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    Panpiper reacted to Killer Shrike in Arc 3: A Trick of the Night   
    The Hunters:
    Part 2: 
    The adventure resumed at the derelict sound studio w/ dead Slip & dead Dai, exactly where we left off last session. Murgatroyd put together a spell to help break Joey out of the mental paralysis Slip had put him in Jack was not present, but was driving towards the general vicinity per earlier instruction and was notified via phn by Harker where to go It was established that Jack is one of Harker's assets, and has been working on the op all along, but was responsible for some aspect of the mission happening further south and was not present when the attack at the night club by Dai and his bandmates went down. Having helped Joey, Murgatroyd wanted to use the bodies of Slip & Dai for material components to cast a retrocognitive spell Baretta fixated on watching Slip's car like a hawk per Harker's phn directive Drew looted Slip's wallet and called in Slip's license and car plate to Section M dispatch for lookup Joey tried to hack Slip's phone but it turned out to be encrypted Jack arrived in his armored van as Killroy was moving Dai's headless corpse into the sound studio to get the body out of view Jack and Killroy interacted, then Jack joined the crew inside the derelict building Murgatroyd's spell worked; he was looking for the most powerful entity Slip had most recently interacted with in the last few days.  The spell allowed Murgatroyd to see (not hear) an obvious argument between Slip and a powerful vampire lady of hispanic appearance at some kind of fancy / dressed up event approximately 3 days ago. Murgatroyd retained a vestigial sense of awareness of the direction in which the altercation occurred. Joey hacked Slip's car and was able to get a dump from the nav system. The car turned out to be less than a month old. Joey grep'd thru the data and cross referenced it to eliminate uninteresting locations. The derived set included an office on Sunset Strip which was easily determined to be Slip's offices at Slip It To Me Records, a residential address in Venice Beach and an office in Malibu. Or maybe the residential address was in Malibu and the other office was in Venice Beach. Difficult to say, really. Harker arrived via helicopter, pissed off, and roundly chewed everyone out.  Drew gritted his teeth and suffered thru it, despite it obviously irritating him to take $#!^ from Harker The rest of the team let it slide off of their backs  He instructed the team to put a bag over Slip's head and "perp walk" his corpse to the helicopter, making it look like he was "alive" but incapacitated.  He instructed Baretta to drive Slip's car back to the Section M facility.  He instructed Jack to take Baretta's place with the team and "ride herd" on them. Harker instructed the team to haul ass to Slip's office and grab everything of "actionable value", and to be very obvious in the doing of it He explicitly instructed them to be "be seen" taking Slip's stuff in an official way He strongly suggested that they were probably already being watched He explained to them (in his own way) that his "brilliant plan" is to make other vamps think that Slip has been taken into custody and is being questioned. He wants the team to further that illusion. He hopes that the prospect of Slip giving up details of vampire identities and operations within the city will cause a panic / cause some of the vamps to lose their cool and out themselves. Harker departed via helicopter w/ the corpse of Slip posed so as to appear still alive. The team, minus Baretta, saddled up in their vehicles and drove off to Slip's office Baretta's POV was left at the derelict sound studio as she had left driving Slip's car. Jack took some kind of alchemical potion to grant himself enhanced awareness for the evening. Drew wanted some, but Jack was not in the sharing mood. Arriving at Slip's office, it was decided that Drew, Killroy, and Murgy would go in directly flashing FBI consultant badges. Jack and Joey would stay outside as their appearance does not jive with "FBI Consultant" Killroy opted to leave his sniper rifle in the gov SUV to avoid drawing notice to it Drew bulled through the initial wariness of the security guard in the building and eventually gained access to Slip's offices upstairs and left Killroy and Murgy to loot / case the joint and got the security guard to take him to the video surveillance control room where Drew was able to scan through a week's worth of security footage  Drew didn't find anything of interest in the security footage other than confirming that Slip only came and went after sun down, and that Dai and his bandmates had