2006 Game Archive

The following games took place in 2006:

Crisis on the Island of Forgotten Toys!

zo_heroes.jpg

(The Playful Watch)

Game System
''The Zantabulous Zorcerer of Zo''
Pitch
There has been a coup on the Island of Forgotten Toys! King Moonchaser has been overthrown by a cabal of action figures and their army of Devil Ducks. Can the heroes - all Forgotten Toys - restore King Moonchaser to the throne?
Game Master
Edmund Metheny
Players
7
Characters
Philban Detmer the Darkness Warrior (Laura)
Ariadne Myst the Doll (Meg)
Watanabe Hideko the Happy Family Vacuum Cleaner (Sophie)
Gamgee Tiwiliger the Puzzle Ball (Taylor)
Squidger the RepPal (Kevin)
Nguyen Hun Dak Kien (“Dak”) the Tin Can Insect (Wilhelm)
Kim-Kim the Wild Wrap (Mark)
Date
December 18, 2006
Technical Notes
All characters were pregens, based on Dollar Store toys and gift-wrapped.
Recaps
See the Actual Play thread on RPG.net.
Player Thoughts
See the Actual Play thread on RPG.net.
Additional GM Thoughts
See the Actual Play thread on RPG.net.

The Voyage of the Olympic

Olympic.jpg

(The ''Olympic'')

Game System
Space: 1889
Pitch
The adventure will take place on a ship called the S.S. ''Olympic'', a massive cruise liner making its way to Mars. The ''Olympic'' is swinging high above the ecliptic to make the very first close-range observation of Rackham's Comet. This shall be a Triumph of British Spacemanship and result in all kinds of juicy advances in Science.

My original concept was 1889 + Aliens + Deep Impact + Fred Saberhagen.


Game Master
Johnzo
Players
6
Characters
Edmund: MAJOR KENTEGERN TROUBLEFIELD, VC, CMG, DSO, a soldier en route to his post on Mars.
Kev: DOCTOR ALFRED MOUSER, an expert British zoologist and a bit of a tippler.
Sophie: DOCTOR KORNELJA BREZINSKA, a Polish doctor and scientist, now residing in France.
Laura: MISS GEORGINA FINCH, a photographer from America.
Kerri: MRS. MADDIE STOCKTON WEST, a rich widow from America.
Mark: CAPTAIN SIR NIGEL S. S. WENTWORTH III, M.V.O, Master of the ''Olympic.''
Date
November 27 and December 4, 2006

This game was scheduled for two nights so that in the first night, the characters could break something, and the second night, they could try to put it right. I figured this would be a good way to drive emotional investment. I'm still trying to figure out how do a good single-session game.


Technical Notes
Streamlined version of the system; the rules for Invention were not used. All characters were pregens, based on players' requests.

The 1889 rules were tough to read and understand, and it didn't seem like a worthwhile use of our time to explore, so I used only one rule in the game: the roll-1d6-under-your-score-to-succeed. We freeformed off those results. I tried to remember to set stakes in advance of the roll but often failed to do so.

The first session was mostly traditional and simulationist, with a fixed scenario presented by the GM, although the "whatever sounds good" solution to the worm infestation was No Myth, as I understand that.


Recaps
FIRST SESSION
The PC's were passengers aboard the ''Olympic'', except for Mark, who was the ship's captain of the ship. All were seated at the Captain's table for the close approach to the comet.

The player characters were the only interesting people on board. Everyone else was an ineffectual aristocrat or an untested spacer. I've been on a no-NPC kick for awhile, and this was part of that.


The approach revealed something unexpected, though — a series of artificial installations built into the ice of the comet, and a small crashed Earth ship not far from them.
The ''Olympic'' investigated, sending the PCs down aboard her auxiliary, the Ajax.

Everyone at the table had a good reason to join the expedition, and Mark brought them all along. I hate those things in Star Trek where people wind up split between the ship and the surface, so this was nice.


They discovered an unconscious Persian, apparently concussed, aboard the derelict ship. In the pockets of his spacesuit, they found two long, extruded hexagons of pure ruby. These piqued interest.
The Persian became delirious and had seizures. The crew restrained him, left him in Maddie's care and went on to explore the other installations.
The comet contained an observation viewer showing a perfect, real-time high-resolution view of London and other Earth cities. Other installations contained perfectly preserved dinosaur and mammal specimens from the Late Triassic era. A great wide shaft led into the core, where the characters found a difference engine as big as a palace.
Aboard Ajax, while Maddie watched, the Persian's head detached, grew spider legs from its stump, and ran for the ship's head. Maddie took a shot at him and missed. The crew barricaded him into the ship's head. He chewed his way out through the toilet gasket and disappeared onto the surface of the comet, where he skittered away.
Down in the shaft, Troublefield, Wentworth, and Brezinska explored the interior of the difference engine — it had gaps large enough to float around in. They found the ruby-rod hopper and an engraving machine and deduced that this was some kind of data storage system.
A peculiar species of inchworm floated in the zero gravity of the cometary interior. These worms were attracted to the carbide mining lanterns of the spacers. The spacers didn't take any notice of these worms until they snuffed out the lanterns.
Then a worm got into Troublefield's air tube and from there into his helmet. As he flailed in his helmet, it chewed a hole in his cheek. He bit it in half and swallowed bits of it.

