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Darren Watts

Quote of the Week from my gaming group...

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Inkubus: Never, never EVER let a troll go Cowgirl.

Warhammer: ?

Inkubus: I don't want to talk about it.

Greenlight: You were very brave.

Inkubus: I had to try it at least once.

Sooooo didn't need that image in my head.

Inkubus: And they call ME evil.

Felix: It sends a message to the next group that kidnaps one of us.

Inkubus: Mess with us and we will BURN YOUR SHIT TO THE GROUND.

Greenlight: I like this message.

I love this message!

Warhammer OoC: This was a good game - it had everything in it.

Felix: Something for all of us to do, a set-up for next session...

Warhammer: And we screwed over the GM repeatedly.

 

GM: Everyone gets a 'Derail the Adventure' Karma point.

Standard Adventuring Party: One each.

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Did you guys start out as Chaos Marines, or did you start out as Imperial and turn heretic?

Cassius was the only Chaos Marine, but we all started as Heretics as per the Black Crusade character creation rules.

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The shadowrunners were an ork/troll group. Against stereotype, they specialized in stealth, subtlety, bluff, illusion, deception and misdirection.

 

Dent: ork, rat shaman

No-Step: ork, snake shaman, healer

Byte Force: ork, decker, chemist

Eye Spy: ork, rigger, drones, paramedic

Audacity Jane: ork, combat, stealth, security systems

Happy Jack: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator

Mr. Johnson (NPC): generic name used by/for secretive employers who hire shadowrunners

Euphoria / Amanda Lockhart (NPC): an A-list simsense star

simsense: a virtual reality entertainment where the viewer experiences the sensations the actor/actress experiences

 

Euphoria, part 1 - So you want to abduct a simsense star

This was the same module previously described by Drhoz (here).

 

An ork/troll team does not have the benefit of Inkubus' libido to distract a simsense star. Fortunately, they found other options.

 

Mr. Johnson requested a meeting at night, at a little used part of the docks. Happy Jack went to the meeting wearing coveralls, a hard hat and a safety vest. He was met by a too-slick Mr. Johnson, a corporate bodyguard/driver in a cheap kevlar-lined suit, and a leather-clad street samurai.

 

Mr. Johnson: (to Happy Jack) "You're not what I was expecting."

Happy Jack: "You're hiring us, in part, for our ability to blend in. Of the four of us, I'm absolutely certain that I'm the only one who looks like I belong here."

 

Euphoria had been hired to make several appearances to promote Amber Gel for Strice Foods. Mr. Johnson wanted the team to ensure that she missed all of her scheduled appearances.

 

Mr. Johnson: "As part of the deal, no harm comes to the lady. Treat her like royalty. You get half your pay after you abduct her. You get the other half after she misses her final appearance."

Happy Jack: "Just to be clear, you are going to deliver the first half of the money before her first scheduled appearance."

Mr. Johnson: "I suppose that could be arranged."

Happy Jack: "If we don't receive the first half of the money by then, we will arrange for Euphoria to arrive at her first public appearance on time."

 

Mr. Johnson wanted the team to hold Euphoria at an apartment that he was providing.

 

Mr. Johnson: "As I said before, treat her like royalty. Here is a keycard to an apartment in the Barrens. Your first half of the pay will be delivered to you at the apartment."

Happy Jack: "What kind of intrusion countermeasures are there on the apartment?"

Mr. Johnson: "Um ... I'm not sure...."

Happy Jack: (raising an eyebrow) "What rating are the magickal wards on the apartment?"

Mr. Johnson: "I ... uh ... I don't believe there are any."

Happy Jack: "What kind of countermeasures are there to block implanted tracking devices?"

Mr. Johnson: "What? I'm not sure what you're talking about."

Happy Jack: "We'll be holding Euphoria at a location of our choosing. A secure location."

Mr. Johnson: "Okay. But your pay will be delivered to the apartment."

 

The team had been instructed to treat Euphoria "like royalty," but they weren't certain what Mr. Johnson expected. So they visited the apartment in the Barrens to see what level of luxury Mr. Johnson had been planning to provide.

 

Audacity Jane: "The security on this complex is pathetic. Aside from the card key at the apartment door, the only other security was the sleeping guard in the lobby ... and I'm not sure what's going to kill him first: heart failure or old age."

Dent opened the door to the apartment, then abruptly stopped.

Dent: "Brace yourself. I know you make fun of my housekeeping, but this place is bad by my standards."

No-Step: "I didn't think that was possible. Particularly because you don't have housekeeping standards."

No-Step entered the apartment.

No-Step: "I guess I was wrong. Compared to this, even you have standards."

Dent: (looking through the kitchen) "They supplied us with food. All of it seems to be produced by Ludivenko Foods, one of Strice Foods' competitors. Do you think our employers were incompetent enough to leave a clue to their identity, or do you think this is a clever bit of misdirection?"

Eye Spy: (looking through the closet) "They also provided some women's clothing." (looking at the tags) "And it's for an average-sized woman. Who in the hell thinks a simsense star is 'average-sized'?"

No-Step: "I think we can rule out clever misdirection."

Byte Force began hiding a couple wireless microcams at the apartment.

Dent: "Are you planning to record the mating habits of cockroaches?"

Byte Force: "No. I want to see who backtracks our employers to this trap."

 

The team had about 30 hours before Euphoria's first public appearance. As usual, the decker proved an invaluable information-gathering resource.

 

Byte Force: "Euphoria has a personal bodyguard who lives with her full-time. It looks like they recently picked up a second personal bodyguard who also stays on the premises. For the next few days she also has temporary security. Rotating shifts of Knight Errant guards, four guards per shift." (pausing dramatically) "But there's good news. The first shift of Knight Errant guards doesn't start until this evening."

Happy Jack: "So we try to get her before the shift starts. Is there anybody on staff that No-Step and I can impersonate?"

Byte Force: "The building has a rather small staff. They probably know each other well."

Audacity Jane: "We have to assume her personal guard is professional. He should know the building staff too."

Happy Jack: "Are her personal bodyguards hired through Knight Errant?"

Byte Force: "They appear to be independent."

Happy Jack: "So they probably don't know the Knight Errant guards. We capture the first shift of guards before they get to the apartment, then impersonate them."

Audacity Jane: "I like it. Guards don't expect to be targeted when they're not working."

 

Things went according to plan until the team entered the apartment. The second personal bodyguard, who turned out to be a hermetic mage, noticed that there was a lot of magick for four supposedly "mundane" bodyguards. Fortunately, Audacity Jane borrowed a rule from the Han Solo guide to tactics ... she shot first.

 

Removing Euphoria from the premises was even simpler. We put her in a padded box and sent her out with a "courier" (Eye Spy).

 

Happy Jack: (calling the building's concierge) "We have a box in the foyer of Ms. Euphoria's penthouse. A courier will be coming to pick it up shortly."

Concierge: "Where is Mr. Adams? Usually he calls this kind of request in."

Happy Jack: (rolling his eyes) "He's busy pacifying her royal highness. I hope he gets hazard pay for dealing with her."

Concierge: "He does. We don't."

 

After that, the team just killed time until the next shift arrived. They were dropped in the penthouse foyer, largely through the use of neurostun gas grenades which were hidden in the houseplants.

 

No-Step: "I'm never going to trust a ficus after this."

 

With every potential witness drugged and unconscious, the team was back at the safehouse before anyone realized Euphoria was missing.

 

Of course, then the team needed to treat Euphoria "like royalty" for three days. Some jobs are harder than others....

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The shadowrunners were an ork/troll group. Against stereotype, they specialized in stealth, subtlety, bluff, illusion, deception and misdirection.

 

Dent: ork, rat shaman

No-Step: ork, snake shaman, healer

Byte Force: ork, decker, chemist

Eye Spy: ork, rigger, drones, paramedic

Audacity Jane: ork, combat, stealth, security systems

Happy Jack: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator

Euphoria / Amanda Lockhart (NPC): an A-list simsense star

simsense: a virtual reality entertainment where the viewer experiences the sensations the actor/actress experiences

 

Euphoria, part 2 - Catch and release program

This was the same module previously described by Drhoz (here).

 

Euphoria regained consciousness in one of the team's temporary safehouses in the ork underground. As the "people person" of the team, it was Happy Jack's job to explain the situation to the captive.

 

Happy Jack: "Ms. Lockhart, we have been hired to ensure that you miss your public appearances for the next few days. After that, you'll be returned to your normal life. It may be easiest if you consider this to be a relaxing, though somewhat boring vacation."

Euphoria: (looking around the apartment with wide eyes) "Is this the ork underground?"

Happy Jack: "Yes."

Euphoria: "Oh." (long pause) "I thought it would be bigger."