visited once a week ago slightly before sunset. Killroy found info about the record company's legitimate business activities but nothing of interest to the investigation. However, he took the laptop from the desk of the company's business manager to give to Joey. Murgy worked some magic and confirmed that Slip's office was absolutely inundated with the typical magical residue common to places where supernatural creatures spend a lot of time, but nothing of immediate use. However, looking more deeply, he discovered that the trash can under the desk had a single thing in it, a ripped in half invitation to a "gala" hosted by Glitterglam Industries several day's prior. Murgy remembered Joey saying something about an association between Slip and Glitterglam Industries earlier in the evening. Joey was in the back of the gov SUV doing internet related stuff in pursuit of more clues, Jack was basically sitting in his van contemplating his navel or sharpening a knife or something A sniper shot penetrated the gov SUV, narrowly missing Joey's head. the screech of tires converged from both sides of the parking lot was followed immediately by the chatter of assault rifles as gunmen in both vehicles opened fire on both the gov SUV and Jack's punisher van.  Jack's armored van bore up well, but the gov SUV got shot to hell and its windows are more or less kaput Jack and Joey disembarked their vehicles and took cover in between them.  Jack braced himself on the hood of the van and fired his massive pistol at one of the gunmen in the vehicle on his side.  Jack called Killroy and told him that he & Joey are under attack. The truck re-positioned, coming around to the side so that the rear passenger side shooter could fire directly at Jack without his van in the way.  Jack executed a combat roll, closing the distance between where he was and where the truck currently was, coming up near the rear tire of the moving truck essentially at point blank range to the rear passenger side shooter . Jack snapped off one round at point blank range; the shooter managed to get his arm up in to the line of fire which saved his life but the .50 pistol round destroyed the gunman's lower arm. Killroy told Murgy that Jack and Joey were under attack and ran out, taking the stairs two at a time Murgy opted to take the scenic route...the elevator, calling Drew and nonchalantly telling him of the situation. The truck attacking Jack took off.  Joey ran out into the open, initially to shoot his shotgun, but then just went all in and sprinted across the intervening distance and launched himself through the open rear window of the truck, plowing through one of the gunmen with bone breaking force.  Joey clawed across the seat and punched the gunman in the other rear seat in the shoulder, breaking their collarbone and staggering them. The shooter in the front passenger seat whirled around and tried to shoot joey in the back of the head, but Joey ducked it and the round instead killed the shooter with the broken shoulder / collarbone. Joey and the front passenger fought inconclusively across the front and back seat divide The driver panic'd and took off driving, Joey still in the car.  Joey got tired of flailing around, and instead just pushed forward hard on both the driver's and passenger's side chairs, breaking the gearing and forcing both men face first into the dash. The passenger's head was smashed, but the driver was able to brace himself on the steering wheel and avoid getting crushed. Joey ordered the driver to pull over or get killed horribly. Having seen the incredible strength of the spindly teenager, the driver pissed himself a little and pulled over.  Joey took the wheel, forcing the driver to cower in the floorboards amidst dead former friends, while Joey drove the truck back to the parking lot of Slip's office building. Meanwhile, back at the offices of Slip It To Me Records, Murgatroyd's elevator reached the ground floor as Drew was passing by, on his way out from the security monitoring room. The two of them walked out of the lobby onto the forecourt of the building overlooking the parking lot where Killroy had managed to make it to the shot-to-hell gov SUV to retrieve his sniper rifle and Jack was in the process of telling Killroy what had happened.  Murgatroyd noticed a penny on the ground and bent to pick it up (a 1947 Wheat Penny, what luck!), and a sniper round shattered the plate glass window behind where his head had been a moment ago. The report of a high-power rifle was heard. Oh yeah, the sniper! Drew wasted no time, grabbing Murgatroyd and bodily pulling him to safety over and then behind the security / reception desk inside the building.  