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Darren Watts

Quote of the Week from my gaming group...

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The PCs in my modified Champions Universe game have gone to visit Babylon.

 

After meeting their first Conurbite (the magical pretty people who live in Babylon), and I complete my description of her, I get back "It's Barbie Borg!"

 

I am now stuck thinking of Conurbites as Ken and Barbie versions of Star Trek's Borg, which is probably not too far off from how they appear from their description in Mystic World.

 

Babylon did allow me to entertain myself a bit when they bought a stripped-down copy (no weapons) of the Millenium Falcon from a Ferengi. They're now trying to figure out how to get it back to Earth.

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2 hours ago, Steve said:

Babylon did allow me to entertain myself a bit when they bought a stripped-down copy (no weapons) of the Millenium Falcon from a Ferengi. They're now trying to figure out how to get it back to Earth.

Earth? Isn't that in a galaxy far, far away? Way, way into the future?

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2 hours ago, Christopher said:

Earth? Isn't that in a galaxy far, far away? Way, way into the future?

 

Since the City of Babylon is described as including fictional places like the City of Oz and associated characters, I threw Star Trek and Star Wars pop culture references into a blender to get a Ferengi used starship dealer in Babylon selling stripped down copies of the Millenium Falcon to tourist rubes from Earth. Warp drive was too slow. :) 

 

They just now have to figure out how to get it from the City of Babylon's dimension to Earth and hope it actually gets them into hyperspace.

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Pathfinder : Streets of Magnimar - Tea and Biscuits and Organised Crime
Gillert: So we're sending the lawyer, the murderer and the straight guy.
GM: I'm sorry, I didn't realise we were playing Will and Grace - Magnimar.
Ys: When you live as long as an elf, you have to assume most of them are bi, sooner or later.
GM: Most elf parents just assume their kid is bi as soon as soon as they reach puberty.
Gillert: They get 'artistic leanings'

After getting plague masks, cloaks, and extra lamp oil, we re-enter the sewers to hunt down and exterminate the remaining were-rats. Somebody has set up an Alarm spell at the entrance we used last time. Gillert gets to work disabling the trap.

Ys: Zin might be the trapsmith, but Gillert is a useful back-up, and he's useful in other circumstances as well.
Harshal: Zin is useful in other circumstances as well. Such as if we need someone to crawl under the table and find something we dropped.
Gillert: Or for getting past traps set at human-standard neck height.
Harshal: 'The Penitent Man And Kobolds Will Pass'

We sneak up to where we fought Moonbreaker and Silversniffer before - Ys spots a faint light source ahead, since she has low-light vision and the rest of us need a candle-lamp to see where we're going. Whoever is down here with us is doing an inch-by-inch search of the chamber. And she's got five orange-and-white floofy tails. And her lightsource is a diminutive figure with mothwings and long thin ears.

Ys: I gesture back to the others to stay where they are, completely forgetting they can't see me.

The Flying Fox and her sprite turn invisible the moment Ys gets within 40 feet.

Ys: Hey, you're pretty good.

Harshal: So, who was it?
Ys: Our friendly neighborhood vigilante.
Gillert: .... Spiderman?

Gillert: What was she looking for?
Ys: No idea.
Harshal: Perhaps she and the were-rats are in cahoots.
Ys: Could be - where's Cahoots?
Harshal: Well, I was hoping I'd hear a small gasp of indignation at that point.
GM: Sorry, small thing called Unshakeable.
Ys: Well, let's find the lair - check the room for secret doors.
The Invisible Flying Fox: I didn't think of that.
Ys: Hello. It's easier to talk to somebody if everybody is visible.
Invisible Flying Fox: Easier, yes.
Gillert: Maybe I should throw some white powder around...
Invisible Flying Fox: You could - how would you like to be forcefed Shardgel?

The Flying Fox reappears, and grins intimidatingly at Gillert, showing all her sharp teeth.

The Flying Fox: A little bird told me the rats got hit.
Harshal: We heard the same thing.
The Flying Fox: What's you're interest in them?
Ys: Making sure they're all dealt with.
The Flying Fox: So it was you that did the hit.
Ys: That would be a safe assumption.
The Flying Fox: I heard Moonbreaker got taken down.
Ys: Would that be the big one?
The Flying Fox: Aw. And I'd already bought one of these. *tosses a grenade from hand to hand*
Ys: Wish I'd thought of that.
Gillert: I did.
Ys: YOU did.

The Flying Fox: They were searching for something. Pretty desperately, by the looks of things.
Harshal OoC: I bet it's the journal.
GM: Was that in-character?
Harshal OoC: No.
Gillert: Don't give the bad guys information.
GM: You ARE the bad guys!
Gillert: You can be evil and a good guy. It's called being an anti-hero.
GM: That's not how this works!

The Flying Fox: So why are you interested in the were-rats anyway?
Ys: Purely mercenary.
The Flying Fox: Someone paid you? Interesting.... and disappointing.
Harshal: People have to eat.
The Flying Fox: I guess that makes this a race *throws the grenade to the floor, where it explodes into entangling Shardgel foam, and runs off back the way we came*
Ys: I'm not even sure what we're racing after.
The Flying Fox: Gives me the advantage then!

