Faster Than A Speeding Recap

  • Brian managed to show up, and played his super-speedster Fasttrack.  Fasttrack was originally created for a Silver Age Sentinels game that never got off the ground (I blame Doug and Paul for breaking the system before we even started), and a version of him became Brian’s main character in City of Heroes.  He seemed pleased to finally be able to role-play him….and he roleplayed the heck out of him, much to the amusement of the other players.  They were particularly taken with his rapid stream-of-consciousness speech patterns.
  • Fasttrack showed up in time for a brief confrontation between the Order of St. George (Vatican Special Monster-hunting Squad) and the super-group over the disposition of the Wraith’s (Doug’s) evil brother, The Revenant.  Eventually it was resolved with the Vatican “heavy hitters” Codex and Joan completely destroying The Revenant’s body with holy flame, releasing all the souls that he’d consumed over the years in a spectacular spiritual light show.
  • A call for help from Dr. Kelso at Paradigm labs brought the team to the lab complex, which was on fire.  Fasttrack leapt to evacuating the civilians, while the rest of the team plunged into the lab building where Dr. Kelso was, only to  come under attack by gorillas wearing exoskeletons.
  • The gorillas were led by a silver-back, sans exoskeleton, dragging Dr. Kelso by one ankle.  There we broke for the evening.

When next we resumed, the players were treated to the first genuine villain monologue of the campaign, which they sat still for and even seemed to find amusing.  At least part of the reason they bore it patiently is that last time they interrupted a villain’s monologue (in the Weird West Campaign), they destroyed the Universe before the villain had time to warn them against it.

  • The gorilla leader called himself Ape X, or Apex, was a product of Dr. Kelso’s continued research into nerve regeneration and repair.
  • He had dosed the other gorillas with it, but it took a while to take effect, and Dr. Kelso had managed to get away and call in the team before he was ready.
  • Apex tele-operating the other gorillas via the exoskeletons, using a modification of Redline’s (Mike’s) exoskeleton’s kinesthetic feedback controls.
  • Dr. Kelso was dying, neck broken by an inexpertly wielded tele-operated gorilla, but Apex planned to save her momentarily by putting her in a “Captain Pike” chair, where she’d be less trouble.
  • Attacking Apex failed, since what they saw was just a hologram.  “Didn’t I mention that I’m smarter than you?  I’m pretty sure I did.”
  • Jungle Gal was able to use her Animal Friendship to calm the rampaging gorillas, but before they could pursue Apex he warned them that he had sent some of his gorillas to set the Null Energy Generator project in Lab 57 to go super-critical so if they wanted to prevent the Earth’s atmosphere from being stripped away they should probably attend to that.
  • The team managed to stop the Null Energy Generator explosion through teamwork and the first “Power Play” of the campaign (a Kapow! rule that lets players combine their powers and through comic-book logic create a new power).  They then found that it was all a bluff, and if left alone the destabilized field would have damped itself out instead of destroying the world.  “The villain lied to us!” exclaimed one of the characters.
  • The team (except Jungle Gal) agreed that the remaining gorillas would have to be put down, since the evidence was that gorillas granted super-intelligence through the formula were dangerous.
  • Jungle Gal (Wendy) snuck back into the labs and absconded with the gorillas, using her wealth to charter a plane to some jungle island hide-away where she would reign as Queen of the super-intelligent gorillas… or at least guide their development so they didn’t become evil.   Wendy decided to use this as an opportunity to put Jungle Gal on the back-burner and develop a new character.
  • In other developments, the teleporting villain Technik invited herself on a date with Harbinger (Dan); this seemed to freak Harbinger/Dan out much more than I thought it would, given his character’s attitudes towards other attractive NPCs they’d run into.
  • Beef, the minor villain that Namaste and Jungle Gal had defeated, having been released from jail showed up at Namaste’s yoga studio seeking to study under her and “fix up his Karma and shit.”
  • Police detective George Kim showed up at the base, wanting to know what happened with Revenant.  Redline told him, only to find out that he was unhappy that the Vatican had exceeded its authority in this case by executing Revenant without due process.  The team had let them go ahead because they were dubious about the police and prisons being able to hold Revenant, and were afraid that he’d go on a killing spree as he had apparently done back in the late 19th century.  Kim didn’t blame the team, but explained that while in the past they had to rely heavily on the Order of St. George to track down and capture supernatural monsters they weren’t supposed to go beyond that, at least without a trial, and the police had reliable ways to deal with supervillains once they had been captured: there were power-nullification holding cells (using a bulkier version of the tech in the Wraith’s gloves) and for long-term imprisonment there was the super-max prison, the Oubliette, in a dimension where no super-powers of any kind worked.  Part of this was, by agreement with the players, to establish more firmly that the setting really did permit the heroes to turn over captured villains to the authorities without having to worry about a Arkham Asylum revolving-door situation.