 

Having accomplished the abduction, Happy Jack went to the apartment (the probable trap) to collect the first half of the team's pay. Eye Spy accompanied him in order to provide overwatch with her drones. To avoid being caught in a trap, Happy Jack disguised himself as a gang member and hid two floors above the apartment.

 

Eye Spy: (over the comm to Jack) "The courier arrived. You won't believe what he looks like."

Happy Jack: "He looks completely out of place."

Eye Spy: "That's an understatement. He looks like a refugee from an 80s' spy movie. He's wearing an oversized hat, an oversized raincoat and oversized sunglasses." (choking back laughter) "Best of all, the hat and coat are BEIGE."

Happy Jack decided to monitor the situation through the wireless microcams Byte Force had planted.

Happy Jack: (over the comm to Eye Spy) "This has gotten even sillier. He's at the door of the apartment stage whispering lines to nursery rhymes like they're some kind of passcode."

Eye Spy: "So, are you going to go say 'Hi' to Mr. Secrent Agent Man?"

Happy Jack: "Nope."

Eye Spy: (suddenly serious) "He has our money."

Happy Jack: "And I'm dressed like a gang member. I'm going to mug him for our money. That way it will look like we're not connected to him."

 

The oversized hat blocked the courier's peripheral vision, allowing Happy Jack to blindside him. Happy Jack left with the team's pay, the courier's personal credstick, the courier's cellphone, and the courier's corporate ID. As Happy Jack and Eye Spy drove away....

 

Happy Jack: (looking at the courier's ID) "As we thought, he's from Ludivenko ..." (pause) "... and he's the mailboy? What kind of idiot sends the mailboy on a black op?"

Happy Jack used the courier's cellphone to call the number the Ludivenko street samurai had provided the team.

Ludivenko street sam: "Hello."

Happy Jack: "Hello. We met the other night. You have serious flaws with your operational security."

Ludivenko street sam: "What went wrong?"

Happy Jack: "Your courier showed up in the most conspicuous outfit possible. He got mugged by a huge troll. The troll got our money, the courier's credstick and the courier's ID."

Ludivenko street sam: "Did the troll get away?"

Happy Jack: "With our money? No. I chased him down." (pause) "I've made certain that the troll won't be talking to anyone about this ... ever. But your courier seems to be a serious operational liability. You might want to plug that leak."

Ludivenko street sam: "You didn't harm the courier, did you?"

Happy Jack: "No. The mugger probably did some damage." (pause) "Your employee is your problem ... unless you want to pay us to get rid of him."

 

Audacity Jane was Euphoria's primary guard. The two of them didn't exactly hit it off.

 

Euphoria: "I'm glad that I'm missing those public appearances. I really didn't want to face all those fans. It's so depressing, seeing all those pathetic fans idolizing me because they don't have lives of their own." (pause) "But I guess you wouldn't know what that's like."

Audacity Jane: "True. My fans have lives."

Euphoria: (in disbelief) "You have fans?"

Audacity Jane: "Sure. Mostly they're fixers or managers at megacorporations. Unlike your fans, mine don't pay me to make public appearances, get naked or do sex scenes. Instead, they pay me to abduct people, steal things and make problems disappear. I have a lot fewer fans than you, but on an individual basis, they pay a lot more for my services."

 

Euphoria also became curious about the farraday cage that the team had built into the walls, ceiling and floor.

 

Euphoria: "Why is there metal covering the walls?"

Dent: "That's to keep the devil rats out of the apartment."

Euphoria: "There are rats in here?!?"

Dent: "No. There are rats out there," (waving vaguely toward the walls) "and the metal makes sure they stay out there."

No-Step: (quietly to the others) "That was mean."

Byte Force: "No. That was brilliant."

No-Step: "Brilliant?"

Byte Force: "Not only did he dissuade her from messing with the farraday cage, he's also given her incentive to stay inside the apartment."

 

As the hours passed, Euphoria began to express her displeasure with the lack of luxury.

 

Euphoria: "I have nothing to wear."

Audacity Jane: "There are several bags of clothes over there. They're your size."

Euphoria: (looking through the bags) "I can't wear these. They're cheap."

Audacity Jane: "You have several choices. Option one, you can keep wearing your current outfit for the next few days. Option two, you can wear the clothes in the bags. Option three, you can prance around the apartment naked. I know which option the testosterone factories in the next room would prefer, but the decision is up to you."

Euphoria: "Fine!"

Euphoria began taking some clothes out of the bag.

Euphoria: (staring pointedly at Jane) "Can I get some privacy?"

Audacity Jane: "No."

Euphoria: "What?"

Audacity Jane: "You're a captive. Captives don't get privacy. But again, you have some options. You can change in front of me. You can change in front of one of your other guards. Or you can skip changing your clothes for the next few days."

 

Audacity Jane couldn't watch Euphoria 24/7, so Happy Jack and Eye Spy were the two alternate guards.

 

Audacity Jane: (to Eye Spy) "Why is Euphoria insisting that she wants anyone except you to guard her?"

Eye Spy: (staring at the floor) "Well, I'm not intimidating like you or Jack, so I thought she would make trouble while I was guarding her."

Audacity Jane: "And...?"

Eye Spy: "So I took one of my drones in the room with me."

Audacity Jane: "And...?"

Eye Spy: "And I set the fire control mode to 'Track Target'."

 

Euphoria also had issues with the food. Specifically, her favorite food (Amber Gel) wasn't available.

 

Eye Spy: "She's a celebrity who actually likes the product she's promoting? That seems unlikely."

Happy Jack: "Especially considering it's a food product sold at Stuffer Shack."

Eye Spy: "Maybe it's successful because they're putting addictive chemicals in it?

Happy Jack: "We may need to go buy some then."

Byte Force: "And run some chemical tests on it."

Happy Jack: "That too. More importantly, we need some around in case our captive starts exhibiting withdrawal symptoms."

 

The Amber Gel turned out to be even more suspicious. When No-Step astrally assenced it, he got a momentary impression that it was swarming with ants.

 

Byte Force: "I expect megacorps to plant bugs in their electronics and software, but this takes it to a whole new dimension."

 

The team had a high degree of professional paranoia. High enough that some "surprises" became planned-for events.

 

No-Step: "Excuse me. Could I have everyone's attention? It's urgent."

A few seconds passed as everyone woke up, tuned in and/or shut up.

No-Step: "Someone is trying to use ritual magick on Euphoria, probably to locate her."

Eye Spy: "Do we need to move to another safehouse?"

No-Step: "That may be premature."

Dent: "It should take some time for them to overcome the protection of our wards. That gives us time."

Eye Spy: "Time to pack?"

Dent: (grinning evilly) "Time for us to backtrack the casting and dish out the astral equivalent of a back-alley beatdown."

 

Less than a day later, Euphoria missed her final public appearance for Strice Foods. The team dropped her off at Megamedia's law offices (which were a safe location for a simsense star, and unlikely to be staked out by anyone looking for her abductors). As promised, the remainder of the team's money was delivered by the Ludivenko street samurai, and not by a member of their mailroom staff.

 

The mission was successfully completed, but there were still unanswered questions about Amber Gel....

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Our new Starfort, now somewhat carnivorous, has come to rest on the outskirts of the Screaming Vortex muttering and eating anybody who wanders alone through the corridors. And there's the surviving Severian and Imperial troops to be hunted down and sold into into slavery. But at the moment there's also the Thirteenth Station, and the blockade fleet that preys on anybody trying to enter or leave the Vortex. A meeting in the Starfort's command center, which is now disturbingly biological.

Jrska: And that servitor is playing Gallaga.
Cog: Yes, there's always one. We've never been able to to stop it.

Blockade Negotiator: You speak of Crusade. And where do you intend to take the Word of the Gods?
Cassius: To a world that has no use for them, for it is infested by the Necrontyr. *stepping out of the shadows and causing the negotiators to collectively shit their pants*

We come to an agreement - they will blockade the Thirteenth Station in Cassius' name, preventing any ships from leaving the Vortex without his warrant, and inform us of any ships that try to enter, and contribute their ships to Cassius' Crusade when it's time to attack. In return, they want the Imperial trade world of Sinophia. This is fine with us. Aladar writes up the contract.

GM: Bear in mind that while Aladar WAS a Rogue Trader -
Cassius: - He wasn't a very good one.
GM: You found him planetbound, minus a ship.

Cassius: One of the most powerful unifying forces in the galaxy is mutual enlightened self-interest.
Jrska: And Mutually Assured Destruction.
Cog: Same thing.

The mercenary Gray's Grand Cruiser 'Unfettered Judgement' warps into the area.

Jrska: All batteries stand down - Gray is an ally.
Cassius: Jrska - Gray is better described as 'someone we have had dealings with'
Jrska: I know, my lord. But if Gray thinks our batteries are actually in working order...
Cassius: Good point. Carry on.