I was hoping someone would be infected with the worm, and Ed was the lucky recipient.


As they retreated, the Persian's head scuttled past them into the depths of the difference engine. It had observed enough of the Terran's technology to decide to trigger the comet's berserker protocol. The characters, too freaked out by their worm encounter, and without their carbide lights, did not pursue it.
The comet's thrusters fired up as the ''Ajax'' was egressing. ''Ajax'' was slammed into the side of the shaft.
The ship emerged from the comet to discover that the comet's thrust had knocked the ''Olympic'' spinning off into space, and that the comet was now on a collision course with Earth!
SECOND SESSION

When I prepped this, I didn't have a concrete plan at all for session two, just for session one. We'd put enoughterrain into play in the first session; I was confident that people would do interesting things with it. Also, there was no Kerri for this session so her character faded into the background.


The ''Ajax'' five reboarded ''Olympic'' and commenced damage control. The ship was in bad shape; her boiler was unable to hold pressure, her interplanetary heliograph was destroyed, and her first officer was dead, leaving the inexperienced second officer in command.
The scientists remained in quarantine aboard /Ajax/ with their experimental subjects — Troublefield, the headless Persian, and worms they'd picked off their suits. Troublefield's temperature and blood pressure were both abnormally high. The scientists suspect he's infected.
Men sent out to patch up the ''Oly's'' boiler were brought under rifle fire from some unknown sharpshooter. Wentworth brought his men in just as a night-black pirate ship swooped between them and the sun, revealing itself. This was the Persian's mothership.

Between sessions, I prepped the encounter with the Persian pirates. They were not part of my original planning, but were added after Mark asserted that the smaller ship could not have possibly made the journey from Earth to the comet. I like to play off character assertions like that.


The ship scattered English leaflets in its wake, demanding that ''Olympic'' turn over the six most wealthy passengers on board, for ransom.

The pirate leafleting was something I planned to draw Maddie in. If Kerri had made the second session, she would have needed to take point on any of the pirate negotiations. She spoke Farsi, and the pirates would not have spoken English at all — they hired an English speaker to print the leaflets on Earth. But since Kerri wasn't there and the Captain had to negotiate with the pirates, they spoke English, and the leafletting was just an oddity.


There was a great deal of debate about what to do about this. In the end, Major Troublefield was released from quarantine, and he and the Captain and Miss Finch journeyed to the Persian ship, intending to cripple it.

I was hoping the Captain would consider trading the six proposed hostages. I'd prepped all of them heavily. They were a diverse bunch—a noble, a woman, a child, an elderly man, a foreigner, and a clergyman. I was hoping to get a discussion going on who it was okay to trade, and who it was not okay to trade. But the Captain wasn't willing to compromise on that and went for the total win instead of the compromised win.


They succeeded with some daring zero-gee sabotage of the Persian ship's guns by Major Troublefield, which included an untethered leap across space and a standoff with pistols pointed at an ammunition hopper.

The ammunition hopper standoff — next time I do something like that, I'm going to use the Riddle of Steel red die / white die initiative rule.


Crippled, the Persian ship moved off, and repairs on ''Olympic'' proceeded.
The scientists aboard ''Ajax'' determined that a shock of electricity would cure the worm infestation.

I knew the scientist players — Sophie and Kevin — would come up with a fun and genre-appropriate way to treat the infestation. I was waiting for them to do so before I triggered Ed's hallucinations.


Troublefield started hallucinating, seeing his Brigadier interrogating him about the capabilities of Britain's Royal Space Navy. He refused to answer and volunteered for shock treatment. The worms' motives remain curious…

I was hoping to create a situation where Ed had to choose between curing his problem or communicating with the aliens. This didn't seem to be a very hard choice for him. :) In retrospect, I would've liked to move the hallucinations to the standoff scene with the Persian. C'est la vie.


Repairs are completed. ''Olympic'' overtakes the comet. The plan is this: while the other auxiliary, ''Achilles'', draws off the cloud of worms with carbide heliograph lanterns, Troublefield and Brezinska and Wentworth will attempt to disable the difference engine. They do this by triggering another massive thrust burst, but before this operation is completed, the Achilles founders as the worms chew through her rubber seals.
The comet trembles. Its reactors fire up. Steam starts pouring from its surface. Within the comet, superheated rods start heating the ice.

''Ajax'' pauses in the retreat to try to tow ''Achilles'' out of the comet.

Mark and I rolled off. His d6 indicated how quickly he could bring Achilles under tow; my roll showed how long before the comet underwent catastrophic acceleration. I won that roll, and the comet rocketed away, out of the ecliptic and into deep space with the ''Ajax'' five still aboard her…


Because the ''Olympic'' got away to report the events, everyone got posthumous medals.

This TPK was an improvisation, and a dangerous one. It could have screwed up the entire adventure, but no one seemed to mind.


Player Thoughts

High Noon on the Warworld of Alshain

Alshain_IV.jpg
Game System
Terran Trade Authority
Pitch
Forty-two light years from Earth, and the TTA, the crew of the Epsilon Tiger find a world ravaged by an ancient war. Did everyone die in one massive apocalypse or are there survivors somewhere on this devastated world of Alshain V? But beyond that, this world is rich with alien technology, something that the crew of the Epsilon Tiger could turn around and sell at Proxima, or one of the other less than legal ports. Care to find out what awaits you on the Warworld of Alshain?