All in all it was a highly satisfactory set of sessions.

Introducing New Players to D&D via Stonehell

Last night we brought my wife’s college roommate and her two kids, ages 14 and 9, to our Sunday night Bumblers gathering, and introduced them to D&D.  None of them had ever played RPGs before, so I decided that a straight-on dungeon delve was the ticket.  The kids were enthusiastic to try, the mom was at least willing.   We rolled up characters, using my D&Desque homebrew rules, before the game started and they created Hippolyta the Fighter (mom), Dorian the Fighter (14 year-old daughter), and Little Father Muffler (9 year-old son).  My wife Elyssa also rolled a new character, Ranger Joe-Bob.  Yeah, I don’t bother trying to encourage campaign-world compatible names, not for this sort of thing anyway.  Doug and Dan were the only other regulars, what with it being Valentine’s day, and they brought Tomato the Fairy Witch and Hurlon the Dwarven Thief.

For a dungeon, I used Michael Curtis’ Stonehell, the same one I’ve been using with the other set of kids.  (I’m using the free version, though the link it to the more polished and complete version you can purchase from Lulu.) It’s a good beginner’s dungeon with a variety of things to encounter, architectural features, and old-fashioned traps.   I’ve found that I like to beef it up a bit, adding stuff so that almost every room has something interesting to investigate or fight; a lot of the rooms are empty, particularly right around the entrance, presumably so you can more easily tailor it to your taste this way.  There are probably arguments to be made along the lines of naturalism and discouraging too much caution (by making it boring to search exhaustively)  for having a fair bit of empty space, but since it violates the King Kong principle (get to the f*ing monkey), the heck with it… players go into the dungeon to encounter stuff, so let’s have them encounter stuff.

An example: in the Feast Hall I put a niche behind one of the rotting tapestries.  In the niche are a swarm of carnivorous moths; they won’t do any actual damage, but will painfully bite exposed flesh (similar to the bit of a horsefly). They are thickly gathered on a small leather bag that’s been coated with a waxy substance.   After Joe-Bob the ranger found the niche and got badly bitten for his troubles, Father Muffler (the 9-year old boy) came up with the idea of luring the moths away from the bag with the light of his lantern; this worked and they retrieved the bag with no further problems… though they did end up abandoning the lantern; fortunately they had a spare.  In the bag they found a necklace of amber beads, each containing an insect inclusion.  Tomato cast Detect Magic, and found that it was indeed magical, and after some hemming and hawing about whether they should try it out and if so, who should take the risk, Tomato draped it over her(him?)self as a kind of sash.  Nothing bad happened immediately,  and later on in a random encounter with some fire beetles they discovered that it allowed the wearer to control insects.  It also dealt Tomato a 1 HP stinging wound after Tomato had made the beetles fight until there was one left, when Father Muffler smashed the last beetle.  The party speculated that this was some kind of feedback effect.  SPOILER (Doug don’t read): [spoiler name=”Spoiler”]actually, it just deals 1HP sting damage whenever the spell wears off, after one ten-minute turn; otherwise it has no charges or limit on times it can be used[/spoiler].

