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Darren Watts

Quote of the Week from my gaming group...

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In the Avengers Next Generation game the team had encountered a group of Shi'ar imperial Guardsmen who were after a shi'ar child. 


During the second encounter, after we'd hid the boy and found them attacking the bridge, Ultra Man (Child of the Earthborn Smasher and a former Imperiall Guardsman himself) took the violent actions of one of his former comrade's badly and move throughed the flaming bastard into next tuesday - only to have the Shi'ar turn into a skrull!


Telling his team mates that the Guardsmen were Skrulls he flew back to go after the squad leader Manta.


At this point I decided to be clever and show her how I knew...I spoke to her in the Skrullian Tongue telling her I knew their secret.




She blasted me and shouted, "SKRULL!" Then hit him with a flash of impressive power.

Flummoxed, Ultra Man responded with, "NO! YOU'RE the skrull!"


I had misguessed, they weren't all skrulls. But the ones who were saw the Jig was up and took Manta before he could explain

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She blasted me and shouted, "SKRULL!" Then hit him with a flash of impressive power.

Flummoxed, Ultra Man responded with, "NO! YOU'RE the skrull!"


I had misguessed, they weren't all skrulls. But the ones who were saw the Jig was up and took Manta before he could explain



That's the problem with Skrulls. You don't know if your friends are really your enemies.


Back before 5th ed came out, I played the half-human son of Super-Skrull in a DC/Marvel combined universe. My character only had the powers of the Human Torch, but retained the full shape-shifting powerset. I also managed to con the GM into allowing regeneration on the grounds that I "shape-shifted my wounds away."


I was sad the game only lasted four sessions. I was looking forward to the big battle Royal between the Avengers and the Justice League (Thanos and Darkseid tricked the two teams into thinking the other team had been replaced by Skrulls. And this was years before Secret Invasion!)

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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 / Jonathan Bridges: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator

Mr. Johnson (NPC): the name used by/for anonymous employers


A Walk in the Park

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


Mr. Johnson wanted to hire the team for an "easy" extraction.


Mr. Johnson: "The target is a middle manager. She lives in a medium-security corporate subdivision. It should be a walk in the park. Literally. Every evening she takes a walk in the park, and that's where you'll meet her. Just make certain that she doesn't have a tail and bring her out of there."

Jonathan Bridges: "If it was that simple, she would be able to extract herself."

Mr. Johnson: "The target has even provided the extraction plan for you."

Jonathan Bridges: "Yes. I've added a surcharge for that."

Mr. Johnson: (frowning) "A surcharge?"

Jonathan Bridges: "If my team is going to be constrained by an amateurish plan, there is an extra charge."

Mr. Johnson: (raising his eyebrows) "Amateurish?"

Jonathan Bridges: "There's a code phrase. It includes the words 'Easter Bunny.' That's not the work of a seasoned professional."


The team came up with a two-part plan. The heavily wooded park was at the edge of the subdivision. Dent and Jane would sneak past security. Jack and No-Step would pose as city sanitation workers cleaning out the sewer along the target's path back to her condo. Dent would approach her invisibly, give the code phrase, and instruct her to walk to the van. When she reached the van, the pair would get her in the van (using a diversion if needed). Then they would calmly drive out of the suburb.


Eye Spy: (scouting with her drones) "I think this is a trap. I see a group of people in heavy armor in the park not far from the target. There's another group of people under some trees on the other side of her. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that they're wearing heavy armor too."

No-Step: "As much as I appreciate the warning, it might have been nice to know that this was a trap before we entered the subdivision."

Dent: "Get over it. We just sneak out before they know we're here."

Byte Force: "I hate to be the killjoy, but they may already know you're there. They could just be waiting for you to finish walking into the ambush before pulling the trigger."


The sneaky people believed that they could sneak back out again. The people who had bluffed their way in were in a somewhat bigger predicament.


No-Step: "I think we're going to have to abandon the van. As long as they know we're in here, they can just blockade the exits to the subdivision and keep us from leaving."

Happy Jack: "Then we just need to convince them that we've already left."


The escape plan:

  • Jane and Dent hid noisemakers in the woods about 30 to 50 meters from the security troops. Some of the radio-controlled, timed noisemakers sounded like assault rifles firing three-round bursts. The others sounded like heavy machine guns firing full auto. In the dark, they even produced realistic muzzle flash.
  • When the shooting started, Byte Force would disrupt all the security cameras in the neighborhood.
  • Dent would use Control Thoughts on someone driving a large vehicle. He would command the person to drive like a bat-out-of-hell out of the neighborhood and race toward downtown Seattle.
  • As the randomly chosen driver raced toward the subdivision exit, Byte Force would open the security gates and jam them open.
  • In the chaos, the team van's photoelectric paint scheme would be switched from the Seattle Sanitation Department paint scheme to the Aztechnology Security paint scheme. (The extraction target worked for an Aztechnology subsidiary.)
  • After any mobile security units pursued the decoy driver out of the neighborhood, the disguised van would chase after them, like they were part of the security force.

Eye Spy: "My van is built for sneakiness, not speed. It's not going to keep up with a car chase."

Happy Jack: "Yes. We will be unable to catch up with the people who are trying to capture us. I think I can live with that."


There was one final critical detail.


Happy Jack: "Eye Spy, make sure your drones get a full video recording of the trap being sprung."

Eye Spy: "Okay. Why?"

Happy Jack: "I'd like to show Mr. Johnson that the mission was FUBAR before we arrived."


Audacity Jane: (listening to the security guards fire thousands of rounds of ammo at the noisemakers) "I like to call this tactic, 'Much Ado About Nothing'..."


There were still some surprises provided by the security forces ... and some surprises provided by the team.


Eye Spy: "Incoming. A light attack chopper with a chin-mounted autocannon."

Audacity Jane: "Can it be flown blind?"

Eye Spy: "It has some sensors for night flying."

Audacity Jane: "No. No. No. Can it be flown BLIND?"

Eye Spy: "Oh!" (firing a flash grenade from a drone and air-bursting it in front of the helicopter) "Not really. There's no autopilot on that model."


During the escape, the team had almost completely forgotten about the target of the extraction.


Eye Spy: "They just loaded our extraction target into the back of a patrol car." (pause) "It looks like they're taking her somewhere outside of the neighborhood."

Happy Jack: "How big is her escort?"

Eye Spy: "Just a few guards in the car with her."

Happy Jack: "Eye Spy, give me an intercept course. No-Step, do you think you can stop that car?"

No-Step: "My city spirit has a power called 'Accident.' It's pretty good for stopping cars."

Happy Jack: "Good. Our target is no longer sitting in the middle of a trap. Let's go extract her."


Minutes later...


No-Step: "What's worse than having a city spirit crash your armored patrol car?" (pause) "Having the same city spirit materialize inside the car and kick the drek out of you."

Happy Jack hopped out of the van and jumped onto the roof of the patrol car.

Happy Jack: "Hello chummers. Guess which side of the vehicle you forgot to put firing ports into?"

Happy Jack knelt on the roof of the car, leaned over the edge of the car, shoved the barrel of his mini-grenade launcher into one of the side firing ports, and fired a NeuroStun gas grenade into the car.

Happy Jack: "Firing ports work in both directions."

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Agent K: Support character, Danger Sense, 4d6 Aid, 8d6 blast, Detect Life Forms, good list of disadvantages to make him not rely on the blasts too much. Also has a nice collection of contacts.


Rajid: Ex-military sniper. Wears the ear of the first person he took out. Suprisingly didn't take any crazy disadvantages just a hunted. Works good in long range, or close range for the most part. His scope has PSL's for range modifiers, night vision, thermal vision, detect range, etc. He should have no difficulty dropping people from a distance. Decent skills, especially a couple KS and PS that have helped him out. Player used to play a glass cannon that was only good for fights, loving him playing this style though.


Agent A: Interrogations/Coversations. High Presence (Campaign limit). New to RPGs, but learning quickly. Decent skill sets.


Rachel: The largest skill monkey, with some unique favors, and a computer link to a custom satellite. Also a new player who is picking up quickly. Has a DNPC: Rajid, so normally acts as his spotter. Also is a mental illusionist. Has contacts with Prosecuting Attorneys, Judges, and even a favor built for an Airstrike.


