Cutting The Red Tape Plot in Shadowland | World Anvil

Cutting The Red Tape

While this one-shot was written with Shadowrun in mind, it can be played in any modern or cyberpunk setting. Sample Characters can be found here.
While shopping at a Stuffer Shack in Utrecht, the runners receive a phone call from one of their fellow runners. She mentioned there's a retired runner called Stormbringer, who is in need of a team for a quick job this evening. If the runners want to talk shop, the guy owns a cafe downtown.   Stormbringer's cafe, called Quall, is located in a lovely renovated building directly next to one of Utrecht's better canals. When the runners sit down and ask what the job is about, Stormbringer explains he needs some blueprints copied from city hall. It involves both the older and newer blueprints of a specific address. At first the runners might think it's a preparation for a heist, before they recognise the address as their current location.


Birth Year
Cafe Owner
Stormbringer used to function as heavy magic muscle as Shadowrunner. He'd summon Great Form spirits that would call upon magical storms to rain lightning and hail down. This meant that security and reinforcements all had to dive for cover. The downside was a significant amount of collateral damage. Eventually he retired and started a cafe to stave off boredom.   As a businessman, Stormbringer is much quieter, yet equally successful. He now wishes to expand his business, which involves renovating the building. But the bureaucrats are getting in the way. To get even a temporary permit, he first must hand over both the original and the reconstruction blueprints. Yet to request those, he needs to have a permit to justify the request! Despite all his efforts, he remains stuck in this catch-22.

The Run
Tonight city hall is holding a party celebrating a retirement. This means that not a single civil servant will be present in the building. All the runners have to do, is avoid the one patrolswoman who is accompanied by a single spirit. Getting in should be the easy part.   Finding the right files will be harder. The local systems are so old that they predate the Wireless Matrix. Fortunately someone included a hash value while rejecting Stormbringer's latest request, which will make it easier to dig through the electronical filing system. The hash value's file contains the location of the physical dossier. Unfortunately it is checked out, requiring digging through yet another three subsystems to find out who checked it out and where to find their desk.
Job Type
Vicious boobytraps
Base Rewards
6 Karma
Word on the street
"So to get a permit, I need the blueprints. To get the blueprints, I need a permit. Doesn't matter that the building is from two centuries ago. Just tell me one thing. How do you live with yourself?"
"The systems are wired and an ancient monstrosity, so you'll have to hack in from the inside."
"Choke on electricity and glitter, you piece of drek lunchthief!"
"It couldn't possibly be food poisoning. We still have leftovers and those tested all clean. Our staff also ate the same. No idea what happened, honest."

The Complications
When arriving at the desk of Sofie Stork, who checked out the dossier, the runners run into an accumulation of two problems. First of all, there is a lunch thief at City Hall, who steals sandwiches, snacks, even coffee pods. And second, Stork juryrigs devices in her spare time. Guess what? She boobytrapped her desk.   The runners will have to face electrical shocks, fart bombs, hidden drawers, even glitter bombs. All this without getting caught by security. While they eventually can find the dossier fallen behind a drawer, they first have to suffer through or disarm over half a dozen nasty traps.
The Aftermath
With the copied blueprints in hand, Stormbringer can finally request the permit he needs for his work. Unfortunately he will have to wait a few days, on account of most of city hall coming down with a stomach bug. Turns out pissing off a well-liked cafe owner isn't the best way to get reliable catering. Half the snacks and drinks at the retirement party were spiked with nasty bits, while all the evidence has been properly cleaned.   Four months later the renovating is completed, with the runners getting an invite for the grand reopening party. The building still contains its monumental elements but is far more comfortable now.


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