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Darren Watts

Quote of the Week from my gaming group...

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Pathfinder: Xcrawl

The Cast:

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

Steel Rose: Female Elven Rogue/Ranger (Two Weapon Specialist)

Silver Sorceress: Female Human Sorceress (Dragon Blooded)

Lacey Cravat: Gender Confused Dwarven Cleric

The Setting:

Silver is buffing the party before an anticipated combat.

The Action:

 

Silver Sorceress (OOC): I cast Stoneskin on Drew --

 

Drew Blood: It's clobberin' time!

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A few from this week's FH game...

 

Thyri is a Pagan, but has been reading/researching the Bible and is quoting it at Aeddan, a Christian:

Thyri: “This is your book. Haven’t you read it?”

Aeddan: “Of course not; that what Priests are for.”

 

The PCs have come upon a large fish kill, and are trying to think what might’ve caused it.

Aeddan: “It was a water demon.”

Abida: “What’s your theological basis for that?”

Aeddan: [duh] "It was in the water.”

 

Later, a Vodyanoy (Slavic water spirit) drags an NPC into the river to drown. Aeddan jumps in the water, and with some help from the others, succeeds in rescuing her and driving away the Vodyanoy.

Aeddan: [as he breaks the surface] "See? Water Demon!"

GM: "Technically. it's a spirit not really a demon..."

Aeddan: "WATER DEMON!!"

 

And out of character...

Player 1: “I say we nuke it from orbit.”

Everyone else in unison: “It’s the only way to be sure.”

Player 1: “You guys are such geeks.”

Player 2: “Hey, you started it!”

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Champions - Return To Edge City - You Do The Voodoo That You Do So Well
Back in Edge City, where we hopefully deal with a certain undead sheriff for good, before he unleashes some kind of apocalypse. Of course, since we need to stretch this out to a full session, there's no way that this is going without a hitch. One obvious hitch - this entire scheme revolves around an agreement between our team (Quadrant) and the Voodoo Crew, a group of rather alarming people including Papa Vandredi (Papa Friday), Madamme Nwa Dantèl (Madamme Black Lace, of unknown role and powers), Mr Gato (Mr Cake, and the drug merchant for the Crew), Mr Zanmi (Mr Friend, in charge of Protection/Extortion)and La Doktè (The Doctor, in charge of prostitution in Little Haiti). At least Quadrant's bad reputation is merely the result of incompetence.

Flux: Hardlight - You know how you want to be Tony Stark? Don't. You'll be arrested.

Hero Shrew: So, now to deal with the sheriff. So, Flux, you're our occult expert. You and Fireflash's school counsellor, apparently.

Flux: Ok, we have a solution.
Hero Shrew: So, what do you need me to do?
Flux: Stand around for when it inevitably goes wrong.

Flux: Wait a minute.... Damn.
Hero Shrew: Do we need to talk to the Voodoo Crew again?
Flux: Yes. *sigh*
Hardlight: I guess I'll be spending the day in the lab then.
Hero Shrew: Yeah, they don't like you very much. I mean, I dunno what their problem is, I think you're awesome.
Hardlight: Thanks.
Hero Shrew: I mean, you let me use your credit card.

GM: There's a black stretch hearse waiting for you. It's widely known as Papa Friday's personal vehicle.
Fireflash: The only way he could be more obvious is if he had a giant top hat on it.

Papa Friday 's friends on the other side have been yelling at him to deal with the situation, but none of them thought to mention that the Sheriff has Nephilim blood. He's not delighted.

Papa Friday: I am the servant of three masters, and none of them know what they need of me.

Papa Friday is also grudgingly impressed that Hero Shrew is completely unaffected by his aura of fear.

Papa Friday: You are an interesting one, my furry friend.
Hero Shrew: Thanks!

Fireflash: We need to move him somewhere specific for the ritual.
Fireflash's FBI Contact: You realise there's limited battery power on those containment units, right?
Fireflash: I've got somebody that can handle that.
Hero Shrew: I know where we can get car batteries.
Hardlight: Oh? Where?
Hero Shrew: Cars.

FBI Contact: OK, I think I can swing this, but only if a full squad of Iron Guard come along too.
Fireflash: Uh... I'll need to clear that with the Voodoo Crew first.
FBI Contact: Wut.
Fireflash: Witchcraft is unavailable, Doctors Black and White aren't around, we had to go with local resources. Who else would you suggest to deal with an undead situation?
FBI Contact: NOT the guys that were stockpiling corpses?

FBI Contact: I don't think this is a good idea.
Fireflash: Neither do I - I'm following Flux's lead on this.
FBI Contact: Who?
Flux: Godammit.
Fireflash: He's the fourth member of Quadrant.
FBI Contact: Ah, so this Flux guy is your fourth member.
GM: I've been paying attention - Flux has been studiously avoiding cameras and every conversation with the authorities.

The Voodoo Crew aren't happy with this either.

Fireflash: At least the Voodoo Crew are big on contracts.
Hero Shrew: Very big.

Since Hero Shrew is apparently oblivious to fear (Shrews are afraid of NOTHING) Flux takes him along to look over the ritual site, and meet Le Doktè. He shows us the body of the Tombstone Kid, chained to the gate that now leads to to the Nephilim realm, and explains how the Nephilim used the Tombstone Kid as a wedge to resurrect Thomas Graves, the undead sheriff. It takes a while to hammer this info into Hero Shrew's head.

Flux gets to work setting up a Faraday cage around the gate, as part of his technomagery tweaks on the upcoming ritual.

GM: I've seen the kind of stuff they sell at CostCo - Americans have no idea how good they have it with that kind of thing.

GM: The Voodoo Crew don't have copper mesh around the place - they're not a technologically minded gang. They're more concerned with magical surveillance.
Flux: And 'where did that corpse wander off to?'
GM: That only happened once.

Hero Shrew: Take that magic detector you invented with you when you buy your quartz crystals. You don't want to buy one that actually has residual magic effects.
Flux: Yes, I wouldn't want one that had a genie in it.
GM: Eh, genies wouldn't be seen dead in a quartz crystal. A small gnome maybe.
Hero Shrew: And Geb would LOVE that.

GM: So, the ritual.
Flux: Dun dun DUUHHHHH
Fireflash: Don't do that.

Papa Friday anoints Flux, Fireflash, and Hardlight so the Fear aura won't cause problems for the rest of the ritual. He's still a deeply scary individual.

Hardlight: So the magical fear has been replaced with everyday intimidation.

GM: There's also a bunch of Voodoo Crew footsoldiers.
Fireflash: We'll have to call in the Turtles.
Flux: ... what?
Fireflash: Weve got Foot soldiers
All: *groan*

Flux: ONCE, you get to do that ONCE a day...

GM: Anyway, the ritual. Which is mostly Flux. So why did they even need the rest of you? Which is when Papa Friday draws his sizzling machete and says 'Be Ready.'
Fireflash: Oh dear.
Papa Friday: Baron Samedi said it would require all of you.
Hero Shrew: Well, that's the kind of advice you can't ignore.

Figures made of something resembling melting plastic pour out of rifts in the air.

GM: Something on the other side doesn't like what you're doing.

Hero Shrew: uh... should I hit it?
Fireflash: YES

Happily, punching them back through the rifts seems to work. Although more of them seem to be coming through, faster than we can deal with the ones that are already here. Mademoiselle Dantèl demonstrates one of her other skills - she's a spell filcher. She yanks the ritual out of Flux's control, and continues it as he gapes at her.

Madamme Nwa Dantèl: Well, get out there!

GM: Mademoiselle Dantelle is lucky she survived that hit - there's a reason she usually keeps a few zombies around.
Hero Shrew: I expect they thought having zombies around today was a bit risky.
GM: Well, yes. It's an empty vessel.
Fireflash: Possessed Zombie.
GM: Not going to happen.

Superheroic shenanigans ensue.

Papa Friday: I wonder if you even feel the fear of St. Croix.
GM: Papa Friday really doesn't want to get into hand-to-hand with these things, but he made promises to his friends on the other side, so... what do you know, he actually hit it. Oh god, no, the smell of burning fat.

One of them gets a hit on Hardlight, who learns that their touch drains Comeliness.

GM: FaceMELTTTTERRR!!!!!
Hardlight: I just looked at the Ark of the Covenant, didn't I.
GM: Yes. You don't want to get hit by these guys - they ARE the Ugly Stick.

Happily Flux manages to blast the last one back through the hole... and then Hardlight puts a force bubble around both of the rifts. Which is all it takes to complete the ritual without further interference. Go us!

Flux: I feel like I'm hogging the limelight a bit here.
Hero Shrew: Hey, you ARE our occult expert.

And then Madamme Nwa Dantèl gives the power she 'borrowed' off Flux back.

Flux: Much appreciated, madam.

GM: At least we wrapped up the story arc.
Flux: And now we can move forward to Undersconsin.
GM: You are going to hate Undersconsin.
Flux: Do they still have cheese?
GM: ..... yes. Made from naked mole rat milk.

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OK, this requires a little more set-up that the funny one-liners I typically post here, but it was too awesome not to share. This is a low-fantasy FH game set in 11th century Europe.

 

Dramatis Personae:

 

Thyri Torvaldsdottir: PC, Viking shieldmaiden with a mysterious past and serious anger management issues.

 

Father Edmondo: PC, Priest of Rome, the "face man." Edmondo and Thyri have an odd codependent relationship that includes an unspecified level of intimacy. (Hey, it's the 11th Century; celibacy for priests was encouraged, but not mandatory.)

 

Geralt Mac Uaid: PC, Irish warrior, also a chirurgeon (medic).

 

Jarl Calder: NPC, Thyri's nemesis. 5 years ago Calder raped and killed Thyri's mother, had her entire family declared outlaws, seized their lands, and oh yeah enslaved Thyri and tortured her for years before selling her into a pit fighting ring. (The other PCs don't know this part of her backstory.)

 

Hjortur Larsson: NPC, respected elder and neutral arbiter.

 

 

Our Heroes have returned to Thyri's native Sweden, where of course they run into Calder. Thyri goes Berserk and attacks Calder; after a lengthy fight, Thyri succeeds in beating the shit out of him, but Edmondo convinces her not to kill him.

 

Afterwards, Elder Larsson appoints himself as judge to hear their dispute and decide if Thyri should be punished for assaulting a Jarl and generally being an outlaw, or if her charges against Calder are justified. Thyri tells her emotional story, the first time the other PCs/players have heard any of it. Calder of course tells a completely different story, and several of his men are willing to back up his version of events. Edmondo on cross-examination is able to poke a few holes in their story, but nothing conclusive. And since she's been declared an Outlaw, she doesn't have the right of trial by combat so the fact that she already defeated him isn't considered conclusive. So it's basically He They Said, She Said, which of course is likely to go down in favor of the noble.

 

Geralt: [grasping at straws] "If he enslaved and tortured you for that long, do you maybe have any scars that can substantiate your story?"

 

Edmondo: [sudden realization] "Oh, is that what that's from?"

 

Thyri says nothing.

 

Edmondo walks over to Thyri and reaches towards her. Thyri shoots him a Back Off look. Edmondo returns a Trust Me look. Thyri, suddenly looking vulnerable for the first time since they've known her, nods.

 

Edmondo pulls Thyri's hair aside revealing the scar on the back of her neck that she always keeps hidden - where Calder had branded his initials into her with a hot knife.

 

Calder: "Uh..." [blank stare]

 

Elder Larsson: "...Well that seems pretty conclusive to me."

 

And Larsson rules in favor of Thyri. (Sentence TBD.)

 

 

I love it when minor bits of character backstory written months before, and which the GM had honestly forgotten about, become a big dramatic reveal and wind up being crucial to the plot!

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Some quotes from last night's Champions game, but first a little setup.

 

About six months back, before the US elections, the heroes stopped an attempt by the Secession Squad to disrupt the vice presidential debates, with Southern Belle mind controlling the VP candidates to tell the whole, complete, honest truth, and also mind controlling the debate moderator to ask some rather pointed questions, mainly about what the VP candidates knew about the presidential candidates.  (Other team members were dealing with Secret Service agents and disabling the psionic detection gear in the debate hall.)  Of course, the heroes intervened, and a fair number (5) of the Secession Squad were captured and sent to Stronghold.

 

At the time, one of the players said, "You know, that was really stupid of them.  What did they think was going to happen?  Sure, they caused a little embarrassment for the candidates, but it's not like they'll derail the election.  And now they're going to prison."

 

When PRIMUS arrived, since the heroes claimed a mentalist was involved, the PRIMUS techs used equipment to scan the heroes' minds (as well as the candidates, moderator, etc.), looking for psionic signatures and traces.  They discovered that during the fight, Southern Belle also used Telepathy on PC gadgeteer heroine Maker.  Circe (PC mentalist) went in Maker's mind and found out Belle had been looking into Maker's preparations for dealing with the Corrupted when they took over part of Stronghold prison about a year previously.    The PCs worried that the Secession Squad was trying to find a way to bring back the now-exorcised Corrupted spirits, but otherwise let the matter drop.

 

Fast forward to last night, when the heroes are called by Warden Wildman asking for help in dealing with a number of supervillains taking over the main security building, and others rioting in the cellblock levels.  He points out that before losing contact with assistant warden Rothschild (who was in charge while Wildman was away at a law enforcement convention), he verified that the Power Negation system was still functioning, but somehow these two dozen villains had regained full use of their powers.

 

Circe:  Maybe they made a pill or something. 

Maker:  How were we able to use our powers when we were there before?

GM:  You created magnetic field generators for everybody to wear.  They're variations on what the guards wear, and what is hardwired into the prison robots.

Maker:  Can I make some now?
GM:  Sure.  Even though that happened over a year ago, for some reason the designs spring immediately to mind.

 

Pops teleports teams of PRIMUS agents into side buildings of the prison whose walls don't stop teleportation, while the rest of the team makes plans to retake the main security building.  Shadowboxer uses his shadow-sight to scout the security building and finds a fair number of supervillains (Ripper, Oculon, Interface, Brass Monkey, Osmium, and MinMax) inside, along with a big guard robot (think ED-209 from the Robocop movies).  Interface (cyborg mentalist) is controlling the prison's Zap Towers, using the pulson cannons to shoot down any military vehicles that get within a kilometer of the prison.