The new players were a bit confused and tentative at first, but started to get the hang of it as we went along.  I did all the rolling for them (usually I let the players roll for everything except searches and the like where they’re not supposed to know whether they’ve failed or there was nothing to find) and just told them the results.  They had the fairly typical fear that they were “doing it wrong,” but the experienced players really encouraged them to go with the flow.  One thing that I do, which I think helps new players get the hang of the role-playing aspect of it, is encourage them to roll on a random table of motivations: once each for their primary drive and primary aversion.  So, for instance, Father Muffler happened to roll that his primary drive was Religion, and that his aversion was also Religion, so he decided that the was a fanatic about his faith and opposed to other faiths.  Dorian rolled that her primary drive was Knowledge, and her aversion was Danger.  This made for (imo) for a rather interesting character, though I think she was particularly concerned that she wasn’t “playing well” because she was avoiding the fighting that the others were doing (with great enthusiasm on some of their parts.  Elyssa in particular loves hacking away at things as a Fighter).  After the game we all reassured her that as long as she was having fun, playing true to the character’s personality rather than optimally for the party’s goals was playing well.  At least by my group’s standards.  Certainly Doug never lets optimum party strategy or groupthink get in the way of his characters’ outrageous personalities, and as long as he manages to be entertaining about it that’s one of the fun things about playing with Doug.

The evening ended with the poison-gas fish-fountain claiming all three of the new players (everyone had to make a save, they were the only ones who failed).  It was getting late, so we ended there, but we’re going to play again tonight, probably with just the kids and Elyssa…the mom appreciated it as a new experience, but wasn’t as taken with the whole thing.  As they were heading out the door to go visit the museums they have planned for the day, the 9 year-old was busy trying to come up with a name for his next priest…

Out-RAGE-e-ous Accents

Here’s a comment I left on an RPG Blog II post about Dwarves with Scottish Accents:

eh, it’s amusing and it passes the test for character accents: it’s easy enough for amateurs to produce recognizably. It matters not at all whether it’s authentic, only that the audience can recognize it. The fact that people know it’s inauthentic may actually be a feature: people who are much too self-conscious to attempt an accent where they might be judged against the real world seem to be comfortable with doing the over-the-top parody accents: och aye Scottish, oh I say English, ve haff vays German, I shall taunt you a second time French, bork-bork-bork Swedish, keel moose and squirrel Russian, arrr me hearties Pirate, fur shur rilly Valley Girl…

I know our group does a lot of silly voices, for which we mostly have Rachel and her Sister Theresa to blame.  I know that in addition to the ones I mentioned above Doug sometimes does Monty Burns: eeeexcellent, complete with finger steepling gestures, and a kind of well, shoot iffen that don’t beat all Hick. What ones am I missing?  There are a bunch of bad celebrity voices that I do, but I’m not sure whether they count….

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Quick Thoughts on Risus

We tried Risus for the first time last Sunday, for another round of the episodic space horror game I run when the mood hits me.  Even though Risus is officially a humorous game (Risus being Latin for laughter), it’s still a reasonably good fit.  Humor and horror have a good deal in common as far as RPGs go: they both de-emphasize realism and tactical play in favor of evoking certain emotional responses, and are well-served by games with simple resolution that emphasize description over game mechanics.

I think the experiment was largely successful, but there are some things that I want to do differently when we resume the game in two weeks.  In particular, I want to encourage the players to be more assertive over the applicability of their Cliches.    There was a bit too much “mother may I?” in our session, with the players asking whether their Cliches cover certain actions they want to take, and too much peering at the super-simple character sheets as if an appropriate Cliche would suddenly jump out at them.  Does Deep-Space Scoutship Captain cover firing a pistol?  It does if you say so, Captain.

As GM I think I need to be more generous with setting target numbers according to the Cliche being used.  I’m used to setting a target and then everybody just sees if they can beat it, but Risus doesn’t exactly work that way.  Making a tricky pistol shot should probably be something like TN 10 for Deep-Space Scoutship Captain, and only 7 for Gold-Medallist Pistol Champion.

