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Darren Watts

Quote of the Week from my gaming group...

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The last couple of sessions of Black Crusade, which I have been too busy to write up properly, and therefore forgot the context of half the quotes. Also, it's the remainder of the Dark Heresy scenario Damned Cities so expect spoilers.

Digna - Heretek who still passes as an investigator for the Adeptus Mechanicus
Lord-Captain Daniels - dissolute Rogue Trader
Eniek - corrupt surgeon with a talent for warpcraft
Skerrit - mutant precog and cartomancer

The Judiciary Evandus Idrani, Seventh of his Name - The former governor, now hopeless insane thanks to a curse set on him by the PCs
The Judiciary Evandus Idrani, Eighth of his Name - His son, who helped.
Xabius Khan - Chief Enforcer for the Sinophian nobility - a corrupt thug
Marshal Skarman - Head of the small contingent of Arbites on Sinophia, who deal with crimes against the Imperium, not little things like murder.
Fihad Constantine - Skarman's helpful adjutant and liaison officer.
The Rag King and Queens - Leaders of the Sinophian criminal underclass

The Obsidian Resolve, carrying thousands of Imperial Guard troops that they evacuated from Cauldron, has returned to Sinophia and received a daemonic visitation that bade them search for the rest of the unnatural mirror fragments, in return for knowledge and power.

Daniels: The new governor made it abundantly clear that he appreciated everything we did, and that he wanted us all to go away and be appreciated elsewhere.
Digna: And now we're back.
GM: With thousands of troops, no less.

A ticking clock is introduced - at the edge of the system, the Imperial starship Ignacia has arrived, bearing Inquisitorial investigators - apparently the Imperium is quite concerned about Digna's reports about mind control of the former Governor. I wonder why. It will reach planetary orbit within the week. The name Ignacia does lead to some conversation about homoeopathic macrocannon batteries, but it can't be helped.

How to find the other mirror fragments? Perhaps summon a daemon to find them wherever they may be hidden in Sinophia's wretched capitol?

Digna: Fleshhounds of Khorne can actually hold an idea in their heads for more than five seconds.

At least the new Governor seems to handling the position well, even if he DID participate in the ritual that drove his father insane with paranoid hallucinations.

Digna: Compliment him on the smooth transition of power
GM: Yes, the planet hasn't completely collapsed into chaos. Yet.

They dress to match the fashions of the nobility - Skerrit is dressed as the comedic relief.

Skerrit: Giant Afro.
Digna: Don't bounce around too much – wig comes off, tail comes out, and the next thing you know we're burning down the building.

Skerrit: Nobody expects the clown to be the ninja, right?

Distractions, regarding an old and often hilariously bad cartoon called SilverHawks

Digna OoC: Tally Hawk had two buttons - Go out and Be Awesome, and Come Back And Stop Showing Us Up.
Peanut Gallery: And a dial
Digna OoC: Yeah. For setting the level of Awesome.

Digna OoC: That's my next Black Crusade character – a Mumm-ra rip-off

The heretics summon up a minor warp entity of cursed red fire and send it off in pursuit of the nearest mirror fragment. It returns clutching somebody's arm, the hand still clutching the mirror fragment. Oddly enough, the bearer of the arm appears to have been dead for some time. Even more worrisomely, news soon reaches the party that some daemonic force chewed through the security at the former governor's mansion, and slaughtered the governor.

Digna: Can we get a quiet word to the current governor that 'It Wasn't Us'?
GM: If this WAS the son covering his tracks, he's botched it. A truly successful assassination won't be recognised as such.
Digna: It probably wasn't us … although it DID happen the night we summoned a daemon

Digna: 'We didn't knowingly have anything to do with this'

Eniek: Compose yourself – these deaths have nothing to do with what you did.
Evandus Junior: I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING
Eniek: Keep telling yourself that. Just keep in mind – when the Inquisition arrives, we are more frightening the they are.

Evandus Junior: If the Inquistion come after me, I swear I'll take you down with me.
Eniek: … Quite. That's a nice thought, isn't it?

The Governor hasn't been the only victim, either. While the PCs were gallivanting off to Cauldron, two other nobles and an offworlder moneylender have been horribly killed as well. This latest death is the last straw - the nobility are fully prepared to blame the poor quarters of Sinophia for these assassinations, and firebomb the tenements so as to impress the Inquisition with their zeal. The PCs already know another mirror fragment is in the position of the government's chief enforcer, Xabius Khan, in the form of a medal he was awarded for excellent service in the brutalising civilians department. Time for Digna to charm her way into the mildewed hall of records, to research making a duplicate of the medal, and, as it happen, stumble across not only another mirror fragment, but clues as to which noble houses might have more. Apparently Marshall Skarman of the Adeptus Arbites has been making similar inquiries - and that Augury Skerrit cast months ago did imply that SOME agent of the law was up to no good. They all just thought it was Khan. Who, admittedly, was also up to no good. Digna runs into Skarman and a posse of his Arbites on the way out, and enjoys a nicely paranoia-inducing conversation. And then she runs into him again, at the gate.

Door Security: But sir... I just let you into the building!
Marshal Skarman and Digna: ...Wot.

Cue the reveal that the Skarman she met inside was a psychically disguised zombie master. Ghastly revenants go after the lords and ladies of the capitol, while the fake Skarman gets quite upset that Digna beat him to the mirror fragment in the hall of records, but eventually gets his head blown off by Skerrit, which won't help with IDing him. The zombies all appear to be mutants - or, perhaps, were mutated after death?

GM: Admittedly they probably didn't have all these bullet-holes, either.

Off to the ominous tower now occupied by the Arbites - the heretics are by now aware that it was built by Erasmus Haarlock, a very ill-omened character indeed, and who supposedly vanished decades ago. It's also nearly certain that the mirror fragments were looted from the tower after Haarlock's disappearance. There is no way in hell that this is a good thing. Still, going up there to talk shop with the Arbites' forensics officer, and drop a few hints to incriminate Xabius Khan, can't go wrong.

Digna: Although I do not wish to speak ill of the man, his somewhat extravagant lifestyle may be curbed by an increased Imperial presence.

Fihad Constantine also expresses his concerns about his superior, who hasn't been sleeping well - but adds that there have been a number of suspicious deaths rumoured among the ruling underclass as well.

Costantine: As you said yourself, ma'am – I don't wish to speak ill of my superiors.

Eniek: It may not be warpcraft – changes in pressure from the storm may affect the humours and addle the mind of those in stressful positions.

Skerrit: It looks like somebody else is after the shards.
Digna: This is a good thing. We let them collect the rest of the shards, then hit THEM. It makes our job easier.

Time to arrange a meet with the Rag Kings and Queens. Happily, the PCs are now so intimidating, that it's not that difficult.

Eniek: I wish this meeting to be expedited -
Fixer: Wot?
Daniels: He's having trouble dumbing down the language.

Eniek: And when they stare past my lenses they can see there's no eyes.

Eniek: Evidently to become a Rag King you need a lose an arm.

The three criminal overlords - a former torturer, and her associates a slab of muscle, and the Loanfather himself, confirm that a number of the lesser Rag Kings have been killed. And they're actively alarmed at Eniek's query about mirror fragments, since some of them were known to have 'scrying mirrors' and the like. There's still one who does - time to race off and try to beat the zombies there. Too late - the attack is under way. Happily, Digna has built herself a cyborg brute, with a giant combat drill for an arm. The carnage is indescribable.

Digna: We'll send Mr Bubbles in first – it's kind of what he's built for.

Digna: Mr Bubbles – activate Little Sister Protection Protocol One. Of course there isn't a sister yet. I need to kidnap a small child and transform her.

A debate over whether the enemy are mutated zombies, or zombified mutants.

Digna: So zombie takes precedent over mutant. It's important to make these distinctions.

GM: Well, the head sort of comes off under the sheer centrifugal force. WHIRR TEAR RICOCHET BOUNCE BOUNCE BOUNCE
Small Boy: I want one of those, Mommy!

There's also one last noble suspected of having a mirror. Being heretics, they don't particularly care what happens to her, even if it kicks off rioting in the streets (ESPECIALLY if it kicks off rioting in the streets), but do place her under surveillance so they can track the zombies back to their base.

Digna: Eh - She's lived a long life.
Eniek: If we were acolytes of the Inquisition we'd be worried by this.
Digna: If we were acolytes she'd be 'sacrificed in the greater good of getting to the bottom of the problem.'

Digna: It's really hard for an Inquisitor to get the answers he wants when people are dying all over the place.

Time to frame Marshal Skarman for all these murders and Warpcraft, incriminate Khan at the same time, get all the mirror fragments, and watch the city burn. Off to Haarlock's tower, where the Arbites are currently trying to deal with the rioting in the streets, and demand Adjutant Constantine get Skarman and Enforcer Khan to the tower right now. While they're waiting, Eniek and Digna poke around Skarman's personal quarters, and find a hidden stairway leading up to room with warpcraft symbols engraved into the floor, and two mirrors - one smashed. How terribly convenient.

Marshal Skarman: What does that have to do with me?
Digna: Nothing – but that now you make a convenient scapegoat. *paralyse his larynx*

Khan shows up to, and reacts predictably when he realises Digna knows about his smuggling associations, etc, and already has a second 'interrogation chair' set up next to the unfortunate Skarman. Unfortunately for Skarman, Eniek and Digna have so radically altered their own bodies with warpcraft and cybernetics that bolt pistol rounds just bounce off.

