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Darren Watts

Quote of the Week from my gaming group...

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Commandant: "Americans. I should have known. You won't get away with this." (yells loudly) "Release the Ubersaur!"

A massive Tyrannosaur bursts from the dinosaur barn. It is covered in armor plates. It has an anti-tank gun mounted on its back. Five soldiers man the anti-tank gun, while a sixth guides the Ubersaur.
Kent Woolsley: "Ubersaur? Couldn't you come up with an original name? This could be a movie someday."


There is a computer game like that - "Dino D-Day":





And thus our final adventure will be a full-scale assault on Renraku Arcology, and getting paid to do something we would have done for free.

Maxim 38: "Just because it's easy for you doesn't mean it can't be hard on your clients."

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That's Pulp done right.


Yes. It's amazing what a game turns into when you have a great GM and a team of great roleplayers.


Definitely a flexible GM. He didn't even blink when the ubersaur got two-shotted.




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
Jonathan Bridges / Happy Jack: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator
Topal (NPC): a raven shaman, and the team's temporary employer
Bottled Demon (my least favorite module of all time)
This module was previously described by Drhoz (here).
While out maintaining ties with fixers and potential employers, Jonathan was approached by an obese, unhealthy looking man with a metal briefcase handcuffed to his wrist.
Topal: "Thank the stars! We must talk at once! You can't know what I've had to do to find you!"
Jonathan Bridges: "Most people call a fixer, then pay some money. The fixer puts them in touch with me."
The Penguin: "Let us retire to a restaurant and enjoy our midday repast. Time is of the essence, and there's business to discuss."
Jonathan Bridges: "Your offer of lunch is appreciated, but if this is time-critical, we can skip lunch and discuss business first."
They sat down in the restaurant to discuss business, while Topal crunched jawbreakrs non-stop...
Topal: "I require the services of several bodyguards to accompany me to a business meeting tomorrow morning. I have sought you out because of your reputation."
Jonathan Bridges: "It must be an unusual bodyguard job, if you were directed to us."
Topal: "The location must, of course, remain a secret, but I can tell you it will take no more than three hours of your time, start to finish."
Jonathan Bridges: "We specialize in secrecy. That's probably why you were referred to us."
The two negotiated a price for the services, with half paid immediately, and the other half paid upon completion.
Topal: "I knew I could count on you. Meet me here at 3am. Don't be late. Bring your own transportation. I will be travelling in a separate vehicle."
Jonathan Bridges: "If you have a suitable vehicle, we'll just put one or two guards with you. The rest will be in my team's vehicle. If your vehicle isn't suitable, you'll ride with them."
Topal: "Yes. Yes. My vehicle is perfectly suitable."
Topal stood up to leave.
Jonathan Bridges: "Aren't you forgetting something?"
Topal: "What's that? I paid you half up front already."
Jonathan Bridges: "What's the location of the meeting? My team needs to check it out in advance."
Topal: "Its. A. Secret."
Jonathan handed the credsticks back to Topal.
Topal: "What's this?"
Jonathan Bridges: "I'm returning your advance. We're refusing the job. My team isn't going to allow you to get killed by walking into an ambush. If you want to get killed that way, hire someone less competent."
Topal: "I can't have you scaring off the people I'm meeting with."
Jonathan Bridges: "Several members of the team specialize in being unseen. Furthermore, anyone who works in the shadows expects that sort of precaution."
Topal argued, but Jonathan absolutely refused to budge on the issue. Eventually, Topal caved.
Topal: (clearly unhappy) "The meeting is at Black's Junk Yard, in the Puyallup Barrens."
Eye Spy: (eavesdropping over Jack's radio link) "Tough neighborhood. We'll have to dress 'appropriately'."
The team spent the evening scouting the junkyard, which turned out to be a security nightmare (even with Eye Spy's drones providing overwatch).
Audacity Jane: "Too many ways in. Too many places to hide. No clear lines of sight. If I wanted to pick off a heavily guarded target, I'd tell him to meet me here."
Byte Force: "So how would you guard him?"
Audacity Jane: "Anyone want to volunteer to be a body double for Topal?"
No-Step: "That probably won't work. Topal is awakened; probably a shaman. His business probably involves magick. They may not be able to see through a Physical Mask spell, but if they have the ability to assence the astral, they have a good chance of recognizing the spell."
Happy Jack: "And Topal is a really difficult client. He'll probably refuse to have a body double." (long pause, followed by an evil grin) "I have an idea, but it will only work if they have someone assence him."
No-Step: "You're going to use a physical disguise?"
Happy Jack: "Nope." (pause) "Dent and No-Step, I need a professional opinion. If we were after a target, and you spotted him, but then realized that there was a Mask spell on him, what would you tell us?"
Dent: "It's a trick; a distraction. That's not the real target."
No-Step: "Yes" (pause, dawning realization) "Damn you ... you're ..."
Audacity Jane: (interrupting) "You're a sick man, Jack. You want to use Topal as his own body double."
Happy Jack: "If you really want to lie to someone, tell them the truth in a completely unconvincing manner. They'll be sure they've caught you in a lie ... and they'll believe anything except the truth."
Bodyguarding a difficult client in the middle of an ambush. What could possibly go wrong...?

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Quotes from Owlcon #5
Adventure! (Pulp Fiction)
The Deadly Danger of Dinosaur Island
Where did a Hollywood producer get a dinosaur? Why did someone try to kill him for the secret? It's up to the Aeon Society to uncover the truth and set things right.
Cast of characters:
"Cactus" Carolina Vasquez: cowgirl and trick shooter
Lavonne White, "The Silent Spectre": female homage to The Shadow
The "Unbreakable" Dr. Samuel Glass: Doc Savage homage with a mechanical hand
Kent Woolsley, star of the silver screen: action star and ladies' man
Cicero de Valentine (NPC): legendary Hollywood producer
Cicero de Valentine is hosting one of his legendary parties. He gets the crowd's attention, and unveils a large dinosaur (an Allosaur) in a cage.
Cicero de Valentine: "We are going to make this magnificent beast into a movie star."
Carolina Vasquez: "Does he memorize his lines or use cue cards?"
The dinosaur bursts out of the cage.
Carolina Vasquez: (excited) "I ain't never seen a critter like this before, and I shore ain't never ridden one!"
As Carolina and Dr. Glass engage the dinosaur, The Silent Spectre dives under a tablecloth in order to change into her costume.
Silent Spectre: I quietly curse the need for a secret identity.
The dinosaur looks confused.
Carolina Vasquez: (to the dinosaur) "Honey, It's only goin' to get weirder from here."
Dr. Glass' exploding fire extinguisher impairs the dinosaur, but fails to freeze it in place.
Dr. Samuel Glass: "Obviously I need a bigger bomb ... or a bigger stick."
Carolina lassoed the dinosaur's muzzle.
GM: Your plan goes awry when the dinosaur lifts his head, leaving you swinging from the end of the rope.
Carolina Vasquez (ooc): Actually, that's still well within my plan.
The trio gets the dinosaur back into his cage, but the perceptive Dr. Glass notices flashes coming from Valentine's office during the chaos ... and a man in a black leather trench coat and hat fleeing the scene.
Kent Woolsley: (arriving late to the party) "I seem to have missed the party. What happened?"
Dr. Samuel Glass: "Sabotage, murder, an escaped villain ..."
Kent Woolsley: "So it's Tuesday?"
Kent and Dr. Glass enter Valentine's office, and find Valentine slumped against the wall, bleeding out from multiple bullet wounds.
Kent Woolsley: "Valentine, old chap, this is not a good look on you."
The German villain failed to get what he was after, a scrap of paper with the coordinates to Dinosaur Island on it.
The Aeon Society members hire a seaplane to take them out to the coordinates on the paper. To no-one's surprise, they find an uncharted tropical island at the coordinates. Minutes after making this discovery, the plane is riddled by bullets. The plane is being chased by members of the German Expeditionary Force, who are riding enormous pterodactyls and firing machine guns.
Carolina Vasquez: (eyes lighting up) "I want to ride one of those!"
One engine is struck by bullets and bursts into flame.
Pilot: "This flight is about to get rough!"
The Silent Spectre: "Take this plane down and land it."
Pilot: "Land it where?"
The Silent Spectre: "See the big blue parking lot below us?"
While The Silent Spectre, Carolina and Dr. Glass take their toll on the pursuing Germans, Kent gathers the packs and parachutes in preparation for a rapid evacuation.
Kent Woolsley: (handing a parachute to the pilot) "Here you go."
Pilot: (pulling the parachute on) "Thanks!" (bails out of the plane, leaving the Aeon Society members behind)
Kent Woolsley raids the wet bar, bails out of the plane, and lands on the last pterodactyl, right behind the German soldier. Immediately afterwards, Carolina lands on the pterodactyl right in front of Kent, kicking the German off in the process.
Carolina Vasquez: "Kent, you saved me a seat."
Kent Woolsley: (handing her a beer bottle) "And a drink."
Carolina guides the pterodactyl to a landing on the beach.
Carolina Vasquez: (shooting the pterodactyl in the back of the head) "Whoa."
There is a German Expeditionary Force camp on the island, complete with an electrified fence, guard towers, barracks, docks, submarine and a dinosaur stable.
Dr. Samuel Glass: (looking through binoculars) "I don't see where the leader's office is."
Carolina Vasquez: "They're German. Doesn't the Commandant's office always have flowers outside?"
The plan is simple:
  • Dr. Glass and Kent will dress up in German uniforms.
  • They will bluff their way into the camp.
  • Kent will steal documents from the Commandant's office.
  • Dr. Glass will sabotage the generator.
  • Carolina and Silent Spectre will stampede a herd of dinosaurs into the camp.
  • The team will escape by submarine.
Step two could cause some problems. Dr. Glass speaks German, but he's not particularly good at subterfuge.
Dr. Samuel Glass: "Do you know any German, Kent?"
Kent Woolsley: "I know a few lines of German. I learned them phonetically for a movie role. I'll be fine."
Dr. Glass and Kent, looking battered and bloody, approach the camp gate.
Dr. Samuel Glass: (yelling to the soldiers at the gate) "A plane crashed. We were attacked by the survivors. We are all that are left."
The German soldiers stare suspiciously at Dr. Glass.
Kent Woolsley: (emphatically) "Jah. It vas terrible. It vas terrible. Herr Doktor! Where is Herr Doktor?"
German soldiers: (nodding) "Jah, jah. Herr Doktor."
The pair are led to the doctor's office for treatment.
The two are left alone with the doctor. Then Kent knocks the doctor out, and the two are alone. It's time for a costume change...
Dr. Samuel Glass: "I have a clipboard and a lab coat. I know how to play this role!"
The plan goes well. The generator explodes. Seconds later, the herd of dinosaurs stampedes into camp.
Dr. Samuel Glass: (excited) "How many times does a scientist get to cut loose and watch a social experiment unfold."
Dr. Glass wades into battle with a group of German soldiers.
Dr. Samuel Glass: "Sometimes you need to break a few heads for science."
Kent Woolsley: "I thought that was 'eggs'."
Dr. Samuel Glass: "Well ... they're called eggheads."
Dr. Samuel Glass: (grabbing a soldier's rifle and punching the soldier in the face) "This is what I call a 'weapon upgrade'."
While Dr. Glass confronts some soldiers, Kent squares off with the Commandant. But the Commandant has a surprise up his sleeve...
Commandant: "Americans. I should have known. You won't get away with this." (yells loudly) "Release the Ubersaur!"
A massive Tyrannosaur bursts from the dinosaur barn. It is covered in armor plates. It has an anti-tank gun mounted on its back. Five soldiers man the anti-tank gun, while a sixth guides the Ubersaur.
Kent Woolsley: "Ubersaur? Couldn't you come up with an original name? This could be a movie someday."
The Ubersaur's anti-tank gun fires, striking the dinosaur Carolina is riding and killing it instantly. Carolina slides off the dinosaur and shoots the soldier holding its reins. He slumps to the side, causing the Ubersaur to start turning around in circles.
The Silent Spectre: (looking around the camp) "I can't possibly add to this chaos. I'm going to secure our escape route." (she heads toward the submarine)
Carolina Vasquez: (cheerfully) "I can definitely add to this chaos."
As the Ubersaur turns so its back is towards Carolina, she fires a bullet at one of the anti-tank rounds in the ammo hopper, striking it in the primer.
GM: There is a massive explosion. The Ubersaur collapses, torn nearly in two. Pieces of metal rain down all over camp ... And the Germans have discovered a design flaw in their Ubersaur.
The Commandant twists his cane ... and pulls out a sword. Kent responds by pulling out his umbrella. They fence....
Kent: I stab him in the monocle with my umbrella.



Sounds like this'd be good prep for watching the second Iron Sky movie (whenever it comes out) :snicker: ...



Major Tom 2009 :eg:

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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

Jonathan Bridges / Happy Jack: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator

Topal (NPC): a raven shaman, and the team's temporary employer


Bottled Demon (my least favorite module of all time)

This module was previously described by Drhoz (here).


The team had been hired to protect Topal at a meeting taking place at Black's Junk Yard.


The team prepared the meeting site by seeding it with radio-activated noisemakers. If necessary, they could distract threats by creating simulated gunfire in nearly any part of the junkyard. Dent and Jane stayed behind (hidden) to keep an eye on the place. Eye Spy also parked two of her drones (lighter-than-air drones in station-keeping mode) over the junkyard. Then the rest of the team headed back to town.


Topal met them promptly at 3am ... driving up in his runabout.


Eye Spy: "That's his idea of a 'suitable' vehicle for a trip into the Barrens? Jack, I think you outweigh his car. You definitely have more armor."

Happy Jack: (to Topal) "Unless your car is bulletproof, you're riding with us."

Topal: "But..."

Happy Jack: "And if you're not sure whether your runabout is bulletproof, we'll be happy to test that right now."


Topal decided he would ride in the team's van, instead of having his runabout turned into swiss cheese.


Eye Spy's van had photoelectric paint, so the color/design could be quickly changed to a wide variety of preprogrammed schemes. Eye Spy always tried to use paint schemes that would be left alone.


Eye Spy: (accelerating) "We've got a dozen go-gangers chasing us."

Byte Force: (to Eye Spy) "What paint scheme are you using?"

Eye Spy: "HAZMAT !! What kind of idiot goes after HazMat?"

Byte Force: "So we're being attacked by illiterate go-gangers..."

Happy Jack: (with his grenade launcher at the rear gunport) "Stupid ... soon to be blind and stupid."

Jack airburst a flash grenade in front of the go-gangers, then followed it up with a thermal smoke grenade. To add insult to injury, No-Step commanded his city spirit to use its Accident power on the go-gangers.


Surprisingly, three of the go-gangers were lucky enough to be able to avoid crashing and continue the pursuit. Eye Spy, not to be outdone, triggered the van's thermal smoke generator and lubricant sprayer, then threw the van into a 90 degree bootlegger skid.

go-gangers: [WHAM, WHAM, WHAM] (into the armored side of the van)

Eye Spy: "You boys aren't the only ones who know how to cause an accident."

No-Step: "We know that you can cause accidents. You do that with your normal driving."