Carlos Ramon: NPC I have yet to have to use. Taxi-driver who can't pass up pinball machines. He literally has a power I found from Hero System Super Skills somewhere that is for pinball machines. A martial-artist with a decent gun, and ironically the only character with any combat driving for something in near future Manhattan.


Had this group of players literally waltz into the big bad's main lieutenants base, where they were outnumbered 14:4. They proceed to roll an amazing presence attack and convince the people in the room to surrender. Then they decide to grab the LT.'s radio and use Mimicry to tell the guards to leave their posts that cops were on the way. (somewhat true, as they also called the police in and police were en-route.) They succeed. Somehow a fight that I was planning on being tough for them (most enemies were well suited for neutralizing most advantages the team regularly deployed.), managed to be entirely circumvented in 3 rolls.


Players are planning on hitting a gangs base (the one in the preceding paragraph). Don't inform their bosses (the police and FBI), instead start trying to figure out a way to get in and get everyone. Half the players are honorable, have a CvK, or have a duty to protect the innocent. Never the less first two plans are:

1) Have the player with the Presidential Contact ask for a carpet bombing of the warehouse area in Manhattan where the gang is.

2) Have the other player who has an airstrike built into a favor, use said favor to level the area.


Later the players decide on a slightly better plan; the players are disguised as the robbers who went after the bank.


Guard: Where is Joe? Didn't he drive you?

Agent A: He did, but we had a run in with the cops. He caught a bullet in the fire fight. Cops got him.

Player rolls conversation with some penalties, and fails horribly. The players ask me how quick the need to drop the guys before people are alerted. I said they had till the enemies phase.

Rajid: I'm going to shoot the guy 2m from me.

Rolls and barely hits, then rolls the 7 Stun 1 body

Rajid: Apparently I just tapped him with my gun instead.

Agent K: I thought you were supposed to be a SNIPER.


Later on right about the end of the session.


Agent K. makes a danger sense roll.

GM: You get the feel an impending danger for Rajid.

Agent K. With my detect lifeforce can't I detect where frome?

GM: Your in a van going down the highways, you detect people all over. (He can tell where an alive person is not thier disposition or anything.) Roll your perception though.

Agent K: By 5.

GM: You notice a blacked out Humvee speeding up towards you.

Agent K: I want to take all 5 charges of my 8d6 small AOE blast with a trigger and stick them onto a brick.

GM: Ok. (Roll and see that there is a brick in the van). That will work. Now what?

Agent K: I open the door of the van and throw it in their window. Assuming I make it I will blow it up while blowing them a kiss.


Rolls and succeeds...


Needless to say yet again my players circumvented two battles I had planned on being difficult with no problems. They have yet to get shot at in the three battles they were in thus far. At least they are playing their characters well, even the two beginners, and my third campaign is going well. It's all been fun, which is the most important part.


EDIT: Added description of the players, and fixed the name I remembered now.

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The Kasserkratch! The notorious grand cruiser and monument to the Ruinous Powers, lost for centuries despite any number of efforts to locate and claim it. We've found it, now all we have to do is seize it. Easy, right? The way our starfort Promise of War can find its own way through the Warp, even without a Navigator, is still a little disturbing.

Cassius: This station worries me.

The system is a nearly bare red dwarf with one barely habitable rock, and a gas giant out in the Kuiper Belt.

Jrska: No innocent populations to pervert - Boooo!

There are, however, an unknown number of smaller ships nosing around waiting for the Kasserkratch to surface from the Warp. So far, they're avoiding us. It's a pity the Promise of War hasn't finished growing all it's new daemonic improvements - those harpoons would have been handy to keep us attached to the barely-ticking over derelict. Cassius casts the auguries, reading the necessary entrails.

Aladar: He has a steady supply of chickens.
Cassius: Chickens?
Jrska: Crew members.
Cassius: Whichever ones are under-performing the most. It's good for crew morale.

Aladar brings our smaller ship, the frigate Chains of Judgement, up alongside the grand cruiser, then surrenders control to the lesser bridge crew.

Cog: And the crew offer a prayer of thanks to whatever gods they believe in, that Aladar is no longer in the pilot's seat.

The Kasserkratch's deliberately confusing internal architecture is not going to be very useful for us at this point.

Joanna: It's designed to ensure boarding parties get lost and separated.
Cog: Oh, great. Guess what we count as.

Despite the ominous rumours, we go aboard already divided into three groups. No doubt we will regret this. Jrska, Joanna, their Kingfisher girls and Sisters of Pain, and Jrska's pet Daemonhost and pet moron Aladar are in one group. Cassius goes in with his Thousand Sons Rubric Marine and a complement of mutants. Cog goes in with the insane dreadnought, which should be enough to deal with anything. And we make sure to take plenty of comm-unit relays, balls of string, luminous paint sticks, and anything else that should help us not get lost, or cut open walls if we do.

Jrska: You know, I'm sure all these precautions have occurred to the other teams that have gone in here over the centuries - and it didn't do THEM any good.

Cassius: The problem isn't the gun, Aladar, it's you. You keep forgetting you have a big *long-range* gun.

Jrska: What orders do we give the crew if we're not back in 10 hours?
Cassius: If we're not back in 10 hours, us being missing is not the biggest problem. And the sealed orders will be 'HahahaHAhaHA - I'm not even sorry'

And things go awry almost immediately - Cassius' boarding compartment opens and he and the mutants get blown out into vacuum. That probably explains one of the more opaque warnings he got in his augury. He's untroubled by the lack of air, but the mutants are lost to the Void for now. And the Kasserkratch isn't visible through the hole.

Cassius: Aladar, I need to have a word with you about your parking skills. Nine kilometres of cruiser does not just disappear!

Jrska: Aladar, sweety, darling, why is the bridge telling me the Kasserkratch is where it always was? Ten thousand kilometres away?
Aladar: What??? You heard the hulls scraping together!
Jrska: I know. I want you to explain this discrepancy. Then explain it to our Lord Cassius.

There's archeotech that can confuse boarding attempts like this, but it's no doubt something even more diabolical. And the Kasserkratch is now showing damage it didn't have before.

Jrska: It was lost in the Warp, my lord - perhaps it is also unbound in time?

Cassius decides to let Aladar do something stupid, as opposed to the usual and Aladar doing something stupid of his own initiative. We fire up the Chain's engines and ram the derelict! The Chains shudders, bucks, and consoles explode all over the bridge as we throw ourselves about dramatically.

Cog: There's nothing explosive in that console! Nothing!
Aladar: And why did that wooden table explode?

Despite the obvious collision, the sensors still insist the Kasserkratch is thousands of kilometres away.

Aladar: I walk out the airlock.
Cassius: No need - this time it's not your fault.

The Kasserkratch isn't visible to our eyes, either - and there is no apparent damage to OUR ship either. Jrska suggests we just ask for permission to come aboard - she is the party diplomancer after all - but Cassius wants to trying getting the Kasserkratch between us and our Starfort and see if we can push all three together. And the damage on the Kasserkratch is now even closer to what the legends describe. Aladar wants someone to monitor the collision from outside. This is a bad idea - not even magboots would save your bones, if you were stupid enough to be standing on the hull - and there's also the problem of shrapnel.

Joanna: I'll happily ram the ships together if Aladar's standing on the prow.

At least the latest attempt exhausts any remaining power on the derelict - although it's suffering rather a lot of repeated ramming damage. Whoops. We've now made it match the legends. Jrska 'helpfully' prepares Joanna for a jump-pack jump across the vacuum - binding her wings down.

GM: You realise that'll hurt right? What with the jet-pack exhausts?
Jrska: Slaneesh cultists.
Cassius: The agony is a bonus.
Joanna: I look forward to the exquisite pain.

We attempt a second boarding. This time the Kasserkratch is actually there.

Cassius: Now we find out if life support is online.
Jrska: It may have been up until a few minutes ago.

We're promptly attacked by swarms of warp-tainted motes.

Jrska: We're being attacked by daemonic dust-bunnies?
Cassius: Nobody say 'Hey! Who turned out the lights? Hey! Who turned out the lights?'

