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Darren Watts

Quote of the Week from my gaming group...

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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

Happy Jack: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator

Universal Brotherhood ("UB"): a charitable fringe religious organization

Judy (NPC): a human form insect spirit; almost impossible to distinguish from a normal human, even when assenced astrally, and therefore extremely dangerous

 

Missing Blood, part 7 - Orkin Man

 

The Universal Brotherhood was secretly being controlled by insect spirits. The team had decided to start by taking out the UB's Redmond chapterhouse.

 

The assault:

 

Unfortunately, Judy hadn't been eliminated before the assault. Therefore, she was a primary target during the assault, second only to the queen.

 

Happy Jack: "I'm going to go in the front door before walking around to the soup kitchen."

Audacity Jane: "Why? So you can run the risk of blowing your cover?"

Judy: (as Happy Jack walked in) "Is there something I can help you with?"

homeless Happy Jack: "Uh ... somebody said there was food here..." (looking around) "um ... sorry ... I guess they were wrong..."

Judy: "You're in the right place. Just the wrong door. If you go out the door and follow the wall along that way, you'll see the entrance to the soup kitchen."

Happy Jack: (subvocalizing over the radio link as he walked around the building) "The front half of the building is one large room. The elevator is accessed from that room, and both fire stairwells, and the stairs to the basement. Judy is sitting at the information desk. There are two guards, and about four other people."

Audacity Jane: "I'm impressed. You actually got some useful recon out of that."

Dent: "I'm less impressed. He mostly learned that the alarm is going to go off when you're halfway through clearing the ground floor."

 

Jack and Jane went into the soup kitchen and picked a spot at an empty table. Jane stayed back at the table while Jack went to where they were serving the food. As the only troll in the place, he drew a lot of attention ... particularly from the security guards.

 

homeless Happy Jack: (speaking a little too loudly) "Scuse me. Do you have bigger bowls than these?"

Jane used her silenced narcojet pistol to drop the two guards.

homeless Happy Jack: "Hey! They just fell down."

Jane used her narcojet pistol to drop the two UB volunteers who were serving food.

homeless Happy Jack: "Hey! You just fell down too."

In the confusion, Jane dropped everyone else in the room.

Audacity Jane: (to Jack) "Thanks for helping."

Happy Jack: "You're welcome."

Audacity Jane: "I was being sarcastic."

Happy Jack: "I was being a distraction."

Audacity Jane: "You didn't do anything except make inane comments ... loudly."

Happy Jack: "Which managed to distract them."

 

Jack and Jane worked their way through the building to the front room.

 

Happy Jack: (holding out his hand to Jane) "When I open the door, roll these into the middle of the room."

Audacity Jane: "What are these?"

Happy Jack: "NeuroStun grenades."

Audacity Jane: "Why do they have Nerps labels on them?"

Happy Jack: "What do you do when a grenade rolls into the middle of the room?"

Audacity Jane: "Dive for cover or throw it back."

Happy Jack: "And what do you do when a can of Nerps rolls into the middle of the room?"

Audacity Jane: (long pause) "From now on, I'm gonna dive for cover or throw it back."

 

Several things happened almost simultaneously: Byte Force severed the building's commline and started jamming cellular frequencies; Dent and No-Step unleashed their swarm of watcher spirits against the building's magickal ward; and Jane rolled the gas grenades into the front room.

 

As Jack and Jane waited in the hall for the NeuroStun gas to disperse, Jack pulled two small Spyder drones out of his backpack.

No-Step: (over the radio link) "The first spirits have reacted to our attack. They're fly spirits."

Audacity Jane: "That's appropriate."

Eye Spy: "Appropriate?"

Audacity Jane: "Your drones will be covering the lobby while we're in the basement." (pause) "So we'll be using your Spyders to catch some flies."

 

Jack entered the fly "queen's" chamber and assumed a wide-legged combat stance. Jane dropped to the floor and fired bursts from her silenced submachine gun between his legs, killing several flesh-form fly spirits.

 

Happy Jack: "Be very, very careful when you pull stunts like that."

Audacity Jane: "Seriously? You're not that well endowed."

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At least searching the web helps, even if Ares Macrotech bought out Google years ago.

 

Dr. Rubicante: I'm going to walk around while Aresearching "Jet Black and the Shadows". I'm somewhat thrilled that in 50 years, 'googling' is still as effective as ever.

That does not run of the tongue properly.

How about "Arsing", from "ARes Search Engine"?

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A: "I have the cooking skill. I want to make jelly beans."

B: "Ummm... okay. Do you have the ingredients?"

A: "What are jellybeans made of?"

C: "I thought I read somewhere gelatin was originally made from bone somehow. That's what jellybeans

     really are, right?"

B: "Okay, let's go with that. Do you have any bone?"

A: "No... but we just killed those elves."

B: "YOU'RE GOING TO HARVEST BONES FROM THE DEAD ELVES... TO MAKE JELLYBEANS?!"

A: "Yeah. So?"

C: "These are going to be the evilest jellybeans."

A: "So, should they be black then?"

C: "Yes, as black as your little heart."

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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

Happy Jack: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator

Universal Brotherhood ("UB"): a charitable fringe religious organization


Judy (NPC): a human form insect spirit; almost impossible to distinguish from a normal human, even when assenced astrally, and therefore extremely dangerous


HMHVV: Human Meta-Human Vampiric Virus; different strains cause people to become vampires, banshees, wendigo, etc.

 

 

Missing Blood, part 8 - Cover This Up

 

The team had destroyed/neutralized the fly spirits in the UB Redmond chapterhouse and drugged unconscious all the normal humans. This gave them several minutes of free reign to do whatever they wanted (including Byte Force pilfering from the UB accounts).

 

Dent: "I'm going to kill the spirit possessing Judy."

Audacity Jane: "Wait ... there's no hive mind left for it to connect with, right?"

Dent: "Yeah. So?"

Audacity Jane: "So we have a prisoner to interrogate."

Dent: "I don't think you can torture a bug."

Eye Spy: "Cats do it all the time."

 

As Jane started raiding the vault for the Blood necklace, Jack pulled out several body bags and stuffed the flesh form fly corpses into them.

 

No-Step: "That's revolting. Why would you want to take those?"

Happy Jack: "We're going to sell them to megacorps."

No-Step: "That's your idea of making a profit from this?"

Happy Jack: "It's also my idea of creating something that's too big to cover up."

 

In the fly "queen's" room, the team found three cocoons with humans in the middle of mutating into flesh form fly spirits. After No-Step killed the possessing spirits, Happy Jack eviscerated the mutated bodies, then dragged the bodies up the stairs, through the lobby and onto the sidewalk.

 

Dent: "Doesn't the UB control Lone Star? As soon as the cops show up, they'll just cover this up."

Happy Jack: (grinning) "Then we'll just have to make sure that they're the last ones called."

 

Byte Force: "I have the voice masks queued up and the cell phones we stole from the building. Are we ready to make some calls?"

Happy Jack: "Yep. Make me sound like a little old lady."

DocWagon operator: "Thank you for calling DocWagon. May I have your account number."

little old lady Happy Jack: "Hello? I'm calling about one of your employees..."

DocWagon operator: "Are you making a complaint? If so, I'll need your account number."

little old lady Happy Jack: "No ... there's a man lying on the sidewalk. I think he's wearing a DocWagon uniform."

DocWagon operator: (alarmed) "Is someone attacking a DocWagon employee?"

little old lady Happy Jack: "No ... there was a gunshot ... so I waited a minute before looking out the window..."

 

After the call...

 

Dent: "You 'waited a minute before looking out the window'?"

Happy Jack: "Nobody in Redmond looks out the window immediately after a gunshot. Not unless they're looking to get hit by the subsequent gunshots."

 

Happy Jack and Byte Force followed up with a call to the CDC (pretending to be a DocWagon paramedic) reporting a suspected new strain of HMHVV infection, and then called Shiawase Environmental hazmat cleanup (pretending to be a CDC physician).

 

Happy Jack: "Let's get several blocks down the street and get some telephoto pictures of the bodies and the ensuing chaos."

Eye Spy: "I can get better pictures from above."

Happy Jack: "I don't want them to realize you were above them. I want them to think we're a nosy bystander."

 

Eye Spy: "It looks like all of the party guests have arrived."

Byte Force: "I have the little old lady voice queued again. Ready for the next round of phone calls?"

MegaMedia operator: "MegaMedia News. How may I help you?"

little old lady Happy Jack: "Hello? Why aren't you showing the men in spacesuits on the news?"

MegaMedia operator: "The men in space suits? I don't ..."

little old lady Happy Jack: "I can see a bunch of men in space suits in the street a block from my apartment" (pause) "and there's a DocWagon ambulance ... and a Shiawase truck...."

MegaMedia operator: "What are the men in space suits doing?"

little old lady Happy Jack: "I can't tell." (pause) "The space suits have letters on them ... C ... D ... C."

MegaMedia operator: "CDC ... Wait! What?!?"

little old lady Happy Jack: "I thought NASA owned all of the space ships ... no ... wait ... they sold them to Ares."

 

Later....

 

No-Step: "Aren't you handing the UB its cover-up on a silver platter? They can just claim there was a biohazard scare."

Happy Jack: "Do you want to visit a building where there was a biohazard scare?"

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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

Danial Simpson (NPC): a pudgy, middle-aged junior exec at Renraku; was given his position by his father-in-law

Victoria Delling (NPC): Danial Simpson's mistress; went missing after receiving a unique necklace called Blood

Detective Bambra (NPC): a private investigator hired by Danial Simpson's wife to find evidence of Danial Simpson's affair

Universal Brotherhood ("UB"): a charitable fringe religious organization; secretly controlled by insect spirits


HMHVV: Human Meta-Human Vampiric Virus

 


Missing Blood, part 9 - Aftermath

 

The raid on the Universal Brotherhood's Redmond chapterhouse was successful. The team had recovered the missing necklace, Blood. They had found the missing girl, Victoria Delling, and had put her out of her (insect possessed) misery. And the Redmond chapterhouse was being investigated for a HMHVV outbreak ... which would be a seriously nasty thing ... except when compared to their actual activities.

 

Byte Force: (posting to a Humanis Policlub forum under the handle 'VampireHater') "You won't believe what those bleeding-heart metahuman-loving slags at the Universal Brotherhood are doing. They're helping HMHVV infected monsters like loup-garou, dour and nosferatu by hiding them in their chapterhouses. Not only are those idiots going to get themselves killed, they're going to get a bunch of decent humans sucked dry because they think those monsters have 'rights'. Anything that believes that people are food has rights. The right to DIE!!!!!"

Eye Spy: (reading what Byte Force had posted) "If Humanis tries to tangle with the UB, they're going to get slaughtered."

Audacity Jane: "Awww ... you're breaking my heart."

 

Then there was Judy, the human form fly spirit captured in the raid.

 

Dent: "I don't want to read that thing's mind. It could drive me insane."

Happy Jack: "I thought shamans could take control of spirits. You could just compel her to tell us what we want to know."

Dent: "In order to take control a spirit, I have to wrest control away from the summoner."

Happy Jack: "The summoner ... you mean that thing I killed in the basement last night? I don't think it will be putting up much of a struggle."

Dent: "Um ... this could be easier than I originally thought."

 

The afternoon after the raid, No-Step disguised himself as Detective Bambra in order to update Mrs. Simpson on his investigation into her husband's affair. In order to cover for the flaws in his disguise, he made himself look bruised and swolen.

 

Mrs. Simpson: "What happened to you?"

No-Step / Detective Bambra: "Your husband's mistress ... some of her friends objected to my investigation."

Mrs. Simpson: "Do you have evidence that I can use this time?"