 

Maker:  Why isn't the guard robot trying to stop the villains?

Shadowboxer:  Maybe because Interface is controlling it.  (pause)  We need to take her out, first thing.

 

As they make plans, one player (of PC heroine Nexus) arrives late.

 

GM:  I didn't think you were going to be here tonight!  I don't even have you on the speed sheet!

Nexus:  (OOC) I got back early.

GM:  Well, in that case... (adds another big guard robot to the map)

Malarky:  Hey, where the heck did that come from?  It wasn't there a minute ago!

Shadowboxer:  (OOC, imitating a robot) Mage detected - increasing security presence.

 

Warden Wildman is going along with the hero team.

Malarky:  Why is he coming along?  We have enough to do without keeping him safe.
GM:  He's going to get to a terminal and shut down the guard robots that Interface is controlling.  Also maybe retake control of the Zap Towers.

Malarky:  (reluctantly)  Okay.  Have him bring someone along to keep him safe.

 

The heroes teleport to the top of the security building and then use Pops' short-range AP teleport to get inside.  They're in an area out of sight of the rest of the level, by the elevators, stairwell, and bathrooms.  Within moments, the heroes rush out and attack, starting with Circe mind-blasting Brass Monkey (the closest villain), and followed by Honey Badger running up to try punching him.  And my apologies in advance for Brass Monkey's language.  It's a big part of his personality.

 

Brass Monkey:  Bunny Badger!  I've been dying to kick your a**!  But first, tell me bro... (points at Circe)  you hit that yet?

 

Brass Monkey continues making rude and crude comments, culminating in a comment about Circe:  "I'll bet she like anal."

Circe:  Anal?!  I'll show you anal!  (uses her pyrokinesis on him)  Let's see how you like it when I light your a** up!

Brass Monkey:  (who is Vulnerable to fire attacks)  Aaaaaa!!!  Put-it-out, put-it-out, put-it-out!!!  (glares at Circe)  B****!!!

 

GM:  Oh, crap! I just realized I forgot one of the villains.  Bulldozer's supposed to be here.

Malarky:  Too late.  He's not on the map.  Where's he been hiding all this time?

GM  (smiles, puts Bulldozer's figure in the bathroom and then walks him out)
Bulldozer:  Whew!  Man, I had to take a wicked dump!  (waves his hand in front of his face)  Might wanna stay out of there for a while!

 

(more to follow, hopefully)

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Continuing Stronghold Riot

 

Maker hits Interface with a neural beam, so the cyborg orders the two guard robots to "get her!"

 

Maker:  Remember, I'm invisible.

GM:  To which senses?
Maker:  Sight, no fringe.

AR-307 robot:  Radar target acquired, initiating class I attack.

Maker:  Crap.

 

Malarkey creates a Thorny Entanglement around Brass Monkey and one of the AR-307 robots.

 

Brass Monkey:  G**D*** F****** S***!  I'm going to have to spend all week pulling burrs out of my fur!  (begins fighting his way through the Entangle)

Circe:  (smiles and crooks her finger)  Come on out, monkey boy!  I've got more fire for you!

Brass Monkey:  (flips her off)

 

Bulldozer goes to grab Warden Wildman.

 

Malarkey:  But what about the agent protecting him?

GM:  Bulldozer backhands him.  12d6 to the face.

Pops:  Yeah, he's probably out.

Shadowboxer:  Maybe a little broken, too.

 

MinMax had created a temporary hole in the floor under Honey Badger, dropping him to the level below.  Meanwhile, Pops teleports Bulldozer down a floor too.

 

Bulldozer:  What the hell?!  How did I end up here?

Honey Badger:  (smiles)  Looks like I have a new playmate!

 

Honey Badger does a Move-Through on Bulldozer before running up the stairs back to where the real action is.  Bulldozer follows on his heels, veering off to do Move-Throughs on Pops and Malarkey before going at HB.  The dice were really with the GM, and he hits all three targets even with the consecutive -2 per target.  Even the damage was above average.

 

GM:  Pops, your action.

Pops:  (OOC)  I recover from being Stunned.

GM:  Okay, Malarkey?

Malarkey: (OOC)  I also recover from being Stunned.

 

Early in the fight, Shadow Boxer dove into Ripper's shadow, coming out looking like a shadowy version of Ripper.

 

Shadowboxer:  (to GM)  Can I see Ripper's sheet?
GM:  (hands over character sheet)

Nexus:  Hey, why is he allowed to see the character writeup?

Shadowboxer:  Because I'm mimicking his powers and need to know how much they cost.

 

Now it's Ripper's turn.  He activates his strength boost.

 

Shadowboxer:  Yeah, I probably should have waited until after he did that before mimicking him.

 

The heroes take down Interface.

Maker:  (hopefully)  Does that shut down the robots?

GM:  Nope.  They're still following the last order they were given.
Circe:  (imitating a Dalek)  Maker... Exterminate...

 

(to be concluded soon)

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Stronghold Riot, concluded:

 

Warden Wildman inexplicably screams and falls to the ground unconscious.  Eventually, Malarkey and Pops figure out Wildman was taken out by a shrinker, Hummingbird, who rummages in Wildman's pocket and pulls out his ID card.  She flies with it to the blast door leading the outside, with Malarkey in fast pursuit.

 

Malarkey:  Now, lass, I'd hate to pin your wee self to the door with one of my shillelaghs.  Truly I would, but you're not leaving me much choice.

Hummingbird:  Maybe we can make a deal.  I help you, you let me leave.

Malarkey:  I'm listening, lass.  How are you to help us?

Hummingbird:  I can take down Bulldozer for you.

Malarkey:  And how's a wee slip of a girl like you going to do that?

Hummingbird:  Mental blasts.  He's a brick.  Probably not a lot of brain in there.

Malarkey:  Aye, that's true.

 

Despite Maker's EMP doing major damage to them, the big guard robots together take her down (into GM-Discretion Land) then move over to her unconscious body.

Circe:  They're not going to blast her again, are they?

GM:  Nope. 
AR-307 #1:  You are under arrest.

AR-307 #2:  You have the right to remain silent.  If you refuse that right...

Circe:  Okay, that's fine.  We can get the cuffs off later.

 

After doing a Move-Through on Shadowboxer (and a grabbed Ripper), Bulldozer makes his way over to Nexus.

 

Bulldozer:  Hey, babe.  What say you dump these losers and take off with me? (flexes his muscles)  I'm ten times the man your teammates are. 

Nexus:  Um... yeah... that sounds like a good idea...  (OOC)  Inside my head, I'm screaming over the Mind Link, "Good God, nooooooo!"

 

Honey Badger winds up for a haymaker on Osmium... who just smiles and waits patiently.  When HB swings his fist, Osmium catches it in one hand. 

 

Honey Badger:  WTF is that?

GM:  It's a Block combined with a Grab.  It's one of the Brick Tricks martial arts maneuvers.

Honey Badger:  Now that's just cheating.

 

Eventually, Ripper and Bulldozer are taken down, as are the rest of the villains except Osmium.  The GM decides to take things out of combat.

 

GM:  You know that scene toward the end of Avengers, where Loki comes to and finds the Avengers all standing over him?  That's what it's like for Osmium now. 

Osmium:  Fair enough, you caught me. (raises his hands, then nods at Honey Badger)  You're a damn good fighter.  But you gotta admit, that Fist Grab was awesome.

Honey Badger:  (grudgingly) Yeah, that was pretty slick.

Osmium:  When I'm out of jail, I'll buy you a drink.

Honey Badger:  (smiles)  That's cool. 

 

The heroes help the Stronghold staff round up what supervillains they can, though a fair number managed to escape.  A good number of them got out through a tunnel down around Cellblock Level 5. 

 

GM:  The escapees include Doctor Decapod and Psi-Borg, a few of the members of Vermin, all of the Secession Squad members you captured...

Malarkey:  All of them?

GM:  Yes.  (pause)  Back when you captured them, someone commented that it seemed awful easy to catch so many of them.  That's because they wanted to go to Stronghold.  If you're looking to recruit supervillains for your cause, a prison full of supervillains is a great place to do that.

Malarkey:  Especially if they're all going to owe you for helping break them out of prison...

GM:  Yep.  And once they had the specs on the field generator to neutralize the Power Negation system, it was just a case of Manassas creating a bunch of them disguised as things that could be smuggled in by a disgruntled or friendly guard.  Distribute them to the villains willing to play ball, and you're good to go.

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From this past weekend's session of my Champions campaign. The team was in Dallas on the day of the JFK assassination. Hexxen, the team's mage from Hong Kong, was born in the 1920s, so he's dealing with his younger self during the scenario.

 

GM (OOC): I'll let you roleplay both characters. I'll only step in if it seems his psychs aren't being played right. (His younger self is a hothead who doesn't like being told what to do, so there's some friction between the two versions.)

Hexxen's PC (OOC): OK

GM (OOC): You can start roleplaying with yourself now.

 

The rest of the table begins busting up.

 

Hexxen's PC (OOC): Can you please not call it that? 

 

Later on...

GM (OOC): So, how much retarded aging do you have?

Hexxen's PC (OOC): Can you please not call it that?

 

I'm thinking I need to get a digital recorder to capture more of the humorous moments we've been having at the table.

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Champions - Edge City - Back To The Old Routine
GM: Gah! Ah! GM now panicking - I know I had a plan for tonight.
Hero Shrew's player: Not to worry - we were having an interesting conversation about electroweak forces, virtual particles, and great physicists of the early 20th century. If you can't remember what we were going to do, we'll continue with that.

Tyrell's domestic android line is finally starting to sell, despite the very understandable nervousness about robot servants. Also, odd graffiti has been showing up around the Zoo - double helixes and 'In the Game of Evolution, Diversity Trumps Uniformity'

Fireflash: That's good - the exact opposite of Teleios, the Perfect Man.
Hero Shrew: I'm willing to read it as Pro-Moreau. And at least it doesn't say "think of it as evolution in action".

Also, rumour has it that somebody came ashore at the Edge City docks, but nobody can figure out where his passport is actually *from*.

GM: The real reason that Edge City's Chinatown dislike the Moreaus is because the Zoo is right next door, so any tourists coming into town go there instead.
Hero Shrew: And the money becomes the Furry Dollar.

Hero Shrew does track down a witness to some the graffiti going up - unfortunately, it's a sloth, and the graffiti went up while he was blinking. And it's showing up in all sorts of normally inaccessible places too, in and outside of the zoo.

Hero Shrew: Well, I'm stuck. Maybe they can fly?
GM: Not unusual around here.
Hero Shrew: Maybe, but I can't fly, so I'm stuck.
Flux: Sure you can fly. You just land again.
GM: You fly the same way Superman originally did. You superleap.
Flux: 'And then you land in China'
Fireflash: Only Grond can do that.
GM: And then he starts hitting stuff because the wind whistling in his ears was annoying him.

Hero Shrew: Flux, maybe you can find out where this passport guy is supposed from, then go talk to the alternate history fangroups.
GM: ..... am I really that transparent?
Hero Shrew: Well, yes. We've already had that cinema full of fake Greys.

Dock Worker: Yeah, it was weird, he went into the Customs office, but his papers are from somewhere that doesn't exist.
Hero Shrew: Where's that then?
Dock Worker: Some place starting with B? And he only had funny money. I mean, who carries silver dollars these days?
Hero Shrew: ... I need to go talk to some people.

Hero Shrew *texting Flux and Fireflash*: Did they use silver dollars back when undead sheriffs were running around?
Fireflash: Wut.
Flux: I've got a special warning tone on my phone for whenever someone mentions undead.

Hero Shrew: Maybe we should check which boat he came in on too?

Which is when we all finally notice the four-masted sailing boat in dock, where the cargomaster is currently arguing with Customs about unloading a holdfull of timber from Beringia. The consignee for the timber was supposed to be meeting them, but the phone number on the paperwork has four digits. And the address is for Monterey - which Edge City hasn't been called in 20 years.

Fireflash: You're not in Monterey, dude. This is Edge City.
Cargo Master: You are joker. This is Monterey. See? That is Aelfen Bridge.
Fireflash: The Monterey Bridge?
Cargo Master: Aelfen Bridge. A gift from Aelfenheim.
Fireflash: ... wut?
Cargo Master: Aelfenheim. North of Europa.
Fireflash: uuhhhh.
Cargo Master: You are joker with me. Next you will be saying Avalon is no longer at war with Europa.

Eventually Fireflash gets a handle on things.

Fireflash: You're lucky I'm a geek. This is starting to make sense.
Customs Officer: This makes sense??
Fireflash: What do you know about Many Worlds Theory?
Customs Officer: Oh hell no. This is the Mole Men all over again.

The cargomaster DOES understand Many Worlds theory, and further questions reveal that among other changes their Bolshevik Revolution actually ended peacefully, with the Tsar setting up Siberia and Alaska as a separist state for the revolutionaries, after Marx himself realised Lenin was a power-grabbing prick.

Fireflash: Our Marx was already dead by then.
Cargo Master: That's probably why your revolution went badly.

It might also be because their reality has active mages running around. Even their ship is enchanted for permanently favorable winds. So they need to get the passenger Mr Charleston back, and they should be able to get home under their own steam. The Customs house is also glad to see the back of the guy too.

Fireflash: I'm going to get him back home.
Other Customs: To a place that doesn't exist?
Fireflash: It's complicated.
Customs: How complicated?
Fireflash: What do you know about Many Worlds Theory?
Customs: Enough to call off the van from the funny farm.

Fireflash: Take a look at this map. Recognise any names?
Mr Charleston: Sure. The United States. But you've got Alaska as part of it.
Fireflash: And Hawaii.
Mr Charleston: Ha - Like anybody is going to take on Kamehameha.
Hero Shrew: Somebody did.
Fireflash: The fruit companies.

Beringia is also the only successful republic on their world and in their US slavery is still legal.

