Shadowrun Adventure – Food Fight 4.0

Our first game using Shadowrun 4th Edition rules was this Saturday at Halloween Hootenanny II. The game was played using three pregenerated characters, a human street samurai, an ork hacker, and a troll bounty hunter. The group named themselves JNC (pronounced “jinx”) for their names Jazz, Ned and Chuck. JNC found themselves, at 4:00 a.m., in the local Stuffer Shack looking for snacks. As they shopped, an elf woman and her baby came into the store, and a moment later the whole front of the building exploded. The blast knocked everyone prone and buried the woman and child in the rubble. A trio of Helloweener gang members came running in waving guns and shouting for everyone to stay on the ground.

Never ones to follow orders, JNC had other plans. Chuck the troll walked over and put some of his Aztec-Mex “meltdown” stuffers in the microwave, which caused one of the gang members to brandish an Ares Predator IV in his face and yell at him to get down. Ned the Nerd decided to hack the Stuffer Shack node and drop the lights around him and his companions but leave them on around the gangers. Afterward, Ned slipped through the AlmostMilk(TM) rack and out into the storage room. Meanwhile, Jazz drew her katana and slipped over near the ganger shaman who was standing in the darkness sifting through the rubble. Chuck, as stealthy as a troll can be (which is to say, “not at all”), drew his smartlinked shotgun and aimed it at the ganger.

Naturally, a firefight erupted. Chuck was shot twice, once by the pistol-wielding ganger and again by the other one holding the AK-97. Due to his armor skin and natural toughness, Chuck was not greatly injured. The gang shaman sparked some mojo to make a sheet of ice appear beneath Chuck’s feet, but he was able to balance. The other two gangers took cover and began a shootout with Chuck. Jazz slipped up on the shaman and decapitated him with ease. She then threw his severed head out into the light to demoralize the other two. Meanwhile, Ned hacked the cameras and found they had been turned off, so he started watching outside. He found that another ganger was lying dazed on the parking lot. Chuck dove for cover behind some of the potatoish chips, and Jazz charged out and impaled the pistol-wielding ganger and killed him. With his morale broken, the remaining Helloweener ran off and abandoned his companion in the parking lot.

JNC pulled the woman from the rubble and found out she was trying to blackmail a corp VP named Mel Cozi because the baby was their love child. Smelling profits, they kidnapped her and the dazed ganger in the parking lot. They interrogated the ganger with some “not torture” methods that he did not survive. They then went about trying to gather some DNA from Mel to prove the child was his.

After some doing, JNC used the cover of a Strip-O-Gram truck to slip into Mel’s neighborhood and break into his house. Chuck’s stealth alerted the maid, so he had to punch her in the face and knock her out. Unfortunately, her flying body knocked some drywall loose too. Oh well, Chuck accomplished his goal of shutting her up. He then ran upstairs to steal some hair from Mel’s hair brush. In the meantime, Jazz went to find Mel’s office while Ned hacked the safe remotely and turned it off. Jazz found Mel’s guard dog and had to shoot it. After the heist, they left the neighborhood after a brief run in with the security guard. Fortunately, Ned’s hacking got them through the gates.

After proving Mel’s parenthood, JNC called him up to setup a drop for the blackmail money. They demanded 100,000 nuyen, because they now had genetic proof. They setup a drop and demanded Mel bring the money in a black duffel. Mel showed up and put the bag in the backseat of a vehicle Ned controlled remotely. JNC had no plans of turning over the elf woman, even though they had agreed to do so. Instead, they took off with the money.

In another warehouse, later that night, JNC pulled the duffel from the car. At that point, they realized they had never seen the money, only the bag. The group backed way off while Jazz opened the bag. Unfortunately, Mel was as wicked as the shadowrunners, and Jazz blew into a bloody mess as the bomb within exploded. Ned saw red (and he was angry) and decided they would make Mel pay, but that is a story for another day.

Army, Iraq

Received the following letter:

Hi Mr. Charles,

Hope things are good with you and your family.

Things here are good. Thank you for your letter, info & recipe.

It is always good to hear from people at home & the funny things they do.

Thank you for your support. It is really good to hear that not everyone is against us or opt to support us even though you may not like the war they still support us. Well let me run. Time for bed & another long day.

Thanks again.


Motorola DCT 6412 III DVR

I had a strange problem with my Motorola DCT 6412 III DVR last night. Everything live on cable played through the tuner just fine, but nothing recorded would play. Instead it showed a black screen with no progress on the play bar. You could fast forward or rewind, and it remained at 0:00 played and a black screen.

I tried recording something new and then playing it, thinking maybe the old files corrupted. This resulted in the exact same behavior. Finally, I did some looking out on the Internet and noticed some things. First of all, Insight Communications has lousy self-help on their website. Really, it sucks. Second, there wasn’t a lot of help for troubleshooting to be found; most people seem to post questions trying to figure out how to steal TV shows off of the DVR.

After a bit of looking, I stumbled upon a single suggestion. Unplug the DVR for a while and it should work again. Eureka! That did, indeed, make the DVR start working again. I don’t know what caused the problem or if it will recur. I wanted to post about it here to get this information in one more place out on the web.