Refusal to mourn the death by Orc-blade of a child in a dungeon

For after the first character, there is another

Stonehell claimed its first victim in the kids’ game last night, as Charlie’s character Revenge fell to a mighty critical by an orc.  The dice weren’t particularly kind to him on his new character, either, which he promptly dubbed Expendable 1401, though really it’s pretty much average:

Expendable 1401: Human Fighter Str 8  Int 12  Wis 11 Con 7  Dex 12  Cha 11  Siz 14 Lk 9

King, Oxy-lock’s war dog also succumbed in that fight, though an impressive miracle from Horatia (Grace) brought him back (about a 1 in 1440 chance, if I calculated the odds right).  This cheesed Charlie off a bit, but it wasn’t as if Grace saved her miracle for the dog…

It was a fun session, with a lot of Orc and rat bashing thanks to a pair of random encounters right outside the orc’s watch-post in the Contested Corridors area.  Things might have gone much worse if the party hadn’t managed to break the Orc’s morale with some threats in Orcish conveniently backed by a lucky Smite from Horatia and her false god.  They retreated to the surface with a great sense of satisfaction, and then spent the last ten or so minutes of the session giving Charlie’s new character a hard time because of the suspicious and weaselly way he chose to answer their questions about why he was on the island and whether he was Good.  I’m not entirely sure what that was about; I’m not a big fan of D&D alignment but I’m using it in this game for continuity with Mac’s  game, and Charlie made his character Lawful/Good so he had no reason to be evasive.

I was a little concerned that I let the gore level rise a bit too high, but the kids really seemed to get a kick out of it, and Mac thought it was ok when I asked, since I didn’t dwell on the descriptions.  I more or less took my cue from her and her rather gruesome bluff against the Orcs (“Look! Your bowels are coming out!”).  While I’m not trying to teach any moral lessons, and in the context of the game killing Orcs is jolly good fun, my personal preference is not to make combat too sanitary.  I think I achieved a reasonable balance, but as I said I had some qualms.

Thinking of the Children

I’m going to be running a game for my friend Mac and her three children (ages 7 through 12) in the near future.  She’s been playing D&D with them for a few months now, and I’ve been a player for some of the sessions.  When I mentioned that even though I sometimes had a hankering to run the kind of dungeon-crawlish games that she runs, none of my regular players was into them,  she suggested that I should run for them sometimes.  Among other things, she’d like them to have experience with GMs other than her, so they don’t become one of “those kind” of players who insist that there’s only one right way to play, coincidentally the way their first GM ran things.

I’m not quite sure what I want to run, though.  Mac has been running what she calls D&D pretty much the same way, in the same setting, for almost 27 years now, but with house rules so extensive that it scarcely seems like D&D sometimes (e.g. rolling 3d6 lower than Dex to hit, armor doing damage reduction only, magic via a spell-point system, clerics using a different seemingly ad-hoc system, etc).  That’s what the kids and I have been playing, but I wouldn’t be able to run it even if I wanted to since so much of it seems to exist only in her head.  I gave the two elder children their own copies of one of the retro-clones for Christmas (Basic Fantasy Roleplaying Game, not to be confused with the Chaosium Basic Roleplaying) and the younger of the two has actually been using it, more or less, to create dungeons and play with his friends.  He’s already added a new Body Builder class to the game though I’m not sure anybody he’s played with has yet met its rather stringent stat requirements….

So my first thought was to run that, since the rules are sort of familiar to them, and I would rather spend my time playing the game than explaining the difference between the rules they have (or their mom uses) and the rules I’m using.  My second thought, though, is to use Tunnels & Trolls, since I’d kind of like to try GMing that…. but I know that there’s some stuff about it (particularly the very abstract combat) that may be just too different from what they’re used to.  Mac basically uses a blow-by-blow accounting of combat, with turns lasting a couple of seconds, if that.  So my third thoughts have to do with either swiping a couple of things I really like from T&T and putting it into BFRPG, or vice-versa.  One thing I always get hung up on is that I don’t really like the magic system in the retro-clones.  Magic as ammo loads just doesn’t thrill me, unless you go full out Vance with it as depicted in the Dying Earth… but then you have to tweak both the spells and the MU’s combat capabilities anyway.  And Mac hates Vancean magic almost as much as she hates point-buy systems where you can design a character that’s practically a super-hero from the outset.