Digna: If you're quite done – please take a seat
Eniek: Please inform Arbite Constantine that the gunshots were a misfire.
Daniels: All twelve shots.

Digna 'interrogates' Khan enough to get all the confessions she needs to incriminate both of them, and then ensures they both 'unfortunately expire'. She then lets Constantine know the good news he's getting a promotion to Marshal.

And then they can reassemble the mirror, and start negotiations with the entity trapped inside.

Digna: Don't taunt the daemon. 'Why, will it kill me?' No, it's tacky.

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Digna - Heretek who still passes as an investigator for the Adeptus Mechanicus

 

I am finding fun in seeing how long she can keep her position in the Prefecture Magisterium. Although it does beg the question as to what happens to her talent "Peer (Adeptus Mechanicus)" if her heresy is revealed?

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My brother has found another MMO to terrorise. It's called Rust, and Ian observed that the economy of the game revolved around hunting down down other PCs and selling their organs for meat. So he decided to become a long pig farmer. He hunts down sleeping PCs while the players are offline, builds cages around them, and steals all their stuff. When the players wake up they're naturally a bit annoyed to find Ian walking off with all their stuff but they can't even get out of the cage because he took all their tools as well. He's been getting hate mail from the admins begging him to just kill the other PCs.

Weldun: You make a resource-management survival game and then complain when someone finds a way to manage resources efficiently. That also happens to torment them.

Ian: FATMAN spreading hate evenly. And Pigman is making a come back. Sack on head and head out squealing. And leaning over slowly and asking do they want to squeal like a pig and when they say yes I set fire to the building.

Of course, since the admins begged him to start killing people, he has. But not straight away, and not by himself, oh no. First, as the Pigman, he targets and imprisons newbies. Then takes off the sack, heads out and 'rescues' these individuals, who of course are absurdly grateful. Indeed, Ian's maskless persona is widely acknowledged as the friendliest character on the server. But once he's earned the trust and gratitude of these victims, he recruits them. Ian runs a trade shack - other PCs bring him goods in returns for guns. Then Ian messages his recruits, has them follow the customer home, raid them, steal the guns, and bring them back to the shack. The customer then has to grind for more resources, go back to Ian's trade shack, and buy another gun. Rinse and repeat.

Customer: I used to have a gun just like this one, but those raiders stole it.
Ian: The bastards. By the way, the price of guns has gone up.

Players started complaining - not because any of them figured out Ian's scam, but because everybody was working flat out gathering resources to buy the same guns over and over, and that got boring. Ian, naturally, rectified this, by dressing himself and his crew in pumpkin masks and rampaging across the server, and building a giant Hollywood Sign on the hills reading "YOU HAVE BEEN RAIDED BY THE PUMPKIN CREW". This is the first thing newbies see when they come onto the server. The resultant carnage spawned rioting and violence galore, made the server more popular than ever, and has PCs turning up at Ian's shack, dumping armfuls of loot, and demanding guns so they can retaliate against anybody they suspect of being on the Pumpkin Crew. Ian has helpfully framed a few people in that regard, planting pumpkins on sleeping PCs, announcing he's found one of the Crew, and having them hounded across the map by howling mobs.

He's started remodelling his base, as well. As a giant pumpkin. People have noticed this, and also noticed that his base hasn't been raided by the pumpkin-headed maniacs.

Ian: I'm showing my respect to the Great Pumpkin Spirit. That must be why the Crew are holding off.

And they believe him.

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Shadowrun 2070 - Fun With Ziplines
Weldun: Sitting around a table where all the chairs match feels false. Dumpster Dive Chic.
Van: We call it 'Derelique'.

Those of my players who were in my Call of Cthulhu campaign still remember it fondly enough to regale the newbies with 15 minutes of anecdotes. Such as Aldous Quinn's infamous boxing prowess.

'I shot them with this shotgun officer' 'Why?' 'Because I'd have killed them if I'd used my fists'

Draco Foundation – An organisation set up by the late president Dunklezahn

Oracle: Just call him Unky Dunky

Humanis Policlub - Racist fucks. Reputation : Target practise
Miracle Shooter – An Augmented Reality live action shooter game. Quite popular, and a good recruiting tool for the military and covert merc groups.
Knights Errant: Currently providing Seattle's police force, at very reasonable rates.

I missed two sessions, but got a synopsis. They set a corporation up for a later run by inserting a software agent (named Raffles) into their systems, and getting a detailed 3-D map of the entire building by wandering around inside with plans and hidden radar sensors, after the management heard about new communication technology and wanted a quote on rewiring the building.

Ocelot: We went into the Ork Underground looking for someone and got attacked by an invisible ceiling crocodile.
Ripper K: What?
Ocelot: We managed to stun it and carry it out. No-one's ever confirmed they exist before so we're going to sell it.
Ripper K: And add a new chapter to Newt Scamander's 'Magical Beasts And Where To Find Them'.

Ripper K: You sound a bit stressed there, should I bring something?
Boots: Let me check – some more blood would be nice, but I don't think you're my blood type.
Ripper K: I'll pick up a sixpack of gangers, you can use them as squeezepaks.

On to Pirate's Cove, to find a smuggler who may or may not have information on a woman – one Fiona Craig - who was bringing an Artifact into Seattle. The first client – probably from the Draco Foundation - wanted her back. A second client - the Seattle DA - wants the smuggler. A third client wanted us to recover the black volcanic glass artifact, but we don't care.

Oracle: I didn't like the way they approached us. So fuck 'em. Plus I'd been having a bad day.

The ridiculously useful Bloodhound sensors on Oracle's dragonfly drone confirm we're on the right track, despite a distracting encounter with gangers that Astronauta Peligroso successful intimidates with his Mexican Wrestler Intimidation-fu.

Boots: Ironically the gator is worth more than the job we were supposed to be doing.
Oracle: WAY more. It's an uncatalogued paranormal critter from an urban environment and we caught it ALIVE. And a lot of the buyers don't ask questions.

Boots knows someone in the business.

Boots: True, he's an uncle. I'm an Ork, I have lots of uncles.

Of course strolling through the Ork Underground in the company of assorted military-grade drones will attract attention.

Oracle: If they don't like my toys they can answer to my toys.

A future PC, Nevermore, makes the mistake of spying on the group in the form of a raven.

Oracle: Well, I always wanted to try skeet shooting.

Boots: I've got mixed feelings about Proposition 23.
Oracle: It's just a vote on whether the Underground is recognised as an official district of Seattle, and gets to vote on Seattle council business.
Boots: There's still a mix of positives and negatives.
Oracle: Humanis is going apeshit.
Boots: That's one of the positives.
Oracle: I'm expecting lots of work against racist fucks.

Pirate's Cove is a impressively large underground river.

Oracle: And if you look at the ceiling you will NOT see invisible alligators.
Ripper K: So what's the wireless like?
Boots: laughs hysterically
Oracle: It's just improved - because we're here.

Boots: Stay alert, it's likely somebody else is looking for Uncle Turner.
Ripper K: It he another one of your uncles?
Boots: This is the Ork Underground – everyone's my uncle.

Boots knocks on the door and gets jolted across the street by a charged Ward.

Boots: Well fuck Uncle Turner then.

Oracle's drones do some chain gun carpentry. Boots enters.

Boots: UNCLE. I'M HEEEEERREEEE
Ripper K: Let's just hope he wasn't on the way to answer the door.

Boots is encouraged to leave again by a fire spirit.

Boots: I tag a luchadore. Astronauta, you're up.

Astronauta Peligroso charges in and mauls the spirit, despite being badly wounded by the alligator earlier.

Ocelot: Magical troll luchadore to replace the troll sledgehammer-user Streetrat's dad used to work with.
Astronauta Troll adepts are effective.
Boots: Just don't rub their bellies.

Ocelot: What are the walls made of.
Ripper K: Plasterboard.
Ocelot: We probably should have checked if anybody was inside first.
Ripper K: Yup.

Boots: I'm operating on pure disgust for the universe at this point.

Uncle Turner also has Ork guards and ceiling mounted track-guns. He also has the woman we're seeking - apparently he was going to double-cross her and try to get a better deal for the artifact.

UncleTurner: Don't come any closer! Or I'll shoot the girl!

Ocelot takes advantage of Oracle's TacNet and infravision to shoot the gun out of Turner's hand. Through the wall.

Boots: Get out from under the table, Uncle, it's embarrassing.
Ripper K: *turns to the 6 guards and shrugs* Family.

Boots is rather annoyed at Turner's unprofessionalism – attempting to double-cross a client is never good. Despite the kind of things Shadowrunners are famous for.

Turner: I thought I could get a better deal!
Boots: ….... it's over. *rings his Dad, Labrat* Dad? I've got some bad news.
Turner: *goes white*
Boots: Unless you have something for me, Uncle.
Turner: It's in the safe!

Labrat agrees that execution for this treachery is entirely called for.

Boots: Put this on. *throws a blindfold at Turner*

The obsidian object in question is recovered, and the woman safely retrieved. Maybe we'll get a bonus for finding both.

Boots: Hey, Streetrat! Why do you have a head in the fridge? Oh, nevermind, it's a cake. Why do you have a head shaped like a cake in the fridge? Er, cake shaped like a head. The other way around would be even more disturbing. Love the raspberry icing.
Streetrat: Don't touch that, it's for Dad!
Boots: Is that an actual vibroknife?
Streetrat: Yeah, it's his birthday present.

