Expectations of ShadowHaven GMs
Have Fun and Put Real Life First
This should go without saying, but we've seen our fair share of Living Community GMs burn themselves out. Never feel like anyone's fun is solely your responsibility. Never feel compelled to GM a game by a certain date. You will make mistakes, but laugh them off and learn from them. When you are relaxed, the players sense your relaxation. If you are really interested in a run's story and a metaplot's topic, your passion comes through the run. It is ShadowHaven's leadership's job to teach you this complex game system. Focus on having fun.
Be a Fan of the PCs
To quote Blades in the Dark's GM section on page 193: "Present the world honestly - things really are stacked against them - but don't make yourself the enemy of the PCs. They have enemies enough. Be interested in the characters and excited about their victories."
If the players come up with a clever plan that completely negates your security plans, congratulate them on their cleverness. Play with the players, not against them. Challenge and risk can make for a great and memorable experience - but don't make the game you vs the players. Assume competence and don't try to catch players in "gotchas" - competent runners might make a mistake or forget something if they're pressured for time or under fire, but it's good practice to give them the benefit of the doubt when they aren't.
We're fundamentally here to play games together and have fun, and as the GM you have a lot of control over how the game goes; with that great power comes great responsibility - the responsibility is to try to make sure people have a good time.
Ask for Help
Don't feel shy to call for a break and ask for help in our GM chat if you encounter a situation you don't know how to handle.
Hold on Lightly
To once again quote Blades in the Dark's GM section on page 193: "Always feel free to rewind, revise, and reconsider events as needed. This is not a "no take backs" kind of game. You can always say: 'Actually, no... let's say it was only two guys, instead. I don't know why they'd have any more than that here.' This can be a tricky principle to internalize. It can be so tempting to put your foot down (often for no good reason) or to treat elements of the game as too sacred. Resist that impulse!"
We want organic storylines that have an impact that is felt, those are exciting and cool runs. We want to be able to write about an awesome pink mohawk Exalted-style sword fight on top of the Space Needle that sent its radio antenna crashing to the ground. We want to cheer on our players as their trenchcoat-wearing PCs send stock prices into freefall. As long as the core elements of the setting remain intact and major buildings can be repairable, go for it.
Tell a story together with other GMs. It really sucks if another GM blows up the homebrew gang that you created. This is a shared sandbox, don't kick down other people's castles. Try to build your castle around their creations. Share the setting with respect towards the other GMs.
Understand the Setting Is Vast
Players (and GMs) can play the kind of Shadowrun they want to play. If you have a specific view of how Shadowrun should be, you're entirely free to pick people who conform to that philosophy, but it's not okay to tell other people how to have fun, or their kind of fun is wrong. As the GM, it's your responsibility to communicate your particular style to your players - through a Style Guide as well as pre-game discussion.
The setting is vast enough that we can have VTOL battles above the skies of Seattle while runners creep through a high-security facility.
Stay within reasonable expectations. It may be fun for a character to get milspec armor from a ganger in the barrens on a low-threat run, but it really cheapens the experience of the player who slogged through the Amazon to pry that same armor off a super-soldier during a prime run.
Know the Major Rules for Key Aspects of Your Run
If you have a major obstacle, know the rules related to that obstacle. If a big part of the run involves a car chase or a host dive, you should have a good grasp of the rules related to car chases or host dives (or whatever the obstacle is). Ask ShadowHaven leadership and team members for training on mechanics you want to learn.
Modulate the Number of Players at Your Games
It is tempting to take 5 or more players on a run, and it is possible to do with an experienced game master leading a group of experienced players. However, the Haven caters towards new players and the nature of online play limits some of the communication bandwidth found in real life. Consider limiting yourself to 3 or 4 players. If you seek to push beyond that number, have each player's role on the team be well defined and ask for their cooperation.