The 'Unfettered Judgement' is a truly fearsome ancient vessel, and fully equipped the pound the crap out of practically anything and then invade whatever survives.

Jrska: We need a new ship, don't we my lord?
Cassius: ....
Aladar: How long would it take you to seduce the ship out from under him?

Cassius is looking forward to the meeting - he recalls clearly our original agreement with Gray - Bring the Starfort to the Vortex. There wasn't anything about handing it over when we got there.

Gray: And where is your master Cassius?
Cassius: Oh, I'm around *steps out the shadows*
Gray's ceremonial guard: *shit themselves, but maintain position*
Cassius: Well done.

Gray: You will require a flagship, a place of command - and this paltry frigate, while fast and well-designed, is not sufficient.
Jrska: It no longer suits the magnificence of my lord Cassius.
Cassius: It is a good ship for reconnaissance - but your point is well made

Rumours have already circulated in the Vortex that Warmaster Abbadon, heir to Horus, is pleased with Cassius's activities.

Cassius: Abbadon approves.
Cog: 'Go forth, my homey'

Gray: It has been many, many years since any individual has tried to unify the Screaming Vortex.
Jrska: Such is the nature of chaos. But as you say - to unify the mortal forces of the Vortex towards one common goal - to destroy the Soulless and strike a blow against the hated Imperium of the Corpse-Emperor... THAT will take a great individual indeed.
Gray: Or group of individuals.

Gray certainly seems eager to ally with us - even as a lieutenant in the Crusade, he'll have many opportunities for advancement in the eyes of the Ruinous Powers.

Cassius: I am in need of capable lieutenants.
Jrska: And intelligent ones, as you have remarked on a number of occasions.
Cassius: Indeed.
Jrska: And did we all glance towards Aladar?
Cassius: He was in that general direction.

But what to do with the station? Perhaps dedicate it to the four Ruinous Powers, with each arm dedicated to the various gods?

Cassius: I don't like the idea of two docking arms dedicated to Slaneesh. I can HEAR the radio chatter during docking procedures already.

He's also reluctant to dedicate any part of the ship to Nurgle - not only because of his Tzeentch alignment, but most because rampant rust, ruin, and decay is not very conducive to space operations. Instead, Cassius decides to divide the station into five sections - one to each of the Four Chaos Gods - and one to the Fifth. The destroyed docking arm will be dedicated to Malal - the Chaos God dedicated to the destruction of the other gods, and symbol of the tendency of Chaos to turn against itself - and the station will make ongoing efforts to KEEP that arm destroyed. Symbolically unifying the disparate followers of the four powers, hopefully for the duration of the Crusade. The station does start to grow appropriate attachments in response to the rituals of dedication - Aethyr Harpoons to drag enemy ships closer, out-of-control vegetative growths that expand to repair damage to the hull, and whispers promising pleasure and corruption to any enemies that DO get too close. The command structure, dedicated to Tzeentch, grows crystal towers to assist with astropathic communication, or blink the entire station out of existence if something truly dangerous faces us.

Jrska suggests a name for the Starfort too - 'The Promise of War' And that all sorted, the first planet we'll have to pass is Hindrance, a nasty little dessicated shithole mostly inhabited by Nurglites. But it does have hereteks - admittedly Nurglite hereteks.

Cog: We need holy ammunition.
Cassius: Get them away from me.
Cog: Hmm?
Cassius: I don't react well to unexpected holy munitions. Things get broken.
Aladar: Starting with Cog.

The hereteks on one of Hindrance's moons are famous for being good repairmen and scrapcode writers. As dangerous as it is to go anywhere near the Hindrance moon that apparently has the mass of a neutron star, is IS a good idea to impress the local yokels by parking the 'Promise of War' in orbit around the other heretek-infested moon, Alactia.

Local Yokels: Ooooh. I Want.

We do have to find some gift to impress the local cult leaders.

Jrska: The WHO Handbook of Infectious Diseases. 'Jane's Book of Plagues'

Alactia is so encrusted with wreckage and scrap that most of the local topography is built from piles of rust. This sort of environment is probably not conducive to the proper operation of our devices and bionics. Especially not with all those computer-virus writers and wild scrap-code infesting the local WiFi. The local Magos is suspicious, given the obvious allegiance of Cassius to the rival power Tzeentch, but he does give us permission to attempt recruitment. But the opportunity to study and dissect Necrontyr technology - and loot an Imperial Forgeworld en route - is tempting.

Cassius: This grows tiresome. Everywhere I go people ask 'what's in it for me?' when the benefit is right there in front of them. Assist, or do not - the choice is yours. *glares at Magos*
Jrska: Shall I be good cop then?
Cassius: If you can do it without laughing.

The next planet along will be Xurunt.

Jrska: Xurunt? Ugh. It's all 'RRR, look how big tough and fur covered me am. Me am cut your head off'. *raspberries*

On the other hand, there's a legend that if any warrior can hold the Throne of Baphtar for a year will earn the loyalty of entire Xur armies. That Baphtar is an aspect of Khorne and Cassius is Tzeenchian AND a psyker is likely to rouse considerable ire - from the Xur AND Khorne.

Jrska: The legend speaks of one who can take the throne, my lord. That doesn't mean you can tear it out of the ground and walk off with it.

Cog: Now we know why nobody has held the throne for a year.
Jrska: Haemorrhoids! It's a cold planet after all.

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Playing D&D 5th Ed with a friend GMing. PCs - two ex-soldiers Urlon and Elethndia (oddly enough, Urlon is the Elf and Elethndia the dragonkin), and Lamech Judocus, a gnome sorceror who has red eyes and is constantly surrounded by a cloud of smoke. But that's not because of any Fiendish ancestry or alliances. He's just constantly stoned.

Lamech Judocus: Just call me the J-man, man.

GM: Thanksgiving - the perfect time to invite all the arseholes you know over for dinner. Because that's when you carve up the turkeys.

The job - escort a cartload of camp supplies in the Sword Mountains.

GM: You guys sit on top looking decorative. Or whatever you want to do. Fishing off the back of the cart perhaps. 'I was wondering why the fish weren't biting'.
Lamech: Land sharks.
Urlon: What? Land sharks? Where?

Lamech: *leans forward conspiratorially* I'm actually half-giant.
Urlon: ....
Lamech: But I'm tall for my size.

GM: One year there was a multicoloured light display on the Museum opposite. And when the cops realised what was going on they'd just wait for whoever walked past, stopped, and stared at the lights going "Oooooh... ahhh.... pretty." And then they'd cross the road and gently steer them into the police station.

Lamech: Want a brownie?
GM: That can be taken many ways in D&D

Lamech: *sings* Gnome, gnome on the range.

And, naturally, or this might have become a rather ordinary trip, we are attached by Goblins.

Urlon: They've been attacked by goblins.
Lamech: Can't we all just get along?

Lamech OoC: They're the Chinese Meals of the Forgotten Realms - Kill one, and five minutes later you kill another one.

(re: the game itself - seems straightforward enough. The changes to the rules are not overly annoying - not that I am any good remembering rules - but some of the more useful spells have been nurfed.)

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On the difference between our runs and the rumours we've heard about a certain other team - ( Houston GM's - :snicker: )

 

Felix: Our team gets by on Inkubus' libido and boats, their team gets by on subtlety and professionalism.
Inkubus: Fuck you! Besides, my libido and boats has worked so far.

Felix: Why is there a hose attachment on the table?
Inkubus: Because there's a hose attachment on the table. Do you have a problem with this?
Warhammer: Do you want it somewhere else?
Greenlight: Does it offend you?
Inkubus: Are you hosist?

Back to Scotland, where we need to use that Astral Gate near Loch Ness. Just as well part of our deal with Celadyr retroactively fixed any visa problems with us mysteriously leaving Scotland and coming home via Germany. Dragons generally don't have transponders. But there's never any guarantee where an Astral Gate will take you.

Titus: The Place of Endless Groin-punches
Inkubus: The Elemental Plane of BEEEES

But who will look after our bodies while we're in the Astral Planes? We decide that that Scottish professor owes us a favour. And her students can watch over us and hopefully learn something.

Warhammer: How about your uncle Maximillian, Bubbles?
Inkubus: You need to have your brain examined. You literally just proposed leaving our unconscious bodies in the care of somebody that has climbed to high position in AZTECHNOLOGY. And corporate high position is bad enough, but Aztech?!

Felix: All part of the alien's masterplan
Inkubus: I for one welcome our new alien overlords! Because they've chosen me to be AWESOME.

Greenlight: Titus, what does your warhammer look like?
Felix: Short and Beardy.

Greenlight gets a bit unhappy when we prep our weapons for Astral use - Titus' Pimp Cane, for example.