We get our pay, and a bonus, and we put the money for the alligator towards getting Prop 23 passed. The DA is annoyed that the smuggler is dead, but we have video and medical proof that he was threatening a hostage. We just don't include the second bullet. Boots has also joined Knight Errant, which means he won't be going on runs any more (sort of a conflict of interests there).

Ripper K: Does this mean we can trust you to look the other way when we're on a run?
Oracle: I promise to use non-lethal rounds when you're in the area.

Boots: The replacement I'm suggesting has a... bit of a personality.
Oracle: Actually, I think Astronauta Peligroso has more than enough personality for the entire team.

Boots: Well gentlemen, I won't be seeing you again, except as Officer Montgomery.
Oracle: Don't take this the wrong way but I hope I never see you again. Except on Miracle Shooter.

Boots: Astro, I'm not shaking your hand – you fucking scare me.

Oracle natters on about his phenomenally useful custom medevac drone.

Ripper K: You should sell this design to DocWagon.
Oracle: Not yet. I had to do a lot of work on the Valkyrie chassis to get it to work. It's only a few feet long – it needed to take a full human.
Ripper K: Cut their legs off automatically and sew them on again at the destination.
Oracle: …

Oracle: I need to get a Big Rig. For Big Jobs.
Streetrat: Don't call it Mek-Quake.


291040-181255-mek-quake.jpg


Boots' replacement turns up at a Miracle Shooter tournament, carrying half of Boots stuff. He's a bit conspicuous.

Oracle: He's dressed like a Corp who's seen one to many Shadowrunning Vid-shows.

Shell: Hi! I'm Shell. You must be Streetrat?
Streetrat: What gave it away? The tusks?

Oracle: I should warn you that the other Miracle Shooter players think I cheat. I've talked it over with the organisers and they agree that what I do isn't actually illegal.
Shell: Boots told me he had a decker with a TacNet?
Oracle: He really knew how to undersell, didn't he?

Oracle: And now we go kick arse at Miracle Shooter.
Whiny Pissbaby: They hacked the game! They knew exactly where we were!
Oracle: It's called millimetre-wave penetrator radar, ya dick.
Ocelot: I imagine you tag them all as 'Whiny Pissbabies' on the HUD.
Shell: bang bang bang Got 'em.

Nevermore shouldn't do nearly as well, since magic actually is illegal in Miracle Shooter. But with the TacNet and advice from the other runners it's almost easy for him as well. Maybe he WILL do well on the team.

Oracle: Spiritual entities won't show up on the TacNet – it's a limitation. Although if I can get some RFID-infused fluorescing astral bacteria...

Another job arises – a hostile extraction. No doubt our success with the last job impressed potential employers. The meeting takes place atop a skyscraper, where our fixer has been paid to drop off a few mysterious crates and arrange an Augmented Reality meeting with the actual client. The client's avatar is a reptilian figure with Egyptian themes. Composure tests are failed.

Client: I AM THE SCION
Oracle: If you're not taking this seriously I'm leaving.
Shell: Externally I'm impassive – but inside I'm SQUEE.

Scion: THE DRACO FOUNDATION WANTS TO EMPLOY THE ARCANOARCHEOLOGIST PARKER ACSON. HE IS CURRENTLY AT A HORIZON CORPORATE BANQUET ON THE BALCONY OF THE BUILDING OPPOSITE. YOU HAVE 15 MINUTES TO ACQUIRE HIM.
Ocelot: With this short notice? Are you kidding???
Oracle: Actually... we can do it. If you can get a harness on him. Ever seen Batman Returns?

Scion has arranged a crateful of useful material and tools, including gecko setae grappling guns.

Oracle: Even better. There he is.*mimes targeting and shooting* The other end of the line is attached to my heavy drone :)

And even that might not be necessary – Astronauta Peligroso can easily swing across the street, grab the guy, pull a King Kong, and slide back along a second line, while the rest of us provide covering fire. Then we rappel back down to ground level and our vehicles on the far side of this building. Although the blue dragon tending bar, the multiple security suits, whatever the maitres de is, and the possibility Acson is a mage, complicates matters.

Our sensor drones are two blimps and a stealthed fighter jet.

Nevermore 'It's Been A Good Year... (but not for much longer)'

Oracle has an even better idea. The first grappling line and Nevermore's Magic Fingers to snag Acson, and a second grappling line diagonally between the buildings to act as a break on the line when we haul him in. All this is worked out in AR while Ripper sets up the escape lines. Add stun rounds to knock out Acson, and rifles to target anybody else, and this should be easy.

First problem – the magical ward around the balcony stops the Magic Fingers. Second Problem – All the gunfire Ripper put into the maitres de was barely enough to knock him unconscious. This guy was heavily cybered. If he wakes up we're in trouble.

Oracle: Just picture how this appears from the other side 'Yes, this an excellent meal, I'll have th-' RATATATATATATA shattering glass YANK. 'What the fuck just happened?!'

Oracle: I should build a drone that could grab him halfway across the street.
Ripper K: Caw caw motherfuckers.
Oracle: I need to build this drone.

Still, we're just so awesome that we're already heading for our escape route with the target before the security team get over their surprise.

Security Team Reviewing the Footage Later: Look at this! Look at this! How long did they take setting this up?
Oracle: Eh – about 5 minutes. From getting the job to execution.

We ring the contact number Scion gave us. It doesn't get answered. And Acson's phone starts ringing.
Oracle: … he contracted his own extraction.

Oracle: We just extracted our Johnson... what, no comment from Ripper? We know you're a former porn star.
Ripper K & Nevermore Former?
Oracle: Dude, porn is still a solvent industry, why are you even here?
Ripper K: Adrenaline.
Oracle: Plus it was a niche market. Changelings are out of vogue now
Streetrat: And he can't get up any more.
Nevermore There's bionics for that now.
Ocelot: 'Penis goes up, penis goes down, penis goes up, penis goes down'
Nevermore 'Honey, I love you so much I'm going to give you the security codes for my penis.'
Oracle: 'Honey, could you please stop playing with the controls, I'm given a presentation'
Shell: 'Under any other circumstances it'd be funny, but it's about child protection'
Ocelot: Cut to the house, a drinking bird is tapping away at the button.

Acson: I don't have the money right now...
Ocelot: Don't kill him, we won't get paid.
Shell: Technically we're still on the clock.

He claims the corporate knowledge in his head makes him a prize catch for any corp. Maybe we should sell him to the Draco Foundation. Or set up a bidding war.

Oracle: The more corps get involved the more likely someone will try to extract him off us. And hiding the bodies is so tiresome.

We DO still that contact number from the last job.

Oracle: Hi Mr McAlliston. Remember me? From three weeks back? Turn on the Horizon News.

Oracle: I have no idea what to do next– since when do WE set up the meets?

Fixer: What sort of meet do you want to set up?
Ocelot: Information exchange and a transfer of Wet Resources

Oracle: Right – all the corps we invited to send reps should be on their way. Unless somebody plays dirty, which is unlikely with an hour's notice.
Ripper K: Look what we managed in 5 minutes.
Oracle: Yeah, but we're actual Shadowrunners.

Ripper is Masked as an elf for the meet, while the rest provide overwatch, sensor sweeps, etc. The area for the meet is horribly rundown.

Streetrat: Dude, I LIVE here.
Shell: I understand the squatters travel in packs to hunt, and mate.
Oracle: …. there's nothing I can add to that.

We secure the area. The sudden appearance of all these security drones makes the locals very nervous. Hopefully it'll make the corporate reps too nervous to try anything as well.

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D&D - The Anticlimax At Wyvern Tor
D&D – Still sans their gnome sorcerer, but still attempting to exterminate the goblinoids at Wyvern Tor. On behalf of a dragon we want to kill anyway. And who is looking more and more like he'll be a recurring villain in the campaign, thanks to our knack for wildly overcomplicating everything. As with Shadowrun and Black Crusade - a few weeks of sessions combined into one post.

GM: Elethandiel's player isn't here this week.
Lamech's Player: That's alright – we'll send him ahead to trigger all the traps. After all, he WAS GMing when three different pairs of monsters all went after me.

GM: And the gnome had most of the party treasure went he vanished into thin air.
Kavorog: And for that I hope he went to the Plane of Infinite Spiders.

At least the ogres had some interesting treasure, including a magic backpack and a amulet of the god Helm.

Thorn, the Helmite Cleric: *yoink* Ta.

That copper dragon and his fairy dragon friends needs to be informed.

Urlon: Our friend the gnome has gone to another realm.
Cuprasulfa: What?
Thorn: He achieved apotheosis and became God of Supreme Bullshitters
Cuprasulfa: … yeah, I can believe that.

Cuprasulfa: So, what's the good news?
Urlon: That was the good news.
Cuprasulfa: What???

Cuprasulfa: I'm in a green dragon's territory? Or he's in mine.
Thorn: Well, you were here first.
Urlon: And there's an even larger green dragon on the other side of the hills.
Cuprasulfa: I think I'm going to be ill. *horks up an orc skull* Sorry, that's been stuck in my gullet for days.

Thorn: Well, he's not a very BRIGHT green dragon. Lamech managed to convince him we were dragon cultists.
Cuprasulfa: Well, Green's aren't very bright, just vicious. Although Reds are worse. And Whites are just STUPID. And Blacks hang out in swamps, how clever can they be?

Thorn: Do you know the spell Explosive Runes?
Cuprasulfa: No. The fairy dragons keep telling me to learn Explosive Runs, but I don't know any jesters that can teach me.