Mr. Charleston: I'd like to go back to the real world now.
Fireflash: And we'd like to see the back of you, too.
Mr. Charleston: Are you trying to tell me that nobody in this world has sovereignty over another?
Hero Shrew: Not legally.
Mr Charleston: This entire world is an affront to the natural order. I shall have to write a paper about it.
Fireflash: Believe me, we're just as offended by your existence. So we're going to get you back on your ship.
Mr. Charleston: I have to get back on a Republican ship?
Hero Shrew: If I hit him hard enough it might make a suitable hole in reality.
Fireflash: ... .... ..... let's not.

The crew of the inadvertently dimension-hopping sailboat are about as glad to see Charleston again as we were to meet him.

Crew: Oh look, it's Mr High and Mighty again.

That evening the boat sails back out of the bay and fades away in a glow of St. Elmo's Fire.

Hero Shrew: Should we have told somebody about this?
GM: You isolated the situation and allowed it to resolve peacefully. So as far as the US government is concerned, good work!

Fireflash gets on the phone to her gaming group.

Fireflash: Can I run the next game? I've got some ideas.

There's a been a few shifts in the gang landscape too - the Dreadful Boys and the Iron Killers are on the ascendant, consolidating their hold on territories bordering Marsden.

Hero Shrew: Well, lets hope nobody tries to unite all the gangs.
GM: Given that would mean somebody uniting the gangs aligned with Humanity First with the ones that are aligned with Freak Legion. Not going to happen.
Fireflash: 'Warrrriorrrrrrs. Come out and plaaaaay.'
GM: Much as I love that movie, still not gonna happen.
GM: The big shocker is the Megasyndicate - they control Schuyler now. Which is shocking because the Megasyndicate are allies of the Orphans, which is the gang made of people that can't join anybody else.

GM: And then there's the Nucleohitmen.
Flux: The what now?
Hero Shrew: Is that all one word?
GM: Yes. Nobody ever said they knew how to spell, or hyphenate.

GM: And the Teleknights have pretty much taken control of Nakajima Plaza.
Hero Shrew: Anything like the Teletubbies? If we meet them I'll have to ask which one's Po.
Flux: The one eating dumplings.
GM: They have been known to beat up anybody making Teletubbie references. Not that that will stop Hero Shrew.
Hero Shrew: Not even remotely :D

Also surprising - the Daughters of Lilith staged an overnight takeover of North Marina.

Flux: The pseudo-vampires? Well, we hope pseudo.
GM: And Scooter heard a rumour that one took on a Juicer, and won.
Flux: An actual Juicer or a weakass Juicer?
GM: The real thing.
Flux: Oh dear.

Hero Shrew: Even if we teleport all the gangs to Mars that will just leave a power vacuum. Do we need to deal with any of them, or do we want to avoid a power vacuum?
Flux: The later. Besides, we've caused enough damage to the gang landscape.

Hero Shrew: Fireflash, you've got sanction - can you find out if the media blimps saw the graffiti go up?
Fireflash: I'm a student! My exams are up!
Flux: Phone switched off then.
GM: Worse, SATS too. Phone in the basket.
Fireflash: Oh god, two weeks of hell.
GM: And the Principal keeps announcing 'Students are advised to curtail their extracurricular activities for the duration of the exams'.
Fireflash's friend Mandy: You were in the news again, weren't you?

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Lots of great in-character quotes this week, which of course I didn't write down and have since forgotten. :( But this out-of-character exchange will be remembered a long time...

 

Several of us had been having a lengthy discussion about using shields with spears, pikes, etc...

Female Player: "OK guys, are you done talking about Handling Your Spears so we can get back to the game?"

:rofl:

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I finally remembered another good one from last week's fantasy game. The PCs have gotten involved in a power struggle in 11th century Scandinavia, and are sailing towards what they expect to be a major Viking-on-Viking naval battle.

 

Abida: (F) Muslim alchemist

Tyri: (F) Viking warrior woman

Geralt: (M) Irish holy warrior

 

GM: "OK, you've got about 2 days at sea before you reach Jomsburg. Anything you want to do along the way?"

Abida: "I want to talk to the characters with Tactics, try and learn something about naval warfare."

Tyri: "Well, you see..."

Geralt: "I interrupt and start telling them about all of my battle experience. None of which has involved boats or water."

Abida: "Um, we're talking about naval warfare?"

Geralt: "Oh, yeah. I got nothing then. I leave."

Abida: "Dude, I love that you just tried to mansplain naval tactics to the &%@#ing Viking!"

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A couple from this week's Star Wars Edge of Empire game:

 

Our ship has two GNK "Gonk" Droids as NPCs. The way our GM plays them is that they have a full & complex language when talking to each other, but to everyone else (including my protocol Droid PC) it all sounds like "Gonk gonk." Early on, they took it upon themselves to christen our ship, so it's now known as The Gonk Gonk.

Recently, we picked up a 3rd Gonk...

Mechanic: "So does that mean our ship is now The Gonk Gonk Gonk?"

GM: "The Gonks all look at you weird and mutter among themselves like you just said something wildly inappropriate. After a few minutes, they file into the cockpit and hand the Captain a piece of paper. It looks like an HR Form for a hostile workforce complaint. But it's hard to be sure because all the blanks are filled in with "Gonk gonk gonk gonk gonk!""

Captain: "What did you say to them?!"

Mechanic: "Apparently I have no idea."

 

We also found an...interesting quirk in the EofE rules while trying to repair some hull damage:

GM: "Anyone who has Mechanics can assist. If you don't have Mechanics, you can use Athletics instead."

Player 1: "Wait, how does that work?"

GM: "It means you're using a more brute-force approach, welding plates in place and so forth."

Player 2: "Are you telling me I can literally buy ranks in I Kick It Until It Works? That's...the most Genre thing ever!"

Player 3: "I am so putting XP into that..."

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Pathfinder - Street Of Magnimar : Plothooks a-Go-Go
The GM has a whole selection of plothooks that have come to the PCs' attention. For example, a clique seems to have formed within the liberated Kobolds, around a Kobold called Vakri. Vakri has been known to slip away for a few hours here and there, but he always returns with a few loaves of bread and some off-cuts of meat.

On a probably unrelated note, stories of a rooftop-leaping vigilante known as "The Flying Fox" have begun to circulate in Underbridge. She has apparently been operating for a few months but due to various factors, including the embarrasment of her victims, the story is only now reaching your ears. She is described as a Fox-Maiden (Kitsune) with a flair for the theatrical and is known to have more than three tails. The Sczarni and the Night Scales have agreed on one thing. The Flying Fox must die and they have jointly offered a bounty of 3,000gp, with Jaster Frallino (head of The Gallowed) offering a extra 600gp for the opportunity to feed her to his pets.

The arcane community in the city has been whispering that the Wizard, Trace Reveral, has died. Trace was an odd character as he had once been quite the social butterfly for some time, but in the last decade or so had withdrawn into seclusion. He would emerge from his Naos home for a few social events in any given year, but nobody would otherwise see him for months on end. Reiley of the Silks, a Brothel Madam has been making discreet inquiries into the death of a local noble. More specifically, the disposition of his estate. Private bets are made among the party, on the chance that these will prove connected.

The Night Scales and the City Watch are on the lookout for clues as to the location of a large shipment of Keros Oil that went missing off of the docks (not our docks) last week. Keros Oil is highly flammable. Probably completely unrelated to the Fire Cult, as we're sure Sergeant Colon would agree, even if he was aware of the cult.

Harshal: I've been wondering how we can use that kitsune cat-burglar sitation to our advantage.
GM: What cat-burglar?
Harshal: The kitsune.
GM: Well, you obviously didn't read it - she's a vigilante.
Harshal: ... Quite right, my mistake.
GM: Kitsune doesn't automatically mean cat-burglar.
Harshal: That's just me being tired and not thinking clearly.
Gillert: That's just you being racist.

GM: For SOME reason you all met each other and had complimentary skills in stealth.
Harshal: If Stealth Synergy is so effective you have to wonder why political history isn't a non-stop string of assassinations.
GM: Because Stealth Synergy can be undone with a first level spell - Alarm.

Zin: Ys.
Ys: *No reaction*
Zin: Ys. ... Ys!
Harshal: *waves hand in front of the player's eyes*
Ys: Hmm?
Harshal: *directs her attention to the kobold* Obviously Zin passed his stealth check.

Zin: One of the kobolds has been sneaking off at night.
Ys: And you want him dropped into the bay with a lead weight around his neck?
Zin: No. ... well, maybe later.
Harshal: If you're going to Underlord you have to know what all your underlings are doing every minute of the night.

Ys and Zin tail the kobold to what appears to be an entirely innocent community centre, think they've lost him, and then find him talking to him talking to some strangers in a suspiciously well-secluded corner of the community garden.

Harshal: Not a bathhouse for gay kobolds then.

Still, it might be innocent - this meeting apparently happens every week, and the suspect reptilian goes out on other nights as well. Ys considers ways she can be closer next time, without being spotted.

GM: There's lilac climbing thickly up the wall. Wait, lilac isn't a vine.
Harshal: Wisteria?
GM: Maybe.
Ys: Ivy?
Harshal: Ivy doesn't have purple flowers.
GM: It doesn't!
Harshal: Carefully pruned Yellow Musk Creeper?
Ys: I very much doubt it.
Harshal: And we're city people, it's all 'Green Stuff' to us anyway.
Gillert: I have Nature as a skill.
Ys: Which is just one reason why we should have you killed.
GM: I worry about you sometimes, Ys.

Harshal: Perhaps he's joined the Freemasons
Ys: Or the Captive Masons.
Harshal: Well, the kobolds are effectively a captive labour force for us.
Gillert: Not strictly true - they're free to leave. It's just more convenient for them if they stay.
Harshal: And we have them followed if they do leave.
Gillert: It could be innocent - if he's gaining skills, or working a second job, then good on him.
Harshal: *thinking* That's our Gillert, tragically naive.
Gillert: But if he's passing on info about us to a third party, then we'll have to deal with him. And I realise how strange this is coming from me, but Tannis isn't around.
Harshal: Stop trying to think that way, it doesn't come naturally to you.

Ys does find an engraving carved into the meeting alcove, and takes a rubbing to pass on to Gillert, who recognises it as the symbol of Shei, an Empyreal Lord with community and self-improvement as her domain.

Harshal: So this meeting is probably innocent.
Gillert: Not at all - they're just meeting in an innocent place. We're done that ourselves.
Harshal: Who are you and what have you done with the real Gillert?

Gillert: So she's not an actual god then. Probably just as well - most gods are dicks.
GM: Why do you think the Magnimareans prefer to put their faith in the Empyreal Lords rather than the gods?

Zin: We still have to find out where he's going on the other nights.
Harshal: The bathhouse could still be on the books.

We do find Vakri practicing jestering later, and note with considerable interest that he's including spells in his performance. And he hasn't mentioned this skill to anybody.

Gillert: Well, we were thinking of opening a bar - in-house entertainment draws customers.
Harshal: We should get some elementals in too.
Gillert: ... why?
Harshal: So we can have a rock band.
Gillert: *groan*
GM: Saw that coming. Your fault, you listened.

Harshal: We should have a word with him, about the magic at the very least.
Zin: But I'm not sure he should know I've been watching him.
Harshal: Send Gillert in 'Oh hello, you're one of Zin's workers aren't you?'
GM: So you're throwing Gillert under the bus.
Harshal: If he hits Gillert with a fireball and runs off, it's no loss.
Gillert: *sotto voce* arsehole

Zin: Vakri, can I talk to you for a moment?
Vakri: I didn't do anything!
Zin: It's alright, you haven't done anything wrong.
Vakri: It still wasn't me!

The two talk at cross purposes for a while, neither knowing what the other actually knows. Vakri really does seem innocent, and ashamed he didn't use his magic to escape captivity when he was a slave, but the amount of inadvertent double entendre in the conversation isn't helping. It's certainly not helping Ys, who is eavesdropping from a nearby rooftop.

Vakri: I only have a little magic.
Zin: And I want to help you make it grow.
Ys: OK, I can't contain the laughter anymore.

Zin: We're going to support you and you'll certainly have a role in my masterplan.
Vakri: *whimpers*

Harshal: Would any of the other kobolds benefit from the community centre?
GM: Kobolds are still fairly new to Magnimar.
Zin: I don't what to overload them with new members all at once. Maybe we can send a bunch down later.
Harshal OoC: Send them down on the short bus. Kobolds are 3ft high at best, after all.

That kitsune vigilante foxgirl has at least four tails.

Harshal: But your average Magnimar criminal can't count higher than three.

Harshal: Well, there's a possible in for us, or me at least. I start defending the vigilante's victims. After all, if the Flying Fox can't provide evidence...
GM: I think you're forgetting how the law works in Magnimar. 'We know you did it Jimmy - confess' *thump* ' It wasn't me this time!' 'It's always you, Jimmy - confess' *thump* 'Alright, it was me, stopping hitting me' 'Thanks for the confession, Jimmy. Sign here'
Harshal: Still, it might get her somewhere we can prepare for her.

Gillert: 'Did you hear about Jimmy? He got tied up by a woman! And a fox, no less'
Harshal: Well, some people are into that.

One of the victims is located, recovering from his injuries in a rear yard, and 'self-medicating.

Harshal: I bring along a few extra bottles of 'medication'

Victim: She grandstands.
Harshal: Monologues too?
Victim: Yes! She stands there going on about how we're all criminals and how she's going to bring us to justice!

Victim: We were going to raid the perfume warehouse off Dock Road. It was a set-up, man!
Harshal: Sounds like it.
Victim: She had the whole placed prepped! The sawdust on the floor wasn't unusual, but she'd soaked it in oil - and we didn't even think the smell was funny because they store perfumes there! And she'd chocked all the windows shot so we only had one way out!

She has been killing people too - admittedly only in self-defence, but the evidence suggests that her buckler is magical. It cut through an axe, for one thing. Certainly the were-rat clans are terrified of it. And she uses actual magic, and trick arrows she must be getting from the elves. And alchemical grenades and pellets, such as Instant Caltrops followed by Grease spell.

Victim: This axe is my proof for why you shouldn't mess with her.
Harshal: We should get somebody to look at this.
Victim: What are you offering for it?

Harshal purchases the axe for another bottle of 'medication'.

Victim: The good stuff?