Greenlight: It's just so boring - there's no legend to the weapons anymore. We just go out and buy a Sword +2. It's sad, really.
Titus: It's an age on consumerism. Get used to it.

Inkubus: I never want to see Weapon Focus : Caber
GM: 'Where are the Shadowrunners'
Inkubus: Ask the guy carrying the tree.

Titus: I know what to get you for Christmas now - a spellcasting focus Scrubbing Brush.
Inkubus: This is an aspect of the Way of Metal you don't see often - the clean-up afterwards. Actually, it is an aspect! The Roadie.

At least being out of town will give the renovators time to do up Inkubus and Felix' loft apartment, now luxury standard - and above luxury food.

Felix: Movie Nights are going to be AWESOME. Take-away from the best restaurants in Seattle

And of course, there's the interrogation of Doctor What. Inkubus hits him with an Orgasm, and sustains it. And sustains it.

Inkubus: Tell us why the book we stole is so important, if you ever want to enjoy the touch of a woman again. Or a man.
Felix: Or Sheep.

Apparently What was hired by Ehran the Scribe, who is pissed off that we've inconvenienced him repeatedly. We point out we have no idea who hired us to do those jobs.

Greenlight: Although if Mr Ehran wants us to run a counter-run, we are available for a reasonable fee.
Titus: We are professionals after all.
Greenlight: Now there's a change of clothes in the next room, and you can clean up.
Felix: I buy Wetwipes in Economy boxes.

This is going to be dangerous, but we can be careful.

Titus: We don't want to become cautionary tales.
Inkubus: *looks confused* Become?

On the Astral Threshold, Greenlight is greeted with an astral image of his little brother.

Lil' Bro: Thank you for rescuing me.
Lil' Clone: But why didn't you rescue me?
Lil' Clone 2: Or me?
Lil' Clone 3, 4, 5, 6 etc: Or Me?
Inkubus: 'Are you my Mummy?'

Inkubus gets ravished a metal dragon, but protests he's straight.

GM: Tough. That or challenge it to a rock battle.
Greenlight : 'Play the best song in the world, or I'll eat your soul!'
Warhammer: Summon Ozzy Osbourne!
Titus: To bite its head off!
Ozzy: Sharron, what the fuck am I doing here again?
Sharon: you're judging a rock contest Ozzy!
Ozzy: I what?
Sharon: A rock concert! You're judging it between two rock icons!
Ozzy: Oh right. Well, going by tradition, I'll have to bite one of your heads off.
Inkubus and the dragon:*wince and clutch their junk*
Ozzy: Only your top 'eads you twats!

Felix meets his grandfather, at an Aztech corporate function atop the Great Pyramid in Tenochtitlan. A function that's becoming increasingly ... traditional.

Max Bethke: I do this for you, Grandson.

And then the Aztec priest next to him guts him like a fish and cuts out his heart.

Felix: Fuck!!!!

Actually, this is probably the first hint Felix has had as to just what his grandfather had to do to stop Felix being killed after whatever mysterious incident got Felix put on 'permanent administrative leave'.

Inkubus: The next time I need to summon a fire spirit, I can always summon Indestructible (from every Disturbed album cover)
Titus: I'm sure he's friendly. Look, he's smiling!

The metaplane on the other side is swarming with fairies.

Inkubus: This is not metal.

We also have a fairy guide - Felix's bound air spirit.

Greenlight: Fuck off, Navi.

There's also a town, at the base of a World Tree.

Inkubus: Bet you we have to climb that.

Warhammer: Tavern!
Greenlight: Tavern!
Felix: Inkubus is the one that's supposed to be tempted by this sort of thing!
Greenlight: We're in a medieval town.
Inkubus: Tavern! But I don't carouse.

Inkubus: Did Neil the Ork Barbarian just walk past us?
Greenlight: What? Where? *runs off after him for autograph*
Inkubus: You are such a fangirl.
Greenlight: Stop raining on my parade. Do I pooh-pooh you when you seduce women?
Inkubus: Yes.
Greenlight: True, fair enough.

Warhammer's totally lack of etiquette is likely to cause us problems.

Inkubus: Maybe that's how you left the military - you kept mouthing off to officers.
Greenlight: He's really good at shooting off his gun. And his mouth

The Queen of the fairies has been kidnapped!

Greenlight: Is the Queen of Fairies actually female?
GM: Yes. In this instance.

Inkubus: We need to buy some chains and manacles. For me. I get the strange impression that banging the Queen of the Fairies is not going to end well for us.

And, as Inkubus predicted, we have to climb the tree, facing hundreds of armoured insect-soldiers-fairies.

Inkubus: I'm about to make it rain. You'll probably want to shower afterwards.
Titus: Don't worry, our bodies aren't here - it'll only get on our souls.

Put it like that, Inkubus decides NOT to cast Mass Orgasm. Felix' bound spirit changes into a army, but the battle remains fraught.

Titus: The entirety of Bavaria has a grudge against you.
Inkubus: I only set a SMALL section of the Black Forest on fire.

And Felix then comes very close to killing himself with a miscast - back in reality he's bleeding from every orifice. Titus grabs the bleeding mage as he falls, fling back up again. Meanwhile, Greenlight blows into the main group. On her turn, she hits them for massive damage. On their turn, they attack her... and get hit for massive damage.

Greenlight: Disarm by way of breaking your opponent's wrist, it's a hell of a trick.
Titus: Parry, thrust, punch, counterpunch, DICK PUNCH

Likewise, Warhammer wildly fires grenades into the main group of insect-fairy-soldiers. Once ever other turn the dice betray him.

Warhammer: Wait... everything is fantasy here isn't it? I can't have grenades.
Titus: Sure you can, they're just jars carrying the spirits of bees from the elemental plane of fire. PHOSPHORUS BEEEEES!

The battle is not going well and we're already down a Mage. After telling off the semi-conscious Bubbles, Inkubus opts to summon up a massive earth spirit (force 12). He succeeds.

Inkbus: Oh crap... I just summoned the Yggdrasil squirrel.
GM: A troll-sized squirrel crawls to you, watching the battle commence. It sneers in bloodlust... AND DRAWS A ZWEIHANDER!
Titus: He doesn't like crabs either.

Greenlight: (after a particularly bad roll) I'm running out of Edge here!
GM: (Agast) You're running out of bad guys, too!

Titus: I fly up, rising like a Valkyrie
Greenlight: Carrying a rainbow Aztec

Squirrel: If you guys don't clear out, I'll do what we squirrels do best and COLLECT YOUR NUTS
Crab: (GM rolls, rolls a 1) Hah! We don't have any nuts.
Other crab: (Turns out the 1 was for the Crab's willcheck) Actually fred, we have twelve.
GM: They friggin' scatter.
Greenlight: Ratatosk uses Intimidate! It's super effective!

Finally, the party gets through to the top of the tree. There is a massive door.

Greenlight: Titus?
Titus: (hefts hammer)
Inkbus: (knocks on the door)
GM: The door opens
Inkbus: (turns to greenlight) You taught me that.
GM: And guess who the queen is.

The queen is the same air spirit who's True Name we were here to steal. Greenlight finds the situation to be particularly amusing, and therefore acts as Inkubus' wingman - as he attempting to seduce the air spirit that was out to kill us.

(Long story short, Inkubus adds his dice together. It's going rather well... then he adds his street cred.)

Inkubus: 26 dice.
GM: Holy shit.
Whole party: Holy shit.
Inkubus: (nodding) Will of the D.

Needless to say, the queen of the fairies decides to accompany him, and later, agrees to the mutually satisfying binding ritual.

Inkubus: Well, uh, be busy.
Greenlight: Sure, and the squirrel will be watching the nuts
Inkubus: 5 hits on Erotic Arts.
GM: And they say that Yggdrasil grew three sizes that day

Inkubus: And they thank Rattatosco
Greenlight: He's in the top percentile of Rattata. He knows sword dance.

And thus, the partying commenced. After half a day, we reawaken in the real world.

Greenlight: Bwah! Giant squirrel!
Inkubus: (looks down at Bubbles) Urgh, can someone please clean up Bubbles
Greenlight: (looks at Inkubus' pants) And yourself.

This will no doubt add to our public notice - as would the way Inkubus body started enthusiastically humping thin air - but the students watching over us will hopefully only refer to us as Subjects 1, 2, etc, in their research papers.

Felix: But the dragons will take one look...
Inkubus: ... see a Metal Mage in the company of a Hermetic and a bunch of Adepts...
Felix: ...and go 'Ah, it's them'
Inkubus: 'Those arseholes'.

Greenlight: How to ID German infiltrators. Get them to sing the national anthem.
Inkubus: If they get it right, shoot them. No-one knows all the words of their own anthem.

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This sounds familiar for some reason...

