beyond those artificial structures built on them.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:

Yeah, it's possible to achieve but not as stifling (imo) as being trapped geographically. Giving the PCs easy travel via a starship is inherently empowering.

The very first campaign we ran actually involved the PCs being in debt to the mob (who'd funded the starship purchase). That worked okay but the PCs were more privateers-on-demand rather than shadowrunners.

I do like the fact the pact worlds is so diverse though. Its easy to find many solutions to anu given problem.

You could just simply have the crime boss provide the transportation to various planets....paying for the lower class possible of course.

I think stick to established transport ships...not independent charter ship as the PCs might get idea to hijack the ship...


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Hmm wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks your Shadowrun campaign should use the entire Pact World setting as its backdrop? There are so many places to go and explore the seamy underside of the Pact.
I kind of want them to be dirt poor and not have easy access to a ship. Being under the heel of a local crime boss isn’t such an oppressive situation if it’s easy to up and leave.

Aballon.

All despotic drow family megacorps, mostly dealing military black market. It's not exactly like any particular part of Shadowrun, but it doesn't get any more cyberpunk than having to buy air to breathe.

That's Apostae. Aballon is the Planet of the Robots on the opposite side of the system.

( Aballon is a terrible place for a cyberpunk game, btw. Its too lawful, while also being too utopian. There isn't the kind of crime and corruption necessary for cyberpunk, and rebellion itself takes on a fundamentally different flavor when what you are rebelling against isn't necessarily evil at all. )


Metaphysician wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Hmm wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks your Shadowrun campaign should use the entire Pact World setting as its backdrop? There are so many places to go and explore the seamy underside of the Pact.
I kind of want them to be dirt poor and not have easy access to a ship. Being under the heel of a local crime boss isn’t such an oppressive situation if it’s easy to up and leave.

Aballon.

All despotic drow family megacorps, mostly dealing military black market. It's not exactly like any particular part of Shadowrun, but it doesn't get any more cyberpunk than having to buy air to breathe.

That's Apostae. Aballon is the Planet of the Robots on the opposite side of the system.

( Aballon is a terrible place for a cyberpunk game, btw. Its too lawful, while also being too utopian. There isn't the kind of crime and corruption necessary for cyberpunk, and rebellion itself takes on a fundamentally different flavor when what you are rebelling against isn't necessarily evil at all. )

The section of Aballon seen in SFS 1-16, Dreaming of the Future, Towershadow, is actually a pretty cyberpunky place. Run down urban sprawl with thugs withholding crime evidence data that would exonerate a former android slave.


John Compton wrote:


Absalom Station is pretty good, but I'd take it out of the top billing because it doesn't have enough places to run or lie low. The Stewards and size make it a tricky place to do crime.

Isn't having a giant, almost completely unmanageable criminal underbelly like, one of the main features of Absalom Station? I remember rampant gangs being a big feature of one of the early parts of the first AP.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder General Discussion / Which pact world would be the best to run a shadowrun game? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.