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Darren Watts

Quote of the Week from my gaming group...

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DUDE - SPOILERS!  :rofl:

 

Just a thought here: if by some mischance (translation: evil GM scheming) His Holiness' supercomputer goes rogue,

the PC group can always introduce some destructive bugs into the system -- all they have to do is find a good-sized

termite nest ( :sneaky: ).

 

 

Major Tom 2009 :snicker:

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CSI: Magnimar

 

On the various things that can affect Fame and Prestige, such as fleeing minor encounters, murdering the innocent, and associating with people of ill-repute.

Harshal: In other words, whatever you do, do it in private.
Ys: Or get a good lawyer, and kill all the witnesses.
Tannis: Just as well we have our own lawyer.
Harshal:*smiles smugly*

Ys doesn't recognise the family that wrote that magical workbook.

Harshal: 'I don't associate with Elven wizards, they're too snooty. And I'm an elf'

As it happens there is no real need to track down the book's owners - since it used to be in the hands of Gillert's teacher, Marcellano Emarre. So Gillert can easily hold on to it, with suitable self-justification.

Harshal: 'I deserve it more than that douchebag'
Gillert: As long as it's a duplicate I have no qualms about keeping it.
Ys and Harshal: Why would you have qua-
Harshal: Ah, of course - Good Alignment.

Zin: I'm staying with Ys.
Ys: You might want to reconsider - I live above a fishmonger.
GM: And the only free space in the apartment has manacles. And bloodstains.
Zin: Okaaaay - I'm moving in with the kobolds.

One interesting NPC in Magnimar - one Sala No-name, a Shoanti sorceress living in self-imposed exile in one of the Alabaster District's public parks. This is a point of contention with the city's Shoanti, despite how useful she's made herself to the nobility as a information broker.

Gillert: She's not squatting, she's just hanging about for a while.
Harshal: She's having a very long picnic.

Harshal: You'll have to bring those kobolds up to speed on how Magnimar actually works. After all, they haven't seen much of it - except from underneath.

Sala No-name also associates with Iria, the vivisectionist. Associates so closely that one euphemism for her relationship is 'shadow'. Zin does make a slightly disquieting discovery - a well-oiled scorpion-tail whip among Iria's possessions.

Zin: ... I'll give her the benefit of the doubt - maybe she saves it for her 'meetings' with Sala.

In fact the two are so close that Iria is upset when Sala is 'helping the Guard with their enquiries' - apparently some wizard in the Alabaster District was found dead. In at least five different places. Although the authorities only assume he's dead because they haven't found all the bits yet. If we help out there won't be any money in the job - all of Iria's spare money goes into looking after those kobolds.

Zin: I was thinking we could get the team together help them out?
Ys: Well, we could. Are you going to give me a reason why we should?
Harshal: Take the long view - it's one more step towards getting those kobolds as loyal minions.
GM: Why is Harshal even there?
Ys: Because I'm experimenting with my alchemical set-up, and if somebody is going is going to poisoned the lawyer is the most expendable?

Actually, getting Iria onside will help Ys with her own alchemical research.

Tannis: Evening, Ys. How are you?
Ys: I'm fine, but Zin has a problem.
Harshal OoC: Yes, he's a Kobold.

Tannis: At least we keep Iria looking after those kobolds - I have plans for them.

Gillert: I'm a little unenthusiastic about going near anything that kills wizards, but OK. Lead the way, little person.
Zin: We need your reasonable magical prowess.
Gillert: I can still drop-kick you into the river, you know.

The Alabaster District is, of course, the most upper-class section of Magnimar. Happily, we can all disguise ourselves as scholars and bodyguards when we head up there. Hell, some of us ARE scholars - the late-night murderizing is a hobby.

Zin OoC: One session we're saving kobolds, next time we're Boston Legal.
Tannis OoC: I was thinking Murdoch and Nelson.

Turning up to offer legal assistance does not start off well.

GM: 'A-ha, other people that want to help us with our inquiries!'

Guard Captain: Sala No-name is not a registered agent or notary of Magnimar.
Harshal: ... And therefore has no legal protection or right to confidentiality...
Captain: And she has refused to tell us why Master Emarre consulted with her, not four hours before he was found dead. We find her reluctance to assist us suspicious, and consider her a suspect, especially since she is known to associate with a large wild animal. If you want to assist us, I suggest you get out of our way and find us someone else to direct our attention towards.

Ys: I suggest we find somebody related to the wizard, and make him write a confession, and commit suicide.
Gillert:*looks increasingly nervous* He might have been my teacher.
Harshal: That's convenient.
Ys: Very.
Gillert: And we've already killed his other apprentice - wait. Damn, his body is still buried in that tunnel.
Tannis: So, where were you when Emarre died?
Gillert: Reading?
Tannis: What were you reading?
Gillert: ... His spellbook.
GM: Any summoning spells in that book?
Gillert: Oh, I can see a cart coming. Just let me throw myself under it.

Harshal suggests Gillert go pay his respects. The body is probably already prepared for internment at the Cenotaph of the Goddess of Death - after all, it's summer. We're the fourth 'well-wishers' that have turned up to pay respects, but the body is still at the family estate. Harshal's 'donation' to the temple doesn't get us the ID of the other well-wishers, alas. Indeed, it seems to offend the priest.

Harshal: Getting a look at the body is still a good idea.
Ys: At the very least we need to see what kind of wounds were inflicted.
Harshal: Well, you're our expert there.
Ys: And we need to know what our patsy has to confess to.

Harshal forges a Private Warrant of Investigation, and heads off to investigate.

GM: Guardsmen aren't known for their intelligence. That's how you become a captain.

GM: You know the trick to a good forgery - make it look like it was written in a hurry.

Somebody has used necromancy to repair much of the damage to the corpse, but that was just the mortician the family hired. It does make our own forensics more difficult, though.

Tannis: First question - is it him?
Gillert: Yes? He used to be a bit shorter around the knees.
Harshal: And he had a head.

We remove the shroud.

GM: Whoa!
All: Yes?
GM: Apparently he was very popular with the ladies.
Tannis: Came up with a limited version of Enlarge Person, did he?

Apparently Emarre was killed in his own home, which makes Gillert even more nervous. Ys goes to talk to the mortician.

GM: There's a card 'For discreet necromantic services'. And a sign of the Goddess of Death, so they're not THAT kind of Necromancer.
Gillert: ?
GM: Necromancy is also divination, often using the entrails of the dead.
Gillert: You wouldn't want to get your necromancers confused. 'Oh, you wanted him prepared for burial? Sorry - but good news! Wealth for the family!'

The family's butler expresses his appreciation that somebody is exactly investigating the death, and not leave it all up to the city guard. Not that any of us really have the relevant skills.

Ys OoC: CSI Magnimar, we are not.

Zin does figure out that something with claws, but hands the size of a humans, did most of the damage to the clothing.

Zin OoC: Well, that narrows it down to about a third of the Monster Manual.
Harshal: So it can't have been Sala's wolf - unless it's a werewolf.

Gillert: What's the penalty for being AT the scene of a murder, but not the actual murderer?
GM: Nothing.
Harshal: Unless the guards can't find anybody else to pin it on.

Butler: All the well-wishers have been family members of long standing. I'm sure none of them are involved. They are all lords and ladies, after all - they'd have used other methods.

Necromancer: Ma'am? Before we go any further I'm required to tell you that if Sulbin and Sulbin, Necromancers to the Rich and Famous, become aware of any illicit activities we're obliged to report it to the authorities. That said, can we still be of assistance?
Ys: I believe so.
Necromancer: Oh good.

They actually keep good records of pre-mortem injuries, and are willing to discuss them - provided we have a warrant. Heh heh heh. Ys and Gillert go to find Harshal and the others, who have already gone to the scene of the crime. At the late wizard's home are two guards, one with molded armour and molded beer belly. The sergeant takes a great interest in our warrant.

Harshal: And is he running his finger along the line?
GM: Worse - you can see his lips moving. I wasn't going to play him this way, but I did draw The Idiot card from the deck.

Sergeant Colon: It's all pretty clear that fae bint we've got in lock-up is responsible. Muscling in on the old bloke's business, handing out free advice, he took offence, she sicced her wolf on him. Took the seat out of my trousers, it did.
Harshal: Tried to move her on, did you? Or were you the ones that took her in for questioning?

Apparently the house boy was enjoying a break with negotiated affection at the time of the murder. We'll have to track him and the prostitute in question down. Pity Gillert isn't here - he actually knows the house, after all.

Harshal: We have an apprentice of his on the way, officer - he'll be able to tell us if anything is missing.
Colon: Right you are, sir.

GM: Somebody has chalked the outline. And the outline. And the outline.
Harshal OoC: That would be useful if they actually did forensics. Or had photography.
GM: Chalking around the body was a Hollywood invention anyway.

Gillert and Ys arrive.

Gillert: Evening?
Colon: Evening.
Gillert: .... Have my associates arrived?
Colon: Aren't you supposed to tell me who you're with?
Gillert: If I knew that, wouldn't I say?
Colon: .... Makes sense. Go right in.
Harshal OoC: ... What??? Could you repeat all that? I think you just derailed my brain.

Going over the scene of the crime, in Emarre's secondary study, reveals some interesting clues - the killer must have been in the other chair, and attacked when the wizard was going to a sidedesk, not towards the door in an attempt to escape. Also, the amount of damage down to the corpse was far more than would have been necessary to kill him. Also there's a giant snake scale, which is odd, since Emarre was mortally afraid of all snakes, and even refused to use their scales as material components. Tannis heads out to talk to the sergeant and his offsider.

Tannis: Can I borrow your guardsman, sergeant?
Colon: What for?
Tannis: I need a witness, and I'm sure a man of your stature can take the place of any two guardsman.
Harshal:*internal snicker* Any three.

Tannis explains our analysis of the scene.

Lance-Constable: But the houseboy said Master Emarre didn't have any guests... But he was out for half an hour.
Harshal: Well, five minutes, depending how young he was.
Lance-Constable: Five minutes to walk there, a few minutes negotiation...

Lance-Constable: Why do you need my help anyway?
Harshal: You're helping an innocent woman go free.
Lance-Constable: She's guilty of something.
Harshal: Everybody is guilty of something, officer.
Lance-Constable: Yeah... What are you guilty of? Can I see that warrant again? It looks right... Who'd you bribe for this? You're not investigating who did this, are you? You're just just trying to prove it wasn't her.

We politely take our leave of the unpleasantly perceptive guardsman - this case is getting more and more intriguing... 

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Star Wars: Scum and Villainy

 

Since the D&D game collapsed from lack of players, we found a new one and are playing Star Wars. Star Wars was probably the first RPG I got to play in. I played a thermal detonator Sales-gibbon, who lasted less than a session. But then I was gaming with Team Demolition. After what they did to the poor gibbon, and several subsequent characters, it's amazing I kept roleplaying at all. Still, in memory of that long deceased character, I'm playing the next best thing, another highly sociable, tech-orientated, arboreal species. It's not an Ewok.

Aramis: How do you even get Ewoks off Endor?
Paul: That's easy - trébuchet.

Aramis: I'm the plausible deniability guy.
GM: Good name for a ship, too.

The F Troop - a bunch of ne'er-do-wells out to make a dishonest buck, in the era after the first Peace Moon was blown up by terrorists.

Aramis: Are we playing in the actual continuity, or the Darth and Droids version?
Drhoz: The version where an interstellar dictatorship controls all the media, and can call it a Peace Moon if they want to.
Aramis: Point taken.

The characters
 

Forvuk Zahj
- Dressellian brute

Fakybe
- Chandra-fan smuggler and diplomancer

Fendri Nekut
- Bothan pilot

Fendri: Do we get a scrolling text intro?

GM: If you can't afford the A Team or an X-wing, there's always F Troop.

Fakybe: I get most of my Imperial war tech from that stormtrooper BLK-0.

GM: Old Ben Kenobi described Mos Eisley as a wretched hive, but that's because he never went to Formos.

The F Troop and their ship have been hired to transport a Wookiee and a medical droid from some place called Tatooine to Formos. Formos is a haven for smugglers, but there are disquieting rumours that this will change. But for the time being BOSS is still in change, and the live music is great.

GM: You didn't see any Star Destroyers or Tie Fighters on the way in. There is a small Imperial presence on the surface though.
Forvuk: And that is a moon?
GM: ... Yes.
Forvuk: It pays to check, these days.

We head to the Formos cantina to hand off the passengers, and make note of all the smuggling shenanigans, screeching aliens, and heavily burdened water carriers advertising The Cheapest Water On Formos.

Fakybe: I'll go talk to the old lady selling water.
GM: She'll be happy to talk to you.
Fakybe: Of course she will, she's an old lady, she'll talk my ears off.
Forvuk: Do you have Disengage?

Old Woman: What brings you to Formos?
Fakybe: Tourism.
Old Woman: ... Oh?
Fakybe: Yes, those tourists we're transporting wanted the scenic route.

The old lady is a survivor of Alderaan, which interests Forvuk since his family got wiped out in the atrocity at Dralk. Fakybe is sure they'll have a lot to talk about.

Forvuk gets pickpocketed by a street urchin, who legs it with a stimpak.

Fakybe: Just shoot his leg off, he's got two.

Instead Forvuk assumes the theft is to distract us from an attack on our passengers.

Fakybe: Ah well, at least you didn't just shoot the kid in the back of the head. I'll add the cost of the stimpack to whatever we bill the 'tourists'.

The wookiee and the droid pick themselves back off the ground. Forvuk notices somebody has been following us.

GM: Do you know what a Rodian is?
Forvuk: Short, green, snout, taste like chicken.



Everybody in the street turns to look at the Rodian when we point him out. The Rodian gets very nervous. He claims to be a businessman, so we steer into the Cantina by both shoulders.

Fakybe: To talk business. Since you're so fond of business and everything.

And then we come across a half-dead diplomacy droid, one J9B8 whose astromech friend R4-W9 was kidnapped by slavers as they were going to meet a bountyhunter in the cantina.

Fakybe: Popular place, this bar.

GM: The musician is playing a cluhorn, and ... Sigh ... smooth Freeform Jatz.
Forvuk: And does it drive us crackers?
Fakybe: At least it's better that Freeform Jizz.

There are also Dead or Alive posters from the local prison.

Fakybe: Is this the only bar on Formos?
GM: Yes.

We're approached by the cantina's owner, or at least somebody circulating from table to tab;le like he owns the place.



Devaronian: Greetings, Adventurers - I am Snoo.
Fakybe: Hi there - what's Snoo with you?
Devaronian: I have lots of snews - about your passengers, for example.*wriggles his horns*
Forvuk: That's nice - but we have a contract to complete first.
Devaronian: I'm your contact, moron.
Forvuk: Oh, good.*hoists up the Rodian* Is this yours?