No-Step / Detective Bambra: "Absolutely. I used the bug you planted to pull a message off your husband's answering machine."

No-Step showed Mrs. Simpson the vidphone message Victoria Delling had left for Danial thanking him for the necklace ... while wearing the very distinctive necklace, Blood.

No-Step / Detective Bambra: "I think I was able to erase the message before your husband saw it. He'll be completely surprised when you show it to him."

Mrs. Simpson: "I'm going to play it for him right after he gives me that whore's necklace."

No-Step / Detective Bambra: "About that ..." (handing her a box) "... I was able to get to the necklace before he was."

Mrs. Simpson: "Thank you sooo much. I think I'm going to give him divorce papers as an anniversary present." (eyes flashing with anger) "I want to see how he tries to weasel out of all of this."

 

Jonathan Bridges, on the other hand, had to apologize to Danial for failing to recover the necklace.

 

Danial Simpson: "Did you get it?"

Jonathan Bridges: "I'm afraid our investigation hit a dead end. I believe we found Ms. Delling's body, but we would need a DNA test to confirm that."

Danial Simpson: "She's ... she's dead?"

Jonathan Bridges: "Someone tried to dispose of her body by feeding it to the ghouls. That's why I'm not 100% certain that it was her."

Danial Simpson: "And there was no sign of the necklace?"

Jonathan Bridges: "It's a rough neighborhood. If anyone knew she had it, they may have killed her for it."

Danial looked aghast.

Jonathan Bridges: "We snooped around at the local fences, but any competent fence would be smart enough to just try to sell the stones, which are far harder to trace."

 

No-Step: (after Jonathan/Jack had returned from talking to Danial) "Do you have any idea what you've just done?!?"

Happy Jack: "Yep."

No-Step: "He's going to think his wife murdered Victoria!"

Happy Jack: "I certainly hope he's smart enough to reach that conclusion. I practically drew him a map."

No-Step: "He's probably going to murder her!"

Happy Jack: "And if he does, he's no longer going to be a junior exec at Renraku. He'll be a convict ... and safely out of the reach of the UB."

No-Step: "You're setting him up in order to ... save him?"

Happy Jack: "Nah. I'm setting him up in order to frag with the UB."

 

Hours later the leader of the UB, Galen Walker, gave a press conference in front of the Octagon, the largest  UB chapterhouse in Seattle. Byte Force slipped a list of questions onto a couple reporters' PDAs. Dent used his Influence spell to ensure they would ask the questions at the press conference.

 

Galen Walker: "... According to what we have learned from the Lone Star officers who investigated the tragedy at our Redmond chapterhouse, the attacker was a homeless troll, probably suffering from some form of mental illness. Contrary to initial reports, there is no indication this troll suffered from HMHVV. He was the chapterhouse's soup kitchen, receiving dinner when the attack began. Despite yesterday's tragedy, the Universal Brotherhood remains dedicated to helping the poor."

reporter #1: "Was this incident in any way related to the murder of Madame Ulishia four days ago?"

Galen Walker: "Who?"

reporter #1: "She was a member of the Redmond chapterhouse who was murdered in her home. Are you saying that there's no connection?"

Galen Walker: "Not that I'm aware of."

reporter #2: "Is there any connection to the murder of Christine Simpson? She was murdered just over an hour ago at the Glass Onion."

Galen Walker: "I'm afraid that this is the first that I've heard of this. She was a member?"

reporter #2: "No. Her husband was a brand new member of the Octogon chapterhouse. He's the one who murdered her in front of a crowd of witnesses."

Galen Walker: "I'm not sure why you believe that there's a connection between these unrelated...."

reporter #1: "What about the attempted murder of Patrick Bambra at his office four days ago? The five men who tried to kill him were all members of the Universal Brotherhood."

Galen Walker: "I'm not sure where you're getting this information...."

reporter #1: "Do you need to confirm that they were Universal Brotherhood members? I have their names."

reporter #2: "Is this level of violence normal for the Universal Brotherhood?"

And that's when Dent and No-Step's swarm of watchers came in for the attack. As a spirit-possessed human form, Galen Walker could see them coming. He made the extremely sensible decision to flee for the safety of the chapterhouse's magickal ward.

Audacity Jane: "Do you want me to pop him?"

Happy Jack: "Hold your fire. Right now, it looks like he ran away from some tough questions. If you kill him, it will look like he ran away from an attack."

No-Step: "He did run away from an attack."

Happy Jack: "An attack that none of the reporters or cameras could see. Let him be the one to try to sell that excuse to the media."

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In the last game I was in, a powerful villain throws a blast at our brick hero, who manages to take it without being injured or stunned.

 

Villain: How did you survive? That could have destroyed a building!

Hero replies: Well, I'm not just any ordinary building...

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Setting: Modern day Earth.

 

---

 

Two of the PCs were in a room beneath this concealed high-tech facility. Unfortunately, as they were exploring it, they set off an electricity trap that wasn't in the official blueprints and had to haul themselves up along the walls to the ceiling as it activated.

 

As both of the guys are perched among the lights like nervous hawks, one of them calls the techie PC occupying the control room inside the facility proper and asks if they can shut off the circuits leading to the room (which I might be underselling...it was more like a converted super-huge warehouse). He agrees and calls up the fourth PC who's able to sneak past security patrols to the section containing the circuit breakers/transformers/various power conduits. Normally, the techie could have worked his networking magic and switched off the flow remotely, but I wanted everyone to feel useful during this mission, so I made an executive decision and stated that because of ultra-paranoid security measures, the redirection of current had to be operated in person and also had to be sabotaged so as not to arouse suspicion (outside of scheduled tests, authorized maintenance, and emergencies, no one is allowed to muck about with the electronics at will).

 

Once within the isolated room, the agent located the relevant access panel and got to work. She asks the techie what needed to be done. A few rolls are made, so there's a bit of flavor description that gets sent back and forth. Misfortune strikes the team once again as the agent botches an assisted Electrician roll. However, she is able to correct her flub by spending some luck to re-roll into a normal success.

 

Techie: "Cut the three wires..." (makes assist roll)
Female agent: "Done and done." (rolls a failure)

Female agent's player: "Damn. I'm going to spend Luck to fix that..." (rolls again) (success).
Techie: "I SAID THREE!"

Female agent: "Don't get your leather pa...pants in a knot. It's just an expression. I haven't lost my grasp of basic arithmetic yet!"

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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 / Gomi No ShuShu: 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

Universal Brotherhood ("UB"): a charitable fringe religious organization; secretly controlled by insect sprits

 

Universal Brotherhood - The Saga Continues

 

For their next attack, the team chose the Universal Brotherhood chapterhouse in Auburn, which was controlled by termite spirits.

 

Audacity Jane: "When we attack the Auburn chapterhouse, let's break into one of the top floors."

Eye Spy: "Why? Isn't the hive in the basement?"

Audacity Jane: "We can take the elevator straight to the basement ... and nobody will expect us to break into the third or fourth floor when everything important is in the basement."

No-Step: "There's a difference between 'nobody will expect it' and 'it's a good idea'."

 

Byte Force: "I don't want to use cell phone jammers for this attack. If UB security is smart, they'll be listening for those by now and use them to trigger alarms."

Audacity Jane: "That's going to put us on a really tight timetable. Lone Star has a much better response rate in Auburn than Redmond."

Byte Force: "Don't worry about that. I have another way to slow them down."

Eye Spy: "Any time one of you says 'don't worry about that,' you make the rest of us worry more."

Byte Force: "Lone Star is going to get bombarded with several 'officer down' and 'officer needs assistance' calls at the same time you enter the chapterhouse. I think those will take priority over any calls from the UB."

 

Audacity Jane: "I can override the elevator controls, so nobody can use it but us. But that won't stop the UB guards from coming down the stairs behind us."

Happy Jack: "That's easy. We can use a paint grenade to slow down the reinforcements."

Audacity Jane: "How is a paint grenade going to do that?"

Byte Force: "I've taken the paint out of several of them and replaced it with lubricant."

Dent: "Won't that make them get downstairs even faster?"

 

As the team battled the flesh form and true form termite spirits in the basement...

 

Dent: "This building can't be worth very much ... it's infested with termites."

 

After killing the queen, Jack put a few flesh forms into body bags and dragged them into the elevator. No-Step, on the other hand, hid a few noisemakers around the basement.

 

Dent: "Is that your idea of helping?"

No-Step: "If we fire these off after we take the elevator back to the third floor, the remaining guards will be too busy storming the basement to look for us there."

 

After the raid, the Universal Brotherhood was forced to perform more spin control. The team, on the other hand was perfectly willing to provide anonymous tips to investigative reporters.

 

Anonymous tip: The Universal Brotherhood blamed the first attack on a homeless, mentally disturbed troll. They're blaming the second attack on a hate group. However, the Universal Brotherhood's security guards at both chapterhouses were taken out by narcojet darts and neurostun gas. That seems rather sophisticated for a homeless troll, and it seems like a soft touch for a hate group.

 

Anonymous tip: Have you checked out the ammo that the Universal Brotherhood security guards use? Their machine pistols are loaded with armor piercing discarding sabot rounds. How does a non-profit charity group get the legal clearance to use those?

 

In order to get the megacorps in on the action, it was time to start selling flesh forms to the megacorps "procurement specialists."

 

Happy Jack: "No-Step, you get to adopt a new identity and sell the flesh forms to the corps."

No-Step: "Why am I getting this job?"

Happy Jack: "Most of the megacorps who deal in biotech are Japanese owned. Those guys are notoriously biased against metahumans. You can disguise yourself as an overweight human. I'm three meters tall. I can only disguise myself as another troll."

 

No-Step adopted the alternate identity of Gomi No ShuShu, human, American-born, of Japanese descent.

 

Gomi No ShuShu: (to a prospective client) "I understand you're generally in the market for biological samples. Would you be in the market for samples of a previously unknown paranormal animal?"

Yamametsu procurement specialist: "First, you would need to persuade me that you had discovered a paranormal species that we're not already in possession of."

Gomi No ShuShu: (showing the buyer a picture of the flesh form insect spirit) "This is what my associates killed. We believe that it's a paranormal species, rather than genetic engineered. However, I suspect you would be interested in it either way."

Yamametsu procurement specialist: "Does it have anything that would make it commercially valuable?"

Gomi No ShuShu: "Security applications. It was being used to guard the sensitive areas in a building."

Yamametsu procurement specialist: "What size sample did your people get?"

Gomi No ShuShu: "Two nearly-complete bodies. And they've been kept refrigerated."

Yamametsu procurement specialist: "Nearly complete?"

Gomi No ShuShu: "There's a few bullet holes in each."

 

Yamametsu procurement specialist: "I can't authorize a very large payment, since this could still turn out to be worthless."

Gomi No ShuShu: "My associates said they would accept a modest payment for these preliminary samples."

Yamametsu procurement specialist: "Preliminary samples...?"

Gomi No ShuShu: "They're confident that you'll want to purchase a live sample later, and they intend to charge a much higher price for that."

Yamametsu procurement specialist: "They have a live sample?"

Gomi No ShuShu: "They know where to get one."

 

Afterwards...

 

Happy Jack: "Good work No-Step. Now you just need to sell some to MCT, Renraku and Shiawase." (long pause) "And you also need to sell the mostly-human flesh forms to Saeder Krupp."

No-Step: "Nobody is going to think that the mostly-human ones are paranormal animals."

Happy Jack: "Of course not. That's why you're selling them as examples of a new form of bioware."

Dent: "That's risky. Ripping off Saeder Krupp is a good way to get on Lofwyr's bad side."

Happy Jack: "Lofwyr's been around at least since the 4th Age. I'm going to bet he knows exactly what a flesh form is. This is my way of sending him a message."