Jack took cover behind his van Killroy grabbed some cover while unlimbering his own sniper rifle. Two can play the shoot you in the head from a long distance game! But no one could see where the shot had come from.  Drew, grinding his molars a bit, risked a longer look  and was fortunate enough to spot the sniper very far away laying down up in the hills above the office building, unluckily illuminated by the navigation lights of a plane passing over head on landing approach to LAX. Unfortunately, the sniper was well beyond the range of Drew's pistol (he can do the improbable, not the impossible) and he had no way to communicate the information to Killroy. Drew ducked back before the sniper could take his head off. Drew and Murgatroyd hatched an ad hoc plan, sort of. Not getting into the full details of his brilliant stratagem, Murgy told Drew to grab a stack of paper from the desk drawer and get ready to throw it into the air between the desk they were hiding behind and the front entrance, which Drew did. On Murgy's command, Drew tossed the pile of papers into the air like confetti, Murgy ignited it with his Ring of Blasting creating a flurry of flaming papers, and Drew made a mad dash for the door under the cover of that distraction...it seemed to work as a sniper round slammed into the back wall behind them, narrowly missing Drew. Drew ran full out like the former football player he is to Killroy's position, trusting to luck that he wouldn't get shot. With Drew's guidance Killroy used his own rifle's scope to find the sniper's roost in time to see the sniper rolling out of frame and presumably making a break for it, which he told Drew and Jack. Jack jumped into his van and hauled ass in the general direction of the sniper's position, but realizing they were up against the hills and there was no direct route, he deftly maneuvered his vehicle around and started tacking towards the snipers location via side streets as best he could. Joey, driving his appropriated vehicle like he stole it (which he kind of did), roared back into the scene and seeing Jack's van tear off decided to follow along. Jack and Joey, engines roaring, navigated around the landscape and came to the lip of a canyon. Realizing they wouldn't have time to go around and still catch the escaping sniper, they dismounted their vehicles.  Joey could smell the sniper, and quickly telling Jack that he had captured one of the shooters and he was in the truck, Joey took off running into the canyon at obviously superhuman speed. Jack was a bit nonplussed by that, and glancing into Joey's stolen SUV and seeing the state of the three dead bodies and one terrified survivor, Jack reconsidered his first impressions of the seemingly out-of-place teenager and mentally upgraded Joey from a curiosity to a possible threat. Jack pulled the hapless captive out of the vehicle and coldly questioned him. According to the captive, Jeremy Gardener, he and the other shooters had been hired by someone named "Benny"...$5000 each up front and another $5000 promised on completion. Jack found an envelope with 5k tucked into the man's jacket pocket and took it. Jeremy asked plaintively if Jack was going to kill him...Jack visibly thought about it and decided not to. While that was happening, Joey was racing through the canyon, sniffing the wind and tracking his prey. Quickly overtaking the merely mortal gunman from behind, Joey launched himself off an embankment and landed squarely, feet first, on the shoulders of the sniper. Joey's intent was to disable, but he again miscalculated the frailty of normy's and with a sickening spine splintering crunch the sniper was essentially crushed and died moments later from extreme trauma. Oops. Not to be deterred, Joey realized the sniper was retracing his own path, going back to where ever he had been before going up to the hill to take up a snipers position. Joey tracked the sniper's backtrail up and out of the canyon on the other side, emerging next to another office parking lot and a motorcyle which he could tell by scent belonged to the sniper.  Joey was checking out the motorcycle to see if he could get anything of interest off of it, and called Drew on his cell phone to update him on the situation. As he was talking a dark silver BMW X6 M pulled up and a trio of men dressed in tailored "casual" suits got out. To Joey's sensitive senses they were obviously vampires and his hackles were raised...this was dangerous.    Rather than tell Drew something useful like, "Three vampires just pulled up and are approaching me", he instead said, "...gotta go, bye!" and hung up. Teenagers...¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Initially the bad guys didn't seem to realize that Joey wasn't the sniper, but realization dawned after Joey turned fully around. Wasting no time, Joey pointed his new shotgun at the front-most vamp and finally pulled the trigger on it, hitting the bloodsucker solidly in the torso! Yay!  The front of the vampire's suit and high quality button up silk shirt was shredded, somewhat ruining his casual chic style, but the buckshot did very nearly nothing to the dead flesh underneath the overpriced clothing...most of the pellets failed to penetrate and the few that did made barely noticeable red divots of bloody flesh that immediately began to heal over. Joey was like...uh oh... The bloodsucker Joey shot growled angrily, popped fangs and visibly vamped out...springing at Joey and trying to grab him. Joey shook him off, surprising the vamp with his strength. The other two vamps pounced as well, trying to latch on and overpower Joey.  Realizing that the odds were very clearly against him, Joey ran away, back through the canyon, approaching 90 mph. None of the three vamps he had encountered turned out to have vampire speed as one of their abilities, and they did not pursue.  In the interim, Jack was driving back to the Slip It To Me Records parking lot where Drew was in full swing locking down the scene, getting local law enforcement to set up a perimeter, and being official like.  Drew, obviously concerned about Joey's absence and a bit distracted, did have an uncharacteristic flub with the first cops on the scene, seeming at a loss for how to spin the story. Murgatroyd stepped in and fixed it with some patter. Killroy remained on alert, just in case the sniper circled back. Jack rolled back into the scene in his van. Drew, Murgy, and Jack huddled; Jack updated them that Joey had run off by himself, and the info he had gotten from the goon Joey had captured.  Drew was incensed that Jack let Joey go off by himself, but Jack was kinda of like...not my problem, I'm not his babysitter...also I can't run as fast as a car so whatev. Drew started motivating the group to get organized and go find Joey, when Joey reentered the scene, cresting the same hills the sniper had been up on having followed the same path up the back side of the hills. Remembering that he's supposed to not be seen doing superhuman things, Joey slowed down to normal human running speed for the last leg of it, and jogged down to rejoin the group.  More or less giving the adults the necessary information, he finished with the existence of the three vamps that he had run away from. Jack's eyes light up and he was already on his way to his van to go find the vamps. Drew, cursing a bit, slowed him down and the group got organized...Killroy would ride w/ Jack, Joey and Murgy would ride with Drew in the shot up gov SUV. Jack would follow Drew. Jack was more or less like..."whatev, so long as I get to kill some vamps, cuz that's my jam man." Letting the cops know they were in pursuit of some "drug dealing human traffickers" spotted in the area on the way out, Drew and crew took point and Jack followed behind in the armored van w/ Killroy as shotgun and they all rolled out, leaving Slip It To Me Records in the rearview. Heading west on access roads, with Joey doing his best to try to interpolate where to go despite having taken a very different route to get there, the two vehicle caravan was ambushed by a pouncing BMW lurching out from a side street and trying to t-bone Drew's gov SUV. Drew saw the on coming vehicle at the last moment and stomped on the gas to surge forward, causing the Bimmer to miss. Jack, a pretty good driver himself, also stepped on the gas and barreled forward to t-bone the BMW has it narrowly missed the gov SUV and passed in front of him, the reenforced ram bar on the front of his van squarely hammering into the luxury sedan. Pushing the gas all the way down, Jack rammed the BMW into the back of Drew's gov SUV, squishing the BMW between them. The three vamps inside the vehicle were damaged, though one of them...the same one shot by Joey...less so than the other two. But, they were in full on vampire mode and were not incapacitated.  All hell broke loose.  The van screeched to a halt, the BMW wrapped around its front. The gov SUV kept moving forward, three vamps exited their ruined vehicle in various creative ways...one basically brute forced his way out through seatbelt, metal, and windshield like it was made of tissue paper, another dive rolled out with superhuman dexterity, and the third extra tough vamp pulled himself out through the sun roof on top of the car. The strong vamp hurled himself at the armored van, on the drivers side, shoulder checking it like he expected the van to give way. The heavy, armored vehicle actually resisted the massive force and moved very little, but the driver's side door was damaged.  