The Dead Or Alive poster that everybody is ignoring is for a scary space pirate wanted both by the Empire and the Hutts. Snoo has no idea who the droids were going to meet, unless they were bringing info about the pirate to a bountyhunter.

Snoo: There was a Rodian bountyhunter in here.
All: Oh really?*all turn to our new friend, pushed into the back of the booth*
Rodian:*sinks into his chair*
Medical Droid: Calm down, young Rodian, he is not going to kill you, or feed you to the Wookiee. That is just a vile rumour.
Fakybe: Drinks all round - the Rodian is paying.
Rodian:*sad meep*

Why should we rescue the kidnapped astromech, even though the medical droid insists we get involved?

Fakybe: It's a free astromech for the freighter if we do.
Forvuk: Point.
Fakybe: Through the bits of that diplomacy droid into a bag - I'll see if I can fit him back together.
Medical Droid:*electronic wince*

After we get him sufficiently liquored up the Rodian admits he's the pilot for a smuggling ring that were looking into making contact with us.

Forvuk: So do we treat him as a hostile?
Fakybe: Nah, he's a potential contact. Who is terrible at making contact.

The Rodian is distracted by the arrival of a very attractive and well-dressed Rodian female.

Fendri: Rodian females are hot because they're the only ones with hair.
Forvuk: What do Rodians think about Wookiees?

The Rodian woman is soon followed by three very obvious smugglers.

Fakybe: Well, they're obvious smugglers - which means they can't be very good smugglers.
Rodian:*slurred* You know... You know, I think those guys are the ones I was supposed to be following.
GM: He's obviously going to try and hit on the Rodian Princess. Although why a human would want to baffles me.
Fakybe: It's the snout.
GM: And there's also the question on why a well-dressed Rodian would even come in here.
Fakybe: ... For fucks sake - it's the bountyhunter.

Fakybe: Do you want to intervene?
Forvuk: What about our Rodian pilot friend?
Fakybe: I really don't think he's going anywhere.
Forvuk: Good point.*props him back upright*

The Dresallian, the Bothan, and the Wookiee walk into a bar - the two PCs and NPC moving into position to intervene on the bountyhunter's behalf.

Medical Droid: Oh dear, are we going to need my services soon? I've made a study of my associate's body language, and he always behaves like this shortly before violence breaks out.
Fakybe: Yes, I think that blood- or ichor-of-choice-shed is imminent.
Medical Droid: Perhaps we should take cover.

Fendri: Is there a problem?
Scary Smuggler: Step away, boy. You don't want to get involved with us.
Fendri: You need to learn to respect women.
Fakybe OoC: 'milady'

Fakybe, watching the situation escalate from the upstairs booth, flings a bottle at the smuggler's bodyguard.

Medical Droid: Have you stopped taking your anti-psychotics?
Fakybe: No, but now is the time to hide under the table.*pushes the Rodian to slide slowly sideways* Besides, it's the classic way to start a barfight.
Forvuk: Especially by characters with no combat skills.

The smuggler's bodyguard realizes that actually starting a fight would be a bad idea, since he brought a vibro-axe to a fight that will include a Wookiee Vibro-axe, a Dresallian heavy blaster, and whatever else the idiot on the mezzanine can throw. Backing down will look bad, but not as bad as actually losing.

Thug: Let's go get pizza boss - we can deal with this ... later.

The Rodian woman claims to be a researcher for what is effectively The Bountyhunter's Guide To Galaxy. She does know of a reckless Rodian bountyhunter missing in the area though.

Fakybe: Anyway, this is our pilot Fendri, our engineering aide Forvuk, and we haven't known the Wookiee or the droid for long. They're tourists, we've been showing them the scenic parts of the Kessel Run.
Rodian Researcher: Scenic??
Fakybe: You have to admit, in many ways it's unforgettable.

We all move to head back to our ship and read that diplomacy droid's memory chips, when we are forced to follow somebody that was apparently spying on us and is now leaving to report. He spots Fakybe and Fendri following him, turns and gets angry, we get angry too claiming total innocence, and in the ensuing confusion the spy spots Forvuk taking up a sniping position and flies for cover. Forvuk shoots.

Fakybe: He's been shot! Somebody call a medic!*elbows the medical droid* That was your cue.
Forvuk:*hands his huge slug thrower to the drunk Rodian*
Medical Droid: You shot him.
Forvuk: No I didn't, the Rodian did.
Fakybe: The one who is too small to even fire it? Well, it'll be a good defence if they catch him.

We get everybody back to the ship, and pin the flying alien out on the dartboard. He still tries to negotiate.

Fakybe: Well, I have to appreciate him for that, anyway.

Spy: You shot me, you're obviously Imperial terrorists.
Fakybe: Hey, do we look like the kind of people who go around yelling 'Democracy is Great!' and blow up Peace Moons?
Wookiee and Medical Droid:*exchange glance*

Spy: Why didn't you use a stun rifle like civilised people?
Forvuk: The slug thrower makes the situation clear.
Fakybe: It's not the most versatile of tools - I have talked to you about that before.
Forvuk: It makes things clear.
Spy: It's direct, I'll give you that.

Forvuk: You know anything about the massacre at Drelk?
Spy: I heard it was hilarious.
Fakybe: Aaaaaand steering Forvuk out of the room. Right now.

We agree to release the spy if he helps us get a job introduction with the local space pirates. Who probably include those smugglers at the cantina. But where is good neutral ground?

Fakybe: That's obvious. Right in front of the local Imperial base.
GM: Congratulations - you have broken the module.

Fakybe: And somewhere the Rodian pilot's friends are still waiting for him to come back. 'Why did we send our pilot?' 'I dunno, we're stupid' 

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Champions: Return to Edge City

 

News on the Moreau front - one has actually had to move to L.A. For an actual job! Albeit in the new live-action Chester O'Star, about a spacefaring bunny ranger. It helps that the Screen Actor's Guild already accepts animal members.

Hero Shrew OoC: If I was actually intelligent enough to actually come up with conspiracy theories, I'd say my live action Zootopia idea is looking more and more plausible.
GM: That they're hiring might actually be a good sign. More likely it just means a few years of Hollywood making Moreau-ploitation flicks.

Oh, and Tyrell has released a line of humanoid domestic robots.

Hardlight: How humanoid?
GM: Not very.
Hardlight: So, C-3PO, then.
Hero Shrew: So, are they Freemium model, or come with lots of Downloadable Content?

Flux: If one crosses my path I'll fiddle with it.
Hero Shrew OoC: There's laws against that. Or will be.

Hardlight: Given our luck we're meet one that's sentient and wants to sing show tunes.

GM: Most of Tyrell's research budget went into LIMITING their AI.
Flux: ... That's a very scary sentence.
Hero Shrew OoC: It's a superhero Mileau - AI is a crapshoot. Just ask Hank Pym.
GM: That is a low blow.

Flux: I think Hank Pym was a little unstable.
All: A LITTLE???

Flux: My days are spent programming, my nights are spent kicking supervillain ass. I have very little free time.

The robots are supposedly perfectly safe - they're not very strong and they're not very fast.

Hero Shrew: But we've all seen zombie movies.
GM: ... True.

GM: And the Internet is already saying 'By the time I've finished typing this somebody will have released a porn kit for them'.

And in gangland news, our hit on Dysprosium Dawn has lead to several nighttime altercations between the mad scientists and other gangs. There have been a number of stabbings, and a number of Boosters have ended up in hospital too but that's only to be expected given the hierarchy of gangs in Ditko - the cyborgs and mad scientists have a mutual protection pact. So, who is actually doing the stabbing?

Hero Shrew: Well, you've got the cyber-Margery-power-thingies, Flux. We go to where the security cameras are and you chat them up.
Flux: How are am I going to get there?
Hero Shrew: Be environmentally aware - ride a bike.
Flux: I don't have a bike.
Hero Shrew: Steal one.

He ends up getting a cab.

Flux: This is mildly embarrassing for a superhero.
Hero Shrew: That's OK, you're mildly embarrassing.

GM: Why are you doing it all yourself? You don't have that as a Psychological Limitation.
Hero Shrew's player: He's used to roleplaying with me and Aramis, and used to shit never getting done.
GM: It's true - Drhoz's characters would probably want to f**k whatever is going on, and Aramis ...
Hero Shrew's player: Stick his foot in his mouth and fall over? And I dispute the thing about my characters, it really only applies to Jrska. And Ripper.

Flux: I won't call Fireflash, I don't want to upset her Mom.
GM: How has Fireflash's mother, who none of you even interacted with, turned into a total boogeyman for the party? This is worse than the 150pt housewife - I haven't even statted her out!
Fireflash: I did ask how I ended up in charge of this party.
Hero Shrew OoC: Because the rest of us are too afraid of being called sexist or misogynist to shut you down over anything.
Flux: Sexist, too.

Flux: I'll call the impressionable one.
GM: ?
Flux:*points at Hero Shrew*
GM: Ah, right :D

Flux: Everybody meet me at the Owlcave.
GM: Owlcave?
Flux: Owlcave. And this is my butler, Whoo. 'Who is your butler?' 'Yes, Whoo.'
GM: 'And where is your butler?' 'No, Where is my chauffeur, Whoo is my butler'
Hardlight: What's with the British accent?
Flux: I've been awake for two nights, ignore it.

Hero Shrew has heard more accurate rumours that the media are given us - the stabbings have all been non-fatal, and appear to be an effort to force the Dysprosium Dawn into something, and ruin the arrangement between them and the Boosters.

Hero Shrew: We could always find a Dysprosium Dawn ganger and ask them.
Flux: We aren't exactly their favourite people right now.
Hero Shrew OoC: Then arresting whoever has been stabbing them will make them feel more favourably towards us 'Hey, I hear somebody has been stabbing you, and for your information it wasn't us'.

Hardlight: Are we catching a cab or are we Banjo-Kazooie-ing it?
Hero Shrew: I'm fine with a cab. Hey, can we get one with a human driver? It always gives me a kick making a human drive me around.
Hardlight: Are there even human cabdrivers anymore?
GM: Of course there are - some people don't like being driven around by a robot. Mechanon the Genocidal Robot is a thing.

Flux: Stealth is on the list of things to get.
GM: Not really - Fireflash glows, and Hero Shrew...
Hero Shrew: Subtlety? What's that?
Flux: Mister Walking Property Damage. Right.
GM: Makes a nice change from the Streets of Magnimar campaign.

Flux: So we walk around Ditko looking not stealthy at all.
Hero Shrew: Alright then - we can put baseball caps and jackets on, and walk around holding up our phones like we're playing Pokemon Go.
GM: .... OK, that works. Augmented Reality games are popular in Edge City.
Hero Shrew:*rolls Stealth check* Very popular. Apparently I got so focused on Pokemon Go I forgot what we're actually doing here.

Flux figures out that a pair of Dysprosium Dawn Gangers are hurrying south as if they're trying to avoid something. In fact, they're being herded into an ambush by eight members of the Voodoo Crew.

Voodoo Crew: Time for another lesson*all draw their Zo Lams, scary curved cleavers*

GM: Time for Energy Blast 101 - you can Spread your attack.
Hero Shrew OoC: So how far will Hardlight need to Spread his Energy Blast to-
GM: Actually hit something?
Hero Shrew OoC: I was going to say 'to scorch off all their clothes but leave them mostly unscathed', but that works too.

The Voodoo Crew members all grab for the Loa Dust pouches around their necks, and inhale the contents.

Voodoo Crew:*snorts derisively* You need superheroes to rescue you?

GM: Hero Shrew isn't here yet - the Murderball got distracted by 'Hey, that Sandshrew is actually kinda cute'

Fireflash's blasts are super effective - unfortunately for the Dysprosium Dawn gangers who are behind the Voodoo Crew that just got blasted down the street.

Flux: Nice work - now we've got people to question AND people to arrest.
Fireflash: Sorry! Sorry!
Flux: To be fair her last opponent WAS a giant robot.

Hero Shrew leaps to assist! - and overshoots the fight, street, and city block, but luckily avoids landing in anybody's prize rose garden.

GM: Scooter lands in the street. Face first. He seems a bit surprised.
Flux: Wait, I know that ass!

Hero Shrew bounces up and advances gleefully on the last Voodoo Crewmember standing, grinning in a most alarming manner.

Hero Shrew: I get to hit you now!
Hardlight: Too late!*punches at the ganger with a giant holographic fist, and misses entirely**facepalm*

Voodoo Crew Survivor: Hey, this none of your business, mon.*bugs out*

Fireflash calls the police in, and we cart the Dysprosium Dawn gangers off for more private questioning.

GM: That was the most Keystone Kops fight I've ever gamesmastered, and I used to GM Toon.
Hero Shrew OoC: Was that you or a Dysprosium Dawn ganger that said that - because it sounds like it could be either.

The two gangers aren't full members of Dysprosium Dawn.

Hero Shrew: Lab assistants.

The Dysprosium Dawn gangers don't know why the Voodoo Crew are trying to teach them a lesson. Common knowledge about the Voodoo Crew - they're the biggest gang in Edge City, the businesses under their 'protection' pay tribute at any cost, they were once found stockpiling human corpses, and their leader is the deeply scary Papa Friday, who claims to be a bokor, and may actually be one. Fireflash has a plan - we harass the Voodoo Crew drug dealers, confiscating and destroying every gramme of drugs they're carrying.

Fireflash: After all, who are they going to complain to?
Hero Shrew: So, your plan is to piss off the voodoo sorcerer...
Fireflash: Yup.
Hero Shrew: Do you actually like your mother?

Hero Shrew has a public ID too - Retaliation by the Voodoo Crew is likely to be very very unpleasant.

Hardlight: Drug dealing must be pretty lucrative.
Fireflash: It's probably the biggest business in the world.
GM: We're talking about a business that makes disposable submarines, and shrugs off losing 13 in a month, and just keeps making them. One of those subs was carrying 7 tonnes of coke. Once again, gaming at this table has taught you things you never wanted to know.

GM: Drug addicts, by definition, tend to be repeat customers.

Hero Shrew OoC: If I recall correctly, the plan was 'Get killed trying to take down Papa Friday'
GM: To be fair, that wasn't the actual plan.
Hero Shrew OoC: But it IS the destination.

Hero Shrew OoC: So, who's running for President, in-universe?
GM: I cannot make the U.S Presidential campaign more comic-book than the real one actually is, and you may quote me on that. It's actually pretty depressing.

Flux: So.... We're relying on Scooter's streetwise?
Hero Shrew: Hooray, I'm relevant again!

The economics of drug dealing means that harassing the Voodoo Crew's minor members will rapidly cut into the gang's financial margins. And make a lot of people very angry, but hey, that was going to happen anyway. Papa Friday has real mojo, to the point that many San Fransisco mystics won't even come to Edge City. His lieutenants include Mr. Gato - Mister Cake, in charge of drugs and actual cakes, Mr. Zanmi - Mr. Friend (in change of the protection rackets), Le Dokté - The Doctor (in charge of prostitution), and Madam Nwa Dantél in charge of special operations.