I based this adventure on the original story that was published in the TTA book: ''SpaceWreck: Ghost Ships and Derelicts of Space''. I couldn't use it as written, as it was set 300 years in the future of the TTARPG's setting. So I setup a background, with knowledge of capabilities of space-based telescopes to setup the adventure.


Game Master
John Reiher
Players
6
Characters
Captain Hargrove "Harry" Clinton Sanders IV (Edmund Metheny)

Captain Harry is a great example of a pregen character that is easy to get into, simply by telling the player "He's a cross between Harry Mudd and Captain Kirk".


First Mate Oleote (Johnzo)
Xenoanthropologist Dr. Alice Jordan (Sophie)
Grad student Sophie Mattingdale (Laura)
Security specialist Jima Alemu (Cain)
Date
November 20, 2006
Technical Notes
Playtest for John's official publisher-sponsored demo game to be run at Emerald City Gamefest 2006.
Recaps

The great thing about the SGA is that people quickly get into character and do in character posts. Edmund Metheny is particularly pithy at times.

When Ed learned of the proclivities the Alphan race in regards to sex was discussed, the following Ship's Memo was issued:

SHIP'S MEMO #1

FROM: CAPTAIN HARRY SANDERS

TO: PASSENGERS AND CREW OF THE EPSILON TIGER

SUBJECT: SEX

BY ORDER OF THE CAPTAIN ALL CREWMEMBERS OF THE EPSILON TIGER ARE HEREBY PROHIBITED FROM ANY SEXUAL ACTIVITY DURING THEIR DUTY WATCH. IN ADDITION THE BRIDGE, ENGINEERING, AND LIFE SUPPORT ARE HEREBY DESIGNATED TO BE CLASS A CELIBACY ZONES.

ANY SEXUAL ACTIVITIES REQUIRING A DRIVING BASS LINE AND/OR TORRID SAXAPHONE MUSIC ON THE SOUNDTRACK ARE HEREBY RESTRICTED TO PERSONAL CABINS, OR THE RECREATION ROOM BETWEEN 2200 AND 0500 HOURS.

SIGNED

CAPT. HARRY SANDERS
CMDG EPSILON TIGER
(who has the biggest cabin on the ship, if anyone is interested)

When Johnzo wanted his own ship I had to put my foot down. But that didn't stop Ed from commenting on the situation. Basically, the Skymaster is the DC-3 of the TTA universe.

SHIP'S MEMO #2

FROM: CAPTAIN HARRY SANDERS

TO: PILOT OFFICER LANMAK-KLINZHOOL OLEOTE

SUBJECT: EQUIPMENT REQUISITION

YOUR REQUISITION FOR AN ADDITIONAL SPACE SHIP IS HEREBY DENIED ON THE FOLLOWING GROUNDS

1) THE NUMBER OF SPACE SHIPS IN STOCK (1) IS DEEMED SUFFICENT FOR CURRENT NEEDS

2) REPLACEMENT OF THE EPSILON TIGER WITH A DIFFERENT SPACE SHIP WOULD BE A TIME CONSUMING PROCESS, AND MIGHT UPSET OUR CURRENT ITINERARY

3) I'M NOT MADE OF MONEY, YOU KNOW

WHILE I UNDERSTAND THAT THE EPSILON TIGER MAY NOT BE THE SHIP OF YOUR DREAMS, THE FACT REMAINS THAT IT IS CURRENTLY THE SHIP THAT GENERATES ALL OF OUR PAYCHECKS. WHILE SHE MAY NEVER WIN ANY "BEST OF BREED" COMPETITIONS, SHE'S A WORKHORSE, AND SHOULD STAND US IN GOOD STEAD.

SIGNED,

CAPT. HARRY SANDERS
CMDG EPSILON TIGER

P.S. ATTACHED PLEASE FIND A COPY OF THE MAINTANANCE LOG. IT WOULD BE PREFERABLE IF YOU COULD SEE TO THE ITEMS MARKED "URGENT" AND RED FLAGGED BEFORE OUR DEPARTURE. YES, ALL 37 OF THEM. YELLOW FLAGGED ITEMS CAN WAIT, BUT IF YOU HAVE TIME TO FIND OUT WHY THE GALLEY REPLICATOR IS PRODUCING ONLY SARDINE FLAVORED MALT-O-MEAL IT WOULD CERTAINLY HELP CREW MORALE

When I had to explain that the Alphans eat with their hands and that the custom was to lick the face of your companions/family clean, the following short, but succinct memo was issued:

SHIP'S MEMO #3

FROM: CAPTAIN HARRY SANDERS

TO: PASSANGERS AND CREW OF THE EPSILON TIGER

SUBJECT: PERSONAL HYGIENE

IT'S PERSONAL HYGIENE, NOT INTERPERSONAL HYGIENE.

'NUFF SAID.

