"Face to Face"

A Shadowrun Duels Scenario by Matt Vanek

shadowrun duels

Mr. Johnson is looking to hire runners. He wants the best. You just need to get one of your own to his underground safehouse to meet him face to face. You’d better do it quickly too; yours is not the only team to arrive!


[Editor's Note: Not a Shadowrun Duels player? Not a problem, skip to the end of the article for notes on how to use this scenario  with other rulesets.]


What is Shadowrun?

"It is the latter half of the 21st century. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. You are a shadowrunner – a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies, surviving day-by-day on skill and instinct alone. When the powerful or the desperate need a job done, you get it done... by any means necessary."

Shadowrun is a science fantasy setting based in a near-future universe in which cybernetics, magic and fantasy creatures co-exist. Thematically it combines the genres of cyberpunk, urban fantasy and crime, with occasional elements of conspiracy, horror and detective fiction.


What is Shadowrun Duels?

Shadowrun Duels was a collectible miniatures game produced by WizKids back in 2003, set in the world of Shadowrun.

Unusually the Shadowrun Duels 'miniatures' are big 1:12 scale action figures each with a separate base that has three Clix dials. This twist on their single dial Heroclix range allows the figures to take damage in one of three areas (Head, Weapon, or Body) as they fight during the game.

A clever multi coloured dice based mechanic also allows for a level of roleplaying to be easily included in scenarios along with multiple options for different equipment and weaponry that can be chosen from before each game.


Face to Face: Introduction

…It’s the way this biz works. The fixer has the contacts with both the corporate world and the team, ya know? He is supposed to set up the meet with any potential Johnsons. But the word on the street is that one Johnson is doing things his own way. He’s looking to pay obscene amounts of Nuyen to a skilled team for what sounds like a milk run. And he’s set up this test, see. Any Sammie, Cowboy or Dandelion Eater who figures out where he is and gets there first will get dibs on the run. So here’s the deal, chummer. I don’t wanna get in your fixer’s biz, so keep it under the table. But I’m the Doctor Know who learned just where this guy is hiding. Sound like info you would consider valuable?

Setting the Stage

The word on the street is that a Mr. Johnson is looking to hire a crack team of runners. Of course, he is not going to hire just any Jack off the street. He wants the best. Now that the word is out, several runners are gunning for the job. It took long hours and several well placed bribes to find out the Johnson’s whereabouts. Fortunately, it seems you got to his hideout just in time. Now you just need to get one of your own onto the platform and down into the Johnson’s underground safehouse to meet him face to face. You’d better do it quickly too; yours is not the only team to arrive!

Teams should be even in points. Dice for alpha team.

A five inch circle template representing a flat-topped, lowering platform placed at the exact center of the table.

Each team then takes turns placing 1d4 + 3 pieces (total, not per team) of terrain on the battlefield. The alpha team places first. No terrain may be placed within 8 inches of the elevator.

Each team deploys at opposite ends of the battlefield with their dials placed against the edge.


The team with one figure completely on the platform template when it lowers is the winner. A team can also claim victory if all rivals are killed.

Special Rules for this Scenario

This scenario uses several special rules not found in the Shadowrun: Duels Rulebook. Please read them carefully before beginning the game.

Pushing: A pushing check is an opposed skill check (Attacker’s yellow / arms vs. target’s yellow body) that requires giving up one of a figure’s attacks to use. A push attempt may only be made if two figures are in base contact with each other. If successful, the target receives no damage, but will be moved in a straight line directly away from the attacker a number of inches equal to the difference in scores (i.e.; if the attacker scores a 16 and the target scores a 10, the target is pushed back 6 inches). If during the push move, the target hits any terrain (the elevator pad does not count as terrain) or another figure, it will immediately stop. After the target moves, move the attacker in a straight line back into base contact with the target.

Activating the Platform: Once a shadowrunner is positioned completely on the platform, he or she can activate it by making a skill check (Black/Head 12). Figures with a black damage track gain a +1 to their head value for this check. If the runner fails this test, take one click of damage to his or her Head. When the platform is successfully activated, it will lower at a random point in the game. After one complete turn goes by following a successful activation test, begin to check at the end of each turn to see whether the platform lowers. On a D6 roll of 5-6, the platform lowers. If no shadowrunner is completely on the platform when it lowers, it must be activated again.


Not a Shadowrun Duels Player?

As with any scenario ever written it can easily be adapted for any gaming system with a little work. If the theme matches you don't need to change the blurb but often a little personalisation for your campaign or setting helps. You also need to check the scale, as long as it works with your rules thats fine. Lastly, and the hardest part is adapting any special rules the scenario contains to your ruleset. Below is one such example:

useme logo

"Face to Face" for USEME: Cyberpunk
Conversion Notes by Craig Andrews 

Matt Vanek's "Face to Face" is playable pretty much as is using Alternative Armies USEME Cyberpunk ruleset.

Setup the tabletop to the scale of your USEME battles (usually 15mm but USEME is very flexible).

Choose your forces from the Cyber Armies lists p.27-30 and play!

Pushing can be represented by moving the losing character in melee one base distance per downgraded attack troll. e.g. If the Attacker rolls +2 more than the target instead of being Struck it is Winged and moved one base distance away. A pushed figure does not get the immedaite attack back (p.14).

Activating the Platform is a Unique Action requiring a roll of 5 or 6 to activate. If using the advanced rules then Communications Specialists (p.16), Hackers (p.18) and Psionics (p.19) activate it on a 4+. 

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Webmaster’s Notes

"Face to Face" was written way back in 2003 and has been included in the 2019 Advent Calendar with kind permission from the author. It was first published on Orcs in the Webbe on Tuesday 3rd December 2019.

The USEME conversion rules were added to the original scenario by Craig Andrews and first published on Tuesday 3rd December 2019.

Shadowrun Duels is now out of print but the figures can be found every now and again on eBay, alternatively you can use any number of near future or sci fi miniatures to represent Runners in your games of Shadowrun.

The Shadowrun Duels rules including Jeremy Schwennen's expanded Shadowrun Duels Reloaded can be found in PDF format here on OITW.

For anyone not familiar with Shadowrun there are a variety of places on the internet you can learn more, one of which is the game's Wikipedia page here.