Hero Shrew: Mademoiselle?
GM: Madam. She is very clear about that. She has views.

Hardlight: Mr Cake's icing sugar must really be something.
GM: No, actually.
Flux: Ah - only*actual* ingredients go into his cakes.
GM: Yep. He runs a bakery in Little Haiti - specializes in little Creole dainties.

Of course the question arises is why the Voodoo Crew aren't going after the Boosters Gang, when they're so busy terrorizing the lesser threat of the Boosters' allies in Dysprosium Dawn. The Voodoo Crew*have* been known to forestall gang warfare by pre-emptively stomping whoever is getting uppity. They like the status quo. They will not like us. We split up.

Flux: F**k, we're got somebody with a Code vs. Killing on both teams. Well, drug labs are highly flammable.
Fireflash: But we're not going after the labs.
Hero Shrew: We're going After Jesse, not Heisenberg.
GM: Can you imagine how scary Walter would be in a superhero-milieu?

Hardlight: OK boy, find me a kilo of heroin.
Hero Shrew: Boy? I get the feeling I should take offense at that.
GM: You should keep a shoe handy, for whenever you need to insert one in your mouth.

GM: Not all Moreaus have tracking senses - Hero Shrew only has Acute Senses.
Flux: Actually he smells pretty bad.
GM: 'Oh, you're not that type of Moreau' ' We come in types now do we?'

Hardlight promptly forgets what the plan was, and starts shaking down a dealer.

Flux: Now shake vigorously until information falls out.

The dealer - and all the other members of the Voodoo Crew - have been warned that Hardlight is bad juju, and not to speak to the superteam under any circumstances. Hardlight seizes the drugs.

Hardlight: I'm taking these for the good of the city.
Dealer: Really? Hey, everybody, come watch a shakedown!
Hardlight:*vaporises the stash* I feel I have done good for the city today.
GM: Yes, you've just destroyed a few hundred dollars worth of Loa Dust and Weed. Well done. Now let's go check in on Flux and Fireflash, and actual competence.

GM: Once again, Hero Shrew, the only actual investigator in the party, is hamstrung by having to work with Hardlight.
Hero Shrew OoC: And they say I have a short term memory problem.
GM: Hardlight just has a very fixed idea about how heroes are supposed to behave.

Fireflash and Flux actually watch who is supplying the stringers, and THEN destroy all the drugs and drug money.

Fireflash: We can't destroy their phones, they're guaranteed those by the city. You can f**k them though.
Flux: ... Oh, you mean f**k their phones! Yes, I can do that.

GM: That's the problem - you've got Captain Obvious teamed up with Captain Oblivious.
Hero Shrew: Actually, it works pretty well - Hardlight and I blunder through drawing all the attention while the dealers just pass off their stashes behind their backs. Meanwhile, YOU two are watching from the rooftops making notes on everybody to pick up later.

GM: Just think of that scene from The Sixth Sense, but replace Dead with Stupid. "I see stupid people. They walk around just like everyone else, but they don't know they're stupid".

Typically for the table, the conversation then wanders off through Oreos complete failure in Australia, Vegemite, MREs, and excellent breeds of apple.

Hero Shrew: Is prostitution illegal in California?
Fireflash: Yes.
Hero Shrew: Oh. Well, I'd rather not go after the Voodoo Crew's prostitution interests, because I can predict what will happen next.
GM: Yes. The Collar Club will be getting a visit.
Hero Shrew: And then I'd be having a very awkward conversation with Colin the Collie.

Fireflash: Well, we're doing some good for Edge City anyway.
Hero Shrew: Yeah, we're raising the price of hard drugs in Edge City. Well done us.

Current fad drugs in Edge City include Pogo - an inhalant super-stimulant that's very popular with the college crowd and lethal to anybody with a heart condition - and Jackhammer - which appears to be a combat drug somebody is selling recreationally.

Hero Shrew: 'I WILL CLEAN THE ENTIRE HOUSE'

The after-effects, an hour later, are even worse than the ones for Pogo. The cocktail includes heroin AND cocaine.

Flux: And this is what we're vaporizing in the middle of the street.

Fireflash: 'I miss having an erection'
GM: 'Really? I miss NOT having an erection.'
Fireflash: Ouch.

Eventually Madam Nwa Dantél suggests a meeting - on the condition Hardlight doesn't come within a hundred meters of the Fern Gardens. For some reason the Voodoo Crew really, really don't like our erstwhile employer. The Fern Gardens in Lake Park are midway between Corporate Circle and the University.

Hero Shrew: i.e. One of the worst possible places in the city for a super fight.
Hardlight: I'll keep Hero Shrew with me. I need a bodyguard, even in my civilian guise.
Hero Shrew: Is there an observation deck with those pay-telescopes some up in Corporate Circle?
Hardlight: Screw that, there's a revolving restaurant.
Hero Shrew: But we need to see what's happening down in the park, in case they need us to jump down there.
Flux: And jumping out the window of a revolving restaurant will cause comment.

Madam Nwa Dantél wants to know why we're targeting the Voodoo Crew - she's apparently a little insulted that we're harassing the Crew, when the attacks on Dysprosium Dawn are all in retaliation for some slight the mad scientist leadership caused the Crew. The mad scientists are all in hiding, and just as well, since the Voodoo Crew are prepared to put up with our harassment until they've finished punishing Dysprosium Dawn. Whatever the mad scientists stole from the Crew was indirectly responsible for that entire Boosters vs. Juicers trouble, and has really, really pissed off the ju-ju leadership.

Madam Dantél: The price of research to replace what they have stolen would be measured in lives - lives already paid on their side by previous generations.

Fireflash: Thank you for your time.
Madam Dantél: In future, if you want our attention, simply let one of our soldiers know. Mr. Gato, he is not happy.
Flux: It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.*flies off*
Madam Dantél: How rude.

There's a possible DD hideout in Chinatown.

Flux: F**k. You're going to be a problem.
Hero Shrew: Yes, yes I am. That's because I'm me.

Hero Shrew: I've never been there myself. I don't want to end up as somebody's dinner.
Fireflash: How could you? They couldn't get through your hide!
Hero Shrew: Hey, I've seen those ads for Ginsu Knives - I'm not taking any chances.

Hardlight slaps a hard-light disguise over the shrew, and we stick our noses in the retro-tech coffee shop.

Hero Shrew puzzles over the slide rules nailed the wall. The rest are more alarmed by the metal face of one of the historical steampunk automata hanging over the bar, since they're seen in the records at the ancient base.

Ancient Oriental: You don't need that here.
Hardlight: Excuse me?
Ancient Oriental: Everyone here already knows who that is, since he is here with the three of you. Go ahead, drop his disguise - we don't lose customers because of Moreaus.
Hardlight: Oh.*drops the holofield*
Dysprosium Dawn soldiers having coffee: Huh. That's interesting.*go back to their coffee*

Fireflash heads over to talk to the soldiers.

DD Soldiers:*groans*
Fireflash: Hey, be cool, guys.
DD soldiers: What do you want? You already took the Arena.
Fireflash: Hey, we only wanted the metal - and then that robot attacked us.
DD soldiers: We were IN that robot. It was not fun.
Flux: Well, it was a hard fight. You nearly hit us, once or twice.
DD soldiers: Hey, if we'd got fully charged up things would have been different.
Flux: Proper Preparation Prevents Piss-poor Performance.

Fireflash runs through plan A, and B, which are asking nicely for info, and then threatening them for the info.

DD soldiers: Yeah, but the Voodoo Crew have already moved on to plan K, where they start killing us.
Fireflash: Yeah, and that's when we get to Plan C, where we destroy all your gear.
DD soldiers: Hey, no reason to get personal!

The soldiers have a problem - they haven't been able to get in contact with the Dysprosium Dawn leadership, by ANY of the usual methods. True, they get buried in their work sometimes, but when the Boosters aren't answering their calls either... The brain-frying precautions the mad scientists installed in their underlings don't help either.

DD soldiers: You don't get it, we don't talk to you if we want to be able to rub two neurons together.

DD soldiers: You guys are the city's superteam? We're boned.
Hero Shrew:*picking his ear* Huh?
DD soldiers: We should retire and let you guys become Dysfunctional Dawn.

One of the DD members throws Flux a pair of Mad Scientist googles as a gesture of respect.

Mad Scientist: Stop embarrassing yourself.
Flux: ... Ok? Won't explode, right?
Mad Scientist: We had a passive Dysprosium sensor set up when you set off that Active Ping of yours.
Flux: ... Oh. Law of unintended consequences strikes again.

We head off to talk to Edge City's premiere info broker, who indeed can pass on a message to the mad Nobel prize winners. She confirms that the Voodoo Crew and the Dysprosium Dawn were involved in a joint research program.

Info broker: The prototype is in safe hands. So is the duplicate. And the notes on replication. The leadership of the Dysprosium Dawn are of the opinion that they would be hard-pressed to replicate their success, but Papa Friday would have no restrictions on replicating the item in question.
GM: And that sacrificing their entire gang is worth preventing Papa Friday getting whatever technomagery the Macguffin actually is.

Happily, we have an expert on technomagery and tracking spells in the party. Alarmingly, there are already multiple emanations of magic and tech in sync all across Edge City, popping up and disappearing.

GM: You were looking for a needle in a haystack, and found a seamstress.

One of the interactions of magic and technology is Hardlight.

Hardlight: What?
Peanut Gallery: You're a wizard, Harry.
GM: That crystal that powers you is probably magic.
Hardlight: I thought it was aliens!

There's also a large one in Lake Effinger, where one supervillain plot removed a large chunk of real estate and ruined Edge City's economic future.

GM: Probably an Atlantean down there. Better not poke it.
Flux: Welcome to Edge City, enjoy your stay.

GM: And there's a large signal of necromantic and technology in the Laguna Complex - that's probably your target.
Flux: Oh goody.

The Laguna Complex is a high-end mall with sales of minor cybernetics and same-day cosmetic surgery.

GM: Been snorting Pogo all week? They can clean you up!
Hero Shrew: High Colonic cleanses all round.
Flux: And this is why I don't go shopping for anything but food.

The Laguna Complex is built in a suburb where the customers don't have to look at anything disreputable, like the poor, or the less socially acceptable species of Moreau. Guess where Hero Shrew lies on the Venn Diagram. Hardlight disguises him as Ted, the famous former denizen of the Zoo.

Hero Shrew: NOT. F***ING. COOL.
Hardlight: What???
Hero Shrew: I knew this guy!
Hardlight: Oops.
GM: Ted was a drug addict, so he wouldstop remembering ever experiment that was done to him.
Hardlight: Wow - I just foot-in-mouthed Hero Shrew.
GM: Yup - foot-in-mouthed so hard he actually noticed.

He tries a Lasagna Cat disguise next.

Hero Shrew: I hate Mondays. And you.
Flux: 'Mostly you'.

GM: It's nearly 11, we'll call it here.
Hero Shrew OoC: It's going to be zombies, isn't it.
GM: Well, I COULD have called it Rhodes Plaza. Guess what the spin-off technology the Dysprosium Dawn came up with was.
Hero Shrew OoC: .... The Juice the cybergangs were using? Oh god... Fast Zombies.  

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In a pulp genre rockets-and-ray guns campaign, the PCs' ship arrives at the homeworld of one of the party characters. In the finest nonsensical pulp tradition, individuals of that race look like collections of organs floating in a fluid-filled jar, even in their native environment.

 

One of the humans (Jake, the former rum-runner driver/pilot, a relatively coarse individual) addresses one of the natives: "Hey, Testicle Face, where can a guy find a card game here?"

 

Again in the finest nonsensical pulp traditions, the natives speak English with odd lapses. The addressed native says to a companion: "What is 'testicle'?"

 

"It is an organ, a gonad. It is a sensitive and delicate organ."

 

"Ah! He is using an endearment and announcing affection!"

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In a pulp genre rockets-and-ray guns campaign, the PCs' ship arrives at the homeworld of one of the party characters. In the finest nonsensical pulp tradition, individuals of that race look like collections of organs floating in a fluid-filled jar, even in their native environment.

 

One of the humans (Jake, the former rum-runner driver/pilot, a relatively coarse individual) addresses one of the natives: "Hey, Testicle Face, where can a guy find a card game here?"

 

Again in the finest nonsensical pulp traditions, the natives speak English with odd lapses. The addressed native says to a companion: "What is 'testicle'?"

 

"It is an organ, a gonad. It is a sensitive and delicate organ."

 

"Ah! He is using an endearment and announcing affection!"

 

I'm surprised the inquiry wasn't "What is a face?"

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Pathfinder - CSI Magnimar

 

Ys: We're in the middle of the 'Save The Accused For Some Reason' Caper

GM: I'm disappointed in you all - you were left unsupervised in a rich person's apartment, and not even the smallest item got pilfered.
Harshal: If we steal it now they'll make the connection. We can always sneak back later - consider this as casing the joint.
Tannis: Come back later disguised as removalists, and tell them Emarre's family hired us to remove everything.
Harshal: At the very least leave all the 'valuables' with the major-domo.... And sell all his furniture.

Sala No-name has fae Magic, so Emarre being killed by some giant clawed snake thing doesn't get her off the hook. Ys does an alchemical analysis on the snake scale we found, to see whether it's a remnant of a Polymorph spell, or from an actual snake-like creature. It's the former.

GM: If I was truly evil, I'd have a Yuan-ti shapeshifter.

Harshal: We still need to talk to that houseboy.
Tannis: But he wasn't even here - he was having his end away with a streetwalker.
Harshal: So Sergeant Colon tells us.
Tannis: ... True.
Zin: Maybe the houseboy turned into the snake thing, before his date. He should know better - turning into a snake never helps.
GM: Oh, I don't know - some people pay extra for that.
Harshal: Hemipenes.

Harshal: Perhaps Zin can hide in the chimney, to see if anybody tries to break in tonight.
Zin: Which is fine, right up until somebody starts a fire.

GM: At least if you case the joint, you've still got that phony Warrant of Investigation. 'We wanted to see if the criminal would return to the scene of the crime'
Harshal: 'They do that, don't they?'

At least the assassin is unlikely to teleport back in - if they used a mere Alter Self spell, they probably aren't very high-level. Zin does indeed spot somebody sneaking up and trying the windows, and trying and failing to climb the drainpipes.

Harshal: So, wait until he's halfway up, sneak up and yell OI!!!

The GM points out that loudly grabbing the guy while the city guard are still on duty around the front doesn't help us much - even with our warrant they'll nab him for their own investigation. The rest of us take up our positions, and Tannis sneaks up to tap the target on the shoulder. But the figure sniffs the air, turns, and reveals a cloth mask and scaley skin.

Tannis: Good evening, friend.
Scaley: *bolts*
Ys: It goes against the grain, but we're trying to take them alive. *jumps him as he runs past the end of an alley*

The would-be burglar rolls to his feet, and fights back.