Dent: "If he ever sees it."

Happy Jack: "Lofwyr's the micromanager from hell. He'll find out about it."

 

Unsurprisingly, a couple weeks after Saeder Krupp bought the specimens (for 5,000 nuyen apiece), No-Step / Gomi No ShuShu received a voice mail from a Saeder Krupp fixer. Byte Force set up an untraceable call.

 

Han Brackhaus of Saeder Krupp: "I am willing to pay 10,000 nuyen to learn where you acquired the specimens you sold us."

Gomi No ShuShu: "Let me discuss your offer with my associate."

No-Step put Brackhaus on hold and had a quick discussion with Happy Jack.

Gomi No ShuShu: "My associate tells me that if all you want is the location of those three specimens, he will provide it for free ... and he will refund 10,000 nuyen of the 15,000 nuyen deposit you paid me."

Hans Brackhaus: "That's a ... surprising offer."

Gomi No ShuShu: "However, if you want to know every location where he personally  encountered 'specimens' like that, he will keep the deposit and require an additional 35,000 nuyen. If you want you want his list of suspected locations, it will cost 250,000."

Hans Brackhaus: "Why would I consider paying that much for suspected locations?"

Gomi No ShuShu: "Based on his sampling, he says that he's 95% confident that over 50% of them have specimens at that location."

Hans Brackhaus: "That's still a large amount of money for 'suspected' locations."

Gomi No ShuShu: "It's a large number of suspected locations."

Hans Brackhaus: (long pause) "How large?"

Gomi No ShuShu: "A three digit number."

Hans Brackhaus: "I ... I'll need to get back in touch."

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Black Crusade - The Four of Excuteria, Reversed
Not the best session I've ever run. In fact, pretty dreadful - I've been too overworked, sleep-deprived, and ill to concentrate, and squandered the opportunity provided by the setting, and forgot to include half the stuff I wanted to.

Crash-landed on the sweltering jungle planet of Cauldron, with some 100 klicks to cover, on foot, to the Imperial encampment at Fort Night. Naturally, it'll take two week to get there.

Skerrit's reading of the cards conflicts with the bearings taken by the two tech-priests.

Archimedes: If we get him to do an augury, what's going to happen – he's going to admit he was wrong? I wouldn't.
Daniels: I see this will be a problem, later.

Of course, there's going to be the food and water problem too. At least they know enough not to drink straight from the many streams in the jungle, and boil it first in a convenient multipurpose container.

GM: The infantryman's helmet – shitting in it one day, eating from it later.

The fact that nobody bought a compass, or long distance radio, or survival kit, does cause some acrimony. Archimedes' minion at least HAD a helmet.

Daniels: Consider this a lesson in preparedness – only your minion was prepared. She deserves a raise.
Archimedes: Hey – I equipped her – therefore I was the prepared one.

Then they get attacked by a giant scuttling ambush predator. Not that they're overly worried - even this early in the campaign, merely mortal monsters aren't that much of a threat (something that is becoming a little frustrating to me as a GM). Plus, they can take it apart for useful bones, exoskeletal parts, meat...

Digna: We're calmly discussing the benefits of this thing attacking us as we level weapons. :D

The one that had circled around to attack the group from the other direction doesn't do any better. The group can now carry water in the beasts' remains.

Skerrit: Two bladders full.
Daniels: More – all those redundant organs.

Two tech-priests, one with a power axe and the other a servo-arm, makes sort work of most engineering problems enroute, too. A daughter cyclone spun off from the perpetual tempest over Cauldron's only ocean doesn't do more than force them to hole up for a few days, either. At least the remains of a Tallarn scout patrol gives them momentary pause, although the only body is the skeletal remains of one of the troopers, tied to a tree-trunk. Digna suspects Eldar activity - Chaotic troops would have used him in a ritual, and Orks just killed him.

Archimedes: Why would Eldar leave somebody tied to tree?
GM: Sadism.

It's true - the Dark Eldar have excellent theological reasons for being total pricks. It probably explains that missile that shot them down, too. Digna gets to work repairing the buggies, with enthusiasm.

Daniels: For her it was more of a religious-slash-sexual experience.
Digna: I neither conform nor deny.

Digna OoC: So, who has Operate: Surface Vehicle?
Eniek: Operate What?
Digna: Neither do I.
Eniek: This is what got us into trouble in the first place.

Shortly thereafter, they get attacked by pirahna bees.

Daniels: This planet has such potential.

But even Archimedes' bodyguard has subdermal armour, so they all close up their armour, wrap cloth around the bodyguard's head, and co-ordinate movement telepathically. I REALLY should have planned some bigger threats for this session. At least they have a radio now, and can get in contact with Fort Night, and the officer in charge - one Major Dennis Bloodnok.

Daniels: This is Lord-Captain Daniels of the Obsidian Resolve.
Bloodnok: What a memory you have!
Daniels: We were shot down by unknown forces.
Bloodnok: Why would you do a silly thing like that for?

At the camp, exhausted soldiers sit around playing cards or lie about in canvas baths trying to deal with the terrible heat. And the terrible explosions from the Major's quarters.

Bloodnok: Somebody open a window!

Bloodnok: Come in, join me in a chota peg... amasec? Wine? Sherry?.... you didn't bring *anything*?

Bloodnok has an impressive array of medals for someone so obviously incompetent.

Archimedes: I wonder how much he paid for those
Daniels: Girl scouts, ribbon tying...

Digna: The Major's condition – is it contagious?
Adjutant Sinjhiz Thing: Ah, no, he was invalided here after an artillery barrage on his position – A tea urn fell on his head.

Understandably, this whole experience has so irritated the heretics that they just want to leave - even if they fail to have all these soldiers moved to Sinophia, they don't much care anymore.

Bloodnok: Free feel to drop in any time... bring drinks.

Daniels: The gears of the bureaucracy are turning.
GM: They grind slow and exceeding small.
Daniels: But they're greased well.
GM: With the blood of Imperial citizens.

And the way Cauldron wrecks technology makes the presence of Imperial forces worse than useless.

Daniels: The only reason to place Imperial Troops here would be to benefit the orks if they every arrive.

The heretics avoid getting involved when the Dark Eldar slavers attack, despite the appeals of General Eidelberger. This will probably come back to bite them on the arse, later.

GM: Amazingly, Bloodnok survives
Digna: Typical.
GM: They found him under a table in the NAAFI.

GM: What are you spend your XP on?
Digna OoC: Charm. Now I must continue to interact with organic components, I must optimise my interface routines.

Shipping the survivors to Sinophia gives them an opportunity to divert the 'seriously wounded' off for human sacrifice and Warp-tainted experimentation.

GM: Most of the diseases are easy enough to treat. Take two of these and call a medic. Some of the Cauldron infections are more serious. If your knees turn green, take two of these and call a priest.

Daniels: We need to dedicate the binding chamber to Slaanesh.
Digna: Doable – we still have some Barry White records.

They have more livestock on board, too - the Tanabean Dragoons have there heavier mounts with them.

Digna: They're often referred to as pink fluffy unicorns – because the wool gets stained with the blood of their enemies.

At this point Eniek uses Fleshcrafting to 'improve' all the heretics. Slaanesh is so pleased with the extremes he goes to that he/she throws in a bunch of additional 'gifts' - hermaphroditism, in the case of Digna. Its true that tech-priest anatomy is rarely as symmetrical as the original biological template, but her single breast may raise some questions.

Eniek: It's more efficient – you can sling your weapon across your chest more easily.

Digna, on the grounds that he insisting all the troops get moved off Cauldron prevented further damage to sacred machinery, insists on getting full body conversion cybernetics from her colleagues in the Mechanicum. And after a staggering number of increasingly unliikely dice rolls, gets it.

Eniek: You beat with purchasing power everything I did with rituals!

GM: Will you get a pair of etheric beam locators?
Digna: Nah - I'll get one, so they'll balance out.

And while Digna adjusts to her new wholly artificial and superhuman body, and Eniek cleans up the remains of all those troopers used as spare parts in the fleshcrafting ritual, he gets a visitor - a daemonic presence possessing one of the husks. It can't pass the wards around the ritual site, but it seems rather determined to acquire that mirror shard they acquired earlier. After a few threats and promises from the daemon, Eniek recalls some of the rumours about Erasmus Haarlock, and tests his theory.

Eniek: The Traveller Returns
The Daemon of the Mirror: *froths into incandescent rage, the possessed blackly flaming corpse melting into a puddle of corruption*
Eniek: Hmm. Interesting.

Well, at least this is one possibly reason to hunt down those other fragments of mirror...
 

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Shadowrun 2070A : Goth Rockers
The Shadowrun campaign in which Ripper associates with a geriatric misogynist elf, an Orc Santa, Shirley Temple, and a fox, continues (the other campaign in which he associates with rather more professional individuals missed a session) The scene opens in the graveyard where we wasted so much time last session. The GM has helpfully added a large encarmine fish to the map.

Dr. Rubicante: Th-that's a giant fish.
Ripper K: very *eats it*
Dr. Rubicante: That is literally a red herring, isn't it.
Ripper K: yup - lets make lutefisk
Dr. Rubicante: At least it's good for your heart.
GM: Yes. that is literally a Red Herring. :P
Dr. Rubicante: IS IT THE GRAVEYARD BOSSFIGHT
GM: YES. YOU FIGHT A GIANT VAMPIRE FISH AT THE END OF THE ADVENTURE
Dr. Rubicante: THIS IS THE SIXTH WEIRDEST THING I'VE DONE (Your mother is number one.)

So around to the home of one of the surviving members of JetBlack's band - one Marli. She lives as a recluse in an impressively gothic mansion.

Dr. Rubicante: I like this place. You don't really get architecture like this anymore.
Shirley Temple: If she has a butler called igor I vote we leave
Dr. Rubicante: Probably best we don't eat anything she offers.

It also has impressive Astral security, which doesn't help our case when we politely ask if we can come in and talk to her.

Intercom: ...Uh huh.. and I'm going to assume that the Watcher spirit you just sent to test my wards was a courtesy? Tell me exactly what you want, or Drek off.

Dr. Rubicante: Maybe we can leave Ryleigh there to guard the cars. He can be our eye in the sky too. What do you say, Fox?
Ryleigh: Do I look like I want to go in there? You'll probably get eaten by some paracritter. Have fun!
Dr. Rubicante: Y'all know that does look like it'd house a paracritter or two.

Inside, the house is just as haunted looking as on the outside. Ancient looking fireplaces, furniture that seems to be from the 18th century, cobwebs in the corners.. either this place was specifically modelled to look like this by someone with an amazing attention to detail, or this might just be the real damn thing. When we enter, we're greeted by a holographic projection. It's Marli, looking just as she did in her publicity photos 20 years ago. Ripper completely assumes this is the Real Marli and doesn't even realise it's a projection.

Dr. Rubicante bows his head graciously and enters the sitting room, giving it a look around. He traces a finger over a wooden armrest to see if it was dusty before taking a seat. He didn't want to get his suit dusty, after all.

Dr. Rubicante: Is there a rocking chair by a fireplace?
Ripper K: *whispers to the Doc* She's looking fabulous, isn't she?
Dr. Rubicante: Absolutely beautiful, despite her age.

Externalised Misogynist that he is, the Doc assumed Ripper was talking about the house.

Ripper explains how the team were hired to recover the disc, and our client claimed it was stolen, but given who had it, and what happened afterward, we're beginning to think we were lied to.