And finally, my fourth thoughts are to go ahead and finish the retro homebrew that I was working on, which would finally give me an old-school inspired system that really fits the way I’d like to play as well as players who will be happy to play it….  as usual with me when I start a project I ping-pong back and forth, unable to settle on any one option. I have a couple of weeks, at least, before we’d first play, so I don’t have to decide tonight, but I should decide soon and start working on a dungeon for them.

Tw-0n (key->green): an Elves & Espers Character

Concept: A Hazmat Transport & Disposal Droid

Agility d4
Smarts d4
Spirit d6
Strength d6
Vigor d10

Pace 6, Parry 4, Toughness 7, Charisma -1

Edges: AB: Super, Power Points +5 (x2), Take the Hit (+2 to Soak rolls)
Hindrances: Distinctive Appearance (Waste Disposal Droid), Clueless (-2 to Common Knowledge), Quirk: No Sense of Time
Powers: Ageless(1), Absorption (Magic 4, transference +?), Absorption(Fire/Heat 4), Armor +4 (4), Attack: Wrench (Melee, Heavy Weapon) (4)

Doug’s write-up:

Twonky Green- Hazardous Materials Transport and Disposal droid.

Twonky was a magical residue transport droid deep in the heart of the New Ark City power generation station.  Unfortunately, during the time when Gax was first starting to lose his grip on the city, minor mistakes were beginning to be made, but the aura of infallibility was still being maintained.  One of those mistakes was a change of classification of TW-0N(Key-Green)from automaton to living creature when its transport permit was being renewed at the Department of Moving Vehicles. Normally, this wouldn’t have caused much fuss, except that living creatures aren’t allowed to work inside the power generation area due to the extreme toxicity of the environment, and Twonky was flagged for immediate removal. Repeated visits to the Department of Moving Vehicles to demonstrate his non-living status failed to change their minds, since, as non-security droids, they were forbidden from injuring a living being, which, of course, included changing status from living to not living. The one upside is that living being status has kept him from being “upgraded” and having his idiosyncrasies, errors, bit shifts and buffer overruns put back to normal.

This situation left Twonky without a real purpose.  He was unable to find work in the living being world. Who would hire something that was bathed in ultra-magic for centuries?  So after wandering the arcology for days, months, or years being bored and occasionally making off with full garbage cans, he ended up in the remains of the Broken Spire.  While not nearly as magically charged as his previous job, at least the nice glow reminded him of home.  So he decided that he would make the cleanup of the Broken Spire his new purpose.

It’s been centuries since Twonky started.  The decay of the Spire itself isn’t helping any, but there are a few patches of the Spire that are now almost clean. It’s possibly that he may even finish a whole disk before the tower collapses.

Hey. It’s a job.

I see Twonky as being somewhat irritating to most living beings. Not intentionally, but Twonky tends to take the _long_ view of things.  Time has less meaning to him.  He’s been around thousands of years already. He doesn’t sleep, so there’s no concept of “tomorrow.”  He’s in the middle of his multi-millennia day, and when he eventually turns of, that’s it.

Note

Twonky was generated with Necessary Evil super-powers, which is not generally an option for Elves & Espers characters (except for Trooper’s powered armor).  Doug tried not to be abusive, but the actual stats may be subject to change if it appears to be too much.  Mostly the NE versions of things are helpful for perma powers like Twonky’s Absorbtion…the core version of Super Powers have short durations that make things like immunity to radiation impossible except for brief periods.  I’ll probably be discussing this with Doug some more, but I didn’t want to hold up the game, particularly over something that wasn’t likely to come up during the session.  One thing I’ll probably disallow outright is Twonky’s wrench counting as a Heavy Weapon.

Descent into the Fetid Depths

Session Summary for 1/4/2009 Elves & Espers campaign

This session we had a new addition to our gaming group: Andrew, Elyssa’s step-brother, and his girlfriend Sarah (who had never gamed before, but agreed to come along and watch).  Andrew took over playing Tank McSplatter, and Doug switched to a new character he’d come up with since we last played.