SIGNED

CAPT. HARRY SANDERS
CMDG EPSILON TIGER

When Sophie and I had a discussion on the appearance of the Epsilon Tiger, there was some confusion as to what I thought Sophie was referring to. Ed quickly cleared that up with another Ship's Memor:

SHIP'S MEMO #4

FROM CAPTAIN HARRY SANDERS

TO CREW OF EPSILON TIGER

ALL CREWMEMBERS ARE TO REPORT FOR A WORK DETAIL TOMORROW AT 0800 HOURS, FOR PURPOSES OF REPAINTING THE EXTERIOR HULL OF THE EPSILON TIGER IN A TAWNY/BLACK TIGERSTRIPE PATTERN. I KNOW THAT IT IS SHORT NOTICE, BUT I AM JUST PLAIN FED UP WITH TRAFFIC CONTROL REFERRING TO US AS THE EPSILON TAMPON.

SIGNED

CAPTAIN HARRY SANDERS
CMDG EPSILON TIGER

(Who, for the record, never found the design or paint scheme particularly alluring)

:

Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

To the North Pole - and BEYOND!

Game System
Hollow Earth Expedition
Pitch
The year is 1936! Dateline: Washington. The National Geographic Society has announced that it is funding an expedition to the North Pole in hopes of discovering the fate of famed polar explorer Roald Amundsen, who vanished without trace eight years ago. Though Society spokesmen concede that there is little hope for finding Amundsen alive after so long in the frozen arctic wastes, the society hopes to honor his illustrious, if contentious, career by following in his footsteps and discovering, for good or ill, his whereabouts.
Game Master
Edmund Metheny
Players
5
Characters
Explorer (Expedition Leader) - Laura
Reporter (To photograph/write the story) - Meg
Adventurer (Second in command) - Taylor
Hunter (Guide and supplier of food) - John Reiher
Investigator (to determine what happened to Amundsen) - Sophie
Date
November 13, 2006
Technical Notes
Playtest for Edmund's official publisher-sponsored demo game to be run at [[Emerald City Gamefest]] 2006.
Recaps

Unbeknownst to the rest of the group, the investigator was actually a member of U.S. Army Intelligence, and the entire expedition was being put together because Army Intelligence had gotten wind that the Thule Society was poking around up at the north pole. Unable to confront the Germans directly (since the U.S. and Germany were at peace) a civilian expedition was hastily prepared and sent off to keep an eye on the Germans.

My game started off in Spitzbergen, Norway, where the expedition was supplying before setting off to the pole. In the dead of night one member of the expedition spotted the sharklike form of a German U-Boat docked in the harbor. This gave the party the chance to meet up with von Wortenberg and exchange some banter. Soon thereafter the U-Boat (ostensibly assisting the Norwegian government in mapping the fjords) headed out to sea. The next day the party's dirigible arrived and they headed North.

Never let a big game hunter within shooting distance of nazis. The first time I ran the game I almost had a major firefight erupt in the streets of Spitzbergen, and was able to deter it only by reminding everyone of how distressed the National Geographic Society would be to learn that they had declared war on Germany. One player disguised himself as a Norwegian dock worker and tried to sneak aboard the U-Boat, but got caught and backhanded by Von Wortenberg for his troubles. Nobody believed that the Germans were helping map the Norwegian fjords, and the germans sailed out of the harbor to much scowling from the PCs.

Next day the dirigible showed up and loaded up supplies and PCs, then headed north - only to get lost and eventually wind up blundering into the Hollow Earth. PCs were very content to go along with the dirigible captain, who was one of those gung-ho navy types, and they eventually found themselves in the interior of the earth trying to figure out how to deal with Triceratops and T-Rexes. One problem I had here was that the players just did not want to go very far from the dirigible (which, when you think about it, is a sensible precaution). Eventurally they were persuaded to follow the trail blazed in the forest and eventually came to Amundsen and his tribe.

From there is was off to the lost city and a confrontation with the nazi raiders who were stealing stuff from the Atlantean tower. One of the players, in a fit of ingenuity, decided to swim out to the U-Boat, get on board, and steal the navigational charts in the hope that this would help the party find its way back out of the Hollow Earth. There were a couple of big battles, the charts were stolen, the nazis were beaten up, and the artifact destroyed. The Hunter played a dangerous game of Cat and Mouse through the jungle with Von Wortenburg, and was eventually able to kick him off a cliff (the classic "nobody could survive that!" maneuver) Triumphant the group returned to discover that the dririgible was gone! Oh no!

A good time was had by all, and everyone got a kick out of the dice rolling mechanics. Two players used pennies to roll, and others just grabbed handfuls of random polyhedrals for their rolls.

Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

The Saga of the Dinner Cart Banditos

Game System
Low Life (Savage Worlds engine)
Pitch
Come join in the fun and mayhem! Keep your goosin' peepers peeled for the next announced Low Life game and then drag your quivering keister down to the game! Pregen characters are available!
Game Master
Edmund Metheny
Players
3-7
Dates
February 27, March 6, 13 & 20, April 17 & 24, May 8 & 15, June 5, 12 & 26, October 16 & 23, November 6, 2006
Technical Notes
See the official site.
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Halloween Falkenstein

Game System
Castle Falkenstein
Pitch
Game Master
Laura Mortensen
Players
5
Characters
Lady Cecilia Wentworth, Adventuress (Sophie)
Richard Upton, Gentleman Thief (Edmund Metheny)
Herbert Rathingspoke, Explorer (Mark Walters)
Abraham Cadabra, stage magician (Kevin Perrine)
Matthew Morgan, Journalist
Date
October 30, 2006
Technical Notes
Recaps
Fourth episode in a recurring mini-series.
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

NEXTWAVE! Part 2: Cosmic Schmosmic

NEXTWAVE_Cover_1.gif
Game System
Truth & Justice
Pitch
Ptero-Men, M.O.D.O.K., AIM-Brocs, Awesome Andy, the Mad Thinker, GAL (Galactus' retarded clone), and his cosmic herald Hellcow!!
Game Master
Kevin Perrine
Players
6
Characters
Monica Rambeau (Sophie)
The Captain (Mark)
Aaron Stack (Cain)
Elsa Bloodstone (Laura)
Tabitha Smith (Gabriel, first episode only)
Dirk Anger (Edmund Metheny)
Date
September 25 & October 9, 2006
Technical Notes
Follow-up to Edmund Metheny's NEXTWAVE!: Who Killed Special Bear? game, using the same characters.
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Wushu Noir

Game System
Wushu
Pitch
Come try Wushu, the game where you bring the action! If you ever felt limited by a game sysetem, then this is the night for you! Character creation takes seconds, and the game will be set in a homebrew noir/wuxia setting.
Game Master
Cain Young
Players
3
Characters
Gloria Fonseca, P.I. (Sophie)
Max Archer
Silicon Monkey
Date
October 2, 2006
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

NEXTWAVE!: Who Killed Special Bear?

Game System
Truth & Justice
Pitch
It's like Shakespeare<br>But with lots more punching
It's like Goethe
But with lots more crunching
Like Titanic
But the boat's still floating
No it's not!
The mother(honk)ing boat is exploding!
NEXTWAVE!
Game Master
Edmund Metheny
Players
5
Characters
Monica Rambeau (Sophie)
The Captain (Mark)
Aaron Stack (Cain)
Elsa Bloodstone (Laura)
Dirk Anger (Kevin Perrine)
Date
September 18 & 25, 2006
Technical Notes
Game author Chad Underkoffler helped Edmund design the characters.
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

The Devil's Race

Game System
octaNe
Pitch
octaNe — inspired by movies like the Mad Max trilogy, in a weird post-Apocalypse, post-modern America where you play road warriors and six-string samurai.
Game Master
Sophie Lagacé
Players
5
Characters
Randy "Skids" Skidder the Road Warrior and his dog Walmart (Edmund Metheny)
GB the Plucky (and grimy) Kid (Jayson)
Grindstone the Outlaw Biker (Alan Barclay)
Bobby Lee the Repo Man (James)
Wakisuki "Wasabi" the Fast-Food Ninja (Ed Freeman)
Date
August 14 & 21, 2006
Technical Notes
Recaps

Part 1

The group played The Roadrunners, a famous band of Road Knights that had disbanded eight or ten years ago. GB was the offspring of Genevieve, a deceased member of the group, and was looking for his (her?) father though no one was sure which one of the group, if any, that might be. The Roadrunners were reunited and hired to prevent sabotage of the Devil's Race, an event that brings a lot of money and fame to these parts of the Wastelands.

They avoided or overcame various road hazards, and learned that the Mormons from La Playa were behind the latest ambush. The Roadrunners just stopped about mid-point through the race at Crazy Cody's Truck Stop and Omar's Hiway Chef Restaurant, to regroup and share information, and Skids just barrelled in last, his monster truck covered in guts, jumped out, and yelled: "Zombies!" In the distance, they heard the roar of approaching motorcycles.


Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Cavemen Conundrums

LandofOg_cavemanconundrums.gif
Game System
Land of Og (2nd ed.)
Pitch
Game Master
Kevin Perrine
Players
6
Characters
MUKUL - Banging Caveman (Michael Lathrop)
KRRR - Fast Caveman (Kristian)
EH - Grunting Caveman (Edmund Metheny)
SO - Smart Cavewoman (Sophie)
THOK - Strong Caveman (James)
Date
: August 7, 2006
: Technical Notes
Recaps

Our group, the Ape-Team, was sent to rescue the daughter of an important tribal chief. While en route we banged big things, small things, hairy things, water, fire, and smelly things. Mostly at least one of us remembered what we were supposed to be doing enough that we just didn't wander off in random directions.

Total props to Thok, who had the worst luck of any cave man ever on the face of the earth. If Thok had been entirely responsible for the success or failure of the human race, the world would be owned by roaches now. During the course of the game Thok took damage from

  • being hit in the head by a coconut
  • falling out of a tree
  • having said tree fall on him after he climbed it again
  • being run over by a dinosaur
  • being attacked by a snake
  • managing to poision himself while eating the aforementioned snake

He also managed to

  • forget how to swim
  • get chased by a Tyrannosaur

He was on the edge of death for virtually the entire game. By comparison nobody else took more than about 4 HP of damage.

Everyone I think had a great time, with much laughter. There were times when we were all laughing so hard that we had to pause for a minute to compose ourselves to continue. Of course half the time when we paused to compose ourselves someone would say or do something funny and we would just be off again!

For those of you who weren't there - you bad, smelly thing!

Props to Kev for running a really fun game!


Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Capes!

Game System
Capes!
Pitch
[… smoke-covered barren wasteland, the burnt wreckage of d20 ships seen dimly through the haze, the shattered remains of O.G.L. units cast around the landscape, a small hidden hatch flips open and a figure with frizzy hair and large black hat peers out. "Another d20 flamewar. I've seen worse. … ]''
CAPES!
Super-powers are super-nifty. But do you deserve to have yours? And more importantly, can you make the other guy sweat bullets to prove they deserve theirs?
Game Master
Ed Freeman
Players
8
Date
July 24 & 31, 2006
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

Mystery Men

Game System
Necessary Evil (Savage Worlds)
Pitch

This is a transcript from a special report on the disappearance of Champion City's hero Captain Amazing. Channel 8 reporter Gayle Armstrong has been covering the "hero beat" since she coined the nickname "Jockstrap" for The Athelete. She interviewed both The Raven and Commander Incredible on the mysterious disappearance of Captain Amazing.

GA: Raven, how do you feel about the disapperance of Champion City's hero? How will it effect us here in Harbor City?

Raven: Well, Gayle, I don't see that it will effect Harbor City at all. From what I've heard, new heros have taken up the slack in Champion City. Besides, most of the villians of Champion City had already been captured by Captain Amazing. We've always had a lot of fall out from Champion City anyway as many criminals leave that town very soon when they realize how tightly Captain Amazing kept crime under control. Frankly with him gone, it may be that we will loose some of our own criminal element here in Harbor City.

GA: Did you know Captain Amazing well? Did you see him as a friend?

Raven: As you might have noticed heros tend to be solitary and private people, if they aren't part of a team. I have met Captain Amazing a few times, but no I don't think of him as a friend. Frankly I have never approved of his style of crime fighting.

GA: What do you mean?

Raven: I don't think that a hero should be worrying about sponsorships. Shortly before his disappearance he lost his Pepsi sponsorship. His agent later reported him as quite disraught about this. Being a hero is about helping people, not about making money or gaining popularity. I think he did his job too well and lost sight of what was important. He really should have retired a long time ago. Perhaps he has, and he decided just to disappear to some south sea island rather then make a big deal out of it. If that's the case I wish him all the best.

GA: Thank you very much for your time, Mr. Raven.

Raven: Thank you Gayle.

GA: Commander Incredible, what did you think of Captain Amazing?

CI: I didn't respect him, Gayle. I thought he was a phony.

GA: Why do you say that?

CI: Well for one thing where did he get off calling himself Captain anything? Was he a Captain? Who knows. I freely admit that before I gained super powers I was a commander in the US Navy. If he was a captain he should say what part of the armed forces he belonged to.

GA: Is that the only reason you call him a phony? That seems like a rather strong word for a fellow hero.

CI: I agree with the Raven, he sold out. What kind of hero is sponsored by corperations? He was only in it for the glory. That's why he supported letting Casanova Frankenstein out of the Institution, and look what happened.

GA: What do you mean?

CI: There weren't any master criminals for Captain Amazing to fight, so he let encouraged the review board to let out his greatest enemy. Personally I think both he and Casanova died in the destruction of Casanova's house. Captain Amazing brought that down on himself.

GA: You sound a bit bitter? What were your personal feelings about the Captain.

CI: We dated for a while, actually. I found him one of the most concieted people I have ever met. All he did was talk about himself. He didn't care that I am a hero in my own right. He expected me to swoon over his adventures. Please!

GA: It must be difficult being a female hero in what is still so much a good old boys club.

CI: It can be, but I don't let it get me down.

GA: Again, thank you both for your time. For Channel Eight News, I'm Gayle Armstrong.

Now with an update one year later, Gayle Armstrong.

When I interviewed Harbor City's two most famous heros a year ago about the disappearance of Champion City's Champion Captain amazing, little did any of us know that they would diappear as well. Neither hero has been seen for over a month. I spoke with Harbor City's Chief of Police, Ted Wood, about what effect this has had on the cime in our fair city.

GA: Chief Wood, have you seen an increase in crime since our town's top heros have gone missing.

CW: Well Gayle, as you know I have always said that vigilantes like the Raven should leave fighting crime to the Police. Their has been a slight rise in run of the mill crime, but there have been no recent reporst of so-called supervillian activity. It is my view that without to such visible costumed "heros" on the scene we will not see the costumed villians that come out of the woodwork when they're around.

GA: Some might say that the supervillians are still around, but without the heros who have the resources and skills to discover and halt their activities.

CW: Miss Armstrong, I resent your implication that my department are no equipped to deal with anything any type of cirminal can come up with. I'm not going to waste any time or resources searching for The Raven or Commader Incredbile.

GA: There you have it citizens. Two people who have done great things for our city and Chief Wood isn't even havintg missing persons look for them. I have to wonder who will?


