Icarus Protocol: Burger Caesar
I’ve spoken about the importance of tone in a game before on this blog, but one of the things I’ve not inherently mentioned that often is how you can use a change in tone effectively during a campaign. The tone of Icarus Protocol has veered a bit towards being very dark, with stolen organs, assassinations and similar being common subject matter. With the finale only a couple of runs away, which deals with some difficult decisions and an overall very dark tone, I decided that I needed something a bit lighter. Burger Caesar is basically a “sillier” run, which was designed to be more light satire about corporate trademarks and interests than serious. This non-serious tone helps to alleviate the previous “dark” runs feeling and means that when certain events happen in the finale, there is more of an actual contrast. Remember, being dark and brooding all the time eventually makes everyone entirely immune to it.
When I created this run, it was initially based based on a weird situation in Australia where a major international fast food outlet isn’t able to use their name. This is because a smaller outlet has the original and has the trademark, so the bigger company needed to change to something else. I thought to myself, “What would happen if a larger corporation in Shadowrun couldn’t get the name for one of its stores from a smaller one?” and further thought “Most importantly, they couldn’t do it by normal legal or buyout means.” Hence, the idea of having Shadowrunners hired to discredit and attempt to drive a small fast food outlet out of business was born. So when you read this play report, just remember that everything here that happens is all about nothing more than getting a trademark for a company to call themselves “Burger Caesar” instead of “Hungry Carlo’s”.