The dreadnought opts not to unleash its flamethrower.

Dreadnought: The Master will be annoyed if I incinerate his minions.

Cassius, unwisely, uses Wind of Chaos, and nearly kills his own minions anyway. Just as well Cassius gave Jrska that Conversion Field ages ago. Jrska takes hold of either end of her daemonwhip and skips rope into the Netherswarm, shredding a large number of the minor entities.

Aladar: Cassius, do I need to worry about backstop?
Cassius: No!
Aladar: *fires Big Bertha*
Jrska: That's LORD Cassius, sweety.
Cassius: No, no, he's fine - I love that gun.

Admittedly, Cassius was in that direction at the time, so perhaps the shine has come off the honeymoon.

Cassius: *starts to chuckle evilly* I have a plan - it might even gain me favour with Tzeentch.
Cog: The 'I have a plan' is the scariest part of that.

Joanna: Permission to use my flamer, Lord!
Cassius: Go ahead - it's lascannons using me as backstop that I have a problem with.

Cog: Logic tells me there is no-one above me.
Cassius: ... eehhh. LOGIC tells you. Logic is just a way to be wrong with certainty.

Cog warms up his new Tzeentch-given lobes and opens a psychic vortex - which sucks Jrska up off the floor and halfway towards the rip in reality. This fails to amuse her. Joanna has it worse as the Netherswarm flows through her armour and tears strips of muscle off her torso - she's incapacitated by the pleasure of it. Aladar gets much the same, and since the silly boy switched his allegiance to Tzeentch he doesn't even get any enjoyment out of it. Jrska is irked by this as well, since her Conversion Field insulated her from this new sensation. And she's sucked even further into the air.

Cog: I can see right up her - oh wait, she doesn't wear underwear.

And then, even worse, Cassius critically botches his psychic perils check, and the Deamon Prince is banished into the Warp. For centuries.

GM: Every time he gets taken out it's by his own means!

Jrska OoC: I'm unlikely to live long enough to see you come back - I am mortal, after all.
Cassius OoC: Unless you become a Daemon Prince.
Jrska OoC: If I become a Daemon Prince who cares what happened to you? At least with you gone it's a good opportunity to seduce the others back to the worship of the One True God and Prince of Pleasure

And thanks to the mind link Cassius was maintaining at the time, the rest of us all get experience the transition up close and personal as Cassius' soul is turned inside out.

Jrska: Oooh, neat!

And because we never did the Ritual of Conjoined Fates, there's NO way the rest of us can bring him back sooner. This is starting to look like a Total Party Kill - no wonder nobody has ever come back from the Kasserkratch before - it's swarming with Vashta Nerada. On the other hand Jrska's double-Dutch skills are pretty lethal.

But we make it back to the Chains, and even we return with flamers to clear out the Netherswarm at this point we're going to have to put the campaign on hold - with Cassius lost in the Warp, his Crusade is going to need a major rethink, even with the rest of us to continue with The Plan. It would appear our GM will be taking a break to actually play, and I'll be running a Black Crusade campaign for a while as we give the existing characters a rest.

Jrska: The Kasserkratch will be reborn in fire. Lord Cassius will return. And he wants you prepare for his return. He's been sending you dreams.
Cog: About ponies. And apocalypse, but mostly ponies.

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D&D 5th Ed. - PCs are Lamech Judocus, a stoned gnome wild sorceror, Urlon and Elethndia (Elf and dragonkin ex-soldiers), hired to escort mining camp supplies, and distracted by a goblin attack on the wagon that had preceded us.

Having tracked down the surviving goblin, and interrogated him, Urlon debates what to do next. Apparently the dwarf back at the road was kidnapped because of some map he had, and the human with him carted off for food. What now? He promised to spare the goblin's wretched life, but if he leaves him here and heads back to fetch the others, the goblin could just run off and warn the lair of our approach. So he gags the goblin and ties him to a tree trunk four feet off the ground.

Urlon: If i get out alive, you do.

The approach to the cave in question has thick briar thickets to either side.

Lamech: You know... if I was a goblin I'd have guards in those thickets watching the approach
ALL: *turn to stare suspiciously at the shrubbery, but we all fail the Spot Check*
GM: No tar babies, goblin faces, Br'er Rabbits...

As it happens the goblins must have been too busy jerking off or something, since they completely fail to notice us strolling up to look closer. The subsequent carnage over, we wonder how we're going to protect the NPC cleric, who will prove to be the only thing that gets us out alive.

Lamech: If we find enough goblins in there we can strap them to him and he can use THEM for armour.
GM: Live kobold armour - aargh!!
Urlon: Done that.

Lamech probably doesn't have the right skill set for dungeoneering.

Lamech: You two are the survival experts here - the only wilderness skill I have is 'If I eat that mushroom, will I get high?'

He also has a somewhat impractical spell list.

Lamech: Continual Light? Why? Enough special 'shrooms and everything is covered in lights anyway.

The first chamber inside the cave has huge chained up dogs. They look at Lamech the gnome with some interest.

Dogs: [Chew toy?]

The goblins spot us coming and start their emergency plan - knocking down the weir they've built to contain the cave's central stream, and thus flood us out of the cave.

Lamech: It's Peter Weir and they're refilming The Last Wave

The cleric throws Lamech to an upper level, which spares him from the flood anyway.

Lamech: Bonus - they're drown their own dogs.

Lamech and one of the goblins run into each each other in the tunnel. Unfortunately for the goblin, Lamech was already holding his dagger out in front of him. They exchange horrified looks. Then, for want of anything better coming to mind, the gnome stabs him again.

Lamech: Gnome uses Stab! It's Super Effective!

The goblin leader, cornered, holds one of the missing people at the edge of a cliff and threatens to push him off. The dragonborn charges anyway, the hostage gets pushed, and the goblin jumps off afterwards to use the soft landing. Lamech manages to negotiate a truth - we take the hostage, and the surviving goblins grab everything they can carry and run off in the other direction.

Elethndia: You alright down there?
Hostage: *groans something incoherent that probably translate as 'No, you unbelievable bastard'

The goblins point us in the direction of THEIR boss, a bugbear who apparently knows why the dwarf was kidnapped, and why this unknown king wanted him and the map.

GM: You seen something hairy and incredibly ugly at the other end of the bridge - and it's not your mother-in-law.

Alas, the bugbear fights to the death - looks like we'll have to chase up more clues in town.

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Shadowrun 2050 - Characters include

Inkubus: Elven party animal and metal mage
Felix 'Bubbles' Bethke: Formerly an Aztech security mage, put on permanent leave for no reason he can figure out
Samantha 'Greenlight': Teenager whose entire family was kidnapped by Renraku corp.
Titus: Troll - party accountant and juggernaut
Labrat: Ork vehicle and demolitions expert
Warhammer: Dwarven sniper and merc

The Soft-eyed Man: The Renraku operative behind the kidnappings.
Kitty: Greenlight's fixer
Wormwood: Greenlight's mentor when she first found herself alone on Seattle's streets.
Jake: Greenlight's little brother - also one of an unknown number of experimental clones, at least some of whom have biochipped memories.

After wiping out five squads of Renraku Red Samurai and two helicopters, it is becoming evident that the megacorporation doesn't like us. .

Inkubus: I however would like to thank them for their continued contributions to my retirement fund.
Titus: I'm pretty sure they like us, they keep sending us more stuff to sell.

Although it does leave us in possession of more collectibles, although the fact they're still on fire and underneath a burning helicopter is a problem

Felix: Let's congratulate the auction winners on their purchase of increasingly rare intact Red Samurai armour.
Greenlight: Hey, Miss Kitty, I want to organise another auction - more Red Samurai stuff, slightly burned.
Felix: 'Fire Sale'

Titus: How many of the bodies can we throw into the back of the truck?
Inkubus: All of them.
Greenlight: If necessary we will strap them to the roof like deer.

Greenlight's player: *struggles to open jar of salsa*
Titus' player: Troll?
Greenlight's player: Troll. *passes jar*
Titus' player: *opens jar without difficulty*
Greenlight's player: I want to be a man too!