We take the axe to a metalworker, who recognizes the damage as that caused by Living Steel. Which is another thing she'd have to get from the elves.

Harshal OoC: So, what are the kryptonites for magical girls?
Zin OoC: Talking animal sidekicks with dead eyes.

Although, as it happens, Harshal DOES know about the Pathfinder equivalent of Magical Girls.

GM: I don't want to know how Harshal knows about Magical Girls.
Harshal OoC: Give the Blue Book and 'The Lusty Argonian Maid' are a thing, I don't want to know either.

Anyway, it means she'll be impossible to scry except when she's transformed into her Magical Girl form. This is not helpful. Add her Invisibilty power that comes with her fifth tail...

Zin: Be on the lookout for Magical Girls!
Harshal: *invisible* magical girls.

Gillert: So who is she targeting?
GM: Bad people.
Gillert: Well, that's good for us - we don't look like bad people.
Harshal: Apart from Ys, when she's bloody to the elbows.
Gillert: Well, that's just one of us.

Harshal: I need to track down Sergeant Colon.
GM: *eyes boggle*
Harshal: To find out what the Watch think of all this.

Harshal: I hear she's using trick arrows and alchemical weapons. Which she must have got the elves.
Sergeant: Oh right, from the elven merchants.
Harshal: ....
Gillert: Goddammit.
Harshal: Thankyou sergeant - that had not occurred to me.

Unfortunately, she'd been clever enough to cover her tracks there, too, and she hasn't been stealing anything that she would need to fence.

The dead wizard was unusual because he started from nowhere, and actually became quite popular with the nobility. And very popular with the noble women.

Harshal: I'm sure they all loved his 'magic wand'.

In fact, that's where he was when he had his fatal heart attack. Funnily enough, while his lovers WERE checked for enchantments, none were ever found.

Zin: All natural Charm then.
Harshal: Still plenty of reason for murder.

The local arcane community are all talking about the fact that the spellbook found with him can't be his complete grimoire, and they're also disgruntled that his estate is going to be auctioned off. Rumour has it that the auction will include his day-to-day journals.

Harshal: I just bet there's going to be fierce bidding on THEM.

Gillert: The auction is still a month away. I'm speaking of us as a group of n'ere-do-wells -
Harshal: Or you, as the student wizard, Nerd-do-well.
GM: heheeheehee.
Gillert: *sotto voce* ..... smartarse.

The late ladies'-wizard was apparently also a matchmaker, on occasion. No doubt this will prove highly significant

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Champions - Return to Edge City : Danger Noodles
Flux: And then we had the Adventures of Supergirl and Invisible Boy.
Hero Shrew: Wait, what?
Flux: Fireflash and me.
Hero Shrew: Oh.
Flux: Giant Lizards From SPAAACE
Hardlight: What did I miss???
GM: I don't know what he's talking about, and I'm the GM.
Flux: I wanted to see how long I could string them along.

What actually happened is that Flux and Fireflash interrupted a fight between VIPER agents and those dog guys we ran into a few months back, over a boatful of giant ophidian eggs. The dog men escaped on a Kraken.

Hero Shrew: ????????

Hero Shrew: So, skullbunny troopers.
GM: VIPER
Hero Shrew: I know, but look at that logo (which does, indeed, resemble a skull with bunny ears)

Hero Shrew: And the VIPER troops would say a word even if they were interrogated.
GM: Nah, the deal was 'can we go now?' after it was obvious there was no salvaging the fight.

Hardlight: Would VIPER hire snake-based Moreaus?
GM: In a f**king heartbeat.

Hardlight: And what's this about teleporting all the gangs to Mars?
Hero Shrew: Just a suggestion. I don't actually have a way to do it. And it would leave a power vacuum.
GM: And an actual vacuum, depending on what teleporter tech use use.
Flux: You beat me to it. Is there a base on Mars?
Hero Shrew: There was, but they got their budget cut.
GM: There's still a small base on Mars, but that's only to maintain contact with the species that actually live there.
Hero Shrew: Mooooon Bunnnnniessssss.

Plus we need to find the missing hippies that actually owned the boatful of eggs.

Hero Shrew: I could always go around and shake people and ask "Where are the hippies?".
GM: San Francisco.

Hardlight takes apart one of the combiweapons the hounds were using. Compared to the biomechanical stuff they were using last time, these ones seem more standardly mechanical, with some rather odd biological elements used for heat dissipation.

The missing boat owners were heavily into Moreau rights, judging by the contents of their boat.

Hardlight: I fully support these people!
Hero Shrew: yeah, and PETA are supposedly pro-animal rights.
Hardlight: .... good point.

And trying to find out who these guys were in town to meet is also difficult - while there are a few reptilian Moreaus, there are no snakes.

Hardlight: So, no Danger Noodle Moreaus.
GM: Danger Noodle?
Hero Shrew: Tumblr jargon for snek.

GM: Scooter, care to explain to Flux why the Moreaus might have problems with humans looking after Moreaus?
Hero Shrew: Well you remember how were created by Genesys? We don't like to be reminded of when we were lab animals.
GM: Yeah, it's why Teddy Ruxpin killed himself.

Hardlight: Scooter, you live in The Zoo, is there anywhere reptilian Moreaus hang out?
Hero Shrew: Well, there's no Scaly Street, if that's what you mean.
GM: Where, there's Scaly Alley, where the sex workers that don't work for Colin work. But the Scaly bit isn't a reference to reptilians.
Hero Shrew: True. It's a reference to the rate of herpes infections.

Hero Shrew: It's raining? In southern California? Blame the Weathermaster.
GM: That's the problem with being a weather manipulator - no matter what the weather is, it's your fault.

Hero Shrew: At if the rain is this heavy it'll wash away the stink of wet shrew.
Flux: No... not really. It's really... hanging around.
Hardlight: No wonder Scooter is having so much trouble questioning people.

Hardlight: Are we going into the sewers again.
Hero Shrew: I hope not, they'll be flooded in this weather.
GM: No, not the sewers. But there are a rumours that the bulk of Reptilians live in Bayside Industrial and Rucka Marsh.
All: ....
GM: Where the sewerage treatment plant is.
Hero Shrew: Popular with the birders then.

Hardlight: Can you smell gumbo?
Hero Shrew: Wow.
GM: That is... OK, Little Haiti is nearby, but. And most of the Moreaus make some kind of gumbo.
Hero Shrew: And you're saying this near the sewerage works, so offensive on multiple levels.

Hardlight: So we try the marsh in this downpour?
Hero Shrew: Sure, Fireflash can fly, she'll get us out of trouble.
Hardlight: So, can we all swim?
Hero Shrew: No, I'm dense on many levels.

GM: Hardight, stop blowing smoke up Scooter's arse.
Flux: At least Scooter wears pants.
Fireflash: Who said?
Flux: Oh god.
Hero Shrew: In this weather you can tell what religion I am!

Hardlight: OK, I'm switching on the thermal imaging.
Fireflash: So you're using thermal imaging... to find ectotherms... in the rain.
Hardlight: Yes. .... Oh, wait.

Flux: At least tell me you can make an umbrella with your powers, Hardlight.
Hardlight: Oh sure, easy.
Flux: And a flashlight?
Hardlight: Sur.. oh wait, no I can't.
Flux: *facepalm*
GM: He's not kidding - a flashlight is 23 Active Points.

Flux: Would the Survival skill help us track them?
GM: *cackles*
Hero Shrew: Survival is more appropriate for driving on California highways in wet weather.

Eventually Flux manages to track some footprints.

GM: You find the past where whoever it was jumped up. You look up.. and perched on the wall, is a very large Alligator morph.
Alligator: Hi.
Flux: What big teeth you have, grandma.
Alligator: I ain't your grandma.
Flux: Yeah, I know, she's taller.

Hero Shrew: Hi! You call me Scooter.
Alligator: You look more like a Tom.

After this rather pointed Uncle Tom insult, a few questions and Hero Shrew blissful dropping more information than the rest were willing to share, the alligator denies that there are any snake morphs, and furthermore, there aren't any reptilian children period.

Hero Shrew: Maybe somebody is trying to make some?
Alligator: Yeah, definitely a Tom.

Hero Shrew OoC: OK, obviously we're missing the hints here.
GM: No kidding. I'm going to step outside and have a cigarette, before I shout at you all.
Hero Shrew OoC: And decide which orifice to insert the clue bat into?

Hardlight OoC: Well there's a thing - there's a copy of the HERO System PDF in the file structure of the Wisconsin Perinatal Association.

Hero Shrew: OK, please beat us with the clue bat and bring us to Enlightenment.
GM: Every round you were there, at least one of the hounds was shooting at the boat with plasma rounds. And that's a Cadence Poseidon, a luxury yacht marketed to people love the sea so much they never want to get of it. According to the log book the owners have never left US coastal waters, but that's just the log book. These guys had lots of literature about Moreau issues onboard, they chose to dock in Edge City, and the whereabouts of Monster Island is not widely advertised.
All: ...
GM: YOU HAVEN'T ASKED AROUND THE ZOO.
Hero Shrew: Oh.

It's a good point. The Moreau community wouldn't tell the cops anything, on general principle, regardless of whoever the hippies are, and we left that half of the investigation to the cops. It doesn't help that we've failed every Streetwise roll we've tried to make either.

GM: And it doesn't help that Streetwise can be an opposed skill. And they're hiding themselves well.

GM: You don't plan for player success, you plan for failure, and failure is always an option. Especially with you lot.

Hardlight: So, self-titled Moreau allies are hiding in the Zoo.
GM: Allies that have actually found Ophidian eggs somewhere.
Hardlight: Ask Colin to keep an eye open - they might in town for anonymous sex tourism too.
Hero Shrew: ......... so they're not self-titled Moreau allies, they're closet Furry fetishists?

GM: Flux, you're trying to talk to someone, and literally bump into this guy (eight-foot tall slab of caribou muscle). 'That's funny, there wasn't a brick wall here before.'
Caribou: Madam Mille wants to talk to you. You guys have been asking questions.
Flux: *Points up at the Moreau's antlers* So, do you shed those or what?
Caribou: *growls*

Madam Mille is a otter-morph, and Colin's main competition in the anonymous sex tourism trade.

Hardlight OoC: OK, I'll try to be respectful. TRY.
Hero Shrew OoC: Well, if anybody is going to say something inappropriate, I AM here, you know.

The game is interrupted by meowing at the door from the local stray, who apparently survives on a diet of whatever she can catch.

GM: Excuse me, I suddenly have pressing concerns....... Sorry about that, if I didn't go out to confirm the kill, she'd just leave it by the door.
Cat: MEOW.
GM: Yes yes, you're a mighty hunter, now eat it.

Madam Mille: Scooter, Scooter, you were being such a good face for the Zoo, why did you have go and ruin it now?
Hero Shrew: Errr... whatever you heard, it wasn't me.

Madam Mille: You're hunting allies - why?
Hero Shrew: Well, they have that holdful of eggs - we wanted to know where they'd found them, and who they were going to.
Madam Mille: They stumbled on a Genesys lab.
Hero Shrew: The F**k???
Madam Mille: A lab that isn't there anymore because the people you're hunting stole their latest project.
Hero Shrew: THE F**K?????

Madam Mille: Considering how so many of us girls are 'aesthetically pleasing' it's not hard to guess what our job was going to include.
Hardlight: *splutters*

Madam Mille: Remind me, what does ophidian mean?
Hero Shrew: Snakes, I think they said - long oval soft eggs, not hard like a chickens? Not there are any avian Moreaus either.
Madam Mille: Apart from Chickensaurus.
Hero Shrew: Yeah, apart from Chickensaurus.

Madam Mille: Dogs are loyal to humans. So you can guess what the Wild Kingdom gang are saying about dog morphs showing up now.
Hero Shrew: ... that they're working for Genesys. F**K.

It would certainly explain why those hounds were shooting up the boat.

Hero Shrew: I wonder how VIPER found out about it?
Madam Mille: THAT is a very good question.
Hero Shrew: I wonder if Genesys were making the snake-morphs for VIPER - it's the kind of thing they'd like. Maybe Genesys decided they needed to destroy the evidence, and VIPER said 'f**k that, we paid for those.'

Apparently Cecil the Springbok of the Moreau Mob, and the Wild Kingdom gang, have being looking for the hippies too, which is another good reason for them to have gone into hiding.

Madam Mille: It still doesn't make sense - why would Genesys be making snake Moreaus anyway? Unless they're Steiners.
Hero Shrew: A what now?
Madam Mille: A Steiner. Surely you know.... you don't know, do you. YOU'RE a Steiner, Scooter.
Hero Shrew: *looks cheerfully blank*
Madam Mille: You think a Moreau with your abilities is normal, Scooter?
Hero Shrew: I've never wondered.
Madam Mille: *facepalm* You're a Steiner. So is that bloodhound you work with at *snort* the Collar Club.
Hero Shrew: Sally? Cool beans, does that mean you think I'll have a chance with her?
Madam Mille: *pinches bridge of nose*
Flux: A simple question from a simple mind.
Hardlight: Didn't one of those dogs call you a Steiner?
Hero Shrew: Did they? I forget?
Flux: OK, since Hero Shrew isn't going to ask, who was Steiner?
Madam Mille: *Doctor* Steiner.

Doctor Steiner was the Genesys gene-tech that was building superpowers into some of the Moreaus, very much against the wishes of the other genetechs.

Madam Mille: SOME of us listened to Ted when he was having flashbacks to the labs.

Hardlight: It's not so bad, Edge City PD are hiring Moreaus now.
Madam Mille: They're recruiting Moreaus but do you think they're going to assign them to Studio City (The Zoo). It's theatre, darling - at least Quadrant is actually USING a Moreau for crimefighting. Go out and do your job, and don't disappoint us.

Madam Mille: I'd like you to leave now - I have some customers arriving soon and I don't want to explain your presence to them.
GM: So you're leaving? I mean, you can, unless Hero Shrew is insisting to hanging around.
Hero Shrew: Nah, I'm easy enough to steer - I'm still thinking whether I have a chance with Sally now.

We do see the customers arrive, before they see us - it's Viper Girl and someone we suspect is the Black Warlock, out of costume. Time for some property damage!  