The tough vamp drew a pistol and shot at Killroy through the van's windshield, but the armored glass stopped the bullet, the bullet spiderwebbing the glass. The dexterous vamp drew a fancy silver dagger and threw it with incredible precision at Killroy through the passenger's side window. Killroy smirked at the vamp, thinking the armored glass would surely stop a dagger after bouncing a bullet...but with a sharp cracking sound the dagger chipped out a narrow gap in the window right next to the jam, passed through with unerring accuracy. Looking down Killroy was surprised to find the dagger sticking in his beefy left deltoid.  The strong vamp brute forced the drivers side door of the van, with the sound of bending metal, and one armed Jack back into the drivers seat. "Dinner!", the vampire said with vampiric presence rolling forth and causing Jack to feel fear and hesitate (PRE attack).  Joey launched himself from the passenger side of the still moving gov SUV, hurling himself at the dexterous vamp, but missed completely and shot past. In the back of the gov SUV, Murgy aimed his ring of blasting and shot the tough vampire still standing on the roof of the ruined BMW, scorching the vamp with UV-enriched arcane energies. The vamp turned his attention from the van to Murgy and the ruined gov SUV.  Murgy nervously let Drew know that they now had a pissed off vamp looking their way. Grimacing, Drew did complicated things with the steering wheel and parking brake, sending the tortured SUV into some kind of power sliding tactical u-turn and got the vehicle pointed back towards the van and BMW.  The dexy vamp ignored Joey and superhumanly leaped clear over the van and BMW to land on the otherside near the drivers side of the van, where Jack was struggling to shake off the strong vamps frightening presence while stealthily palming a holy water bomblet and getting ready to throw it. Looking past Jack thru the cabin at Killroy the dexterous vamp said, with full vampiric scare on, "give me back my knife!"...but Killroy was unphased; "Don't worry, I will!" he growled back. With the SUV pointed back at the fight now, rear tires smoking and seeking traction, Drew released the brakes and barreled forward. Things got really complicated for a moment. The tough vamp on the roof of the BMW calmly watched the approaching gov SUV and timing it just right sprang high into the air, flipped around, and came down feet first through the shattered windshield of the SUV, landing in the passenger seat vacated by Joey earlier.  Drew braked hard at the last moment to control the collision with the front part of the BMW in an attempt to get the broken car to scissor around to hit the driver's side of the van. The BMW jackknifed around the van's ram bar with a screech of metal on metal, around to the van's front panel and then into the open and already damaged driver's side door. The van's front driver's side frame crumpled a bit under the abuse but held out. The super strong vamp on the other side of the door braced himself for impact...the driver's side door hit him and snapped off its hinges with more metal screeching sounds. Then the BMW hit him, and that stopped too. However, the van itself was also pushed back several feet, and this caused the strong vampire to lose his grip on Jack as he...still seatbelted in...moved backwards along with the van. The dexterous vamp grabbed onto the side of the van and lifted his feet off the ground and into the lip of the door, riding along with the displaced van. The vamp that jumped into the gov SUV leered at Drew. "Nice driving!" he said, then shot Drew in the face at point blank range. Luckily, Drew was able to lurch out of the way a bit and caught the bullet on his right chest where his armored vest caught most of the damage...but it still hurt.  Joey, having recovered himself from his failed tackle, power leaped across the battlefield and landed feet first on the upper chest of the super strong vampire, who was now more or less standing in the open as the van had moved back but he had not. Counter to the prevailing wisdom around the table, Joey surprisingly did not bounce off the vamp but instead seemed to catch him flat-footed. Strong vamp went down, his chest visibly compressed and blood oozing from his mouth and eyes. Still "alive" but much more damaged than he had been by the various automotive related impacts he had suffered (Joey's reduced negation doing good work).  Standing on the depressed chest of the super strong vampire, Joey yelled "Boo yah!" The dexterous vampire noticed this and Jack heard him mutter, "what the hell is that kid?". The tough vamp didn't notice that their heavy was in distress.  