Labrat: I say we escalate
Greenlight: *playing with red samurai corpses like they're ventriloquists dummies* Hooo! You besmirch my honour!
Labrat: We are going to fuck up Renraku
Greenlight: SCANDALOUS!

Titus: You decapitated one with a stun baton!
Greenlight: Red Samurai helmets are awesome! Pity about the neck part.

Labrat suggests a row of Red Samurai heads on pikes in front of their corporate HQ, with broken katanas and a little sign saying "Red Burakumin"

Labrat: Untouchables. Lowest of the Low.

And, of course, inform Renraku's media rivals beforehand so they can film it. With any luck we can make the exec responsible commit Seppuku.

One of the Samurai's commlinks blinks. It's the guy that kidnapped Greenlight's family.

The Soft-eyed Man: Well? Did you get them?
Greenlight:.... Hi.
The Soft-eyed Man: ... you fuckers.
Greenlight: No. *takes off bandana* I'm THAT Fucker.
The Soft-eyed Man: Oh. Well.
Greenlight: I'm coming for you.
The Soft-eyed Man: Actually, I'd like to extend you an invitation. *signs off and texts coordinates*
Labrat: You realise this is a trap, right?
Greenlight: .... Yes it's a trap! I don't need a giant fishman to come up and say 'it's a trap!'

The coordinates are for a decommissioned oil-rig.

Felix: Boat again!
Inkubus: We already win :D
Felix: Well, we could really surprise them and hijack a sub.

Inkubus: They'll be locked up tighter than a nuns arsehole.
Felix: Speaking from experience, are you?
Inkubus: Well, if you have the right lubricant...
Titus: I did not need to know that.

Our ninja specialist starts prepping for a stealth insertion at night - infra-red goggles, etc.

Greenlight: I almost feel like Sam Fisher now, all I lack is the children and the gravelly voice.
GM: You have the children.
Greenlight: Oh shit I do!

Titus: It'll cost half a million to cover my armour in Diamond-Kote
Greenlight: Pimp my Troll!

Titus: I say we just blow the place up.
Labrat: I can do that.
GM: Goddammit.

Greenlight gets another message - it's 'Hoping for a family reunion' and photo of Greenlight's brother. With him the age he should be. It might be the original. Still, rigging the platform with C12 is a good idea - Labrat knows SCUBA. Of course, there are bound to be complications.

Greenlight: We're not leaving him in the water around a Renraku oil-rig! Can you say 'cybersharks?'
Inkubus: These ones WILL have fricking lasers.

Or paracritters, such as the ridiculous-looking but utterly lethal sea-wolves. On the other hand, with the assistance of Felix's water spirit, Labrat and Titus can park 20 miles away, zoom in and out, and only need the rebreather gear and dry suits just in case. Inkubus' summonings might be impossible, if the necessary conditions - such as fire - aren't available.

Titus: If Warhammer is around, you are always in a place with fire. Or that will be on fire shortly.

Inkubus stirs up the Seattle glitterati to start a flash mob in front of Renraku - with the rest of us utilising our street cred and 100K from the petty cash fund, we can get half of the city to show up. And likely a couple of dragons, who are probably wondering where all the humans are going.

Titus: Dunkelzahn shows up in full 70s disco outfit.

And when the heads on spikes get revealed at midnight, they'll see we used the same font they use for 'Red Samurai'.

GM: Most of the crowd will assume they're art installations, but Renraku will get the message.
Inkubus: Well, they ARE art installations.

And rival corp Fuchi will be there to film the lot - and Inkubus' shiteating grin - and make sure it appears on Japanese TV.

And when the reveal happens, and Renraku security is 'distracted' the rest of us will be paying a little visit to the Renraku airbase just outside town, and stealing all their choppers, flying them over the border, and hiding them.

GM: Are you going to blame this on an ecoterrorism group?
Labrat: It's an option.
GM: Oh shit, you're going to blow up an oil-rig. Of COURSE you are.

Greenlight calls his mentor, Wormwood. Who by a lovely coincidence is a Rigger.

Greenlight: It's time.

Felix takes advantage of the effects on Renraku's stock value, and gives his grandfather at Aztechnology the heads-up too. Even though Lone Star security shows up, they're not going to interfere in a raucous and non-violent street party of 50,000 people - ESPECIALLY since they're in direct competition with the Red Samurai for Asian security contracts.

Labrat: This is turning into a perfect storm of bad publicity for Renraku.

Renraku: Ok, which executive is responsible for this? Which executive just violated first tenet of corporate culture - 'Vendettas are not profitable'?

Plus, of course, we have a combat chopper, transport chopper, and drone-launching chopper, under camo-nets over the border.

Labrat: Are there any spirits guarding the oil platform?
GM: Surprisingly, no.
Felix: Well, you may have killed all their wizards when you wiped out all those Red Samurai at the auction.
Inkubus: Or the Astral Resources department at Renraku isn't talking to that exec anymore.
Titus: They're contemplating jinxing him bald. Or impotent. There's discussions.

Felix's own drone runs surveillance over the oil rig.

Titus: Now I'm picturing us scrawling 'Don't mind me, I'm an albatross' under the wings.

And with an air spirit making our boat invisible, hopefully whoever is on the oil rig won't know how badly they've fucked up until too late. But the Soft-eyed Man is looking surprisingly undiscombobulated when we spot him waiting for us on one of the gantries.

Titus: Maybe he hasn't been watching the news.

Felix does get some criticism for not bringing any weapons more formidable than a light pistol with gel rounds.

Felix: If you REALLY want to kill people I'll just push them off the gantries into the North Pacific, OK?

The Soft-eyed Man speaks to us over the PA - although we have no idea if he can see us, or even if he ACTUALLY knows we're there. Apparently he's arranged dinner in the rig's dining hall. We take our time getting rid of the guards first.

Inkubus: The thing I love about this party is we can legitimately say 'Mess with us and we'll sic Bubbles on you'
Titus: 'He took out a dragon once'
Inkubus: 'And where is he now?' 'Picking out a new dinner set'

Unfortunately, it's not until we've already killed a dozen of them that we notice they're all the same build, and take off their helmets. The Soft-eyed Man wasn't joking about 'family reunion' - we've just murdered a dozen clones of Greenlight's brother. Greenlight manages to maintain her composure, at least externally, but now we have to switch to non-lethal attacks. The Soft-eyed Man is apparently alone in the dining hall - we've already killed all the clone stormtroopers little brothers. Whoops

Greenlight: I have something to thank you for.
The Soft-eyed Man: Oh?
Greenlight: You taught me how to survive.

And during this whole speech Inkubus is invisibly loading a duffle-bag with the booze from the bar.

Greenlight: I'm going to give you 30 seconds to explain yourself before I kill you and throw your body overboard.

The Soft-eyed Man explains the whole deal with the kidnapping, cloning, stem-cell and biochip experimentation, and shifts blame to HIS boss. And THEN Inkubus reveals himself and Mind Probes the man. Apparently Greenlight's brother Jack is on the rig. And is his own security. And is a hulking black void in the Astral. And that the Soft-eyed Man is a biological telepresence - biochipped and remote-controlled.

The Soft-eyed Man: Did you honestly believe I'm HERE?
Greenlight: You're right, that was silly of me - STAB

Jack is a horrific example of somebody cybernetically altered into something more resembling combat drone than human. But he still has a human face in the middle of the machinery. Also, a rotary cannon. Labrat empties a clip into it, which does little more than stagger it.

All: Oh Fuck.
Greenlight: *with Commanding Voice* Jack! Stop!

Despite all the rewiring, the cyberzombie is actually given pause by his own sister telling him to calm his tits.

Jack: .... S-s-s-AM? I Cc--cc-ant STOP. RuN! *opens fire*
Inkubus OoC: Wait, it's attacking Greenlight in Hand-to-Hand? Great! 'Not only can I parry that, I can attack you, AND disarm you.'
Titus: Just don't parry his head off.

And Greenlight indeed manages to take her brother down. And asks for Labrat's knife.

Labrat: I'll do it if you want.
Greenlight: I need to do this myself.