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So, last night the 7th level party was ambushed by 3 first level Hobgoblin Rangers in fortified positions. By the time the fight was over, the party and their horses had sustained over 100 points of damage and two horses were dead. 

 

Player: So, we can skin the horses and take the hides, right, after we loot the hobgoblins?

 

Me: Dude...you just killed every ranger here! 

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Star Wars, Edge of Empire. Our ship, the Gonk-Gonk, is returning to Ryloth, which is sortof our home base; our Captain is a Twi'lek, and her sister is the Planetary Governor. Unlike on our previous visits, this time all the planets orbital defenses are active due to some recent raids. We're given a very narrow & specific flight plan to follow, and warned not to deviate from it. But our Captain/Pilot is overconfident,has authority issues, and is used to getting away with things due to her family connections.

 

Captain: "Fine, I'll follow their flight plan, but I'm going to do it at full throttle just because I can. I'm not sure if it's possible to "drift" a YT-1300 around corners, but let's find out." [fails her roll] "Ah..."

GM: "So as you take the first corner, you slide wide through the turn and out of the window you were given. You detect the small, localized sensor ping right before you slide broadside into the orbital mine." [rolls] "The mine does X damage to the ship and completely blows out your shield generators."

Captain: "...Oops?"

GM: "The comm system is making that annoying chirping noise."

Protocol Droid: [cheerfully] "This is the Gonk-Gonk; how may I assist you?"

Orbital Traffic Control: "What The Hell Do You Think You're Doing?!"

Protocol Droid: "We were just testing the effectiveness of your minefield. Congratulations! It passed!"

OTC: "Do you have any idea how much those things COST?!"

Protocol Droid: "And now we know they're worth it!"

 

Upon landing, we get an urgent message from the Governor's Office:

Planetary Official: "The Governor requests you join her here at the your earliest possible convenience."

Captain: "How soon do they want us there?"

Protocol Droid: "That's Diplomateese for Why Aren't You Here Yet?!"

Captain: "I don't speak Diplomat."

Protocol Droid: "I know." [beat] "Which is why you have a Protocol Droid to translate for you."

GM: "You have another incoming call, this one from the Gand Embassy." (The Gand are the aliens who had hired us for our last mission; they speak only in metaphors.)
Gand Embassy: "When a leaf falls, while it's path cannot be predicted with certainty, the quicker it reaches the ground the sooner all can be at rest."
Protocol Droid: "That is also Diplomateese for Why Aren't You Here Yet?!"

Captain: "Fine. I text my sister I'll be there as soon as I can but I have to go see the Gand first. They're more likely to rip my arms off if I'm late."

Governor: [texting] "And you assume I won't?" (followed by a chainsaw emoji)

Protocol Droid: "That is also Diplomateese for..."

Captain: "I GET IT, THANKS! I text her back "You're mad about that mine, aren't you?"

Governor: [texting] "Do you have any idea how much those things COST?!"

 

Later, we're trying to help a dying Gand religious figure; the medic doesn't make his roll by enough to save him, and the Gand dies.

Player 1: "I start beating on his chest double-fisted; it always works on TV."

Player 2: "Remember to yell "DON'T YOU DIE ON ME!" as you do; it's important."

Player 3: "That's it! Just like last week, I make an Athletics check for I Hit Him Until He Starts Breathing Again!"

GM: "Heh, funny. But yeah, no."

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Two weeks worth of quotes from my Fantasy Hero game:

 

Father Edmondo is introducing the party to Danish King Sweyn Forkbeard. But the Alchemist can’t live down a teensy fumble she made last week:

Edmondo: “…and this is Abida from the far-off city of Cordova.”

Thyri: “Aka Abida the Pyro.”

Abida: “Y’know, you build a dozen defensive walls and you’re not Abida the Builder. Heal a hundred wounds and no one calls you Abida the Healer. Spin lead into gold on a frickin’ weekly basis and you’re not Abida the Walking Wallet. But accidentally burn down one ship, and Hey it’s Abida the Pyro!”

Geralt: “We were on it at the time.”

Abida: “ONE TIME!”

 

Edmondo is thrilled to learn a well-known Icelandic bard has stolen copied one of his stories:

Edmondo: “That’s how you achieve immortality!”

Abida: (calmly) “No it’s not.”

A moment of I Don’t Get It-itis, followed by uproarious laughter as the players all remember that Abida the alchemist has created a potion that literally makes her immortal!

 

One of our players is moving away, so her PC Thyri got poisoned and is “mostly dead.” Edmondo, who had a will-they-won’t-they thing going with Thyri, is in mourning.

Thyri’s Player: “I picture Edmondo as ugly-crying through this whole episode.

Edmondo’s Player: “He’s not ugly-crying. Not in public.”

 

They arrive in Wales, Aeddan’s homeland:

Aeddan: “Welcome to Cymru, which outsiders call Wales! Everyone who has ever visited it, Bishop or Viking alike, has called it a Horse’s Ass. But we like to say, it is OUR Horses’s Ass!” [drops down and kisses the soil]

Edmondo: “Seriously, what is wrong with you people?!”

Thyri’s player: “Thyri’s actually glad she’s in a coma.”

 

Parenthetical:

GM: “By the way I will never complain about Irish history again, after spending the last two weeks cramming Welsh history, which is every bit as confusing except with no vowels.”

Aeddan’s Player: “Right?!”

 

Later:

Player 1: “Edmondo may need to bury his grief in some Welsh bosom.”

Edmondo’s Player: [shakes his head] “Too soon. Besides after being with a Viking, who here is going to satisfy him?”

GM: “Once you go Viking, you never go…hiking?”

Player 2: [ala Firefly] “Have you ever been with a warrior woman?”

Edmondo’s Player: “Once you go Norse, you never go worse?”

GM: “That…almost rhymes.”

Player 1: “Maybe it sounds better in Welsh?”

Edmondo’s Player: “Once you go Norse, you gwythdd iffn hwpthg ppppppppfffft!”

(No those aren’t actual Welsh words, but it feels that way a little.)

 

And finally, that moment when the GM's half asleep, everyone's getting punchy, and you should probably have called it ten minutes ago, but the GM's trying to get to the Big Cliffhanger:

GM: "You arrive at the King's Hall, which has been decorated for the wedding with, uh...boughs of...holly?"

Player 2: "So, they decked the hall with boughs of holly?"

GM: "...You might say that."

Player 2: "I didn't realize they celebrated Christmas in August here."

GM: "Y'know, I got halfway through that sentence and realized where is was going, but by that time it was too late. The road's only this wide; there's no turning around."

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Champions - Edge City : Loud
Hero Shrew: If they're being hunted by canine Moreaus riding a kraken VIPER, AND us, I don't blame them at all for wanting to stay on the down-low.
Fireflash: Especially that last one.
Hero Shrew: Yeah - I mean, just being associated with us in the press will do they social standing no good at all.

Hero Shrew: Can we put up LOST notices on all the lampposts?
Hardlight: That's a terrible idea.
Fireflash: It's a terrible idea, but it still might work.
GM: And it's not just three groups looking for them - so are Wild Kingdom, and Cecil the Springbok Mobster.
Hero Shrew: I'm surprised he's not named Jack.
Hardlight: Hmm?
Hero Shrew: Spring-heeled Jack.

Hardlight: I'm suddenly wondering what catnip costs around here.
Hero Shrew: $50 for a dime bag.

Hero Shrew: So, how do we let this pair of sympathisers know that we're here to protect them? I mean, they have some pretty dangerous people after them, if they didn't already know. I mean, Cecil the Springbok is nearly as dangerous as Cornelius Snarlington, Business Deer.

Hardlight: We need to set up a working relationship with the Edge City infobrokers.
Hero Shrew: Sorry, what were you talking about? I was thinking about Sally again. You think I should tell her Steiner never gave me superspeed? Girls are reassured by things like that, right? I mean, they like it when guys don't go too fast.

Hero Shrew: Maybe, if can track Steiner down, I can get him to give me stretching powers.

Hardlight: Maybe we should put a watch on Max the Doberman, in case he gets recruited by these canine Moreaus.
GM: I'm sure Scooter will love that - he has Max as a 5pt Romantic Rival
Hero Shrew: I wouldn't mind putting 24hr surveillance on Sally.
GM: Yes, Sally, the only Moreau in Edge City that could drop you with little difficulty. Oh, you've got all these defences? Biomanipulation - one touch and down you go.
Hero Shrew: Hey, I might be into that, if it was her.

Hero Shrew: *mutters* I don't know what she see in Max... not all of us can have fist-sized knots.

GM: It's not common, but some Moreaus are built wide. And that's why they call a 6ft2 580lb wombat Brick.
Hero Shrew: That, and the shape of his poop.

We go see one of The Zoo's community pillars, a self-taught lawyer and gray tabby by the name of Simon who has been carefully establishing the legal rights of Moreaus. His assistant is skeptical that our business is of a delicate nature, since Hero Shrew is in the vicinity, and delicacy is not a word that one associates with him.

Simon's Assistant: Mr Simon sir? The three more public members of Quadrant are here to see you. Yes, most amusing sir, I'll send them in.
Hero Shrew: I bet he's assuming the worst already. "So, Scooter, who did you get pregnant?"
GM: That's not the worst news, that would be great news! The Moreau birthrate is still lower than it should be.

Simon: I've had enough trouble today as it is, answering questions about the 'new Moreau gang in Edge City'.

Simon is reluctant to tell us much, but agrees that the possibility of a resurgent Genesys is important enough to make an 'educated guess', and suggests we search for the hippie sympathisers in Moss Park.

Hero Shrew: Should be easy enough to find them - Moss Park is mostly lake.

Simon: Just remember - keep them safe.
Fireflash: That's the plan.

One oddity about Moss Lake - the footbridge that runs along its long axis. True, it pre-dates the fusion plant going boom, back when the city architects were mad with cash, but it was still a waste of effort and material.

Hardlight: They must be on the north shore - it's the only place on the lakefront that has room for people.
Hero Shrew: True, but I'll still look over the lake for any pedalboats with a pair of nervous hippies in it.

There is one vehicle parked by the lack that stands out like a sore thumb - a Nakajima Roamer, a luxury RV.

Hero Shrew: Roamer or Roma?
GM: Roam, like the B52 song.
Fireflash: Oh, so THAT'S what the song was about!

Fireflash lands next to the RV and knocks on the door.

Hero Shrew: Lets hope it isn't an RV full of Canine Moreaus trying to be slightly less conspicuous than a giant squid.
Fireflash: It's harder to be MORE conspicuous than riding a giant squid.

Blacked out Vis-screen on the RV door: Yes, can I hel- OH CRAP!
Fireflash: Well, thanks for confirming who you are.

Fireflash: I need to ask you about some large ophidian eggs.
Young Hippie Lady: Ophdians, haha, oh, nothing to do with us, what's Ophidian even mean?
GM: She's a really bad liar - Buffy, Season One and Two Willow level of bad.
Fireflash: You need to improve at that.

Outside, Hardlight and Hero Shrew hear something. It's difficult not to hear it. Fireflash can't hear a thing through the RV's soundproofing, and the sound of the RV's shower running.

GM: The end of the world is coming - that, or 5 Kundalini Rochin motorcycles approaching at speed.

Hero Shrew: Still less conspicuous than the giant squid.

Hippie: We can't go to PRIMUS! I mean, think about it. I mean, how do two college kids break into a secret lab and out again?
Fireflash: You got hired?
Hippie: No, I mean Wrecking Ball - we're unregistered supers!

The hippie guy gets out of the shower - he looks like an ordinary human, apart from the greenish-blue skin.

Hippie Guy: .... Ah.
Fireflash: This might be an indelicate question, but are you an Atlantean?
Hippie Guy: You're right, that is an indelicate question. *slips on his disguise bracelet*
Fireflash: Sorry, but you're in a lot of trouble.
Hippie: *hears the approaching motorbikes* What's that noise?
Fireflash: Trouble.

Hero Shrew is suddenly keenly aware that the Keep Them Safe line was actually a delayed psychic trigger that Simon planted in his mind, because he's moving to grab the hippies and run them to safety, rather than getting in an punch-up with the approaching wolfpack. He picks up the entire RV and starts running off with it.

Hero Shrew: It would have made more sense to tuck one of the hippies under each arm and start super-leaping, but I can do this too.
GM: You can still superleap with the RV.
Hero Shrew: It might be a luxury RV, but I don't think the suspension would survive that.
GM: What suspension?
Fireflash: You're underneath it, YOU'RE the suspension.
Hero Shrew: Good point!
Fireflash: Spine. Of!
Hero Shrew: HERO SHREW!

Hardlight gets clotheslined by a pair of dog soldiers leaping off their bikes at full speed.

Hippie Girl: Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap!!!
Hippie Guy: *pushing her towards the cabin* I'm useless out the water, and she needs a run-up!
Hero Shrew: There's a lake right there.
GM: Which only helps him if they go into the lake after him.
Hardlight: Is the RV amphibious?!
GM: Any vehicle is amphibious. Once.

Hero Shrew superleaps north into the residential suburb of Hockabout, and shakes off the implanted command.

Hero Shrew: dafuq?
GM: Oh no, the command was still your idea. But now you can have other ones.
Hero Shrew: Well, headed into an area with plenty of obstacles and potential for property damage was a good idea before, so it still is now.

The dog soldiers have the unenviable choice of stopping for a better shot at Scooter, leaving them open to Fioreflash's attack, or shooting Fireflash instead, who they probably can't hurt. One of them pulls out a shockrod, and discovers just what a hairtrigger throttle the motorbikes have when it zooms out from underneath him at several hundred kilometres an hour. Fireflash lays on some hurt.

Fireflash: You guys are FUCKED.

The dog soldiers are having real difficulty hurting Fireflash, despite their high-tech weapons.

GM: In fact, they're on the verge of questioning the entire report the last team made about you.

Hardlight recovers enough to put a bubble around one of the dog soldiers, who discovers he can't shoot his way out.

Dog Soldier: Ruh-roh.

Two of them, still conscious, salute the trapped canine and run off.

Hardlight: Bwahaha
GM: This is not a laughing moment.
Hardlight: *who is remembering what happened the last time one of the dog-soldiers got caught* Oh, right. Just as well I'm at minimum safe distance.