Eye Spy hid the van a few blocks from the junkyard. She and Byte Force stayed in the van, while Topal led Jack and No-Step to a secret tunnel leading under the fence.


Happy Jack: (stopping Topal from going through the tunnel first) "You don't go first. One bodyguard goes first. One bodyguard goes last. You stay in the middle."

Topal: "Who goes first and who goes last?"

Happy Jack: "If things are going well, you follow me. If shooting starts, you follow him." (pointing at No-Step)


The tunnel was almost too small for Happy Jack (and Topal) to fit through.


Happy Jack: (to No-Step) "New plan. If things go sideways, we choose another exit."

No-Step: "Any preference?"

Happy Jack: "This place is surrounded by a fence. If I'm in a hurry, I'll make an exit."


The meeting with the elves was to take place in a large clear space in the middle of the junkyard.


Elf #1: (speaking loud enough to be heard) "Are you ready, Raven-man? I am here for the trade."

Topal: (quietly and clearly frightened) "This is wrong. All wrong. Take this." (trying to hand the briefcase to Jack)

Happy Jack: (interposing himself between Topal and the elf) "What is 'all wrong'?"

Topal: "Stay here with the briefcase. I'll go talk to him."

Happy Jack: (placing his massive hand on Topal's chest) "No. You tell me what is wrong. You stay here. I go talk to the elf."

Topal: "He's not the one I made the deal with."

Elf #1: (suspiciously) "What's going on over there, Raven-man?"

Happy Jack: (to Elf #1) "You're not the one my client here made the deal with."

Elf #1: "You deal with me, Raven-man. I have the oath price. Where is your part of the bargain?"

Happy Jack: (to Topal) "Do you actually care who you close the deal with? I'm flexible if you are."


[rant]This is one of my big problems with this module. Topal hired bodyguards. His bodyguards for the evening cost far more than his personal vehicle. And when things looked like they were about to go really wrong, Topal wanted to walk into the killzone alone ... and he wanted his bodyguards to stay back where it was safer.[/rant]


And this was the point when everything went sideways.


Eye Spy: (over the radio link) "It's a setup. Lone Star is here. Go, go, go!"


Everything went sideways ... for everyone ... especially the GM.


According to the module, the PCs and the elves are both supposed to assume that the other betrayed them, and a three-way fight is supposed to break out between PCs, elves and Lone Star ... with plenty of opportunities for Topal to take a stray shot and die.


Things going sideways (for all parties):

  • Byte Force triggered the noisemakers around Lone Star, and the ones behind the elves.
  • Everybody was surprised. The elves were surprised by the arrival of Lone Star. The PCs and elves were surprised that Lone Star managed to sneak some light helicopters overhead without being heard in advance. The helicopters were surprised to discover that some stealth drones were parked even higher overhead. And Lone Star and the elves were suprised to find themselves outflanked. (Mostly outflanked by noisemakers, but that was still pretty surprising.)
  • Everyone assumed that they were in a trap.
  • Jack reacted to the warning by grabbing Topal to his chest, shielding him from the elves ... and any other stray shots.
  • Jane reacted to the warning by shooting Elf #2 and Elf #3 (the mages) with narcojet rounds.
  • Elf #1 fired a SMG burst into Jack's armored back, but it was too small of a caliber to leave much impression. Elf #2's Power Bolt left even less of an impression on Jack's back.
  • Further fire from the elves was prevented when Eye Spy's drone dropped a flash grenade and a thermal smoke grenade between the elves and Topal/Jack/No-Step.
  • Everyone dove for cover ... mostly to avoid being attacked by noisemakers or unseen opponents.
  • Lone Star and the elves started returning fire ... mostly at the noisemakers.
  • With everyone distracted by the chaos, the team ignored the other combatants, headed for the quietest corner of the junkyard and slipped out.
  • And finally ... despite having avoided all overt threats, Topal slipped into a delerium as the team drove away.

No-Step knocked himself out (literally) trying to heal/cure whatever was wrong with Topal. Since he was unsuccessful, it was up to Eye Spy, the team paramedic, to try to save his life.


Eye Spy: "Other than basic life support, I don't know what to try. I don't know what's wrong with him."

Byte Force: "Does he have any medical conditions that could be causing this?"

Eye Spy: "How am I supposed to know that?"

Byte Force: "You're not. Dent, does he have any medical conditions that could be causing this?"

Dent: "I'm not a healer. How am I supposed to know that?"

Byte Force: "You're a mind reader. Remember?"

Dent cast Mind Probe on Topal.

Dent: "There's some kind of idol in the briefcase. Topal thinks it's killing him. That's why he was trying to get rid of it ... by selling it." (long pause) "WOW !! It's a really powerful focus."

Audacity Jane: "Sounds more like a trap to me."

Dent: "I wonder if it's possible to uncurse it?"

Eye Spy: "It's more likely that you'd end up like Topal."

Dent: "But it's a really powerful focus."

Audacity Jane: (skeptically) "Really? How powerful?"

Dent: "I don't know."

Happy Jack: "Did Topal use it? If so, how much did it amplify his magick?"

Dent: "He tried a simple conjuration ... which failed ... so he doesn't know exactly how powerful it is."

Audacity Jane: (rolling her eyes) "Is there anyone here who can explain the concept of 'It's a trap' better than I can?"


In the meantime Topal was fading fast.


Happy Jack: "Does he have a DocWagon account? KrashKart account? Any other kind of insurance?"

Dent: "No."

Happy Jack: "Any friends who would be willing to pay for his medical care?"


Topal had a friend named Caw Caw, another raven shaman.


Happy Jack: "I'll call Caw Caw using Topal's phone. If he's willing to answer the phone at 4:30 a.m., we'll know they're good friends."


Caw Caw insisted that the team bring Topal to him, so Caw Caw (and his friends) could save Topal. By the time the team got there, Eye Spy was basically performing CPR on a lifeless body.


Byte Force: "It's going to be hard to collect the second half of our pay from Topal."

Dent: "Nope. Super-easy. I went through his pockets for loose change."

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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

Topal (NPC): a raven shaman, and the team's deceased employer

Caw Caw (NPC): a raven shaman, and Topal's friend

Trixy (NPC): an elderly dog shaman; she was also one of the first magick users in Seattle


Bottled Demon (my least favorite module of all time)

This module was previously described by Drhoz (here).


The team's client, Topal had survived an ambush, but had then died due to the cursed idol he was carrying.


As Caw Caw and his friends were mourning Topal's passing, an interesting news story came on the trideo.


News announcer: (with a grainy image of Topal, Happy Jack and No-Step behind him) "Bloodwing, the notorious assassin, was last seen in the company of these individuals. Be advised, these individuals are armed and extremely dangerous. They have already clashed with Lone Star forces, leaving several officers injured. Consider these individuals to be Class A felons. If you spot any or all of them, do not attempt to aprehend them, but contact your local Lone Star precinct immediately."

Dent: "Look. You made the morning news."

Happy Jack: "Hmm. That's a minor inconvenience."

Eye Spy: "You just got your face shown across the city as a Class A felon. If that's your idea of a minor inconvenience, I would hate to see your idea of a major catastrophe."

Happy Jack: "They got one low-quality picture of our two masters of disguise. I'll look completely different than that a few minutes from now."


Caw Caw: "What's in the briefcase?"

Happy Jack: "According to Topal, that's the magick thing that was killing him. Apparently it also killed the previous owner too. Topal was trying to get rid of it when he collapsed."

Happy Jack pushed the briefcase over towards Caw Caw.

Happy Jack: "... but it's all yours now."

For some reason, Caw Caw and his friends didn't want to keep it.


After conferring among themselves, the friends came to a decision ...


Caw Caw: "There's a dog shaman named Trixy who has been asking about an object like this. Perhaps she knows what to do with it."

Happy Jack: "That's a great idea. You should take it to her."

Caw Caw: (turning pale) "Ah ... well ... what if we paid you to take it to her?"


The team easily found Trixy. After briefly examining the idol, she decided that she needed a couple hours to meditate about it.


Audacity Jane: "So, what are we going to do ... besides avoiding anyone who can finger us to Lone star?"

Happy Jack: "How do you feel about borrowing a couple phones from Humanis Policlub members?"

Audacity Jane: "It's called stealing, not borrowing. There's a difference."

Happy Jack: "It's called borrowing. I want you to return the phones when I'm done."

Eye Spy: "Why do you care if they get their phones back?"

Happy Jack: "I intend to make a couple calls to Lone Star. I expect them to track the phones down. Then Lone Star can spend a few hours grilling those racists about where to find me."

No-Step: "If we're lucky, they'll resist arrest."

Eye Spy: "Or get caught with contraband."

Audacity Jane: "That last one can be arranged."


The officer in charge of the investigation was Captain Grissim. With a little computer wizardry, Byte Force was able to get his direct number.


Captain Grissim: "Hello."

Happy Jack: (using a voice mask) "Hello. I know the location of two of the Class A felons from the morning news. Can you spare a couple moments of your time?"

Captain Grissim: "You have my undivided attention. May I ask your name, son?"

Happy Jack: "Yes you may." (pausing, then deliberately continuing without giving his name) "Is there a reward or bounty for the capture of Bloodwing?"

Captain Grissim: "Son, that elf is bad news. You need to leave him to trained professionals. We sent several dozen highly trained officers after him this morning and all we got was several injured officers."

Happy Jack: "Well, Bloodwing sent several bullets after me this morning, and all I got was a small bruise on my back. Perhaps I'm the sort of trained professional who can deliver him to you."

Captain Grissim: (grimly) "Who did you say you were?"

Happy Jack: "I was one of the fat man's bodyguards."

Captain Grissim: "You were one of his bodyguards...?"

Happy Jack: "It was a temporary assignment. I earned my pay as a meatshield. The job is over now."

Captain Grissim: "If you hurt my men...."

Happy Jack: "The only things we shot were firecrackers, smoke grenades, flash grenades and a couple narcojet darts. Bloodwing was definitely shooting real bullets at my client. He may have done the same to your men."

Captain Grissim: "And what was your client's relationship with Bloodwing?"

Happy Jack: "Apparently, he was Bloodwing's target. My client was meeting someone. Bloodwing showed up instead."

Captain Grissim: "Is there any way to verify your story?"

Happy Jack: "If you're willing to pay for Bloodwing's company, I'd be happy to deliver him. You can interrogate him about it."

Captain Grissim: "What makes you think you can catch him?"

Happy Jack: "My former client is no longer paying for our protection ... So, now we have bait."

Captain Grissim: "..."


Discussing what to do with the idol:


No-Step: "What do we do if Trixy doesn't take the idol off of our hands?"

Audacity Jane: "We could use it for high-end wetwork."

Eye Spy: "I thought that thing was too dangerous to use."

Audacity Jane: "Yes. So we take a contract against a powerful mage or shaman. We charge extra to make it look like it wasn't murder. Then Happy Jack sells the idol to the mage. A few days later, it kills the mage and we collect our pay."


Trixy probably wouldn't have approved of that plan.


Trixy: "The object you carry is dangerous. I am not sure of exactly what it is, but I see signs of malevolent intelligence and all-consuming darkness. It is a tool of corruption. All who come in contact with it are threatened."

Dent: "You handled it ..."

Trixy: "I didn't try to access its power. That would have destroyed me. Even with my casual contact, it tried to influence me. Even gazing upon it can be enough for it to exert subtle influence."

Eye Spy: "So don't let Dent look at it."

Trixy: "As far as I can tell, there are several ways to destroy the idol, but the only true, certain way is to take it to a dragon. There are others who know the ways of its destruction, but might be tempted by its power, and may, in fact, already be. Only a dragon is wise enough and understands enough to simply destroy it."

Dent: "Never deal with a dragon, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup."

Trixy: "This is not a deal, but a request of a service from the dragon. Do not think you can trade the idol, because this is not the case. I am truly sorry you have come to possess such a terrible artifact, but it is your fate. Deliver it to a dragon and you may yet come out whole and safe."


According to Trixy, Haesslich was out of town on business. Therefore, she recommended taking the idol to Geyswain.


Eye Spy: (as the team drove away from Trixy's) "I don't get it. We have to pay to get rid of this thing that we don't want?"

Happy Jack: "We're not paying a damn thing. I'll try to talk Geyswain and Haesslich into destroying it out of enlightened self-interest. But if no dragon wants to destroy it for free, I'm happy to sell it to our enemies."


Any trip to visit a dragon comes with a vast number of paranoid precautions. Fortunately, most of them weren't necessary.


Geyswain: (to Happy Jack) "What is it that you want to discuss with me?"

Happy Jack: "Trixy, the dog shaman, believes the relic in this briefcase is a malevolent tool of corruption. She believes that you are knowledgeable enough and wise enough to recognize the danger that it poses. Furthermore, she believes that you are sufficiently skilled and powerful to destroy it."

Geyswain used a telekinetic spell to pick up the idol, so he could examine it more closely.

Geyswain: "Destroying this would require an arduous ritual on my part. What are you prepared to offer in exchange?"

Happy Jack: "Trixy did not offer to give you anything. Perhaps eliminating a relic as dangerous as this is in your self-interest?"

Geyswain: "If you wish for me to destroy this, then you will owe me a favor in return."

Happy Jack: "I have no desire to owe you a favor. I could ask Trixy whether she is interested in owing you a favor. She might instruct me to approach Haesslich instead."

Geyswain: "And you have no interest in whether this relic is destroyed?"

Happy Jack: "If I advertised that I was in possession of a magickal item that was so powerful and dangerous that Trixy recommended that it be destroyed, I would have no shortage of buyers offering me a fortune for it."

Geyswain: (narrowing his eyes and hissing) "You are short-sighted and foolish, Troll. I will destroy this, but I will not forget you."

Happy Jack: (bowing) "Then I shall avoid crossing paths with you in the future."


[rant]This is another big problem with this module. What kind of amoral shadowrunner is going voluntarily owe a favor to a dragon, just to get rid of something this dangerous? Most shadowrunners will commit murder to solve small problems. They're not going to be opposed to dumping a dangerous item just to get rid of a large problem.[/rant]

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Unfortunately I was overruled. We agreed to give it to the Dragon and owe the favour. Neither the Dragon nor my Teamates asked about the base I attached it to.

When the Dragon failed and the Idol Corrupted it the team was maneuvered into killing the Dragon and securing the idol we reluctantly agreed.

When I casually asked the GM if the Base was still attached he said we would have to find out ourselves.

Shrugging, my character checked his time piece (asking the GM the game time). Smiling at him I handed him my notes with another Player's noted date and time.

Within 5 minutes it detonated. The exasperated look I got from the GM was satisfying, but the head banging on the table was disturbing.

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Unfortunately I was overruled. We agreed to give it ti the Dragon and owe the favour. Neither the Dragon nor my Teamates asked about the base I attached it to.



Smiling at him I handed him my notes with another Player's noted date and time.

Within 5 minutes it detonated. The exasperated look I got from the GM was satifying, but the head banging on the table was disturbing.


That was brilliant.