Last session our intrepid band of adventurers (Idariel 7, Elven Technomancer; Stan McStan, Dwarven Robomancer; Tank McSplatter, Hobbit Trooper; Bon Go, Human Enforcer; Josepi Vincenti, Human Roguechemist) managed to get paid for clearing the Pigsies out of Batwings & Things despite the subsequent destruction of the entire shop by a group of mercenaries apparently hired to burn the place, possibly to destroy any evidence of trafficking in Zombot dust, by the simple expedient of not mentioning the shop’s destruction when they went to pick up their pay.

This session they decided to take the contract from Barbis Boltbiter, their Adventure Broker, to investigate a possible sighting of Zombots in Poisonville, the sewage-disposal and heavy industrial chemical plant section of town…which is right down on the roof of the arcology below the spire, to keep it out of the way.  They figure that there’s no way the Zombot Dust they found (when it turned the dead Pigsies into Zombots) could be unrelated to possible Zombot activity elsewhere.  Also, the pay (4000 creds for a simple look-see) is nothing to sneeze at, despite the potentially highly unpleasant nature of the surroundings.

Determining that the best (free) way to get down to Poisonville was to take the elevator, they were winched over the side of the disk on an open platform cranked by an Ogre-M.A.G.E (Magically Augumented Genetically Engineered) and lowered into the greenish stinking fog that hung over Poisonville.  Arriving at the bottom after about twenty minutes of swaying and lurching, they found themselves standing in a landscape dominated by industrial-sized pipes, covered in blotchy rust and slime, surrounded by foul fetid greenish fog that made their eyes sting and noses water (Josepi had particular problems, having failed a Vigor roll, and fashioned a makeshift mask out of a handkerchief).  Shapeless things humped and slithered along in the shadows, and a ratipede (a mutant rat with a hundred legs) scuttled across the street as bold as you please in front of them.   The street was dotted with puddles of rainblow (sic) colored ooze.  The contract they had listed as their contact a Dwarf named Carvin Spiker, a supervisor at the SludgeWorks.  They found the plant, where gigantic transparent tubes blorped and gurgled disgusting brown and black sludge, and decided that Idariel and Josepi would go talk to Carvin while the rest of them hung around outside, so as not to spook him with an army of heavily-armed goons.

They climbed the rickety, rusting stairs and entered the plant through a submarine-style hatch; there they found a catwalk high above the tanks and pipes of the works, and a tiny office with windows that might once have been transparent back when the sun was yellow.  But maybe not even then.  In the office, piled high with the bureaucratic detritus of ages, punctuated by the occasional out-of-date Miss Galaxy calendar or “sexy” dwarf pin-up, behind the desk they found an amorphous blob of flesh.  Could this actually be the Dwarf they were looking for?  It opened one rheumy eye and croaked, “Yah?”

They explained they were there to investigate the Zombot sighting, and after some grumbling, Carvin told them that while he filed the report, it was an employee who had actually spotted the Zombot…They asked to speak with him, and Carvin called over Tw-0N (key->green), or as he called him “Twonky”… an ancient robot, from a time back before aesthetics had been invented.  Twonky (Doug’s new character) was a fairly featureless grey, boxy humanoid, with various hazard stickers affixed to him, his call-letters stamped on his back, glowing faintly with magical radiation.  Idariel asked if they could borrow him for a while, and Carvin indicated that he would appreciate if they not only borrowed him, but managed to lose him.  The plant had been trying to decommission him for ages, but been thwarted by red-tape: Twonky had unfortunately at one point, back when Gax had just begun losing its grip, been mis-classified as human and the robot bureaucracy had been unable to correct the mistake since classifying a human being as a robot would have violated the First Law.