Tannis: Dammit, I want to talk!
Ys: I want to kill him.
Harshal: Well, kill him, then hire a Necromancer.

Zin tries to get a burlap sack over the scaley individual, and gets mauled.

Harshal: Doesn't work so well when they're three feet taller than you.
GM: It's like you trying to grapple Andre the Giant. AFTER you've said 'Hey! Fatso!'

Guards on the front door: What was that? I think it was a bird.
Party: *in Alley around the corner* THWACK! THWACK!
Guard: Ah, the Majestic Space Duck.

Gillert's player: .... What are you doing?
Harshal's player: Cosplaying a Portuguese Man-o-war

Gillert: *THWACK! THWACK*
Ys: 'We're trying to save you from Ys!'
Tannis: Just stay down!

Scaley: Damn you! We serve the same masters!
Tannis: ... I really doubt that.
Scaley: *Drops smoke bomb*

It's also increasingly obvious that the scaley is female.

GM: You all just assumed they were male.
Harshal OoC: Can you even tell with reptiles?

Scaley: You don't even know whom you serve? Each Hand moves separately - what they would do to me! Do your job, and I will do mine!

Tannis: I'm just trying to correct you on your form - why don't we take a moment top discuss this like decent people-
Harshal: *snicker*
Tannis: -doing indecent things.
Ys: *glares at Tannis through the smoke*

Scaley: I was TRYING to see that the building was still sealed!
All: ...

Tannis: By the way, I don't suppose you killed Emarre, did you?
Scaley: We are done here.

Tannis: You know, if you want the job down properly you can always hire us.
Scaley: You have your task, and I have mine!
Tannis: We're open contractors.
Scaley: You do not wish to be distracted - the cost will be high! Do your job, or the last thing you will see is a silver mask!

Ys: Who are the Silver Masks/Silent Circle.
Tannis: A gang.
Gillert: ... I don't think they are.
Tannis: Trust me, they're a gang.

GM: You don't send a fighter on a job like this.
Tannis: They don't send a Rogue either, apparently. That's why I was after the job.

Gillert: What do you see if you take their mask off?
Tannis: Mind-blasting horror? Star-filled void? Who cares?

Harshal has heard about soldiers with the kind of pseudo-telepathic co-ordination exhibited by the Sient Circle, but it's unheard of for so many members to share it. Basically, the silver masks are creepy, they have agents, they've been pissing off the Magnimar nobility, and we've been unknowingly working for them. At least according the scaley ninja.

Tannis: While I appreciate your propensity for bloodshed, Ys, pleeeeease try not to kill everybody we meet?
Ys: Hey, I don't try to kill EVERYBODY. But if they slice open my arm I reserve the right to consider them hostile.

Harshal: So, should I send an anonymous note to the guard telling them they're not doing their job properly?
Gillert: No, we want them to not do their job properly.

Zin: Why am I hobbling, I got hit in the head?
Ys: It's because I'm dragging you along the street by an ankle.
Harshal: That would be cobbling.
Zin: Actually it would be kobolding.
Gillert: Oh god, they're all at it.

Zin's player: Cute bears on the GM's display screen!
GM: And now we have a beetle for Drhoz.
Me: *glances up* Hippodamia variegata.
All: ....

Me: So what did you want to know about diseases? *cracks knuckles*

GM: Do anybody even REMEMBER the Beaufort Scale anymore? I mean, do any of you know the difference between cumulonimbus and-
Me and Zin's players: *hold up hand*
GM: OK, I should have remembered who was at the table.

We take our wounded to Iria, who is still distressed about her girlfriend being in lock-up, and frantic that she doesn't get exiled from town. Her healing potions do Zin a lot of good.

Zin: If I drink too much of this I'll explode.
Harshal: He's feeling so healthy he's walking around with a tiny rock-hard erection.
Zin: *slaps Harshal's leg*
Ys: Two.
Harshal: True. Hemipenes.
GM: That's dragonkin for you.

Harshal gets dragged out of his apartment to see the Captain. It's about the warrant. Harshal hopes he can bluff his way out of this, but his forgery is still good enough that the Captain reluctantly accepts it, reluctantly admits that our evidence does mean he'll have to release Sala, and gleefully hands over the problem of finding the real killer.

Sala is glad to be released, but short-tempered with our polite disassembly about Iria's role in the affair.

Sala No-name: Is it over?
Harshal: You role in it is over, at least.
Sala No-name: Who are you people?
Tannis: We are working on behalf of an associate of yours.
Sala No-name: *in Shoanti* Hurry up and skin the beast (Get to the point)
Tannis: Iria wanted us to get you out.
Sala No-name: Iria? *perks right up*

Tannis: Also, there's some paperwork about becoming a registered information broker I need you to look at.
Sala: Huh. Paperwork.
Tannis: Indeed. Such flimsy stuff can bind us stronger than chains.
Sala: Worse, it kills the words.
Harshal: *shrugs* There's a certain poetry in literacy.

GM: You take Sala around to Iria's place. So, have you ever met two people who are completely infatuated with each other but are trying to hide it?

Tannis: We'll give them twenty minutes.
Harshal: That should be plenty of time - it never takes me more than twenty.

Sala explains that she was indeed acting as a rumour-broker for the nobility, and that Master Emarre was also a broker, and a rival, but that Emarre had come to her out of desperation - all his own sources had failed him on a matter of some import. Sala shrewdly observes that Harshal is a Shoanti, passing himself off as a full-time city-dweller.

Sala No-name: So, an affectation, or have you realised our people have their heads firmly up their own arses too?
Harshal: There's a certain amount of cranio-rectal inversion.

Sala doesn't want to discuss her meeting with Emarre, but indirectly tells us that it was about the mask-wearing Silent Circle. Still the warrant means we have to still try and find the actual killer.

Tannis: So, the killer was somewhat that knew or had access to the Alter Self spell.
Harshal: So, Gillert, who is the beneficiary of your Last Will and Testament? I ask out of curiosity.
Gillert: To whoever hunts down and executes my killer.

Tannis: We need to follow all lines of inquiry.
Ys: And torture the houseboy.

GM: You've done the job - you got Sala off the hook.
Zin: Now we just need to get the Guard off our backs.
GM: There are consequences for having a Warrant of Investigation, even if it's a forgery.

Zin: We need to post a description looking for scales in cloaks and disguise... Wait.
Gillert OoC: Better improve your Disguise skill first.

New Magnimar media tycoon Parvo Crispin has released his first news-sheet - which includes numerous details about the Nightscales and their slavery operation. Thankfully, only Tannis actually gets mentioned by name, as a resident supplying food for the benighted kobolds.

Harshal: I wonder if he needs a front page story for the next edition.

We go back to Emarre's place to case the joint do a more thorough search of the place. Actually looking in the desk Emarre was heading for, for example. And we need to track down the houseboy who found the body.

Zin disables the magical traps on the late wizard's lab door, with Gillert's assistance.

Gillert: I'm still standing behind the Kobold.

The corridor on the other side apparently leads to the pantry.

Tannis: That lazy bastard.
Gillert: Well, he was a bit pudgy.

Emarre's writing desk has been robbed, as we feared, but Harshal's careful search does uncover a thin volume hidden under a drawer. It's in code.

GM: You'll need Linguistics to decode it.
Harshal: *smiles* I guess I'll be busy for a few days then. Caesar cipher or Vigenère?
GM: ... I don't know? Something early?

Even Harshal's preliminary glance reveals Emarre's discoveries about the Silent Circle - there are at least Five, the Aspects of Pain, Smoke, Ash, and Thorn, in the Roles of Sentinel, Seeker, Sojourner, and Speaker and the true head, the Aspect of Death in the Role of Sage. His last notes fear that the Sentinel is coming for him - the same one that tore that Gargoyle leader apart in Underbridge.

Harshal: And does the book end 'ARGH, ARGH, IT'S COMING THROUGH THE WINDOW' and trail off into a bloodstain?
GM: No. But bonus, finding this gives the Guard an actual target - so XP all around.

The others eventually figure out that the warded, fog-filled corridor is actually enchanted with a Suggestion spell to make it seem as boring as possible. This is so boring, in fact, that they decide to ignore it.

Harshal OoC: I am deeply impressed by your cunning meta-gaming, Mr. GM.
Zin: Whoever buys this house is going to be stuck with an impossibly boring corridor.

GM: That Warrant solved so many of your problems. 

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Star Wars Ep. 4 1/2 : The F-Troop Pt 2

 

Going through the deceased diplomacy droid's memory chips, back on our ship the Plausible Deniability, to find out who killed him and kidnapped that astromech - it was a large Weequay thug.

weequay%20rotj.jpg

That, in and of itself, isn't very useful information - but if the astromech WAS kidnapped by those local space pirates, then using our admittedly less-than-stellar connection to the local 'smugglers', in order to get a job interview with the pirates, still seems our best plan. What else would we do to make some money?

Fendri: What can we smuggle anyway?
Forvuk: T-shirts.
Fakybe: 'My Parents Took Me To The Kessel Run And All I Got Were These Lousy Radiation Burns'

GM: The Wookiee will get shot first - everybody shoots the Wookiee first. Then, if they haven't killed him, the Wookiee goes berserk and hacks everybody in half with an axe.
Forvuk: So when we meet these smugglers we want to make sure we get within hand-to-hand range before the arguments start.
Fakybe: Well, we could always let them get there first, and send an anonymous call to the Imperials telling them about a bunch of terrorists who were celebrating the destruction of the Peace Moon.

GM: Everybody is under a Point of Strain this session because Fendri got a message from his family
Fakybe: 'Pick up some milk on your way home'
Fendri: I'm FORTY FREAKIN' LIGHTYEARS AWAY.

Actually they want to know why Fendri hasn't been making his contributions to the Bothan Intelligence network.

GM: Plans for the Death Star would be good.

Fakybe: I could sneak aboard their ship and plant a great big bomb in their hyperdrive.
Fendri: Do you have a great big bomb?
Fakybe: No.
Forvuk: We could plant a bomb in his brain and send him off to meet his boss.
Medical Droid: You are horrible, horrible people.
Fendri: We can plant a bug on the spy and listen in on everything he says.
Medical Droid: Do you have such a device?
Fendri: No. Everybody thinks I'm a spy - even my family thinks I'm a spy. I'm just a courier!
Forvuk: How about we just TELL him we've fitted a cortex bomb?

Instead Fakybe improvises a bug, plants it on the spy, and we get him to contact the smugglers to negotiate the meeting with the space pirates.

Smuggler: What can you offer me?
Fendri: Skills.
Fakybe: Also our own ship and no criminal record... In this jurisdiction, anyway.
Smuggler: Alright, let our agent go and I'll think about it.
Spy: What do I get out of this? You shot me.
Fakybe: Free medical treatment - also we owe you a drink.
Spy: *grumble*

The smugglers don't want to meet outside the imperial base - I can't think why - and suggest meeting at the cantina (neutral ground on Fomos) in a hour. We agree - and get there 50 minutes early, to occupy the best sniper positions.

Forvuk: So, would a blaster shot go all the way through the medical droid?
Fendri: We are not using the droid NPCs as cover!

Forvuk: So we're getting ambushed outside the Cantina.
Fakybe: Well, they were GOING to ambush us - but we ambushed them first.

Fakybe and the Rodian pilot are using a hired cargo hovertrolley and a crate to check the top of buildings around the square. The abandoned mansion overlooking the square - an ideal sniper position - gains a sniper with a bipod-mounted heavy rifle shortly after it gained us.

Forvuk: Nice - I want that rifle.

The sniper doesn't spot us hovering beside the roof in the darkness. The rest of the smugglers are gathering in front of the Cantina - and include the Weequay that bisected the diplomacy droid and kidnapped the astromech.

Fendri: Set your blasters to stun.
Forvuk: ... I'm setting my heavy slug-thrower to Stun.
Fendri: *sigh* just shoot them in the legs.

Fakybe: We could ram their sniper off the roof with the trolley, and use the crate for cover.
Forvuk: Would a heavy blaster rifle go through a hover trolley?
GM: Yes.
Fakybe: Hmm - better not then - we won't get our deposit back.

Forvuk and the Wookiee ride the hover-trolley up to the roof and beat seven colours of snot out of the sniper. Fendri moves to where he can shoot the Weequay in the side.

Smuggler: Up there!
Fakybe: Bugger - he spotted us?
GM: The sniper didn't answer the comm-link, the smuggler looked up, and saw a Wookiee silhouetted against the moon.

Fakybe tries to run over the smugglers with the hover-trolley, and discovers the smugglers also had people with rifles planted in every other building around the square. Just as well he's so small he can barely see over the dashboard. The Wookiee grabs the sniper's heavy rifle and blazes away at the smugglers helpfully silhouetted against the lights of the Cantina.

Wookiee: RRRRAAARRRRGGGHHH!!!!

The smuggler's mooks prove strikingly inept at hitting anything they shoot at.

Fendri: Are we fighting Imperial Stormtroopers here?

Eventually we shoot them up enough that most of them flee, the locals emerge to loot the corpses, and we cart off the stunned Weequay to interrogate. True, Fakybe and the Rodian are badly mauled, but we do get a free heavy blaster rifle out of all, so, bonus!

Fendri: We need to dip our Rodian in a Bacta tank and leave him to stoop.

But we don't get our deposit back on the hover-trolley.

GM: Contract void if used in combat - it's that kind of place. Also, the Imperials don't come to investigate until well after the shooting stops.

The medical droid gets in contact with the Rodian's group, to let them know where he is. And deliver a medical bill.

GM: And you know a street urchin you can buy a stimpack off if you need one.

Fakybe gets in contact with the smugglers again.

Fakybe: Special two-for-one offer, short time only. Your two guys for that astromech. Seem fair? To sweeten the deal, you can keep all the stuff your Weequay was carrying.
Forvuk: What????
Fakybe: *hand over the mike* The Astromech is more valuable to us than anything the Weequay was carrying.
Forvuk: *grumbles*

Forvuk: Can we storm the smugglers' base and take all their Spice? There can't be that many of them left.
Fendri: No - I don't smuggle illegal drugs or slaves.
Fakybe: How about legal drugs?

The Astromech mourns the death of his diplomacy droid buddy, but DOES have interesting navigation data that's probably the space pirate's hidden asteroid base. We tell the Rodian researcher.

Fakybe: Interesting data here... Hidden asteroid base. Sound valuable?
Rodian Researcher: *squeak* You have to go there.
Fakybe: *raises little batty eyebrow*
Researcher: We just want my brother back.
Fakybe: aaaaah, so that's who that Rodian bountyhunter was.
Researcher: Look, you can keep the money. And the pirate ship.
Fendri: *already programming in the co-ordinates*
Fakybe: Just as well we have an astromech now. *jury-rigs an astromech port into the co-pilots seat.*

Fakybe does another negotiation, with the Rodian pilots' buddies. They're annoyed we got their pilot half-killed, but Fakybe offers them half the reward in return for their assistance. That gets their interest - Rodians love hunting.