There are a lot of trivial decisions - that is, decisions with a clear best choice and no downside - that shadowrunners routinely make. These are things like wiping an astral signature, infiltrating in disguise, wearing a mask in a firefight, setting up a DNI before the meet, running silent while hacking and turning off SINs before committing crimes. In general it's best to assume that players do these things unless they say otherwise (or some kind of constraint - like time - prevents them). Exactly what assumed competence covers is a matter for debate and should be discussed with the players at your table in the event it comes up. When in doubt, rule in the player's favor; try to avoid "gotcha" moments. Generally, for the sake of tidiness and expedient gameplay, most GMs choose to assume competence, but each GM table is unique.
The standard is to assume competence. The onus is on the GM to explain what they mean when they say they won't assume competence, and it is something they need to ensure players are aware of before a game begins, whether through the application thread, their style guide or before the game begins.
Keep in mind that a lack of assumed competence doesn't mean assumed incompetence. The nature of a community means that players will need to adjust to different GM-ing styles. Consider giving your players the benefit of the doubt in case they forget something obvious or making use of the Common Sense quality to prevent potentially derailing situations.
Required Pre-Game X-Card Briefing
In order to ensure player safety, all ShadowHaven Game Masters are mandated to explain the ShadowHaven's global X-card policy. Remember, you as GM can use an X-card if a player is making you uncomfortable.
Some example scripts:
- This run will utilize the X-Card system. If, at any point, you are uncomfortable with the current scene or the topics, themes and subjects starring within the scene, you may say or type the phrase X-Card and I will immediately stop the scene and move on.
- We on the ShadowHaven use the X-card system, simply say or type X-card and the game will stop immediately. You do not have to give a reason, you do not have to explain why.
Please see The X-Card: A Guide for ShadowHaven GMs and Roleplay Safety Systems for more details.
Becoming a GM
Simply use the
/role Level0GM command after reading the GM expectations above.
GMs are any of the following: Level 0 GM, Level 1 GM, Level 2 GM or Level 3 GM.
Level 0 GM
Anyone who wants to GM can appoint themselves to level 0. These GMs are limited to running lower threat runs or higher degrees of guidance to reduce the chance of mishaps. The intent of this level is to create a safe place for new GMs to fail and learn. Greenhorn GMs should consider taking experienced players on their runs to learn from them when possible.
There is a 10 GMP reward for GM-ing for the first time. You can claim the 10 GMP after the AAR for the run is done.
Level 0 GMs advance to level 1 by completing 3 runs with an overall game rating over 7. If a run has no feedback submitted, it counts as a passed run. They also need to make a Style Guide. When you advance from a Level 0 to a Level 1 GM, you gain 10 GMP.
Level 1 GM
Level 1 GMs advance to level 2 by completing a high threat run, demonstrating competency in all the three big aspects of the game - meat, Matrix and magic. Ping @Thematics with your high threat run AAR to advance.
Level 2 GM
Level 2 GMs advance to level 3 to signify the trust that the thematics department places in them. This trust is earned by completed a semi-prime run and weaving it into the shared story by writing an AAR signifying its metaplot impact. Ping @Thematics with your AAR to advance.
Level 3 GM
Level 3 GMs are trusted to freeform any run, save a Prime Run. They are actual wizards forging the shared story of ShadowHaven. They can lead teams of GMs to tell an intense story across multiple runs and are the Haven's flagship GMs.
GM Ranking Up
Ping Thematics once you complete the requirements for a new level.
|Coached Run||Approved Run||Freeform Run||May Not Run|
|Run Threat Level||Milk||Level 0||Level 0||Level 0||N/A|
|Low||Level 0||Level 0||Level 0||N/A|
|Medium||Level 0||Level 0||Level 0||N/A|
|High||Level 0||Level 0||Level 1||N/A|
|Deadly||Level 0||Level 0||Level 1||N/A|
|Extreme||Level 1||Level 1||Level 2||Level 0|
|Semi-Prime||Level 2||Level 2||Level 3||Level 1|
|Prime||N/A||Level 3||N/A||Level 2|
- Coached Runs - Coached Runs have a GM of a higher level sit in as a non-player to provide real-time support. The GM or the coach can call for a break and discuss matters at hand. PM-ing during the game is discouraged, outside of asking for a break, because it can be distracting. Because they don't play and are on standby to support a low-level GM, they earn 10 GMP.