Marli: Shame what happened to K-Spot, really... We've been able to cure most cancers for years now, but.. he was just one of the unlucky ones.
Dr. Rubicante: K-Spot?
Ripper K: *winces sympathetically* I'm sorry to hear that. But I'm afraid that his son got into even worse trouble. Which is why we came to you - we need to know just how much trouble we're in for getting involved.
Marli: So Little Kerwin tried to sell it off on the black market? Why didn't he come to me? I would have helped him..
Ripper K: If we'd gotten to him sooner, ma'am, I'd have told him as much.
Marli: ...you mean..

Ripper K nods sadly, Marla sits, dejected, and stares at the floor for a few moments, seeming to collect herself. "The disk. you still have it?"

Ripper K: *nods* but we have to warn you - a dozen people have died over this already. Hundreds of thousands of nuyen changed hands. And the assassins didn't even try to negotiate first - they just came in shooting. But since it looks like JetBlack meant the disc to get to his old friends...
Marli: Can you play it for me, just for old time's sake?
Ripper K: That shouldn't be a problem, should it?
Marli: *smiles* Not from your commlink. Please. My studio is this way.

And then we get led to the basement.

Dr. Rubicante: La vie en rose, Inception style

Her studio is small, but exceptionally well equipped. The soundproof room has a production quality editing suite and a few comfortable chairs.

Dr. Rubicante: Anyone know how to use this stuff?
Shirley Temple: I can tell you how much it costs, sweetie, and what an input roughly looks like but that's about it

Marli: Oh my.. You don't have the encryption keys, do you..? a shame.. well.. let me see what I can do about it.
Ripper K: (holy shit! is there a paranoia skill i should be checking right now?)
GM: I know. Perhaps that should give you an idea of how much she knows about the disc?

Dozens of knobs and sliders across the editing board begin to move of their own accord. The low quality audio becomes clearer, though not perfectly so. you sense that she is a master at this. You can really feel the emotion in the music now. it's some truly beautiful Rock. Ripper K listens to the music and almost purrs

Dr. Rubicante: You know, I wasn't too keen on this band back in the 50s, but it's growing on me 20 years later.

Ripper K is hoping like hell Fox will give us warning if Marli's summoned a killteam

Marli: Ah yes.. I remember these sessions. Carrion Studios, right? These were not long before he died... I used to have the full recording myself, but it got lost in the second crash.. I always regretted not having backups.
Dr. Rubicante: You're telling me. I lost my third Harry Potter blog in that crash.

Marli: I assume you're Shadowrunners, then?
Dr. Rubicante: We were simply at the right place in the wrong time.
Ripper K: Given the amount of nuyen the other parties were throwing around, i'm starting to think we were the discount special. Oh right, that reminds me? Do you have any idea why the music was on an old format like this? It was sheer fluke the eldster here had some old tech that would run it.
Marli: It really depends on your.. employer. As for the disc, JetBlack always had a love for the little-used formats. Provided a little extra security. Do you know who hired you?
Dr. Rubicante: Can't say we do. We were told that he was a some sentimental sap and that's all we know. A lotta blood spilled over a little sentimentality, if'n you ask me.
Ripper K: The middleman did want to know who the thief was - but if there was no thief I don't know how to read that. Either the middleman had been lied to as well, or he was a very convincing liar himself, and was giving himself plausible deniabilty if Kerwin 'vanished' So you can see why we're concerned - this was supposed to be a straight-forward, low-risk recovery job
Marli: Hrm. I'm not sure how much danger you're in. And I'm not sure whether you'll be out of it even if you just give me the disk, or give it to your employer.
Ripper K: That's what we were afraid of. And if we don't get paid, we can't even afford to flee town.
Marli: Look.. I think I might.. might, mind you - Know someone who can help with this. If you leave me a number I can get in touch with you and you can lay low for a day or two, I'll see what I can do. I believe those recordings should be available to the world. JetBlack's been dead for twenty years, after all.. I don't think he'll mind much anymore.
Dr. Rubicante: The world could use some more good music. I'm tired of Dwarfstep and Orc rap.

OoC shenanigans while the players assemble for the second half of the session. Ripper films the elf showering, and sells footage to internet preverts.

Shirley Temple: but but.....we are internet perves
Ripper K: that'll be 20 bucks then
Shirley Temple: no comprenday americano
Ripper K: 50 nuyen then. Inflation.

Updating a player on events so far.

Ripper K: We went to see Marli, she eventually let us in, doesn't know how much trouble we're in, and claims she doesn't have decryption on the disc. We pretended we didn't either and that it was sheer fluke the geriatric elf has a disc reader so the club doesn't get any backlash
Dr. Rubicante: My attic is a trove of mysteries and sexual confusion.

Ripper K: It's certainly starting to look like we have to take the disc to the clien. Anybody suggest how we can do that without another killteam shooting us all in the head? Somewhere nice and public, I suggest - with no long lines of sight mages or snipers can use and plenty of escape routes for us.
Dr. Rubicante: Mask! Mask everyday!
Ryleigh: How about a café vis-a-vis a Knight Errant HQ?
Ripper K: nice - unless, of course, the client just tells the cops we were involved in the explosion at the junkyard. Of course, we could always tape the hand-off, and incriminate him back... but frankly, i think our reputation is going to be f**ked anyway.

We get a call on the disposable phone. The voice on the line is deep. male. and Obviously Processed.

Voice: Good Evening. I have heard from a friend that you have an item that I may be interested in. I also am aware that you are currently under contract to give this item to someone else. Before you do that, I would like to provide a counter-offer. I am quite certain that I can provide a better offer for the item in question, and indeed, ensure your safety for returning it, if you will just agree to hear me out.

Ryleigh sends an text message to be displayed on the other's commlinks.

Ryleigh: If he takes care of the previous client, he can be our new client.
Ripper K: This sounds like a highly desirable offer, Mr Johnson - Naturally, given the incidental expences that the item has already incurred, such a counter offer will need to be commensurate, although the security bonus you mentioned will be taken into account.
Voice: I am willing to offer you Twenty-Four thousand Nuyen for the item. Plus our assurance that this matter will not impact future employment opportunities, and a guarantee of safety from repercussions of this particular deal.
I am aware that the item is indeed worth much, much more than that to the right buyers, but the price of safety in the 6th world is.. high.
Ripper K: A very generous offer, Mr Johnson - do you have a preferred locale for the hand-off? Or shall we arrange a suitably secure area ourselves?

Ryleigh sends another text message.

Ryleigh: It kind of sounds too good to be true...
Dr. Rubicante: Ask him for more. I need to repaint the porch or the home-owners committee will be on my ass.
Ripper K: *on text* nods - we may have to ensure a MAD policy, with back-up blackmail. *out loud* Shush, Dealer, the grown-ups are talking
Voice: We do indeed have a drop location. You will be met by another team who will handle the exchange, and provide protection if required. The address is as follows...
Ripper K: .... feeling of Doom rising...
Dr. Rubicante: I'm going to spend some gold to upgrade my security to "Luxury".

The new Mr Johnson wants to meet at the JetBlack memorial

Dr. Rubicante: Odin's glorious beard- that place again!
Ripper K: Welp... at least the gravestones will make for good cover. That custodian is going to be pissed though
Dr. Rubicante: I'm going to buy grenades. Lots of grenades.

Dr. Rubicante: Rigby? Grenades. No, no, I haven't gone senile yet. I want to know if you can get me flashbangs, smoke bombs or concussive grenades. I swear I'm not going to go on a warpath today.
GM: 'You need how many grenades? *tonight?

We meet at the cemetery in the small hours before dawn, with due caution. The other team, of some five people, is already there.

Ripper K: Evening. I sincerely hope you're the people I'm supposed to meet, because I don't want another night like the last one.
Other Team's Apparent Leader: Evening. My name's Risa. Apologies for the location. My employer thought it was appropriate, given the circumstances. Do you have the recording?
Ripper K: *nods* And we'll be glad to get it off our hands. This was NOT a satisfying job.
Dr. Rubicante: A whole lot of running around, dead ends and bullets fired. Not my idea of a good time. We'd very much like for this job to end.
Risa: Good. It needs to go back where it belongs. You see, I represent JetBlack’s interests. Those recordings were given to a friend of his before he died—he never meant for them to be available to the public.
Ripper K: Actually, that's the best news I've heard in days

Risa: If you’ve made any copies, you’ll destroy them. If they ever see the light of day, we’ll know where they came from, and believe me, you do not want the people I represent as your enemies. I apologise for the thinly veiled threat, but my employer wishes to make perfectly sure you are aware of the terms.

Ripper K reaches into his jacket for the disc.

Ripper K: Incidentally... I don't suppose you know why that other team turned up and just started killing people? Seems like a good way for the disc to be accidentally destroyed. In fact, it damn near was.
Dr. Rubicante: Didn't you say... that you represent Jet Black's interests? ...Is your employer Jet Black?

One of the NPCs fails a rather important composure check.

JetBlack: ..H..how? how could you possibly have..

Ripper K jaw drops when he recognises the voice. Other than his skin looking a lot paler, he hasn't changed at all in the last 20 years.

Ryleigh: Someone has skills other than entertainment, it would appear.
GM: Also, f**k you for making me make that composure check.
Shirley Temple: the entire situation screamed "NOT DEAD"
Dr. Rubicante: We're both fans of vocal processing, aren't we, Mr. Black? *taps his own flaming hologram skullmask for emphasis.* The way you spoke on the phone however... the cadence of your voice reminded me of the passion in your song.Well, that, and c'mon, we're meeting in your 'grave'. And the threats?
Ripper K: Ve- Dealer, please, shut up! We're very sorry we caused you all this trouble, sir. We honestly believed we were recovering stolen property.
Dr. Rubicante: Ripper, I very rarely get excited. We're in the presence of a celebrity. Allow me to have my moment of delight.

GM: Blip. Blip. Blipblipblip. The drone sensors light up.
Ryleigh: we have company?
Dr. Rubicante: Ah... of course.
Ryleigh: Contacts at 6 o'clock.
Dr. Rubicante: Mr. Black, it was lovely to meet you, but perhaps we should get to that escape you promised.

Dr. Rubicante practically cackles as he rotates his shoulders, his voice shuddering excitedly.

Dr. Rubicante: Oooh, a bad run! I agree with my large friend here... you lot should run. We'll cover your escape so you can pay us some other day.

But JetBlack and his team instead take up firing positions of their own. Ryleigh gets to work using his drones and Matrix skills to ID, tag, and confuse the hostiles.

Ripper K: flood their HUDs with 'win a free iPhone' ads

Ripper insists we shoot to wound.

Ripper K: Until they start shooting back in earnest, anyway.

Ryleigh sends everyone a updated map with enemy locations, as well as telling them 'pineapple' is the code word for the flashbang grenades his drones will be dropping.

Dr. Rubicante: Mmm. Pineapples. I could go for a piña colada after this, if only those still existed.

Hogfather is suddenly feeling really dumb, having climbed onto the church roof for overwatch over the meet ... and not having brought a rifle. Still, he's a very good shot with a sidearm.

Hogfather: Ah, F**k it. BANG
GM: Aiming for the obvious mage, as is standard practice.
Ripper K: *snickers* and we can thank the Fox for highlighting the mage with a big glowy arrow on the TacNet

Now we find out why Risa and JetBlack didn't leave. And why JetBlack still looks so young. They run past us at superhuman speed, towards the still-unsuspecting hostiles.

Dr. Rubicante: Ahh!! What's he doing there!? XD
GM: These two move BLISTERINGLY fast. faster than you can even see Auged.
Dr. Rubicante: THEY'RE VAMPIRES.
GM: NO SHIT
Ryleigh: aren't vampires supposed to sparkle?
Ripper K: fuck, I was fucking right about this graveyard!
Dr. Rubicante: TOO MUCH DARK SHADOWS, AHHHH.
Shirley Temple: the advantage of the virus, bloodly long lived
GM: Risa has her manhunter at the shaman's temple before he can even blink. POW
Ryleigh OoC: let's rename the campaign '50 shades of JetBlack'

Ripper is calling the number given to us by the original Johnson, just in case. After all, if he's with the other team, shooting him now will solve a lot of problems.