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
Jonathan Bridges / Happy Jack: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator
Trixy (NPC): an elderly dog shaman; she was also one of the first magick users in Seattle
Bottled Demon (my least favorite module of all time) - Dealing with a Dragon
This module was previously described by Drhoz (here).
The team had disposed of a dangerous idol by leaving it with Geyswain, a dragon, so he could destroy it.
The following day, Trixy left word that someone wanted the team for a job. The team arranged for Ms. Johnson to pick Jonathan Bridges up in a limousine.
Jonathan Bridges: (climbing into the limo and closing the door) "Ms. Johnson I presume?"
Ms. Johnson: "I think it's time someone taught you and your team the difference between dragons."
Jonathan raised an eyebrow.
Ms. Johnson: "My name is Arleesh. I am great feathered serpent of ancient and honorable lineage. Until yesterday, you had in your possession an artifact of great power, a vessel of corruption. The dog shaman with whom you spoke was correct in saying that only a dragon has the wisdom to destroy the vessel, but unfortunately, her knowledge of dragons is as limited as yours."
Jonathan Bridges: "That's understandable. The true experts on dragons are more interested in keeping their own secrets, rather than sharing them with the world at large."
Arleesh/Ms. Johnson: "Geyswain is a lesser dragon. Instead of destroying the relic, he is attempting to learn the secrets of the idol and to harness its power. That must not happen."
Jonathan Bridges: "The last two people who tried to use the artifact died within days. I ought to take out a life insurance policy on him."
Arleesh/Ms. Johnson: "As this is partly your fault, you must assist me in stopping Geyswain. If he should tap the secrets of that object, it could cause an irrevocable shift in the natural order. I intend to attack him in his lair, and your team must accompany me."
Jonathan Bridges: "What are you offering in return?"
Arleesh/Ms. Johnson: "You are partly to blame for this situation. Are you refusing to take responsibility for your actions?"
Jonathan Bridges: (ticking off on his fingers) "My team didn't unearth the artifact. We didn't bring the artifact to Seattle. We didn't use the artifact. We didn't fall under its influence. We advised Geyswain that it was corrupt and ought to be destroyed. We didn't force or encourage Geyswain to misuse the artifact. And unlike Trixy, we didn't pretend to know more about the artifact, or dragons, than we actually do." (staring hard at Arleesh) "You're not blaming us because we're responsible. You're blaming us because you want to coerce us into helping you."
Arleesh/Ms. Johnson: "..."
Jonathan Bridges: "If you'd like our help, try paying us instead."
Arleesh/Ms. Johnson: "What do you think the other great dragons will do when they learn of your refusal to assist me."
Jonathan Bridges: "You already know the answer to that question. If you thought the other great dragons cared about what was going on, you would have called them for assistance, instead of trying to lean on a troll fixer."
Arleesh/Ms. Johnson: "They aren't close enough to help."
Jonathan Bridges: "At least six of them have sufficient resources to hire fleets of shadowrunners to help you. If they can't bother to wire some money into a numbered account to help you, they're certainly not going to waste their precious time tracking us down."
Arleesh/Ms. Johnson: "..."
[rant]This is another problem with the module. Instead of using a carrot & stick approach to get the shadowrunners to attack Geyswain, the module tries to just use the stick. As Drhoz's GM (Muskratboi) correctly determined, offering to pay the PCs is a lot more effective than trying to coerce them with guilt or vague threats of dire consequences. Arleesh had money. Great dragons are supposed to be geniuses. Offering money was the smart move.[/rant]
Jonathan Bridges: "Tell me what part of the mission you need my team's help with, and then come up with an appropriate amount to entice them do it. Alternatively, figure out what you can afford to pay them, then downsize the task to where that amount will cover it."
Arleesh/Ms. Johnson: "I need your team to accompany me into Geyswain's lair, help me stop Geyswain, and recover the artifact from him."
Jonathan Bridges: "You're a great feathered serpent. I'm reasonably certain you're capable of doing all of that without our assistance. Which piece of that do you want my team to handle? The matrix? Electronic security? The guards? Killing Geyswain?"
Arleesh/Ms. Johnson: "All of it. I need to conserve my strength to destroy the artifact."
Jonathan Bridges: "How much do you know about Geyswain?"
Arleesh/Ms. Johnson: "He's a young lesser western dragon."
Jonathan Bridges: "What about his personality? Is he arrogant? Overconfident? Reckless?"
Arleesh/Ms. Johnson: "All of that. He's incapable of admitting when he's made a mistake. He'll never even admit it to himself."
Jonathan Bridges: "Perfect. Does he need to be in physical contact with the artifact to use it?"
Arleesh/Ms. Johnson: "Yes. He won't voluntarily relinquish it for any reason."
Jonathan Bridges: "Then My team will get him to leave the building, then take him down."
Arleesh/Ms. Johnson: "Why is he going to want to leave the building?"
Jonathan Bridges: "My team is going to be outside of the building, and Geyswain will come out to kill them."
Audacity Jane had a plan, but it required multiple snipers.
Audacity Jane: "We need a second sniper. With long range weapons, we could engage him where he's too far away to reach us, but too close to fly out of range."
Happy Jack: "I can be the second sniper."
Dent: "How are you going to snipe? You just use melee weapons and heavy weapons."
Happy Jack: "I mounted a scope on my assault cannon."
The team spent most of the afternoon and evening putting noisemakers into place. During this time, the team noticed disturbing developments:
  • The computer network for Geyswain's building was no longer accessible, due to physical damage to the CPU.
  • Growing numbers of spirits were swarming around the building (in astral space). Instead of patrolling or performing some other task, the were attacking each other savagely.
  • None of the employees left the building at the end of the day.
  • Thermal imaging did not spot any warm bodies moving around in the building.
At 1 a.m., Arleesh arrived to meet the team. Instead, she found Byte Force and Eye Spy.
Arleesh: "Where is the rest of the team?"
Byte Force: (pulling up a map on a vidscreen) "They're concealed in this area, just over a klick from the building."
Arleesh: "So what happens next?"
Byte Force: "We torch the top of his building. He comes out for revenge. We convince him that he's invincible." (draws another circle on the map) "Once he's in this kill box, we show him that he's not invincible."
Arleesh: "You convince him that he's invincible?"
Byte Force: "Most of the shots fired are going to be blanks, so he'll think most people can't hit him. And the first few rounds that hit him will be wax bullets. So he'll think he's bulletproof."
Arleesh: "And if he flees?"
Byte Force: "The shooters will wing him."
Arleesh: "How is winging him supposed to help?"
Byte Force: "I got the distinct impression that they mean to 'wing him' by blowing one of his wings off."
Arleesh: "What if he decides to fly away from the killbox, instead of into it?"
Eye Spy: "Then it's my job to wing him."
Geyswain's building was in Bellevue, but it was less than a kilometer from the Redmond Barrens. What happens in the Barrens tends not to attract much Lone Star scrutiny.
Eye Spy's drone set fire to the top of Geyswain's building, then the team tensely waited for the dragon to emerge.
No-Step: "You're a lot more likely to attract Geyswain's attention than Jane is."
Happy Jack: "Yep."
No-Step: "Why did you choose me to be the one to conceal you? Dent is a lot more likely to be able to compensate for your lack of stealth."
Happy Jack: "You're a self-sacrificing martyr. Dent tends to object to being flame-bait."
Geyswain emerged from the flaming tower (invisibly) and began flying towards the noisemakers (and Jack/Jane), bellowing his rage.
No-Step: (over the radio) "I think he's sustaining some other spells on himself, too."
Dent: "@#$%! I think you're right. With the wrong spells, he could make it to us unscathed."
Happy Jack: "I hope he is. If he's wasting concentration on sustaining spells, then he's going to suck at close combat."
No-Step: "You're remarkably blasé about fighting an invisible opponent."
Happy Jack: "He shows up nicely to thermographic sight."
GM: (headdesk)
Geyswain developed a terminal case of high-velocity lead poisoning. Arleesh resumed her true (feathered serpent) form, flew over to Geyswain's corpse and retrieved the artifact. After disenchanting the artifact, she flew away, dropping the disempowered artifact onto the roof of Eye Spy's van as she flew over it.
Byte Force retrieved the idol (without touching it) so No-Step and Trixy could confirm that it was no longer dangerous.
As Arleesh flew away, a small swarm of Lone Star helicopters flew into the area.
Happy Jack: "Let's keep popping off noisemakers. Give them something to look at while we hike out of here."
No-Step: "We've already pulled this trick on them. They're going to figure out that it's a diversion."
Happy Jack: "Yes, but this time the diversion is scattered across a square kilometer. And if we're lucky, they'll assume we're distracting them from Geyswain's corpse, or his building."
At the van, which was still parked several blocks from Geyswain's building, Eye Spy spotted Bloodwing, battered and bleeding, staggering away from Geyswain's building.
Eye Spy: "It looks like he lost a fight with a dragon."
Byte Force: "We should capture him."
Eye Spy: "How? Our combat monsters aren't here. Our mages aren't here. My combat drones aren't here. I have an assault cannon, but that's not particularly good for capturing people." (pause) "And he's a lot tougher than us, just in case you forgot."
Byte Force: "We just need to be smarter than him." (thinking) "Do you think Bloodwing would like to carjack an ambulance?"
Eye Spy: "Which ambulance?"
Byte Force: "Change our paint scheme to DocWagon colors. And put on a DocWagon jacket and hat."
Eye Spy: "You want him to carjack us?"
Byte Force: "I want him to get very close to the vehicle. What's the anti-theft device loaded with currently?"
Eye Spy: "Neuro-Stun ..." (bursts out laughing) "Okay. Let's go get carjacked."

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Someone at the Friendly Local Game Store (Saltire Games on Pendleton Pike, tell 'em Lucius Alexander sent you) decided to run Mutants and Masterminds, DC universe setting.


JoJo (The Game Operations Director): It's like Hero for Dummies.


I made a character (I've played essentially the same character before in Champions) named Destrier, the Steed of Heroes - a magical horse.


Destrier can speak any language and communicate with spirits and animals, but I have begun to think I might have been better off pretending to be a dumb (as in, unspeaking) animal.



To a crowd of children clamoring for rides: Now children, listen. You really should not try to ride a strange horse unless your parents say it's okay.



An openly derisive federal agent, addressing the whole group: I see the costumed freaks are here.

Destrier, after looking at him, looking back at his own body, and then at him again: Costumed?


Same guy, a little later: You're going to have to sign some paperwork.

Destrier after putting his head down towards the ground, lifting a hoof to examine it and then setting it down again and raising his head: Sign? I could put a hoofprint on something.



The local Police Chief is more cooperative and seems intent on establishing that we all trust him and are willing to work with him.

Destrier: Sir, do you have any pets?

Chief: Pets? I have two cats.

Destrier: I would like to have their opinions before forming my own.

(He got a good reference from his cats when we met.)



Lucius Alexander


The palindromedary wonders how Destrier will judge people who don't have pets.

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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

Bloodwing (NPC): an elvish assassin who was trying to retrieve the Bottled Demon

Captain Grissim (NPC): Lone Star officer in charge of the task force to capture Bloodwing


Bottled Demon (my least favorite module of all time)

This module was previously described by Drhoz (here).


After defeating the dragon and capturing Bloodwing, the team celebrated their success.


Byte Force: "This turned out to be a very good night. We captured Bloodwing..."

Eye Spy: (interrupting) "We didn't die."

Audacity Jane: "We killed a dragon."

Eye Spy: "We didn't die."

No-Step: "We stopped untold evil from being unleashed in Seattle."

Happy Jack: "We got stiffed by Arleesh."

Everyone turned to look at Happy Jack.

Happy Jack: "Don't tell me that I'm the only one who noticed."


The team captured Bloodwing, but he had credentials indicating that he was an associate ambassador of Tir Tairngire ... and therefore had diplomatic immunity.


On the bright side, he seemed very interested in acquiring the artifact.


Bloodwing: "The idol is stolen property of Tir Tairngire. I demand that you return it."

Happy Jack: "Was that why you went into Geyswain's building? To retrieve it?"

Bloodwing: "Yes. It is our property, and he had no right to it." (pause) "Are you really willing to anger the government of Tir Tairngire for it?"

Happy Jack: "Let's be realistic here. I make a living selling stolen property to people ... and generally not the original owners."

Bloodwing: (angrily) "I'll give you 50,000 nuyen for it. Non-negotiable."

Happy Jack: "Non-negotiable?

Bloodwing: (nodding) "Non-negotiable."

Happy Jack: "In that case, no deal."

Bloodwing: "What? How do you expect to sell a unique item like that on the black market?"

Happy Jack: "Any number of private collectors would be willing to pay for it. It's a unique item that dates back to the Fourth Age. Tir Tairngire clearly considers it to be extremely valuable. It was valuable enough that you tried to steal it from a dragon. And Tir Tairngire's enemies would pay extra just to deprive them of it."

Bloodwing called his employer, who apparently was willing to negotiate a much higher payment.


Perhaps Arleesh didn't stiff the team after all.


Dent: "That's hilarious. The Tir prince doesn't realize that it's powerless now."

No-Step: "Well, he's not able to assence it over a vidphone, and Bloodwing can't assence it for him."

Happy Jack: "And I certainly didn't feel the need to tell either of them."


[rant]Here's another issue that I have with the module. Everyone believes that the idol is an extremely powerful focus, with some rather unique properties. Bloodwing (and his employer) don't realize that the thing no longer works. Despite this, they are supposedly only willing to pay 50,000 nuyen (non-negotiable) for a focus that could easily be sold for over a million nuyen ... even if it had no unique properties. In fact, the weakest focus of this type would be worth 100,000 nuyen. (The entire theme of the module revolves around how tempting this much power is.) Suddenly, at the end of the module, Bloodwing's employer decides that while he's willing to send an assassin to kill people in order to get this idol, he's not willing to pay any more than 50,000 nuyen for it.[/rant]


Of course, Captain Grissim still wanted to capture Bloodwing ... and the team.


Happy Jack: (calling Grissim while using a voice mask) "Captain Grissim, I'm calling to save your career."

Captain Grissim: "My career doesn't need saving. But  I would be willing to clear your names of the mess in the Junkyard in exchange for solid information about Bloodwing."

Happy Jack: "We don't need our names cleared. But I'm willing to give you some solid information in exchange for your acknowledgement that we have done you a favor."

Captain Grissim: "And you'll want to be paid with a favor of your choosing in the future? I don't think so."

Happy Jack: "You aren't under any obligation to provide any favor ... unless you feel that it's sufficiently innocuous ... or somehow to your benefit."

Captain Grissim: "Okay. What information do you have on Bloodwing?"

Happy Jack: "I just sent you a link to two high-resolution pictures. One shows Bloodwing next to his credentials. the other is a picture of just the credentials. He's an associate Tir Tairngere ambassador. He has diplomatic immunity. Feel free to send them a picture of the credentials to verify their authenticity."

Captain Grissim: (grimly) "My boss wants to pin the fiasco in the Junkyard on somebody. If Bloodwing is immune, he would be happy to pin it on you."

Happy Jack: "Good luck with that. My client was meeting with an Tir Tairngere associate ambassador when Lone Star crashed in, guns blazing. Your men were most likely struck by ricochets from the Lone Star heavy machine gun on the APC. Your boss doesn't want the publicity. Especially when he can't pin anything on us beyond trespassing."


Captain Grissim: "You've given me nothing with this information."