Game Master
Laura Mortensen
Players
4
Characters
Albert "The Butler" Pennywise (Edmund Metheny)
Odile "Crocodile" Boussombo (Sophie)
Clyde "Die Weltanschauung" Winslow (John Reiher/ AKA Kedamono)
Date
July 3, 10, & 17, 2006
Technical Notes
Recaps
Player Thoughts

Kedamono: My character, Die Weltanschauung, AKA: Clyde Winslow, is dangerously close to a competent character. He is a mystical detective, overshadowed by his more famous brother, Doctor Geheimnis, Clyde's only real power is his power to read minds… sort of. In game, it turned out to be his Force Control power and his Illusion powers that were of most use in the game. In fact I had to tune him down a couple of notches, otherwise he would have been a minor superhero and not a mystery man. To be honest he was too competent for the premise as it was, and I purposely stayed out of the boss battle so as not to rob the other players of the glory of beating the snot out of the chief badguy. (In the first game session, it was my character that shined, so I figure, I had my limelight, so I kept back a bit during the second climatic battle.) Of course, it didn't stop my character from gladhanding every reporter within earshot and handing out business cards. It was Clyde's chance to get into the big leagues and gain a super nemesis!

If we ever do the Mystery Men again, I might try to do my other concept: The Bludgeon. The Bludgeon's only super power is that he is nigh invulnerable to all forms of damage, save one form… and I haven't figured out that one yet. But otherwise, he's a normal person, who can't be hurt by any conventional means. It also means that he can't hurt super villains either. Unless, of course, he is used by the brick on the team as… a Bludgeon! His invulnerability doesn't stop him from being knocked around and his clothing doesn't benefit from this ability either, so he's often reduced to wearing smoking rags by the end of a battle, bullets and lasers bouncing off of him, and he's got a big grin on his face looking to do some more wrassling. :-)


Additional GM Thoughts

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Game System
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Palladium)
Pitch
I will be running TMNT(Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) for whoever shows up. If you're coming think about what mutant animal you would like to be and how human-like you want your character.
Game Master
Laura Mortensen
Players
3
Characters
Lee, the demolitions expert beaver (Edmund Metheny)
Daphne the computer geek duckbill platypus (Sophie)
Orangutan (Brian, first episode only)
Date
March 27 & April 3, 2006
Technical Notes

Lee, the beaver who can chew through metal, and Daphne, an intelligent platypus who works for Animal Planet's Steve Irwin, invaded the Seattle Offices of Bio-Spawn to rescue Steve and a small white mouse now called Gregor. They managed to free the mutated white rat Igor from his control collar and get Steve out of the secret basement lab on a handcart. Lee turned on all the Bunsen burners in the lab and set everything on fire.

They then adjurned to Steve's hotel and found that the mutated rabbit Karl was still waiting in a unmarked white van accross the street. Lee bit through one of the tires and then attacked Karl when he exited the van. Lee quickly beat Karl into submission and they then took him to Steve's room to question him.

They removed Karl's control collar, but Lee still didn't trust them. He asked Gregor, who is telepathic if Karl would rat on them to the mysterious Dr. Feral. When Gregor said he would, lee through Karl out the window. Then they ordered room service.


Player Thoughts
Additional GM Thoughts

The Band of STEEL

Game System
Necessary Evil (Savage Worlds)
Pitch
When all the super heroes of the world are blown to kingdom come by an army of invading aliens who will save the day? Evil… The only forces left to take on the alien menace are the crafty and self serving super villains!
Game Master
Karl Hubbs
Players
6
Characters
Dr. Steel, mad scientist (Edmund Metheny)
Carnivore, time-travelling Jurassic remnant (Johnzo)
Boneyard, zombie brick (Kevin)
Madame Shade, voodoo priestess (Laura)
Warcry, flying blaster and Aztec goddess (Sophie)
Noise, sonic blaster and speedster (Joe Zurla)
Date
February 6, 13, & 20, 2006
Technical Notes
PCs were upgraded from Novice to Seasoned between the second and third games.
Recaps

In the first episode, the overbearing Dr. Destruction and his
sidekick, the chick with no name, organized a jail break-out from the
V'sori School for Gifted but Ethically Challenged Earthlings (all right,
not its real name.) Dr. D made it pretty clear that Boneyard,
Carnivore, Doctor Steel, Madame Shade, Noise and Warcry were crunchies
but gave them the task of freeing some important villain from the back
cells. In their fetching prison suits, the improvised Band of Steel
managed to free the V.I.P. ("Alive is all we need, he didn't say
unharmed!") Many were wounded, but thanks to Madame Shade and Doctor
Steel, they were healed — except for Boneyard, on account of him being,
y'know, dead already.

Since then, about a few days had passed. The overbearing Dr. D had
provided a lair of sorts in Star City, and even Boneyard was back to,
um, normal. Doctor Steel had been experimenting in the makeshift lab,
complaining about the facilities. The overbearing Dr. D made an
appearance, demanding that the Band of Steel go to the mainland and free
some super-scientist guy from a V'sori base. He would supply a small
boat and arrange for the communications at the base to be jammed for a
two-hour window. The base was situated overlooking a bluff above the
sea, and used to be a super-villain's lair before the alien invaders
took over. Dr. D gave crude schematics and left the Band of Steel to plot.