GM: though it IS ringing. are you sure you want to have a conversation in combat? :P
Ripper K: wasn't going to - was just going to let it ring
GM: "Do you have my disc?" "Oh yeah BANG BANG Sorry, Just kind of in the middle of somthing.. we've taken a better offer!"

Ripper's desire to reduce fatalities proves increasingly unachievable, especially after the Doc starts spell-slinging.

Dr. Rubicante: My bad. Magic is hard to control!
Ripper K: *wince* Well, our intentions were good. See you in hell.
Dr. Rubicante: If there's one thing I regret, it's not shacking up with Lofwyr.

The carnage continues as JetBlack's team makes short work of the hostiles.

Ripper K: *whispers to Vell and Shirley* Well, I'm glad we decided NOT to atack these guys...
Dr. Rubicante: No kidding.

Ryleigh: I could go for a slice of pineapple right about now!
Dr. Rubicante:* closes his eyes.*
Ripper K: I hope it doesn't set the vampires on fire or something

Dr. Rubicante: Rigger on Rigger action!

GM: "Fuck this shit!"
The enemy decker withdraws from combat. smart cookie. knows when he's outnumbered. and outmatched.
Dr. Rubicante: XD Shoot the running guy! HE HAS EXPENSIVE GEAR!!

GM: Err.. I mean.. Just the Street Samurai is left.
Shirley Temple: big slab of beef of very little brains?
Ripper K: I'm tempted to just go punch him out *bounces up and down* let me, go on, let me
Dr. Rubicante: Knock his block off, buddy.

Ripper K gets and starts strolling forward, visibly cracking my knuckles and peeling off his shirt

Dr. Rubicante: Ohhh!
GM: ...You were wearing a SHIRT?
Ripper K: it was a chilly night
Dr. Rubicante: XD For the express purpose of stripping?
Ripper K: *nipples go sproing* yup

Dr. Rubicante turns to face the back of the running rigger and points a finger at him.

Dr. Rubicante: Now we don't want anyone blabbing about Mr. Jet, do we? Stupefy!

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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

Happy Jack: troll, combat, disguise, negotiator

Universal Brotherhood ("UB"): a charitable fringe religious organization; secretly controlled by insect spirits

The Octagon: the UB's large, iconic chapterhouse in Seattle

 

Universal Brotherhood - What's worse than a real attack?

 

Eye Spy: "I wish we could just drop a bomb on the Octagon and be done with it."

Happy Jack: "Figuratively speaking, I'd like to do just that."

Audacity Jane: "I'm on board ... except for that figurative part."

 

Happy Jack: "The UB has to be expecting another attack. And Lone Star has to be expecting another attack on the UB too. Let's show them what they expect."

No-Step: "Make them overreact to a perceived threat? What does that get us?"

Audacity Jane: "A Lone Star SWAT team running headfirst into a pack of flesh form insect spirits...."

 

Byte Force: "Jane, do you think you could get onto the Octagon's roof and get something into their ventilation system intake?"

Audacity Jane: "Probably. What did you have in mind?"

Byte Force: "Mercaptans."

Eye Spy: "That sounds too large and aquatic to fit in a ventilation system."

Byte Force: "It's a gas. In low doses its non-toxic."

Audacity Jane: "You want to use a much larger dose."

Byte Force: "No. I'm going to use it to make them think there's a dangerous amount of a different gas in the building ... natural gas."

 

Happy Jack: "Jane, when you're putting the mercaptans in the vents, can you drop some noisemakers down in there too?"

Audacity Jane: "Sure."

Byte Force: "That's not going to start a fire. Mercaptans, by themselves, aren't flammable."

Happy Jack: "I'm not trying to start a fire. But when Lone Star and the fire department arrive on the scene, I want them to be convinced that somebody's shooting inside."

No-Step: "They're not going to go charging into an active shooter situation."

Happy Jack: "If they think there's an active shooter on site, they're not going to leave until they do a room-to-room sweep of the building. If there's a gas leak, the fire department's not going to leave until there's a room-to-room sweep of the building."

Dent: "You want them to find the hive."

Eye Spy: "Knowing our luck, they'll have enough clout to keep them from entering the building."

Happy Jack: "They may be able to hide the hive, but they won't be able to hide the cover-up."

 

Byte Force: "I'm going to monitor Lone Star and the fire department. If the UB manages to keep them out of their hive, they're going to have to pull some major strings."

Dent: "Thank you for telling us what we already know, Captain Obvious."

Byte Force: "And if we know who the UB has their hooks in, those may be their human form insect spirits."

Audacity Jane: "You're so sweet. You're getting me a hit list for my birthday."

 

When it was time to start the "incident" at the Octagon, Byte Force triggered a couple bursts of autofire and a few shotgun blasts, then followed it up by releasing one of the canisters of mercaptans.

 

Dent: "That was kind of pathetic for gunfire. Didn't Jane put a lot of noisemakers in the vents?"

Byte Force: "I'm saving most of them for later."

Audacity Jane: "What are you expecting later?"

Happy Jack: "A bigger audience."

 

Byte Force: "I have a cell phone line set up. It's going to track back to the Octagon."

Lone Star operator: "Lone Star emergency line. Please state the nature of your emergency."

Happy Jack: "Hello?" (muffled gunfire could be heard sporadically in the background) "Can you send some police?"

Lone Star operator: "What is your name and location?"

Happy Jack: "I'm Toby." (a young girl could be heard in the background) "I'm in the Octagon."

Lone Star operator: "What's happening, Toby?"

Happy Jack / Toby: "There's a bunch of shooting and people yelling." (pause) "And I heard some people scream, but that's stopped now."

Lone Star operator: "There's a report of a gas leak at the Octagon. Do you smell gas?"

Toby: "It smells funny, but not like somebody farted."

Lone Star operator: "..."

 

Happy Jack had "Toby" stay on the line for a dozen minutes or so until the cell phone's "battery died".

 

No-Step: "Is there any reason you dropped so many specific details?"

Happy Jack: "Lone Star is going to want to find Toby and his little sister. If they can't find him, they're going to want to search the room with the black and gold doors ... that's the Inner Chamber where the queens live."

Eye Spy: "How do you know that?"

Happy Jack: "In the background material that the investigative reporters put together. The one reporter described the doors when he raided the Octagon with some Shadowrunners."

Eye Spy: "You actually read the background material [the GM] gave us?"

 

The UB personnel were trying to keep Lone Star from entering the Octagon....

 

Eye Spy: "They're saying that the attackers already fled the building."

Byte Force triggered the noisemakers to fire a several more shotgun blasts and a few SMG bursts.

Eye Spy: "They now look like they just swallowed a shoe."

 

Later, the UB tried a new tactic. The team heard some additional gunshots (that they hadn't caused) followed by...

 

Eye Spy: "They're saying that the security guards killed all of the attackers ... and ... Drek! They're bringing out some dead bodies. Where did they get those?"

Audacity Jane: "That's brilliantly ruthless. They must have killed some of their own members to get the corpses."

Happy Jack: "That plays into our hands."

Dent: "How?"

Happy Jack: "Instead of appearing to be the sympathetic victims of outside persecution, they now look like they're killing themselves with internal strife."

Byte Force: "Let's see if we can inspire a repeat performance." (triggered more noisemaker shotgun blasts)

 

Finally, Galen Walker, a human form insect spirit and the nominal leader of the UB, put in an appearance....

 

No-Step: "He's staying next to the building, inside the magickal ward."

Dent: "He's worried about us sending more spirits to kill him."

Audacity Jane: "He's got the right idea, but he's worried about the wrong thing...."

Jane fired her sniper rifle, and Byte Force simultaneously triggered the remaining noisemakers. Therefore, the sounds of gunfire erupted from the Octagon almost at the same moment that Galen Walker's head blew open.

No-Step: "Congratulations Jane. I think that's going to be the most played video segment on national news this evening."

 

Byte Force: "I managed to unscramble the Lone Star transmissions. In one of the transmissions, the Lone Star chief is telling the SWAT captain on the scene that the crisis has been completely resolved ... several minutes before Jane turned Galen's brain into a fine red mist."

Happy Jack: "Let's sell both the encrypted and decrypted versions of that transmission to Ares Global Entertainment. After that, we can anonymously send them to the other networks and let them know that Ares already has them."

No-Step: "I'm sure you have some terribly clever reason for doing that, but would you care to explain it to the rest of us?"

Happy Jack: "Ares owns Knight Errant. Knight Errant competes with Lone Star for municipal police contracts. Therefore, Ares will pay good money to make Lone Star look incompetent."

Dent: "Why aren't we selling it to the rest of them?"

Happy Jack: "It's not worth as much. But by telling them Ares already has it, that means they'll broadcast quickly in order to scoop them."

Dent: "Can't we prove that Lone Star is being controlled by the UB?"

Happy Jack: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

Dent: "What?"

Happy Jack: "The radio transmission only proves the chief royally fragged up. It doesn't prove that he was influenced by the UB."

Eye Spy: "So he gets away with it."

Happy Jack: "Not exactly. His 'incompetence' could cost Lone Star hundreds of millions of nuyen. They won't be forgiving about that."

Eye Spy: "But he still gets away without people knowing what really happened."

Happy Jack: "It's the best way to guarantee he gets creamed. If he's accused of being corrupted by the UB, he can always defend himself by saying he made a mistake. If he's accused of incompetence, what's he going to do? Excuse his decision by claiming he was corrupt?"

 

Anonymous tip to the media: The attackers killed by the Universal Brotherhood security guards all appear to be Universal Brotherhood members. [attachment: Universal Brotherhood Seattle membership list] This violence bears a striking resemblance to the fighting between the Universal Brotherhood chapterhouses in Gilroy, CFS and San Martin, CFS, in which the San Martin chapterhouse was completely destroyed.

 

No-Step: "Did anyone actually prove that the violence in CFS was due to a conflict between the chapterhouses? I thought the dead reporters just speculated that was what happened."

Happy Jack: "You're worried about proof? I intend to make the UB waste resources keeping some hungry young reporters from digging through the evidence."

No-Step: "Don't you think the UB will just kill them too?"

Happy Jack: "If a bunch of hungry young reporters start dying while investigating the same story, that's going to look like a cover-up. The media loves to report on those."

 

Eye Spy: "Won't the UB eventually track these anonymous tips back to us?"

Byte Force: "I've been leaving some indications that Detective Bambra is the source. They won't even begin looking for us until they kill him."

Audacity Jane: "Aww ... you're actually making me start to like the scapegoat."

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In a home grown Fantasy game, we were a very unbalanced party of 5 magic users and one fighter played by my firend who was hired as my guy's bodyguard.

After convincing the fighter to touch a rune covered monolith and him transforming into a caribou I fired a force spell off which broke his hip so the monk (yeah, monks were magical) could catch him.  Note that the transformation ripped all his clothes off.  So, after dispelling the transformation and mostly healing up his broken hip my friend says "Wait, I wake naked, surrounded by mages, and my butt hurts?"  Our DM sprayed half the table with the soda he was drinking.

 

In a DnD game our party encounters a pitch-black portal which the elf wizard wants to go through.  My axe wielding monk (spent the feat) thinks this is a bad idea and convinces her to stick her staff through first.

DM tells her to make a magic save which she does successfully, only losing about 90% of her HP as her staff disintegrates.  Turning to the monk she asks "Other than that, what's the worst that could happen?"

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In a DnD game our party encounters a pitch-black portal which the elf wizard wants to go through.  My axe wielding monk (spent the feat) thinks this is a bad idea and convinces her to stick her staff through first.