Happy Jack: "Really? What kind of diplomatic incident would occur if Lone Star shot one of Tir Tairngere's associate ambassadors to Seattle? What level officer do you think Lone Star would sacrifice in order to keep their Seattle contract? Do you think they could pin this on anyone lower than the task force leader?"

Captain Grissim: "..."

Happy Jack: "I may be the bearer of bad news, but I saved your career ... Captain."


Captain Grissim: "My boss isn't going to just drop the investigation. Not without a favorable resolution of some kind."

Happy Jack: "I can provide a partial resolution. Bloodwing's two associates died inside Geyswain's building. You should be able to find their bodies there."

Captain Grissim: "That's hardly a success."

Happy Jack: "If you want a feather in your task force's hat, take full credit for taking down Geyswain after he murdered hundreds of people. Nobody else is going to take credit for putting him down."

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Just so I understand, they had the still warm body of a murderous dragon with proof he'd killed over a hundred of his own employees that same day, and no one thought of pinning the junkyard gunfight in which no one died.. on Geyswain (or any of said employees)?


It all comes out a wash in the end, I'm sure, and they did fifty much cleverer and less obvious things in the process - kudo's on their wit and guile - but this team seriously needs someone less evolved to point out what a person of lesser intellect would do. Maybe they can hire someone witless to tag along for that purpose?

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Elf and Dragon Politics - Diplomatic Immunity vs Scandal and Blackmail. Bloodwing could be declared dead on scene. Unknown Elf remains contaminated and disposed of my Hazmat.


Lonestar and Government Politics -


Magicial Artifacts vs Ancient Artifacts (How much would a museum pay for such a unique and ancient artifact. Well known enough to have a colorful history and recent publicity.


More later



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Just so I understand, they had the still warm body of a murderous dragon with proof he'd killed over a hundred of his own employees that same day, and no one thought of pinning the junkyard gunfight in which no one died.. on Geyswain (or any of said employees)?


There was one problem with that. We knew Lone Star had video footage of the Junkyard incident. (They had released some of it to the media.) They suspected we had video footage. (Happy Jack strongly implied to Captain Grissim that it existed ... and the drones had recorded video footage.)


It was pretty obvious from the video footage that Geyswain wasn't there. Captain Grissim probably wouldn't have bought a line of BS about Geyswain's involvement. We didn't really care if Lone Star wanted to claim Geyswain was involved, but they may have been reluctant to make such a claim, just in case we decided to embarrass them by proving that to be a lie.


And there really wasn't a trusting relationship between the team and Lone Star.


Elf and Dragon Politics - Diplomatic Immunity vs Scandal and Blackmail. Bloodwing could be declared dead on scene. Unknown Elf remains contaminated and disposed of my Hazmat.


Except the team had been paid a few hundred thousand nuyen (by Bloodwing's employer) for the artifact ... with the explicit understanding that Bloodwing was going to be the delivery boy.


Of course, if Lone Star had captured him and dumped the body in a toxic waste pit, we would have just shrugged our shoulders.


Magicial Artifacts vs Ancient Artifacts (How much would a museum pay for such a unique and ancient artifact. Well known enough to have a colorful history and recent publicity.


Or to a private collector, where there's less paperwork.


That was the gist of Happy Jack's sales pitch to the Tir Tairngire prince. I can sell this thing to a private collector for a lot more than 50,000 nuyen.


Happy Jack didn't mention any magickal properties or magickal value of the artifact. The Tir prince probably thought he was getting a bargain ... until he realized the thing had been disenchanted ... and he'd actually paid closer to market price for the thing.


Note: Shadowrunner Reputation should go tjrough the roof.


Yep. It did. We kept our involvement quiet, but enough people in the right places knew enough pieces of the puzzle.

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An online Shadowrun 2070 game that our GM is running. Characters include

Ripper K: Orca-form Changeling, negotiator, muscle, and porn star
Ryleigh the Fox: Changeling, and Rigger
The Hogfather: Street Samurai and Orc
Vell Rubicante: Elven Mage, with too many pseudonyms for anybody healthy. Also known as The Red Angel, Doc, Dealer, Darkleaf, and 'That fucking geriatric bastard'

Also a new PC - a burnt-out Mage going by the non-de-plume of 'Shirley Temple'

For some reason dropping the plot hook from last session, the GM throws a new job at us. The Johnson wants to meet at a nightclub.

GM: Shadowrun: Guns! Magic! Intrigue! Public Transit!
Dr. Rubicante: What, I've driven before! Granted, it was nearly forty years ago.

An amusing glitch in the security scanner - when Shirley walks through the detector, the entire machine seems to seize up for a moment, before reporting as all clear. For everyone. For the rest of the night.

The client wants us to recover a disc of music-related data before it gets sold on or duplicated. An optical disc. The doctor is rather amused that anybody still uses the antique media he grew up with. We do have one clue though - the thief intends to sell the disc to one Nabo.

GM: Everybody’s heard of Nabo, unless they live under a rock. The whole Orxploitation movement has settled down somewhat in the last five or six years from its former white-hot glory, but that doesn’t mean it’s going away anytime soon. Every few months the music-sim companies find somebody new to promote, propel up to the pop charts, and exploit until they can find a new cash cow. These days, Nabo’s their golden boy. Anybody who pays attention to popular music knows his story: he’s an ork ganger kid from the Seattle Barrens who loves music more than he loves firefights and selling BTLs. He makes a name for himself performing in small local clubs, gets noticed by somebody big time, and the next thing he knows he’s rocketing up the charts and livin’ la Vida loca. Must be nice. (Think Tupac Shakur, but as an ork.)

Dr. Rubicante: Is the orc a black guy?
The Hogfather: You can't just ask someone if they're black, jeez!
Dr. Rubicante: I mean, I know he's an orc, but is he a "black" orc.
Ripper K: *winces, and remembers just how old the Red Angel is.* It's like your grandmother asking you to get some liquorice candies and yelling across the street "Don't forget to get me some of them NIGGER BABIES"

Dr. Rubicante is not the Face of the group for these reasons.

The Hogfather: OH MY GOD, VELL.
Shirley Temple: if you have to ask.....
Ryleigh: Ripper's black. Partially.
The Hogfather: Downstairs, we know.
Ryleigh: Actually I was thinking of Ripper's face, not his dick XP.

The best way to recover the disc seems to be via Nabo - but getting past his security is obviously going to be the hard part.

Dr. Rubicante: Can you honeypot him into some alone time, Shirley?
Ripper K: winces Jeez, Vell, tact, please!
Shirley Temple: I don't swing that way sweety.
Dr. Rubicante: You can pretend. It can't be hard, girlfriend.
Shirley Temple: The orca has a better chance than I do.

The Red Angel has an idea.

Dr. Rubicante: I can mask the Hogfather into looking like him so we can "kidnap" Nabo in front of the bodyguards. If they give chase, we'll come in and kidnap him for real!
The Hogfather: Except the minders know him pretty well, I don't know if i could pass for him
GM: Well, there's always the low-tech option - bribing your way backstage.
Dr. Rubicante: You don't have to pass for him... just look like he was bound and gagged and being tossed into a van.
Ripper K: And if the minders catch up with you? or call in Lone Star? or his legions of heavily armed fans see you kidnapping their idol?
Dr. Rubicante: The mask comes off, and we pretend we don't know what they're talking about. Cameras don't see the mask after all. Security tapes will see us dragging our drunk ork friend into a van. And everyone will feel guilty for thinking orks all look alike.

Dr. Rubicante: So, Operation: Racist Riot will have the Hog, Ryleigh and I luring the minders away from Ripper and Nabo, then Shirley can join in, tie him up/or knock him out- I mean, he'll most likely be naked and unarmored- and can drive off in the Hogfather's car
The Hogfather: Operation House Call has me and Ripper look into breaking into his place to find any leads, while you guys try and steal his data. And Operation Modern Cocktail means we buy a bug or tracer and find someone to get it onto him.
Ripper K: Why Modern Cocktail?
The Hogfather: 'Shirley Temple's a drink, right? It was her idea.

Eventually we decide to go with all three plans, starting with attempting to plant tracers on Nabo's person, clothes, car etc; getting close enough to hack his phone; and leaving the kidnapping and housebreaking as back-up plans in case that doesn't work. And we'd better do it tonight - he's got one last concert in Seattle before he leaves on a tour of what's left of the U.S.

GM: The concert's not only sold out, it's overbooked. The local fire marshal would have fit about this, but his anger was tempered by the 5-digit amount mysteriously appearing in his bank account.

The Hogfather: Ok, so the plan is, we get a tracer. Go to the concert, beat up some punks to get their tickets, try and steal the data, failing that plant a tracer and follow him to the meet up and trade?
Dr. Rubicante: Can it be shitty teenagers? PLEASE say we can beat up shitty teenagers.
Ripper K: I can knock them out, sure... I'd feel bad about ruining some kid's night though. Can we leave them a few nuyen to reduce the disappointment?

We should probably use some sort of disguise - the spell Mask is ideal.

GM: Maybe not Jessica Rabbit, BUT, if you cast well, and could manage keeping your concentration and the -4 to your dice pools for the duration, you could likely cast Physical Mask and make everyone look like cute genki ork groupies.

The Hogfather shudders, but admits it's actually a good idea. Unfortunately it just gives the Red Angel more opportunity to prove what a complete Stone Age misogynist he is.

The Hogfather: Fucking orxplotation....
Dr. Rubicante: XD Oh that'd be better, cuz if it were just me, I'd be a 61 year old guy pretending to be a woman to lure away teenage boys. At least as girls, we can slut our way through the backdoor. Women have it so easy.
Ryleigh: Heterosexual men are pigs.
Ripper K: *facepalm* Hey, Vell? Were you born in 2011? Or 1911?
Dr. Rubicante: I was there during the feminazi/SJW uprising.
The Hogfather: Oh it was terrible little Timmy, there were trigger warnings and non-standard gender descriptions everywhere

While Ripper, Fox and Shirley get into the concert warehouse via the back door - which ironically is also exactly how Ripper distracts the troll security at said door - the Hogfather and the Red Angel aren't having quite so much luck out the front.

GM: Hog forgets he's supposed to be a girl and uses his normal male voice.
Dr. Rubicante: Oh Orkarina, you're so silly! * high-pitched giggles* Forgive her~ she's had a stuffy throat for a while! You know - *pantomimes a blowjob*.
The Hogfather: *forces himself to blush and look coy*
Shirley Temple: oh god, just thought.....hot orkish female make-out scene.....they are both secretly guys.

The way the disguised elf giggles and blushes and touchs himself girlishly made it disturbingly clear that he was not unfamiliar with pretending to be female.

Jager, Head of security: Oh, you some damn fine ladies...

He saunters to the Doctor's slender female form and stares at her perky breasts for a moment, before looking back up.

Jager: Y'know, Nabo and I go way back.. maybe after you and him have your backstage... autographs, you might think about comin' to see me? I'll definitely make you fly high in more ways than one, girl...

He *sniffs* Doc.

Ryleigh: if Security is this bad, maybe kidnapping wasn't out of the question after all...
Dr. Rubicante: *attempts a deep blush followed by a moan as he's sniffed by the obvious junkie, as if the little missy was turned on by such brutish advances* Oh Head of Security-chan... I've never even had a boyfriend before! *biting on his knuckle* Maybe later you can show me how much better a MAN-friend is, yeah, desu? (Somewhere deep within, Vell Rubicante was the Lich King.)
Shirley Temple: bitch king
Dr. Rubicante: Oh, the bitchiest.

OoC, I'm crying with laughter by this point, because despite promising the GM that the game would remain clean despite our choices of PC backgrounds, Ripper is currently keeping a fifth of the concert security busy in one of the backstage shower blocks, and two other, magically gender-swapped, characters are attempting horrendous flirtation past the rest. As it happens most of these shenanigans were unnecessary - Nabo's security precautions are so pathetic Ryleigh and Shirley manage to clone and hack his smartphone in seconds.

Ryleigh: I could probably sell backdoor access to his commlink to the highest bidder too. After we finish the job.
Shirley Temple: hurr hurr, backdoor access to an orcish superstar heart-throb?

And thus off to spy on the auction and interrupt the handoff. The auction will be taking place at the Cathode Glow Club - a severely retro hangout for hackers that like playing with 20th and early 21st century geek toys - including vintage arcade games that they're all playing remotely.

Ryleigh: Ooh, it feels like we're on archaeology survey...

The Doc hands the Hogfather a pair of Wiimotes.

Dr. Rubicante: Play me.
Hogfather: You mean you have to play it with your hands? That's a baby's toy
Dr. Rubicante: The best games are played with your hands, sonny.
Hogfather: The games I play with my hands don't generally involve computers.

Ryleigh picks one up and rubs the phallic controllers curiously.

Ryleigh: hmm. Oooh. it vibrates! Does it double as a sex toy?

Hogfather slowly puts the controller down

Hogfather: I'm just going to go and get something to drink then...

The Fox attempts to poke around in the local WiFi.

GM: You get a nice, informative UI mesage. "Dear Mr. Ryleigh. Your Commlink's data security is lacking, and at least two exploits were porformed to gain access. do not worry, no data was compromised. enclosed are a series of links to descriptions of the exploits used, and to the appropriate firmware upgrades and patches. We take security seriously at the Amber Glow."

GM: You got h4x00r3d, d00d
Ryleigh: I know... I thought this would happen.
GM: Be glad the Cathode Glow's a White Hat bar :P

Ryleigh attempts to improve his security and screws up so badly Lone Star and his mystery nemesis take an interest.

Ripper K: Well, Fox, if Lone Star come looking for you I'll them you're visiting your sick grandmother. Near Nottingham.
GM: in a house far, far, away, a camera pans up from a man on a commlink. it shows the bottom half of a face. a face half burned. "Got him."
Shirley Temple: .... We would be best not to be near this node shortly....
Ryleigh: Oh shit...
Dr. Rubicante: Dun dun DUUUUN
Ryleigh: .... it's not lone star
Ripper K: That sounds ominous

There's no really role for Ripper and the Hogfather in the subsequent surveillance on the auction.

Hogfather: oh, well, in that case I'll go and hang out with with Ripper. We can play strip paper-scissor-rock

The auction eventually goes to an elven woman.

GM: Nabo growls, and tosses the 4DS at a wall in anger, shattering it! He's promptly set upon by the bouncers and a whole lot of very very pissed off geeks.

The hand-off is happening at a junkyard - as Houston GM has observed elsewhere, a terrible, terrible place for any sort of covert meeting. Too many routes in and out, too much cover for hostiles. At least that works in our favour - at first.

GM: Those are orderly rows of stacked crushed ars, about 7m high
Shirley Temple: crushes arse?!
Hogfather: pity, i wanted to climb the crushed arse...
Dr. Rubicante: Let's get you anyone Ripper has ever been with ever.
Shirley Temple: Piles of arse as far as the eye could see....

Those piles of arse become rather less orderly by the and of the evening, when after snatching the elf woman, Masking Ripper as her, and almost getting the disc, another team of heavily armed individuals cut their way into the junkyard's far side and start shooting people in the head. Things would have gone very badly for the party if the enemy mage hadn't shot himself in the foot with his own Stunball, and our own mage hadn't blown up the entire enemy squad, the thief's bodyguards, and half the junkyard with a wildly overpowered spell. This is generally considered a good time to run the fuck away, and we do.

