I once sat in on a game of D&D 3rd edition where the party gathered in a city. We met each other, found an artificial way to know each other, and spent the rest of the evening dithering. One PC wanted to head into the hills to deal with rumors of gnolls, another wanted to go down into the sewers, and another wanted to RP communing with her god in the temple. None of the players wanted to be so rude as to force the others into playing a game they didn’t want to, so no one got to play a game they wanted to. We could have used a ticket onto the railroad.

One of the things I’ve always liked about Shadowrun is that it is very good at dispensing with player confusion about what should be done during a game session. You have a Johnson, you get a mission, you do it.

And so we have the Villa. The man who owns it needs to be killed, and the PCs have to go in and do it.1

Not all monsters lurk in the wilderness. Sometimes they hide in the city, in plain sight.

Villa Players Copy
The Villa. Players’ copy.

The Villa was built in the latter days of empire, when merchants were kings and no one barred their windows. Those days have passed.

But the Villa remains. It still looks like it used to, but traps line the sills of those windows and the old workshop houses the cots of a squad of mercenaries.

Villa GM Copy
GM copy. 5′ squares.

(GM copy gridded and keyed with numbers. Haven’t decided if I want to write up the full location keyset.)

So who owns the Villa now? A local viscount? Upjumped guildman? Warlock? And why does he need to be dead?

1 For bonus fun, maybe he doesn’t need to be killed, only retrieved. How happy is he going to be about that?


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