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Harbinger's Advice Column: Grand Opening

Thanks to my success in writing advice for my fellow Eclipse colonists, I've decided that I can and should write occasional advice columns for others. In-character advice is probably funnier (even for games I don't play), but if someone wanted GMing advice, I'd be happy to answer those, too.

Right, chummer. So there we were in Bellevue - aka hightown, Seattle, where you can’t go five steps without hitting a coffee shop that sells you a nonfat double energy triple mocha cappuccino for 250 nuyen. We had a meet and we were blending in…. okay, we’d taken our big guns off and we were wearing our best tatters. We go into this high security apartment, and long story short, we actually get in to talk to the lady, but then what happens? Our decker says, ‘Uh Oh.’  What? WHAT?! We aren’t even breaking in, we got an invite! She says, ‘I was just taking a look at their host, for you know, bugs and stuff.’ She says this as security shows, and us with no guns. So yeah, my question is, how do you keep the decker from hacking all the things?
Hoi! What I'm hearing is that you have a little problem you can't quite suss, and for reasons surpassing understanding you don't like the idea of disavowing her as a means to educating her. (Seriously, one good "who her? never seen her before, peace out!" and she would not pull that shit a second time. One way or another.) Instead, you are wondering where all of these chaps with the big rocketry came from and why exactly it seemed like a good idea to hand over quite such a high percentage of your armamentum.

Let me tell you, chummer, this is a very pertinent pair of questions to be asking at such a crucial juncture. Let's start with the second question, because come on, no hold-out weapons? Okay, you are thinking, maybe I could have packed a noisy cricket in my hatband or some combat-grade chopsticks in my lunchbox. But come on, what good would those do? There are like a hundred million of these homo neanderthalensis types all up in your entree, and they are waiting for an excuse to give your epidermis a lead lining. So, good point, right? Except...

...maybe the decker isn't completely out of usefulness at this moment. I mean, let's hope, because otherwise it might be time to call Charlie and tell him to limber up for some sort of Foxtrot. Maybe there's a light switch or power line she can temporarily excuse from duty; if you're lucky, all of your chummers hit the deck at the same moment she hits the off button. This is sort of a wet blanket on the party, and you will probably not be invited back, but I am pretty sure that deal was sealed once your decker shat the bed. Either they will not get trigger happy, in which case you can belly-crawl your way to Stage Left, or they will, in which case it is to your benefit to be surrounded. The host of this disastrous confabulation would probably prefer not to be perforated by any over-eager henchpersonnel, so the former is the odds-on favorite.

If that doesn't work, see if you can form some sort of rudimentary lathe.

Once you're out of this sticky situation, you wanna keep the decker from hacking all the things and causing static again. The fastest way is the double-tap, but I'm guessing that erasure is a social fox pass. What about a hotshot for your hotshot? Think of it as low-dose electroshock therapy for instructive purposes only. You can be all, "Don't mess with the bull. You'll get the horns!" and shit. I mean, maybe this is why 'runners from twenty years ago left their deckers at home - not because they aren't useful in the AO, but because they never learned any manners.

One of my best friends is sleeping with someone who may or may not be a werewolf.  That's not the problem. The problem is that he doesn't really seem to be having any fun with it. Please let me know what I can to do make him relax and enjoy himself...
It does seem a shame to dally with a potential therianthrope and not get as much out of the experience as possible, though I will remind you and your friend of the ancient wisdom of our people. Now, I'm not much for relationship advice, as you know from the Secret Duke's advice column, but what I'll say about this is that not all relationships are meant to be. Sometimes people are just too different - like when one person is delicious and the other is a ghul (consumed by passion, they couldn't go on that way forever), or when one is a wickerman and the other is a fire drake (initially, they got along like a house on fire, but the wickerman was a stickler for detail, while the drake was just carrying a torch).

You and your friend probably want to clarify whether or not the person he is seeing is of an intermittently lupine nature. Have him try playing Fetch with this potential mate. Maybe lay out some paper, or a copy of Unutterable Truths, for housebreaking. If the mate can't be housebroken, then he or she is a werewolf for sure, and your friend will probably have his throat ripped out in the middle of the night, and that is probably not what your friend is into. At best, it's really awkward to explain to the in-laws. "Sorry, I totally murdered the crap out of your son... if he didn't want to come to a bad end, he shouldn't have been a prey species."

I think you should be proud of me. I've made it to the third paragraph without a single joke about how this is just a puppy love, and if he doesn't break it off now it will be dogging his steps for the rest of his life. I mean, obviously I've totally blown it now.

If your friend is dissatisfied, he should be straightforward. If his partner responds favorably, great! They can work out their issues with a minimum of carnage. If his partner responds poorly, maybe it's time for your friend to look for something new and slightly less carnivorous, like a troll or a Druman.

Editor's Note: These are jokes about the DtD setting, not statements of canon.

If you have a question for the Harbinger of Doom Advice Column, just comment on this post or send them by email, Itra, smoke signal, gchat, or Tharici caravan. Also, my deepest thanks go out to the Shadowslang Glossary and the two people who sent in questions (but remain nameless to protect their "innocence").

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