DM tells her to make a magic save which she does successfully, only losing about 90% of her HP as her staff disintegrates.  Turning to the monk she asks "Other than that, what's the worst that could happen?"

 

If that's the module I'm thinking of, that's a lot better than going through the pitch-black portal.

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Our Shadowrun game, which just started. Duke is the human Arcane Investigator. Viking is a Troll Physical Adept. Ulvar is a dwarf street samurai. We are escorting a wageslave for extraction out of the building... our group is not very subtle, but we're trying... we had a plan this time!

 

Duke (arcane detective): Is this the same guard we bribed?

GM: He does not look like the same guy.

Duke: crud. I cast invisibility on myself and go around him to start picking the mag-lock.

Viking: "Hey bro, how's it going?"

Guard: "Okay. Why are you back here?"

Ulvar: "We're kind of lost. Where's the soycaf place?"

Guard: *points* Over there.

Ulvar: "Uh... can you show me where?"

Guard: *points* Right there.

Ulvar: "Yeah, I'm kind of bad with directions..."

Guard: *points* It's literally right there. You can see it from here.

Duke: Just knock him out or something. We are so bad at this.

Viking: Pulls his helmet, styled like one out of the trids, with spaces for his large horns, out of his coat and puts it on.

Guard: "What are you..."

*headbutt* *unconciousness*

Duke:  "..and there goes all of our chances at subtlety. The helmet? Really?"

Viking: "Hey, I really like this helmet. It looks cool."

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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 / Gomi No ShuShu: 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

Universal Brotherhood ("UB"): a charitable fringe religious organization; secretly controlled by insect sprits

SIN: System ID Number; a combination of a social security number, driver's license, passport and debit card number

 

Universal Brotherhood - Getting Out of Dodge

 

Eye Spy: "These raids are just going to get harder and harder until the UB mops the floor with us."

Audacity Jane: "If they're smart, they'll reinforce the Seattle chapterhouses with additional guards from outside the area."

Happy Jack: "I certainly hope they do."

Eye Spy: "Do you have a death wish?"

Happy Jack: "No. I plan to start hitting chapterhouses in other cities."

 

Eye Spy: "How are we going to get our gear to other cities? Border guards and airport security tend to be really picky about those things."

Happy Jack: "We're going to get another vehicle. One more suited for hopping around the country."

Eye Spy: "YES!! We can finally get a helicopter."

Happy Jack: "I found something that's better. A blimp."

Eye Spy: "A blimp? It will take us forever to get anyplace."

Happy Jack: "These aren't your grandparents' Goodyear blimps. Cruising speed around 180 kmph. Top speed double that. They're harder to spot with radar or IR than anything short of a stealth glider. They're used by executives to get around cities and between cities, so everyone will assume we're rich and important. They also have enough range to get across the continent without refueling."

Audacity Jane: "They may be hard to spot with electronics, but they're really easy to spot with a Mark I eyeball."

Happy Jack: "I know. That's why I want to put LED panels on it. When we're cruising around cities at night, we can disguise ourselves as an advert-blimp. Nobody pays attention to those, and nobody expects one to spit out an infiltration team."

Audacity Jane: "You've got to be kidding. Your way to hide a blimp is to cover it in brightly lit advertisements?"

 

Eye Spy: "So where are we going to hit the UB next?"

No-Step: "California Free State would be a logical next stop. It's close. The UB was founded there, so they have a large presence."

Happy Jack: "That's the main reason I want to hit them somewhere else. I'm guessing they can follow the same trail of logic."

Dent: "So you're going to come up with an illogical way of choosing targets?"

 

Since the team was supporting their attacks on the UB chapterhouses by smuggling, the actual targets were chosen by which countries had inflated/deflated prices for certain goods.

 

Byte Force: "Where are we going first?"

Happy Jack: "Confederate American States."

No-Step: "Should I even bother asking what is overpriced there?"

Happy Jack: "Anything electronic. There's a huge tariff in order to 'protect' the nearly nonexistent domestic electronics industry. It artificially inflates the prices."

No-Step: "And what goods are available at cheap prices?"

Happy Jack: "Guns and ammo."

No-Step: "Are the Confederates deliberately trying to live up to the stereotypes?"

 

The team was understandably paranoid about the UB catching up with them when they sold living flesh form insect spirits to the biotech megacorps:

  • Each of the megacorps had employees that were UB members.
  • Some of those members were human form insect spirits capable of masking their true nature.
  • The human form insect spirits would act in the best interest of the hive/queen.
  • Even the non-possessed UB members might be persuaded to act in the UB's interest, instead of their corp's interest.
 

No-Step: "Wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that the UB will attack us when we attempt to hand over the live flesh form?"

Happy Jack: "It's highly likely. That's why we're not going to be there."

No-Step: "So who is going to the meet in our place?"

Happy Jack: "Nobody. We'll talk to the buyer on the phone, they'll deposit the money in a numbered account, and we'll get the flesh form there some other way."

Byte Force: "We can always send the flesh form by robocab."

Eye Spy: "We could steal a car and program the autopilot."

Dent: "I could mind control a courier into delivering it."

Audacity Jane: "Candygram."

 

Byte Force had been busy inventing new toys to use against the UB....

 

Byte Force: "This is pretty straightforward. I found a heat-resistant insecticide to coat flechettes with. If I'm right, you might be able to kill true form insect spirits with them."

Audacity Jane: "And if you're wrong?"

Byte Force: (shrugging) "Then it's like shooting an elephant with a BB gun. It's not going to hurt the elephant, but it might make it mad."

Audacity Jane: "And the only way to know whether you're right or wrong is for me to risk my life testing it...."

No-Step: "That's the joy of the scientific method."

 

Byte Force: "I figured out a way to make the UB's building unusable ... and it's not covered by their insurance."

Audacity Jane: "A nuclear warhead?"

Byte Force: "Stink bombs. I made some gas and paint grenades filled with putrescine, cadaverine, skatole and butryc acid."

No-Step: "So it smells like dead bodies and ... what else?"

Byte Force: "It smells like rotting meat, feces and vomit."

Dent: "That should cut the attendance at their meetings."

Eye Spy: (turning slightly green) "Crap. I think I'm going to get sick just thinking about it."

Happy Jack: "Well ... stop thinking about it."

Eye Spy: "..."

Happy Jack: "And just to set the ground rules for Byte Force's super-stinker ... if anyone ever uses that on a building that I'm in, or one that I need to go into, I will kill them myself."

 

Audacity Jane: "Is that stink bomb really going to be effective? Some insects really like those smells."

Byte Force: "But normal people don't. That's who I want to drive away from the building."

Dent: "If any of the UB members don't seem completely grossed out by the smell, you'll know they're insect possessed."

 

The team performed reconnaissance on the the target UB building in the normal manner. They abducted one of the UB members who also worked there as a janitor.

 

Dent: (after performing Mind Probe) "This seems wrong. The inner sanctum is on the top floor, not the basement or ground floor like normal."

No-Step: "Some insects prefer to live above ground or higher up."

Happy Jack: "Bees, wasps..."

Eye Spy: "I suppose butterflies would be a bit too much to hope for."

 

After killing the queen and capturing a live flesh form insect spirit, it was time to sell it.

 

Gomi No ShuShu: "My hunters captured a live specimen in Oklahoma City. Where would you like them to deliver it?"

Shiawase procurement specialist: "I thought you were going to deliver one in Seattle."

Gomi No ShuShu: "That's the challenge with live specimens. You have to acquire them where you can find them." (pause) "Shiawase has some large facilities in Oklahoma City. Your local people can handle the pick-up."

Shiawase procurement specialist: "They're not experts in handling paranormal animals."

Gomi No ShuShu: "The specimen will be heavily sedated, securely bound and muzzled. They will only need sufficient skills to pick up and carry dead weight."

Shiawase procurement specialist: "..."

 

The Shiawase procurement specialist seemed slightly surprised that Gomi No ShuShu requested that the payment be wired to a numbered account, rather than given in the usual certified credsticks.

 

Gomi No ShuShu: "Oh ... one more thing." (pause) "You may want to bring additional security personnel to the

Shiawase procurement specialist: "Why?"

Gomi No ShuShu: "I believe a number of Shiawase employees are involved with the former owner of the specimen. Therefore, I'm a bit concerned that there may be a security leak on your end."

Shiawase procurement specialist: (sounding slightly angry) "Which Shiawase employees?"

Gomi No ShuShu: (cheerfully) "I would be happy to discuss the sale of that information ... right after we complete the delivery of the specimen and the wire transfer of funds."

 

After the call was complete....

 

Dent: "I guess we'll be able to tell if he's connected to the UB if he refuses to pay us."

Happy Jack: "If he's working for the UB, then he's definitely going to pay us."

Audacity Jane: "Why? They're not dumb enough to pay to get their bug back."

Happy Jack: "It's the oldest trick in the book for tracking down who is behind a crime. Follow the money. He'll pay us just to see who collects the money."

Audacity Jane: "So we will get paid. We just won't be able to get our money back without getting killed."

Happy Jack: "Sure we can. We'll just have to launder it first."

 

In order to transport the flesh form insect spirit to the Shiawase procurement specialist (without having to go themselves), they loaded it into a robocab and sent it on its way.

 

Dent: "I thought robocabs required a SIN to use."

Byte Force: "We paid with a certified credstick, then used a SIN to activate the cab."

Dent: "Whose SIN did you use?"

Byte Force: "I borrowed a dummy SIN from the morgue."

Audacity Jane: "If you needed a dummy's SIN, you could have just borrowed Dent's."

 

Eye Spy: "I don't understand. Doesn't the system check to make sure the person's not dead?"

Audacity Jane: "Or audit afterward to make sure nobody is using the dead person's SIN?"

Byte Force: "A dummy SIN is used to process a Jon Doe through the morgue. First they have to activate the SIN in order to process the John Doe through the morgue. After they've finished activating his SIN and processing him through the morgue, they then process his death certificate and deactivate the SIN."

No-Step: "Your tax dollars at work."

Audacity Jane: "That would be more disturbing if we actually paid taxes."

Byte Force: "The system only performs a cursory SIN check if you're doing a legal purchase. As long as you have the money, the SIN check is a rubber stamp."

Happy Jack: "If Shiawase or the UB tries to backtrack where the cab came from, the cab records will lead back to this spot..."

Audacity Jane: "... chosen for the lack of security cameras ..."

Happy Jack: "... and the money trail will lead back to a dead SINless guy. I'm absolutely positive he won't rat us out."

 

No-Step called the procurement specialist one more time....

 

No- Step: "The specimen is en route. Let your people know that it will be arriving in a robocab."

Shiawase procurement specialist: "You squeezed into a robocab with a dangerous paranormal animal?"


No- Step: "Of course not. The specimen is in the robocab. I'm not getting within miles of the delivery site."

Shiawase procurement specialist: "..."


No- Step: "I told you that Shiawase might have a security leak. I'm not risking my life on the belief that you plugged it. I can complete the rest of our business from this end of the phone."


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D&D - Dealing With Dragons
D&D Continues – more sleep-deprived efforts to gather intelligence before attacking King Gurnt. But, typically, any advances we make is complicated by more things we have to do – in this case, deal with a dragon – and not the cute faerie dragon we already know.

Lamech: Well, I've got my book of useful devices – let's see if there's any dragontraps.

Lamech: I don't suppose I could make a cart-mounted ballista?
GM: No. But you could always make a toy one – you've got 'Tinkerer'

Kavorog: We might be able to negotiate with it – green dragons are lawful evil.
Lamech: Maybe we can talk it into attacking King Gurnt XD

Druid: I used to have 'Entangle' but it got deleted from my deck 15 years ago as too powerful. Although the bondage fairy might have had something to do with it too.

