|From:||The Deb Decker <RJR96326@****.UTULSA.EDU>|
|Date:||Thu, 15 Jul 1993 18:41:41 -0500|
Right. Shadowrun IS like a movie, where the characters are the protagonists
and therefore better than the bad guys. Regardless of moral definition, that's
what I meant by broad-based, middle-of-the-road appeal. The thing is, when
you do that, you dress down the bad aspects of the characters and emphasize
the good. If you do that enough it's easy to forget that the "typical"
Shadowrunner is a thief, murderer, and on top of that a mercenary who does
these things for money rather than out of conviction.
Examina a Shadowrun from the other end of the gun: A young husband is informed
that his wife, a researcher, was fatally wounded by unidentified assailants
the previous evening. Or Mrs Howell, 85 and on whatever counts for social
security in 2054, discovers her savings gone, apparently legitimately, the
victim of a decker. Or a son told that his father is now a puddle of
liquid flesh after a mage cast the now outdated Turn to Goo while doing his
job. That's life in the 21st century :).
Add to that the potential for alcoholism, drug and chip addiction, and
other problems and the Shadowrunning community seems a lot less friendly.
But I understand the need to make the main characters look good; I'm writing
a script about two women pirates, kind of Thelma & Louise at sea. I want
the audience to like them and feel for them when they are in danger, but in
real life one of them slept around and the other killed a man in cold blood,
and both were regarded as "the moste vicious and savage women I have ever
seen, so muche so that they make the Vermin they sailed with appeare t'be
Honorable Men" (from a Carolinia court officer's diary). They and others
like them set men adrift at sea, tied them to posts and threw broken bottles
at them, and shot their friends to keep them in line. But they're still "the
Logiaclly, to me anyway, Shadowrunners aren't the good guys. So why wouldn't
they participate in Blood Magic. Because FASA says so. Because the 'runners
ARE the good guys, and we need to do what we can to keep them likable and
acceptable to whoever reads the books. The adventures are similar; many
of them start out as "typical" runs, but wind up with the PCs stopping a
definite evil: Insect Totems, a Bottled Demon,or chipheads set on puree'.
So once again, the reason they tone down the bad things is because the
'runners are the protaginists, and protaginists must look good because
most people want to like their heroes--not because Shadowrunners are