GM: It's why Rodian Bountyhunter is practically one word.

The medical droid comes back from the hospital with a Duros engineer in a BOSS jumpsuit.

Duros engineer: I am Fnord.

Fnord is circumspectly interested in installing and operating electronic countermeasures in our ship, to aid our operation against the pirates - after all, BOSS are even more against the pirates than we are.

Fnord: Plausible Deniabilty -
Fendri: Deniable Plausibility.
Fnord: - is essential. We hope the name of your ship is not ironic.
Forvuk: Who knows about the counter-measures pod?
Fnord: As far as anyone is aware, the pod is out for testing. 

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Champions - Return to Edge City : Mall Zombies

 

First two hours of session spent discussing nuclear weapons, nuclear accidents, and engineering failsafes.

Hardlight: And moving from nuclear weapons to biological weapons?

Because the Fast Zombie virus is apparently in the most exclusive hi-end mall in this part of California.

Hardlight: Are we going to have to nuke somebody?
GM: Hopefully not.
Hero Shrew: Unless it looks like the zombie virus is going to get loose and infect half of the state. Maybe we should tell somebody about this?
Fireflash: Who'd believe us?
Hero Shrew: Well, I know it would be embarrassing if it turns out we're wrong, but -
Flux: So, the probably-wanted-super-criminal calls the police saying he has a spell that says there's a zombie plague loose in the Mall. How well do you think that will go?

GM: Where did this virus thing come from? I never mentioned zombie virus.
Hero Shrew: I've seen movies.

Fireflash: I seem to be more pulchritudinous than I was before I got my powers.
GM: Well, you have to store the energy somewhere.

Hero Shrew: So what kind of clothes am I going to have in my Garfield disguise? I don't think my usual wife beater and torn jeans are going to cut it, here.
Hardlight: ... Look like Garfield and dressed like Top Cat?
Hero Shrew: So, purple hat and vest, and no pants?

GM: It's a mall - a high-end mall.
Fireflash: Oh my gosh, I want to go shopping.
Hardlight: You can come back after you get your Christmas bonus.
Flux: We get a Christmas bonus?
Hero Shrew: News to me... Nice to think we'll live until Christmas.

The Laguna Complex is full of luxury car dealerships, face-change clinics, bespoke electronics and a few places that actually advertise as Moreau-friendly.

Hero Shrew: We are going to do so much damage here.
Flux: We? You.

GM: I was watching Repo Man the other day.
Flux's player: ?
Hero Shrew's player: Famously weird movie that ends with a highly radioactive flying car.
GM: There was a bus in one scene, and the destination was Edge City. *eyes go wide*

(Actually, Repo Man was also an Edge City Production)

Flux: OK, where are the medical outlets, we'll look there first.
Hero Shrew: You'll have to stop me first - I WAS going to look up the mall security sections, but now I'm having too much fun seeing how fast I can spin the map.

We need to get into the secure underground carpark.

Hero Shrew: I suppose I can look around for some matronly customer, and say 'Hey lady, you going down?'
Flux: .... No, no you are not.

Hardlight: Can I Bubble the lifts?
GM: Sure, but you'll attract even more attention.
Hardlight: Great! Either security will come and talk to us, or they're not paying attention and won't be any use to us anyway.

The game is interrupted by a violent 30 second thunderstorm that strikes just outside the door.

GM: It's like there was a tiny storm cloud going prrrrrrrrrr across Perth, FUCK THAT GUY, prrrrrrrrrrr and moves on.

Flux: OK, the zombie signal is behind this wall. Scooter, get digging.
Hero Shrew: OK.
Fireflash: Hey, wait, hold on - can we at least LOOK for another way in first? Maybe a door?
Flux: ... I'm not the only person here who can come up with plans.

GM: Tig, what is your actual name?
Flux's player: Flux's or mine?
GM: Yours.
Flux's player: I'm been gaming here for years now!
GM: I know, but everybody calls you Tig, and I'm terrible with names.
Flux's player: That's fair - I knew you as The Care Bear Guy for years.

Fireflash: If I get banned from the Laguna Complex I'm going to ban your ass.

GM: You're getting a few nervous looks from people, since they know you're four superheroes in a mall, and especially since Flux keeps waving his hands and saying 'This way'
Hardlight: Don't worry people, he's hunting an Arcticuno

Flux: Maybe we do need to talk to security.
Hardlight: Hail, good citizen.
Fireflash: Shut. Up.
Flux: Oh god, Mr Foot-in-Mouth is speaking.
Fireflash: Can we talk to your boss?
Security: Whhhhy?
Fireflash: Because there's a situation he needs to be aware of.
Hero Shrew: And we don't want to start a panic.

Security Chief: OK, what's under my mall?
Fireflash: We're found evidence of a lab producing hyper-velocity undead constructs under the building.
Hero Shrew: Fast Zombies.
Fireflash: I was trying to avoid the Z-word.

Flux: Can we help you guys with the situation?
Security Chief: Like I can stop you.
Flux: Can we get PERMISSION to help with the situation?
Security Chief: It's not worth my job to give you permission.
Flux: Ah, another guy who knows his law.

Security Chief: So that's why there's Voodoo Crew in one of the loading bays right now?
Hero Shrew: Oh, fuck.

We'd made the mistake of using the public map of the mall as we tried to triangulate the zombie's position - and none of the loading bays are included on the shopping map. As a result, we were wandering through the galleries and carparks and continually winding up at solid walls.

Flux: So the Voodoo Crew followed us to the mall rightly assuming we'd find the zombie-tech for them. And that's why they're in the loading bay.
Fireflash: We have been here an hour.

Flux: Oh my god, we are horrible horrible superheroes.

Fireflash: Hi. Would you like to leave?
Voodoo Crewman: Yes, when we have retrieved our property.
Fireflash: Would you like to leave now?
Voodoo Crewman: Yes.
Flux: Well, that is a valid answer. I think we need to set some caveats, we have a smart-arse.
Voodoo Crewman: You're not as scary as Papa Friday. The worst you can do is kill me.
Fireflash: I'm not going to do that.
Voodoo Crewman: You might still kill me by accident. And you're still not as scary as Papa Friday.
Fireflash: I'm not letting you take the stuff.
Voodoo Crewman: OK, that was the signal. We can go.
Fireflash: .... What?
Hero Shrew: I think they found what they were after.
GM: Worse - they switched them on.
Hero Shrew: Oh fuck.

The two drug-harnessed corpses trot towards us, as we move to defend ourselves. And trot right past us.

Flux: What?
Hero Shrew: They've probably been told to head back to base.
Flux: They have to control them somehow.

Fireflash doesn't even want to touch them. Hero Shrew doesn't want to get bitten.

Fireflash: ew ew ew.
Hero Shrew: I've seen the movies, I'm too pretty to be a zombie!

GM: By the way, Scooter, keep track of how much property damage you do.
Hero Shrew: Called it.

Hero Shrew swats one of them back into the concrete wall of the loading bay, which hurts it not at all. And now they're paying attention to us.

Zombie: HHHRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHH.

Hardlight finally reaches the loading bay.

Hardlight: Hi guys, how's thi- oh, shit!!!!

Fireflash: Grab that one and hit that one with it!
Zombie: *narrows eyes*
Hero Shrew: Well, she's the leader of Quadrant and seems to know what she's doing most of the time-
Zombie: *grabs Hero Shrew and hits Fireflash with him*

Fireflash is no longer moving, to Hero Shrew's alarm. And there's a cyber-zombie looming over us. And another that's giggling alarming and doing a super-speed run at the nearest truck in an attempt to roll it over on us. The shrew launches himself at the dearest undead in a crushing tackle.

Hero Shrew: Apparently shrew hugs are more dangerous than bear hugs.
GM: You feel a cracking inside it, and grin in fierce satisfaction. And then it seems to inflate again.
Fireflash: They have Regenerate????
Flux: Goddammit... Now I want one. You bastard.

GM: You can't rip the harness off, it's an implant. It's like trying to rip off somebody's nose.
Fireflash: That IS doable.
Hero Shrew: 'My zombie has no nose' 'How does he smell?' 'Fucking awful, he's a fucking zombie, what do you think?'

Fireflash recovers enough to blast the other zombie across the carpark and into a car.

GM: INTO a car.
Hero Shrew: So the airbags go off?
GM: Yup - so does the alarm.
Flux: ... OK, she has the matter under control, I'm outta here.
GM: No she doesn't it.
Fireflash: I can't do that twice!

Hero Shrew is trying to pile-drive the one he has grappled.

Hero Shrew: What's a suplex manoeuvre?
Fireflash: Hoist the zombie over your shoulder and fall back on him.
GM: You're doing a pile driver.
Hero Shrew: I never watched wrestling.
Hardlight: Says the guy who can suplex a train.

Hardlight: I call this the HUSQVARNA SPECIAL!
GM: Hey, Hero Shrew, Hardlight is swinging a giant chainsaw at you!
Hero Shrew: FUUUUUUUUUU-

Hardlight misses, Hero Shrew's piledrive doesn't, and the truck has now had a zombie plowed through it three times. Somebody is going to complain.

GM: At least you're paying attention, so you notice when the zombies are trying to regenerate. BLAST. The pieces are crawling back together. BLAST BLAST BLAST. NOW they stop moving.

Searching the zombies finds a card with 'Come home - kill any who try to stop you' in Haitian Creole. The Voodoo Crew weren't fucking around. And we also find where the zombies were being stored - in a locker belonging to one of the Dysprosium Dawn's tech-head allies that worked at the mall. Also, forensics indicate that the zombies were volunteers, and alive when the process started. At least it's very unlikely that the Voodoo Crew and Dysprosium Dawn will ever recreate them.

Hardlight: Do you have any evil Nemeses?
Flux: Well, there's that fucking accountant. 

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Pathfinder - CSI Magnimar

 

Ys: We're in the middle of the 'Save The Accused For Some Reason' Caper

 

GM: I'm disappointed in you all - you were left unsupervised in a rich person's apartment, and not even the smallest item got pilfered.

Harshal: If we steal it now they'll make the connection. We can always sneak back later - consider this as casing the joint.

Tannis: Come back later disguised as removalists, and tell them Emarre's family hired us to remove everything.

Harshal: At the very least leave all the 'valuables' with the major-domo.... And sell all his furniture.

 

Sala No-name has fae Magic, so Emarre being killed by some giant clawed snake thing doesn't get her off the hook. Ys does an alchemical analysis on the snake scale we found, to see whether it's a remnant of a Polymorph spell, or from an actual snake-like creature. It's the former.

 

GM: If I was truly evil, I'd have a Yuan-ti shapeshifter.

 

Harshal: We still need to talk to that houseboy.

Tannis: But he wasn't even here - he was having his end away with a streetwalker.

Harshal: So Sergeant Colon tells us.

Tannis: ... True.

Zin: Maybe the houseboy turned into the snake thing, before his date. He should know better - turning into a snake never helps.

GM: Oh, I don't know - some people pay extra for that.

Harshal: Hemipenes.

 

Harshal: Perhaps Zin can hide in the chimney, to see if anybody tries to break in tonight.

Zin: Which is fine, right up until somebody starts a fire.

 

GM: At least if you case the joint, you've still got that phony Warrant of Investigation. 'We wanted to see if the criminal would return to the scene of the crime'

Harshal: 'They do that, don't they?'

 

At least the assassin is unlikely to teleport back in - if they used a mere Alter Self spell, they probably aren't very high-level. Zin does indeed spot somebody sneaking up and trying the windows, and trying and failing to climb the drainpipes.

 

Harshal: So, wait until he's halfway up, sneak up and yell OI!!!

 

The GM points out that loudly grabbing the guy while the city guard are still on duty around the front doesn't help us much - even with our warrant they'll nab him for their own investigation. The rest of us take up our positions, and Tannis sneaks up to tap the target on the shoulder. But the figure sniffs the air, turns, and reveals a cloth mask and scaley skin.

 

Tannis: Good evening, friend.

Scaley: *bolts*

Ys: It goes against the grain, but we're trying to take them alive. *jumps him as he runs past the end of an alley*

 

The would-be burglar rolls to his feet, and fights back.

 

Tannis: Dammit, I want to talk!

Ys: I want to kill him.

Harshal: Well, kill him, then hire a Necromancer.

 

Zin tries to get a burlap sack over the scaley individual, and gets mauled.

 

Harshal: Doesn't work so well when they're three feet taller than you.

GM: It's like you trying to grapple Andre the Giant. AFTER you've said 'Hey! Fatso!'

 

Guards on the front door: What was that? I think it was a bird.

Party: *in Alley around the corner* THWACK! THWACK!

Guard: Ah, the Majestic Space Duck.

 

Gillert's player: .... What are you doing?

Harshal's player: Cosplaying a Portuguese Man-o-war

 

Gillert: *THWACK! THWACK*

Ys: 'We're trying to save you from Ys!'

Tannis: Just stay down!

 

Scaley: Damn you! We serve the same masters!

Tannis: ... I really doubt that.

Scaley: *Drops smoke bomb*

 

It's also increasingly obvious that the scaley is female.

 

GM: You all just assumed they were male.

Harshal OoC: Can you even tell with reptiles?

 

Scaley: You don't even know whom you serve? Each Hand moves separately - what they would do to me! Do your job, and I will do mine!

 

Tannis: I'm just trying to correct you on your form - why don't we take a moment top discuss this like decent people-

Harshal: *snicker*

Tannis: -doing indecent things.

Ys: *glares at Tannis through the smoke*

 

Scaley: I was TRYING to see that the building was still sealed!

All: ...

 

Tannis: By the way, I don't suppose you killed Emarre, did you?

Scaley: We are done here.

 

Tannis: You know, if you want the job down properly you can always hire us.

Scaley: You have your task, and I have mine!

Tannis: We're open contractors.

Scaley: You do not wish to be distracted - the cost will be high! Do your job, or the last thing you will see is a silver mask!

 

Ys: Who are the Silver Masks/Silent Circle.

Tannis: A gang.

Gillert: ... I don't think they are.

Tannis: Trust me, they're a gang.

 

GM: You don't send a fighter on a job like this.

Tannis: They don't send a Rogue either, apparently. That's why I was after the job.

 

Gillert: What do you see if you take their mask off?

Tannis: Mind-blasting horror? Star-filled void? Who cares?

 

Harshal has heard about soldiers with the kind of pseudo-telepathic co-ordination exhibited by the Sient Circle, but it's unheard of for so many members to share it. Basically, the silver masks are creepy, they have agents, they've been pissing off the Magnimar nobility, and we've been unknowingly working for them. At least according the scaley ninja.

 

Tannis: While I appreciate your propensity for bloodshed, Ys, pleeeeease try not to kill everybody we meet?

