"The Scientist"

A Shadowrun Duels Scenario by Matt Vanek

shadowrun duels advent 11

In 2060, the most valuable commodity is information. Individuals with intimate knowledge of biotechnology or cybernetic theory can be a corp’s greatest asset… or greatest threat!


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.


The Scientist: Introduction

In 2060, the most valuable commodity is information.  Individuals with intimate knowledge of biotechnology or cybernetic theory can be a corp’s greatest asset… or greatest threat!

Setting the Stage

In this scenario, three teams of shadowrunners meet to battle over an important figure in the scientific community.  Each group was hired for a different job.  Group one was hired by the scientist’s current employer and must protect him at all costs.  Groups two and three were sent by rival corporations, each with a different set of instructions.  Group two must assassinate the scientist, while group three must abduct him and get him off the board alive. 

Terrain template A (a circle template the same size as the standard base) is used as the scientist. The template must be within the shadowrunner’s yellow combat track distance at all times. The template can be swapped to a different shadowrunner on the same team during that players turn at a cost of 1 action (move or attack). The replacement bodyguard must have the scientist within his or her yellow combat track in order to take on the duties of the bodyguard.  To move the bodyguard must sacrifice one of his attack actions for his turn (represents the bodyguard hauling the scientist around the battlefield)

An opposing player can target the template with an attack if he or she chooses. The template uses the body of the runner to whom it is attached as well as any applicable defense dice that the controlling runner wishes to allocate as per the dodge rules. (This represents the bodyguard jumping in the way to protect the important person).  However, any damage from hits is allocated to the scientist, not the bodyguard.

Opposing shadowrunners can also wrest control of the scientist from the bodyguard with a successful opposed skill check (attacker’s yellow / arms vs defender’s arms +dodge).  A successful action causes no damage to the scientist or bodyguard.  Instead, the attacker becomes the scientist’s new bodyguard.  Because this attempt counts as an opposed skill check rather than an attack, alpha team wins ties.  A figure can only make one capture attempt each turn.  Please note, when determining the possible actions for a character’s turn, this action counts as a skill check (as per the advanced rules), not an attack.

Alpha team designation moves in a clockwise rotation among players.  In addition, to resolve ties between the other two players, the player clockwise of the Alpha team becomes the Bravo team and the player counterclockwise of the Alpha team becomes the Charlie team.  In ties, Bravo wins over Charlie.  Alpha team still wins all ties in which it is involved. 


Each team places two pieces of terrain on the battlefield. This scenario can take place inside or outside so no terrain type is off limits.  In this scenario it is feasible to have the scientist behind blocking terrain while the bodyguard is in plain site due to the positioning of the bodyguard and the scientist template. If this is the case you cannot attack the scientist template until a line of fire is obtained.

How to kill/capture the Scientist?

Assigning 10 clicks of damage to it can kill the scientist.

If the bodyguard who is assigned to the scientist is killed then the scientist is left in the last position it was in before its bodyguard was killed. A new bodyguard may be assigned to the scientist by moving so that the scientist is within his or her yellow combat track.  If an opposing player attacks the scientist before a new bodyguard is assigned the following stats are used to determine a hit.

Body: 5
Body: 10 clicks

The Scientist has no dice to defend with and takes full damage from any and all attacks against his person! The Scientist cannot move until another bodyguard has been assigned as per the above rules.


The team which fulfills all of its victory conditions automatically wins the game.  A team can also claim victory if all rivals are killed.

Team one:  The scientist lives through the battle and all opposing group members are eliminated

Team two:  The scientist is killed.

Team three:  The scientist is captured and moved back into the team’s deployment zone


Author's Note

This scenario was created as a three player version of “The Suit,” an excellent shadowrun created by Paladin Genesis.  Much of the content in this scenario was written by him.


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.


Webmaster’s Notes

"Retrieval" 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 Sunday 15th 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.