- Approved Runs - These runs have a run proposal form filled out and approved by Thematics. All other members of the Haven can also comment to help the GM develop their run.
- Freeform Run - These runs are completely freeform and have no support.
A run is __ if ___.
- Private: the majority of players were pre-selected. Private runs are not eligible for additional GM rewards.
- Public: not private
- Scheduled: post and picks were made at least a full day in advance of the run, the post accurately informed players when picks will be decided, and the game started within an hour of the scheduled time
- Impromptu: post and picks were made within just a few hours of the run
- Overflow: an Impromptu that was made within two hours of another run's game start in response to high player demand
- Replacement: an Impromptu that is hosted within two hours of another run's game start in response to a postponed game or missing GM.
- Normal: otherwise
Each run post should state the designed threat level, but threat levels can be increased based on conditions on the table. However, these adjustments should be consented to by the players, either in advance or by signaling that an unexpected course of action may result in escalation of threat. Note that the GM still needs to have a sufficent GM level to run at the new threat level, which may require converting the run into a different type (i.e., getting a coach or employing pregenerated grunts, and so becoming a Coached or Structured Run). The Professional Rating and Threat Level System Draft tells you how to design NPCs based on threat level. We have also some premade Grunts.
|Milk||Milk Runs are extremely low threat games, intended as a way to introduce a player or GM to a new mechanic they may not be familiar with at minimal risk. Failure states are exceptionally rare, and opposition, if there is any at all, usually consists of Threat Level (TL) 0 or 1 grunts that the PCs may even outnumber. A typical Milk Run could be anything from binding a mischievous but harmless spirit, graffiting a Stuffer Shack host or beating up a stalker. Rewards should consist of little more than bragging rights, but in some cases a few RVP is acceptable (certainly never more than 5).|
|Low||Low threat runs have rewards between 6-9 RVP (an example payout would be 6000¥ and 4 Karma). Opposition is fairly light, consisting of Threat Level 1 or 2 grunts that may slightly outnumber the PCs, low Force spirits with limited powers, or low rating IC. Static defenses and obstacles, such as mana barriers, can go a bit higher in dicepools, since runners can generally circumvent them. Opposition will be disorganized and unlikely to do much other than point and shoot.
A Low Threat run typically involves people or organizations incapable of maintaining long-term consequences on a PC.
|Medium||Medium threat runs reward between 10-13 RVP (an example reward would be 12000¥ and 5 Karma). Opposition gets much more serious at this level and consists of TL 3 or 4 grunts who outnumber the PCs in most encounters, medium Force Spirits with the occasional disruptive power or strong IC with the possibility of Black IC if the players aren't careful. Static defenses and obstacles, such as mana barriers, can go higher, and circumventing them might be important. Opposition will use low-level tactics like suppression, drugs, alchemical preps and flanking attempts.
A player is expected to do their legwork to avoid failures and be comfortable with their role in a team. At this level, weak "landmine" effects begin to show up; an opposing mage might use an Ares Screech rifle on the street sam, gas may flood out of vents, etc. These effects often come up easily in legwork, and can be defended against by a prepared team.
|High||High threat runs reward up to 16 RVP (an example reward is 16000¥ and 6 karma). Opposition consists of TL 5 grunts, with elements of TL 6 opponents. They will use clever tactics like focused fire, hacking unsecured ware, illusion and manipulation spells, and attempts to lure PCs into traps. Often, opposing forces have the means to discover if Runners are working against them and the resources to counter the team. Static factors and obstacles, such as mana barriers, might be prohibitively difficult to overcome directly.