We find no sign of where the were-rats have fled to. It might well be there, we're just crap at finding it. So we return to the surface to hunt down rumours instead, which we are MUCH better at. And even better, we know that firebrand-cum-investigative journalist at Parvo Crispin's newspaper, who takes shorthand notes of every bit of gossip she overhears.

Harshal also gets word that a relative from the Spire Clan is coming to Magnimar. This is probably going to be an issue.

Ys: Who is this person and why should I let him live?
Harshal: A relative. And the Clan already know he'll be staying with me.
Ys: That's not a reason to let him live.
GM: The last time Harshal had any relatives in town you killed them.
Gillert: YS killed them.
GM: And you were an accessory.
Gillert: I'm still trying to convince myself I had nothing to do with the actual stabbing.
GM: There's a reason it's called an adventuring party - it's because you're party to all the murder-hobo shenanigans.

Anyway, the rumours suggest the were-rats have had some kind of ideological split, and are involved in a three-way internal feud. Time to let the Nightscales know. And have another go at decoding that journal.

Harshal: Maybe we should keep killing were-rats until we find one that looks important and torture them for information about the journal. But if we kill them all the were-rat problem goes away anyway.

Gillert: You want to come, Ys?
Ys: No.
Harshal: I, however, am of a profession used to negotiations. And Gillert looks like a gullible idiot and will put them off their guard.
Gillert: I AM a gullible idiot - I keep hanging around with you lot.
Harshal: Exactly.

Harshal: Refreshments? You'll be pleased to know that after the removal of certain key individuals, our vermin problem has fractured into internal feuding.
Mr White: I'm sure that there are people within my organisation that will be concerned that you could engineer this. I am not one of those people. I care only about results.
Harshal: Good to know. However, there is additional information I thought you should be aware of. That vigilante has taking an interest.
Mr White: I see. That IS unfortunate.
Harshal: Apparently something about the situation appeals to her competitive spirit. I have no idea what that's about.
Mr White: Hmm. Still, since you have fulfilled your part of the bargain, it's time for us to fulfill ours.

Mr White's silent associate Mr Black reaches into a bag of holding and pulls out a sack.

Harshal: Naturally I won't insult our guests by checking the contents now. We're professionals, after all. If they stiffed us everybody will find out later anyway. More tea?
Mr White: Thankyou.
Gillert: Did you bring the pink biscuits?.... Ys hasn't been near these, has she?

The payment is fireproof cloth armour and an alchemical flamethrower.

Harshal: Combine that with that magical doorknocker we bought earlier and we can run the best arson scam in Magnimar.

 

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Our Heroes:

Amon-Ra: Archaeologist who found an artifact that is a conduit to an ancient god.

Diamondback: Exposure to a strange crystal gave her immense strength and durability.

Double-Time!: Given incredible running speed during a lab accident.

Faceless: FBI agent with the ability to assume the shape of any person he sees.

Ka-Pow!: 17 year old boxer and mechanic who's a bit more than human.

Professor Polar: Discoverer of "cold energy".

Shard: Exposed to the same crystal as Diamondback, but instead has the ability to grow and control similar crystals.

Tarraingteacht: Agent Carter's skills with Polaris's powers.

Zoltan the Magnificent: Stage magician who also knows real magic.

 

******

 

Diamondback [to Faceless] -- I just want to say that I am more comfortable with you lying than with you stripping corpses.

 

***

 

Shard -- I'm not going to make anything explode. . . again.

[not much later]

Shard -- If I keep the explosion well-contained, we should be fine.

 

***

 

Prof. Polar -- Shard's a good test animal; she regenerates.

 

******

 

Full session write-up here.

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Blue book, after the last adventure:

 

Ryu (modern ninja, cold blooded assassin): Well, we can't leave town just yet, I have to go kill all of them since she called me a Koga. Can't let that secret get out...

 

which inspired...

 

#justRyuthings

#NinjaDeepThoughts

#KogaDon'tExist

#KillEmAll

#Don'tReallyCare

#AlwaysBringaKnifetoaGunfight

#BombMakingBros

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So, my Shadowrun group now switched to Warhammer Fantasy 2nd Edition, a custom Adventure (or maybe a adapted Package) "Quest for the Southlands".

 

The story is that some Elf Prince wanted to make a expediton into the southern Southlands. The Pheonix king said "I disagree. But while I can not stop you personally, none of my Subjects can go with you".

 

So acordingly the Group starts in Marienburg and has a very heavy "maritime Theme", specifically recruited for that mission:

Prince Arathion, Highelf, NPC, Questgiver

Rolf Bloem, human Manaan Priest (Water, Weather, Seatravel)

Ilumaris, elven mage that learnt in Altdorf (thus technically not a subject of the Phoenix king)

Jotunn Eisenbart (Iron beard), Dwarf Marine Soldier. Also me

It is worth noting that aside from me and the GM, nobody has any real knowledge of the setting

 

Character creation:

You roll 2D10+ racial basis (20, with some 10 or 30) for each Atribute in sequence. You can use the average result (11) for one of them.

Jotunn (OOC): "I am seriously thinking about using the average for my Fellowship (Charisma)"

GM: "Then you would be the 3rd one doing that with Fellowship this evening".

Jotunn (OOC): "Okay, I think average Balistics Skill then."

 

We played the rules a bit looser. Like being able to freely pick our classes (rather then rolling 2 at Random):

GM: "You were a bit undecided, Wich career did you pick?"