Cuprasulfa: Join me for dinner. Do you care for orc?

Urlon: With my survival skills we won't have to rely on Russians – Rations!
GM: Or Russians.

The Phandalin villagers are surprised to see the group plus dwarf and sans Lamech.

Villager: What happened to the gnome?
Urlon: Ogres.
Villagers: Ogres?
Urlon: Yes, he vanished into another dimension.
Lamech's Player: And hopefully isn't re-enacting the adventures of Lemmywinks the Gerbil.

The Blackhawker half-orc clan have shown up, claiming hereditary rights to the ruined mansion and the dungeons underneath – mostly on the grounds that that they overran and interbred with the noble family in question, generations ago. They have some supporting evidence – ancestral plate armour, and the saga tattooed into the flayed skin of their grandfather, that sort of thing.

Thorn: I'd also like to know how they heard the mansion was empty.
Villager: Good point.

Sildar: I hope you didn't send either dragon up to the mansion.
Urlon: Why?
Sildar: Because it's already crawling with delegates from both sides, standing guard over that chasm in the dungeon. And the gate to the Shadow Realm in it.
Urlon: Um.

Sildar: Would you like some food before you head up?
Kerak: Sure. A full feast would do nicely.
Urlon: Well, maybe not a feast.
Thorn: If Lamech was still here he'd be recommending a light meal and methamphetamine.
Kerak: Dwarf Moss.

Urlon suggests we invite all the delegates to the feast, so we can get an idea of their strength. They agree, apparently with large grins.

GM: Guess who's coming to dinner.

GM: Dinner break, then dinner with the orcs! With lots of feasting and mighty oaths and breaking of mugs.
Thorn: And pissing off local monsters with noise law violations.

Religious differences aren't going to help either. Best make sure nobody brings weapons. Kerak volunteers to run the cloak room.

Kerak: It'll give me a chance to examine their arms.

GM: The half-orc leader orders his men to hand over their long arms, but their keeping their daggers to eat with.
Thorn: True enough.
Half-orc Leader Seyr Lochlan: I'm not giving over the symbol of my honour.
Urlon:... that's fair.
Lochlan: Especially not handing it over to orc-haters.

The Blackhawker's bard recites the saga of how they used Shadowy Paths to get their revenge and triumph over the Tressanders, and cart off their treasures and any survivors.

Kerak OoC: The Rats in the Walls...

It looks increasingly likely that their claim is genuine, and despite the mutual contempt the Blackhawkers and townsfolk have, there might actually be a way to recruit these half-orcs against Venomfang – assuming we can get the townsfolk to recognise the claim. And they aren't allied with the Many Arrows orc clan at Wyvern Tor. What a pity the party's diplomancer is MIA. The night continues with only minor squabbles, arm-wrestling, arm-twisting, barmaid spinning, drunken miscegenation, etc.

Kerak: Any gobbos to chuck?
GM: There IS a goblin...
Thorn: How about dwarf-tossing?
Kerak: Come on and try it, buddy.

One somewhat worrying observation on the roof the next morning - Something large shat on it. Venomfang?

GM: Could have been a random Roc.

Phandalin is nominally an independent township – but since the Many Arrows Clan are known warmongers, and have attacked Neverwinter, it's looking increasingly likely that the town will have to become an official protectorate of the Lord's Alliance. Plus, fear of the army might keep the Blackhawkers from simply becoming the next gang of thugs controlling Phandalin. And here we all are at the sharp end. Lucky us. Also, there's still all those side quests and reconnaissance we need to do before we get every ally, clan and mercenary group we can acquire to go against the goblinoid forces. We need to ask Agatha the Banshee about Bogentle's missing spellbook, investigate rumours of an evil wizard at Oldwell, and scout out Wyvern Tor and King Gurnt's castle at Cragsmoor. At least the first three are on one road, if we go the long way round. And if the orcs at Cragsmoor and Venomfang make alliance, then we're completely fucked, even with an army to back us up. Not least because they'll have control of an important mountain pass.

Off to Agatha's. Along with a pretty standard encounter with a patrol of hobgoblins. The clerics and paladin keep the goblin's attention while the ranger and barbarian sneak around to attack them from behind.

Urlon: We should have started shooting the moment they got within range.
Thorn: Perhaps. But this way, if they run away, we can shoot them in the back.

Once the hobs are dead, we find one of them is carrying a sketch of a blue dragonborn, and a reward offered of 20 GP, signed with a black spider. Kavorog and Elethendial exchange a glance. This is not a good sign, if the conspiracy and the goblinoids are working together.

Agatha apparently lives in a gazebo.

Kavorog: RUN!

Banshees are bad enough, but ones that live in gazebos? Terrifying. And no party diplomancer.

Agatha: Foolish mortals! Do you not know it is DEATH to seek me out?
Thorn: Forgive us, respected Oracle, but our need is great. We bring a gift to assuage your anger.

We're supposed to ask, on behalf of the Harpers, the whereabouts of Bogentle's spellbook. Or perhaps Bojangles.

GM: Next to Elvis' Blue Suede Shoes.

Kerak actually debases himself flattering the elven creature, which flatters her, but it's not enough. At least she doesn't kill us all, so we can come back later with more gifts, perhaps. Urlon attempts to swap an answer for information about Venomfang. This backfires.

Agatha: Reeeeeeaaaallly. Bring me a pretty from his hoard, and I may answer your question.

Oldwell has an old watchtower – a good dragon lair, as if it matters now – but the reports of undead sentries are not the kind of thing to inspire confidence. Especially since necromancers need to be killed on sight.

There's a colourful tent in the courtyard of the old tower, but nobody visible. We prepare massed fire arrows and a charge, which goes off very well. The necromancer is dressed in red, has a shaved scalp, sallow skin, and a tattoo. Red Wizard of Thay! Kill the fucker!

Red Wizard: Hold your fire! I'm willing to talk! I'm not here to hurt anyone!

The zombies stop as well. This is extremely odd – we exchange glances, and parley (although the snipers on the hill keep their arrows trained.)

Urlon: We were TOLD there was an evil wizard here.
Red Wizard: *offended* Who told you that? I am merely here on an archaeological expedition. These are my field workers.

The Red Wizard offers to answer OUR questions, if we ask Agatha a question on his behalf.

Red Wizard: If you're after loot you're in for a hard fight. I'm a necromancer – my vengeance only STARTS when you are dead.

He's appalled to learn that there's a green dragon to interfere with his work as well.

Red Wizard: Who told you this?
Kavorog: We have advance knowledge.

Red Wizard: Hmm, I wonder if I can make a dracolich... Tell you what, if you kill all the orcs at Wyvern Tor but leave the bodies intact, I can expand my workforce. That helps you, doesn't it? I can fill the Tor with undead immune to his breath weapon. If you swear an oath to ask Agatha a question for me.

Naturally the IDEA of assisting a necromancer in anyway sits VERY uneasily with Urlon and Thorn, but we should at least consider this.... he'd like us to ask Agatha the Banshee about who built the ruined tower his zombies were searching. He even offers a magic ring as payment. By this point Thorn is wondering if Lamech somehow managed to dose everyone with some of his more interesting mushrooms. But he's off in Star Trek TOS on the Marijuana Planet. Of course, we can alway kill the Red Wizard later - although he'll have more undead servants then.

Urlon: And if we DO end up fighting him we'll get more XP

Red Wizard: This ring is a relic of an ancient empire. Only a being as old as Agatha will appreciate it.
Kavorog: Looks like an old wedding ring to me.
Red Wizard: Close, but totally wrong.

Thorn: I have a suggestion – deal with the Tor, kill the dragon, then ask Agatha his question so he'll leave and take the zombies with him.
Red Wizard: He's your party cleric, isn't he?
Kavorog: He doesn't like you very much.
Urlon: I don't like him very much either.
Red Wizard: None of you like me, we've established that.

So, in alliance with the necromancer, do we attack the Tor in daylight or night? Orcs have darkvision. So do we. But the necromancer's spells might be better at night – magical Darkness negates all sort of magical vision and illumination, and could be quite a surprise to nocturnal monsters. And cast on a pebble, in a clay jar, it could be used as a grenade.

After sniping the guard, the two dragonborn leap the gully that acts as a natural moat. The rest of us have to walk.

Kavorog: Would you rather I throw you?
GM: THERE WILL BE NO DWARF-TOSSING IN THIS CAMPAIGN.

As a side note, the discovery that Wyvern Tor is merely a natural spire of rock with a few small caves is a problem - this is not the kind of thing we promised Venomfang. We also hadn't expected an ogre in residence.

Kavorog: It's all Ogre now!

Kavorog goes into a berserk rage, which goes about as well as expected.

GM: It happens everytime – the barbarian goes berserk and two rounds later the rest of the party is climbing over his body and trying to revive him.

Kavorog: I'm not going to kill him if he keeps his word! I HAVE a code of honour!
Thorn: So, what DID you do to that kobold?
Kavorog: …....... no comment.

The GM makes the mistake of opening some exposition about the Netherese Empire with “A long, long time ago” which starts me humming “American Pie” and eventually leads to a detailed explanation of a certain infamous college football game.

Kavorog: What does this have to do with Netheril again?

Heading back to try and bargain with Agatha a second time, we run into a unit of Orcs, with a Black Orc and an Eye of Graumsh in charge. Formidable. Of course half the PCs want to pick a fight. Given the handful of Orcs and the Ogre at the Tor would have killed us twice over if not for Thorn and Karak's healing spells, this is a bad idea. They pick a fight anyway. The Eye casts a Bless spell on himself and the Black Orc.

