GURPS ShadowRun - the Grimoire Recovery

7 Jul 2020


These are the notes and NPCs I used when running a first session of my GURPS ShadowRun campaign many years ago. They were intended to introduce the PCs to an important NPC (Billy Thurgood) who would in turn lead them to a more powerful NPC down the line.

This is a pretty short scenario the idea being it'd be something to run after the PCs made characters and the initial background stuff was set up. As such, it's a pretty straightforward "snatch and grab" type mission.

NOTE - all NPCs are listed at the end.

The Mission

Billy Thurgood is a mage whose preferences definitely tend towards quiet study and research - and not towards confrontation and violence. He makes his living providing knowledge and consultation. If you need to find someone via magical means, he's a good person to talk to. A few nights ago his grimoire was stolen from his home. He doesn't want to get into details of how it happened - but he does know where it is now. He can pay $3000 (per PC) for its recovery. He knows this isn't much, but he'd owe the PCs a pretty big favor...

The Brownstone

The grimoire is currently in the possession of a gang leader named Snake. Snake's gang is pretty small potatoes, perfect for some PCs just getting started to mix up with. The gang hangs out in an abandoned two story brick building in one of the nastier parts of town. I have hand-drawn mps of this building, but rather than trying to recreate this, I'll describe it below - it's not a complex layout and of course feel free to adapt as necessary.

Several concrete steps lead up to a landing and a double door that enters the building. 4 A/B thugs hang out here keeping an eye out for trouble. Two windows are on either side of the double doors, and behind one window has a "C" thug hanging out and keeping an eye on the morons out front. Behind the double doors is a small room with doors on each side. The left door leads to an empty room, nothing but junk and trash. The right room leads a the room with the "C" thug, a chair, sleeping bags and more trash. The far door leads to a larger room with kitchen, couch, etc. 5 C/D thugs hang out here around a beat up table playing cards or sitting on the couch. At the far end a door leads to a bathroom (you can hide another thug in here for a nice surprise), and the back left corner has stairs leading up to the second floor.

The layout of the second floor is kind of irrelevant - except that there's a small room leading to a larger "office". The small room has a couple guards and a cheap TV. A locked door (thick wood 4/20) leads to the office, where Snake hangs out behind a thin steel desk. The wall behind his desk ha a cheap safe - DR 7, HP40, combo lock. Add traps if you feel like it. On the desk is a cheap laptop (no good info, worth $1000), a MAC10 submachine gun and first aid kit. The safe contains Billy's grimoire, which looks like a ruggedized drive covered in runes. The safe can also contain other goodies at GM's discretion - drugs, cash, data disks with clues for other sessions, etc.

The rest of the second floor is taken up with a basic bedroom and bathroom. There's very little of value here, if your PCs are especially greedy they may find $100-200 of clothes, etc.

The NPCs

In all of my campaigns I usually have some generic thugs pre-built and classified - 'A' thugs aren't much challenge, and it moves up from there. I haven't found the "thug list" I used for this campaign yet, so you'll have to build your own. In general the A/B thugs have all stats at 9 or 10, with attack skills at the same level or one higher and very basic weapons. C/D have attributes of 11 or 12, with skills around the same, and "E" are about the same but wuth skills at 13/14/15 - and equipment to match.

Billy Thurgood

ST 9, DX 10, IQ 14, HT 10, move/etc 5

Advantages/Disadvantages: Magery III, Will +2, Absent Minded, Code of Honor, Curious, Shy.

Skills: Basic attack at 10, all knowledge spells at 18.

Equipment: Kevlar vest, .38 snub revolver with Smartlink, 6pt powerstone, 1d6 x $20.


Snake is a low-level gang leader on the make. He has some magical skill which makes him fairly unusual and hence scary to the other gangs, but in reality he's not much of a threat. He has used Charm to build up his gang who will defend him.

ST 11, DX 10, IQ 13, HT 11. Init 5.25, Dodge 5(7), Move 5

Magery II, attack skills at 12. He wears a kevlar vest and carries a .357 magnum revolver.

Spells: Light, continual light - 12. Flash, Darkness, Blur, Invisibility, Night Vision, See Invisible, Watchdog, Missile Shield, Reverse Missiles, Panic, Terror, Daze, Mass Daze, Sleep, Mass Sleep - all at 15. Charm at 17.