Lacking any better ideas, Lamech whittles a harpoon, tethered to a water barrel. And with any luck, his Shatter spell will collapse the ruined tower before we even need to face the resident. Of course, if we can get the dragon to simply leave we can consider the job done – but none of us are that optimistic. Not least because the tower is also full of giant spiders. And apparently there's a group of masked humanoids hanging around the ruins of Thundertree village too.

Lamech: *headdesk*
Kavorog: We're going to be taking more prisoners, aren't we?
Lamech: Well, we needed bait for the dragon.

Lamech: So we're got three people all trying to lead the group, and two bringing up the rear. Jostling for pole position.

Kavorog the dragonborn shoulder-charges the door of the building the wannabe Death Eaters are hanging out in, and bounces off.

Lamech: *sigh*
Wannabe Death Eater: Who goes there?
Kavorog: YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE *firebolts the door*

Our back-up cleric attempts to shield-bash his way in too – and he bounces off as well.

Lamech: Well, if these guys know there's a dragon in the village, maybe they'll think it's trying to get in.

Kavorog: Maybe they're dragon worshippers. I hope they are – they'll be all over me. Got some hot bitches, yeah!

GM: Well, I think the polite option is off the table.
Urlon: I thought you were going to try and talk them down.
Kavorog: Nope – I was going to talk to the dragon.

Death Eater: (in Draconic) Hold them off! We'll use the other door and go around!

Straight into Urlon, and Lamech's Sleep spell. What a pity some of us know Draconic too.

GM: Right, their saves vs. Sleep. ... Nope. Not as such. Snorlax.

The survivors drop their scimitars and quiver after Kavorog roars at them. Their masks have little horns, and their cloaks batwings.

Urlon: Dragon cultists?
GM: Or demon cultists – do you really care?

Lamech: Take them of one at a time, and torture them for info. Let the others hear the screams.
GM: That could wake the dragon.
Lamech: Good point – we'll gag them first, then torture them.

They are actually dragon cultists.

Lamech: Wannabe dragon cultists.
Urlon: Pathetic.
Cultist: *looks pissed off*
Kavorog: *pats the cultist on the head* There there.

The cult-leader wannabe promises as secret knowledge, etc. in return for an alliance. That, at least ensures we keep him alive for future interrogation. Although he might be useful if we DO try to sic the dragon on Gurnt.

Thorn the cleric: I'd like to point out that's an evil act. But it could work.

The other cultists seem a little reluctant to actually talk to a real dragon.

Urlon: Lamech, can you do Ventriloquism?
GM: Don't ask the gnome to put his hand up the dragonborn's arse.

Lamech: If you stay within earshot of wherever I'm hiding I can suggest conversational attacks.
Kavorog: Cyrano de Bergedrac

Perhaps we can dress as cultists, and persuade him to move to Wyvern Tor? There was an orc problem there.

Urlon: Do we really want him closer to the town?
Lamech: By the time we have to deal with it we'll be higher level anyway.

Or if we pose as the cult, and deliberately piss off the dragon, and then encourage the cult to go visit, we can eliminate another problem.

Thorn: Wiping out an evil cult is NOT an evil act...

Urlon: I want to make sure I disguise my ears - I don't want him to bear a grudge against my race.
GM: And go out of his way to kill wood elves, instead of just killing them casually.

Druid: I'll go and prepare to support you, when it all goes horribly wrong.

Lamech: *hissing cues to Kavorog* 'Lord Wyrm! We crave your indulgence!'
Dragon: I AM VENOMFANG! THIS IS MY TOWER!
Lamech: 'We come from the Cult of the Dragon to give obeisance!'
GM: 'Whatever the gnome hiding under the bush just said!'

Lamech: 'We bring gifts as befit your majesty!'
Venomfang: HAVE YOUR DIPLOMAT COME OUT WHERE I CAN SEE HIM
All: ... crap.

Lamech actually persuades it that Wyvern Tor will make a better home to befit a true Wyrm. Complete with Orcs to enslave. Venomfang, despite his youth, is no fool, and wants to know what the catch is. Lamech suggests attacking King Gurnt would be appreciated.

GM: You're inciting a Forgotten Realms dragon to dragonrage. This is not difficult.

Problem – he wants us to prepare Wyvern Tor for him, by killing the orcs in his name.

GM: You're appealing to green dragon psychology. By posing as minions it can boss around.

Thorn: Dragons don't like being told 'no'. It's a winged teenager with big claws and wings and really bad halitosis.

Of course, if we do take Wyvern Tor, we can fill it with traps for the dragon's arrival. Such as big banners saying “Welcome to Wyvern Tor!”

Kavorog: 'What's that tiny writing along the bottom? ' 'Guess who prepared Explosive Runes today' BOOM.

Lamech: Are there any zombies actually left?
Druid: I never did a census.

Druid: You're a druggie, aren't you?
Lamech: I appreciate the natural pharmaceuticals.

Druid:.... you're a Wild Sorcerer.
Lamech: All natural, that's me.
Druid: There’s nothing natural about Wild Magic.
Lamech: More natural than daemonic pacts or being some kind of freak hybrid.
Druid:... good point.

But first, let's see if we can find that buried treasure one of the prisoners at the Red Brands base promised us. Not a problem. At least we coming out financially ahead on this trip. And chains from the smithy will be useful in getting the real dragon cultists back to the authorities. More ash zombies is less useful.

Kavorog: How are we going to carry an anvil?
Lamech: Make the prisoners carry it XD
GM: And they won't be running anywhere if they're tied to it.

And then we get ambushed by triffids.

Lamech: I think I was too startled by Thorn yelling in my ear to notice the plant monsters.

Elethendiel's Thunderwave spell is pretty loud too.

Lamech: And all over town zombies shuffle up of their ruins and stare up at the sky going 'uuuurr?' uuur... doesn't look like rain...'
GM: Waving umbrellas, and muttering 'I thought they moved that air force base'

Throw in all the giant rats the detonation panicked, and you can understand why we give Elethandiel some rather dirty looks.

GM: To the north are the zombies. To the south is the braying of a very large goat. To the east is the snorting of an angry boar. We can safely assume there are no sharks.

We flee back to the building with the prisoners, luring the zombies into an annexe and sniping at giant angry wildlife as they circle.

GM: So who are you going to Enlarge
Lamech's player: They're all asking for it.
GM: You're PCs, of course you're asking for it.

GM: You can hear the boar moving away from the building.
Lamech: It's about to charge the door, isn't it.

Yup.

And the giant goats launch themselves at the windows. So we're stuck in a small room with monsters coming in every door and window. The boar backs off for another charge, and is pursued by an Enlarged, Raging, lightning-breathing Kavorog. Hopefully this will result in bacon. At least the chaos seems rather startle the goats, too. A much needed reprieve...

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Shadowrun – the other 2070 campaign
Apparently in the session I missed, the other characters went white-water rafting, got stuck in the middle of a dick-waving contest between Salish-Sidhe and Aztechnology, started a fire, and filmed the subsequent escalation. I should probably be grateful I missed this, even if there was ice cream at the end. For one thing, some-one as distinctive-looking as Ripper would be even harder to conceal in the camera footage than the other runners.

Oracle: Remember, I AM legally dead.
Ocelot: 'and if you say anything, you can be too'

Oracle also proposed nightmare fuel in the form of hundreds of Buster Moves – dancing plush toys with rudimentary AI – wired together into a twitching, staring, supercomputer. Fortunately, he's short on the funds to build this horror – keeping ahead of the software arms race is expensive - unless we can find another job soon. Boot's fixer makes an early morning priority call.

Strelok: Good morning, comrade. I have a job for you if you're interested.
Boots: Music to my ears – I need to buy that muscle toner somehow.

Apparently extra security is needed for a meet at The Sports Bar, in Freeway Park.

Boots: I've been there a few times when I was a kid... those poor ducks.

Boots: For most Shadowrunners, 11AM IS mid-morning.

Although it will be a problem for Oracle – he DOES have a day job.

Ripper K: It's a complication
Boots: Just like I'm an albino. And vindictive.
Ripper K: At least you don't have to worry about UV in Seattle.

Boots: Hey, Ripper, is this going to get in the way of your deviancy?

Boots: These conversations always reach the point where things get awkward. I LOVE working with you guys.

Ripper K: I'm going to call up an ARESearch Maps wiremap of the park – because if I had a missile launcher, I want to figure out where I'd be firing from.

It turns out that could be from anywhere – the freeway running through the park, the hi-ises all around...

Boots: There are so many, many ways this could go terribly wrong.

Not least because, as a AAA Security area of Seattle, us standing around with automatic weapons will attract attention.

Oracle: See if you can get some tracer rounds. Tracker rounds, I mean Tracker Rounds!
Ocelot: I suspect that slip was intentional.
Ripper K: Just order them off Amazon and one of the delivery drones will drop them off – you're an Amazon Prime member aren't you?

And then throw in the convention of security types at the pavilion. There's a rather high number of large people in suspiciously well-tailored suits wandering about. The fact that Oracle's drones will be running on a pre-arranged script, and the chances that this is going to go wrong wrong rise exponentially.

Ocelot: It has only just occurred to me that Shadowrunners started referring to the people that hire us as 'Johnsons' so we can call all our employers dicks.
Oracle: They do say a run isn't over until the Johnson has screwed you, somehow.

The runners chat about the run Ripper missed.

Ripper K: I do swim very well – I probably wouldn't have needed the raft.
Oracle: White-water bodysurfing should not be a thing.

Oracle is stuck doing his mystery day job where he has to log into an apparently random MMO for a few hours.

GM: And this week it's Glitterworld 4.
Oracle: Oh fuck.
Ripper K: Hmm?
Oracle: Idol management MMO.

Ripper K starts tagging civilians, security-types, and suits on the TacNet. We don't recognise the gathering suits, which we will no doubt regret very soon. Feeding the photos into face recognition software doesn't help.

Ripper K: It's those shiny teeth – they blind the cameras.

The doors are closed when a large and sparkly individual, with a highly attractive Orc girl on each arm, arrives. He's on the guest list, but he's late, so he won't be getting in. Of further note, his escorts are heavily but covertly armed. There's NO WAY we're letting him in.

Boots: It's the Penguin.
Oracle: Miraculously resurrected after his run in with a daemon.
Ripper K: Didn't your dad meet this guy?

Boots: I'm sorry sir, but there is no way I'm letting you in. But if you wait I'll make a call.
Penguin: You get stuck in traffic and this happens. Go on, make your damn call.
Boots: *winks at the orc escorts * Hey babe.
Ocelot: This is why we needed Oracle on duty – he could have blacked out everything below the neck.

Then the Halloweeners show up. A loud and themed biker gang. With flamethrowers.

Ripper K: There's no way this isn't a distraction.

Boots: Hey Strelok. We've got gangers inbound with flamethrowers in a AAA zone.
Strelok: … How???
Ocelot: What's the legalities of shooting them when they enter the pavilion grounds?

The thing we're not supposed to notice is the lone dog, packed to the gills with unmarked augmentics, that's strolling towards the pavilion. Ripper moves to intercept.

Oracle: I'd have packed it with surveillance hardware – it's a beagle. You have to call it Snoopy.

Boots: That's adorable. Have three bullets. 'You can tell I'm a hardcore gamer because I like hurting animals'
GM: The Halloweeners stop in their tracks and go '…. dude!'
Boots: Let 'em. They're next.

One bike gets its wheels shot out, and the other goes up in a fireball.

Boots: We've got one ganger who's bike doesn't go vroom vroom anymore and the other is one with the flame.
Ripper K: Oh look, it's some sort of bipedal incendiary device.