Jotunn: "It was a tossup between Mercenary and Marine Solider. But I picked the Marine Soldier in the end."

GM: "What made the difference?"

Jotunn: "The Mercenary does not have the 'Drink Alcohol' skill and I just can not play a dwarf that can not hold his ale."

 

 

First on the Agenda is finding a suitable ship, because without a Elven Crew he can hardly use a Elven Ship. We do find one for cheap. needs some work, wich is good so because the group was not exactly liking the name:

Harbor Master: "The Sea Whore, typical van Zandt name"

Arathion: "The ship can stay, but not with that Name!"

Rolf (OOC): "As a Manaan Priest, I would say we rename it 'The Albatros' "

 

Rolf (OOC): "Let us see what Manaan Priests believe in *starts reading the list*:

Women aboard bring bad luck

Naked women aboard calms the sea, wich is why so many galleon figures are of naked women

A coin under the mast brigns good fortune

A cat aboard brings good luck

A cat aboard brings bad luck"

Ilumaris (OOC): "So basically we need Shroedingers Cat?"

 

We are tasked wick picking and statting out important NPC Characters. WH Fantasy uses "Careers" where you get all the skills and avancements. The pick a new Career (usually from the Career exits). These Characters can/need to have multiple careers:

"1 Sea Captain

1st Mate

A few more mates

Helmsman

Navigator

Doctor

Carpenter

Cook - wait, what was he in his previous career?"

 

Magic in Warhammer Fantasy is dangerous:

GM: "If all the dice show a 1, your spell automatically fails"

Illumaris: "I only roll 1D10".

GM: "You do get more later, but that is another downside"

Illumaris: "How so?"

GM: "If multiple dice show the same number, there is a seperate table to roll on and tht one is really ugly"

Jotunn: "Basically your chance to screw up drops from 10% to 1%. But you get a 10% chance to screw up in new and exciting ways!"

 

 

2nd session:
The GM was enthusiastic about showing off "how elves do magic". Basically they can see (and relatively freely manipulate) the winds of magic if there are any around. The request for a excursion a few hours outside of the City however is really puzzling. But he pays, so he is the boss. But we do take a coach.

We drive a few hours. At the first major crossroads we hold. He goes up a hill. Pulls out some weird sperical contraption. Does some adjustment. It starts glowing. He comes back down and we continue.

 

GM: The Coach Driver is confused.

Jotunn: "I shrug with the shoulder and tell him: Elves do elven things."

 

We repeat that that navigation step once more

 

And then a final time. In the middle of a market place. In a small village full of superstitious villagers.

The last part we have to walk on foot. We notice that the path is somewhat travelled and we find a rock. But not a normal Rock, but a "Waystone". A marker of the ancient ones, wich happens to be placed where two leylines cross. Accordingly the area is strong in magic. We start freeing it and notice that apparently the Villagers also use it as shrine to some local Manaan Martyr.

 

Apparently the Etheral Sight views the winds of magic as various colors

Ilumaris: "The Colors of Magic?"

So the two elves start talking about wich colors they see, why the two non-elves stand idly by.

 

GM: There is a lot of green. And a bit of blue. Next to no red, purple or black."

Jotunn: "We see a rock."

Rolf: "It is grey."

 

Finally the manage to "untangle" something in the winds, wich results in the small wellspring at the botom of the shrine/waystone to get a lot stronger.

Jotunn: "Ah, elves. Natures Sewage workers"

GM: "The Elves act as if they did not hear you"

Rolf: "And you really should not tell that to a Manaan priest".

 

Unfortunately our little excursion did not go Unnoticed. Villagers are a approaching. Wich Torches, Pitchforks, a Sigmar priest and words like "Magic at the shrine" and "burn the witches" on their lips. So now we have to talk down the people.

 

Ilumaris (OOC): "I do not understand. Is magic illegal or legal now?"

Jotunn (OOC): "Out here that is different form Lynchmob to Lynchmob."

The issues is it does have an effect -  a refresing to healing one. And it does not help the NPC keeps using the wrong words - the ones starting with "M" and ending on "agic" - in front a ptichfork and torch wielding mob.

Something "round but soft" is being thrown, but misses.

 

Finally we manage to talk them down. Apparently the idea of a shrine with a spring that has healing properties does appeal to them. And especially the attention (and money) from Pilgrimages it will bring them.

 

Ilumaris (OOC): "Say, what was it they had throw at us anyway? Rotten Fruit."

GM: "No, that looks more like sheep dung..."

Jotunn: "I told you. Only sewage workers had to deal with that much crap!"

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At the 91st approximately-monthly session (yes, the GM keeps track) of a D&D4E campaign, using the published canon cosmology, pantheon, etc.  The PCs in the previous session had wiped out  a major infestation of Vecna adherents, taking one prisoner whom they could and (in this session) did interrogate,  and discovered they had a couple of big underground chambers full of undead stacked like cordwood, preparing for a violent takeover of the town.  They also discovered the existence of another Vecna temple in town.