Twonky led the entire party towards Sludge Vat #7, where he had seen the potential Zombot.  The Zombot had been in the form of a Ratipede, but it shambled rather than scuttled, and had metal jaws and (organic) eyes protruding on metallic eye-stalks, so Twonky had steered clear and simply reported it as per plant procedures.  Climbing and descending metal ladders and crossing swaying catwalks over glowing green radioactive goo, they headed towards Vat #7.  At one point, they found themselves in the middle of a swarm of giant, glowing albino moths with ectoplasmic wings, that settled on their clothing and hair.  Idariel (with an amazingly good Arcane Knowledge roll) managed to identify them as a giant, mutant version of a rare thaumivorous (magic-eating) moth.  After a brief panic that the moths were after their goods, they decided that they were just feeding on the magical soot that was coating them from the fog that permeated Poisonville.  Idariel decided to gather a bunch of the moths in a handy sack, for further study, and after accomplishing this, they made the rest of the way to Vat #7 without incident.

There, they found places in the metallic wall where something had chewed new rat holes, annoying Twonky, who had cleaned the area just a few weeks ago.  Stan snapped together a mini robot with a camera, and sent it down the hole to take a look, telling it to sound an alarm and run away if anything started chewing on it.  It didn’t take long before they heard the whoop-whoop of the robot’s alarm, and it came scuttling back, trailing one damaged leg.  Idariel began scanning the hole with his Pentacorder, looking for what did it, while Stan replayed the robot’s memory; they both came to the same conclusion: the robot had been attacked by a Zombot Ratipede that was even now shambling through the tunnels in the wall towards them to feast on their flesh.  The video from the robot was technically all they needed to fulfill their contract (and this group was nothing if not technical about fulfilling their contracts), but they decided to fight the Zombot anyway, if only so it wouldn’t be following them.

As soon as the Zombot Ratipede poked its nose (and eyestalks) out of the hole, Tank opened fire with his Multi-Gun, and blew big gobbets of flesh off it, revealing the glistening tubes and wires that animated it.  It twitched and lay still.  Stan, as an expert on robots, recalled that Zombots would regenerate after “death” unless they were burned.  At this point, Idariel 7 had a brilliant idea.  They would unleash the thaumivorous moths on the corpse, and see if that would prevent it from regenerating.  Stan and Josepi were dubious that it wouldn’t just result in Zombot moths that would destroy the entire arcology, but Idariel was insistent that since the Zombot dust could only infect you through a wound and the moths weren’t wounded, there was nothing to worry about.  Besides, the party was overdue for unleashing a setting-destroying horror.

To everybody’s surprise but Idariel’s, the plan worked, and the Zombot Ratipede failed to revive.  Further scans of the area revealed no more Zombots (itself somewhat puzzling), but evidence that the other Ratipedes had been giving the infected one wide berth, and the party decided that some combination of the lack of any life-forms to infect besides the wary and swift Ratipedes and the presence of the thaumivorous moths in and about the area had contained the Zombot infestation.  At this point, Idariel realized that this might be the big score he had been looking for… the ticket back to getting the 100,000 creds he needed to reinstate his license.

They took the Zombot corpse with them, contained in a metal box along with some of the moths (with holes in the lid, of course), and hurried back to Carvin’s office to use the phone, both to tell Barbis about the Zombot they had found and potentially negotiate with him over the discovery of the mutant moths.  The conversation didn’t begin well, with Barbis having just found out from the very unhappy Grismerelda that the shop had burned to the ground–Idariel attempted to persuade him that it wasn’t any of their doing (true enough) even though they hadn’t somehow seen fit to mention the incident to Grismerelda when collecting their pay.  The conversation wasn’t going well, even with Idariel coming clean over exactly what had happened at the shop, including the Pigsie that reanimated as a Zombot, until he happened to mention his potentially lucrative discovery and willingness to cut Barbis in on the action.  “Cha-ching!”   They agreed to meet and talk in person, rather than over an unsecured line in somebody else’s office. Meanwhile, the rest of the party was engaging Carvin in conversation, attempting to keep him completely distracted once they realized that Idariel was discussing this potentially immensely valuable find in the presence of a third party, one moreover with interests and responsibilities to his employer that ran counter to the party’s scheme to make themselves rich with something found in that employer’s factory….this seemed to be successful, particularly once they got Carvin–secretly something of a civic booster–started on the topic of how Poisonville’s reputation for pollution and ill-health was really undeserved, why, look at him, he’d been working at the plant for hundreds of years now and he was still a fine figure of a Dwarf, if he said so himself…

And there we broke for the evening.