Kavorog: Geek the mage!

Amazingly, we prevail with comparative ease. Evidently someone in the party had a favourable horoscope that morning. And they wee carrying pretty enough loot that we should be able to ask Agatha the banshee TWO questions. Assuming we can actual be persuasive enough. Which is doubtful.

Thorn: 'Hey, you ugly elf ghost, you answer question, me give you pretty thing'

In the end we have to hand over ALL our prettiest loot before we can assuage her wrath at our 'compliments'. At least we get both the answers we were after. We have a sudden suspicion that the missing Bogentle's spellbook is in the same tower the Red Wizard was excavating. This would not be good.

On experience points and how close we are to the next level.

GM: I think the dwarf is short - headdesk


 

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My brother has found another MMO to terrorise. It's called Rust, and Ian observed that the economy of the game revolved around hunting down down other PCs and selling their organs for meat. So he decided to become a long pig farmer. He hunts down sleeping PCs while the players are offline, builds cages around them, and steals all their stuff. When the players wake up they're naturally a bit annoyed to find Ian walking off with all their stuff but they can't even get out of the cage because he took all their tools as well. He's been getting hate mail from the admins begging him to just kill the other PCs.

 

Weldun: You make a resource-management survival game and then complain when someone finds a way to manage resources efficiently. That also happens to torment them.

 

Ian: FATMAN spreading hate evenly. And Pigman is making a come back. Sack on head and head out squealing. And leaning over slowly and asking do they want to squeal like a pig and when they say yes I set fire to the building.

 

Of course, since the admins begged him to start killing people, he has. But not straight away, and not by himself, oh no. First, as the Pigman, he targets and imprisons newbies. Then takes off the sack, heads out and 'rescues' these individuals, who of course are absurdly grateful. Indeed, Ian's maskless persona is widely acknowledged as the friendliest character on the server. But once he's earned the trust and gratitude of these victims, he recruits them. Ian runs a trade shack - other PCs bring him goods in returns for guns. Then Ian messages his recruits, has them follow the customer home, raid them, steal the guns, and bring them back to the shack. The customer then has to grind for more resources, go back to Ian's trade shack, and buy another gun. Rinse and repeat.

 

Customer: I used to have a gun just like this one, but those raiders stole it.

Ian: The bastards. By the way, the price of guns has gone up.

 

Players started complaining - not because any of them figured out Ian's scam, but because everybody was working flat out gathering resources to buy the same guns over and over, and that got boring. Ian, naturally, rectified this, by dressing himself and his crew in pumpkin masks and rampaging across the server, and building a giant Hollywood Sign on the hills reading "YOU HAVE BEEN RAIDED BY THE PUMPKIN CREW". This is the first thing newbies see when they come onto the server. The resultant carnage spawned rioting and violence galore, made the server more popular than ever, and has PCs turning up at Ian's shack, dumping armfuls of loot, and demanding guns so they can retaliate against anybody they suspect of being on the Pumpkin Crew. Ian has helpfully framed a few people in that regard, planting pumpkins on sleeping PCs, announcing he's found one of the Crew, and having them hounded across the map by howling mobs.

 

He's started remodelling his base, as well. As a giant pumpkin. People have noticed this, and also noticed that his base hasn't been raided by the pumpkin-headed maniacs.

 

Ian: I'm showing my respect to the Great Pumpkin Spirit. That must be why the Crew are holding off.

 

And they believe him.

 

That is just so...so...deliciously, delightfully, and dementedly Machiavellian.

 

Not to mention being funny as hell.

 

I salute the Great Evil Pumpkin ( :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: ).

 

 

Major Tom 2009 :rofl:

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My brother has found another MMO to terrorise. It's called Rust, and Ian observed that the economy of the game revolved around hunting down down other PCs and selling their organs for meat. So he decided to become a long pig farmer. He hunts down sleeping PCs while the players are offline, builds cages around them, and steals all their stuff. When the players wake up they're naturally a bit annoyed to find Ian walking off with all their stuff but they can't even get out of the cage because he took all their tools as well. He's been getting hate mail from the admins begging him to just kill the other PCs.

 

Weldun: You make a resource-management survival game and then complain when someone finds a way to manage resources efficiently. That also happens to torment them.

 

Ian: FATMAN spreading hate evenly. And Pigman is making a come back. Sack on head and head out squealing. And leaning over slowly and asking do they want to squeal like a pig and when they say yes I set fire to the building.

 

Of course, since the admins begged him to start killing people, he has. But not straight away, and not by himself, oh no. First, as the Pigman, he targets and imprisons newbies. Then takes off the sack, heads out and 'rescues' these individuals, who of course are absurdly grateful. Indeed, Ian's maskless persona is widely acknowledged as the friendliest character on the server. But once he's earned the trust and gratitude of these victims, he recruits them. Ian runs a trade shack - other PCs bring him goods in returns for guns. Then Ian messages his recruits, has them follow the customer home, raid them, steal the guns, and bring them back to the shack. The customer then has to grind for more resources, go back to Ian's trade shack, and buy another gun. Rinse and repeat.

 

Customer: I used to have a gun just like this one, but those raiders stole it.

Ian: The bastards. By the way, the price of guns has gone up.

 

Players started complaining - not because any of them figured out Ian's scam, but because everybody was working flat out gathering resources to buy the same guns over and over, and that got boring. Ian, naturally, rectified this, by dressing himself and his crew in pumpkin masks and rampaging across the server, and building a giant Hollywood Sign on the hills reading "YOU HAVE BEEN RAIDED BY THE PUMPKIN CREW". This is the first thing newbies see when they come onto the server. The resultant carnage spawned rioting and violence galore, made the server more popular than ever, and has PCs turning up at Ian's shack, dumping armfuls of loot, and demanding guns so they can retaliate against anybody they suspect of being on the Pumpkin Crew. Ian has helpfully framed a few people in that regard, planting pumpkins on sleeping PCs, announcing he's found one of the Crew, and having them hounded across the map by howling mobs.

 

He's started remodelling his base, as well. As a giant pumpkin. People have noticed this, and also noticed that his base hasn't been raided by the pumpkin-headed maniacs.

 

Ian: I'm showing my respect to the Great Pumpkin Spirit. That must be why the Crew are holding off.

 

And they believe him.

 

This...this is why I hate PvP games with a passion.

 

Not that the stories aren't funny as hell though.  :D

 

Chris.

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I find myself suddenly imagining what would happen if a new player showed up on this MMO looking like

Linus Van Pelt (complete with blanket), and immediately getting into trouble by announcing that he's

looking for the Great Pumpkin ( :snicker: )...

 

 

Major Tom 2009 :eg:

 

if  I were at all interested in playing such games that's exactly what I'd do.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The Great Palindromedary

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My last entry in this thread is on page 30.  That's 577 pages back.  Good lord.

 

So two great quotes came out of today's session.  The first comes from new player Ben.  We explained to him how PRE Attacks work, and he immediately wanted to try it out against a band of bandits trying to waylay him and his sister.  His character is a super-badass archer who, thanks to an Autofire stunt, Rapid Fire, and Autofire skills can lay down an impressive rate of fire.  His Danger Sense warned him of the ambush long before he reached it, and he started firing into the bandits, forcing them to close with him.  He knocks two arrows at once, aims at the pair of bandits charging him and says "It is raining death in this place and by the end of the day YOU WILL ALL BE SOAKING!"  I thought that was totally worth an extra dice, but sadly he rolled a 7 on 4 1/2 dice.

 

The second quote came from disgraced nobleman Hannewig Marcellus, who is involved in a romantic relationship the Lady Seeta Zadi.  Marcellus is a disgraced nobleman who has become an assassin; Seeta is a scheming femme fatale who rules an empire of blackmail and extortion.  Commenting on his initial reaction to meeting Zadi, he said "I knew the feeling was love...or I'd been poisoned."

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Tried to post from work, and it lost everything I typed.  Grrrr...  Let's try again.

 

I actually have two adventures to quote, but let's start with two Sundays ago.  Here's part 1 of Stroke of Death:

 

A few weeks ago I asked by long-time players if they preferred new teams in my new Champions campaign, or to see some old foes (and if so, which ones).  Among old foes mentioned was Deathstroke (though mainly so they could pound and abuse Death Commando).  Thanks to rjd59 for his 6th edition conversions, which saved me a ton of time.

 

Unfortunately, there are 7 players and only 6 members of Deathstroke, so I decided to add a new member to the villain team.  With the team's long-term animosity with Dr. Draconis, I decided to have a redneck teen find a deserted Draconis armory / lab which included a backup copy of Draconis' original battlesuit.  Naming himself Draconic, he used the battlesuit and other stuff he found to break Requiem out of Stronghold (the rest of the team had escaped in the great Cross-Rip superprison riot) and asked to join their team.

 

But before we get to the meat of the adventure, we had some other news and personal stuff to handle.

 

That week's copy of the Heronet Herald included an article that the Catholic Church was sending an exorcism specialist (Monsignor Vasquez) from Rome to try purging the being possessing a missionary to create the supervillain Inquisition (one of the Corrupted).

 

Pops:  Couldn't they find someone, y'know, local?

 

GM:  On the day the monsignor is supposed to arrive...

Pops:  Oh, great, what happens?  The jet is shot down?  Explodes?  Hijacked?

GM:  Nothing like that.  You hear on the news that the Anti-Pope appeared on the jet...