 

For collateral damage reasons, it wasn't practical to destroy the undead storage immediately, and it was decided to go get back-up from the local temples of Ioun and Bahamut (two PCs are clerics to those deities and contact had been already made).  The issue really was that those temples were small, with battle-capable staff numbering 12 and 8 respectively; there was some discussion about how to apportion these to keep the undead in their storage lockers, guard our prisoner, defend against the possibility of another knot of hostiles showing up while the PCs find and destroy the other Vecna temple; the totals weren't evenl divisible by the number of places to  be guarded, so there was a bit of a wrangle over that Jokes were made at the same time about the small size of the friendly temples, and the assertion was made that the Bahamut temple being, literally, in the 7-11 on the corner between the frozen foods and ... something else.

 

That triggered my memory from earlier in the day, reading old items in xkcd, spcifically this one, combining the arithmetical difficulties in apportioning guards, with the asserted location of the Bahamut temple in the 7-11, so I described the cartoon, resulting in general hilarity, but my brother (who was the player of the Bahamut cleric) then observed, "that makes perfect sense; Bahamut *is* the god of protection."

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Last night's D&D game, our party finds the cavern where a white dragon is hanging from the ceiling over his (frozen-in-ice) horde. 


Player 1:  Does the dragon see us?
DM:  Yes.  It's looking at you.

Player 2:  Should we roll initiative? 

DM:  Not yet.  It's waiting to see what you're going to do.

(long pause as nobody wants to set things in motion and get us all killed)

Player 2:  Okay, well, maybe I should walk into the room.  (bored tour guide voice)  And here, we have the dragon's chamber.  You'll note the horde - feel free to add to it as you go through.  Next on our tour is the southern tunnel...

Player 3:  And we're walking... we're walking...

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On 12/28/2017 at 10:10 AM, bigdamnhero said:

Last night's Historical/Fantasy Hero game. The Heroes are trying to find a way through a partially-collapsed building. So they turn to the Priest, whose VPP is primarily modeled after recorded Biblical miracles:

 

Alchemist: "Wasn't there anyone in the Bible who walked through walls or moved a bunch of rocks or anything?"

Priest: "Well, I can think of one example. But it'd take three days and we'd have to die first."

Alchemist: "...OK, but aside from That Guy...?"

Hmmm forgot about Paul praying and at midnight an earthquake shook open the jailhouse.

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6 hours ago, BoloOfEarth said:

Last night's D&D game, our party finds the cavern where a white dragon is hanging from the ceiling over his (frozen-in-ice) horde. 


Player 1:  Does the dragon see us?
DM:  Yes.  It's looking at you.

Player 2:  Should we roll initiative? 

DM:  Not yet.  It's waiting to see what you're going to do.

(long pause as nobody wants to set things in motion and get us all killed)

Player 2:  Okay, well, maybe I should walk into the room.  (bored tour guide voice)  And here, we have the dragon's chamber.  You'll note the horde - feel free to add to it as you go through.  Next on our tour is the southern tunnel...

Player 3:  And we're walking... we're walking...

"And we're walking... we're walking... "         a quote from a Dexter's Laboratory episode?

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Usually I use a quote from a hero but in this case, it's from a supervillainess, La Pulga.  She's trying to taunt a hero shrinker and starts yelling at him:

 

"You're weak. Weak like white bread. Like white bread that's been dunked in water."

 

(All players) Ewww....

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On ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 7:05 PM, Steve said:

The PCs in my modified Champions Universe game have gone to visit Babylon.

 

After meeting their first Conurbite (the magical pretty people who live in Babylon), and I complete my description of her, I get back "It's Barbie Borg!"

 

I am now stuck thinking of Conurbites as Ken and Barbie versions of Star Trek's Borg, which is probably not too far off from how they appear from their description in Mystic World.

 

Babylon did allow me to entertain myself a bit when they bought a stripped-down copy (no weapons) of the Millenium Falcon from a Ferengi. They're now trying to figure out how to get it back to Earth.

 

"I am Barbie of Borg. You will be accessorized AND assimilated. It'll be fun!"

 

Lucius Alexander

 

I am Palindromedary of Borg. You will be assimilated coming and going.

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From last night's historical fantasy game. As part of their efforts to build an alliance against the evil Prince Kor, Our Heroes have been trying to facilitate a marriage between the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, and Princess Zoe Porphyrogenita, daughter of the Byzantine Emperor. Things are going well, until Robert, King of the Franks shows up...

 

GM: The French King looks around the room, spots the beautiful Princess Zoe, and makes a beeline over to start chatting her up.

Geralt: (Irish Holy Warrior) Oh hell no! I step between them and politely suggest to King Robert that this isn't the Princess he's looking for.

GM: Great, make me a High Society Roll to see how badly you step in it.

[Geralt rolls a natural 18]

[headdesk]

Geralt: (angrily) "What do you think you're doing trying to make time with the Emperor's betrothed!?!?"

...followed by an exchange of Who Do You Think You Are's and Don't You Know Who I Am's, ending in...

Geralt: ...And I deck him!

 

And that, children, is how in 1001 France declared war on Ireland and sat out the war against the Antichrist.

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Champions : Return to Edge City - Invading Mental Privacy
So, it turns out that our attempt to outsource surveying of Edge City’s magical field has had some unexpected consequences, such as one Megan Grey, who for some reason has come from Millennium City to follow our employees around town. And somebody ELSE is following her around - the psychic supercriminal Hypnos. We pick the game back up at this point.