Ys: Hey, I don't try to kill EVERYBODY. But if they slice open my arm I reserve the right to consider them hostile.

 

Harshal: So, should I send an anonymous note to the guard telling them they're not doing their job properly?

Gillert: No, we want them to not do their job properly.

 

Zin: Why am I hobbling, I got hit in the head?

Ys: It's because I'm dragging you along the street by an ankle.

Harshal: That would be cobbling.

Zin: Actually it would be kobolding.

Gillert: Oh god, they're all at it.

 

Zin's player: Cute bears on the GM's display screen!

GM: And now we have a beetle for Drhoz.

Me: *glances up* Hippodamia variegata.

All: ....

 

Me: So what did you want to know about diseases? *cracks knuckles*

 

GM: Do anybody even REMEMBER the Beaufort Scale anymore? I mean, do any of you know the difference between cumulonimbus and-

Me and Zin's players: *hold up hand*

GM: OK, I should have remembered who was at the table.

 

We take our wounded to Iria, who is still distressed about her girlfriend being in lock-up, and frantic that she doesn't get exiled from town. Her healing potions do Zin a lot of good.

 

Zin: If I drink too much of this I'll explode.

Harshal: He's feeling so healthy he's walking around with a tiny rock-hard erection.

Zin: *slaps Harshal's leg*

Ys: Two.

Harshal: True. Hemipenes.

GM: That's dragonkin for you.

 

Harshal gets dragged out of his apartment to see the Captain. It's about the warrant. Harshal hopes he can bluff his way out of this, but his forgery is still good enough that the Captain reluctantly accepts it, reluctantly admits that our evidence does mean he'll have to release Sala, and gleefully hands over the problem of finding the real killer.

 

Sala is glad to be released, but short-tempered with our polite disassembly about Iria's role in the affair.

 

Sala No-name: Is it over?

Harshal: You role in it is over, at least.

Sala No-name: Who are you people?

Tannis: We are working on behalf of an associate of yours.

Sala No-name: *in Shoanti* Hurry up and skin the beast (Get to the point)

Tannis: Iria wanted us to get you out.

Sala No-name: Iria? *perks right up*

 

Tannis: Also, there's some paperwork about becoming a registered information broker I need you to look at.

Sala: Huh. Paperwork.

Tannis: Indeed. Such flimsy stuff can bind us stronger than chains.

Sala: Worse, it kills the words.

Harshal: *shrugs* There's a certain poetry in literacy.

 

GM: You take Sala around to Iria's place. So, have you ever met two people who are completely infatuated with each other but are trying to hide it?

 

Tannis: We'll give them twenty minutes.

Harshal: That should be plenty of time - it never takes me more than twenty.

 

Sala explains that she was indeed acting as a rumour-broker for the nobility, and that Master Emarre was also a broker, and a rival, but that Emarre had come to her out of desperation - all his own sources had failed him on a matter of some import. Sala shrewdly observes that Harshal is a Shoanti, passing himself off as a full-time city-dweller.

 

Sala No-name: So, an affectation, or have you realised our people have their heads firmly up their own arses too?

Harshal: There's a certain amount of cranio-rectal inversion.

 

Sala doesn't want to discuss her meeting with Emarre, but indirectly tells us that it was about the mask-wearing Silent Circle. Still the warrant means we have to still try and find the actual killer.

 

Tannis: So, the killer was somewhat that knew or had access to the Alter Self spell.

Harshal: So, Gillert, who is the beneficiary of your Last Will and Testament? I ask out of curiosity.

Gillert: To whoever hunts down and executes my killer.

 

Tannis: We need to follow all lines of inquiry.

Ys: And torture the houseboy.

 

GM: You've done the job - you got Sala off the hook.

Zin: Now we just need to get the Guard off our backs.

GM: There are consequences for having a Warrant of Investigation, even if it's a forgery.

 

Zin: We need to post a description looking for scales in cloaks and disguise... Wait.

Gillert OoC: Better improve your Disguise skill first.

 

New Magnimar media tycoon Parvo Crispin has released his first news-sheet - which includes numerous details about the Nightscales and their slavery operation. Thankfully, only Tannis actually gets mentioned by name, as a resident supplying food for the benighted kobolds.

 

Harshal: I wonder if he needs a front page story for the next edition.

 

We go back to Emarre's place to case the joint do a more thorough search of the place. Actually looking in the desk Emarre was heading for, for example. And we need to track down the houseboy who found the body.

 

Zin disables the magical traps on the late wizard's lab door, with Gillert's assistance.

 

Gillert: I'm still standing behind the Kobold.

 

The corridor on the other side apparently leads to the pantry.

 

Tannis: That lazy bastard.

Gillert: Well, he was a bit pudgy.

 

Emarre's writing desk has been robbed, as we feared, but Harshal's careful search does uncover a thin volume hidden under a drawer. It's in code.

 

GM: You'll need Linguistics to decode it.

Harshal: *smiles* I guess I'll be busy for a few days then. Caesar cipher or Vigenère?

GM: ... I don't know? Something early?

 

Even Harshal's preliminary glance reveals Emarre's discoveries about the Silent Circle - there are at least Five, the Aspects of Pain, Smoke, Ash, and Thorn, in the Roles of Sentinel, Seeker, Sojourner, and Speaker and the true head, the Aspect of Death in the Role of Sage. His last notes fear that the Sentinel is coming for him - the same one that tore that Gargoyle leader apart in Underbridge.

 

Harshal: And does the book end 'ARGH, ARGH, IT'S COMING THROUGH THE WINDOW' and trail off into a bloodstain?

GM: No. But bonus, finding this gives the Guard an actual target - so XP all around.

 

The others eventually figure out that the warded, fog-filled corridor is actually enchanted with a Suggestion spell to make it seem as boring as possible. This is so boring, in fact, that they decide to ignore it.

 

Harshal OoC: I am deeply impressed by your cunning meta-gaming, Mr. GM.

Zin: Whoever buys this house is going to be stuck with an impossibly boring corridor.

 

GM: That Warrant solved so many of your problems. 

 

 

Zin: ...turning into a snake never helps.

 

 

And once again, the Evil Overlord's list of Things Not To Do rears its head ( :snicker: )...

 

 

 

Major Tom 2009 :eg:

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In our last FH game, our heroes' ship was attacked by pirates, but our heroes overpowered the pirates, killed their captain, and captured their ship. (Abida, the Sunni Muslim alchemist PC spent most of the fight yelling obscenities at the Shiite pirates.) Viking shield maiden Thyri took command of the captured pirate galley and sailed it on ahead to town, accompanied by @ghost-angel's priest, Father Edmondo. From some bluebooking in between games:
 
GM: "Your ship will get into Constantinople a day or so ahead of the rest of the party. What do you want to do while waiting for the others?"
Thyri: "I'll sell the ship and split the profits with the crazy Muslim lady that likes to spew profanity in odd languages.  Next, Edmondo will be dropped off at his choice of church, library, monastery, et al - to study, pray, network or whatever his kind do."
Edmondo: "Edmondo wants a cut, he's a priest not a monk. Sheesh."

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In last week's session, a veteran hero was discussing the job with a potential new teammate.

 

"We only work about 14 seconds a week.  But those fourteen seconds are punctuated by extreme terror.  Otherwise, not a bad job."

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Pathfinder: Xcrawl

 

Player Cast:

 

Drew Blood: Female Human Barbarian from Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Yes, she has the accent)

Scarlet: Female Dhampir Assassin

Silver Sorceress: Female Human Sorceress (Dragon Blooded)

Lacey Cravat: Gender Confused Dwarven Cleric

 

The Action:

 

Dungeon Judge: Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Empire, to the inaugural Boston Crawl! The first team to compete is Blood, Death, and Vengeance; featuring Drew Blood --

 

Drew Blood: Plays to the crowd. Flourishes her Great Sword.

 

Dungeon Judge: -- Scarlet --

 

Scarlet: Waves to the crowd. Blows a kiss to the fans.

 

Dungeon Judge: -- Silver Sorceress --

 

Silver Sorceress: Plays to the crowd. Extends her claws as the water vapor in the air freezes around her hands.

 

Dungeon Judge: -- and the rest!

 

Lacey Cravat: "... and the rest!? What the ... I just got 'Professor and Mary Anned!'"

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The Deniable Plausibility takes off to launch a surprise attack on a pirate base, with the F-troop, a couple of droids, a Wookiee, a Duros named Fnord, a Rodian researcher, and three Rodian would-be smugglers who we're calling Huey, Dewey, and Louie, since we can't speak any common languages. Yes, this is far more people than our freighter is rated for. Imagine the queue for the head.

Forvuk: Can we test our guns first, and shoot up a few asteroids on the way?
Fakybe: Why shoot up an asteroid? There's some Imperial Tie fighters going that way, they're easy targets.
GM: And expendable, too - nobody will notice if they go missing.

Our plan - hyperjump into the asteroid field, drift towards the space-worm-riddled planetoid they're using as a base, and dive out of the sun, ECM roaring, and shoot seven colours of shit out of any berthed fighters, drones, etc they have parked nearby.

Forvuk: I'm assuming the Wookiee is on the ventral gun, since a Wookiee on top is an ugly prospect.

Fendri: I still have to pick up some milk. On Fomos.
Forvuk: Do they even have cows on Fomos?
Forvuk: Fakybe, did you pick up any fridges when you scanned the asteroid? Maybe we can steal their milk.
Fakybe: I wasn't actually looking.
Forvuk: Fat lot of good you are.

Soon enough their fighter and combat drone are completely incapacitated, and we move in to board their main ship as they frantically try to get the engines going.

Fendri: I don't have a Code Against Killing, but they ARE worth more to us alive.
Forvuk: So a Code Against Damaged Merchandise?

Fendri OoC: Assume a cinematic system until we score a critical. THEN we talk physics.

Fakybe, the F-troops resident engineer and liar, doesn't actually have much to do for the bulk of he battle, other that hose down the engines when they start to overheat, and broadcast the following of the pirate's main comm channel.

Fakybe: Die Fledermaus to Big Red One, Die Fledermaus to Big Red One - some resistance encountered, send in the marines.

The Aqualish pirate captain refuses to surrender, even when he's the last pirate standing.

Fakybe: He probably wants to go out fighting.
GM: Once you become a pirate, violent death is pretty much guaranteed. If you take him alive the Empire will make him mine glitterstim for the rest of his life, and I don't want to think what the Hutt would do with him.
Fendri: The Hutt has interesting taste - he'll have the Aqualish dance for him.
GM: *throws up in his mouth a little*

Fendri: Well, there's a reason they call us the F-troop.
GM: Yes - the eff-wits. Or "Or F--- it's them"

The pirate captain eventually takes cover, and offers a deal - we let him go and we get all the glitterstim. Or he remotes detonates the glitterstim and goes out with a bang. We argue about this - the Rodians in particular like the drug offer.

Forvuk: I don't suppose you anything about the massacre on Drelk?
Pirate Captain: What kind of outfit are you running here? Are you all-
Fakybe: OK, just kill him.

The Rodians manage to intervene - they get the pirate, the glitterstim, and their relative back, and fuck off to do what they like with it. We get the pirate's base, the rest of the pirates, and the pirate's various ships after their fighter pilot sheepishly limps back to base and surrenders.

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Kibitzing before the game this week - cannibalism on the set of the African Queen. Also, Red Dwarf.

GM: There was a reason the entire cast of characters was male, and heterosexual.
Me: Hence that conversation in one episode about the Flintstones 'Well, I'd go with Betty - by I'd be thinking of Wilma.'
Gillert's Player: Ah Betty, the town bike.

What long-term objectives do the PCs have?

Zin: I want a safe place for the kobolds. Filled with impassable traps. Where I can charge money to train parties of adventurers.
Harshal: That's not training adventurers, that's farming adventurers.
Gillert: 'Here, sign this waiver'. 'Why is it so long?'
Harshal: I'll write up the waiver for you. Basically you want a giant mulching machine, with a sieve underneath to catch the coins that fall out?

Gillert: Knowledge for the sake of knowledge, and doing good.
GM: You are SO in the wrong campaign.

Harshal: I want to be indispensable to anybody that wants to seem legitimate in Magnimar.
GM: Tricky - you'll always have competition.

Ys: I want to be deadly enough to kill anybody I want.
All: ...
Zin: Simple.
Harshal: And straightforward.

Harshal: We need to come up with a heist that can't be immediately traced back to us - by the guards finding a pile of stolen goods in our spare room, for example.

Ys: I just want to be in a position where I have the power of life or death over people. I don't mind if I'm working under somebody for that.
Harshal: You just want the job satisfaction.

Zin: Are we going to be the Mission Impossible team?
GM: Dun dun, DUNDUN, dun dun DUNDUN
Harshal: It would help me become indispensable. We already have our disguise expert *points at the Kobold disguised as a Halfling disguised as a gnome*.
Tannis: We need legal authority to go around beating up people - I mean, be adventurers.

Tannis points out that we need premises.

Harshal: As the case of Sala No-name exemplified, we need a postal address.
Ys: I am not volunteering my place.
Harshal: The non-sex dungeon might be a problem.

GM: You could always clear out the sewer goblin nests, but that would leave a power vacuum.
Harshal: So we install kobolds. And then Zin can become the Underlord.

Ys: We could always capture some goblins alive..
GM: Who are you?
Ys: I'm not finished. Then we dump them over the wall into whatever district we want to buy property in. That would lower property values.
GM: I'm not sure that's what people had in mind when they invented the term 'social engineering'.

GM: I'm just glad none of you suggested dressing up some kobolds as goblins and assassinate an arch-duke.

Tannis: Plagues aren't difficult to synthesise...
GM: I'm glad we're not playing poker.

Because people are starting to get sick in Magnimar - ships are already diverting to Riddleport rather than risk whatever mystery disease is at work.

Zin's player: Given my familiarity with John Snow...
GM: Hmm? I'm not up to speed with...
Zin's player: The Broad Street Pump.
Harshal: Oh, THAT John Snow - I thought you meant Game of Thrones too.

GM: I decided against the one that causes buboes, swollen glands, and eventually bleeding under the skin. Be grateful.

GM: It responds to magical healing, but they're having trouble isolating the vector.
Harshal: Do people have mosquito screens in Magnimar? That can stop Stirges?

The disease, which causes skin ulcers and eventual death, started in the port district but has spread up-cliff, so it's probably not sewer-related.

Ys: At least the increased chaos in the streets gives us opportunities.
Harshal: For 'random stabbings'?
Ys: Yes.

Some of the wealthy families have been hit harder than others, but are covering it up. This includes Tannis' relatives. Suspiciously, all these families are ones wealthy in real estate outside the city.

Harshal: I suspect Druids. It's always the Druids.
Ys: Kill all the cats, it's the Druids.
Harshal: If some insane hippie Druid has taken offence at the concept of land ownership, they could easily unleash some kind of plague on the city.