Pops:  In mid-flight?  He's got some serious teleportation.  So he killed the monsignor?

GM:  Not directly.  He simply... sent the monsignor outside the plane.

Honey Badger:  Probably out onto the wing, next to the gremlin trying to tear apart the engine.  Were they showing The Twilight Zone movie?

GM:  Naw.  The in-flight movie was Gone With the Wind.

 

Meanwhile, as the only publicly-known superhero on the team, Honey Badger has been getting mail for the team - requests for public appearance, pleas for help, etc.  For the past week, he's been getting a manila envelope each day containing a typed listing of more of the same, along with a crisp new $5 bill and a handwritten:  "Keep up the good work.  You're the BEST!"

 

Honey Badger:  Vanilla?  I prefer chocolate.

GM:  (pause)  Not vanilla.  Manila.

 

He also has his long-awaited date with Pop Tart, a founding member of Snak Attak! (yes, it's spelled that way), Boston University students who fight crime who take their names from snack foods.  Twizzler (whom the PC heroes met in their first adventure) arranges for HB to meet PT in front of the Boston U student union.  He sees PT flirting with a half-dozen male students, but she breaks away when she sees HB.  (It should be noted that Pop Tart dresses in a naughty schoolgirl outfit and talks like a ditzy blonde Valley Girl.)

 

Pop Tart:  Oooo!  Sorry, boys, gotta jet.  There's my date!  (flounces over and starts hanging off his arm)  Isn't he dreamy?  (squeezes his bicep)  Ooooo!  What muscles!

Honey Badger:  Honey Badger brought you a present.

PT:  (unwraps present)  A toaster?  Ohhhh... because I'm Pop Tart.  (smiles wickedly)  You're trying to get me hot, aren't you?

HB:  (grins)

 

As soon as they're out of earshot of others, she begins talking normal.

 

PT:  Okay, just so there's no misunderstandings, if you're only going out with me because you think I'm some easy bimbo, let me know now and we can go our separate ways, no hard feelings and nobody gets hurt.  The flirting and that other stuff, that's just Pop Tart.  It's not really me.

HB:  Ummm.. Twizzler said you wanted to go out with me.

PT:  Well, I figured with the whole "Honey Badger don't care," talking-in-the-third-person thing, maybe you'd get the Pop Tart thing better than most.  I just didn't want you to start out with the wrong idea.

 

They go out to a nice restaurant, where she occasionally winks and blows kisses at guys staring at the two of them.

 

GM:  After you finish dinner, you go to a local club...

HB:  Wait, nobody attacked us during dinner?  That's never happened before.

 

At the club, she continues the flirting, while still giving HB plenty of attention.  At one point, an angry woman whose date is staring at Pop Tart throws her drink in his face, glares at PT and HB, and storms off.  Shortly after, PT excuses herself to go to the bathroom.  After she returns, she's dialing the flirting thing up to 11 -- deep tongue-kisses a random guy, drags HB onto the dance floor to more grind than dance, etc.  Realizing something is wrong, HB tosses her over his shoulder and begins carrying her out of the club.

 

PT:  Oooo!  I like it!  (to others)  Bye, all!   We're off to have some fun!

 

HB calls Twizzler, then takes PT to Twizzler's house.

 

PT:  A threesome!  You naughty boy!

 

Honey Badger begins calling in teammates.  Malarky and Maker are able to rule out her being drugged, and Nexus verifies she's not being possessed.

 

PT:  Honey Bunny, how many people are we going to party with?  I'm not complaining, mind you, just wondering.

 

Eventually, Circe finds out Pop Tart is under a Mind Control, from the pretty strawberry blonde who threw her drink in her date's face.  She breaks the mind control, bringing the unfortunate date to an end.

 

A few days later, Shadowboxer is driving in the shadier part of town when he sees someplace in a strip mall.  The sign catches his eye:  Boston Elite Super Team.  (Note that the PC team had yet to choose a name at that point, and BEST wasn't even on the list.)  He uses his ability to see and hear from the shadows to spy on the reception area - where a bored-looking woman (Jan Cramer) is talking on the phone.

 

Jan Cramer:  (practically a monotone)  Hello, is this Ron Cahson?  This is Jan, calling from BEST – the Boston Elite Supah Team.  I’m sure you’ve seen media reports of the city’s new supahheroes, and their daring exploits to help protect ouah fair city and its citizens.  Prior to their arrival, Boston went without a supahhero team for nearly a decade, resulting in widespread crime and corruption.  We heah at BEST believe in being strongly supportive of ouah supahheroes and the fine job they are doing fighting crime…

Maker:  (OOC) Does she look anything like the secretary from Ghostbusters?  Because that's totally what I'm seeing in my mind.

 

Shadowboxer also peeks into the back office, where a guy dressed like a used-car salesman (T.J. O'Rourke) is also talking on the phone while typing on a laptop computer.

 

TJ:  Perhaps your daughter’s boyfriend is a ‘filthy mutant,’ as you say, sir, but I’m sure you understand that superheroes can’t go around arresting people just because of their genetic makeup.  Has he actually done anything illegal?  (pause)  Uh, huh.  Yes.  Right, sir.  (sigh)  Well, why don’t you give me his name and address?  I can’t guarantee Boston’s super-team will be able to do anything about him, but I’ll be sure to pass along your information.  One more thing sir?  Of course, superheroes don’t charge for their fine work they do, protecting us from threats such as violent mutants.  But on a completely unrelated note (chuckle) would you be willing to make a donation to BEST?  It would certainly make our lives much easier.

Honey Badger:  (OOC)  Wait.  BEST?  What was written on those papers I've been getting in the mail?

GM:  You mean,"Keep up the good work, you're the BEST?"

Circe:  (OOC) Let me guess, this is one of those fundraisers where most of the money goes toward administration, and very little to the actual cause?

GM:  Very little?  Like, five dollars?  (grins evilly)

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From my wife, while firing her energy bolts at a mook beating a fallen police man.

Wife - "I'm not going to take a chance on this one getting away. (rolls a successful hit, then rolls all the dice for her attack)"

Me - "He missed the roll for his armor.  What did you roll for damage?"

Wife - makes concerned face "Oh.  Oops. I may have killed him.  The three other cops are watching me, aren't they."

 

During another session with the 14 y/o boy.

Me - "Do you have Unluck as a disadvantage?'

Son - "No.  I bought that off."  Looks at sheet.  "Um.  Maybe I didn't."

Me - "Go ahead and roll for it."

Son - (rolls) "Um, what number is bad again..."  .

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Part 2 of Stroke of Death:

 

I forgot to say that, in the Heronet Herald article about "Dr. Draconis" breaking Requiem out of Stronghold, mention was made that a few weeks before, Dr. Draconis had been in a battle with the "Virginia Alliance for Global Intervention and National Aid," during which his armor had gotten badly damaged.

 

Pops:  Is that superhero team actually called VAGINA?

GM:  They're a loose group of heroes who refused to give their team a name.  So the Heronet Herald editor gave them one.

Malarky:  It's the GM's way of saying it's time for us to pick a team name.

 

In response to TJ O'Rourke and BEST, Malarky and Maker set up a website and an email address for the team, even though they still haven't picked a name.

 

A freak earthquake levels a deserted town in Pennsylvania at 12:02 pm, after which the major networks reveal that they had each received CDs that morning with video files of Requiem demanding the US government abdicate in favor of Deathstroke ruling the country, and threatening to destroy whole cities until that happens.  He said that as a demonstration, they would level Curtin Village, Pennsylvania at noon.

 

Honey Badger:  A CD?  Really?  How 1990s.

GM:  Well, he has been in prison for over a decade.

 

Shortly after that, the team begins getting repeated emails from two local reporters (Nadine Acer at the local CBS affiliate and Joshua Petersen from the local Fox station) and Tommy Dugan (son of Jimmy "Gyro Jim" Dugan), all requesting interviews with the hero team about Deathstroke.

 

Honey Badger:  What makes them think we know anything about it?  We've never even fought them before.

 

Honey Badger gets a call from TJ O'Rourke, saying that he received a CD with a video file he thinks the heroes need to see.  From a completely different angle (up above and to the side) it shows Requiem filming his demands (requiring three takes), and then walking over to a table to go over maps and diagrams with Stinger and Death Commando.  The CD also contains diagrams and notes about a device that projects earthquake-like resonant vibrations at a distant location.

 

Maker:  So can I make a gadget that will detect that device?

GM:  Sure... the next time it's used.  Do you want to wait until then?

 

The notes on the CD include computations of the frequency and amplitude waves showing that Curtin Village, PA is approximately 590 km from the quake device. 

 

Malarky:  We'll draw a circle on the map and start checking out towns along the line.

GM:  Like, Boston?  Because the line passes right through your hometown.

 

The heroes look up info on the members of Deathstroke.

 

GM:  ... and the strawberry blonde there is Scatterbrain, the team's mentalist.

Circe:  Strawberry blonde?  Does she look familiar to me?

GM:  As a matter of fact, she does kinda resemble the girl in the bar who whammied Pop Tart.

 

The heroes take a multi-prong approach:  Shadowboxer and Maker begin researching and checking out disused underground spaces (old subway stations, etc.) in town, while Circe tries to Mind Scan for Scatterbrain.  Eventually Circe get a few bearings, narrowing the search area for Shadowboxer and Maker, and they locate an unusual space under a disused storage building -- a sizable section of abandoned subway tunnel has been blocked off with concrete.  In the storage building above, Shadowboxer spies on a group of heavily-armed hired thugs, so the heroes block off the door leading to the staircase and get ready to force open the armored door leading into the main part of the underground base.