 

Could well be. I was so exhausted from 6 days of overtime I had to go lie down for the last third of the session, and was barely coherent for the rest. They may well have been quoting something at each other.

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On the difference between our runs and the rumours we've heard about a certain other team - ( Houston GM's - :snicker: )

 

Felix: Our team gets by on Inkubus' libido and boats, their team gets by on subtlety and professionalism.

Inkubus: Fuck you! Besides, my libido and boats has worked so far.

 

Heck, if we'd considered how useful libido could be in easily resolving missions, we might not have played all orks and trolls. (And if the tool you have is Inkubus, every problem looks like it can be nailed.)

 

In addition, you use that boat about the same way we used the Ork Underground. It's a great hideout that totally screws up most enemies.

 

 

The shadowrunners were an ork/troll group. Against stereotype, they specialized in stealth, subtlety, bluff, illusion, deception and misdirection.
 
Dent: ork, rat shaman
No-Step: ork, snake shaman, healer
Byte Force: ork, decker, chemist
Eye Spy: ork, rigger, drones, paramedic
Audacity Jane: ork, combat, stealth, security systems
Happy Jack / Jonathan Bridges: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator
Euphoria / Amanda Lockhart (NPC): an A-list simsense star
Mr. Johnson (NPC): the generic name used for/by people who hire shadowrunners
Ellery Whitecastle (NPC): the fixer that set the team up with Ludivenko's Mr. Johnson
simsense: a virtual reality entertainment where the viewer experiences the sensations the actor/actress experiences
 
Euphoria, part 3 - Busted
This was the same module previously described by Drhoz (here).
 
The team had discovered that there was something strange about Amber Gel, but they weren't sure what. It was time to use their collective talents to dig up some dirt.
 
The Dirt:
  • Amber Gel was Strice Foods' hottest new product. It was about to make the leap from the test market (Seattle) to the global market.
  • The manager in charge of Amber Gel, Vincent Burroughs, was completely incompetent. The only thing saving his career was that he was the sole point of contact between Strice and the unknown manufacturer.
  • For some reason, Vincent Burroughs was having difficulty meeting the increased demand for production.
  • Ludivenko was concerned about the success of Amber Gel. In response, they were about to release their own knock-off product.
  • Amber Gel contained no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no artificial sweeteners and no artificial preservatives. It was by far the most 'natural' product ever sold in a Stuffer Shack. It also contained a natural preservative that was vaguely related to those found in honey.
 
Byte Force: "Add in No-Step's vision, and I'm going to guess that Amber Gel may be made by ants."
Eye Spy: "They're probably genetically modified ants."
Happy Jack: "I wouldn't rule out paracritters. There are likely some undiscovered species of awakened ant. This could be connected to one of them"
Dent: "I guess it's time to stock up on bug spray."
Byte Force: "I'll try to find something that's nonflammable. We may want to use it a building that we want intact."
Eye Spy: "If a building is full of awakened or genetically modified ants, I vote for burning it to the ground."
No-Step: "I understand your enthusiasm, but if we're inside of the building, I'd prefer to have an inflammable option available."
Audacity Jane, Byte Force, Dent and Happy Jack: (almost in unison) "Nonflammable."
Eye Spy: "Aren't they the same thing?"
Happy Jack: "And this is why I buy all of the munitions for you two."
 
After two days of investigation, the team was interrupted by a business-related call...
 
Ellery Whitecastle: (on the phone with Jonathan Bridges) "We've got a bit of a problem. MegaMedia somehow discovered that your team was behind Euphoria's disappearance."
Jonathan Bridges: "They 'somehow discovered' this information? You knew my team was involved. Our client knew we were involved. That's a very short list of potential leaks."
Ellery Whitecastle: "Um ... well ... On the bright side, so far, they're peaceful. They want you to meet with Robert Carrone, her manager, at the Pacific Towers lobby at eleven this morning."
Jonathan Bridges: "You make it sound so enticing ... and safe."
Ellery Whitecastle: "It's possible that they will excuse our involvement if you give them any information you have on our former employer."
Jonathan Bridges: "Our client paid for our silence. I think you'll have to send MegaMedia my regrets."
Ellery Whitecastle: (sounding stressed) "Could you at least have your team meet with Carrone? At least see what he has to say?"
Jonathan Bridges: "Why? Did he threaten to kill you if I don't meet him?"
Ellery Whitecastle: "Yes!"
Jonathan Bridges: "And why would this make me want to meet him?"
 
Jonathan Bridges called Robert Carrone to make certain that the meeting would be reasonably peaceful. (If anyone attempted to kill Jonathan, the rest of the team would ensure that Robert Carrone died quickly after.)
 
Despite this, Robert Carrone still felt the need to be threatening during the meeting.
 
Robert Carrone: "You people aren't popular with MegaMedia right now. You caused a very profitable deal to fall through. Your corporate employer for the extraction has already settled their debt with us."
Jonathan Bridges: (shrugging) "We warned them that they had operational security leaks."
Robert Carrone: "And Mr. Whitecastle will do the same shortly." (glancing at his watch) "Pardon me. The late Mr. Whitecastle has just settled his debt with us."
Jonathan Bridges: (sounding bored) "If you're just leading up to the part where you try to kill me, I can save us some time and tell my team to level this building."
Robert Carrone: "WHAT ?!?"
Jonathan Bridges: "I said my team would do their utmost to ensure you died shortly after any attempt on me. We're willing to cause massive collateral damage to accomplish that."
Robert Carrone: (uncertainly) "It's not possible to set up a demolition that quickly."
Jonathan Bridges: "There's an automated delivery van packed full of homemade C-4 at the loading dock. We buy it from the Cascade Orks by the truckload. All we had to do was load 20 crates and program the destination into the van's autopilot." (pauses, then continues in a more cheerful tone) "so, do we both play nice, or do we all go boom?"
GM (ooc): Holy @#$%. If I didn't know you were bluffing, I would believe you.
Audacity Jane (ooc): I packed Jack's briefcase with 5 kilos of C-4. We may not level the building, but I can wreck whatever room it's in. In addition, I also have the building entrance covered with a sniper rifle, so I can kill Carrone if he flees the explosion. To top that off, Dent took a ritual blood sample from Euphoria, so he can target her anywhere in the world. The only thing Jack is bluffing about is how we kill them.
 
Robert Carrone wanted to play nice. He needed the team's help finding Euphoria ... who had been abducted from her apartment again. This time far more violently. Carrone was willing to pay the team well to find her.
 
That blood sample Dent took from Euphoria seemed like the ideal tool for finding her....

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In BigDamnHeroe's Hero Nescessary Evil campaign, one of the PCs minions (we're all villains) has become kidnapped/lost...

 

Player 2: Congratulations! You got 5 points back!

 

That's about right for Necessary Evil.

 

Your quote reminded me of the Necessary Evil one-shot that I was in. Particularly the hostage scene near the end.  I suspect most kidnappings/hostage scenes in supervillain campaigns end up being quite funny.

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Jrska wants to lure Aladar away from thralldom to Tzeentch and back into the embrace of Slaneesh. For one thing, he was her thrall first, and all his internal mechanical mutations have not only left him immune to Jrska's charms, they didn't even include a vibrating attachment.

GM: I'd rather you didn't seduce him back to Slaneesh. If you do seduce him it'll count as a failing, and he'll gain enough corruption to turn into a Chaos Spawn.
Jrska: I don't mind - I'd quite like to have him a Spawn as pet.
Aladar: Hey! I mind!

Arriving at Xurunt, where the legends we barely know suggest a chance to get armies of Khornate berserkers if we can hold the Throne of Baphtar for a year. Although piloting the Promise of War is difficult, given the currents of the Screaming Vortex even at the best of times.

Sister Johanna: I thought it flew itself?
GM: It needs to be guided.
Jrska: And hit with a rolled-up newspaper every time it tries to eat the crew. 'Bad Daemon-station! Bad Daemon-station!'

The highest mountain on Xurunt has been carved into a cloven-hoofed warrior.

Aladar: Lord Cassius! I think you'll need to sit on his lap.
Cassius: No. I need an adult.
Jrska: 'Sit up here and tell Santa Khorne what you want for Christmas'.
GM: 'Piles of skulls, and more piles of skulls, and more piles of skulls...'

There's also an ancient fortress beneath the Throne, which Aladar determines is showing a few signs of life. Cassius decides to disguise himself as a mortal - to whit, Jrska's brother Prince Pseudanor.

Cassius: Just to mess with her >:)

Jrska turns to see her brother, squeals with delight, and skips forward.

Cassius: Oh crap, I didn't think this through.
Jrska: *embraces and deeply tongue-kisses him*
Cassius: *Pushes her off* I forgot how ... close... you two were.

