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With the recent release of Data Trails for Shadowrun 5E and having the chance to have a bit of a read of the rules, something caught my eye that I thought could make for an amusing session: The Foundation concept. Basically in Shadowrun they have a virtual reality matrix, which can be shaped into things that look like the real world and physically resemble it. Things like having gravity, being able to open doors normally and so on. There are also very deep matrix worlds, which are so real they become their own reality so to speak, where if users don’t follow their rules and blend in correctly the world “turns” on the intruders. Aside from being a great concept, it immediately gave me an incredibly silly idea to run a game that would look like this:

Initially the run is to free someone who has become trapped in the matrix, due to how much their brain relies on being stuck in hot-sim VR due to exposure from a UR (Ultra-Reality) host. Nobody knows what the hell he’s doing in there, but it sounds violent and nobody has been brave enough to go in. Hence the desperate couple choose to turn to shadowrunners to try to bust in and get him out.

The runners submerge in the UR host, with the non-deckers/technomancers hitch-hiking on the back of the VR specialists and become trapped as regular people stuck in an apartment block with nothing to do… except play DnD (as a Foundation Requires you to play by its rules or it literally OMGWTFBBQs you). The goal of the run is to outwit the DM (who is the insane host – seriously, I wouldn’t even have to try to roleplay this), by defeating his seven “Demons”, which all represent the different nodes of the UR Foundational Host.

Naturally the only way to do this is to play actual DnD (or possibly something else depending on my mood). Of course the players can use other stats to cheat or maybe convince the DM to their side, but don’t play by the rules and the monsters become “real” in the matrix and attack them. In other words, they play GAMECEPTION, DnD within Shadowrun within a UR host that resembles the real world of people playing DnD. Of course other than playing DnD, the players are also able to manipulate the DM – using negotiation on rules disputes or con to try to get the DM to trick him that maybe he’s forgotten something (or that you rolled a 16 when you rolled a 6!).

Once taken over, the players (Runners) can usurp the game and reality, freeing the host from the game and being well rewarded. Or alternatively they have the humiliation of being beaten to death by Kobolds in a cyberpunk roleplaying game. Either is an acceptable outcome to me.

Yes, I am quite proud of this rather ridiculous idea and felt the need to share it.