But out of extra spite Jack's remains come with a 60-second countdown. We flee, and Labrat sets off his own bombs first. Which we learn later disables the small nuke Renraku set up.

Labrat: Nuclear bombs are one of the few WMDs that can be disabled by a guy with a small hammer.

Which further means Renraku is going to be in VERY deep shit when the authorities investigate the merely horrendous explosion Labrat prepared in advance.

Greenlight: Gentlemen, let me remind you - Renraku has been having a very bad day.

Felix: And the conspiracy boards are going to go nuts trying to figure out what they did with those three missing choppers.

And, of course, the various dead clones floating around. Inkubus, however, injects himself with a memory-wiping drug.

Inkubus: I don't want to remember cyberzombies. Or what I saw in that mans' brain.

Inkubus collapses.

Greenlight: I didn't expect you for a one-pump kind of guy! Ha-ha! Fuck, he's unconscious.

Greenlight goes home and checks on the young Jack clone she's been living with for over a year now.

Greenlight: Hey Jack, sorry to wake you up. Can I get a hug?

Then goes to sit in the shower all night.


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Gotta love Shadowrun; those are some great quotes.


Tonight was the 2nd episode of my latest Terracide campaign, Salvaging Hope: Part 1 - Omicron Uprising. I'll try to post some more quotes next week, but here's the best one from this session:


The crew of the interstellar salvage vessel Coprolite (the PCs) are preparing to infiltrate the Solar Express Corporation fast clipper Sovereign, a massive luxury liner, with the intention of hijacking it. A former Sovereign crew member, Talitha Borealis, is offering to help them, claiming to have knowledge of the ship's layout and security. 


First Officer Rene Damphousse: "Are you sure you know your way around the Sovereign?"


Talitha Borealis: "If I tell you there's a hot tub full of queso on that ship, pack a bikini and some chips."

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Why do I get the feeling that Inkubis and Jrska have the same player?


But ditto on enjoying the posts.


I'm still trying to convince my group to at least try a Cyber-HERO or Urban Fantasy game.


Not that I have the terrain or minis for it. *sigh*

Actually, I'm playing Jrska and Felix (and Vitus and Lamech) and Weldun is playing Cassius and Inkubus. I try not to let myself get typecast. If I was going to play another character in Black Crusade instead of GMing for a while, it was going to be a sarcastic, intense, whipcord-thin Nurglite assassin

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Duplicate post edited to this:


Given the dire events in both campaigns, there's both doing something different when we get back to them. We're going to quietly sail off to Hawaii for a few months until the heat dies down in Shadowrun, and Black Crusade is changing GMs, PCs, and setting for a while.


This spin-off campaign is going to be set on Sinophia, an Imperial World so financially and spiritually bankrupt it's amazing it hasn't fallen to Chaos already. I'm looking forward to running it, especially since the PCs are going to have to be paranoid and careful all the time lest they attract the attention of the authorities or torch-wielding mobs. Plus it gives me the opportunity to be really, really horrible to the PCs in their back-stories (and afterwards of course), as we explain how they fell to Chaos.




Bring umbrellas - on Sinophia it rains ALL THE TIME.

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So I bought Monster Hunter International for my friend Mike. While we were going over it, I noticed that Trolls have Distinctive Features described as "Easily Concealable."


Lucius: How?! (pointing to the page with the silhouettes of humanoids from Gnome up to Troll) No, an 8 ft tall Troll can't just go around pretending to just be a basketball player!


Mike: Aww, why not?


Lucius: Alright then, I'll play a Troll basketball player!


And it snowballed from there, so now I'm playing a young Trollop (so as to tone down some of the standard Troll's physical abilities - both because I wanted SOME points left to spend elsewhere, and because things like 4 or 5 levels of Damage Negation are a bit much.)


Talking to the other players, I've remarked "He wants to set the game in Washington DC. I guess he figures the city is crawling with monsters." Cue political jokes and remarks about the bloodsuckers at the IRS....


So far the characters are


Titania "Call Me Fiona" Melungeon, my character, a basketball playing  computer hacking female Troll


Kylie "Don't call me Crocodile Dundee!," a young woman from Australia here on the Monster Hunter's Exchange Program, with a boomerang enchanted by an Aboriginal shaman as thanks for saving some of the tribe's children from were-dingoes. 


John Lee Pettimore III, the hillbilly army veteran from the song "Copperhead Road" who inherited the family business of moonshining and branched out into more profitable prohibited substances. We took the write up from Surbrook's Stuff and expanded it.



Part of Titania's background is having been held captive as the "pet" of a pack of vampires, until rescued by a group of Monster Hunters who decided not to kill her too when she showed herself very enthusiastic about helping take down the bloodsuckers.

"Yeah, I loved being a princess rescued from terrible monsters by brave knights. When we were done with the vampires I offered a kiss to every one of those hunters. Even the chick. But being a princess held captive by a monster SUCKS. I don't wanna wait around to be rescued again, I wanna be the knight!"


So far, my best quotes are the stuff I put on the character sheet


List: "I am A Fantastic Princess Passing for Mundane"

1 1) "People WANT to believe everything they see fits into the world that's real to them.": Disguise 13-, Persistent (+¼) (6 Active Points); Limited Power Self only (-1), Limited Power Not vs Monsters, Hunters, or people who know that Monsters Exist. (-1), Side Effects, Side Effect occurs automatically whenever Power is used (Cannot use full STR; -½), Limited Power Only to pass for Human (-½)

Notes: "Seriously, if the thought crosses someone's mind 'that woman is a monster' then they see me acting all normal, they just dismiss that foolishness from their minds. In other words, people are idiots."

2 2) "Somtetimes it's hard to fit in. I mean, literally.": Contortionist 10-

1 3) "Who me?": Acting 12- (3 Active Points); Limited Power Only to act harmless and inconsequential (-1)

2 4) "Yeah, right. What are ya sayin', I'm from outerspace?": Persuasion 12- (3 Active Points); Side Effects, Side Effect occurs automatically whenever Power is used (Sarcasm; -½)

Notes: Can convince people what she's saying (or sarcastically implying) is true, but is so abrasive about it that they are alienated and repelled.

2 5) "Trolls have a tough hide that's tough to hide.": Concealment 10-


List:"Building bridges, forging iron weapons, using computers - Trolls have always been ahead technologically but never get credit for it."

3 1) "I'm installing Cinematic OS": Computer Programming 12-

3 2) "You wouldn't believe what I can do".: Power: Hacking 12-

3 3) "The walls have ears. My ears.": Bugging 12-

3 4) "Decode this: You have an eye dee ten tee error.": Cryptography 12-

3 5) "Hardware problem. Gimme a minute.": Electronics 12-

1 6) "How'd I get them to tell me? It's called social engineering. Also, people are idiots.": Conversation 12- (3 Active Points); Conditional Power Only online; not face to face (-1 ½)


List Athlete[/b]

2 2) "Yeah, yeah, I got a head start, very funny little man.": Climbing 10-



But I have had one actual in game quote I thought worth sharing.


Titania: (OOC) I get on the radio and report in. (BIC)"Calling Big Boomstick, this is Fairy Princess calling Big Boomstick. We have encountered a minimum of five, repeat, five, Giant Australian Hunting spiders. Three down and bagged, two fleeing north, we are in pursuit."

Mike, nonplussed: Your call sign is Fairie Princess??



Lucius Alexander


The palindromedary notes that Titania (or Fiona) is assuming the giant spiders are from Australia because 1) everyone knows Australia is crawling with aggressive venomous creatures, and 2) they showed up right after Kylie did as if they had come in on the same plane. Probably stowing away in the luggage.

edit: I was the only one to miss they Knowledge Skill: Monsters roll, so I made up what Fiona (or Titania) thought she knew about them

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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 / Jonathan Bridges: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator

Charlie (NPC): a fixer acting on behalf of an unknown employer

Humanis Policlub: a group of human supremacists


Association Para Noblis

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


Meeting with the fixer:


Charlie: "Have you ever heard of the Association Para-Noblis?"

Jonathan Bridges: "They're an elf-poser gang with corporate backing."

Charlie: "The APN has been murdering elves who don't believe in their 'Elven ideal' of skipping through the meadows while playing a fragging lute. My client wants them eliminated."