The trapped Moreau drops his gun and goes into violent seizures, and then up in flames.

Fireflash, over the comms: Scooter, bring the RV back here.
Hero Shrew: Nope, gotta keep them safe.
Fireflash: But they're gone now.
Hero Shrew: Maybe, but knowing our luck you probably have a gun to your head and they're making you say that.
Fireflash: But I don't.
Hero Shrew: But that's just what you'd say if you did!
Fireflash: But I don't.
Hero Shrew: But that's just what you'd say if you did!
Fireflash: But I don't.
Hero Shrew: But that's just what you'd say if you did!
Fireflash: Scooter, just get back here.
Hero Shrew: OK.

Fireflash starts making some calls, to explain the damage Hero Shrew has down to the roads, and try and keep the two targets out of custody - for one thing PRIMUS has them listed as ecoterrorists. Her handler is quite impressed that Scooter got the targets out of harm's way right away.

Handler: He averted a possible hostage situation? That's one quick-thinking brick.
Fireflash: Yeah, well, he's surprisingly difficult to pigeonhole.

The Hippy Girl has been throwing up in the RV.

Jack the Atlantean Hippy: She's used to the Pacific, not all this bouncing around.

Jack explains everything about how he discovered the Genesys lab, how he and his girlfriend trashed the place, and why he's sure everybody and all the evidence must be long-gone by now. But he does give us the co-ordinates, just in case.

Fireflash OoC: We're just not very good at investigating things.
GM: I warned you at the start of the campaign-
Fireflash OoC: No no no, we the PLAYERS are no good at investigating - the characters are fine.
GM: Well, I'm not sure what I can do about that.

Hardlight: I bubbled one and he melted. All over my nice new bubble

At least whatever suicide switch that was is unlikely to be a biohazard.

GM: High temperatures. It makes them kinda... crispy.

Hero Shrew: I do fell bad about that.
GM: That just proves you still have a soul.
Hero Shrew: Yeah, but it's kinda vestigial by this point.

Hero Shrew: -and then the dog-soldier went WHOOF, which was an appropriate sound effect at least.
GM: Don't say that in front of any recording device - it wouldn't go down well.
GM: Actually the footage of the dog-soldier immolating isn't playing too badly - some of the supertalk forums are already using the term bio-roid.
Hero Shrew: ... I'm not sure sure I like that.
Flux: It should make the Moreaus happy at least.
Hero Shrew: Oh no it fucking won't. We're people, thank you very much.
Hardlight: Hey, I use the word sophont in every speech about Moreaus!
GM: That's why I'm describing it as sophistry. I'm glad I can drop the term 'sophistry' at a table and not have the players go 'guh?'
Hero Shrew: And sophont, for that matter.

GM : So the 'players were clever'.. no, 'inventive' ahhh, 'subtle', NO 'or roleplayed well'. Well, OK
Hero Shrew OoC: Subtle we ain't.

Hero Shrew OoC: I'm probably going to be a bit subdued when I show up to work at the club tonight - if anybody notices, it'll be Sally, and I'll probably unload at her.
GM: Yeah, I think people are going to notice that you only bounce people on their heads twice tonight before throwing them out. And you're not even throwing them in the dumpster.
Sally: His heart really isn't in it, is it.

Fireflash: Party!
Hero Shrew: Don't you have exams? And what are the rules for postponing exams in the event of alien invasion?
Flux: Same as for other 'natural' disasters.
GM: But the aliens have to actually invade.
Hero Shrew: So if you're actually *preventing* the invasion, you're shit outta luck.

Fireflash: I want to get us a team vehicle - The Quadraphibious Quandrant Cruiser.
Hero Shrew: Just call it the Qruiser - it'll save time.
Fireflash: I think it used to belong to a supervillian.
Flux: Well yes, the spider theme, it's black and silver, and the horn goes BEWARE, BEWARE

Flux: If there are any hamster Moreaus in the Zoo, they're probably staying out of sight. 'We need a bagman!'
GM: 'I'm not sticking that in my cheek'. Oh god, now I'm imagining hamster prostitutes.

Hero Shrew: We should tell Simon that his place is bugged. I mean, the dog-soldiers turning up when they did may have been a plot convenience, but there's no way it was a co-incidence.
GM: I'm not that bad a GM - I won't use a plot convenience when I can use plot contrivance.

Flux: Did they leave any of those bikes behind?
GM: Sure - they arrived on 5, and left on 2.
Flux: Nice. But we already have a team vehicle *wistful sigh*
GM: Eh, they'll be up for police auction soon. The Kundalini Rochin-
Hero Shrew OoC: Of COURSE they're called that. What better name for a crotch rocket.

GM: If you want to screw with directional mikes all you need a popular adult device.
Flux: ?
GM: A vibrator. You hold it against the window and the vibration wrecks any attempt at eavesdropping.
Hardlight: As long as you don't use a Magic Wand - that would break the window.
Flux: 'So, why does Fireflash take a Rabbit everywhere?' 'It's not why you think!'

Hero Shrew: Maybe I should some appearances at Children's Hospitals. I'm a hero now, we do that kind of thing, don't we?
Flux and Hardlight: uhhhhhhhhh.
Flux: I'm not sure how to say this tactfully... that's more Fireflash's kinda thing?
Hardlight: Maybe you should go with her!

Fireflash graduates, but misses out on class Valedictorian to one Brent Mandler, Uber-nerd.

Hero Shrew: Well, there's a good name for a superhero.
Hardlight: Quiet - or he might have a 'lab accident'

GM: The school also refused to print the diplomas on vellum.
Hero Shrew: Nice.
GM: Yes, they actually gave Studio City (the Zoo) as the reason they wouldn't use lambskin.

GM: You know Scooter, you have one big problem with having Max as your romantic rival for Sally the Setter's affection. 'You're a dog, I'm a dog'
Flux: 'Let's have some spaghetti'

Hero Shrew: So, ah, Sally, you know that I kinda, really, really, uh-
Max: Hey Sally. We still good for tonight?
Hero Shrew: *grits teeth* Hi Max.
Max: Hey Scooter.
Max and Sally: *suddenly twitching* Can you hear that?

Going outside, so can Scooter, and soon enough, everybody else in Edge City. It sounds like long flowing notes on a Chinese flute, coming from nowhere.

GM: Even Max got cockblocked, this time.

Hero Shrew: Is there somebody that teaches Chinese music at the college?
Flux: How should I know? I don't go to the college.
Hero Shrew: You're our info expert, hit the googles or something.

The sound is pervasive, but can be blocked by earphones and even window glass.

Hardlight: Hey, you guys, are you all hearing this?
Hero Shrew: Sure.
Hardlight: We should meet up and figure it out.
Hero Shrew: Well, whatever it is I'm in favour. It cockblocked Max.

The media blimps are having real problems with the noise, since it's making their gondolas resonate.

Hero Shrew: Hey Flux, is it magic?
Flux: er...
Hardlight: You still have that magic detector, don't you?
GM: No - that was adventures ago.
Flux: I'd need to remake it. It'll take an hour.
Hero Shrew: Hey, if the sound goes away in the next hour, there wasn't a problem.

It IS magical. It's a rather big bit of magic too.

Flux: I've barely switched the detector on!

The enchantment is simple enough - it's diffusing the sound to conceal the source. And since we're standing in the effect, Flux should be able to dispel it, and localise the source of the noise - like taking a lampshade off a lamp, so we can look at the bulb directly. And the nearest source is the rebar sticking out of the never-finished monorail towers. It's been twisted into very specific configurations to resonate in the rising wind. The same thing has been done to the rest of the towers too.

GM: Yes, I went PatLabor on you.

Flux: Scooter, get up here and bend these things apart.
Hero Shrew: *fingers in his ears* Ow. OW. OWWWWWWW.
GM: Scooter has mild super-hearing - and he's standing next to one of these things now.
Hero Shrew: OOWWWWWWWWWW.
Flux: What? Scooter, I can't hear you over the noise.

Flux: The question is who would do this.
Hero Shrew: The question is WHY would anybody do this.
Flux: I'm going to be pissed off if this was somebody's school science project. 'Except with Magic!'

Hardlight: We really are the Great Lakes Avengers.
GM: Nah, not really - West Coast maybe. Actually, Fantastic Four is an even better match *pointing at Hardlight, Fireflash, Flux and Hero Shrew in that order* Susan Storm, Johnny, Reed Richards, and the Thing.
Hero Shrew: *picking his ear and scratching his balls* Eh?

Flux: How did they set them all off on one day? *pokes around and finds scraps of foam rubber noodle that had no doubt insulated the rebar from the wind, until they were ready*

Hardlight: If this was all some viral marketing thing I'm going to be pissed.

We're just announcing to the onlookers that the problem is under control, and how awesome we are, when SOMETHING blasts the top off the tower we're standing on. The something is a caped superhuman, and the particular superwoman known as Howler.

Hero Shrew: And exactly how alarmed should we be by this development?
GM: She IS one of the heavy hitters.
Hero Shrew: So - very.
 

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Our cast of characters, in the freeport of Magnimar : Gillert, a student wizard who fell in with a bad crowd - i.e. the rest of the party. Ys, Elven pirate and freelance assassin. Harshal, Shoanti tribesman making a comfortable living as an extremely bent lawyer. And Zin, kobold trapsmith and wannabe Underlord. And speaking of Underlord business, the problem of searching the sewers, and the goblins nests within.

 

 

 

 

Gillert: I'm smart, I'm sure I can invent a pump and big pipe from the sea.

 

 

Harshal: Really. I can see the problem already.

 

 

Gillert: Oh? What?

 

 

Harshal: The moment the sewers back up far enough you'll be flooding people' homes with rotting sewage and angry goblins. Now, I live in an upstairs apartment, but the rest of you...

 

 

 

 

 

What can we do about that Kitsune vigilante? She's too clever to be caught easily, and regardless of how many people she kills she can rationalise it under a Good Alignment.

 

 

 

 

 

Ys: I don't see why we should stop her - I think she's hilarious.

 

 

 

 

 

Harshal: The thing is that it's the Nightscales who are investigating the theft, and it's the Nightscales who were importing all that flamethrowing equipment. So somebody out there is going out their way to deny the Nightscales a supply of incendiary material, and stop their plan to burn Magnimar to the ground.

 

 

Ys: Again, I'm not seeing any reason to interfere.

 

 

Zin: Why do the Nightscales want to burn the city to the ground anyway? They live here.

 

 

Harshal: Because their new leader is a devotee of a pyromaniac god.

 

 

 

 

 

GM: I'm still amused that it was Colon who said that the vigilante must be buying from the elven merchants.

 

 

Harshal: Well, even Gillert does so much cockscrew thinking these days that the obvious escaped us.

 

 

GM: That IS the purpose of the Fool - to innocently stumble on the obvious.

 

 

 

 

 

Gillert: How did this group not consider 'insurance scam' when we heard about the Keros Oil?

 

 

Ys: I was thinking of insurance scam the moment I heard 'Keros Oil' - admittedly, I was mostly thinking 'life insurance'.

 

 

 

 

 

Gillert: Stealing stuff from the docks to load it back onto an outgoing ship and sell it elsewhere is a victimless crime.

 

 

Ys: Why do you care?

 

 

Gillert: I'm good aligned, I'm trying to find a motivation.

 

 

Ys: Profit is it's own motivation! And how good can you be if you hang out with me?

 

 

Gillert OoC: I can still be Good if I don't help you.

 

 

Ys OoC: 'The only thing evils needs to triumph is for good people to do nothing.'

 

 

Gillert OoC: Hey, I don't know how evil you are - I just think you're a bit stab-happy.

 

 

 

 

 

Harshal: It's entirely possible that the theft of the Keros Oil was a crime of opportunity, and completely unrelated to the Disco Inferno the Nightscales have planned.

 

 

GM: Would I do that?

 

 

 

 

 

GM: While the brothel madam is called Riley of the Silks, no-one knows why. She doesn't wear silk. 

 

 

Harshal: Imagine getting the stains out.

 

 

GM: No. But she IS almost always oiled, which is odd, given her pale complexion. But then, maybe it just keeps her skin looking young.

 

 

 

 

 

She certainly has plenty of skin to show off - the amount of cloth she's wearing would make a small handkerchief.

 

 

 

 

 

GM: But for formal occasions she quintuples the amount of cloth.

 

 

Ys: Ah - she she covers her breasts as well then.

 

 

GM: Barely. That and a small wrap around her hips.

 

 

Zin: She must have the magical woman's armour save.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ys: Madam Riley - Ys Danar. *proffers hand*

 

 

Riley of the Silks: I suspect you're not here for custom.

 

 

Ys: You would be correct. It has come to the attention of associates of mine that you have been making inquiries, and my associates are in a position to offer services including investigation. It would be our pleasure to offer these services.

 

 

 

 

 

The late nobleman had an item that Riley of the Silks wants - she's confident that the item will be bequeathed, rather than passed down to the firstborn. But she won't tell us anything more about the noble or the item without magical enforcement of certain aspects of the contract - but these aspects don't include success or failure.

 

 

 

 

 

Harshal: I suspect the aspect in question is confidentiality.

 

 

Ys: I suspect you are right.

 

 

 

 

 

GM: Draconic is the most common sorcerer bloodline among kobolds, after the kobold bloodline itself. And the dragon bloodline is more common among kobolds than among any other race other than dragons themselves.

 

 

Harshal: But then, given how many part-dragon races there are, apparently dragons will stick their dicks in anything.

 

 

Gillert: 'I got drunk, and made a species - oops'.

 

 

 

 

 

We agree to a meeting with Riley and some of her associates, after applying suitable disguises.

 

 

 

 

 

Harshal: Can Zin give us all pointy ears so they'll think we're all elves?

 

 

 

 

 

GM: Hmm, I forget to get a random prostitute generator.

 

 

Harshal OoC: Oh god, not the Gygax one.

 

 

Zin OoC: wait, what?

 

 

GM: The Random Harlot Table from the first edition Dungeonmaster's Guide.

 

 

 

 

 

Riley's associates all have heavy gauze over their eyes, and heavy hoods. Despite this, Ys and Zin recognise them as a cabal of deliberately anonymous wizards, who wear the get-up to protect their client's anonymity too.