Hardlight: Yeah, easy to pick back up on - me falling off a roof and landing right between the girl and the evil psi agent and cartoonishly pointing a shaky hand and going "halt, citizen!"

And that’s when a purple beam of energy bursts from the head of a woman we thought was just an innocent bystander and hits him in the back.

Hero Shrew: Wait, what?
GM: What do you mean what?
Hero Shrew: What woman?
GM: The woman that just zapped Hardlight.
Hero Shrew: Oh, right.
Fireflash: Context is important.

Hero Shrew jumps down to street level, and attempts to distract this other supercriminal.

Hero Shrew: Hey, I know you - you’re that woman on television!
GM: … well, I’ll give you an extra dice for the confusion factor.

Purple Lady turns invisible, at least to Scooter the shrew. And one of the other bystanders turns into a bad 90s punkrock stereotype. So at least three of the people here are PSI agents. As we soon learn, most of PSI, including their leader Psimon, the telekinetic Mindslayer, the paralysing Medusa, tele-empath Torment, and purple invisigirl Lancer are hiding in the crowd. Presumably to ensure Hypnos doesn’t screw up - it’s not like anybody in their right mind would consider our team a threat.

Fireflash: I really hope this isn’t one of those female villains that gets excessively jealous around women prettier than her.

Hero Shrew’s mental defences also crumble, but with no apparent consequences, apart from pinpointing ANOTHER PSI agent in the crowd.

GM: Remember, this was their POLITE attempt to recruit a new talent. They asked first. They just don’t take no for an answer.

Fireflash is going through her mental Rolodex of PSI agents and guessing how many of them are likely to be sent on one mission. It’s an alarming list. Largely because the heads of PSI don’t trust some of them out on their own. At this point, Hypnos, who was expecting Megan Grey to resist him in the battlefields of the mind, narrowly avoids a punch in the balls. Megan’s own holo-disguise collapses, and Fireflash recognises her as the minor talent Trace, which explains how good she was at following people. The PSI operatives also recognise us, and consider Fireflash a credible threat, especially after she blinds Psimon and some of the others with a flash attack.

Torment: Yes. Yes, I agree Psimon, she’s a threat. FEEL MY PAIN.

This telepathic agony disables Fireflash while was she still in midflight. This is not good, since she’s going to hit the ground hard.

GM: And now Psimon has to locate Hero Shrew’s mind again.
Hero Shrew: Too small a target, was I?

GM: And now the one who turned invisible to Hero Shrew, Fireflash and Hardlight gets her go.
Flux: Let’s hope she just has a gun.
Hero Shrew: We already know she has purple mind bullets.
Flux: Oh dear.

Hero Shrew leaps over the telekinetic wall Mindslayer put up and slaps Psimon around a bit. This was probably a mistake, since now Psimon knows where he is and can actually implant those telepathic commands he was planning. And Mindslayer, though blinded, is feeling around for anything short and furry and slashes at Hero Shrew with a telekinetic blade. She misses.

GM: Hero Shrew ducks. “That looks sharp, lady”. Scooter IS the most agile of your party.
Hero Shrew: Despite my build. I bounce around like a rubber ball. A hairy rubbery ball.
GM: You hear a voice in your head. ‘PSI are mentalists - if our attacks miss, nobody gets gets hurt. Your friends do property damage when they miss. And it’s the Moreaus that get the blame’.

Despite the fact that Hero Shrew is probably nicknamed Captain Collateral, this telepathic order sticks. He’s now compelled to stop his friends from using their most effective attacks, just in case somebody gets blasted through a wall. Hypnos is still trying to get Trace under control.

Hypnos: You. WILL. OBEY!!!!
Trace: …… nn…. Nnnnnn…. Naff that! *punches him in the face*

Happily for Fireflash, nobody has noticed Flux yet, and he gets a blast off at Torment, and, indeed, blasts them halfway into a wall.

Hero Shrew: Hey! Be more careful! Somebody paid for that wall!
Flux: …. What? That seems a bit out of character… Hero Shrew is the guy that tears his own front door off.
GM: And uses pavement as a blunt instrument. But then, pavement is public property. But maybe Hero Shrew is just trying to be a more responsible hero.
Flux: At the worst possible time!

Hardlight, still paralysed by Medusa mental petrification, at least manages to put a force bubble around Hypnos.

Hardlight: Shrew! Get the ball!

And then Hardlight gets hit again, by Invisible Purple Mind-bullet Woman. And then Mindslayer’s blade slaps Hero Shrew across the street and into a wall. He flails a bit on the ground below.

Hero Shrew: It’s OK, everybody, the wall is fine!

Hypnos now has to get out of the bubble before he can go anywhere.

Hypnos: FREE ME!
Trace: No!
Hero Shrew: Maybe if you asked nicely?

Flux shoots Medusa in the face.

Flux: She looked at me funny.

Unfortunately, at this point Fireflash’s flash attack wears off, leaving Lancer, Psimon and the others to act freely. And Hero Shrew is leaping over to stop his teammate from being so careless with his energy blasts.

Hero Shrew: Hey! Be more careful!

Trace now has enough self-control again to get some retaliation in, preferably against Lancer.

Trace: Where. Are. You BITCH! Actually, where are you??? This has never happened to me before…

Apparently Purple Mind-bullet Lady is invisible to mental senses as well. And Fireflash is still recovering so can’t do another Flash attack yet. At least Mindslayer apparently thinks that leaving now, with Psimon in tow, is a good idea. Or maybe Psimon thought it.