    The store was closing so we had to stop mid-battle. Everyone got 3 XP, Joey was voted MVP. No XP can be spent between this session and the next.
     @Durzan Malakim @King Red @L0rd_Magg0t @Steve @Scything @WilyQuixote
    << Part 1 ... Part 3 >>
  2. Haha
    Panpiper got a reaction from Steve in Arc 3: A Trick of the Night   
    Hah! You've hit upon the secret ingredient to my own (debatable) success as a GM!  😉
  3. Like
    Panpiper got a reaction from Killer Shrike in Arc 3: A Trick of the Night   
    Hah! You've hit upon the secret ingredient to my own (debatable) success as a GM!  😉
  4. Like
    Panpiper got a reaction from Durzan Malakim in Arc 3: A Trick of the Night   
    Hah! You've hit upon the secret ingredient to my own (debatable) success as a GM!  😉
  5. Like
    Panpiper got a reaction from Killer Shrike in Be At Ease Campaign Arcs   
    In defense of a flashlight, it is just as difficult to explain how someone bursts into flames spontaneously 'without' a flashlight.  The difficult explanation is not avoided by having an invisible beam power. The flashlight merely creates the illusion of a possible technological reason, however implausible, rather than one that almost by necessity, be supernatural.
  6. Like
    Panpiper got a reaction from Killer Shrike in Be At Ease Campaign Arcs   
    Actually Murgatroyd was also one of mine.  I seem to recall that Killroy was the first one I wrote up for that setting,
    I have a number of check marks when creating a character, and all of them have to be met for me to be truly satisfied with the character. First and foremost is they have to have an interesting background story connotative of their personality. I also prefer for characters to not be too typical of stereotypes. They have to be combat capable in some critical role within a group, in addition to being reasonably survivable. They also need to be useful in at least some capacity outside of combat. Finally I like to ensure they at the least have a minimum of non-combat ancillary skills/knowledges appropriate to their backstory. I don't always perfectly nail those check marks, but I try.
  7. Like
    Panpiper reacted to Durzan Malakim in Be At Ease Campaign Arcs   
    Now, now my snark is worse than my bite, which is why I need capable warriors to do my biting for me, but since I'm playing a wizard, the good news is I can teach you all defense against the snark arts. Once you've mastered it, I'm sure each of you will leave your snark on the game. In fact, I fully expect us all to be Raiders of the Lost Snark by next session.
  8. Like
    Panpiper got a reaction from Durzan Malakim in Be At Ease Campaign Arcs   
    I finally got around to actually reading all the threads here. I do want to thank especially KS for making the effort to post the writeups. As much as I was invested in the development of the Here There Be Monsters setting, I have never had the opportunity to run it, let alone play in it. (I have brought up the notion to my existing gaming group, but at least a couple of them have a hard enough time grasping D&D and find Hero too intimidating.) Anyway, reading the threads here allows me the ability to at least vicariously experience it.
  9. Like
    Panpiper got a reaction from Killer Shrike in Be At Ease Campaign Arcs   
    I finally got around to actually reading all the threads here. I do want to thank especially KS for making the effort to post the writeups. As much as I was invested in the development of the Here There Be Monsters setting, I have never had the opportunity to run it, let alone play in it. (I have brought up the notion to my existing gaming group, but at least a couple of them have a hard enough time grasping D&D and find Hero too intimidating.) Anyway, reading the threads here allows me the ability to at least vicariously experience it.
  10. Thanks
    Panpiper got a reaction from Scything in Be At Ease Campaign Arcs   
    I finally got around to actually reading all the threads here. I do want to thank especially KS for making the effort to post the writeups. As much as I was invested in the development of the Here There Be Monsters setting, I have never had the opportunity to run it, let alone play in it. (I have brought up the notion to my existing gaming group, but at least a couple of them have a hard enough time grasping D&D and find Hero too intimidating.) Anyway, reading the threads here allows me the ability to at least vicariously experience it.
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