Comprehensive legwork is essential to discovering the full extent of the opposition players will face, with the occasional unexpected wrench thrown in to derail their plan. Proper planning is necessary to avoid failure and contingencies are an asset. Players are expected to be fully capable in their given role, with a strong understanding of mechanics attached to it. High threat runs include people and organizations that punish failure severely and are capable of being major detriments to PCs.
|Deadly||Deadly threat runs reward up to 20 RVP (an example reward is 20000¥ and 10 karma). The opposition will consist of TL 6-7 grunts, with elements of TL 8 opponents. In addition to clever tactics, the opposition will actively profile the runners when their identities are known, to the point of using their past reputation, notoriety, or public fame in order to either call in reinforcements or prepare specifically for their abilities. Static factors and obstacles, such as mana barriers and strong hosts, will be accompanied by active defenses - including bound spirits and professional spiders.
Skilled legwork is usually required for the completion of the run, with numerous traps, pitfalls and dangers in uncovering the necessary information to succeed. Players are expected to be fully capable in their given role, with a strong understanding of attached mechanics.
|Extreme||Extreme threat runs reward up to 30 RVP (an example reward is 30000¥ and 15 karma). The opposition will consist of PR or TL 8-9 grunts, with elements of TL 10 opponents. In addition to the tactics and preparations used above, runners can expect to face unfair conditions - including extreme environmental dangers, rapid-response reinforcements and the possibility of the opposition being forewarned of an expected runner incursion. Both passive and active defenses will be deadly in their own right.
Players will be expected to take the initiative on necessary legwork, with few (if any) hints given as to the kind of information or clues needed to successfully navigate the opposition and complete the run. Uncovering such intel should be fraught with danger.
Players are expected to be fully capable in their given role, with a strong understanding of attached mechanics. Additionally, players should be prepared to accept harsh negative penalties as a consequence of mistakes or failures.
|Semiprime||Semi-prime runs reward up to 40 RVP. At this point, rewards typically come in the form of rare equipment or powerful contacts, in addition to money and karma.
Opposing forces consist of TL 11 or 12 units, often matching or slightly outnumbering the PCs. Much of the difficulty from semi-prime runs comes from how opposition behaves. Landmines are hidden behind difficult legwork and failure comes from PCs being unable to handle rapidly shifting mission parameters. Semi-prime runs involve people, things and organizations that have the means and the will to invest significant resources towards thwarting attacks by runner teams.
|Prime||Prime runs are the height of a shadowrunner's career. Rewards can be upwards of 100 RVP depending on threat and consist of extremely rare and powerful gear, along with elite contacts and sizable cash and karma payouts.
Opposing forces in prime runs have no listed TL or dice pools. As a GM hosting a Prime run you are expected to have a full working knowledge of all the game's systems, as well as the ability to provide a challenging experience that will push your player's abilities to their limits. Prime runs are not to be taken lightly and contain serious risk of PC death or retirement.
Player Characters and "Not Dead Yet"
Sometimes, even on a run where you think nothing could possibly go wrong, characters die. The opposing force will get off a lucky gutshot that drops their physical condition monitor through the floor, the character will crit-glitch tossing a grenade bouquet or something equally terrible will befall the poor saps on your table. When that happens, the players have the option to burn a point of edge and use Not Dead Yet to avoid losing a character they've invested tons of time in - but it doesn't mean that the character will come out unscathed.
Due to the traumatic nature of a close brush with death, getting captured by a megacorp and the like, ShadowHaven has a system in place to dole out negative RVP to represent coming back from the brink. Depending on the threat level of the run, the amount of negative RVP varies according to the following guidelines. The only exception is in cases where a semi-prime or prime level run explicitly states that it won't be playing by these limits.
||Negative RVP Limit|
|Prime Run or Semi-Prime run with clearly, publicly mentioned disregard for edge burning mechanics in the run post.
1 Negative RVP is defined as the following:
- 2000 nuyen in bribes
- 2000 nuyen in ware needed to purchase to recover (missing limbs)
- 2000 in lost ware or gear
- 0.5 karma worth of a negative quality. That is to say, the buy off cost of negative qualities.
If a character burns edge to avoid death on your table, that opens a dialogue with the player to figure out the best allocation of these negative RVP. As the GM, you do have authority over the exact mechanical effects, but in the interest of player agency, they should at least get a say in how things play out. The only caveat is that you should avoid forcing characters to lose Magic or Resonance.