GM: Mindlink is a wonderful thing.

So is Fireflash’s own energy blast, targeting Mindslayer as she’s flying off.

GM: Mindslayer is PSI’s equivalent of a Federation ship.
Hero Shrew: No rear shields?
GM: Plenty of shields - but if you get through it hurts.

GM: That actually Stuns her. So she drops everything. Including Psimon.

Hero Shrew: At least Fireflash is firing up into the air. WATCH OUT FOR PLANES!
Fireflash: Scooter, are you feeling OK?

Psimon loses patience a bit, and targets the genuine civilian bystanders.

Psimon: PLAY IN TRAFFIC!
GM: Classic Mentalist move - Instant hostage situation. Also -
Hypnos: PLAY IN TRA- Actually, I should be trying to shoot my way out of this bubble right now.

GM: It might just be Hero Shrew is trying to be a more responsible hero.
Hero Shrew OoC: At the worst possible time.

Flux blasts Psimon even higher into the air, so he’ll hit the ground even harder. Scooter reasons that the best way to avoid further possible property damage is to use the villains as weapons. He grabs the semi-conscious Torment and throws him at the semi-conscious Medusa - and manages to hit the invisible Lancer instead.

Hardlight figures out the problem with Scooter - and drops the bubble around Hypnos just as Hypnos fires. The pistol blasts a meter-wide hole out of a wall.

Hero Shrew:
Hypnos: Uh-oh.

Once all the debris settles, we’ve actually managed to capture all of them except Lancer, who has no real loyalty to PSI and legged it. Hero Shrew is holding Hypnos by the front of his suit

Hero Shrew: PSI, are you? Well here’s Pounds per Square Inch! *PUNCH PUNCH PUNCH.*

Of course the civilians who didn’t leg it the moment a superhuman fight started HAVE wandered into traffic. But they’re easy enough for Hero Shrew to gather up and stuff into one of Hardlight’s bubbles until they get over it.

GM: There’s always a few who gawk, or freeze.
Hero Shrew: Or want to get some photos for their Facebook.
GM: Yeah - they fall back to what they think is a safe distance.

Hardlight, still paralysed (and will be for a week), calls up the ECPD, and PRIMUS, who turn up to blindfold and restrain the psykers, and put Psimon into deep sedation, until he can be tried by telepresence.

Flux: I knew you’d show up.
CAESAR Suit: Funny guy.

Trace: What the actual fudge? I thought Millennium City was bad.
Hero Shrew: You’re welcome.
Trace: Welcome? For wha- oh, right, the rescue.

Most of Hardlight’s voluntary nervous system has been shut down by Medusa.

Hardlight: Ah, Scooter? Can I get a lift back to the base?
Hero Shrew: Pokapokapoka! Pokapokapoka!
Flux: Maybe electricity will snap him out of it...
Fireflash: Back to the lab/And see what’s on the slab - right now, that’s you, Hardlight.

The superhero forums seem to think that us managing to catch most of PSI, when none of us have any notable anti-psi protections, is a sign that we’re finally maturing as a superhero team.

GM: They think you’ve levelled up.

Of course, the question does arise as to why all the important members of PSI were in California at all - just adding Trace to their collection doesn’t seem important enough...

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Pathfinder : Streets of Magnimar - And the Bad Guys Win
Harshal: I don’t want the clan finding out about my more interesting nocturnal activities.
Gillert: Yes, you’re already a lawyer.
Harshal: That’s daytime activities.
GM: And quite bad enough - You’re already a killer of words
Harshal: *hiss* I wish you wouldn’t put it that way - I can’t deny it, I just wish you would phrase it like that.

One item of interest in Magnimar - a series of mugging around the docks, made with poisoned blades - and the poison is oddly slow-acting. And standard anti-toxins made the symptoms worse. In fact, it looks like somebody is trying to inoculate the population with a new plague. Zin suspects Filth Fever, a distemper normally spread by rats and ghouls. The odd thing is how many people are coming down with it, and how few people are getting over it - it’s not one of the more virulent plagues.

Ys: Now there’s a thought - what if somebody has had the same idea we did?
Gillert: You’ll need to be more specific - we’ve had a few.
Ys: What if somebody is trying to lower property values around the Irespan?

Harshal’s inquiries don’t turn up any obvious moustache-twirling villains, but there is an unusual shortage in certain alchemical supplies - mostly because of thefts.

Ys: And it wasn’t even me.
GM: And most of the supplies are the kind they can’t report to the authorities.
Harshal: Ah - so the kind where they can’t go to the City Guard and say ‘they stole my crack, arrest them!’

Ys speculates that the poison on the blades is a combination of constitution-lowering drugs and the filth fever organism - but Zin points out that the poison wouldn’t be any good for the germs, either.

Harshal: A puzzle - time to catch one of them at it and employ some lead pipe Legilimency.
Ys: I just want to watch them in action.
Gillert: Professional interest.
GM: The problem is how to stake out a crime like this?
Harshal: Indeed - random muggings across the docks district.
GM: Well, not completely random - the targets have to look like they’re worthy mugging.
Harshal: Zin, you’re our trap and disguise expert, can we dress Gillert up as bait?
Gillert: Fuck off…. I want plate armour.