 

 

 

 

 

Harshal: I was wondering if their presence meant this was connected to the death of that other wizard - in which case, pay up.

 

 

 

 

 

GM: They're going to be putting a Lesser Geas on you.

 

 

Harshal: That'd be the way I'd do it.

 

 

GM: The Geas is to prevent you talking to anybody else about the item, and against investigating the contents of the item in any way.

 

 

Zin OoC: So, it's Marcellus Wallace's briefcase.

 

 

GM: Pretty much.

 

 

 

 

 

The item is a diary, but not one of the ones written by the recently dead wizard. It's actually much older than that, and rebound in bronze, and belonged to a noblemen, one Avis Scelani, killed by the recent plague that we're all so completely not complicit in.

 

 

 

 

 

Harshal: Do we need to take any special precaution against contamination? He didn't die clutching it to his chest or anything?

 

 

Riley of the Silks: I sincerely doubt it. In fact, I doubt that the executor herself knows where the item is held - the locale of the diary will be bequeathed in a sealed envelope.

 

 

Ys: So the executor has the envelope? That makes things MUCH easier.

 

 

 

 

 

The Scelani family are not an old family, and got most of their money through 'trade'. Riley got most of her information from the executor, who is a regular at her establishment.

 

 

 

 

 

Zin: So what are getting paid for this?

 

 

Harshal: I'm assuming NOT three months credit at the brothel.

 

 

 

 

 

Riley offers 800 GP for the item, which is a fraction of what she must have paid for the Geases. On the other hand, she'll through in a 200 GP bonus if we don't kill anybody. Or even fight anybody.

 

 

 

 

 

Zin: We shall be as shadows.

 

 

GM: She isn't ruling out looting - she's commissioning you to preform a burglary, and is pre-paying you for one of the items. It's generally assumed you'll help yourself to everything else while you're there.

 

 

 

 

 

Zin, the reptilian in the party, notices that it's quite cold in here. But Riley has been seen in daylight and didn't burst into flames, which rules out the obvious.

 

 

 

 

 

Harshal: But no gooseflesh, or the other obvious reaction to cold either.

 

 

GM: And don't say you didn't look.

 

 

Ys: I was looking the whole time.

 

 

Zin: All you humans look the same anyway.

 

 

Gillert: Yes, we all have boots, at the appropriate height for kicking mouthy kobolds.

 

 

 

 

 

The executor Domillia Pacia works out her top-floor apartment in Keystone, an essentially middle-class section of Magnimar.

 

 

 

 

 

GM: Prostitution is considered a valuable social service.

 

 

Ys: I'm desperately trying to not say social lubricant.

 

 

 

 

 

We wait until she heads out, and Gillert and Harshal head upstairs with Zin in a bag.

 

 

 

 

 

All: *singing the Mission Impossible theme*

 

 

Ys: Must be an orc Skald in one of the apartments, playing the drums.

 

 

Gillert: We'll slip him a few silver to play louder.

 

 

 

 

 

Gillert picks the lock and gets to work on her filing cabinet and desk, while Harshal searches the rest of the room and browses her book shelves. There's not much of interest, apart from a scholarly treatise on kobolds that doesn't answer the question on why they're all little communistic f**ks. The letter itself is simple enough to open, despite the wax seal, but all it says is that the diary - of a well-connected woman who died many years ago - is in the late man's study, and 'your uncle is keeping watch on it'. Of course, if Gillert had remembered to prep the Mending cantrip, we could have resealed the envelope without Harshal having to break out all the forgery equipment.

 

 

 

 

 

Ys: You know, I think I know what that letter actually means, and it's not what Harshal thinks.

 

 

GM: Well, there's only so many plots put there.

 

 

Harshal OoC: Let me guess, the late woman was actually Tom Riddle.

 

 

GM: No. It's not a horcrux.

 

 

 

 

 

GM: So, you're going to break into the place without doing the legwork first? Actually, which of you are actual thieves.

 

 

Harshal: None of us.

 

 

GM: Yeah - you're an investigator, Gillert is an Eldritch Scoundrel...

 

 

Gillert: Well, somebody has to write the Necronomicon.

 

 

GM: It's already been written. Or wrote itself.

 

 

Harshal: Just write the Book of Erotic Fantasy - it'll sell better.

 

 

 

 

 

GM: Do any of you have personal theme tune? I find it helps with character, sometimes.

 

 

Harshal OoC: Is the there a song called "March of the Morons"?

 

 

Zin OoC: With Alchemical Rope I could be Spiderman.

 

 

GM: Easily.

 

 

Harshal OoC: Spiderkobold.

 

 

GM: Spiderkobold, spiderkobold, does whatever, a spiderkobold can.

 

 

Gillert OoC: 'What's that noise?' 'Spiderkobold. He'll be here later. Once the theme tune finishes'

 

 

 

 

 

The house we intend to burgle has been extensively renovated and added to over the years, which makes for a rather eccentric floorplan. Some faces have no windows, other windows are too small to squeeze through, and there's a third storey tower that's mostly windows. 

 

 

 

 

 

Zin: Well, if I know my rich people with big houses...

 

 

Harshal: Do you?

 

 

Zin: I don't.

 

 

 

 

 

The estate also has a number of guards and rotating patrols of the ground.

 

 

 

 

 

Harshal: So, the bare minimum to keep thieves out. Hopeful insufficient to keep US out.

 

 

GM: We'll see.

 

 

 

 

 

Something that might be to our advantage, when it arrives - towering cumulonimbus clouds approaching rapidly.

 

 

 

 

 

Harshal: It WILL make the ropes slippery if we need to get out fast.

 

 

Gillert: It's only two storeys.

 

 

GM: You're still low enough level that that can kill you.

 

 

Harshal: We'll make Zin go down first - if he falls, we'll use him to break our fall.

 

 

Zin: *grumble*

 

 

GM: Welcome to being of a race that sucks.

 

 

Ys: Welcome to a party of Not Good People.

 

 

 

 

 

Ys cuts the window open while the rest of us wait to scramble in. Of course, that leaves a disc of broken glass that the patrol might notice.

 

 

 

 

 

Harshal: So, Gillert, did you remember to prepare the Mending spell today?

 

 

Gillert: ..... I asked everybody what spells I should take earlier!

 

 

Harshal: I'll take that as a 'no', then.

 

 

 

 

 

Indeed, the house is so fancy it has at least two indoor toilets.

 

 

 

 

 

Harshal: Fancy.

 

 

Gillert: They've got the 'I want to read a magazine' one, and the 'I want to take a shit' one.

 

 

 

 

 

Zin notices that the internal dimensions at this end of the house don't match the outside, and soon discovers the secret alcove beyond. Which is a secret wardrobe. 

 

 

 

 

 

GM: This wasn't that uncommon, given the cost of high-quality outfits.

 

 

Harshal OoC: So this is wear they'd keep their fursuits, if they had any.

 

 

GM: Yeah. There's also armour and weapons. 

 

 

 

 

 

And gladiatorial gear, which is weird for Magnimar, and provokes a long discussion of styles of gladiator, and the origin of the family we're robbing.

 

 

 

 

 

GM: Basically it was a bunch of Chellaxians who got tired of all the eyeshadow.

 

 

 

 

 

It eventually turns out that searching the top floor first was a complete waste of time - it's all bedrooms, and no study.

 

 

 

 

 

GM: You have no idea how difficult it was to keep a straight face when you said 'the study must be upstairs'.

 

 

 

 

 

We also find yet more indoor toilets.

 

 

 

 

 

Harshal: I have questions about this family's diet.

 

 

 

 

 

The study also turns out to be the very last room it could be.

 

 

 

 

 

Gillert: Fuck me.

 

 

GM: Look at the floorplan - the study would also be the office, and be where visitors could go to it without going through the rest of the house.

 

 

 

 

 

Ys: OK, now we've found the study, I'm looking around for a bust or portrait of a man.

 

 

Harshal: Oh. OOOOHHHHH! So THAT's what 'your uncle is keeping watch on it' meant.

 

 

GM: It's a classic misdirection.

 

 

 

 

 

And then Harshal and Zin blunder straight into the magical trap, and Harshal falls victim to the Haunt.

 

 

 

 

 

GM: You flee the source of the terror.

 

 

Ys: Oh dear. 

 

 

GM: Straight out the atrium, and past the guards. At least Ys and Gillert felt uneasy enough to pause near the door, and get attacks of opportunity.

 

 

 

 

 

Ys gets a certain amount of satisfaction from kicking Harshal's feet out from under him as he runs past. Gillert hurries to slap a hand over Harshal's mouth to stop the screams.

 

 

 

 

 

Harshal OoC: Maybe the uncle really is watching over the book, and he's a ghost.

 

 

GM: Eh. Not saying.

 

 

Gillert: Brilliant.

 

 

 

 

 

Ys sends Zin back in to search.

 

 

 

 

 

Ys: Fear me more than the ghost.

 

 

 

 

 

And the bust on one shelf is very obviously facing towards the chimney, which indeed contains a small wallsafe set into the stonework halfway up, and a sigil of one of the gods of the afterlife, which probably explains the haunting. Which kicks back in just as Zin is passing the book to Ys. We hurry to leave before the profound unease emanating from the book overwhelms us. It's not like the geas we're under will allow us to figure out HOW the book is haunted.

 

 

 

 

 

Gillert OoC: So, which of us has a will save of +1 or better.

 

 

Harshal OoC: Not me.

 

 

Gillert OoC: Well, we'll leave the book with Zin. If nothing else he's easier to catch.

 

 

 

 

 

We exit, stage left, collecting the more valuable accoutrements from the house we leave. That's mostly the outfits and armour from upstairs - even the silverware is only so much precious metal.

 

 

 

 

 

Harshal: And keeping a close eye on Zin, in case he suddenly runs off screaming and dumps the book somewhere.

 

 

GM: Wailing about how it's all your fault that he's going to die alone.

 

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Had an absolutely amazing Star Wars session last week, which mostly consisted of an extended crash sequence. There's no way I can do the whole thing justice, but here are a few highlights.

 

Our ship was smuggling Princess Leia (who in this continuity has become a Jedi) and a platoon of Rebels onto Endor so they can blow up a certain shield generator protecting a certain Death Star under construction. But our heavily jury-rigged systems gave out right as we hit atmo, causing a cascading systems failure throught the ship.

 

As our YT-1300 makes like a particularly-unbalanced falling rock, our Rhodian Navigator tries to make his way back to engineering to help with repairs. But despite having the best Athletics roll of any of us, he manages to fail literally every Athletics check and plays slapstick comic relief for a few turns.

 

Meanwhile my Protocol Droid PC manages to make his way to the bridge and climbs into the co-pilot seat to try and help our Captain/pilot regain control.

GM: "You realize one of the things making the ship so unbalanced and non-aerodynamic is your massively oversized sensor dish. You think cutting it loose would help balance the ship out."

Captain and Navigator: "Noooo! That dish is awesome!"

GM: "Fortunately/unfortunately the only opinion that counts in the person with their fingers on that switch."

Droid: "Would those be my fingers?"

GM: "Yep."

Droid: "Oh yeah, I don't even hesitate - cut it loose."

GM: "Great! The dish spins out ahead of you like a massive metal frizbee, eventually plowing into the trees below..."

Droid: "Wait wait!" [flips over a Destiny Point]* "How many Ewoks does the dish kill on the ground?!"

GM: "Oh yeah, it totally slices through two of those ginormous tree cities. Dead teddy bears everywhere!"

 

* Like spending a Hero Point or Bennie or whatever.

 

Meanwhile in the cargo bay...

GM: "Leia is using Force Suggestion to try and keep the other Rebels from freaking out. "Remain calm....All is well...""

Player 1: "If the cabin loses pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Put your own mask on first because screw that guy...."

 

Back in the cockpit, my Droid co-pilot has managed to fail every single Piloting Roll; not badly enough to screw us, but nothing to help out the Captain.

Droid: [pounds his console in frustration] "Is this thing even on?!"

Captain: [leans over, throws a toggle switch]

Droid: "...Ah. Thank you." [proceeds to make every subsequent Piloting check] :ugly:

 

As we near the ground, the Navigator tries to find us a clearing to land in.

Navigator: "Gee, you know what would really help would be if we had a Big Ol' Sensor Dish or something!"

Droid: "Hey, at least the ship is right-side up now."

Navigator: "Not my department!"

GM: "OK, you think you've managed to find a clearing that might be bit enough...

Droid: "Wait wait!" [flips over another Destiny Point] "Is it the clearing made by the falling sensor dish?!"

GM: "Awesome! Yes, the dish has cut a perfect landing strip for you!"

 

Our Engineer has managed to repair enough fuel lines to restart the main engines in the nick of time. The Captain opens up a full burn to decelerate us as much as possible, pulling enough Gs to black out most of the crew but softening the crash enough that we all survive. (Tho our ship is probably damaged beyond repair.)

Captain: "As soon as I wake up, I unbuckle, pull myself over to the Navigator's console, shake him awake and yell "Tell me you got all that on camera!!""

We had briefly had a TV camera crew onboard and had kept their camera drones. So yes, we did get it! :rockon:

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Champions - Return to Edge City : Even Louder
GM: When last we met-
Flux OoC: We were standing on top of a tower
GM: Actually you'd just been blasted off it.
Fireflash OoC: So are we Team Rocket?
GM: Well, I suppose you could make a good Jessie if you cosplayed her.
Hero Shrew OoC : I assume you're talking Fireflash and not Flux, there.

Flux OoC: So, we're starting in the middle of a fight.
GM: Well, yes, you DO remember the cliffhanger from last week.
Hero Shrew OoC: Unless we can convince Howler we're her biggest fans?
GM: No chance of that - you did destroy her masterpiece. Hmm - red skin-tight suit and weaponised sexuality - she'd get on well with the Spinnerets.

Hero Shrew OoC: Well, maybe one of you can get her monologuing and I'll sneak up behind her with a two-by-four.

As it stands Hero Shrew is still rolling down the street, where the blast put him.