If a GM believes that an action or a set of actions would deserve a negative RVP response in excess of the limit, they can open a dialogue with players to either find a different path, or, only with mutual acceptance, bestow the negative penalty (subject to potential Thematics review post run).
- Multi-Session: a run that takes place across multiple play sessions
- Mock: a run with zero rewards (for both players and GMs), consequences, or effect on the canon that can be run by anyone (GM or not), at any difficulty, with no requirements whatsoever, for zero pressure practice or just to have fun, so long as it clearly noted as such by tagging the run post title with [MOCK]. It doesn't even need to use ShadowHaven characters.
- Metaplots may be marked by the GM who created them as private. Such metaplots require the permission of the creator to run games in them. If the GM is no longer a member of the Haven, the metaplot becomes public.
Rewards are primarily based on run threat, as it (usually) represents player risk and GM preparation. However, high duration and multi-session runs may require an adjustment. You can use the following formula to adjust runner rewards and GMP at the high end:
(Total Duration in Hours Across All Sessions) / 6
In general, even if you expect the run to go long, it's best to have the Johnson pay the runners normally and consider any extra allowance from duration to help handle "extra" pay the runners might happen into (like paydata, going out of their way to "get paid twice", fencing loot, etc.).
Also, feel free to ask the Thematics Department and fellow GMs for advice on run rewards.
If in-run events would push the RVP signficantly above the standard, players may go into karma or nuyen debt with the permission of a member of the Thematics department. This is common with Infection in play, for example.
Player run rewards are measured in RVP (Reward Value Points). They can be converted to
- 2,000 nuyen
- 4,000 nuyen worth of gear, if an NPC has the ability to obtain it at severe discount
- Giving out gear above Availability 19 requires approval from Thematics
- Players may use GMP at a rate of 1 GMP to 2000 nuyen to supplement this, which is not subject to the RVP cap. Note that Thematics must still approve items above availability 19
- 4000 nuyen in cost of lifestyle modification
- 1 karma
- 2 CDP
- 1 karma of positive qualities adequately roleplayed for (i.e. at chargen cost if it's a run reward)
- 1 Street Cred (max of 1 per run)
- 1 Connection or 1 Loyalty for a new contact gained that run minus 1 (i.e. 6 RVP for a 4/3 contact)
- Contacts rewarded can be public or private, but they must be shared (if Connection changes or it dies for one character, it does for all the others who have it)
- Contacts above Connection 6 require approval of the Thematics Department
For Mundane Ascensions, the player converts 1 RVP each into up to 5 of the following (Each can be taken multiple times):
- 5 karma towards a skill or martial art
- 20k nuyen towards non-ware (You may bank this across multiple ascensions)
- 6 karma towards qualities at post-gen price
- 4 karma towards Edge
- 10k nuyen towards 'ware (you may bank this across multiple ascensions)
- +20 Faction Rep
Additionally, runs may award faction rep as per RAW rules (generally 1-2 per run) and this doesn't count against RVP. The chance for an Awakened or Emerged character to purchase deltaware may be used as a Run Reward for Semi-Prime or Prime runs. This takes up 15 RVP and must be approved by a member of the Thematics Team. For awakened or emerged PCs with the Regeneration critter power, this takes up 30 RVP and must be approved by a member of the Thematics Team.
Standard reward ranges for Normal runs based on threat:
|Prime||up to 100 RVP|
|Semiprime||up to 40 RVP|
|Extreme||up to 30 RVP|
|Deadly||up to 20 RVP|
|High||up to 16 RVP|
Note: a full After-Action Report (AAR) must be added to the run's wiki page for any run that rewards more than 19 RVP if the run is not a semi-prime or above.
These are merely guidelines and exceptions can occur, but chronic overpaying is frown upon and may result in consequences.
Additionally, players may write a full/narrative AAR and add it to the full AAR to earn 1 GMP. This is the PC's version of events, compared to the more unbiased version of events, and should be in character. These are placed in the run's wiki page.
