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One of the runs you don’t hear much about is pure information-gathering. Avoiding combat is no fun in a module, after all. :-) Since surveillance is exactly the sort of job shadowrunners can get hired for, I’d like to develop the task a bit more.

The two main senses to work with on surveillance are sight and sound. Other senses can provide valuable information, but take a back seat to the top two that humans use on a daily basis. Surveillance is about putting your eyes and ears places that other people don’t want them, and countersurveillance is about keeping other people from sticking their sensory organs in your business.

One of the easier barriers to overcome is distance. Telescopic sights (10×), goggles (20×, 1500¥), binoculars (50×, 100¥), and telescopes (100× and up) can directly extend vision, and shotgun microphones (1k¥ × Rating) can catch sounds from a long way away as long as the local ambient noise doesn’t drown the distant sources out. Condor drones, being transparent gasbags with small sensor packages, are a hard-to-spot way to get a view from above; they get 50× magnification for each level of sensor rating. Micro-camcorders, at 3×5×cm and 2500¥ a pop can be spread out to keep an eye on things. Devices the size of an in-the-ear-canal hearing aid can provide a great deal of hearing amplification, almost as good as actual cybernetic enhancement.

Getting through physical barriers is another matter. A laser microphone can pick up sounds from a window by bouncing the beam off a window and watching how the little spot changes as the window vibrates. Dataline taps at 5k¥ per rating point can get expensive, but will allow eavesdropping on their telcom calls (and, for enterprising deckers, on their activities near their telcom, as you switch it into receive mode). The new insectile drones from Rigger 2 can get a camera into places that were once much more difficult; fiber optic scopes can go places even drones can’t.

Available Packages

Simrig Hairnet:
You never know when you're going to need that key piece of simsense to convince a client or clinch a deal. Record important events secretly with this simrig hidden under a high-quality human-hair wig. Comes with a short-range wireless pocket recorder that can be clipped or carried anywhere within 10m of the rig. Concealment 14, 200, 500

Button Microcamera:
These useful buttons come in a variety of styles sure to match any outfit you might have. Equipped with magnetic snaps to secure to your clothing and adhesive backs in case you need to attach them elsewhere during a run, these are a must for the security conscious. The camera comes complete with a microtransceiver that can transmit a clear image up to 50 meters away to a pocket recorder or other receiver. Can be easily outfitted with Low-Light or Thermographic options. Concealability: 14, 500 + option price.

We've got em! Locator bullets can be fired from any suitable firearm with semi-automatic or single shot capability and begin transmitting location immediately after impact with a state of the art Rating 6 AOD (Active On Demand) transmitter. Concealment 15, 5000¥

Thermal Lances:
We've got them! Simple in construction and easy to hide, thermal lances consist of a thin ceramic tube filled with thermite and lit by a self igniting magnesium strip. Hot enough to melt through metal, thermal lances can be used for all your entrance needs. Thermal Lances function as Thermite burning bars from M&M pg 115. Thermal lances melt through 5cm of Rating 12 barrier each combat turn and last for five turns (15 seconds). Thermal lances cause 10D damage to anyone exposed to the thermite flame emitted from the ceramic tube and will likely catch fire. Fire causes 6M +2 per Combat Turn. The ceramic tube reduces glare modifiers to +3. Concealment 14, 2000$yen;
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