Ripper K: Whatever music is on this disc... it had better fucking be worth it!

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Black Crusade : The Four of Eagles
In which the players came up with an overly convoluted plan, which would please Tzeench, and one of them got mortally wounded, which pleased me.

The PCs have acquired the Hersiliad Codex, by murdering the team of thieves an eccentric loan shark hired to steal it. The codex, it turns out, is a comprehensive diary written by one of Captain Daniels' ancestors about his discovery of the apparently civilised lost human world in what was then the Calyx Expanse, his notes on the 'trance States' and 'mnemonic engrams' used by the locals to ensure good luck, etc. To anybody more familiar with the rituals of Chaos, it's obvious the long-dead Rogue Trader got played - the 'tutelary spirits' are clearly daemonic. That makes the way his ship got delayed during his return to Imperial space, and the timing of the fleet that found Hersilia, condemned it, and depopulated it while he was incommunicado, highly suspicious. All that aside, the rituals clinically described within - the Rite of Entwined Fates, for example, and something best termed 'the Idiot's Guide to Making Daemon Weapons' - are of some interest.

Digna: Apparently daemonic entities can be used to overcome structural limitations.
Daniels: How so?
Digna: Let me put it this way – *sings* Do you want to build an evil snowman?

And having taken one of the Hersilians as a consort probably goes some way to explain the increasing decadence of the Daniels line over subsequent centuries. Although the fact that the Daniels lineage intermarried with half the other Rogue Trader families in the Calixis Sector - including the notorious Haarlocks - wouldn't have helped any. For that matter there's also the well-known corruptive influence of obscene wealth and power. That said, the Haarlocks had their own perculiarities - Erasmus Haarlock's horological obsession, for example. One device in his Hall of Clocks has been flashing 12:00 for the last 38,000 years.

Daniels: One of the great mysteries of the Mechanicus
Digna: Well, they lost the VCR remote.

At least the book matches the version in their collective nightmares, right down to the spider with two scorpion tails embossed on the red leather cover. The animated GIFs the two tech-priests received have been particularly difficult to erase.

Digna: I'm running the ancient protocols of Windows Firewall, which should be enough. Nobody told me I'd need Avast – that sounds like pirate code!
Eniek: I'm running Apple, I don't need antivirus.

Paranoia is not helped by the need to agree on a place to meet and study the group. Digna doesn't even have lodgings on Sinophia.

GM: You probably just turn up at the various tech-shrines in Sinophia Magna and demand a room.
Local Techpriests: Quick, hide everything while she's sleeping!

Archimedes OoC : How do we earn more Infamy?
GM: Film a 'Will It Blend?' video at the local maternity ward?

Their other prize - the one that tickled Skerrit's psyniscience - is a fragment of mirror. But upon gazing into it, Skerrit sees a damp, dark room, dripping with mold, and a huge figure that hisses "I missed you, boy." His reaction is to scream and flee, since he knows exactly who that is. The others watch with interest as he runs off and vanishes down a storm drain.

Digna: He's really booking it, isn't he?

The other stolen books aren't nearly as useful or valuable - mostly local curios.

Skerrit OoC: And eight issues of Mechadendrite Monthly – with centrefolds.
Eniek: Yoink.

But before he can wander off to his bunk for some implant polishing, they should experiment with that mirror.

Eniek: We need to find a random schmuck.
Digna: Why?
Eniek: We're bad guys.
GM: And after you've made him look into the mirror?
Digna: Spare parts. I'm sure there's somebody that needs a new liver.

Digna: In Techno-Lingua – +++ FUCKS +++ I HAZ NONE +++

They requisition a white ice-cream van and kidnap a few street-urchins. The first one sees nothing, and Eniek snaps his neck.

Digna: That was rather wasteful – we have a perfectly good freezer unit right there.

Eniek: Standing before are people I thought had gone beyond the petty limits of morality
Digna: And become pragmatists.

Perhaps the mirror only effects psykers?

Digna: Look over there.
Archimedes: Eh? *turns back to find the mirror in front of his face*

But what he does see is a gaunt, bearded face, and a hand raised to strike. It's the face of Erasmus Haarlock himself, and he vanished centuries ago after hunting down and slaughtering ever relative he could find.

GM: Maybe he's gone to the Mirror Universe and grown a goatee.

Digna OoC: Hands up those of diving headlong towards Slaanesh
All: *Raise hands*

They eventually lure Skerrit out of hiding, and set him to work on another Tarot reading. Evidently the mirror fragment is just one of many, and one of the other fragments is in the possession of an agent of the law, an outsider, powerful but corrupt, and who surrounds himself with violence and wealth - according to Four of Adeptio, aka Four of Eagles, and The Arbitrator, Inverted, and certain other cards in the spread. Happily, there's a likely candidate - Xabius Khan, head of the Enforcers, and of the Mandato, the government's even more violent secret police. He's an off-worlder bounty hunter who got in tight with the governor Evandus and turned the enforcers and the Mandato into his personal army of jackbooted thugs. Naturally, if the PCs are going to start destabilising the Sinophian power structure as they build their own influence, they need to drive a wedge between Khan and Evandus. Their plan is to have Khan's mistress - rumour holds she is a distant illegitimate daughter of the aristocracy - kidnapped, and incriminate the Governor. To this end they disguise Daniels as a badly disguised governor's aide, hire the kidnappers, and afterwards go to Khan and offer to track the kidnappers down, acting as an Even More Secret Police.

GM: I want to see a diagram of this.
Eniek: It IS getting a bit Meta.
Daniels OoC: And Tzeentch says 'I approve'

They get to work mapping out the structure of organised crime in Sinophia Magna. One bit of data Digna finds on the primitive data-net running from the Loanfather's house is interesting but not immediately relevant - a plan to rob a shipment of off-world high quality cybernetics.

Digna: They're going to rob it on Thursday? We'll rob it on Tuesday.

The kidnappers and Khan unwisely agree to their respective unwitting roles in the current plan, but Khan insists that some of the kidnappers be taken alive. This suits the PCs - after all they want Khan to get a description of that 'governor's aide' - but he has his own reason.

GM: He wants to make an example of them.
Daniels: As do we – because nobody should be so stupid as to accept this job without a down-payment.

On the other hand, a competent team of kidnappers will also take precautions against discovery and treachery afterwards.

Digna: That's the problem for hiring for competence – they can do the job, but it makes them harder to take down afterwards.

And of course you don't want Khan making the connection between the people who arranged the kidnapping, and the suspiciously similar-looking group that performed the rescue. Luckily they have access to a telepath and strong drugs, so they can befuddle the courtesan and plant a few memories implicating the Governor in a scheme to undermine Khan.

Of course, the Byzantine bureaucracy of the Imperium complicates things - they have to achieve all this without attracting the attention of the Adeptus Arbites. Planetary law enforcers deal with minor crimes like murder. The Arbiters deal with major crimes like tax evasion, or defying the bureaucracy. They also deal with crimes against the other Adepta, so if anything happens to the two tech-priests and they don't report it, the Arbites will be rightly suspicious.

As it happens, the kidnapper's precautions would have been great, if they hadn't just let the PCs in past most of them. The Chirugeon's sonic weapon pulps most of them.

Eniek: FUS RO DAH!!!!

But down at the door Skerrit is in trouble. Turns out a shotgun trumps stub-pistol. The rat-tailed psyker gets his leg shredded, and only the arrival of the others saves his damned existence. Just as well they know where they can find a shipment of cybernetics...

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Black Crusade : The Five of Thrones
A group of heretics attempting to overthrow the Imperium one world at a time. But first, they have to find a replacement leg for the psyker Skerrit, who has yet to learn the importance of cover during firefights.

GM: Just rename yourself Hopalong Cassidy.
Digna: While reconstructing the limb would be an interesting intellectual challenge, he's not worth the time.

True, the party could go steal one from a shipment they found out about. An additional problem – none of the PCs have particularly high Infamy, so they can't acquire a replacement leg for Skerrit easily, and Skerrit's reputation is now so poor that charity from the others will likely drive it even lower. And as Digna points out, cybernetics are blessings from the machine god. Laypeople may receive them, of course, if they make a suitable tithe to the tech-shrines. Cybernetics as indulgences, as it were. None of this does Skerrit any good.

Skerrit: Fuck it, point me at the warehouse, I'll get it myself.
GM: You'll hop in and steal it yourself, will you?

Or Digna and Eniek could fabricate one from scratch. It'll be easier to integrate it into Skerrit's nervous system, for one thing.

Digna: Tell me what you feel when I do this. 'strawberries!' Hmm. Interesting.

Of course Digna and Eniek have to cut off his other leg first so they'll have enough material to fleshweave actual skin and muscle over the bionics they make for Skerrit.

Skerrit: What?!?!
Digna: But you will be able to leap small buildings.
Daniels: Don't you only get that if both limbs are bionic?
Digna: That's why I cut off the other leg >:)

Digna: Success! Aw - you learn so much more from failure.

Digna also acquires a pre-fab research base the locals were intending to melt down for scrap, once they figured out how. And some unwelcome attention from laypeople who have noticed she's actually quite attractive for a tech-priest.

Digna: My mechadendrites are up here.

Digna: So now we have a base of operations.
Daniels: And they'll know where to find us.
Digna: ...There is that.

But now they have a new objective, since driving that wedge between the head enforcer Xabius Khan and the governor Judici-ary Evandus Idrani, Seventh of That Name. To whit - befriend and corrupt the Governor's heir, then get the Governor ousted from his position. A magical ritual to drive him insane seems ideal - especially if they can convince his son to participate. With sufficient tweaking, they can even get most of the nobility on side by having the Governor shut down the spaceport (out of fear of the Calixian Commisariat coming to investigate his various failures) and the damage that will do to Sinophia's already crippled economy. If they can get the Clockwork Court to impeach the governor, and install his heir in the position, the PCs will have a valuable puppet they can bring down at any time.

GM: It's an interesting thing that slavery is illegal under Imperial law. And I suppose fish have no word for water.

Skerrit's Infamy takes more hits as the others acquire goods for him. Such gifts are a good way to whittle down an allies repu-tation, by positioning yourself as his patron.

GM: Here, have these 47 different guns.
Skerrit: *sings* On the first day of Tzeenchmas,

While Daniels and Skerrit attempt to charm their way into Nonesuch House, Digna will research certain cybernetic mysteries that intrigue her.

Digna: Mechanicus Resurrection - we can rebuild him. We have the technology.

Routes of attack - Evandus Junior is known to frequent Nonesuch House, built on one of the bridges over the river. It appears to be quite popular with the more dissolute children of the nobility, although getting a letter of introduction is a little tricky. Eventually Dr. Eniek wheedles one out of a client, and Lord-Captain Daniels makes the acquaintance of the mistress of None-such House, the Lady Juliana, and of the various nobles who gather to gossip, deal, play cards, and get themselves completely stoned in the 'smoking rooms' on something apparently called 'Idyll'. Juliana attempts to seduce Daniels, and instead finds herself seduced towards darkness. A few more sessions like this, and she'll be a very useful way to corrupt dozens of nobles into the worship of Slaanesh. He makes the acquaintance of Evandus Junior, and also befriends a few of the nobility, who are impressed by his charm, and good manners, and his economic sensibilities - i.e. if they go along with his plans to re-open trade, they'll make more money.

GM: 'He has good taste in amasec'.
Nobility: He's one of our offworlders.

Of course, once Daniels has nailed down all the new monopolies, he can start imposing a few other things on the Sinophian government. Such as half-a-million heavily armed offworlders.

GM: 'Don't mind the ones that keep screaming 'Blood for the Blood God!' - it's just their way. Or the eight-foot-tall ones. Isn't that right, Brother-sergeant? Er, forget I said that'

Daniels takes the precaution of acquiring nose filters, in case that Idyll smoke is addictive. It is. Skerrit, brought along as a servant, has no such luck and is soon addicted to the substance, and is caught trying to break into the storage room containing the seeds. He gets banned.

GM: Skerrit is son curled up in a corner of the smoking room imagining fluffy pink clouds. It's probably the happiest he's ever been in his life.
Noble: I'm hallucinating a little rat thing in the corner, on its back, twitching.

Of course, now they have to get Skerrit off the stuff - a psyker will willpower problems is a psyker that's going to get everybody killed. Digna leaves it to Eniek to solve, which he does by strapping Skerrit to a gurney to go cold-turkey, and dosing him with a anti-addiction drug that is itself highly addictive.

Digna: It's a biological issue - therefore it's your problem.

Plus of course, once the planned theft of those cybernetics has actually gone ahead - not by the party, but by the crooks that had had orginally planned it - Digna can plant a few hints on that darknet node that it was the governor that ordered the theft, and Daniels can subtly point the investigation in that direction. Indeed, a few days later one of the Arbites, a Fidal Constantine, turns up to request Digna's assistance in taking apart an illegal darknet. How very convenient.

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Shadowrun 2050! The team, backed up by Renraku security who are trying quite hard to distance themselves from their agent The Soft-eyed Man. That individual appears to have gone slightly nuts, bombed our homes, kidnapped our friends, and taken over part of the Renraku arcology. We also make sure to inform Lone Star and our military contacts, who will probably like to know about a maniac with access to nuclear weapons, in downtown Seattle.

Felix: And by telling everybody makes it's less likely they'll just kill us afterwards.
Greenlight: They haven't managed to kill us so far.
Titus: Orbital weapon platform.
Greenlight: Just to kill us???
Felix: Sure – just mock up some security footage beforehand to make it look like conventional explosives.
Greenlight: …. true.

The worst thing was the destruction of our armoured liquor cabinet.

Lone Star investigators: 8000 nuyen a bottle? Really?
Felix: Help us take this prick down and we'll share a bottle.
Inkubus: I won't even share a bottle with you! I'm sorry, but my dick needs to sucked by somebody with at LEAST as much skill in the erotic arts as I do, before I'll even THINK of sharing a bottle with them.

Felix calls his uncle at Aztechnology.

Greenlight: This is going to be a feeding frenzy. If Aztech security go into the arcology and just HAPPEN to get lost...

This is going to be a Mass Run – we put the word out to every shadowrunner team we can, every decker that can hack the building's systems, and every favour, tie of friendship and acquaintance, that we can. After all, covering Seattle in a shower of radioactive metal would be a bad thing. And the lower levels of the arcology include some of the largest fusion reactors in North America. While we COULD just use ritual magic to snipe the Soft-Eyed Man without even going near the building, we DO have to rescue the hostages, and it's likely he has a Dead-man Protocol in play. He's not stupid, after all – merely out of his mind from faulty Flesh Drone technology. Inkubus prepares a voodoo doll anyway. And we still have a sample of that wall-softening catalyst from our early run, and Renraku's head of arcology security confirms the same architectural polymer was used between some of the reactor levels. Renraku helpfully provide us with weapons, and are clearly relieved that we're taken ECM grenades, fire-extinguishers loaded with Neurostun gas, and Dimethyl Sulphoxide grenades dosed with powerful laxatives. Before anything else, they really, really want us to cut the Soft-eyed Man's access to the arcology's comp-net. They don't say why this is so important to them.