 

Pops:  Remember, take out the mentalist.  They're evil.  Every last one.

Circe:  One of these days, I'm going to find myself about a mile up in the air, falling to my death, aren't I?

GM:  Right next to the monsignor.

Circe:  (looks to his right)  Oh, hey, Monsignor Vasquez.  How's it going?

 

Inside, they find Nadine Acer holding a camcorder, interviewing Requiem while the other members of Deathstroke and a squad of agents are scattered around the room, some checking on the Quake device while others are killing time.  The battle is joined, with Honey Badger going straight for Death Commando.  The villain hits the hero, doing basically no damage past his defenses.

Honey Badger:  What was that?  You hitting me with a feather?

Draconic:  (to Death Commando)  What's wrong, old man?  Having a little trouble there?

 

Scatterbrain decides to have some fun with Honey Badger and hits him with a Mental Illusion making her look like Pop Tart. 

 

Scatterbrain:  Why don't you and I go somewhere and have a little fun?
Honey Badger:  Oh, no, she's doing it again.  I'd better call Twizzler again.

GM:  Sorry, no cell phone reception in the bunker.

 

Nexus blasts Draconic, drawing his attention.  So he does a flying tackle, taking her down to the ground.

 

Draconic:  Woo, hoo!  Hey, babe, ain't this fun?
Nexus:  (OOC)  He's going to get grabby, isn't he?

GM:  Worse than that.  He's going to motorboat Nexus' breasts.

Honey Badger:  He's going to regret that he's wearing a full helmet.

Nexus:  This guy's an a**hole.

GM:  Yeah, basically, that's what I've been trying for.

Nexus:  (to Malarky)  Can't you do something about this guy?

Malarky:  (hits Draconic with a Flash vs. all senses)  At least he can't enjoy himself now.

 

Malarky had trapped Death Commando and the agents in a thorny AoE Entangle, and Death Commando had just broken free.

 

Nexus:  (to Death Commando)  A little help here?

Death Commando:  (looks down at Draconic, then to Malarky)  Temporary truce?

Malarky:  (shrugs)  Sure, what the heck?

Death Commando:  Be right back.  (climbs back into the thorny mass and comes back out with one of the agents' laser pistols)  D**kweed here doesn't realize that Draconis's armor is vulnerable to lasers.  Do you, D**kweed?  (blasts Draconic with the laser, stunning him and doing 4 BODY past defenses.)  Not bad for an 'old man', is it, D**kweed?

Malarky:  The worst part is, Draconic is blind and deaf and doesn't know what just happened.

GM:  Actually, he has some Flash Defense.  He regained the ability to see and hear just before Death Commando took the shot.

 

The heroes have most of Deathstroke on the ropes.

 

Death Commando:  Well, I'm out of here.  Take it easy.

Malarky:  I'll fist-bump him as he goes past.

 

Pops is standing near an alcove where the concealed exit is, and where Death Commando is heading.

 

Death Commando:  Yaaaaaa! 

GM:  It looks like he tries a Move Through, but he barely misses Pops by... (holds hands about three feet apart) ... this much.

 

Honey Badger:  You know, Nadine got the whole fight on film.

Malarky:  Too bad that camera's going to have a little accident.  (Holds one of his magical foci)  Probably due to Chiller's little blizzard.  Too much cold isn't good for electronics, y'know?

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From my youngest girl at the beginning of the last session.

Daughter/Alley Cat - "We aren't going there.  I'm supposed to keep Jack safe.  So we aren't going there."

Me/GM - "So what are you planning to do?"

Daughter/Alley Cat - "Chicken burritos.  They're safe."

 

:stupid:

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From my youngest girl at the beginning of the last session.

Daughter/Alley Cat - "We aren't going there.  I'm supposed to keep Jack safe.  So we aren't going there."

Me/GM - "So what are you planning to do?"

Daughter/Alley Cat - "Chicken burritos.  They're safe."

 

:stupid:

 

I think that depends on the quality of the eatery.

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I think that depends on the quality of the eatery.

Ok, perhaps I should have put the next bit ot the conversation.

Me/GM - "Ok.  Where are you going to get your burritos?"  (fully expecting her to say that whatever local joint had them, or she needed to make a CK roll)

Daughter/Alley Cat -"My place.  I've always got them in the freezer. I'm baby sitting so its a microwave supper night."

 

:jawdrop:

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From my wife during the session from last night.

A bit of background, she is in Miami following a hurricane assisting with rescue/relief efforts. (think Katrina like condition, with more wind damage & less flooding).

She can also add power to her End Reserve by absorbing electrical power - but most power lines are down so she has resorted to draining car batteries.

 

Wife/PC - "So how is it that I end up in a battle on the one street where all the cars are either trashed or on fire?"

Me/GM - "You remember that your attacks are what torched all the cars?"

Wife/PC - "If I wanted you to tell me why they were burning, I would have asked you to tell me.  I am telling you that it sucks."

Me/GM - "Ok, so what are you going to do for your next action?"

Wife/PC - "I know I am here to help the ambulance crew, but do you think they will pop their hood if I ask nicely?"

 

:rofl:

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From my wife during the session from last night.

A bit of background, she is in Miami following a hurricane assisting with rescue/relief efforts. (think Katrina like condition, with more wind damage & less flooding).

She can also add power to her End Reserve by absorbing electrical power - but most power lines are down so she has resorted to draining car batteries.

 

Wife/PC - "So how is it that I end up in a battle on the one street where all the cars are either trashed or on fire?"

Me/GM - "You remember that your attacks are what torched all the cars?"

Wife/PC - "If I wanted you to tell me why they were burning, I would have asked you to tell me.  I am telling you that it sucks."

Me/GM - "Ok, so what are you going to do for your next action?"

Wife/PC - "I know I am here to help the ambulance crew, but do you think they will pop their hood if I ask nicely?"

 

:rofl:

 

That reminds me of an exchange from an old game:

 

Z [playing an electricity-based character, has his character absorb power from several cars in a parking lot.]

Me [new to this group and the characters] So, he absorbs power from nearby batteries.  We shouldn't let him near anyone with a pacemaker.

GM - [Looks at me, laughs and pretends to scribble furiously in his notes.]

Z - [turns to me]  You'll get bonus EPs if anyone dies from your suggestion.

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A side conversation I had with one of my group during a recent conversation.   FAIR WARNING - Those of you with extreme positions on ecological matters may just want to skip this post altogether.

 

Friend:  You shouldn't just throw that (plastic) shopping bag in the trash, you know.

 

Me:  Oh?  And what should I do with it?  (We were at another friend's house at the time.)

 

Friend:  You should hang onto it and use it for a trash bag later.

 

Me:  Use it for a trash bag?

 

Friend:  Yeah, re-purpose it!

 

Me:  Okay, so say I use it for a trash bag.  Answer me this - where does it wind up?  IN. THE. TRASH.  That's not "re-purposing" - that's a delaying tactic!

 

LF

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In which Ripper K, changeling porn star, branches out into human trafficking - to whit, auctioning off that arcanoarcheologist who commissioned us to kidnap him and then couldn't pay. True, he's willing to go along with this, but he'd better pray the data in his brain chips is actually worth what he says it is. Or we will be quite cross.

Oracle: I mean we COULD just rip the data out of his head...

Shell: I should do something about the phobia of nudity I have – it never comes up.
GM: Excuse me?! Look who's sitting next to you.
Ripper K: looks innocent

Shell: I'm living in an abandoned railyard. Sure, it's a very advanced rail yard, but -
Ripper K: sings Monorail, Monorail, Monorail, Monorail

Since the orca is the best at bargaining, he gets Poe to disguise him with a Physical Mask spell.

Ripper K: I'll ARESearch 'random elf' – make me look like him.
Poe: Any competent mage will see through the spell.
Shell: Any competent mage who can see through the spell will be peeing a little.

That raven shapechanger still wants to be part of the team. Poor, poor fool.

Ripper K: Can we call you Quoth? Or Nevermore?
Poe: Please don't.
Streetrat: Birdman.
Ripper K: Harvey XD

The groups coming to the auction include the Draco Foundation, the Atlantean Foundation, and Wuxing, a new megacorp.

Shell: Oh joy, a bidding war.
Ripper K: Well, that is the idea of an auction.
Shell: I didn't say it was a bad thing.

The Draco rep is the one that hired the team to recover that obsidian artefact a few weeks back. The Atlantean rep is the prick that wanted the artefact and didn't care about the woman who'd been carrying it. The Wuxing rep is new to us. If it wasn't for Astronauta Peligroso's distinctive appearance (and musical accompaniment) there's no chance the Atlantean rep, one Mr Nazir, would even recognise us as the same team. Still, it does give us opportunity to play the rival corps off each other and drive the bids higher.


Ripper K: I'll mention 'in passing' that Draco has a good reputation for employee care XD

(Actually, that's not quite true. The Draco Foundation would have drained the arcanoarcheologist's brain and shot him in the head the moment they find out what he knew. Just as well we never knew ourselves.)