Hero Shrew: Hey! I'm a shrew, not a pangolin! *bouncing upright, and looking around for the source of the attack* I dunno, just minding your own business, and you get 4000 decibels in the back of the head. *spots Howler, who for the moment at least is on the ground* Rude, lady! *lobs a Toyota Prius at her, and misses*
GM: You know, she hadn't actually done much property damage herself...
Hero Shrew: I am what I am.

Hero Shrew OoC: Hopefully, even in this age of smartphones and selfies, the locals are doing the smart thing when confronted with a superhuman fight and are Getting The Hell Away.
GM: Sure. But not until phase 6.

Howler takes off again, which makes most of our ranged attacks problematic. The bitch.

Hardlight: *does anime attack pose* Photon Spear!
Hero Shrew: Did you say Futon Spear?

GM: Hardlight needs to take a course in how to be a superhero. And not just some guy with superpowers.

Howler is also a lot moe mobile than we're used to, zooming in for a point-blank attack on Fireflash, but which at least points her closer to Hero Shrew. Hero Shrew swings a half-ton chunk of concrete and rebar like an Olympic hammer, and launches himself at - and past - the supervillain.

GM: You didn't know you could jump that far.
Hero Shrew: The half-ton hammer must have given me some extra hang-time.

Flux teleports to the top of the blasted monorail tower to try and get in range for his own attacks.

GM: Only problem is she's down there now.
Flux: For fuck's sake.

Hero Shrew swings and misses again, while Howler for some reason thinks Hardlight is the main threat and snatches the still concussed super off the street.

Howler: You and I need a little chat.
Hardlight: WhatdidIdo? WhatdidIdo?

Flux tries to teleport after them, but there's no conducting metal going that way from the tower.

Hero Shrew OoC: I was going to say that you need some kind of rocket that unfurls copper wire behind it, but then I thought that firing that in a city with lots of overhead powerlines would be a Bad Idea.

Howler accelerates towards the horizon carrying our supposed leader with her.

GM: She's holding your arms to your sides, but with your powers that doesn't mean squat.
Hero Shrew: Yeah, he might do all those action poses when he yells Futon Spear, but he doesn't NEED to.
GM: Surprise, bitch.

Of course, rather than anything really useful, like a big spikey bubble between them, or a green glowing brick wall across her path, Hardlight instead attaches a holographic drogue chute to her ankle.

Howler: ... well, that's the most creative way somebody has tried to get my pants down. STOP THAT.

That, as it happens, does get her to drop him, indirectly. Because her sonic attack injures Hardlight so badly he's bleeding from the ears and other orifices, and Howler panics.

GM: She does have a Universal Code Against Killing.
Howler: *drops Hardlight, flies off, circles back, and yells* This isn't over!
GM: Which ends the fight, but does mean you don't find out WHY she set up the city-wide flute music. But hey, she can reappear later. You managed to win, because Hardlight was that pathetic.

Distracted by the collected Shadowrun adventures we played in.

Flux's Player: Why are you banned from Bavaria?
Weldun: I'm not banned from Bavaria, I'm just banned from a small part of the Black Forest.
Flux's Player: Well, you should have known better - nothing good comes from the Black Forest.
Me: Cake.

Now we'll need to explain Hardlight's injuries, when he reappears in his civilian identity.

Hardlight: 'It was a skiing accident'
GM: 'He decided to train for the pentathlon on a whim, and took a clay pigeon to the chin. We have video.'
Hero Shrew: I was going to suggest freak accident while Extreme Ironing, but I like yours better

Flux: Well, I can try using my magic to fix him? Maybe?
GM: Or you could go for the Star Trek OS route, wave a salt shaker over him and make WOooOOOOOoooOOOO noises.
Flux: 'What are you doing?''Trying to heal you' 'It looks like you're trying to season me'

But Hardlight is hemorrhaging badly as Fireflash rushes him to hospital.

Flux: Dammit Jim, I'm a technomancer, not a doctor!

And then Fireflash get intercepted by a minute flying flaming woman as they're flying from the hospital to the emergency super-medicine specialist - which in this case is Flux.

Spitfire: So, what happened to Shiny Boy?

Spitfire is from the Seattle area, and has shrinking, fire, and flying powers.

GM: She's pretty hot.
Hardlight: If you like short women.

Spitfire: I'm sort of here on official business? DOSPA want to start this program of superhuman mentoring - because they'e noticed that there's a lot of superheroes who don't actually know what they're doing.
Fireflash: Tell me about it.
Spitfire: Actually, all four of you are on the 'clueless' list.
Fireflash: ... well, I can't argue against that assessment, really.

Spitfire: Flux is a problem - none of the mages want to talk to him, and the technologists say they can't help.
Flux: Yeah, he uses magic.
Spitfire: You've got a weird one.
Flux: Weird four.

GM: OK, Hardlight is waking up. All you remember is a very loud noise, and then a WoooOOOOoooOOO noise.
Flux: Everybody play along. *mimes a silent conversation with the others*
GM: You bastard.

Hero Shrew: Hey, I can go tell Sally I fixed the problem!
GM: Tricky - there's only one guy on the door tonight.
Hero Shrew: What? Oh - she's out on her date with Max, isn't she.
GM: Yup.
Hero Shrew: *grumbles* no crumpet for Scooter.

GM: You still don't know why Howler set up all these resonance points across town.
Hero Shrew: Well, don't ask me - it's not like we have any robot exoskeletons in town that could go berserk. Apart from those police exo-suits. Hmm.

Hero Shrew: at least we know she has a code against killing, so it wasn't going to make people's heads explode.
Flux: Mind Control is not killing people.
Hero Shrew: Maybe she just wanted everybody in town to be nice to each other?
Flux: I dunno, I was a dick to Hardlight.
Hero Shrew: yeah, AFTER we broke the rebar.
Flux: .... hmm.

Flux and Fireflash dig deeper into the flute music, which was subtly different in eight different parts of the city. Perhaps this will explain what Howler was actually trying to do...

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Pathfinder - Streets of Magnimar : Storm
This week's pre-game banter included Medieval wedding annulments, the purpose of Regency dance cards, and what the f**k is up with Pokemon? As for the game itself, we've stolen a haunted book and now need to get it home, despite the fact that storm is now hurricane-force.

Zin: So... I'm about to go out into a torrential storm.. strapped to a book that keeps telling me that I'm going to die cold and alone.
Harshal: Do we need to put a leash on you?

As it is, ALL of us of apart from Ys succumb to the Fear effect, leaving Gillert and Harshal running gibbering off across the lawn, while Ys holds Zin down as Zin frantically tries to get the book untied from his chest. Just as well the storm is so bad that the guards are all sheltering the atrium out the front of the house. And just as well the loot is heavy enough to stop Zin blowing away with the wind.

On the other hand, Harshal's candle-lantern blows out as he's running around. He runs flat-out into the garden wall, which he can't see in the darkness and rain.

GM: Well, you'll find him no problem.
Harshal: OW!

Zin: Please don't wrap me in wire, it hurts.
Ys: Don't worry, I'm not going to kill you by accident. If I did kill you, it would be because I meant to.

Ys: Do any of you have any rope?
Harshal: Yes!
Ys: 50 feet?
Harshal: Yes!
Ys: We're using 20ft of it to tie up Zin!
GM: You realise this is more DO YOU HAVE ANY ROPE? You *are* out in a hurricane.
Ys: We're going to keep Zin 30ft behind us.
Harshal: Let's hope he doesn't dive in a sewer or start climbing a wall.
Gillert: I can just imagine running into one of the Guard - "What are you doing?" "Taking our kobold for a walk"

And the city gates are closed for the night so we can't go around the long way.

Zin: Sure would be great if we had some Hurricane Camels.
All: *look around hopefully, but nobody appears*
Zin: Ah well - you can't really summon Crazy Hassan.

Harshal: At nobody who's up to any good will be out in this weather.
Ys: True.
Harshal: Which way are we going again? Ah, I see - I was getting confused with the earlier robbery of the solicitor.
Gillert: We do tend to burgle a lot of places.
Harshal: They blend together after a while.

We stagger blindly down the street against the gale, trying to stop our leashed kobold from turning into a kite.

Harshal: So, what exactly did a dragon f**k to make kobolds?
GM: Nothing. As far as anybody can tell, kobolds are just one of the degenerate races. Either that, or lots of halflings.

We are forced to detour through the park when Gillert spots a line of lights out on the street ahead of us, searching for something.

Ys: Everyone into the bush!
GM: So you're all hiding in the one bush. With the book.
Gillert: Oh f**k. 'What's that?' 'Just a Wailing Bush'

The searching figures are masked in iron, and cloaked and carrying sunrods. Ys also notes that they aren't moving right - there's no bob or shuffle in their steps.

And then Harshal, Ys, and Gillert succumb to the Fear.

Harshal: Drop the rope and run!
Ys OoC: Just as well it's tied to my wrist... which I'll have to try and undo as I run, because of the Fear. F**k.

Harshal gets lost, hovering awkwardly at the edge of the searchers' light, and can't find the bush again. Gillert recovers soon enough to come back, before Ys can get the rope untied.

Gillert: Well, I'm not helping the crazy stabby lady - I'll leave her to it.
Gillert: Where's Harshal?
Ys: I don't know. Let's just go.
Gillert: Well, the worst thing that could happen is that he goes over the cliff.
Ys: He'll find his way in this world or the next. Let's just move.

GM: This pictures shows you just how high the cliffs are.
Gillert: If only the weather was that lovely.

Harshal OoC: So, who wants to bet that those searchers are entirely unconnected to the book? Any takers?
Gillert OoC: I'm not a gambling man.
GM: I can't believe you continue to associate with this group.
Harshal OoC: Possibly just taking his life into his hands by associating with us is enough to feed his gambling addiction.

They get a little further when a voice calls "Stop there!"

Ys: Uh-oh.
Voice: Now why do I get the impression you just left the Scalani estates?
Ys: I don't say anything.
Voice: Going to play it that way, are you? I guess I'll be searching your corpses.
Ys: What do you want?
Voice: Whatever Riley of the Silks paid you to steal.
Ys: Not going to happen.
Voice: Corpse-searching it is then.
GM: Time to roll initiative - not that you can tell where this guy even is.

And whoever it is is also a spellcaster.

Voice: *casts Shackle*
Ys: This is not the time for sexytimes. If we survive this, look me up later.

At least the fight is loud enough for Harshal to hear it, and head to assist. Of course, by the time he gets there, the fight is over, happily in our favour.

Ys: Ah, Harshal. There you are.
Harshal: Who's this?
Gillert: Boyfriend.
Ys: Maybe.

Gillert: We didn't kill him.
Harshal: Just as well - Riley IS paying us a bonus if we don't kill anybody.
Gillert: I don't remember that. Wait, why am I, of all people, arguing in favour of murder?

We rob the unconscious attacker of his wand, mystery goggles, book bag, thieve's tools, etc, and press on, occasionally delayed by Zin's screaming fits.

We see more lights in the distance.

Ys: What the f**k are all these people doing out in this weather!
Harshal: I'm going to have pneumonia by morning at this rate.

We recognise the searcher, this time - one of the wizards attached to the City Guard, out looking for anybody using the storm as cover for nefarious activities. But to the GM's disappointment, our use of the rope means we keep Zin and the Fear effect at arm's length, and we avoid the encounter without more screaming and running around.

GM: I did not expect the toddler leash.

Riley of the Silks pays up.

Zin: Great! Now get this thing off me!

The gear we looted off Ys' erstwhile boyfriend is interesting too - his book bag is magical and locked, his wand sprays Magic Missile, and the lenses of his googles are distinctly enchanted. Zin vanishes for a few days, and comes back bright green.

Harshal OoC: So, do we call you Kermit now?

Zin recognises the sets of armour we stole, from his time as a Chellaxian slave - it's the matching masterworked armour of a pair of famous Chellax gladiators, who got set up as a pair in a grand melee combat because of and spite, and managed to win against the mob anyway and went on a pair until they'd earned enough to retire. Although they were notably completely ruthless from the time of the set-up, up until their disappearance. The armour and the the rest of the outfits are going to be hard to shift, precisely because someone is likely to recognise them.

The storm also damaged our docks, and the skilled dockworkers are refusing to work for us, because we use Zin's kobolds as unskilled dock labour. And the stevedores are refusing to unload any ships that use our docks.

Harshal: Ah. Union trouble.
Ys: I'll find out who's in charge.
Gillert: So, do we negotiate the modern way, or...?
Ys: Oh, believe me, I'm going to use the old fashioned way.
GM: Might be a problem - the chief troublemaker has hired Il Quattro Elementi as protection.
Ys: Great - when I kill him, it'll prove that not even iL Quattro Elementi was able to save him.

The magically-inclined mercenaries' elements are Grace, Poise, Movement and Magic, and their combat style is apt.

GM: Believe it or not I got this from a My Little Pony fanfic.

The group is also increasingly well-regarded in Varisia, because their attitude fits well with Varisian values.

Harshal: So when we take this guy out we have to make sure any blowback falls on somebody we don't like.
Zin: So... snipe him from 100 yards away?
Harshal OoC: So, all we need now is a grassy knoll - where can we get a hyena-man and some marijuana?

Ys: We don't want to just kill him - we need to make an example of him. Gillert - can you do sound suppression?

He can't, but that book pouch we stole was linked to a spellbook in hammerspace that had a suitable spell, and we can probably find somebody to inscribe a scroll of it.

Ys: So, we break in and kill everything in the house.
Harshal: And crucify the cat.
Ys: No, no, the cat can't testify.
Harshal: Hands up everybody who has talked to a fox this year.
Ys: OK, good point, we get the cat too.

Ys: We could introduce them to a certain block of mud.
Day-Z the Undead Cow: MMMMMMOOOOOOOO.
Harshal: That's true - crumble a bit of the mud into their stewpot and the entire family will be dead of enteric anthrax within the week.
GM: And so will you.
Ys: Hey, we can wear gloves.
Gillert: If any of them get plague no-one will want to deal with them anyway.
GM: And you say you can't role-play bastards. Keep tracking that alignment shift...

We make discrete enquiries to see what is available by way of magical gear - there's a LOT of stuff, but most of it is beyond our budget.

GM: But you guys are the kind of people who would go 'Can I steal that?' 

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