Zin: I blame the humans.
Ys: I'm an elf.
GM: 'You all look the same to me'

It doesn't seem likely they caught it at a day's fox hunting either - that would have exposed landowners AND nobility. But it IS infecting farmers, and miners.

Zin: Everytime you mention miners it jumps out at me.
Gillert: Well, you are a burrowing species.

The fact that the Alabaster District uses endless fountains as a water supply seems to rule out a water-borne illness too. And hitting the Dockways first seems to rule out something that came in with the collected harvests, since that district gets most of its food from the sea. Tannis's family are pretty sure their outbreak started with the kitchen staff first - but if it was the food it would have infected everybody at the same time.

Harshal: It's invisible whistling spiders that came in with the bananas.

The disease IS infecting livestock as well. Are the slaughterhouse workers coming down with the disease even more often than the rest of the population?

Tannis: Why don't you go ask?
Harshal: Oh sure, I'll go right down. AFTER I find a plague-doctor outfit.

Tannis: I can't do everything!
Harshal: Oh, alright, I'll go down. I'll take a posey of strong-smelling herbs to hold under my nose. Disease prevention being somewhat amorphous in this era.

The GM came up with this plot because he knows his players have wide geek interests, and could probably identify the disease within seconds. It actually takes us much longer than he expects.

GM: Oh, that's why nobody has IDed it yet - it's a strictly fictional disease.

Actually he's wrong - he was just given an obsolete name for the disease when he looked for ideas. Harshal does notice that the abattoir guild-members all enjoy bathhouses next to the slaughterhouses. So they'd be resistant to infection anyway. But his questions do reveal that new grazing land was opened up recently, after a mine got transferred to new owners who had tenant farmers adjacent.

Tannis: I'm sorry guys, but it looks like we'll have to go out of the city.
Harshal: I don't DO nature.

Ys: I keep getting dragged off to do things I don't want to do, thanks to Tannis' family.

Ys' alchemical testing has already ruled out a poison, and her torture-chamber-slash-forensic-lab further rules out a blood-borne disease.

Harshal: Who would have guessed that all those blood-letting instruments would actually be useful?
Gillert: So, what bits do we actually have to cut off?

Tannis: You're not thinking big enough.
Zin: You can sell the test.
Harshal: No, that's not how to do it. You give the test away free and get prestige that way.
Ys: *twitches violently at the mention of doing anything for 'free'*
Tannis: You're still not thinking big enough. People are diseased - what do you do with the diseased?
Gillert: Shoot them.
Tannis: ... No. You put them quarantine. So we fake test results and profit that way.

We complain endlessly about having to leave town.

GM: It's half-a-day's ride! If you stand on one of the towers -
Tannis: - we can see where we're going to.

Gillert: I keep forgetting I have a whetstone.
Harshal: Well it's standard equipment.
Gillert: It's more useful to those adventurers that actually use pointy things.

We arrive at the suspect farm, where they've already had to put down half their cattle. Ys searches, and finds somebody's stash of 6 silver coins, which she pockets.

Gillert: You monster.
Ys: Yes, and?

Time to examine the silver mine, which apparently was transferred to new owners to settle a debt.

Tannis: Zin? You go in first.
Zin: *sigh* Of course I do.

Mine Overseer: Well, we got a new donkey. And then it took sick. Then the workers took sick. They can barely swing a pick-axe.

They got the donkey at the Archer's Feast, which is about when the plague started.

Tannis: Where did you bury it?
Overseer: We burned it. It took sick.
Harshal: Well, at least you didn't eat it.
Overseer: ... No sir. It took sick.

But they haven't opened any new seams lately, which is evidence against them exposing themselves to something new and infectious. The old time miners, farmers, and foresters certainly haven't heard of anything like it. The overseer does have a receipt for the donkey, at least. And that eventually leads us back to the docks, and the livestock pens. But it can't be coming in one the ships, since incubation times would lead to plague ships arriving at Magnimar.

Gillert: Could a Hag be living under the livestock pens?
GM: Possibly. They can certainly infect livestock.
Gillert: Either that or we've got a Typhoid Mary.
Harshal: Really? And what, exactly, would this Mary would have done with all the livestock to infect them?

GM: I should probably have mentioned that some of the infected are coming in with *various respiratory symptoms*, and some with *various gastro-intestinal symptoms.*
Gillert: It's not Black Death is it?
GM: No, but there is a metal band named after it.
Ys' player: Ah. Well, that Ids the disease.
Harshal's player: Oh for FUCK's SAKE - it's Anthrax.

And it's soon apparent that somebody is deliberately planting the spores around the docks to implicate the incoming ships. But who?

Ys: OK, we follow the money - who benefits? Who ISN'T getting infected?
GM: Underbridge.

Tannis points out that doesn't actually implicate the denizens of Underbridge - they can't afford livestock anyway. Who benefits from the chaos? The Silent Circle, for one. The muckrakers have been very heavily hit by the disease. Gillert gets lucky as we make our inquiries.

Muttering Lunatic: ... Just because. It's walking don't mean it's alive... I dun telled them... Just because it's up and mooing dun mean it's alive.
Gillert: What's not alive?
Muttering Lunatic: I told 'em! Deathwalker knows, the Faceless Five know.

Gillert: I'm trying to get an answer from him.
GM: Sure, but you don't speak the same kind of crazy.

Lunatic: Too late, too late, the Deathwalker planted his seed.
Harshal: We're getting back to that 'Typhoid Mary' innuendo, aren't we?

Gillert also knows that there are spells that conceal the undead status of a creature. So this 'Deathwalker' apparently sent at least one undead cow to infect the livestock trade.

GM: Anthrax spores are most efficiently spread from a decomposing corpse.
Gillert: Those sneaky fucks.
GM: And it works even better if the corpse is still up and walking around.

Just as well Gillert has Detect Magic - if the zombie cow hasn't been sold yet, the traders are unlikely to mention it's odd behaviour.

GM: They are trying to sell it - bit of a conflict of interest there.

Harshal: What would a zombie cow be called anyway?
Gillert: Day Z?
GM: ...... Oh god.

Gillert eventually locates the cow in a question - and the enchanted cowbell that maintains the transmutation. Wisely, we make inquiries about who is selling the cow before drawing attention.

Tannis: It's targeting the nobles.
Harshal: It's targeting everybody - it's just that the nobles buy more meat.

Gillert: That cow's been there for weeks. Why hasn't it sold?
Harshal: Because it looks fine, but it's not behaving right. The buyers can take one look at it and think 'that animal ain't healthy'.

The cow has a brand that matches the rest in the pen - five interlocking circles.

Gillert: Of course it is.

Ys: Why don't we steal it?
Harshal: OK, you can, but we're going over here and never associating with you again. You're going to be associating with a plague cow. Every time you go near it you'll be picking up more spores.
Ys: Hear me out, I'm not going to go near it. And a plague cow could be useful. I'll just keep it underground somewhere until we need it.
Harshal: OK, to wipe out an Orc nest somewhere - we tie the cow up nearby.

Tannis: And some day a priest casts Healing Surge nearby, and the undead cow lurches, lows, and collapses. 'Wait, what?'

We consult those Necromancer morticians about the identity of the transmutation, and the Carrion Compass spell that can lead to the less socially acceptable necromancers responsible. The spell requires an organ from the cow, which will float in front of us.

GM: 'Is that an eyeball?'
Ys: Easy to explain - we're Rastafarians. I and I.
GM: *groans*

Ys goes and hires some labourers to dig a hole in which we can stash the undead cow. Alternatively, nail it into a crate, fill it with mud to stop spore release and reduce decay, and store it in a warehouse.

Tannis: And if somebody puts their ear to the crate they'll hear a soft 'moo'.

Zin: Why is the lynchpin of this adventure a magical cowbell?
GM and Tannis: Because it needs more cowbell. *high-five each other*
Everybody else: *howl in pain*

Ys: I have named this the Undead Cow-ruption Caper.
 

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Because people are starting to get sick in Magnimar - ships are already diverting to Riddleport rather than risk whatever mystery disease is at work.

 

Zin's player: Given my familiarity with John Snow...

GM: Hmm? I'm not up to speed with...

Zin's player: The Broad Street Pump.

Harshal: Oh, THAT John Snow - I thought you meant Game of Thrones too.

Extra History recently combined both of these John Snows:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLpzHHbFrHY&list=PLhyKYa0YJ_5Aq7g4bil7bnGi0A8gTsawu&index=59

"You know nothing, John Snow."

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This is a semi-long one since I've been neglecting the posting of quotes for our last several games.

 

Our cast:

Nymeria - Human huntress

Lexi - Human priestess

Braddoc - Halfling thief [bronwyn's brother]

Bronwyn - Halfling illusionist

Grim - Orcish monk

Danwell - Elvish sage

Gar - Dwarvish priest

Griff - Human (angelic) fighter

*****

 

Nym [lamenting being stuck in the Underdark with nothing to hunt]: I will go shoot some mushrooms with my bow, but it's not the same.

 

Brad: I assist by sneaking up on the mushrooms, scaring them, and stampeding them in her direction.

 

*****

 

Gar: This isn't Dwarven healing magic. This is Dwarven hurting magic.

 

Brad: Funny how it's hard to tell the difference.

 

*****

 

Nym [about to shoot a pack magma golems with one of her few remaining explosive arrows]: I'm here to shoot 'splody arrows and chew gum. . . And gum hasn't been invented yet.

 

****

 

Brad: It's the dreaded Orc-trained battle squirrel!!!!!

 

*****

 

Gar: We Dwarves are like turtles. We are never more deadly than when we are on our backs.

 

==================================================================================

 

Brad [ooc]: [GM] has resting murder face.

 

*****

 

Gar [ooc]: So, how are you going to hurt us tonight?

 

GM [ooc]: I figured I'd just sit back and let you handle that yourselves. You're so much better at it than me.

 

*****

 

Brad: We don't have a bag of holding. We have an Orc of holding.

 

*****

 

Nym [ooc]: WHEEL! OF! LOVECRAFT!!!

 

*****

 

Brad: So, this will require some carefully worded diplomacy. We're doomed.

 

*****

 

Brad [ooc]: You've reached 1-800-DIVINE-HELP. What is your request?

 

*****

 

Brad: I'm little. I have to be vicious.

 

==================================================================================

 

Nym: So, my kid will be a super-predator who can see dead people. I don't see the down side.

 

*****

 

Nym [ooc]: Show me on the cat where he touched you.

 

*****

 

Brad: The main thing this plan has going for it is maximum chaos.

 

*****

 

Nym: That's because ethics are so complicated. . . And stupid.

 

==================================================================================

 

Brad [ooc]: Laughter is the best medicine. . . Unless you're asthmatic. [said after we nearly give Bron's player another asthma attack from laughter.]

 

*****

 

Brad [after agreeing to play host to a demi-goddess]: She's in my head. I get to name her.

 

*****

 

Lexi: Okay, I rubbed it. Now I'm going to have to lick it.

 

*****

 

Nym [while we follow the path of destruction by the magma-golem army we're tracking]: Still trackin' the death. We're all good.

 

*****

 

Brad: Stalagmites generally don't come in “recent”.

 

*****

 

Brad: Danwell, spider whisperer.

 

==================================================================================

 

Bron [ooc, who brought home-made brownies to the game]: Apparently, Gar's superpower is activated by brownies.

 

*****

 

Brad: It's my delusion. I won't let you ruin it for me.

 

*****

 

GM: Bron's a mind-bender. He has the will of a gnat.

 

==================================================================================

 

Grim: You don't start with a headbutt.

 

*****

 

Nym [ooc]: Insert disparaging joke about your appearance and how no gay guy would ever hit on you.

 

*****

 

Gar: Well, don't get pregnant.

 

Nym: Easy for you to say, penis-haver.

 

[The PCs all were required to have children to start the next generation of heroes, who are prophesied to be the ones to actually save the world. We're just laying the ground-work.  So, the women in the group are all 2-3 months pregnant.]

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Constantinople, April 7th, 1001. And now for a little Church politics...

 

The Patriarch of Constantinople has passed away, and the various Church factions are vying to have their man elected to replace him. One "dark horse" candidate, a priest named Gregoras, is pushing for Constantinople to break completely with the Roman Church. (50 years earlier than it happened in "our" timeline.) Our heroes have learned Gregoras is being backed by a foreign prince (who may or may not be the Antichrist), who has been greasing the palms of many Byzantine officials to get Gregoras elected. After our heroes reveal this information publicly (High Society by 10, and a natural 3 on Streetwise!), public opinion becomes so outraged that Gregoras is stoned to death by an angry mob. Leading to this exchange between multiple characters:

 

"Congratulations, you just engineered to have a Man Of God stoned to death. But you're pretty sure he was dirty, so..."

"Did we just turn him into a martyr?"

"No, because he was stoned to death by Christians. If he'd been killed by infidels, sure."

"But what if he was right and the people who stoned him were actually heretics?"

"The Bible says "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone," right?"

"Riiiiiight..."

"Therefore the people who threw stones must've been sinless. QED."

"LOGIC!"

"I'm so confused."
"Welcome to Catholicism!"

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Star Wars: Taxi Driver
After shooting up a pirate base, capturing most of the pirates alive if not necessarily intact, and making a not of where the base and the ships are so we can come back and loot or utilise as we like, the Deniable Plausibility is on the way back to Fomos. The ship now has even more people on board, as well as a large amount of loot that the Rodians chose for their part in the attack. It's standing room only.

Forvuk the Dresellian Brute: And I'm learning to swing a vibro-axe.

Fendri the Bothan Pilot: I'm actually getting worried about the life support - everybody who isn't on duty has to be asleep.
Forvuk: By 'sleep' do you mean-
Fakybe the Adorable Little Bat-faced Con-artist: Not 'the long sleep'
Fendri: Or carbonite.
Fakybe: We don't have any carbonite anyway.

Fakybe: Don't worry, I'll keep everybody's morale up - I'll organise a sing-along.

Fakybe: If you're so desperate to get some target practise, join the Rebellion and go shoot up some Tie Fighters.
Forvuk: Target practise is less fun when the targets can shoot back.
Fakybe: Quite - I could insert a comment about the Massacre at Dralkh here.
Forvuk: *deathglare*

GM: When you get back to Fomos there's something alarming in orbit.
Fendri: There's always something in orbit, that's not alarming. Unless it's an Imperial Star Destroyer.
GM: *sings the Imperial March*
Fendri: Goddammit.

We act nonchalant, detach the looted starfighter and all that Glitterstim in high orbit, and land normally. The Rodians can arrange to have the starfighter, the pilot thereof, and the drugs, landed later. That distances ourselves from any connection to the raid (and the pilot in question is actually pretty relieved to have been captured - that starfighter was a deathrap). The surface is now swarming with bored Imperial troops, apparently on shore leave, although there's also a suspicious number of probe droids buzzing around.