Jonathan Bridges: "They actually like lute music?"


The client wanted the six core members of APN killed, the tips of their (fake, surgically altered) ears cut off, and an envelope left behind in the leader's lap.


No-Step: "I'm not happy about doing wetwork, even against the APN."

Audacity Jane: "Don't worry. I'll do the wetwork."

Byte Force: "Let's keep the deaths to a minimum. Dead bodies leave behind living relatives ... and those tend to carry a grudge."

Audacity Jane: "Which may explain who is funding this job."

Happy Jack: "So we pin this on someone else. That way any retaliation is aimed at them, not us."

No-Step: "Humanis Policlub must hate the APN. They'll make the perfect scapegoat."

Eye Spy: "I'm not too fond of Humanis either."


The envelope contained a page from a book that the team had stolen on a previous mission. But since the author of the book was a prominent elven power player, Humanis Policlub didn't like him either.


Eye Spy: "I just had a horrible thought. What if we actually are working for Humanis?"

Happy Jack: "Then they're paying us to frame them for the crime they're actually responsible for."


Planning the strategy.


Audacity Jane: "Let's hit them during their weekly meetings."

Dent: "There will be over a hundred of them there at that time."

Audacity Jane: "But almost all of them will be in the same room. We can sneak in through the empty second floor, kill the electricity, then fill the meeting room with smoke and gas grenades."

Byte Force: "Normal humans, in a dark, smoke-filled room. They'll be sitting ... well ... sleeping ducks."


Happy Jack: "The client may believe that eliminating the leaders will eliminate the gang, but I have my doubts."

Audacity Jane: "Are we going for 'scorched earth'?"

Happy Jack: "I was thinking more along the lines of 'thoroughly plundered'."


The main assault went pretty much as planned. The team broke in through the empty second floor, snuck downstairs, and quietly dispatched a few APN members who weren't in the meeting. Then they killed the power, kicked open the door to the meeting hall, and filled the room with NeuroStun gas and smoke. The hearth spririts added their Confusion power to the normal confusion caused by the assault. Only a few people were still standing after the first blitz. They were quickly dropped by the follow-up.


GM: I would suspect that you guys read the module in advance ... except this is a fairly normal plan for you.

No-Step (ooc): Rock, paper, scissors kind of mismatch?

GM: Only two of them could see through the darkness and smoke. Only two of them could safely breath the gas. Nobody could do both.


During the raid, the runners found a little girl hiding under a couch. No-Step disguised himself as a human, then went to talk to her. Happy Jack was careful to stay out of the girl's line-of-sight.


No-Step: (crouching down to peer under the couch) "Are you okay, dear?"

little girl: "Who are you?"

No-Step: "I'm a Lone Star officer."

little girl: "You don't look like a cop."

No-Step: "That's because we're the SWAT team."

little girl: "Are you hurting the people who live here?"

Happy Jack: (speaking from outside the girl's line of sight)  "No. There's a barghest loose in the building, and we're trying to catch it." (pause) "The barghest is too big to fit under the couch, so you should hide there until it's safe to come out."

little girl: "I'm scared."

Happy Jack: "Just a minute. I have something that can help you."

Jack left for a minute, came back, and rolled a small spray to the little girl under the couch.

Happy Jack: "That's a bottle of barghest repellant. If the barghest comes in here, spray that and it will run away."

No-Step: (whispering to Jack as they left the room) "You didn't give that little girl a can of mace, did you?"

Happy Jack: (whispering back) "Don't be ridiculous. I found a thing of mint breath spray in one of the posers' pockets. I gave that to her."


The little girl wanted the team to save The Red Woman, who turned out to be one of the six gang leaders. Dent used Mind Probe on her, as well as on the other gang leaders.


Dent: "Nasty. I feel like I've been swimming in filth."

Eye Spy: "Don't you normally enjoy that?"

Dent: "They've been killing elves for the last couple years. Apparently Red is just beginning to question the morality of killing elves in order to 'save' them."

Eye Spy: "She's such a sweetheart. Doesn't that mentality give you a warm fuzzy feeling?"

Audacity Jane: "What kind of psychopath kills people in order to save them?"

Everyone turned and looked at Audacity Jane.

Audacity Jane: "What? I kill people in order to get paid. I don't try to convince myself that it's for their benefit."


No-Step: "I don't want the little girl to find a bunch of dead bodies. Particularly not the body of the Red Woman."

Audacity Jane: "No problem. I have practice making dead bodies disappear."


In addition, the Mind Probe gave Dent the account number and passcodes to the corporate funds that had been funneled to the APN. Byte Force also drained the gang members' personal credsticks.


Dent: "Too bad the money launderer is going to keep most of the money."

Byte Force: "On the bright side, the APN isn't going to keep any of their money."


And then there was the little matter of plunder.


No-Step: "If it's not nailed down, it's ours."

Happy Jack: "And if I can pry it loose, it's not nailed down."


Audacity Jane: "I found the APN's plans for attacking a bunch of high-tech elvish groups."

Happy Jack: "That's valuable. I can sell those plans to the intended targets."

Byte Force: "I doubt the plans are still viable, now that we've stolen all of the APN's weapons."

Audacity Jane: "That just means the APN's enemies will have an easier time when they launch a preemptive strike."


The APN leader's body was left on the stage of the meeting room, propped up against the wall. The words "ELF-LOVING PERVERT" were spray-painted above his head. His fake ear-tips were removed. The envelope was left in his lap, as ordered. Prior to the mission, Byte Force found a video of a Humanis Policlub demagogue ranting about elf posers. The video was burned onto a chip, which was left on top of the envelope.


When the rank and file members awoke, the other five core members were missing. If anyone wanted to find them they would have to pump the stomachs of a pack of ghouls. Not only was the APN missing many of its major assets, many other assets had been severely vandalized. With any luck, the corporate backer would write the APN off as a loss, rather than expend the funds to rebuild them.


In addition to the nuyen drained from the APN's account & credsticks, the plunder included dozens of SMGs, cases of grenades, some rocket launchers, several nice motorcycles and a lot of high-end audio-visual equipment.


Dent: "The weapons and grenades will sell really well on the black market, but we're going to get stiffed when we fence the AV equipment."

Happy Jack: "Fence it? We're not selling it. We just got a free home-entertainment system."

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I'm liking Fiona already


I have a feeling I'm going to resort to a lot of Insane Troll Logic tm


Lucius Alexander


The palindromedary argues that saying these giant spiders must be Australian isn't insane troll logic. Saying they got to America using the World Wide Web because obviously spiders can get around on webs WOULD be insane troll logic.

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In addition, the Mind Probe gave Dent the account number and passcodes to the corporate funds that had been funneled to the APN. Byte Force also drained the gang members' personal credsticks.

In addition to the nuyen drained from the APN's account & credsticks, the plunder included dozens of SMGs, cases of grenades, some rocket launchers, several nice motorcycles and a lot of high-end audio-visual equipment.

Ah, Mind Probe for fun and profit. Now, if only the rest of the team would remember that it's much easier to probe a conscious mind. But I suppose that I should take solace in the fact that they at least remember that it does need to be alive.

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I wanna be in that campaign so bad...


Sadly, that campaign ended more than a decade ago. Many of the players no longer live within 1,000 miles (and they didn't all move the same direction either).


A brlliant Shadowrun group of Players who's Roleplaying is a joy to read.

How long did they take to plan the job?


Thanks for the compliment.


Planning the missions took far longer than actually doing the missions. Someone on the forum has a .sig quote about Shadowrun being __ hours of planning followed by __ minutes of combat. That was very true for our group. Unless we were ambushed, we spent hours planning what we were doing.


We planned everything. We planned before going into meetings, including diversions and escape routes. Jonathan/Jack typically went into meetings with fixers and clients alone ... in order to free up the rest of the team to provide overwatch.


Ah, Mind Probe for fun and profit. Now, if only the rest of the team would remember that it's much easier to probe a conscious mind. But I suppose that I should take solace in the fact that they at least remember that it does need to be alive.