Jrska OoC: You realise I'd have reacted the same way even if I HAD realised it was you?
Cassius OoC: Yeah - just to mess with me.
Jrska OoC: Yup

Jrska: This has possibilities *leers*
Cassius: I'm sure you are thinking beyond the carnal ones.
Jrska: *shrugs* Eh.
Cassius: With Profane Runes I can disguise all of you, as well.

Cassius is irritated that Jrska thinks we need to conquer. It goes against his plan to make Chaos work together for once. And if we can seduce the Xurunt leaders into following Cassius even without taking the Throne, we get want we wanted anyway. But as we fly down to the surface we meet flak fire coming the other way.

GM: And where are the rest of you?
Jrska: Enjoying myself with one of the stewardesses.
GM: There aren't any stewardesses.
Jrska: A Kingfisher Girl in a short skirt.
GM: It looks good on him.

Johanna pulls Aladar out of the pilot's seat and takes over, driving our Battle-ram straight at the ground and pulling out of the dive at the last moment, skimming the fortress' battlements. Cassius opens the deployment ramp - while we're still flying at full speed - and Johanna barely keeps us out of a fatal spin. It turns out there more than one fortress down here among the trees, and some of them have actual technology. Aladar is not happy about losing his only job on the ship, and threatens Johanna with his lascannon. Johanna responds by flipping the Battle-ram upside down. Aladar has magboots. Cassius does not.

Jrska: Since we're apparently flying out of control at the moment, I imagine somebody is screaming 'Pull out! Pull out!'. It's the Kingfisher Girl.

Cassius: I have the perfect solution for this. I kill both of you.

Jrska: This is not the way my Kingfisher Girl wanted to join the Mile High Club.

Cassius OoC: Can you imagine a lascannon with the Accurate trait? 'This is my sniper team'
GM: 'Don't you mean Heavy Weapon Team?'
Cassius OoC: 'Nope >:)'

We'll also learn later that the flak cannons are using radioactive ammunition. That probably explains why the ground troops are scattering when the ammo dumps explode. Or it could be because Cassius dropped into their midst, shedding his mortal disguise. Either way, Jrska is in more trouble than she realises, since her armour is by far the weakest in the party. Johanna flies the Battle-ram up to the walls of the most annoying keep. And then through them.

Jrska meets a posse of axe-wielding Xur warriors and draws her one-eyed plasma pistol. Plasma pistols are already suspiciously phallic, and now it's a Daemon Weapon, so the way it gushes sticky plasma over anything that attracts Jrska's attention is hardly surprising.

Me: I am so looking forward to drawing her like this. MWAHAHAHA

However, the Xur's own weapons - some sort of howling power axe - are also alarming, and it looks like Jrska is going to need a bionic replacement for her OTHER leg. Happily, Johanna and her minions come to the beast-woman's rescue.

Jrska: They like me, they really really like me.

Of course, having dozens of minions all trying to disembark at once completely clogs the exits.

Jrska: They're packed in like sardines. There isn't even room for them to hit the ground.
Cassius: Not that they're complaining.

Cassius himself, outside, challenges the keep's master to single combat. Given Khorne's biases, the local champion HAS to accept, or face Khorne's ire at his cowardice. Jrska's Kingfisher Girls swarm the enemy inside the keep and tear them apart with their bare hands.

Jrska: And hold the bits overhead saying 'I'm going to get this laminated'
Aladar: How do you laminate a three-dimensional object?
Jrska: I'm sure Cog could do it, if they ask nicely.

Cassius' minion - the soulless automaton that used to be a Thousand Sons Space Marine - is also doing well, exploding Khornate warriors left, right and centre. Aladar is starting to suffer radiation too, now. This battle is going to be very bad news for all the mortals involved, it seems. The keep's master refuses to fight, claiming that throwing his life away in a pointless battle will not please his lord, Baphtar-Khorne.

Cassius: If you wish to sit at the right hand of Khorne I will gladly send you on your way. But do you wish to continue this battle of words, as befits a follower of Tzeentch, or continue this as a warrior of Khorne? What say your men?

The keep's troops do indeed seem disgusted by their leader's caution, but haven't rebelled yet.

Cassius: What fault of it is mine that I have achieved such greatness, while you cower here within your keep?
Jrska: While you curl up here like a snail in its shell'.
Cassius: Nice.

His hand forced, the keep's master agrees to honourable combat, and a truce is called. Cassius acknowledges this by putting his force staff Doomwind to one side, and shrinking himself down to merely human form.

Cassius: I require a blade, though it dishonours my Doomwind.

Cassius nonetheless cheats, using precognition in the combat.

Cassius: After all that grandstanding it would help if I actually win.

Although the local seems to be toying with Cassius too.

Keepmaster: I have something to tell you - I am not, in fact, left-handed.

But Cassius disarms him anyway (eventually).

Keepmaster: My life is yours.
Cassius: Your blood is Khorne's - but your skull will not adorn his throne this day.

The Keepmaster compliments Cassius on his fighting skill, but does warn us that we had all better abandon the keep, lest we all succumb to the Wasting Sickness. Darn radioisotopes. Apparently some followers of Nurgle gifted the locals with the radiation missiles etc, in an effort to spread the blessings of the Plaguefather. It's certainly made life interesting in the eight kingdoms, as we share mead and the Keepmaster informs us of the political situation surrounding Baphtar's Throne - it would appear the legends are out of date. Whenever one kingdom tries for the throne the other seven gang up to stop them. And all eight will open fire on anybody trying to fly straight to the old temple.

Cassius: Game of Thrones but with more blood. And radiation sickness.

The eight daimyos might be persuaded to follow Cassius. Especially with Gray's Repulsive-class Grand Cruiser hovering overhead.

Jrska: The Unfettered Judgement is the Big Stick.

But in the end it seems a better idea to move on from Xurunt, acquire some fleets for transport purposes, then come back and unify the eight kingdoms under Cassius' banner. Or just take the Throne entirely.

Jrska: If we're going to be salvaging space hulks, I want a skin-tight gold lamé void suit.

It might not be gold lamé, but the form-hugging carapace armour Cassius gets her is very sexy.

Jrska: I had no idea you had such good taste, my lord.
Cassius: I keep you around, don't I?
Jrska: *beams*
Cassius: True, I also keep Aladar around...

But chasing down rumour does lead us to the Kasserkratch, the legendary treasure-filled wreck of a Grand Cruiser that nobody has ever come back from. It's also the kind of prize that any aspiring Warmaster in the Galaxy would salivate after, even without the tales of corridors drowning in loot. This should be interesting...

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Last night, playing D&D 4th --

 

Our group of adventurers was at sea and were attacked by a larger magical ship, crewed by wooden automatons and led by a person who appears to have stolen the ship in the first place.  Our sorcerer has figured out the ship is siphoning off arcane energy from any nearby magical items, and possibly from magic-using persons (like himself).

 

After we defeat the captain and take the ship as our own, and the sorcerer is trying to figure out how to make the ship go while the rest of us are considering new names for our new ship.  One of the female players innocently asks the sorcerer, "Aren't you worried about the ship trying to suck off you?" 

 

After about the third or fourth comment from various players involving either "suck" or "blow", the sorcerer said, "Okay, I have a name for our new ship.  It's the Innuendo."

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The shadowrunners were an ork/troll group. Against stereotype, they specialized in stealth, subtlety, bluff, illusion, deception and misdirection.

 

Dent: ork, rat shaman

No-Step: ork, snake shaman, healer

Byte Force: ork, decker, chemist

Eye Spy: ork, rigger, drones, paramedic

Audacity Jane: ork, combat, stealth, security systems

Happy Jack: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator

Euphoria (NPC): an A-list simsense star

Robert Carrone (NPC): Euphoria's manager

simsense: a virtual reality entertainment where the viewer experiences the sensations the actor/actress experiences

 

Euphoria, part 4 - The disappearing-reappearing-disappearing simsense star

This was the same module previously described by Drhoz (here).

 

Robert Carrone, Euphoria's manager, needed the team's help finding Euphoria ... who had been abducted from her apartment again. This time far more violently than the team's abduction.

 

A search of the apartment turned up some clues. Euphoria's security guards had been killed by something that ripped, clawed and tore them apart. The attackers had gained access to the penthouse either by air or by scaling the exterior of the building. The paydirt was a partial simsense recording of the attack.

 

Most of the attackers couldn't be clearly seen. They were definitely not humans/metahumans of any sort, however. The two abductors who could be clearly seen were two smelly and unkempt humans. The talkative one said he'd been sent by Burroughs.

 

Two days earlier, Robert Carrone of MegaMedia had a falling out with Vincent Burroughs of Strice Foods. Coincidence?

 

Watcher spirits were unable to find Euphoria. Dent's ritual magick didn't work either (which strongly suggested she was already dead). Therefore, Burroughs was the most promising lead.