Harshal consults his Little Blue Book for likely waterholes the muggers will target.

Harshal: Although since it’s the docklands, I’m not expecting any five stars on the Michelin Index.
And if we ALL wander around on the rooftops, half of us can’t see anything in the dark anyway.

Harshal: At least from the rooftops we can see the Bat Signal.
GM: That’s another problem - if you’re all spread out across the rooftops there’s more chance you’ll run into a certain vigilante.
Ys: We had a perfectly civil conversation with her, last time.
Gillert: That doesn’t mean anything - I’ve had perfectly civil conversations with you.

After a week of sneaky sneakers sneaking, we don’t catch any muggers, but do confirm that there’s at least three of them at work on most nights, spread out between the Wrecks and Underbridge. As the new moon approaches and it gets so dark that Harshal and Gillert can’t see a damn thing, they switch to checking for any connections between the victims. Ys and Zin continue lurking.

Ys: The more nights I spend up here on the Thieve’s Highway the more likely I’m going to mugged myself.
GM: Eh, maybe not - anybody else you run into up here is going to avoid you.
Harshal: Professional courtesy.
GM: Not so much - anybody else up here might be up to something even darker than you.

Harshal: What we really need in this group is somebody whose name starts with with X - then we’d have an X, Y, and Z.
Gillert: I’ll be over here.
Ys: Wimp.
GM: Well, there’s your W.

Gillert: We need a bloodhound.
Zin: Well, we DO know a vigilante.
Harshal: Are we really going to have to invent a Bat-signal?
GM: You’d have to keep changing it every time she grows a new tail.

Eventually Harshal berates Gillert into attempting an augury using the Harrow deck, with the simple question ‘Where will these mystery muggers strike next?’ It’s not a very happy reading - lots of past obsession, mental enslavement, random disaster, and untrustworthy brute power. It also strongly implies that Ys is involved.

Harshal: Well, going by that card of The Bear, we’re never buying Ys a unicycle.

Zin suggests the card means the next attack will be in a place of worship.

GM: I’m very glad these screens conceal my face - I know what’s going on and these cards are freaking me out.

GM: These cards don’t mean evil as much as hindrance. It’s not evil, it’s differently motivated.

The cards for the past indicate a secret we already know, mental compulsion, and obsession. The present cards of the Bear and the Avalanche suggest that some power that CAN be harnessed is threatening to run amok. And the future card imply a momentous and powerful change requiring preparation is coming. None of it is as clear as ‘The corner of Moon Street and the Shambles’.

It MIGHT mean the Filth Fever is going to run out of control, but it’s still a terrible choice for a bioweapon - nobody has even died yet, and it doesn’t spread from person to person.

Harshal: At least plague masks will conceal our identities.
Gillert: And scare them off. And maybe start a new panic.
Harshal: Good point.
GM: That might be what the cards are warning you about, Harshal. In fact, most of them are warning you. The Bear and the Avalanche - be cautious in your actions. The Keep and the Big Sky - be prepared to move or stand firm, but if you choose carefully big changes will come.

Zin enlists Iria for her medical expertise, and we go to interview and examine the victims, who are agreeable as long as they don’t have to pay. Iria finds the cases MUCH more interesting than she expected, she she finds clear signs of bite marks
the knife wounds. And recognises them as rat bites.

Gillert: Well, we did piss off the wererats.
GM: And imagine what’s going to happen on the next full moon.
Harshal: FUCK.

The were-rats have been cunning indeed - the poison and the filth fever reduce the victims constitution, leaving them more prone to the curse of lycanthropy. Which would explain the mental compulsion too. And some of these people were stabbed weeks ago, which rules out most of the lesser lycanthropy cures. And if we inform the authorities they will be a violent purge of the docklands, and we don’t know if all the victims reported their injuries. And if we inform the Nightscales half the Docklands will go up in flames.

Gillert: Well, look on the bright side, there will be more vacant land afterwards.

But the wererats thrive on secrecy, and rampaging wererats are pretty conspicuous.

Harshal: Well, that makes it obvious - the wererats are going to use the chaos of rampaging wererats to get out of town surrounded by all the other refugees, while the lycanthrope hunters are busy.
GM: It is pretty cunning of them. I’m quite proud of this plot.

Zin: If we don’t tell anybody and try to hide out during the next full moon, all three results will happen.
Harshal: Mass arson, violent purge, AND lots of victims.
Gillert: And meanwhile I’m down at the docks selling passage on all these ships out town.
GM: And some of the refugees will probably be wererats.
Harshal: ‘You smell familiar - why don’t you come with us on the trip. Halfway.’

There is no good answer to this dilemma - even rounding up all the victims in a hospital ward we can bar from the outside won’t work, because we don’t know how many people are hiding the fact that they’re ill, thanks to the last plague.

Gillert: Maybe we should just burn our own stuff down and leave town for three days.
GM: You can’t avoid an avalanche - just endure it.

And the next religious festival is the Moondance Festival, a usually private act of devotion towards one of the goddesses. Imagine the fun if one of the devotees was infected.

GM: At least the symptoms would be easy to spot.