Even though it was never mentioned in the rules (that I recall), there was a piece of flavor text (I think it was in the 2nd Edition rulebook) that strongly implied that the target of a Mind Probe could feel the Mind Probe happening. That became a house rule for us.


Knocking someone unconscious, however, kept them from feeling the Mind Probe. Therefore, we typically knocked them out first. If the mage/shaman scores two additional successes, you still get the same information ... and the victim didn't know we had the information.

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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 / Jonathan Bridges: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator

Mr. Johnson: the name used by/for anonymous individuals hiring shadowrunners


The Adventures of Baron Munchmaussen - Getting There is Half the Fun

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


Unlike Drhoz's team, this team of shadowrunners was not hired by a dragon. (At least not directly. With dragons you never know.) Instead, they were hired by a normal Ms. Johnson in Seattle, and flown to Germany on a sub-orbital. From there, they took a train to the village of Schloss Munchmaussen. They were to break into the medieval castle overlooking the village, home to Baron Munchmaussen, an elderly troll. Once inside, they were to steal a rare book and leave a metal briefcase in its place.


Eye Spy: "Wait ... his name is actually Baron Munchausen?"

Dent: "He's a hypochondriac."

No-Step: "All the stories about him are greatly exaggerated."


Ms. Johnson made the travel arrangements ... and the arrangements for equipment to be provided upon the team's arrival.


Byte Force: "I'm taking my cyberdeck with me. I'm not trusting Mr. Johnson to give me a decent deck with useful software."

Eye Spy: "Isn't customs going to confiscate your cyberdeck? It's illegal."

Byte Force: "A legal cyberdeck has matrix identifiers. An illegal cyberdeck doesn't. My cyberdeck is a custom job. I can change it from a legal deck to an illegal deck by flipping a switch."

Eye Spy: "What if they look at the programs?"

Byte Force: "They're not going to recognize anything. I wrote them myself."

Dent: "Byte Force doesn't believe in documenting his software."

Byte Force: "It's called 'code' for a reason."


Byte Force did some recon through the Matrix prior to the trip.


Byte Force: "Baron Munchaussen is a paranoid, not a hypochondriac. The castle is covered in security cameras. There are cameras in all of the hotel rooms. It looks like there are even cameras in all of the private houses."

No-Step: "The walls have ears."

Dent: "The toilets and showers have eyes."


Byte Force: "Jack, I found the personnel files for the castle. You might want to look at the Director of Tourism first."

Happy Jack: "Is he an ork or troll?"

Byte Force: "No. She's the Baron's chief of intelligence. She's also a mage."

Audacity Jane: (laughing) "I think I like the Baron. He thinks like me."


Byte Force: "I can't quite figure out the castle interior from the camera angles. I could really use some humint."

Happy Jack: "I'll see what I can do. Send me the personnel files for any female orks and trolls on the Baron's staff."

Dent: "The females? Are No-Step and you going in drag?"

Happy Jack: "No. I'm planning on seducing one of the servants, then you can read her mind."

Dent: "..."

Happy Jack: "And I would really prefer to seduce one of the women."


Security on flights is a bit different in the Awakened World of 2051. Cyberware can't be confiscated for the duration of the flight. Therefore, passengers with dangerous forms of cyberware are required to wear cyberware restraint cuffs - CRCs. (This assumes that security detects and properly identifies the cyberware.) If the dangerous cyberwear is activated, the cuff applies a taser charge to the wearer. (Nastier versions contain an explosive charge instead.)


Eye Spy's player is the most pessimistic gamer I've ever met. She's perpetually convinced that a total party kill is going to happen in the near future.


Eye Spy: (while waiting for the flight) "Something terrible is going to happen on this flight, and we're all going to die. The flight is going to crash, or we'll be shot down by a missile, or something. I'm not sure what yet. But just watch."

Happy Jack: "For once, I think you're right to be concerned."

Eye Spy: "You're actually agreeing with me?"

Happy Jack: "Not completely, but we're going into a situation where we lack the ability to respond to a crisis. You can't fly a semi-balistic vehicle. You don't have your drones with you. We don't have weapons. For part of the flight, magick won't work. Accessing the Matrix won't accomplish much. Jane is good at unarmed combat, but she's wearing CRCs."

Audacity Jane: "And part of the flight will be zero-G. It's extremely difficult to fight in that environment unless you have training and experience. I don't."

Eye Spy: "Oh @#$%! This time, we really are all going to die."


Hijack - We Should have Seen This Coming (Actually ... We Did)

The hijack started when someone set off a smoke bomb, filling the entire cabin with smoke. Happy Jack grabbed a fire extinguisher, using his spare hand to brace against the ceiling of the cabin (preventing problems with zero-G).


Happy Jack: "I don't see any fire."

Audacity Jane: "But there are three of them ... headed this way."

Happy Jack: (cheerfully) "I have a fire extinguisher."

Byte Force: "Are you using that as a rocket?"

Happy Jack: "No. I'm using it as a club."


Dent: "They have cyberspurs. How come their CRCs aren't shocking them?"

Happy Jack: "I would complain that they're cheating somehow, but we cheat all the time."


The hijackers appeared to be as inexperienced at zero-G combat as the team was. That gave Happy Jack (fully braced) a tremendous advantage. His long arms and "club" gave him an additional reach advantage.


Eye Spy: (watching Jack smack the three hijackers around) "Sometimes I forget that you're almost as dangerous as Jane."


In the zero-G environment, Jack was able to smack the hijackers flying into the cabin wall for even more damage.


Dent (ooc): I'm having flashbacks to Champions.

Happy Jack (ooc): Nah. For Champions I'd need at least six more dice.


After the flight, the polizei wanted to interview Happy Jack, due to his pivotal role in thwarting the hijacking. The polizei seemed suspicious of Happy Jack. To complicate matters, Jack got the distinct impression that a polizei mage was using an Analyze Truth spell during the interview.


Polizist: "You must be very brave."

Happy Jack: "Not really. Just looking out for myself. If they crashed the sub-orbital, we would all die."

Polizist: "How did you manage to defeat three hijackers all by yourself?"

Happy Jack: "I'm a troll."

Polizist: (long pause) "You were unarmed, against three armed men. Jah?"

Happy Jack: (shrugging) "I had a fire extinguisher."

Polizist: "What made you decide to pick up a fire extinguisher?"

Happy Jack: "The cabin was full of smoke."

Polizist: "How could you tell the hijackers apart from the other passengers?"

Happy Jack: "They were heading for the cockpit, and they had cyberspurs out."

Polizist: "How could you see that, when the cabin was full of smoke?"

Happy Jack: "I'm a troll. I have thermographic vision."


The polizei eventually decided that they weren't going to catch Jack in a lie (and the flight attendent insisted he was a hero), so they let him go catch the train with the rest of the team.


Each time the train crossed from one petty German kingdom to the next, the passengers had to deal with customs officials and security forces. Finally, in one of the kingdoms, the "security forces" were indistinguishable from organized crime extortionists. They were even shooting their guns in order to intimidate the passengers into paying.


Audacity Jane: "Amateurs."

Happy Jack: "Leave the amateurs alone. I would rather pay a reasonable bribe to some amateurs, rather than prove to everyone that we're not."


Unfortunately, one of the bandits decided that he wanted Byte Force's cyberdeck.


Bandit #1: (in a Bavarian-German dialect) "Give me that."

Happy Jack: "You want what? Oh! You want money. Geld. Geld? Jah, jah?"

Jack stood up, pulled out the team's biggest, heaviest carry-on down from the rack and shoved it into Bandit #1's arms, nearly causing him to drop his gun.

No-Step's watcher spirit: (suddenly appearing behind the bandits) "DROP YOUR WEAPONS. I KILL YOU."

The bandits spun around. One fired a burst (harmlessly) through the watcher spirit. Happy Jack pulled the hardest carry-on off the rack and smashed it down on Bandit #1's head. Simultaneously, Audacity Jane stood up behind Bandit #2, pulled Bandit #2's sidearm from its holster, then used it to shoot Bandit #2 and Bandit #3 in the head.

Audacity Jane: "This car's clear."

Dent: "You should have let me cast a Silence spell. The gunfire will attract the ones in the rest of the train."