 

Audacity Jane: "I can grab Burroughs while he's heading home from work."

Happy Jack: "I don't want to wait that long. I'll disguise myself as that troll detective we met before. I'm going to take Burroughs into custody as an accomplice to a multiple homicide."

Audacity Jane: "You won't be able to maintain that ruse for long."

Happy Jack: "I just need to make it last until we're out of the building."

 

Happy Jack (disguised as a Lone Star detective), No-Step and Audacity Jane (disguised as uniformed Lone Star officers ... it makes sense; automatic good cop/bad cop) went to see Vincent Burroughs.

 

Secretary: "As much as we'd like to assist Lone Star, I'm afraid Mr. Burroughs is too busy to see you today. Perhaps you would like to call back later and make an appointment?"

Audacity Jane: "Perhaps you would like to buzz us into his office before I arrest you for obstructing a homicide investigation?"

The three gained entered into Burroughs' office, interrupting Mr. Burroughs.

Happy Jack: "Watch this simsense clip. It's a few seconds long. Afterwards, you're going to answer my questions about it."

Vincent Burroughs watched the clip -- Euphoria's abductor monologuing ... and implicating Burroughs as his boss.

Vincent Burroughs: (pale, shaken and blustering) "I'm not answering any questions. I want my lawyer."

Happy Jack: "Your lawyer can meet us at the precinct."

A man-sized ant suddenly materialized and attacked Burroughs. The three team members destroyed it, but not before it killed Burroughs.

No-Step: "That was some kind of spirit ... somewhat similar to an elemental or nature spirit."

Audacity Jane: "You've never mentioned bug spirits before."

No-Step: "Until ... oh ... 20 seconds ago I didn't know they existed."

 

The shell-shocked secretary became much more helpful. The man on the simsense was named Craft. He was Burroughs' partner. He manufactured the Amber Gel. She had the address of the production facility ... and the address listed for Craft's pay to be sent to.

 

Happy Jack: (to the security guards who just arrived) "The crime scene investigators are on their way. Keep this door closed and everybody out until they arrive. If anyone enters that room, I am going to charge everyone involved with tampering with evidence."

Security Guard: "But ... isn't it their job" (gesturing at the uniformed No-Step and Audacity Jane) "to secure the crime scene?"

Happy Jack: (yelling at the security guard) "DO I LOOK LIKE A 'BY THE BOOK' KIND OF DETECTIVE TO YOU?"

 

Craft's home address was a magic shop. The front door was guarded by Craft's human accomplice who we had previously seen in the simsense recording.

 

No-Step: "He's not human. Well ... he is, but there's a man-sized ant spirit superimposed over him in the astral."

Dent: "Yeah." (pause) "Maybe he's possessed by the ant spirit."

Happy Jack: "So what happens if you send a couple city spirits to kill the bug and leave the person alive?"

Dent: (snickering) "He'll be dispossessed."

Eye Spy: "Will he be back to normal?"

No-Step: "Um ... we'll tell you in a couple minutes."

 

If spirits could squish, then the ant spirit would have been thoroughly squashed. The person appeared catatonic though.

 

Dent: (doing a Mind Probe) "The lights are on, but noooobody's home."

No-Step: "That makes two of you."

Eye Spy: "Maybe he started out brain-dead."

No-Step: "Dent certainly did."

 

The possessee may have started out human, but he was not entirely human any longer. He had compound eyes, and patches of his skin had turned into chitin.

 

Dent: "So the possession turns them into those paracritters that you were talking about."

No-Step: "That's like a combination of The Pod People and The Fly."

Eye Spy: "I just want everybody to know that I am officially creeped out now."

 

The magic shop looked like it hadn't been open for a while. The living quarters downstairs, however....

 

Byte Force: "This is even worse than the rathole apartment we were supposed to hold Euphoria in. What is that smell?"

Audacity Jane: "Dried blood. Lots of it."

Happy Jack: "I like how you know that without even having to pause and think about it."

 

The dried blood was in the bedroom. Hundreds of posters and pictures of Euphoria covered the walls. Many had spatters of dried blood on them. Most of the dried blood was on the bed and the floor.

 

Dent: "So she's already dead?"

Audacity Jane: "This blood isn't hers. It's dry. If she'd lost all this blood, a lot of it would still be wet." (pause) "I think this blood belongs to more than one victim. That kind of mattress can soak up a lot of blood."

Byte Force: "And how do you know that?"

Audacity Jane: "Professional necessity. It's a dead giveaway when the dead guy's blood start's leaking into the apartment below."

 

Craft's closet also held replicas of every costume Euphoria had ever worn in her simsense roles. There was also a rack of women's wigs. Many of the outfits and wigs had blood stains on them.

 

No-Step: "Craft must be a serial killer. I suspect he brings women here, probably prostitutes, dresses them up like Euphoria, then kills them on the bed."

Eye Spy: "Okay, that's even creepier than getting possessed by bug spirits and turning into a bug-creature."

Happy Jack: "I noticed something that's going to creep you out even more."

Eye Spy: "Please don't tell me."

Dent: "What's even creepier than that?"

Happy Jack: "There's only one bed in here. There's no sofa, no futon, no easy-chair, no mat on the floor. Just the bloodstained bed." (long pause) "Guess where Craft sleeps."

Eye Spy: (plugging her ears) "Lalalalalalala."

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Well, after being woken up at 7PM and dragged to an impromptu Shadowrun session last night on account of me forgetting to tell half the party there wasn't going to be a game that evening due to the Xmas break..

 

Greenlight, Warhammer and Titus are the only players. My Plan was to lead into Greenlight's plot Climax by having these three captured, so I decided to throw some Overwhelming odds against them.

 

This ended up becoming "Reasonably Challenging". For only half the party.

---

 

 

 

It's finally time for the Red Samurai Armor auction. held in an abandoned warehouse in the Barrens (as is standard for these sorts of things), a small group of unscrupulous looking men in suits arrive to bid. A few more are here via telepresence. 

 

Greenlight: Oh, Cool! One of them is using the SEELE Avatar!

 

The Bidding begins, and a bidding war quickly erupts for the most pristine set of armor between the Monolith, and a rather Large Japanese Troll (even for Trolls) who grunts a lot, called Yama. The Troll finally clinches the deal with an offer of 300k for that armor alone. The other 5 less impressive sets are quickly sold to others (including the monolith) for 140% base price.

 

The transactions complete, everyone bar Greenlight, titus and Warhammer move the armors into the Mystery Machine to ship them off to parts unknown. 

 

Aaand then Suddenly the Roof Implodes.

 

As is customary for Shadowrun, this entire next sequence occurs within 2 Combat turns, AKA Six Seconds:

 

 

Rappelling down from a personnel chopper are Four squads of Red Samurai at 5 men each, Each squad having an additional LT, and another bigger guy leading the op, bringing the total number to 25 Men. Renraku know that the team is exceptionally Experienced, and thus decide to use Shock and Awe tactics to get the drop on them in the surprise round.

 

The shadowrunners, Naturally, went first.

 

Greenlight, using her ridiculous amount of Edge, manages to shoot out one of the ropes as one of the quads rappels down, causing an entire squad to fall on their butts.

 

Warhammer, thinking that that was a brilliant idea, follows suit. By firing a Woolly Pete Grenade into the personnel chopper's crew compartment. The pilot was thankfully (for him) smart enough to have his cabin door closed, so he wasn't immediately killed. the WP nade however managed to snap the rest of the ropes, causing every single squad to collapse into piles. 

 

Titus decided to not use his hammer for the first time, and tossed a frag grenade into one of the piles. They went away.

 

Things went downhill for the Red Samurai. Going through natural target selection, they went for the dwarf with the grenade launcher (Warhammer). It annoyed him. Then they went for the troll (Titus). The gel rounds pinged off his armor like raindrops.
Then they went for the weedy guy in the coat (Greenlight) with proper aimed pinpoint focused fire. They missed.
So then they charged the troll with swords. The troll laughed them off.
The guy in the coat yelled for them to 'throw their guns away' (Adept Power: Commanding voice), forunately, they ignored it, only being confused. One of the lieutenants, obviously targeting the mage, charged him.
Greenlight then proceeded to use the Large Dice Pool Rules on a Full Parry action, and thus  decapitated him with a stun baton.
 

An attack chopper flew in when the transport helo bugged out, and targeted Titus. After missing with a wide burst, it tried again with focused fire, and for the first time in campaign history, Titus actually took damage that wasn't from Friendly fire. for 2 Stun Damage.

 

At this point, the Red Samurai Troops decided that bringing gel rounds to capture the targets was a bad idea. The leader called in for reinforcements.