Knight Errant is surprisingly understanding, and ask us to come down to the station when we're off duty. After all, we are there as semi-legit security.

Ripper K: So, if I was making a run against this pavilion, what would my third line of attack be?

Probably the gardening droid that is making its rounds in the middle of the day. The one that stinks of liquid explosive.

Boots: Ripper, it's all yours.
Ripper K: Is it safe to shock it?
Boots: NO.

Ripper rips the 'pesticide' cannister off and throws it in the pond.

Boots: I'll leave that for Knight Errant to deal with. Wait, this park is full of civilians... 'Let's play in the fountain, mummy!' GOD NO.

Ripper K: Want me to pull the tracks off? KE will probably want to run cyberforensics on this.
Boots: Just hit the off button. I know I've unleashed bulletstorms today, but...

There's a few minutes of the meet to go. The security conventioneers across the road are watching all this with fascination.

Conventioneers: What the fuck did he just do? Into the pond? …. Alright then.

And then an apparently random assault happens nearby. And the woman attacking's hands start to inflate.

Ripper K: The fuck?

It's anaphylactic shock. And another distraction, but probably not one we can ignore.

Boots: Hold this – Orc running towards you with a rifle is never reassuring.

And recognising the situation, one of Oracle's drone scripts trigger – the medivac drone launches.

Boots: Ma'am! I have something to tell you! *stabs her in the neck with an EpiPen* And you! Stand over there!
Assault Victim: But she hit me!

And then the meeting of fixers, and our job, is over. It seems just barely possible that the medical emergency WASN'T a set-up.

Ocelot: Has anybody come out of the pavilion yet?
GM: Yes.
Ocelot: Good. If they hadn't I'd have gone in and started counting bodies.

Oracle: We need more jobs like this.
Boots: Ocelot, High Five! Ripper, Jazz Hands!

The Fixers: What the frell happened out here?
Ripper K: Surveillance cyberdog, bomb attack.
Boots: And Halloweeners.
Fixers: We didn't hear a thing!
Ripper K: Thanks.
Oracle: They can probably still hear the medivac.
Ripper K: And that was probably unrelated.

Oracle is quite pleased that his drone scripts worked so well he didn't even need to give them additional orders. And the fixers are so pleased with us that they'll probably keep us in mind for future jobs.

Boots: And lets sell off the organs from the dog.
Ocelot: Well, cyberwear.
Ripper K: The organs are kind of... all over the place.

GM: A 20 thousand nuyen dog... blown away with 10 nuyen worth of bullets.

Boots: High Five, Ripper! Argh, my wrist, what have I done...

Of course, Oracle is still going to need another job this month just to cover his expenses.

GM: Hacking is a high maintenance lifestyle.

Ripper K: Blowing the dog apart in front of all those kiddies was entirely necessary.

Of course, after the game Weldun points out everything we did wrong – he does security IRL.

Weldun: Like that woman who was having the attack. She was outside your perimeter – why did you leave your post? That said, I don't know a single security guard that wouldn't go help. In fact, if I knew one who refused to help, on those grounds, I wouldn't work with them.

NPC: Your forehead seems bigger these days.
Oracle: Why thank you, I've been working out.
Ocelot: Lots of Sudoku.

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The original Shadowrun setting has always been one of my top ten must PLAY RPG's.

 

I GM'ed Shadowrun off and on for 10yrs, but only played a total of 16 sessions as a PLAYER. I know many Shadowrun Gamers with the same experience.

 

Everyone wants to PLAY, bit few want to GM.

 

I maintained a list of people who wanted to play Shadowrun in Vancouver. It topped 110 in just 3yrs. Not a lot of GM's. The Dumpshock and Vancouver Gaming Guild Forums.

 

Cheers

 

QM

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The original Shadowrun setting has always been one of my top ten must PLAY RPG's.

 

I GM'ed Shadowrun off and on for 10yrs, but only played a total of 16 sessions as a PLAYER. I know many Shadowrun Gamers with the same experience.

 

Everyone wants to PLAY, bit few want to GM.

 

I maintained a list of people who wanted to play Shadowrun in Vancouver. It topped 110 in just 3yrs. Not a lot of GM's. The Dumpshock and Vancouver Gaming Guild Forums.

 

I think Shadowrun has always been one of those games that is easy and fun to play but pretty difficult to GM becuase of the vast amount of ground you need to cover. I have GMed Shadowrun a LOT, but have played very little. The thing is, seems like with every edition there is one section that I just cannot keep in my head. The most recent two editions, the whole matrix thing was beyond my ability to remember it all. I would read the section, run it fine for a couple of sessions, and poof, it was gone again. Read it again, run it some more, etc. etc. ad infinitum. Got a bit tiring. Not sure why... 2nd and 3rd it was magic.

 

It's basically the D&D of science fiction gaming. It has everything so has wide appeal. The video games can only be helping it, which is good. Funny thing is, I personally got into Shadowrun because no one would play Cyberpunk with me, but when I mentioned the Shadowrun book people perked up. In the end, I like Shadowrun as well, so it's not too much of a loss.

 

And, getting back on topic...

 

A Champions game... sort of.

 

Josh, our semi-psychic duplicator/summoner/clone maker: Hey, you ever heard of "The Stranger?"

Linette, our elastic former cheerleader: Ewwww...

Josh: No, not that...

Linette: *smiling* *arched eyebrow*

Josh: ...I duplicate, I don't need to sit on my hand.

Linette: EEEEWWWW...

 

The M-F'ing Dragon of the West, B****!  :  I BLAST IT!

GM: ...the little girl?

The M-F'ing Dragon of the West, B****! : That ain't no little girl, holding a physics book in the middle of the street like that...

GM: Did you just MIB me?

The M-F'ing Dragon of the West, B****! :  YEA-UH!

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Our Champions game has my wife, two sons and two daughters as players.

From our last game.

 

Players are listening to a battle in a nearby room as they get ready. 

The soldier/guard in the other room is blazing away at the big bad guy, followed by a loud crashing noise and then silence.

 

Older son looks at the rest of the groups and says, "Don't worry, he's just reloading."

 

Took five minutes for everyone to quit laughing so we could get back to the game.

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"They say you can choose your underwear, but you can't choose your family."

"I thought that was friends."
"What was?"
"What you can choose. You can choose your friends but not your family."
"That....makes sense. I think underwear works too. Underwear and friends."
"Uh huh."
"But not your friends' underwear. Choosing that would just be too awkward."
"You mean kind of like thi-."
"THEN AGAIN, if we're talking about friends with benefits, that's a different story. Maybe not. Boundaries could still vary from person to person, y'know?"

"Remind me to pack a Game Boy next time..."

 

Gotta love IC banter that isn't centered around dice rolls.

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From last night's adventure (Typhoid Dee) in my Champions game (Part One):

 

Pre-game, Circe was jokingly complaining about last session's fight at her nightclub.

Malarky:  (OOC) I thought we warned you -- if you tell (GM) that your character owns someplace, it's almost guaranteed there will be a fight there.

GM:  Didn't you notice, when you gave me Circe's backstory, and it included the nightclub, and your condo's location, and your mom's place, that I chuckled a lot?

 

FYI:  Circe's player provided a very detailed background that involved her grandmother Marie (herself a mentalist and a leader of a group known as the Sisterhood) making a deal with an unidentified "powerful mentalist" -- he and Marie's daughter Hanna would bear two children, one female and one male.  (One of the Sisterhood could manipulate things to ensure the gender of each child.)  Hanna would raise the girl, and the father would raise the boy.  However, after the first child (Circe, aka Ana) was born, Marie and Hanna refused to complete the deal by producing the male mentalist's heir.  Thanks to the Sisterhood, he didn't have much choice but to accept this and walk away.  Ana / Circe didn't necessarily know all of this info, though she was aware of the Sisterhood.  The background also mentioned that her grandmother died when Ana was about 8 years old.  And Circe's Complications included that she is Watched by her father (More Powerful).

 

Cue the GM machinations.

 

GM:  And speaking of your condo, we're going to start Circe, or rather Ana, off there, sleeping peacefully one night...

 

She wakes up to find a man leaning against her bedroom door frame, smoking a cigarette.  He introduces himself as Joseph Ryan, her father (whom her mother had said died when Ana was an infant).  Ryan assures her he means her no harm, and says that Ana's mother (Hanna) and grandmother (Marie) kept him from seeing her.

 

Ryan:  Even though your mother kept you from me, I kept tabs on you growing up, but I did miss out those things a dad gets to do, like watching his baby sleep.  So I hope you'll forgive me for watching you sleep just now.

Circe:  (OOC)  The first thing I do?  Pull the covers all the way up to my neck.

 

Circe tries using her Telepathy (invisible to mental) to read his mind.  Note that all of her mental powers are in a pair of multipowers, and all are bought with the Unified Power limitation.

 

GM:  Two things.  First, you can tell that your Telepathy is greatly reduced in power.  In fact, all of your mental powers are down about 30 points, and you can feel them slowly but surely getting weaker.  Secondly, when you try to read his mind, you get nothing.  He's like a psionic void.

Circe:  This is not good!

 

Ryan, by the way, is the psionic assassin Krait from Blackwyrm Games' rather excellent Algernon Files.

 

Ryan:  I also never got to tell you bedtime stories growing up, so please indulge me while I tell you one now.  Long ago, there was an evil queen, Queen Marie, who was also secretly a witch, leader of a coven of witches known as the Sisterhood.  Queen Marie made a deal with young, handsome Prince Joseph (bows slightly), offering a few nights' time with her beautiful daughter, Princess Hanna, with the goal of producing two heirs.  The daughter would be raised by Queen Marie and Princess Hanna, and then a son would be born and raised by Prince Joseph.  However, after the lovely Princess Ana was born, Queen Marie told Prince Joseph that she and Hanna weren't going to honor the rest of the deal.  Since Prince Joseph was still young and not as skilled as he would one day become, and the evil queen had the backing of her coven of witches, there was nothing he could do but walk away.  But Prince Joseph trained, honing his skills and powers, and one day he returned.  He snuck into the castle late one night and slew the evil Queen Marie in her bed. 

Circe:  But... why?

Ryan:  Because she reneged on their deal.  It was... unprofessional.

GM:  (OOC)  He says that as if being unprofessional is a worse crime than clubbing kittens, maybe even worse than murdering infants.

 

After he finished his twisted bedtime story, he tells Ana that he now plans to murder her mother Hanna for her part in backing out of the deal, and that he felt she should know the full truth of how she came to be. 

 

Ryan:  I don't want to be one of those parents who puts his child into the middle of things, so you may feel free to tell your mother that I stopped by, and of course my plans for her.  All I ask is that you stay out of things and let your mother and I settle our dispute ourselves.  I would hate for you to get hurt in the crossfire.

 

- - - - - -

 

I then backtracked to just after the team's fight against Road Kill.  Last session, the heroes discovered that Road Kill's new songs were somehow summoning Cthulhu-esqe horrors.

 

GM:  So, last time you guys destroyed the Flying Polyp and captured the members of Road Kill.

Honey Badger:  And I got an autographed guitar!

GM:  Yes, you did.  However, how are you going to keep Road Kill from just playing these songs later and summoning more of those things?

Malarky:  The lyrics were basically incantations for a spell.  If we can get them to change the wording, the spell won't work.  (Note that Malarky is a fledgling mage.)

Circe:  (to Nexus, aka Isabelle, a musician)  Does Izzy write her own music?
Nexus:  Yes.

Circe: So she and Malarky can work together come up with new lyrics for the songs, and I'll use my cumulative Mind Control to put them into Heavy Metal's mind and make him think they were his idea.

Honey Badger:  Can you make them a limerick?

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