Gillert does another Harrow reading - which is about as unambiguous as it could be, reinforcing the fact that there is an avalanche coming, trying to profit from it or warning anybody would be disastrous, and we’re all bastards anyway. We get out of town, taking Zin’s kobolds with us, using the moonlight festival as our excuse.

Kobolds: Yay! We’re taking moon-radishes!

GM: Moon-radishes are a big thing for kobolds - they’re basically fucking Fraggles.

Alas, this will be the last session for Magnimar - without Tannis Olberech around as a long-term driver for group goals, our GM has been running low on ideas for the party - especially since most of us are content with where we now stand. So let us raise a toast to these villains - may they always get what they need, but never what they deserve.

 

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Pathfinder : Mummy's Mask : The Covenant of Wati
Since the Streets of Magnimar Campaign is ended, we’re starting a new one - Mummy’s Mask. Since it’s a published adventure path, unlike the more sandbox setting of Magnimar, there are bound to spoilers over the coming months. Not that there’s any shortage of sand in Mummy’s Mask, since it’s set in the Pathfinder equivalent of Egypt. Think pyramids and you’ll get the basic idea.

I was strongly tempted to bring Vitus the Gnoll back for another go.

Previous GM, Weldun: … No. Vitus brings too much baggage. But it would be funny to see him spat out from Champions reality to Osirion, depowered.
Me: And no doubt having a bit of a tantrum ‘Fucking AGAIN?????’
Weldun: But then he’d look around, and see all the sand, and somebody would say ‘Good morning, gnoll’.
Me: Clearly a civilised reality. And all the sand and pyramids makes it much closer to home than Call of Cthulhu or Champions. Punch the air with both hand - ‘PLUS!’

Still, playing a gnoll again would be fun. I’ve played enough of them over the years. Thus -

Zenobia - gnoll cleric of the light goddess Sarenrae. There must have been a really persuasive missionary at some point in her backstory.
Nemat - Inquisitor of Wadjet, one of the Old Gods. And probably the only reason Zenobia didn’t get chased out of the smaller towns.
Asrian al-Adjir - a Suli Dervish dancer with silver eyes and white hair.
Onka - Half-orc Spell-sage.


A party of state-sanctioned tomb-robbers in the town of Wati, in Osirion, sent out to explore an assigned tomb by the Ruby Prince Khemet the Third. Funnily enough, despite setting out to make a balanced party, we all ended up making some flavour of combat-orientated magic-user. Which is balance of a kind, I suppose.

The characters meet each other when Asrian is robbed blind just before the campaign started, and the rest of us wandered over to see what the commotion in the marketplace was, and find Asrian chasing the thieves down the street with a scimitar. Onka is impressed.

Onka: I heard a woman’s noises, and they weren’t screams.
Zenobia: And chasing down people who have wronged her with a large scimitar is the kind of thing you appreciate in a woman.

The priests of the death-goddess Pharasma aren’t exactly happy about the sheer scale of this state-sanctioned tomb-robbery, but are willing to let it slide as long as they get to control the registration process. Adventurers have been pouring into town from all over.

Nemat: Asrian’s gear probably ended up being sold from an adventuring supply stall. Probably a bunch of different stalls.

We eventually agree on a name for our group - the Covenant of Wati - and get a wooden token from the priest in charge of registrations.

Nemat: Asrian, you are not holding this.
Zenobia: Oh? Why’s that?
Nemat: She did just get robbed of her backpack while she was distracted by someone lifting her money-belt.
Asrian: It’s a fair point.

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* Amelia is the party's faceman. A former heir that didn't approve of how her family earned their fortune, she broke away in order to create a legacy more in line with her own ideas.

* Nicholas is one of those cinematic scientists that is broadly competent. Almost too broadly to be realistic, actually.

* Faris is a modern day swashbuckler that minors in, ahem, "practical archaeology". In his own way, he was critical in helping Amelia gather the courage to sever ties with her parents.

 

--- --- ---

 

The group's most recent escapade involves them attempting to acquire an old estate title for a property passed down through a family whose lineage stretches back to the time of the Mexican-American War. Eventually, they surreptitiously discover that the title doesn't simply concern a regular sized house of sentimental value, but what their client calls a "small mansion". Naturally, this revelation does shed some light on why the obstacles encountered during their quest have been unusually arduous. "Profit" soon comes up as a topic of discussion. They were, after all, paid a pittance compared to what the actual difficulty of their task demands of them.

 

 

Amelia: "Oh, a small mansion. How delightfully deceptive of him. You'll note there are certain things which command attention no matter their size. Small heart attacks, small stars, small breasts, small diamonds, small spiders..."

Nicholas: "It is a common misconception that the larger arachnids are more dangerous than their smaller brethren. Scarier, maybe, but that is rather subjective."

Amelia: "Pardon?
Nicholas: "'Well, I would be much more worried about a brown recluse or funnel-web than your garden variety tarantula."

Amelia: "Ah. Alright. But you get my meaning. Correct?"

 

Faris is off to the side and lounging comfortably in a loveseat while he sharpens a prized dao. It is at this point in his teammates conversation that he decides to chip in with an observation.

 

Faris: "Leave it to an academic to fixate on the wrong kind of biology."

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"You don't seem to grasp the implication. He took one step too many beyond the threshold and there's no coming back. He discarded his scabbard. He burned his ship. He..."

"...stuck his finger in the cheese dip. Yeah, I get it."

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