 

Red Samurai Leader: Bring in more men! Some Flamethrowers, A Fucking Tank! Anything, Jesus Christ!

 

Warhammer Decided to end this little charade, and fired another WP grenade into the attack chopper. And landed a Critical.

 

The WP grenade landed directly into the rear Rotor, Sending molten metal and phosphorous spinning wildly everywhere, melting the rear of the chopper off, and sending the remaining half careening into the warehouse, where it promptly crashed and exploded, killing the remaining Red Samurai troops instantly.

 

Inkubus: *Craning his head out of the Mystery Machine's driver's seat window* "What the hell was that noise?"

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Reminds me of a DnD session back when 3e first came out.

 

I was playing a half-orc barbarian and we got attacked in the middle of the night. My barbarian had spent some of his loot drinking and whoring with two half-elves and a human lady of the night (I was in highschool) and failed my Listen check to wake up.

 

Our Elven Sorcerer had just hit 6th level and got Lightning Bolt. He was just getting ready for bed and rolled a Nat20 on his Listen check. His door was at the end of the hall and he opened it up and saw a half-dozen men in full-plate armor wearing the colors of the baron we'd just pissed off. He then proceeded to use his surprise round and ambush the attackers with a Lightning Bolt. Then initiative happened and and he rolled another Nat20 on that.

 

So he Bolted them again.

 

That woke my Barbarian up.

 

Me: "I toss the girls off of me and rip the door off of its hinges. "What in Gruumsh's missing testicle is going on out here!?" Brandishing my greataxe and making an intimidation check.

 

DM: "They are all dead."

 

Me: I glare at the elf. "Next time use the Silent Spell feat!"

 

Of course, that started a 40-minute argument on Meta-magic feats. Nevermind that I was making a joke. :stupid:

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The shadowrunners were an ork/troll group. Against stereotype, they specialized in stealth, subtlety, bluff, illusion, deception and misdirection.

 

Dent: ork, rat shaman

No-Step: ork, snake shaman, healer

Byte Force: ork, decker, chemist

Eye Spy: ork, rigger, drones, paramedic

Audacity Jane: ork, combat, stealth, security systems

Happy Jack: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator

Euphoria (NPC): an A-list simsense star

Robert Carrone (NPC): Euphoria's manager; hired the team to find/retrieve Euphoria

Craft (NPC): an insane magick user; Euphoria's captor

simsense: a virtual reality entertainment where the viewer experiences the sensations the actor/actress experiences

 

Euphoria, part 5 - Buggered

This was the same module previously described by Drhoz (here).

 

Robert Carrone demanded an update on the team's search for, so a summary was provided (carefully edited to sound believable):

  • Euphoria was abducted by a man named Craft.
  • Craft was Vincent Burroughs' business partner, and the source of Amber Gel.
  • Craft was an awakened magick user, but followed a tradition that the team had never encountered before.
  • Craft could summon spirits of a type the team had never encountered before.
  • Craft had killed Vincent Burroughs, using a summoned spirit to do the deed.
  • Euphoria was probably being held at Craft's production facility; the team had the address.
  • The facility was guarded by spirits and paranormal awakened creatures; the type, numbers and capabilities were unknown.
  • Craft was insane and obsessed with Euphoria.
 

Surprisingly, Robert Carrone was satisfied with the report. Even more surprising, he considered that the team had fulfilled the agreement to "locate Euphoria". Best of all, he was prepared to offer an even larger sum of money to break into the facility and retrieve her.

 

MegaMedia also loaned the team mil-spec heavy weapons and armor for the mission.

 

Byte Force: "I guess they expect us to charge in there, guns-blazing."

Dent: "They don't know us very well."

Audacity Jane: "I'm glad it's available. I want heavy firepower in reserve when, not 'if', we lose the element of surprise."

Eye Spy: "This really has you worried. Don't you think you can drop the guards before they spot you?"

Audacity Jane: "They're a bunch of ants. Ants. Hive mind. I'm expecting to lose surprise when I drop them."

Happy Jack: "Check all the loaner gear for booby-traps. Shaped charges inside the armor, tasers in the electronics ... I don't want to be surprised when MegaMedia tries to kill us."

Dent: "When?"

Happy Jack: "Ellery arranged the meeting between Carrone and me, as they demanded, then they killed him anyway. I'm expecting them to do the same to us, regardless of whether we succeed or fail."

 

Thanks to Craft's spirits, sneaking in was more complicated than usual.

 

Audacity Jane: "I don't like spirits as guards. It's hard to sneak past a guard that you can't even see."

Dent: "We can summon city spirits to conceal you while you sneak in. If you are spotted, they can also defend you."

Audacity Jane: "If we're spotted, have them attack the bug spirits instead."

No-Step: "You don't want them protecting you?"

Audacity Jane: "I would rather have them drawing attention away from me."

Dent: "We can also send in swarms of Watcher spirits."

No-Step: "No. Watchers aren't very bright. They can only follow extremely simple instructions."

Dent: "Simple instructions like, 'On my command, go into that building and kill bug spirits.'"

No-Step stared at Dent.

Dent (ooc): I program computers for a living. I'm accustomed to giving simple instructions to really stupid machines.

No-Step: "Our spirits are going to be outnumbered. They won't last long."

Dent: "They can kill all they want. We'll summon more."

 

What does a decker do when there's no network?

 

Byte Force: "Craft has no computer network in his lair. There's not much for me to do."

Happy Jack: "We need you to keep an eye on MegaMedia. They're going to betray us."

Byte Force: "You want to know when the inevitable betrayal happens."

Happy Jack: "I want you to make sure it fails. No pressure."

 

The infiltration worked better than expected. The city spirits prevented the bug spirits from detecting Audacity Jane and Happy Jack.

 

Audacity Jane: (peering through her spy scope into the next room) "I think we found our target. There's dozens of pods in here. Euphoria's probably in the big one in the corner, but there's no way to be sure."

Happy Jack: "Let me guess ... lots of bugs?"

Audacity Jane: "Lots ... but I see one thing that's not connected to the bugs' hive mind."

Happy Jack: "What's that?"

Audacity Jane pulled out her silenced narcojet pistol, eased the door open a couple inches, and fired several darts in rapid succession.

Audacity Jane: "Craft."

 

With Craft down, the spirits and drones were able create a diversion ... by launching a full frontal assault. Down in the basement Audacity Jane's targeted bursts dropped the possessed/mutated ant-human hybrids one after another. Happy Jack's insecticide-coated naginata carved through hybrids and materialized ant-spirits with equal ease.

 

Which meant it was time for the other shoe to drop....

 

Byte Force: "A full company of Knight Errant troopers just rolled up. They're supposed to go in and complete the mission if we fail."

Eye Spy: "What will they do if we succeed?"

Byte Force: "I am desperately trying to find the answer to that question."

 

A couple minutes later, Byte Force had his answer....

 

Byte Force: "The good news is, killing us is not part of their primary or secondary mission parameters." (pause) "The bad news is, their contract contains an optional clause to kill us if Robert Carrone requests it."

Eye Spy: "He's going to exercise the option."

Byte Force: "That's the really bad news. That option costs MegaMedia less than paying us."

 

It was time to call the Knight Errant captain on a private line and make a deal.

 

Happy Jack: (cutting in on the captain's private line) "Good evening, Captain. I would like to offer you some assistance with your contract with MegaMedia."

Knight Errant captain: "Who are you, and how did you get on this line?"

Happy Jack: "I'm part of the team that's rescuing Euphoria."

Knight Errant captain: "I'll pretend I know what you're talking about. What do you want? And why would I need your help?"

Happy Jack: "At this point you can fulfill all of your mission parameters and get paid with absolutely no effort and no casualties. All you have to do is convince Robert Carrone to pay us and let us leave unharmed."

Knight Errant captain: "And if he isn't easily convinced?"

Happy Jack: "You have lost strategic and tactical surprise. We haven't. I'm sure you can guess what kind of unpleasant surprises we have put in place just in case we're betrayed."

Knight Errant captain: "Like what?"

Happy Jack: "You seem unclear on the concept of a 'surprise'. Surprises are the things you don't get told about."

Knight Errant captain: "..."

Happy Jack: "So ... would you prefer to work with us and collect an easy paycheck, or work against us and lose most of your profit?"

 

And then it was time for final details. While the team generally preferred non-lethal solutions, for some opponents they made exceptions....

 

Happy Jack: (looking at the darts sticking out of Craft's chest) "Three narcojet rounds. That's a lethal dose, right?"

Audacity Jane: "I certainly intended it to be."

Happy Jack: "We should probably check to be sure he's dead."

Audacity Jane reached down, slashed Craft's throat nearly to the spine, then looked at the result clinically.

Audacity Jane: "I'm not seeing any arterial spray."

Happy Jack: "Me either. Definitely dead."

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