Audacity Jane: "These amateurs keep shooting their own guns in order to intimidate people. As long as I space my shots out, they aren't going to realize that I'm shooting their guns instead."


A second group of armed men showed up and started attacking the group extorting the passengers.


Audacity Jane: (as the team ducked down to avoid being struck by stray rounds) "This is very convenient."

Eye Spy: "What part of this do you find convenient?"

Happy Jack: "We no longer have to explain how these three men ended up dead."

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So I bought Monster Hunter International for my friend Mike....

And it snowballed from there,




So far the characters are


Titania "Call Me Fiona" Melungeon, my character, a basketball playing  computer hacking female Troll


Kylie "Don't call me Crocodile Dundee!," a young woman from Australia here on the Monster Hunter's Exchange Program, with a boomerang enchanted by an Aboriginal shaman as thanks for saving some of the tribe's children from were-dingoes. 


John Lee Pettimore III, the hillbilly army veteran from the song "Copperhead Road" who inherited the family business of moonshining and branched out into more profitable prohibited substances. We took the write up from Surbrook's Stuff and expanded it.

And then there's Don Gunn, the guy giving us our marching orders and Mike's "GMPC" who runs Don Gunn's Guns. He's not in it to make money - he just LOOOOOVES to sell guns. If you're not from around here (we're in Indianapolis) don't worry about not getting that, it's an inside joke.


I showed Mike the Base Template in Hero Designer, and he went a little nuts designing Don's eponymous emporium. I don't know what the walls are made of, but they have DEF and BOD scores I'd expect from bank vaults or main battle tanks. Speaking of tanks, there's a tank on the extensive grounds, of a type Mike went out of his way to state that no one would recognize.


Titania the Trollop: Are we going to get driving lessons for this thing?

Don: No, you are not getting driving lessons for this tank.

Titania: So it drives itself? Cool!



Don ("Big Boomstick" to Titania) doesn't know it yet, but Titania is going to hang a basketball hoop on that tank's gun to have a place to practice.


Speaking of practice we all got a little target practice on Don's Gun Range, once we argued him into letting us have the ammunition and charging it back to MHI as a training expense. Between Don's attitude and John Lee's, I expect haggling over money will be a major theme.



So. Our first assignment was to respond to a giant spider infestation in a public park. They attacked one at a time because Mike is getting used to the system and feeling out what would be a challenge vs. what would walk all over us. The last two take off running and jumping through the trees, and we pile in the pickup truck (borrowed from Don) and give chase.


John Lee Pettimore III is the only one of us with Combat Driving, so he's driving. He misses the roll by 1. Mike rules that he crashes into a tree.


I think someone said "Don's not gonna like that."


He (John Lee) fires one last burst at the spiders in hopes of wounding one so it leaks and leaves a trail, but misses. We end up heading in the direction they vanished into, eventually coming out on the north side of the park.


Mike, the Game Operations Director: You see no sign of giant spiders. Some passers by are giving you funny looks given that you're carrying heavy weapons. And a boomerang.


Titania, to anyone who pauses to stare: Counterterrorism drill. Carry on with your business.


We all stand still and shut up and listen for the sound of screams (indicating someone had seen the spiders.) Nothing.


Two thirds of the characters are skilled Trackers, but admittedly out of their element, and not even allowed to roll. So Titania whips out her smart phone. We're in Washington DC: There IS surely a spy satellite overhead, it's just a question of hacking into it. With an overhead view, maybe we can spot the spiders.Alas, I fail the roll.

Titania OOC: Okay, I'm going to roll to cover my tracks. (after making that roll) Now I'm indistinguishable from the 10 Chinese and 2 North Korean hackers who were trying to access that same satellite at the same time I was.


Reluctantly, we turn back to the damaged truck with three dead giant spiders in back. John Lee calls AAA for a flatbed.

Titania: You realize they're going to come into the park by the same route we took? Meaning they'll see the swollen corpses of two police officers and a couple of ordinary citizens that the spiders got before we showed up?


Titania OOC to the G.O.D.: You say the rear of the truck is undamaged? Okay, I'm going to pick it up by the front and pull it to the park entrance so it can be picked up there. There are advantages to being a Troll.


John Lee, back on the phone to AAA: Don't come into the park, we're moving it to the entrance. No, I DO still need the flatbed! We can get it to the entrance but no further, trust me.


Titania: Yeah, there's no way I'm hauling this thing any further than I have to. (Titania Melungeon is a lazy Trollop. I took an Extra END Limitation on a portion of STR, and a Costs END Limitation on the ENDurance itself - so that every time I expend END, I have to expend 1 extra. I figure my character will be exhausted.)


Titania OOC: Before AAA gets here we cover the spiders with a tarp, and I put up the signs.

Mike the G.O.D: Signs?

Titania OOC: Yeah, the ones that say "Temporarily Closed to the Public" and "Exercise in Progress." I know we have signs like that in the truck, hiding the monsters from the public is part of the job description.

Kylie OOC: Then fitness fanatics will see "Exercise in Progress" and come in to join the exercise.

Titania OOC: Really? When I see the word exercise, I turn the other way.



One of us can ride in the truck. John Lee takes it because he wants to be there when Don sees the truck so he can immediately start negotiating to pay to have it fixed. He figures he wrecked it, he'll pay for it, and he has the Wealth perk (his regular business is profitable apparently.) But he is starting to wonder if monster hunting is going to be a paying sideline.


Titania OOC: FlatBED? Bed sounds like where I want to be. After hauling the truck onto it, I lie down there.

Mike: There's no room.


Kylie has Direction Sense (why the heck is it called "Bump of Direction" anyway?) and good Navigation skills and is accustomed to hiking for days in the Australian outback, and wants to get to know the city better anyway, so it's obvious how she's getting back to base.


Titania is tired and goes to rest under the tree we hit.


John Lee gets through his negotiations, and Kylie does her walkabout, and then it's back to me. I get out the smart phone and then log onto the MHI site and look up the bounty for giant spiders, and then for animated trees. (in reality, I had my laptop handy and have the game in PDF.) Then I call Don.


Titania: Hello, Don? Yeah, I was looking up the bounties and I can't find the bounty for an animated tree.

Don: Animated tree?!

John Lee OOC: I wish I'd thought of that

Titania: Yeah, the one that saved the giant Australian hunting spiders by jumping in front of us. You saw what it did to the truck? Anyway, do I need to bring the whole tree in for a bounty? (I lean against the tree and begin exerting my Trollop STR, so he can hear it creaking as I start to push it over.)

Don: Leave that tree alone, you can't collect a bounty on it!

Titania: We can't? Anyway, I think I hear the MCB people down by the entrance and I don't want to run into them, I'm going to go catch a bus back to base.


Note for the uninitiated: In Monster Hunter International, the MCB is the Monster Control Bureau, a super-secret government agency that licenses and regulates monster bounty hunters, and insists on keeping the public at large completely ignorant of the existence of monsters. My character IS a monster, but I paid points for a Perk to be bounty-exempt, but I still want to keep out of their sight.


Kylie OOC: Can you even fit on the bus?

Titania OOC: I have Contortionist. I figure I'll go to the back, sit on one side of the aisle, and stretch my legs into the seat on the other side. On the long ride, I'll be on the smart phone setting up a website to sell Giant Australian Hunting Spider Repellent. I figure if it gets any hits, it's from people who saw our spiders.

John Lee OOC: What are you going to do, sell them grenades as spider repellent?

Titania OOC: No, I figure we show up and tell them WE ARE the giant spider repellent.


I'm the last to make it back to base, and start writing up the team's report on the incident. I mention that 5 spiders were spotted, 3 were killed and collected, and the other 2 escaped with the assistance of an animated tree that interfered with the pursuit. I include a suggestion that a bounty be established for such trees, as they are a definite hazard to vehicular traffic.

Mike: Your character is much too smart to believe that.

Me: Did I say she believes it? I said it's what's going in the report. Once that's done, Fiona is taking a nap.



That's probably enough for now. To be continued...


Lucius Alexander


The palindromedary explains that Lucius is sticking to the name Titania in these accounts on the assumption that wanting to be called Fiona is something the Trollop will probably grow out of.

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