Forvuk: What are the Imperials armed with?
GM: Same thing US Navy are when they're on leave.
Fakybe: Money!

Maybe we can get some cash acting as a taxi service, transporting troops back up to the destroyer.

Fakybe: It means they'll be less likely to blow us out of the sky later, if they think we're up to something. 'Hey, I remember those guys! They got me home after I got paralytically drunk at the cantina - and they didn't even roll me for my cash!'

We post a card offering off-planet transport at the trading post - even if we don't taxi stormtroopers around, there are certain to be people that want off Fomos in a hurry.

GM: The Star Destroyer 'Eviscerator' is obsolete, and only bought out of mothballs after the destruction of the Death Star. This a cadet training voyage for new recruits.
Forvuk: So... How many actual Imperials on board?
Fendri: *We are not skipjacking an Imperial Star Destroyer.*
All the Imperials in the cantina: *staring at us*
Fakybe: Don't mind him - he's drunk and an idiot.

We make arrangements to get the pirate's ship running again, whilst at the same time keeping the position of the base secret - although for some reason the Star Destroyer is blasting away at a remote part of Fomos 'for target practise'. Fendri handles the negotiations, and the negotiations with the person who answered our ad. It's a Mon Calamari, who is wearing an environment suit to cope with the dryness.

Fendri: What the hell is a Mon Calamari doing here?
Fakybe: He's an admiral, who was on holiday.

Actually, he's an entrepreneur - eventually we decide that bringing in holds-full of cheap booze from another system, to sell to the Imperials. The smuggler we clashed with earlier makes a reappearance too - by sending us a free pizza topped with the hand of that spy that we caught.

Fendri: He seems annoyed with us. Can't think why.

The entrepreneur also reports that the pirates and smugglers have be making enquiries, to find out what happened to their leader, and who they need to brutally kill in revenge.

Fakybe: Maybe we should leave an anonymous tip with the Imperials that the smuggler is a rebel spy.
Forvuk: Do you want me to be more overtly evil so you can offer people a more enjoyable alternative?
Fendri: I don't think you're evil. I just think you're unnecessarily violent.

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Recap:

Hero Shrew: We killed some zombies! And nobody got bitten so we'll be fine.

Flux wants to take the zombie's train back to base for study - Hero Shrew is dead against this.

Hero Shrew: We both know what will happen! You'll take one down to the basement for autopsy and before you know it there'll be hundreds of zombies trying to get into the compound.

Hero Shrew: Every time I go to the base I'm going to be carrying a baseball bat with a nail in it. Just in case Flux got bitten during the autopsy.
GM: Flux, you need to make him a device with two lights on it. But only the green like is hooked up. 'If it turns red I'm a zombie. It's a zombie detector'.
Hero Shrew: gee, thanks!
GM: 'Hey, it just turned red'
Flux: 'Wait, what?'

Flux: *shambles around the base groaning*
Hero Shrew: AAAHHHHH.
Flux: I'm not a zombie, it's just coffee withdrawal.

Flux and Hardlight try and figure out where Hardlight's powers actually originate, given some of the strange reading Flux had been getting on his detection spells earlier.

Flux: I need you to stand over there. Naked.
Hero Shrew: I didn't know your swung that way.

Flux does make an intuitive leap.

GM: Your most heartfelt expletive is 'Tesla's Magnificent Moustache'.
Flux: Oh god...
Hero Shrew OoC: Ah - broadcast power.

Somebody has set up a power source that broadcasts energy to the crystals that empower Hardlight and the Iron Claw, and goodness knows what else.

Hero Shrew: I'm going to go buy myself some nice clothes, and a bunch of flowers, and try and impress Sally down at the Collie Club. Actual fresh flowers this time, and not one of those bunches I find taped to traffic poles.
GM: You DO know those are shrines to the dead, right?
Hero Shrew: Well I know that NOW.

Sally, a Golden Setter morph with biomanipulation powers that works as a bouncer at the club, is polite, but overly sensitive to the scent of the flowers. She IS a scent hound after all.

Hero Shrew: Sigh. Maybe I'll get plastic flowers next time.

Sally is a foot-and-a-half taller than Hero Shrew.

GM: At least you have an excuse to look at her tits.
Hero Shrew: Yes, I have to look up past them to see her face... But I do have fantasies about what I'd like to do down here. *happy sigh*

The Tyrell's new range of domestic bots aren't selling very well. Maybe people find their programmed job satisfaction-joy is a bit creepy. In other news the city is opting to replace the city's Freeweb nodes with tamper-proof self-correcting ones - this will hurt Hardlight's business holdings, AND make Flux's technomancy more difficult. Oh, and the Edge City Police Department has recruited some Enhanced Individuals, and closed the Academy to the public.

Hero Shrew: Judy Hopps.
GM: No.

Also, a Moreau gang calling themselves Wild Kingdom has started up. But they're not recruiting dogs, which is almost as annoying as the rest of it, since Moreaus should work together.

Hero Shrew: So who are they recruiting?
GM: Mostly late felines and ursoids.
Hardlight: So, Lions and Tigers and Bears? Oh My.
GM: .... You fucker.

And a Voodoo Crew car stopped halfway out along to the bridge to San Franscisco.

Hero Shrew: That's odd.
Flux: There's only a few reasons you'd do that.
Hero Shrew: Yes, I know, like if you've got a nuke and are holding the city hostage.
Flux: But you wouldn't do tat out on the bridge.
Hero Shrew: Nah, you'd save that for Downtown.

The car's occupants are never found - maybe it's related to the sighting of a major San Francisco mystic player in Edge City?

Oh, and Fireflash is now a sanctioned super, and technically has police powers.

GM: But she is 17, so they're hoping you don't actually use them.

Hero Shrew: Can I be an agent too?
GM: Sure - DOSPA is fine about that sort of thing. As far as they're concerned, you're a person. 'So you want to become an agent?' 'Yes?' 'What if we wanted you to straight-out murder someone?' '... No?' 'Good, you know Yes and No, you're in. Go do these tests.'

GM: The US is weird - at 18 you're allowed to drive, but not to drink.
Hero Shrew: You can die for your country, but not drink.
GM: You can vote - but not get chemical solace to cope with the results.

Hero Shrew: I'll book a booth for you at the club so we can celebrate.
GM: No you won't. Same reason she won't be drinking.
Hero Shrew: Oh yeah.
Fireflash: Well, police do have discretionary powers...
GM: Plus there's the matter that what goes on in the club is against the law. Right now Colin is capitalising on the fact that technically they're not people so technically it's not illegal.

GM: It's a legal grey area. Bestiality is illegal, but the judge will have a hard time justifying it when both parties can say they are consenting.
Hero Shrew: 'And he was wearing the collar'

This goes on to a discussion about American sodomy laws, and whether or not watching bestiality porn is illegal. The GM had to research all this because of the Moreau Question.

GM: The shit I learned for this campaign... *facepalms and screams*

GM: Goddammit - I can see the title of her first biography ' Sanctioned at Seventeen'. And her late autobiography 'Sanctioned at Seventeen and Why It Fucked Up My Life'


The question arises of how DOSPA have managed to keep their database of agent's secret identities completely secure, despite everything over decades.

GM: It's on paper, at the back of the staff fridge. Behind the cup of coffee that's been there for.. A while.
Hero Shrew: The one that looks like Kirk's coffee in The Trouble With Tribbles?
GM: Yeah - with fur inches higher than the cup. Now if he'd ordered hot chocolate, it would have made sense. Tribbles taste horrible with coffee.

This detours into a discussion of Klingon culture, and the problems of finding kosher bloodwine for Jewish Klingons.

Flux: Do Klingons have a religion?
GM: Yes. Klingon.

Colin the Collie patiently explains why it's not a good idea to let Fireflash party at the club, mans why they wouldn't be able to serve her, with ANY of the club's services.

Hero Shrew: Oh.... So, what kind of things do other people do when they graduate? Because I see them come in here all the time.
Colin: That's because they have good fake Ids.
Hero Shrew: Oh... Hey, I know somebody who can make fake Ids!
Colin: *facepalm*

The Collar Club does have male 'entertainment staff', such as Clinton the Kangaroo.

Hero Shrew: Worked out fine for Tank Girl.

Colin eventually says that she comes in, and if any of the staff, male or female, happen to take a thirty minute break, and no money changes hands, it's not his problem.

Hero Shrew: Sweet. Hey, Flux, Colin says it's OK.
Flux: OK, Fireflash, tell your Mom you're going to a party. Just don't tell her where.

Flux gets very nervous about the whole effort to get Fireflash to the club, given the whole age and secret identity thing, and using his own car.

Flux: Secret Identity - Pervert.

Hero Shrew: So, Hardlight, do you come?
Fireflash: That seems a pretty personal question.
GM: Do you ATTEND - word choice Scooter, word choice.

Max the Doberman Bouncer (Hero Shrew's romantic rival) and Sally are on the door.

Max: So that's what you look like close up. I'm sorry, miss, but I'm going to have to see some ID.
Fireflash: Hey about my badge?
Max: That's the one. If you'd tried your student ID you'd have been on a bus home.

GM: If anybody asks you can honestly say you were investigating a grey area. 'But it's either legal or illegal'. 'Not where Moreaus are involved' 'Ah.'

Flux: I can't believe the party is happening here.
Hero Shrew: It was the first place that came to mind. I have a very simple mind.
Fireflash: ... Yep. Sounds about right.

GM: The DJ probably ISN'T playing metal - it's hard to strip to metal. I've seen them try.

The GM attempts to find a random table to generate what trouble hits us next.

Flux's player: You book is slighted foxed.
GM: I hope you didn't just predict it.
Flux's player: ... Dammit, I'm not precognitive on my own time.

Actually our dancer is a mouse girl. She's pretty good. The honey possum might have been a problem.

Hero Shrew: Weaponised cuteness.
GM: Nah - they have a tongue a third as long as their body. *sings* 'I've got a tongue, that's ten inches long, and I've learned to breath through me ears'.

Colin is making doubly sure that Fireflash doesn't get any alcohol. He does NOT want to lose his liquor licence.

Colin: I can sell all the tail I want in this town, but sell one drink to a minor and I'm DONE.

Fireflash does get plenty of people and staff coming over to congratulate her on her graduation.

GM: Cham the fox girl wasn't opening the show today. She'd have been pretty memorable - all she wears are stockings and a set of oversized playing cards.
Hero Shrew: Ask her about her card tricks.
Flux: Or the ping-pong-ball trick.
GM: Colin puts his foot down about the ping-pong-ball trick. Plus there's whole problem of all the canines on staff. Ball!

Flux: .... I just got that. Balls flying across the room. I thought it was a gay joke. My brain was still stuck on itty-bitty mousie titties.

Fireflash wanders off with the jackal bartender for half an hour.

GM: When she comes back down she's...
Flux and Hero Shrew: Glowing?
GM: *wince* Goodnight everybody. I don't think it's getting out of the gutter tonight.
Hero Shrew: And this only occurs to you NOW? 

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So after fifteen years, I finally ran a sequel to "Throwing Stars and Bars", in which the Yatsomoto Corporation schemed to bring Yatsomoto back to life by using DNA samples and a variant of the original ninja goo that turned helpless victims (homeless people) into DNA programmed ninjas. 

 

Unfortunately, Yatsomoto was the ninja of "The South Shall Rise Again." So his student, Mr. Shinji, who was running the corporation in his absence. was using the goo on people to see if it was powerful enough to ressurrect Yatsomoto. 

 

I now give you the list of agent level ninjas

 

 

Beauregard Yamasaki 

Hiroshi Cletus       

Enos Yojimbo 

Tanaka Wallace Sudbury III 

Lucius Hamato 

Okata Sundersby

Elijah Yamamoto 

Hibiki Jethro

Jesse Gozen 

Kojima Jackson 

Montgomery Kobiko 

Ozuna Graham 

 

Yatsomoto also had a pet alligator, who Mr. Shinji cloned multiple times, and then gave them advanced cybernetics. The cybernetics had fang injectors with the ninja goo, and one of the PC's got bitten TWICE. :) 

 

So at the end of the session, after the PC's decided it was okay for Yatsomoto to be ressurrected, (Not the greatest decision, but it does eliminate Mr. Shinji as a threat to the group...if only one of the PC's hadn't destroyed the sword of his ancestors in the goo....) here comes the quote of the week, as the PC was transformed.

 

"Goodbye Vassily Cerenko...hello Billy-Bob Kurosawa!"

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From our Second Saturday Sci-Fi:

 

 

 

GM: You don't know who the others are, but that tall one-- there's no doubt about it. That's Delphi. The others are probably some of his goons.

 

Scott ("Orson"): I lean into the bar and whisper just loud enough for the others to hear me: "Looks like the party's over. Real easy like, around the bar, and toward the back door." I not into the bar mirror so the others can see.

 

GM: The rest of you see Delphi and his men, working their way through the dance floor, looking for... someone.

 

Leeta ("Sister Mary Crowbar"): I whisper back to Orson: The back door? Through the D'rstyx group?

 

Orson: Yep. C'mon. One at a time, casual-like. We're just taking our drinks to go sit with our friends.

 

New Player ("Luther"): I thought we wanted to stay away from the aliens?

 

Jim ("Wrecker"): We do. But now we can't.

 

New Player: But you said those guys hate us.

 

Wrecker: They do. [gestures figuratively toward Delphi's party]. But those guys hate us, and have really big guns.

 

New Player [hoisting imaginary mug]: to our friends, the bug-looking thingies!

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Pathfinder: Xcrawl

 

The Cast:

 

Drew Blood: Female Human Barbarian from Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Yes, she has the accent)
Scarlet: Female Dhampir Assassin
Silver Sorceress: Female Human Sorceress (Dragon Blooded)
Lacey Cravat: Gender Confused Dwarven Cleric

 

The Setting:

 

The team is in the Green Room at the Dungeon Detonation Crawl.  A Production Assistant (PA) is prepping the team.

 

The Action:

 

PA: Listen up ladies --

 

Lacey: Ladies!?

 

PA: And ... dwarf.

 

Lacey: ... Better.

 

PA: Dungeon Detonation is a timed event. So, are we all synchronized?

 

Drew: We've been synchronized for months!

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From last night's FH game. Our Heroes are hiking overland, accompanied by their 10 retainers - Egyptian sailors/pirates the PCs beat up and converted a few weeks ago.

 

GM: Your Egyptian sailors are unused to long distance walking, and several of them have bad blisters by day’s end.

[everyone looks at the miracle worker]

Priest: I’m not wasting a miracle on blisters.

Warrior: Fine. [makes Medic and PS: Herbalist rolls to get them back on their feet]

 

[1 minute later, following some mediocre Survival Rolls...]

 

GM: Unfortunately today’s hunting is less successful, and you don’t really have enough for everyone to eat their fill...

Priest: Oh I’ll totally spend a miracle on dinner!

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