Inkubus: I literally want to give my enemies the shits.

And of course Titus and Warhammer can combine forces into the Troll-mounted Minigun again. Titus calls in his friend Cyberpope for Matrix support.

Titus: Help me on this and we're even. You might have to start wearing pants though.
Felix: What???
Titus: He works in the nude.

And Greenlight's mentor Wormwood will be able to take control of the arcology's minigun drones, if we can get him inside.

We make a big entrance, past the evacuation perimeter and tank cordon. Inkubus come in standing on his custom Harley Scorpion, one foot on the seat, one foot on the skull, glowing green and pointing dramatically. Felix, however, needs to get a lift.

Greenlight: Come on Bubbles – you can ride bitch.

The arcology looms, a vast black pyramid – the Hotel Luxor writ large. There's no resistance at first – after all, the Soft-eyed Man is expecting us. Might not be expecting us to be playing 'Back in Black' at full volume though. Nonetheless, getting into the reactor levels is so easy the GM doesn't even bother rolling the combats. Then, ninjas. Who, happily, aren't wearing breathing gear.

Felix: Welp... Neurostun grenades then.

Greenlight narrowly avoids being shot in the face by ninja-clones of her brother.

Inkubus: I fully support Greenlight's decision to not take a shot in the mouth from her brother.

Inkubus uses the DMSO grenade launcher. The ninjas all collapse with horrifying abdominal cramps .

Inkubus: It's the diarrhoea fairy!
Warhammer: Right, number one is down. Are we doing number two?
Felix: They are.
Titus: Imagine being hit with a laxative, THEN Greenlight's stun baton.
Inkubus: Argh!
Titus: 'That made a hole on the way out'
Inkubus: I see Greenlight's role in life is to make a complete mockery of any combat she's in.
Titus: I make a full troll charge at them – then stop on a dime and snarl. I want to scare the crap out of them.

Inkubus: Don't you just love DMSO laxatives?
Greenlight: It's a new weapon in my arsenal. It certainly went to THEIR arsenal.

Unfortunately, then the drone turrets arrive on the ceiling-mounted rails. Fortunately, it's not the minigun turrets. It does, however, fire darts. Happily, they just ricochet off Warhammer's skull. The much larger-sounding drones a bit later are more worrying. Happily, with the wall-softening catalyst means we can bypass the anticipated route entirely. And Greenlight can borrow Felix's magesight goggles, with their extendible fibre-optic cable, to see what's around the corner. Useful thing, those goggles.

Titus: You can threaten people with free colonoscopies. Or fireballs.
Greenlight: For that direct relief.

And with magical concealment, Inkubus' permanent flight and magic fingers spells, and Titus' packs of hi-ex, the heavily armed mining droids really aren't that must of a threat either. Nor are the squad of spider drones. And Felix can really distract the guards at the comp centre with an earth elemental and a Force 14 Stunball while the rest of the party just goes through a side wall.

Greenlight: Did you know that cardiac massage can be timed with 'Staying Alive' or 'Another One Bites the Dust'?
Inkubus: 'Staying Alive' is appropriate.
Felix: 'Another One Bites The Dust' not so much.

The computer centre is six floors deep – the Soft-eyed Man is in the security booth, which doesn't help much when we can see him through the glass and most magics use line-of-sight. He's jacked into the arcology's comp-net via an amazing profusion of data-cables.

The Soft-eyed Man: You're too late! I have already succeeded! MWHAHAH-
Inkubus: uses Magic Fingers to yank out the cables
The Soft-eyed Man: *slumps dead*

And then we're attacked by robot velociraptor-kangaroos. Greenlight fries one with his stun baton.

Greenlight: Thunderstruck! Because we're on an ACDC kick tonight.

Inkubus, however, critically fails his own attacks and collapses. Fortunately, Titus decapitates the robot with his sledgehammer before it can disembowel our elf hedonist. Felix is feeling extremely fortunate that none of the velocireapers are attacking him, because while his air elementals are the most useful tool the party has, he has nothing that can hurt a robot. But we take them down before they finish us off. And then through every speaker in the arcology, we hear a digital scream of frustration. It would appear the Soft-eyed Man has gone the Lawnmower Man route and has uploaded his mind into the arcology's comp-net. Time to shut down all those data-stacks.

Felix: 'Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do....'

Soft-Eyed Avatar: NO MORE MISTER NICE GUY *triggers the reactor overload*

We rush around to try and shut down the reactor, admittedly blacking out Seattle, while the comp-net's in-built security systems eat the Avatar – this isn't the first time the Renraku arcology has spawned an AI, and the corporation installed precautions against it happening again. Plus, of course, all those deckers cutting off every route out into the Matrix.

Inkubus: He was doomed from the start.

And then we can rescue the hostages, which includes Greenlight's long missing parents, collect our million in pay, and go celebrate.

Inkubus: Party at your place?
Titus: My place is a crater.
Inkubus: Oh. So's ours. Anybody still have a place?
Titus: What the hell, let's just buy a hotel.

Greenlight: Sorry, Mum, Dad, our old place is a family home for five now – is there any part of Seattle you think's nice?

Greenlight: I'm retiring. From now on guys? I'm Sam. Just Sam.
Inkubus: If you ever abuse this, I'll Quicken and Orgasm on you. But... my first name's not so bad – it's Mitchell.
Greenlight: No worries, Mike.

Inkubus: I'm becoming a music producer for heavy metal bands.
Titus: I'm rebuilding my house and going back to gardening. Shadowrunning was fun but it got my home blown up, which was annoying.

In 2057 we get a phonecall from the office of Presidential Candidate the Great Dragon Dunkelzahn, offering us a job. Apparently somebody is deeply unhappy with what happened to that Hawaiian dragon's body, but at least nobody has dispatched assassins yet. In return for that forbearance, we need to do a few jobs for him. After all, we're vaguely competent, are highly critical of other people's security precautions, have proved ourselves willing to work for dragons, and perhaps more importantly have proven capable of killing them. Although that last one will come back to bite us, as far as conspiracy investigations go.

Inkubus: I'll do it for one of those Tickle-Me-Dunkelzahn dolls that got C-and-D'd.

One job is retrieving incriminating footage of Dunkelzahn and the CEO of Ares Macrotech, Damien Knight.

Inkubus: I didn't even know they were connected! Well, obviously they're connected there...
Greenlight: It's true, Dunkelzahn really is the Big D.

And then it's all sort of shenanigans leading up to to Super Tuesday, recovering a stolen egg, a presidential assassination that we astrally witnessed years ago, and highly Interesting Times.

Titus: Standard bodyguarding won't work – standard practise is strap him to the troll and run away. That won't work with a dragon.

All: *part of the Presidential motorcade past the Watergate Hotel, and suddenly feeling this is horribly familiar*
Inkubus: Wait, wait, this is -
Felix: Oh fuck, he's about to -
Presidential Limousine: BOOM
All: *facepalm*

GM: Congratulations – you're now part of the biggest conspiracy theory of the century.
Felix: Well, that's going to do my reputation on the conspiracy boards a lot of good.
Inkubus: No it won't – they won't believe a word you say ever again.

And there's some very interesting provisions in , covering the very stuff Inkubus is researching on Essence Repair, and regarding any information regarding a certain room in one of Aztech's facilities... the very room that got Felix put on permanent suspension back in 2050.

And then the Renraku Arcology spawn another AI – comprised of fragments of other machine intelligences and parts of the Soft-eyed Man's mind – and the resulting Crash 2.0 destroys the global economy and Internet for the better part of a decade.

Titus: What would that do your social media addictions?
Greenlight: gibbers, groans 'hey, Inkubus, what are you doing with that corkboard?' 'Hey, Sam, you want to post something?'
Inkubus: This is what the net was like before electricity.

Felix: And no-one will ever believe us when we say we had nothing to do with it. 'it was just co-incidence!'
Titus: I was behind everything. Including that. And now you know too much.

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Finally started a new Champions campaign after a 4-5 year hiatus.  This one is set in Boston, one month after an event (called the Cross-Rip) that cause many superheroes to disappear from the game world, along with a fair number of supervillains, many of whom were in one of the superprisons at the time.  For those in prison (and in some isolated cases outside), most of the supervillains that disappeared were replaced with other supervillains, many of which were not known in the game world.  A few civilians also disappeared, or in a few cases switched places with their cross-world counterparts.


All a plot by the Empress of a Billion Dimensions, that didn't go 100% as she had planned.  But the details of all that might not be of interest to anybody here, and aren't really quotes anyway.


The heroes (team still unnamed) are:


Circe - beautiful, rich female mentalist, owns a nightclub (among other things)

Honey Badger - super strong, incredibly tough, and... Honey Badger don't care

Malarky - Irish-American MIT student who is learning magic and has some... interesting spells

Maker - Female NASA astronaut gadgeteer who got energy powers in an accident at UNTIL's Gateway station; daughter of a Chinese woman and... Leroy Jenkins!

Nexus - also beautiful female wizardress, able to see and talk to the dead (her Contact is a spirit) and plays in a band at Circe's nightclub

Pops - MIT professor who created extra-dimensional tech allowing him to teleport himself and others

Shadowboxer - Shadow-controlling PI able to see through and move through shadows, split off his own shadow, etc.


Pops (Dr. Stevens) is looking at readings from an experiment when he sees three energy spikes (unrelated to his experiment) whose signature is remarkably similar to that of his own teleportation.  But much higher - someone is teleporting tons of mass, somewhere fairly nearby.  Unfortunately, his equipment wasn't designed to get a heading and relative range.  To get the parts he needs fast, he seeks out Li Jenkins, who has a rep for creating things fast with her 3-D printer.  As they discuss his designs, a pair of mafia thugs (Tom and Jerry) walk in, intent on hitting her up for protection money.


Tom (looming over Stevens):  You're done here.  We need to talk to the Jap chick.

Maker:  Jap?!  I'm Chinese, you jerk!

Pops:  Jap?  Funny, you didn't strike me as Jewish.  (pause at Maker's confused expression)  Jewish American Princess?  (pause at her continued blank expression)  Y'know what, never mind.


Honey Badger:  (OOC) Use your ninja powers on him.

Maker:  (OOC) I don't have ninja powers!   I'm Chinese, not Japanese!


Maker:  (OOC)  I'm in secret ID.  Can I use one of the things on my work desk and make it look like the energy is coming out of it?

GM:  Sure, what the heck.  There's a toaster handy.

Maker picks up the toaster, points it at Tom, and sends a nice NND blast into him, stunning the thug.

Pops:  Wow, that must be a four-slice model.


Meanwhile, at Circe's club, her nightclub manager asks her to talk to a musical group's agent (Damon Folmier) about his client wanting to play at the nightclub. Circe finally agrees to allow the group to try out in a few days, without once asking what the group's name is.


Damon Folmier:  Okay, so Road Kill will be there Wednesday at two.
Nexus:  Road Kill?!  You're booking Road Kill to play at your club?!

Circe:  Why?  Who the heck is Road Kill?

(After getting an explanation)  Hey, they're trying out.  Nothing says I have to say yes. 


Circe and Nexus are leaving the club when they notice a limo pull up next to a female college student.  The man inside rolls down his window to talk to the girl, who looks panic-stricken and tries to run away.  She stops, however, when a mental attack (which Circe sees) hits her from inside the limo, and she starts heading back to get in.  Circe breaks the obvious mind control.


Pops:  (OOC) Maybe it was the other way around.  Maybe she was mentally attacking the person in the limo...

GM:  (thoughtful expression)  Hmmmmmm...

Circe:  (to Pops) Now you stop that!  No giving the GM ideas!


Circe and Nexus learn the girl was actually pulled over in the Cross-Rip, and whoever was in the limo was apparently from the other world too.  But she's too afraid to talk, and the heroes don't push it, so they don't get more useful info from her.


The heroes begin investigating a series of thefts of Greek artifacts from several area museums - a breastplate, helmet, horn bow, short sword, and greaves.  One theft is done by a shapeshifter, mimicking one hero's DNPC friend who works at the museum, who took the stolen items (in a black suitcase) to a bus depot, put that into a locker and took a grey suitcase (with forged replicas) to plant in the poor schmuck's car trunk.  The heroes check out the locker, finding it empty with no secret panel or hidden compartment, then pull the security camera tape and watch the switch, but nobody opens the locker before they got there.  They check the tape for the camera that had a view of the lockers on the other side, and see a man reach in, apparently through the back of the locker, and pull the black suitcase out.


Malarky:  We'll tip off the police about both camera views.  They'll see the guy pulling the suitcase out and should let Tom go.  And the tape is unaltered...

GM:  (smiles malevolently)

Malarky:  ... well, we'll alter the part where we checked the locker...


From security cameras, they see that the other theft was done by a man dressed in a Red Sox uniform, along with a woman dressed as a 1600's Puritan woman.


GM (describing the Puritan woman, looks at Honey Badger's player):  ... you kinda get that "naughty librarian" vibe.

Honey Badger:  (whimper) You're killing me.


Pops (in secret ID) is interviewed by PRIMUS Lt. Williams, who is trying to pin down the location of the lab for The Professor, second-in-command of the Boston VIPER Nest.  (It's a poorly-kept secret that the lab is somewhere on the MIT campus.)


One of the players (I don't recall which one):  The Professor?  They should just look for stuff made out of coconuts.


Lt. Williams' questions make it evident that he thinks Dr. Stevens (Pops) is up to something, but he doesn't come right out and say it, until...


Lt. Williams:  So, do you like being the professor?

Dr. Stevens:  It's pretty cool.  You get to... wait, did you say the professor?  You think I'm The Professor from VIPER?  (rolls his eyes)  Where do they get you people?


Later that afternoon, Dr. Stevens meets with a woman (Allison Browning) trying to lure him to work for a private research firm (Boston Science and Innovations), founded by a former MIT professor kicked out about 7 years back after a prototype AI robot went berserk, killing a grad student.


Pops: (to another player) Hush.  I'm trying to become a mole in VIPER.


(more to follow)

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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

Jonathan Bridges / Happy Jack: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator

Mr. Johnson (NPC): the name given to anonymous employers of shadowrunners


Total Eclipse - Contract (Re)Negotiation

This module was previously described by Drhoz (here and here).


Mr. Johnson wanted to meet Jonathan at a strip club called the Pink Pitbull.


No-Step: "Judging by the name, its clearly a high class establishment."

Dent: "It probably has back rooms for very, very private 'dances'."

Eye Spy: "Just imagine all the things you could catch from the joygirls."

Dent: "Or the joyboys. Which clientele does it service?"

Jonathan Bridges: "I don't particularly care. It's just as easy to throw a couple bills at boys or girls. And I don't need any of the services they provide."

No-Step: (scoffing) "You're getting serviced somewhere else?"

Jonathan Bridges: "Virtual Vicky. She doesn't spread STDs."

Audacity Jane: "You can still pick up other kinds of viruses from that stuff."

Byte Force: "I check them out first to make sure they're clean."

Eye Spy: "I'll bet you check them out. Verrrry thoroughly."

Byte Force: "I walked right into that one, didn't I?"


The afternoon "crowd" at the Pink Pitbull consisted of a Japanese businessman, an elf street samurai (presumably a bodyguard) and Mr. Johnson ... a native American businessman ... who was magickally awakened.