Characters also earn 2 CDP per run. This can be used to buy knowledge skills or contacts. A GM may also choose to award contacts as a part of the run rewards using CDP. See Contact Rules for more information.
Better Than Bad's Intangible Rewards
In reference to the Intangible Rewards listed on p. 45 of "Better Than Bad";
- GMs may issue lifestyle cost reductions for 1 RVP per 4000¥ in cost of lifestyle modification. That is, if an anarchist commune offers a Low lifestyle for a year, it will be the total cost of that lifestyle in RVP.
- GMs may freely issue intelligence and have the player write a description of the intel on the wikipage. At GM discretion, intel earned this way may make future runs easier. The wikipage should have a link to the Run's AAR, a description of what the intel is and who gave it to them. GMs are encouraged to discussed other intangible rewards with thematics.
Base reward for hosting a run is determined by the threat level as follows:
After the run is concluded, creating an AAR will reward 4 GMP. Note, this need not be the GM. The GM may choose to allow a player to write the AAR instead, allowing the player to claim the 4 GMP.
Rewards for Using a New City
Since learning the background of an entire new city takes a significant amount of time and effort, GMs doing runs in locations other than Seattle can claim additional rewards for encouraging focus on other areas in the Sixth World. The first time a GM uses a new city (as in, new to them) as the setting for a run, they get an extra 6 GMP. While subsequent runs in the same city don't yield any additional bonuses, this extra GMP can be claimed every time a GM expands their repertoire to include another city.
Additional rewards, all of which are worth 1 GMP, which are not affected by the Reward Multiplier:
- Run was recorded and uploaded to ShadowHaven YouTube
- Run was metaplot-linked
- Each player taken who has not had a run in over a month (including a player's first run)
- Each character taken that has had fewer than three runs total (this stacks with the above reward)
- You can redeem 1 GMP for 2000 nuyen or 1 karma on a character for your choosing
- You can redeem 1 GMP to add 2000 nuyen worth of gear to the rewards of a run, including being in excess of the RVP cap. Thematics must still approve items above 19 availability
- You can redeem 1 GMP for 1 faction rep on a character of your choosing. This includes NPCs, so GMs can use it to upgrade faction contacts and the like with the standard reputation powers, as per "Cutting Aces"
- You can buy certain features with GMP at varying prices. Prime slots, extra character slots, discord emojis, etc.
- Discord Emoji = 3 GMP
- You can redeem 1 GMP for 2 CDP on a character of your choosing
Note on GMP - Street Cred
GMP does not count towards a character's street cred when applied.
GMP will be explicitly lost if the PC that GMP has been applied to dies or otherwise ceases to be playable. During resubmits, GMP is handled in special ways depending on the type of resubmit. [see Player Rules for more details.]
GMs should maintain a document covering their personal GM-ing style, linked on their run post
- For now, use whatever structure and information you feel best, but the following questions must be covered
- Whether you're okay with players applying to jobs their character has a high chance of declining at the meet
- Whether you're okay with players applying to jobs their character will actively attempt to thwart or derail
- Views on realism and seriousness of the setting
- Views on consequences and failure
- Runs that notably differ from your normal style as described in your document must be noted as such
Re-using run concepts and ideas is allowed, but GMs are encouraged to make their games as unique as possible for the benefit of the players.
You need a run proposal and approval to have a GM-controlled PC in the game. It is strongly discouraged to have GM PCs in game without good reason.
PVP is always at the GM's discretion and should only occur if both players are ok with it. If PVP does happen, don't let players burn edge to smackdown in PVP. If edge is burnt for Not Dead Yet, the player who burnt the edge gets to live. Players are not allowed to circumvent Not Dead Yet ("I shoot him in the head just to be sure", for example) in PVP.
The ShadowHaven operates in real-time. A day in the real world is a day on the Haven. However, some games take place over the course of a couple days, a week, maybe even longer. These games are considered to be part of their "pocket universe".