Streetrat: If only we could put a magical compulsion on them 'I MUST WIN'

The shampagne is being poured when the assassins strike. Wisely for them, they're using long range weapons so they didn't have to try and penetrate our sensor net. Luckily for us, we spotted it just in time and could step in the way of the shot. Unluckily for us, it's an anti-tank rifle. As the SPLATANG echoes around the abandoned hotel and Shell's entirely metal and ceramic body proves its worth, we scramble to get the arcanoarcheologist, the corporate reps, and ourselves to safety. Not that the sniper was a threat for long, but you never know what their Plan B was. Still, we got paid.

Shell: ooooh, yeah. I rub those nuyen on my synthetic nipples.

The TacNet Oracle set up is proving pretty damn useful too.

Ocelot: I'll be sure to say 'thankyou, Overlord' when we're done.
Oracle: Have to be nice to the potential nascent AI.

Of course, Oracle is going to have to take the nexus down for upgrading. And keep himself awake for the entire time with designer drugs.

Oracle: 'Estimated time to completion... one month'
Ocelot: The fuck????
Ripper K: Well, I had some movies to film...

Oracle: I'll finish the nexus upgrade first – THEN I'll work on Project Usurper.
Ripper K: That's not ominous at all.

Ripper K: So after a month of sleep deprivation you're going to be working on something called Project Usurper.
Oracle: Actually I'll need to do Project Thousand Monkeys first.
Ripper K: ….. right.
Oracle: I need to get 30 Buster Moves. So I can make a distributed network to run the agents on. 30 animatronic toys wired together.
Poe: That's amazingly twisted.
Oracle OoC: I need to commission a picture of this...

Shell and Astronauta Peligroso knock down a building while wrestling.

Ocelot: Remind me, electricity does bad things to drones, right?
GM OoC: Yup – Shell's chassis becomes sentient and ejects his CNS. XD
Ripper K OoC: His brain pops out the top like toast from a toaster XD

Shell: Make yourself comfortable. There's some body bags in the back room.
Ocelot: So.. you heard about sleeping bags at some point but didn't get the memo?
Shell: These were cheaper.
Ripper K: And they come with toe tags so you won't forget who you are?

Poe: You creep me out a bit.
Shell: That's all right, ravens are symbols of death, you're inherently creepy too.
Poe: I do look like Severus Snape.
Shell: I get the feeling I shouldn't trust you with children. But then nobody would trust me with children either.
Poe: Well, we do tend to eat our young, it's OK.
Streetrat: I'm starting to feel I shouldn't trust either of you.

Shell: I've always wanted to be a shadowrunner – I've always felt bad when I've had to kill them.
All: ….
Shell: One of them managed to cut me in half.
All: …
Shell: They got away but I did get a commendation for shooting one of them in the arse. And afterwards I thought 'I want to be that guy'.
Poe: The one you shot in the arse?
Shell: The one that cut me in half. And today I think I was that guy that got shot in the arse.

Streetrat gets a call from his dad

Labrat: *singsong* Hellluooooooooo
All: cackles
Streetrat: That is so not Labrat.
Ocelot: Unless he's been out on the town with Inkubus and got into something really interesting.
Oracle: 'I have something to tell you'
Ripper K: 'I'm actually your mother'
Oracle: 'And your father – it's amazing what they can do with genetic engineering these days'

One Dr Caroll, an expert on AI, wants to be extracted from the Matrix company Datadyne. No doubt people have been hearing about our extraction of the arcanoarcheologist. Odd things about the client – nobody has seen them. Or even knows if they're male or female. Maybe they're an AI themselves?

Oracle: So an AI is researching AIs?
Shell: Not outside the realm of possibility.
Oracle: I know - the quest to understand oneself is as old as humanity.

We get to work researching the building Caroll is in – particularly ways in from underneath. No point repeating our zipline stunt from last time. The public plans probably can't be trusted – Ocelot suggests rigging a Centipede Search-and-Rescue drone with millimeter radar, send it into the sewers, and map the entire building from the sewerage system. The drone – which Oracle names Shitkicker - produces a full 3D map of the building and reveals some very odd sources of EM interference. Nothing pointing us towards Caroll, but the basement labs are only accessible from secure elevators. Not that secure, however. We could, for example, smash through a wall and go down the lift shaft.

Shell: Assuming we do go with Operation Kool-aid Man, getting out again in a hurry might be a problem.

Although possibly not, given all those useful winches and autorappels we can order by the crate, and the 2070 equivalent of card skimmers. And our Rigger, Streetrat, piloting Shell's cyborg body. Plus of course going in disguised as couriers to get better info on their security, and plant the dissolving card skimmers. Maglock scramblers to slow pursuit will also help. Ideas like these cheer us up. On the other hand, we also have the increasing suspicion that one of those basement labs is highly radioactive. Awkward. Just as well Shell is mostly artificial.

Oracle: And if we take some lead-lined Thermoses we can bring some that stuff out with us. Actually no. Let's not start dealing in radioisotopes.
GM: You'd have very angry Iranian terrorists after you. And very happy toxic shamans.

So the plan is – half of us use a stealth ultralight to get to the roof, and use the executive elevator to get into the basement labs. Poe will fly up himself. Shell will just have to get used to the fact Poe has to arrive naked.

Astronauta: I replaced his underwear with a g-string XD
Ocelot: I thought about it, but I was too mature to actually do it.

Oracle, Astronauta, and Streetrat will wait at ground level in the van with shaped explosives for the Mr Kool-aid Extraction.

Oracle: POWERPUNC- sorry. I'm stepping on your schtick.
Astronauta Peligroso: shrug
Oracle: I'll make up to you – I'll buy the tower plate of nachos.

Security Guard at the Heli-pad: We weren't expecting any arrivals. Are you guys supposed to be here?
Ripper K: Actually, yes leaning forward with electroshock hand
Security Guard: Just let me call this i- ZORCH

Oracle hurriedly hacks the guard's security equipment, before the biomonitors can report the guy's condition to the security desk.

Oracle, as the guard: Sorry guys, I tased myself.
Security Desk: Again? For fuck's sake, Charlie...
Ripper K: 'That's the third time this week'
Ocelot: 'Save it for the bedroom'

Ocelot: If you see any important-looking workstations, can you spray this on it? It's Screen-capture Spray – 3 days from now I'll send Shitkicker back in XD

First problem – the executive elevator already has the CEO in it.

CEO: Who are you?
Shell: Escorts ma'am
Ocelot: hisses to Ripper It's your job to poke her now!
Ripper K: ….
Shell: Oh, come on, we give you a straight line like that?
Ripper K: Nice to meet you *leans forward with electroshock hand*
CEO: *drawing pistol* – ZORCH

Her own security pass will be useful.

Ocelot: I'll put her on the couch, so she won't be quite so apocalyptically pissed when she wakes up.
Oracle: You did just steal a pistol worth three grand.
 

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Plans to take down King Gurnt and Castle Cragmaw.

Thorn: CragM-A-W? Oh, I thought it was Cragmoor. Well, it's not like I've ever seen it written down.

Thorn: What we do is, is find the Floating Vagabond pub -
GM: No.
Thorn: - find a space marine -
GM: No.
Thorn: - get him drunk and borrow the keys to his siege tank.
GM: No. Besides, you can't get Space Marines drunk.
Thorn: Ah, but we'll be buying him Dwarf Beer.
GM: Fuck off.

Thorn: OK, how about we take the remnants of an exhausted army up to the main concentration of the enemy forces and stand out in the open, while two essentially helpless PCs try to sneak in through the back door and get to Mount Doom?

GM: You could always turn up with the dragonborn as a prisoner.
Thorn OoC: Yesssss... and scare the rectangular Roombas. And when they ask what's going on down there we tell them we have a reactor leak.

Kavorog: The halfling might be a bit slow.
Thorn: If we have to we'll strap to the back of one of the dragonborn.
Urlon: I'm not speeding up the dragonborn – I have trouble keeping up with them as it is.
Thorn: I don't see the problem. Sure, if we're running away at the time....

Thorn: What happens if we actually find the missing dwarves that started all this?
Urlon: We give them a weapon and ask them if they want some revenge. And tell them they have to pay us for rescuing them.
Thorn: I which case I expect they'll say 'Fuck that, we'll rescue ourselves.' You are asking a dwarf to give you some gold, after all.

GM: If you leave now you should get there by twilight.
Thorn: Full Twilight? Naval Twilight? Nipple Twilight? Bad Paranormal Romance Twilight?
Kavorog: Oh god...
Thorn: Sparkle Twilight.

Castle Cragmaw is seven ruinous towers built on a platform well above the ground. It's a full-sized defensive fort, surrounded by loose slopes of debris, with at least three possible entrances.

Thorn: Being PCs, I suggest we find a fourth.

Elethandiel studies the ruins, and suggests sneaking in via the wreckage of an old sally port might be best, especially if the Orcs think that entrance is already secure.

Thorn: Exactly how many orcs are we expecting to be in there?
GM: Not thousands.
Urlon: That's scary. You didn't say 'not hundreds'
Thorn: So there could be 999.

Thorn: So what's the alarm if you see any patrols coming? Who knows how to hoot like an owl?
Kavorog: Scream and run.
Urlon: Towards them.

Happily, one of the NPCs hears the goblins squabbling behind the arrow slits before we blunder into them. Kavorog casts Mend on the door so it opens smoothly and silently.

Thorn: Is it time to scream the Ultramarine battlecry? FUCK! THEM! UPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!

Kavorog: I open the side door.
GM: grins evilly Have you seen the movie Tremors?

Luckily the dragonborn escapes being eaten by the tentacled murderworm. The hordes of goblins and hobgoblins on this level aren't so lucky, and get eaten alive by the wave of berserk PCs.

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