Dent: "He's probably a shaman."

No-Step: "Don't let yourself be blinded by stereotypes. Not all awakened Native Americans are shamans. Some are hermetics."

Happy Jack: "And corps prefer to hire hermetics over shamans. Something about that rules-driven mindset."

No-Step: "Speaking of being blinded by stereotypes...."


Magickal pedigree aside, Mr. Johnson worked for an entertainment corp who needed a group of wayward musicians returned to the company fold.


Mr. Johnson: "They are a band called The Elementals. They are cutting their first audiochip with my company, but artistic tempers flared at some of the company's suggestions. They stormed out of the recording studio, taking the only copy of their album with them."


Due to the imminent release of the album, the band and the album needed to be retrieved quietly ... and very, very quickly.


Mr. Johnson: "I would like you to gently persuade the band members to meet with me at my condo no later than midnight tonight. I believe we can work something out, bury the hatchet, if I just have the chance to talk privately."

Jonathan Bridges: "How 'gently' do they need to be 'persuaded'? You have a very narrow time frame, so there's a limit to the subtle pressure we can apply."

Mr. Johnson: "I believe I can provide something to help you in this task."

Mr. Johnson handed Jonathan a package containing six narcojet pistols.

Jonathan Bridges: "I understand your meaning perfectly. However, I insist that our payment is contingent upon the band and album being delivered in good condition, not on the outcome of the negotiations. It has been my experience that being drugged and abducted typically generates more bad feelings than mere 'artistic differences' do."


Mr. Johnson also provided pictures of the band members, and the location of their space they were using for a studio ... which happened to be in a very public and well-patrolled area. He also stressed that it was important that the team not be seen with The Elementals near their studio.


Eye Spy: "Are we going to tail The Elementals home from their studio and grab them?"

Byte Force: "That will only work if they all travel and live together. What if they go four different ways?"

Dent: "Maybe we can grab all of them and the album at the studio."

Eye Spy: "The studio is in a heavily patrolled neighborhood."

Happy Jack: "That means they'll feel safe and secure."


The recording studio was in a small commercial buildings. One of the other tenants was a small bank.


Audacity Jane: "If the bank employees are properly paranoid, any commotion could lead to a silent alarm."

Dent: "So what. I'll use a Silence spell. We could set off grenades without anyone hearing a thing."


Byte Force: "Their equipment is fairly valuable. They probably keep the door locked."

Happy Jack: "I'll talk them into letting me in. I'll pretend that I work for a club that wants to book them."

No-Step: "You don't look like a nightclub manager."

Happy Jack: "I'm a troll. I look like every nightclub bouncer."

No-Step: "Why would a bouncer be inviting them to play at a club?"

Happy Jack: "Let me worry about that. Byte Force, can you find a hot club that they haven't been booked at yet?"

Byte Force: (after searching for a couple minutes) "They haven't been booked at the Psychedelic Miracle yet."

Happy Jack: (giving Byte Force a withering stare) "Did you choose that just to annoy me?"


Happy Jack started looking through the clothes he had stashed in the van for loud, garish clubware.


Audacity Jane: "Just wear something colorful."

Happy Jack: "I'm trying for something between colorful and 'makes your eyes bleed'."


No-Step performed astral reconnaisance.


No-Step: "All four of them are there, but it looks like they're getting ready to leave."

Happy Jack: "Time for me to go stall them. Jane and Dent, let me know when you're ready to be let in."

Dent: "Try not to look intimidating. They might refuse to let you in."

Happy Jack: "Nah. Their drummer is a troll. I'm no more intimidating than him."


The Elementals (NPCs)

Whispering Wind: female human singer 

Wildfire: male elf guitarist

Coyote: male human bassist

Bambi: male troll drummer


Bambi: (answering the studio door) "What do you want?"

Happy Jack: "Duuuuude! Man! I am so glad to see you. My manager has been trying to reach you for weeks."

Bambi: "Who are you?"

Happy Jack: "I'm Sunflower, the bouncer at The Psychadelic Miracle."

Bambi: "Your name is Sunflower?"

Sunflower / Happy Jack: "Uh huh."

Bambi: "And I thought my name was bad."


After stepping inside the recording studio.


Wildfire: "I don't think we're the kind of band you guys normally book."

Sunflower / Happy Jack: "But you're HOT! You're hotter than hot. You're like thermonuclear heat wave hot."

Whispering Wind: "We're kind of busy right now with getting our album out."

Sunflower / Happy Jack: "Will you at least stop by and talk to my manager? Please, please, please, please, PLEEEEEEEEEEASE." (pause to inhale) "Or at least call him. Calling him would be good too."

Whispering Wind: (laughing) "Okay, okay. We'll find the time to call him."

Sunflower / Happy Jack: "Oh thank you, thank you, thank you."

Dent and Jane were in the hall, listening to the conversation over the radio link.

Audacity Jane: (whispering to Dent) "It's a good thing their studio is sound-proofed, or they would hear you giggling through the door."


Jack opened the door as if to leave, and Dent (concealed by a hearth spirit) cast Silence into the room. Jane followed it up with a spray of narcojet darts. As soon as everyone was down, Dent dropped the Silence spell.


No-Step: "Did anyone figure out how we get them out of here?"

Audacity Jane: "We stuff them into boxes. You cast Mask spells on Jack and me, so we look like we're band members. We take the boxes out to the van."

Happy Jack: "Yeah. Disguise me like Bambi, obviously, and disguise Jane ... like Coyote."

Audacity Jane: "You want him to disguise me as a man?"

Happy Jack: "Does Whispering Wind look like the type who does her own heavy lifting?"


A pair of local Lone Star patrolmen stopped Jack and Jane to see why they were hauling boxes to a van.


Lone Star patrolman: "I need you to identify yourselves and explain what you're taking from this building."

Happy Jack (disguised as Bambi): "We own this recording studio. One of our vendors sent us the wrong stuff. We're shipping it back and they're replacing it."

Lone Star patrolman: "Is there anyone who can verify your story?"

Happy Jack / Bambi: "We share this building with a bank. The bank guards should recognize us. They see us every day."

Eye Spy (ooc): I think the bank guards were intended to be a complication, not an alibi.


Dent read The Elementals' minds to find out where the master recording was.


Dent: "I found the recording, but I also found something really weird."

No-Step: "Weird how?"

Dent: "They never worked for an entertainment corporation. No entertainment corporation has made a serious effort to recruit them. They've never seen Mr. Johnson before."

Audacity Jane: (shrugging) "So Mr. Johnson lied. That happens all the time."

No-Step: "Wait. Dent has a point. Why didn't Mr. Johnson try to recruit them before hiring us?"

Happy Jack: "It's a good thing that we captured them so quickly. It gives us all evening to investigate our employer."


People don't like it when shadowrunners ask questions ... and nosy shadowrunners sometimes get shot.


But with the right disguise, people expect questions ... and the bullets end up aimed at the wrong target.


Detective Williams / Happy Jack: (to the bartender) "You've been working here since you opened, right?"

Pink Pitbull bartender: "Yeah."

Detective Williams / Happy Jack: (showing a picture of Jonathan Bridges) "This troll came in earlier and met with someone. Did you see them?"

Pink Pitbull bartender: "I'm not sure. It's kind of dark in here, and lots of people come and go."

Detective Williams / Happy Jack: "Listen, drekhead, either you can answer my questions, or I'll call a couple uniformed officers to join me in here and we'll ask questions of every single sleazy customer of yours who comes through the door. And if we don't get answers today, we'll come back tomorrow, and the next day." (pause) "It may affect your business some, but that's hardly my concern."

Pink Pitbull bartender: "Okay! I'll answer your questions. Yes, I saw the meet go down. I never saw the troll before today, but he met with one of our regulars. An Amerind. A shaman, I think. He was dressed better than normal for the meeting. He was wearing a suit."

Detective Williams / Happy Jack: "How does he normally dress?"

Pink Pitbull bartender: "Beaded leather buckskins. An old-fashioned hat with feathers stuck in it, and a spider on it."

Detective Williams / Happy Jack: "There's a spider design on the hat?"

Pink Pitbull bartender: "No! There's a real, live, fragging tarantula on his hat. All. The. Time." (pause) "But not today."

Detective Williams / Happy Jack: "Does he have a name?"

Pink Pitbull bartender: "I'm sure he's got a name, but nobody around here knows it. Nobody wants to talk to him. He's a big tipper, but he freaks all the girls out."

Detective Williams / Happy Jack: "They're scared of the spider."

Pink Pitbull bartender: "And they're more scared of him."


Back in the van.


No-Step: "If he's a spider shaman, those are seriously nasty business. That kind of totem makes a shaman go crazy."

Byte Force: "He's supposedly having us deliver the band to his apartment. I can't tell if it's really his home, but it's a distinct possibility."

Audacity Jane: "He doesn't trust us enough to tell the truth about the job ... but he trusts us enough to let us know where he hangs out ... and maybe even where he lives?"

No-Step: "Maybe he thinks we'd refuse the job if we knew what it really entailed."

Audacity Jane: "And maybe he plans to kill us when the job is over."

No-Step: "Those aren't mutually exclusive."

Audacity Jane: "I know."

Happy Jack: (shrugging) "I distinctly remember agreeing to keep this job quiet and secret. We can carry out the agreement to the letter, then screw up whatever he plans next. We just can't tell anyone about it."

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(continuing the Champions game)


As Ms. Browning is meeting with Pops, Malarky is walking across the MIT campus heading to class and notices two men, looking exactly like the guy in the Red Sox uniform from one museum theft, and the man who pulled the stolen Greek artifacts out of the bus locker after the other museum theft.  Also, two guys who don't look like students are standing around, waiting.  So Malarky call all his new-found friends.  Unfortunately, most of them are still enroute when Ms. Browning leaves the building, and the Red Sox guy pulls out a baseball and takes down one of the latter two guys, who are Ms. Browning's bodyguards.


Malarky:  Looks like I'm going to be late for class.


The man from the bus depot was very well-dressed, but this guy on campus is wearing jeans and a parka.


Circe:  Wait, the guy we saw on the bus security camera was in an expensive suit.

Maker:  How do you know it was expensive?

Circe:  (points to KS: Fashion on the character sheet)  I know an expensive suit when I see one.


Pops teleports over to the opposite buidling's rooftop and begins teleporting students from the soon-to-be-battlefield onto the rooftop beside him.


Pops:  Now the big question is, are they going to just stand there and watch, or are they going to run downstairs and get the heck out of here?

Maker:  There's going to be explosions and stuff.  They'll run away soon enough.

Pops:  These are students at MIT.  In a supers universe.  They see explosions, they'll think, "Oh, it must be Tuesday."


A police helicopter appears overhead.  Literally appears, out of an apparently empty sky.


Honey Badger:  Now that's a quick response.


The helicopter fires a missile at the guy in the parka, doing no apparent damage.


Circe:  Wait, when did police helicopters get outfitted with missiles?!


An apparent twin of the guy in the parka, this one dressed in a nice suit and overcoat, steps out of a building - as in, through the wall - and heads for Ms. Browning.


Circe:  Well, we found the guy's brother.


Honey Badger arrives and faces off against the Splendid Splinter.


Splendid Splinter:  How about... (pulls out Louisville Slugger) ... a little Bat-Fu?  (takes a batter's stance)  It's a bit high and outside, but it looks like Williams is going for it.  He's swinging for the bleachers...  (CRACK!) 


The bat cracks when it hits Honey Badger, but then he notices it instantly heals itself.


Honey Badger:  Honey Badger's gotta get one of those!

After taking down Splinter, Honey Badger turns toward the guy in the parka, who punches Honey Badger... and transforms to look like Honey Badger!


Honey Badger:  Guys, I don't think they're brothers...


Maker figures out the police helicopter is a hologram being projected by a much smaller flying robot.  She blasts it, damaging the hologram projector.


GM:  The helicopter turns into a Piper Cub, hovering in midair.  Then a flock of birds.  And then a dolphin.


Maker then flies closer and hits it with her EMP.


Maker:  And I catch it before it hits the ground, 'cause this one's mine.


(More to follow...)

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(continuing the Boston Champions game; Paddy McGinty will be making periodic guest appearances throughout the campaign with prior permission from Drhoz and McGinty's player)


Malarky hits the density altering guy (Gerrymander) with a powerful Flash attack, making the bad guy decide to duck back into the building. Malarky then runs over to the woman, who appears to be cowering in fear.


Malarky:  Come here, miss.  I'll get you out of here safe.  (She doesn't react to him, so he reaches out to grab her arm... and his hand passes through it.  He's looking at a very realistic illusion.)  Looks like she already got out of here.


One of the bodyguards / covert VIPER agents recovers and was moving to get to Ms. Browning, but stops when Malarky ran up to her, and pulls out a radio.  Shadowboxer listens in from a nearby shadow, but can only hear one side of the conversation.


VIPER Agent:  They've got Attache.  Repeat, they have Attache.  What do you want me to do?  (pause)  Roger that, be there in a few.


Shadowboxer recalls hearing that someone named Attache is the newly-appointed joint second-in-command of the Boston Nest, so he lets the agent leave and tails him to the Robert McNair building, 4th floor, room 4103A.


Meanwhile, the fight ends, with the heroes capturing Splinter and the mimic (Dyer), but Gerrymander escapes.  PRIMUS arrives to debrief the heroes and cart off the bad guys.


Lt. Williams:  (looking at Honey Badger holding what appears to be his unconscious twin)  How do we know you're the real Honey Badger, and not that guy?

Honey Badger:  The real Honey Badger doesn't bruise when you do this.  (Proceeds to bash Dyer repeatedly with Splinter's Louisville Slugger, which breaks and doesn't automatically heal)  Aw, man, Honey Badger was looking forward to using that!  [Yes, Honey Badger routinely refers to himself in the third person.]

Lt. Williams:  (watching Honey Badger using excessive force on an unconscious captive foe)  (in a bored, deadpan voice)  No.  Please.  Stop doing that.  You can't treat prisoners that way.  (yawns)


Circe notices an old man in a wheelchair watching the proceedings from the sidelines and chuckling to himself.  After a while, he wheels himself to the nearest street and hails a cab.  The cabbie helps the man into the back of the taxi, then proceeds to load the wheelchair into the trunk.


Mystery Man:  You watch what the fook you're doing with that!  Do you have any idea what those things cost?!  (waves his fist in the cabbie's face)  Dent that, and I'm denting your fookin' haid!

Maker:  (OOC)  Were you trying to do an Irish accent there, or was that accidental?


As the man is getting into the cab, Circe uses her smartphone to snap a picture of him.


Circe:  (OOC)  I imagine smartphones must be a pain for GMs in modern campaigns.  Everybody always has a camera ready.


Circe tails the cab to W. Haven Street, where the old man gets out of the cab and wheels up to one of the houses.  After the cab drives away, the old man gets out of the wheelchair, carts it up the front steps of one of the houses, and goes inside.  Eventually, Honey Badger takes Circe's place watching the house so Circe can get the photo to Malarky and Maker, two of the team's technical-minded members.  They run it through facial recognition comparisons to known criminals, then a Who's Who of Boston, and finally a global internet search.