Character adjustments, purchases and other time-sensitive cooldowns are unaffected by pocket universe time. As an example, a character who initiates before a run that spans a month in-game will not be able to initiate at the run's conclusion as though a month has passed in real-time. Similarly, a character who learns a skill or spell, or increases an attribute during a long run only has that skill in the pocket universe of that run: they must pay for the change in downtime as normal before they can use it on other runs.
Note, characters in the middle of Multi-Session runs are assumed to be free to go on other runs unless either of the GMs in question elect to not let them. This should be clearly communicated in advance to avoid any issues.
Since the idea of being international criminals is badass, there's a standing bounty for GMs that use cities other than Seattle as the setting for their runs, as outlined in the GMP Rewards section above. For those interested in claiming that bonus GMP, here are a few standing pointers for how to include areas outside of Seattle (or the UCAS entirely) in your runs.
Lifestyle Makes Travel Easier
When you're rich, it's a hell of a lot easier to put together travel arrangements. While lower lifestyles may need to front cash for their favored method of transit, High and Luxury lifestyles get to fly in comfort. If they're living at that level, it's assumed that runners can arrange for a jet rental or commercial airline flight at no extra cost - and at the Luxury level, they've got companies they can call (again, assumed to be rolled into lifestyle costs) to supply professional pilots, flight attendants and crew so that their trip is as pleasant and stress-free as possible.
It also bears mentioning that private flights, especially those that appear to be carrying perfectly legitimate SINners, get to skip a lot of the hassle you might face when going to an airport. Outside of extreme circumstances that might draw the explicit attention of border security and customs, it's very unlikely they'll be intercepted, and will likely face far less stringent security procedures.
In addition, characters can have lifestyles located anywhere in the world. If a runner has a lifestyle waiting for them at their destination - and they can front the cost for it if they haven't used it recently - they'll have a much easier time securing a place to stay as opposed to the usual go-to of finding a reliable no-tell motel in an unfamiliar city.
Contacts Can Facilitate Travel
Having friends that can smuggle them over international borders makes the life of a globe-trotting runner much easier. Contacts that have smuggling as one of their fields of expertise can help covertly get runners into another country. Similarly, contacts with access to vehicles like aircraft and boats can supply the transport needed if the runners can't source it themselves.
Runners may also be able to tap either their fixers or group contacts to get them where they need to be. Networking tests may allow them to get ahold of smugglers, while group contacts can transport members to an area in which they operate, free of charge. In some cases, such as a run to expand the faction's influence to a new city or if a runner stakes their reputation with the organization, they may even offer transit to the entire team! Just note that, as per our Contact Rules, getting a group contact to help with travel will, for obvious reasons, clue them in on what the runners are up to.
Run Content Limitations
Some content GMs cannot use or must change due to their incapability with the lore and lack of consistency with the Haven's rule set. They are also considered non-canon on the Haven.
- Growth ("Forbidden Arcana" p. 49)
- Multiply Food ("Forbidden Arcana" p. 50)
- The Ares Firewatch "Bug Stomper" Custom Armor ("Street Lethal" p. 130)
- The Stoner-Ares M-22A1 Vehicle Mounted Heavy Machine Gun ("Street Lethal" p. 130) shall be banned from all use, including by GMs.
- The MCT/Winchester-Howe Hornet Direct-Fire Mini-Grenades ("Street Lethal" p. 132) shall be banned from all use, including by GMs.
- The Shiawase/Nemesis Arms Man-Catcher ("Street Lethal" p. 132) shall be banned from all use, including by GMs.
- Zapper rounds ("Kill Code" p. 48) shall not be permitted on the ShadowHaven in any capacity.
- Fuzzy rounds ("Kill Code" p. 50) shall not be permitted on the ShadowHaven in any capacity.
- E0-E0 rounds ("Kill Code" p. 51) shall not be permitted on the ShadowHaven in any capacity.
- COS grenades ("Kill Code" p. 54) shall not be permitted on the ShadowHaven in any capacity.
- Douser grenades ("Kill Code" p. 55) shall not be permitted on the ShadowHaven in any capacity.
- DumDum grenades ("Kill Code" p. 56) shall not be permitted on the ShadowHaven in any capacity.