Pigsies! Why did it have to be Pigsies?!

Session Summary for 11/30/08: Elves & Espers

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a recap around these parts. Let’s fix that.

Sunday night’s session picked up from a previous adventure (undocumented, because Ye Olde Recapper wasn’t present). That session was the first in the Elves & Espers campaign, in which the previously introduced characters banded together and picked up their level-1 quest: Clear out the vermin in the basement. This session opened with our brave exterminators, plan in hand, setting out to accomplish that goal.

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Welcome to The Haunted Realm…Hope You Survive the Experience!

Sunday we kicked off my new Savage Worlds Sandbox setting with a bang, or at least a whole passle of players: Wendy, Dan, Paul, Elyssa, Russell, Mac, Walter, and Mike M.  Russell and I spent a bunch of the afternoon making a variety of pregens for the people who didn’t already have characters (everybody but Wendy and Dan) to pick from.  After they grabbed a character that sounded appealing and assigned a name and gender, we got started.

The roster ended up being:

  • Loric, the Physician/Mage – male – Wendy
  • Thorvald, the Demonologist – male – Dan
  • Aerys, the Duelist – male – Paul
  • Qwirk, the Brute – male – Elyssa
  • Tyrok, the Dwarven Architect and Priest of Fess – male – Russell
  • Dorakyra, the Priestess of Kyr – female – Mac
  • Angelina, the Tomb Raider – female – Walter
  • Ranth, the Scout – female – Mike M

Because it was the first game, and there were so many players, including ones who only show up once in a great while, I gave them a mission to start out instead of going for the full-on sandbox.  That is, I gave Dorakyra and Tyrok a mission, and left it to them to recruit the others.

Dorakyra has been charged by the senior priestesses of her Goddess, Kyr, the Collector of the Dead, to travel to the village of Brightfalls, approximately one day’s journey to the north of Losian and find the church that records indicate should be there, clear it, and consecrate it to the Gods.  Tyrok was assigned to go with her and aid her.  The pair had been given 500 gold to get supplies and perhaps aid in recruiting (not a lot of money in the economy of the Haunted Realm, since as yet almost all necessities need to be imported from the New Kingdoms).

After some by-play where Dorakyra bet Tyrok that she could find three women to go with them before he could find three men (the stakes were she would let him braid dwarven ornaments in her queue vs. he would let her tattoo “My Heart Belongs to Kyr, But My Soul Belongs to Fess” in henna on his chest), they managed to recruit the rest of the part.  Tyrok weaseled out of the bet by getting the women he found (Ranth and Angelina) to stay out of sight until he managed to convince Dorakyra (who had only found men, in the form of Qwirk, Loric, and Thorvald) to call the bet a draw.  After the parameters of the task were described to them and remuneration discussed, they all agreed to go, though Tyrok once again had to fib…this time telling Loric, who was a bit cautious and reluctant to venture into the wilderness, that the church at Brightfalls was a famous repository of death records that would certainly aid him in his research into the Soul Plague.

The party decided that they would set out at mid-day, so they’d camp well away from Brightfalls and whatever was currently inhabiting it, and arrive the next day with plenty of sunlight left.  They began hiking to the north, passing the newly established farms and tiny villages around Losian, and gradually leaving civilization–or what passed for it–behind.

Shortly before dusk, they were set upon by a pack of skeletons that had been lurking behind some trees near the path that’s what’s left of the road to Brightfalls.  To keep things simple, and because it was most of the players’ first introduction to combat in Savage Worlds, there were only 4 Skeletons, and they were all Extras.  They made relativel short work of the skeletons, with only Angelina taking a hit hard enough to cause a Wound, which she spent managed to Soak.

After spending time interring the remains of the skeletons and performing the proper rights of Kyra over them, the party decided to camp there, rather than continue in the deepening gloom.  They set watches for the night, but aside from something large moving past the camp, the night passed uneventfully.

And there we broke for the night.