GM:  The best you get is a 78% match to an old photo of some guy named Patrick McGinty.  Former governor of Massachusetts.

Malarky:  Former governor?  When?

GM:  1925 to 1927.

Malarky:  This may not be a good match.  Do a Google search on him anyway; anything interesting?

GM:  (hands him a typed-up Wikipedia entry on Patrick "Paddy" McGinty)

Malarky:  This may be the guy we're looking for.


Honey Badger is keeping watch on the house on Haven Street when he hears what sounds like whispering in the wind.


Disembodied voice:  Suuuugggaaarrr...  Beeeeaaaavvvvveeeerrrr...


Despite nobody seeing the old man leave the house, they later discover that it's empty.  They do a title search on it and discover that it's actually being held by a Boston law firm for an estate trust.


Nexus:  Which law firm?  And what's the name on the trust?
GM:  Crane, Poole, and Schmidt.

Nexus:  Cool!  We get to meet Denny Crane!  What's the name of the trust?

GM: The Shadowbox Trust.

(All players look at Shadowboxer expectantly, but all he can do is shrug and shake his head.)


After the fight at MIT hits the news, the college student that Circe and Nexus rescued from the near-clutches of a mystery mentalist calls Circe.  She has decided to tell all she knows, having figured out that the nightclub owner who saved her used mental powers to do so, as did one of the heroes in the MIT fight.


Kristina Shaw:  I mentioned yesterday that I knew some people on Snak Attak! [a group of low-powered or no-powered Boston University students patrolling to try keeping their campus safe; all are named after snack foods - and yes, that's how it's spelled].  Well, that wasn't the full truth.  I'm actually Twizzler, a member of Snak Attak!  (She demonstrates her stretching powers)  One of my friends, Nerds, convinced me to tell you what I know, so you can hopefully get Whitey put behind bars.


She proceeds to explain that a villain group (Boston Commons) on her original world must have been pulled over in the Cross-Rip.  They are:

  • Whitey:  Gangster with mental powers
  • Common Man:  Duplicating martial artist
  • Dyer:  Shapeshifting mimic
  • Gerrymander:  Density-altering brick
  • Marathon:  Greek-armor wearing archaeologist
  • Puritan:  Woman able to heal friends and drain away powers from foes
  • Sense:  Invisible illusionist woman
  • Splendid Splinter:  Baseball-obsessed plant-controlling man

All of the Commons ended up in the Fortress (her world's version of Stronghold) except for Marathon.  Since his enchanted items could be taken away, leaving him powerless, Marathon (aka Dr. Loukas) ended up in the general population at Riker's prison.  Obviously, the thefts were being done, along with this world's Dr. Loukas' kidnapping that the players hadn't learned about, to restore Marathon to the team.


Honey Badger:  They're from another world!  I wonder if any of them are Dr. Lizardo.  Or John Bigbooty.  "Big-boo-tay!  Boo-Tay!"

GM:  (stares at HB's player in disbelief, then hands him the character writeup for Common Man, pointing to one paragraph)  Read this paragraph.

Common Man's writeup:  "A fan of Buckaroo Banzai, Common Man named his duplicates in the same manner  as the Lectroids in the movie:  all are John followed by a last name (sometimes quite odd), and all were mentioned by name or from the computer screen list in the movie."

Honey Badger:  (smiling impishly) It's a power of mine.


(Still more to follow)

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(continuing the Boston Champions game; Paddy McGinty will be making periodic guest appearances throughout the campaign with prior permission from Drhoz and McGinty's player)




I'd completely forgotten that :) Then managed to miss this paragraph



Circe notices an old man in a wheelchair watching the proceedings from the sidelines and chuckling to himself.  After a while, he wheels himself to the nearest street and hails a cab.  The cabbie helps the man into the back of the taxi, then proceeds to load the wheelchair into the trunk.


Mystery Man:  You watch what the fook you're doing with that!  Do you have any idea what those things cost?!  (waves his fist in the cabbie's face)  Dent that, and I'm denting your fookin' haid!

Maker:  (OOC)  Were you trying to do an Irish accent there, or was that accidental?


So when you got to this bit I thought "hang about, that sounds horribly familiar"



GM:  The best you get is a 78% match to an old photo of some guy named Patrick McGinty.  Former governor of Massachusetts.

Malarky:  Former governor?  When?

GM:  1925 to 1927.

Malarky:  This may not be a good match.  Do a Google search on him anyway; anything interesting?

GM:  (hands him a typed-up Wikipedia entry on Patrick "Paddy" McGinty)

Malarky:  This may be the guy we're looking for.


Those poor, poor fools...  Also, I want to see this entry

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


Cast of characters:

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

Jonathan Bridges / Happy Jack: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator

Mr. Johnson (NPC): the name given to anonymous employers of shadowrunners

The Elementals (NPCs)

Whispering Wind: female human singer 

Wildfire: male elf guitarist

Coyote: male human bassist

Bambi: male troll drummer


Total Eclipse - The Video

This module was previously described by Drhoz (here and here).


A music corp. executive (and spider shaman) had hired the team to abduct a hot, new band ... The Elementals.


Jonathan, Jane and No-Step delivered The Elementals to Mr. Johnson's penthouse. After paying them the remainder of what they were due, Mr. Johnson urged them to wait in the living room (accompanied by his bodyguard and another well-dressed individual) while he spoke with The Elementals privately in the study.


Afterwards, Mr. Johnson and and The Elementals were all smiles ... and Mr. Johnson had another job for the team.


Mr. Johnson, The Elementals and Lupus (the well-dressed individual) wanted to shoot a music trideo at a particular location ... about a one-day hike across the border into NAN territory. They didn't have permits to travel and film in NAN, so they wanted to hire the team to sneak them across the border, and escort them two and from the location.


And they wanted to leave immediately, in order to do the filming the following night.


Jonathan Bridges drove a hard bargain, and Mr. Johnson seemed quite willing to pay it, right up until they hit a sticking point...


Mr. Johnson: "I simply can't pay you half up front. I don't have the certified credsticks with me."

Jonathan Bridges: "Then you can pick up the certified credsticks en route to the NAN border. Alternatively, you can wire the money to a numbered account."

Mr. Johnson: "I can't see why you're demanding half up front. I've already demonstrated that I'm willing and able to pay for your services."

Jonathan Bridges: "Trust in the shadowrunning business is a very delicate thing. And in my past experience, Mr. Johnsons are most likely to refuse to pay half up front if they're planning to backstab us."

Mr. Johnson: "Did I backstab you last time?"

Jonathan Bridges: "No. And you also paid half up front last time."

Mr. Johnson: "With the amount I'm paying for this job, I would think you would extend me a bit of trust."

Jonathan Bridges: "Quite the opposite. If a client offers us 10 million nuyen, but refuses to pay any up front, I would assume that his generosity was due to the fact that he intended to kill us, rather than paying us."


Mr. Johnson decided he would get the team's credsticks on the drive to the border.


Audacity Jane: (when the team was back in the van) "Johnson's still going to try to kill us."

Happy Jack: "Of course he is. He only caved on paying us half in order to make us less suspicious."

Audacity Jane: "And because he thinks he can get his credsticks back after killing us."

Eye Spy: "Why did we agree to this job?"

Happy Jack: "So we can collect half the pay ... and keep our word."

Eye Spy: "Great. We know he's going to kill us, and we're still working for him ... for half pay."


No-Step: "The Elementals are all wearing spell locks. Some kind of manipulation spell."

Dent: "Control Thoughts."

Happy Jack: "It seems likely."

Dent: "Is Mr. Johnson controlling Lupus?"

No-Step: "Not that directly. But Lupus is a wolf shapeshifter."

Audacity Jane: "And apparently he likes to advertise that fact."

Dent: "Breaking spell locks isn't that hard, but shapeshifters have regeneration. They're almost impossible to kill."

Audacity Jane: "Thanks for the warning. Leave him to me."

Dent: "You don't understand. He can ignore wounds. Even lethal ones. He will heal in seconds."

Audacity Jane: "I have a clip of silver bullets."

Dent: (long pause) "That ... that would do it."


Mr. Johnson found other things to object to. Like Eye Spy and Byte Force remaining with the van in Seattle territory.


Mr. Johnson: "I'm paying you to escort us to the film location. I'm not going to pay for two of you to sit in the van and wait for us to return."

Happy Jack: "The rigger will watching for patrols with her drones. She does better when she's not blindly stumbling face-first into trees. The decker will be snooping around the NAN Border Security networks. He needs a cell signal to connect to the matrix. What do you expect them to accomplish by hiking through a forest?"


After the rest of the team had hiked into the forest...


Byte Force: (to Eye Spy) "Let's move the van to a new hiding spot."

Eye Spy: "Why?"

Byte Force: "Mr. Johnson knows where we're parked. If he's really serious about killing us off, he'll arrange for someone to kill us at the same time as he tries to kill the rest of the team."

Eye Spy: "I'm glad I have you around. I just thought he was going to kill the rest of the team, then come back and finish us off himself."


The hikers encountered a NAN border patrol, but a forest spirit's Concealment power was enough to keep them from being discovered.


The real excitement happened when they arrived at the location for the trideo ... a clearing containing a number of large stone slabs in an apparently random pattern.


Mr. Johnson: "Why are we stopping?"

Audacity Jane: "There's a banshee and a pack of ghouls in the clearing."

Mr. Johnson: (smiling nastily) "Well, that's the kind of problem you were hired to take care of. Hurry up and clear the area. Time is money."

No-Step: (quietly) "He's a real sweetheart."


Dent: (to Jane) "Silver bullets work on banshees."

Audacity Jane: "I'm going to need to save some for later."

Dent: "You're a crack shot. How many times do you expect to have to shoot it?"


Audacity Jane killed the banshee. Happy Jack killed most of the ghouls. The ones that fled were hunted down by Dent's and No-Step's spirits.


Happy Jack: (looking at the carnage in the clearing) "I hope The Elementals aren't squeamish."


The clearing was cleared of corpses. Lights and cameras were set up to catch the performance from every angle.


No-Step: (over the radio link) "He's setting up the music video in a Place of Power for 'artistic integrity'? This has the potential for major Ritual Magick."

Audacity Jane: "You know what happens when you disrupt this kind of ritual."

Dent: "No, we don't."

Audacity Jane: "Well ... you'll find out soon."


After the preparations were made, Dent, Jane and No-Step faded back into the forest, while Jack remained in the clearing. Right before No-Step headed into the forest, he augmented Happy Jack's willpower (using the Snake totem's affinity for health spells).


No-Step: "Try not to let Mr. Johnson control what little mind you have."


Mr. Johnson: "Why did your friends go into the forest?"

Happy Jack: "They're keeping a perimeter, just in case another NAN patrol shows up, or stray ghouls return."

Mr. Johnson: "Why aren't you with them?"

Happy Jack: "Just in case something makes it past the perimeter."

Mr. Johnson: "What was that health spell your friend cast on you?"

Happy Jack: "Health spell? That makes sense."

Mr. Johnson: "What makes sense?"

Happy Jack: "A health spell. I'm always the first one shot."

Mr. Johnson: "Why are you the first one shot?"

Happy Jack: "It must be anti-troll bigotry."


(Mr. Johnson apparently didn't notice that Happy Jack was carrying a mini-grenade launcher ... which was the real reason he was consistently the first one shot.)


The Elementals' performance looked visually spectacular ... particularly to the shamans assencing the astral plane.


No-Step: (over the radio link) "The Elementals' song ... it's a magickal ritual!"

Audacity Jane: "Cut the suspense. What is it doing?"

No-Step: "It's a spiritual healing ritual. I think it's capable of healing an injured or dying spirit."

Audacity Jane: "What kind of spirit is he healing?"

No-Step: "I can't tell that yet."

Audacity Jane: "I'm not that interested in finding out. I'm dropping Johnson in 3, 2, 1."


Mr. Johnson sprouted a couple narcojet darts. Happy Jack fired a neuro-stun grenade into the middle of The Elementals. The elf street samurai and Lupus lept to their defense ... rather ineffectively.


And then the sprit manifested. A hideous, deformed, three meter tall spider-like THING.


Dent: "Ahhh, bite me."

No-Step: "I'm sure he will."


hideous spider-like thing: "I. Will. FEEEED."

Happy Jack: "It looks like you've already had a double-helping of ugly."


And serendipity smiled on the team. Powerful spirits are essentially immune to ranged weapons. Melee weapons can harm them, but the damage isn't based on the wielder's physical strength, but rather their strength of will. No-Step, feeling paranoid about Mr. Johnson using Control Thoughts on Happy Jack, had enhanced Jack's mediocre willpower.


Followed by more serendipity.


Audacity Jane: I might as well shoot it. I've got nothing else.

GM: Which ammo are you using?

Audacity Jane: It's still silver bullets. I didn't have a chance to swap it out after Lupus.

GM: (headdesk)

Dent: It's vulnerable to silver too?


Once the spell locks were removed, The Elementals returned to their normal selves.


Whispering Wind: (furious) "I can't believe that you kidnapped us, mind controlled us and nearly got us killed by that THING!!"

Happy Jack: "We only abducted you. That fellow" (pointing at Mr. Johnson) "mind controlled you and tried to feed you to a spider monster. As you may remember, he lied to us about those parts of his plan."

Whispering Wind: "Why would you do that kind of thing?!?"

Happy Jack: "Abduct you? We were paid to. Rather well."

Coyote: "What happens next?"

No-Step: "Well, we were hired to sneak all of you into NAN territory, and then sneak you out again. Unless you want to stay here, we're perfectly willing to escort you back home."

Whispering Wind: "Provided you get paid, right?"

Happy Jack: (pointing at Mr. Johnson) "He's the one who promised to pay us. It seems likely that he intends to stiff us..."

Dent: "Particularly since he already tried to kill us."

Happy Jack: "But that just means he gets to talk to our collections department later." (pause) "So your trip home is being covered by him."


During the drive back into Seattle...


Byte Force: (handing a set of chips to Bambi) "I finished cleaning these up. They're yours."

Bambi: "What are they?"

Byte Force: "90% of a music video for your song, 'Healing the Spirit'."

Bambi: "90%?"

Byte Force: "I edited out some of the parts at the end, like you collapsing and the giant spider materializing. They didn't seem to fit the general theme of the song."


Wildfire: "What happens to Mr. Johnson now?"

Happy Jack: "He tried to stiff us, and he tried to kill us. So we're going to collect as much money as we can from him, and then he's going to disappear."

Wildfire: "What if he decides to return?"

Audacity Jane: "We're not going to tell him to disappear. We're going to make him disappear."


After returning the band to their studio.


Eye Spy: "I'm worried about selling Johnson to the organ-leggers. He could escape, or bribe them into letting him go."

Audacity Jane: "Good point. Give him a frontal lobotomy before we deliver him."

Eye Spy: "Me?!? I've never done one of those before. I don't even know how."

Audacity Jane: "Relax. If you completely screw up, you'll end up with a cooling corpse ... which is a reasonable second-best alternative."

No-Step: "That's a really horrible thing to do to someone."

Audacity Jane: "Yes it is ... but do you care?"

No-Step: (stopping to think about it) "You know, in this case I don't. Carry on."

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