- Flicker IC ("Kill Code" p. 67) shall not be permitted on the ShadowHaven in any capacity.
- Blue Goo IC ("Kill Code" p. 68) shall not be permitted on the ShadowHaven in any capacity.
- Turn to Goo
- False Impression
- Power and Weapon Foci above Force 7
- Other Foci above Force 10
- Sleuther IC ("Kill Code" p. 67) shall be permitted. Rather than the normal listed effects, a successful strike places a single mark on you. This mark provides the host that struck you with the name and location of any grids or hosts you may visit, stored in an automatically created file within that host. This IC may place multiple marks and the marks it places may be erased normally. If all such placed marks are erased through any means, the Hhost ceases to receive data about your travels.
- Offline Hosts ("Kill Code" p. 46) shall be permitted. GMs should be careful not to overuse these, as they are rare.
- The rules text for Blight described on p. 157-158 of "Better Than Bad" shall not be used on Shadowhaven. Instead, Blight shall be a Contact, Injection Vector toxin which, upon hitting a spirit, shall remove its Immunity to Normal Weapons for [12 - Spirit's Force hours, minimum 1 hour]. The speed, penetration, and power are unchanged. Blight has no effect on non-spirit entities.
GMs should generally also follow modifications listed in the [rules].
- Fader IC ("Street Lethal" p. 89) shall be permitted, but only with explicit Thematics approval
- Bug Queens
- Master Shedim
- Crystalline Entity
- Yama Kings
- Elder Gods
- Great Dragons that are not named in canon
- (unnamed by Catalyst) Immortal Elves
- Plots that could potentially bring about the deaths of the majority of people within a city block
- Plots that (do or stand a chance to) alter/kill/remove Public Contacts
- Plots that involve raids on RP areas (just to confirm handling) such as The Daze
- Canon: (established by Catalyst) runners, immortal elves, great dragons or other important characters being directly involved in a run (they hire the PCs/go on a mission with the PCs/oppose the PCs/tell the PCs critical information in exchange for something etc.)
- Canon (established by Catalyst) runners, immortal elves, great dragons or other important characters in a run being damaged or changed from their canon lore (canon character is killed/injured/has mental damage/gains a new enemy/loses something they canonically have/or in any other way has their canon meaningfully changed by the interaction)
- WMDs being detonated
- Street Lethal Future Tech (due to it technically not being invented yet)
- Enemies with Tech/Magic/Skill far beyond their means (low rank/wealth enemies geared with Deltaware, milspec gear, magic 12 or other odd things without a proper explanation as to why but simply rather to boost their stats or perceived threat)
- New Tech (futuretech+ or things that have never been published or are completely homebrew)
- New creatures/spirits (unpublished, homebrewed adversaries)
In order to establish consistency for our often brand new Shadowrun players, GMs are not allowed to have table rules and must follow the rules listed in the [Rules]. If a GM disagrees with how the ShadowHaven rules on an issue and it truly impedes their ability to GM, they are welcome to contact a Council member or post their objections in the Topics for Discussion thread.
We ask that all GMs ask their players to fill in the GM feedback form after their runs. This is to help you improve as a GM and for us to detect gross misconduct, we will not judge you for a few lackluster runs.
Any moderator or Thematics can stop a game in progress for gross misconduct that goes against our community expectations. The thematics team can choose to ban a community member from GMing for gross misconduct and behavior that disrupts the shared sandbox and storyline that other GMs use.
The intent of these rules is to create a safe place for new GMs to fail and learn. If you are failing and learning in good faith, no action will be taken against you. Lower level GMs should consider taking experienced players on their runs to learn from them when possible. Every experienced Shadowhaven GM has ran a lackluster game before, but we learned from our mistakes.
However, we have a duty to ensure our players have a good time as well. Therefore, the run may be modified or fully retconned depending on the outcome.
GM bans may be appealed to the sysop by sending Reddit moderator mail.
Some of these GM rules were taken, modified or inspired by the ShadowNet GM rules and the Light in the Dark GM rules.