The resourceful villains soon came up with a plan that they hoped would
give them the advantage of surprise. Doctor Steel would build a
submarine equipped with a giant drill that would not only take them
unnoticed from the island of Star City to the mainland, but allow them
to tunnel in through the cliff side to the underground laboratory.
Madame Shade would use her magic powers to weaken the concrete
foundations, making it possible to break through, and Noise would use
his sonic powers to keep the operation silent. [Alas, the GM later
declared that you could not keep breaking through concrete silent,
regardless of Noise's power radius.] Carnivore would accompany the
brave submarinodrillonauts to provide fighting abilities; rounding the
submarine crew was Madame Shade's zombi, Joe. Meanwhile, Boneyard
would use his powers to move through the earth and Warcry her flight
abilities to attack the above-ground installations and create a
diversion, thus drawing some of the enemy forces out and away from the
real operation. Madame Shade used her voodoo magic to keep a mental
link with Warcry and coordinate the attack with the break-through to the
underground lair.

Above-ground, Boneyard and Warcry were met by a dozen guards armed with
machine guns (which they soon switched to Herokiller rounds), a handful
of wiredogs [Edmund thinks it was one, I think it was at least a couple
— does anyone else remember? anyway, wiredogs are, well, super-dogs
wrapped in barbed wire. No, don't ask me, I don't know why!], a
warsphere, and a drone [the latter two are contraptions that shoot ray
gun attacks, which have, as I recall, 2 and 4 Armour Penetration,
respectively. The warsphere is a Wild Card, of power comparable to a
novice character for combat purposes.] Boneyard, being the stalwart
good ol' dead Reb that he is, did a good deal of damage and, just as
importantly, absorbed everything thrown at him without damage [I
think.] Warcry, being a Blaster, was mostly an entertaining sight in
the night sky, receiving the complete and undivided attention of the
drone and the warsphere despite have caused naught but cosmetic damage
to the compound.

Underground, the tunnelers broke in. After a rapid exploration of the
initial contact area and some moderate resistance from the guards, they
came face to face with another posse of guards, another wiredog, another
warsphere [Wild Card] a jack-in-the-box/stretchy super [Novice rank Wild
Card like them], a super armed with an energy glaive [Seasoned rank Wild
Card, much more powerful than them], and a V'sori [power unknown but
likely a Wild Card of moderate-to-high power]. Knowing that this was
their all-or-nothing only chance, Carnivore and Doctor Steel, who were
facing Glaive Guy, quickly agreed on tactics but alas, Glaive Guy got
initiative and wounded both of them in a single action. Noise and Joe
the zombi are the second line, and Madame Shade the third — a fragile
line. [Everyone in the party, both above and below, was long out of
bennies.]

Up top, Warcry managed to dispatch the warsphere, but was hit in the
same round by the drone, reducing her to -3 [one more hit and she's down
for the count; she can't even fly away until she succeeds at a Spirit
roll.] Will the Band of Steel melt in the forge, or will it break under
the strain?


Player Thoughts

Shosuro Kando: Since one of the reasons we are playing Necessary Evil is to see how SW does in the Supers genre I thought I would pass along to everyone my
observations based on the last two games.

To sum up, I believe that while Necessary Evil gets marks for being a creative attempt at genre bending, it ultimately fails as a decent simulation of the Supers genre. There are several reasons for this - some specific to the setting, some to the system itself.

  1. The single greatest setting flaw in Necessary Evil is the Mauser .545 Herokiller. This massive firearm, weighing in at 3d6, AP 3, Heavy, seems to be ubiquitous in the world of Necessary Evil. Player Characters can pick one up from their starting funds, and all guards we have encountered seem to have them. Giving lowly mooks the capability to blow a hole the size of a chicken egg through most characters is a serious genre buster for me, and the fact that an attack that a hero would have to pay 9 Power Points for comes free in the hands of mook guards only adds insult to injury.
  2. Also in this setting pretty much everyone encountered from mooks on up seems to have Heavy armor. If you neglected to purchase this advantage on your powers during character creation you will soon find yourself asking the GM for a rewrite, as many powers such as blast will simply be useless without it.
  3. Not all characters are created equal. So far only two characters have achieved unqualified success in the game - Boneyard and Carnivore, the melee fighters. Others have ranged from being moderately effective to being around largely as part of the scenery. This is due partly to the types of scenarios we have thusfar been involved in, but in large part to an imbalance between the effectiveness and cost of some of the powers listed in the game.
  4. Both the power "Armor" and the power "Super Characteristic: Vigor" cost one point per level. Both will raise your toughness by one. However, armor is subject to being lowered by the "Armor Piercing" advantage, which virtually everyone seems to have (the aforementioned Herokiller is AP3). Increasing your Toughness by boosting your Vigor doesn't have this problem. Thus it is very much to everyone's advantage to boost their Vigor as high as possible before ever spending points on Armor. All starting characters should have a Vigor of d12 - it's the most cost effective way of avoiding damage.
  5. Ranged attack is an ability of questionable utility in this setting. Blasters need to spend virtually all of their initial Power Points on their blast power, just to come up to parity with mooks with Herokiller. Particularly at the beginning, when points are tight, it is far more effective to sink them into defenses and just pick up the big guns that will be lying around after your HTH teammates pound a few mooks onto paste.
  6. Conversely, hand to hand attacks are extremely effective, owing to the fact that a) they are cheaper than ranged attacks, b) they can be purchased to a higher level than ranged attacks, c) they add strength to their damage rolls, d) bad damage rolls can be rerolled with bennies. For example a typical character spending all of his or her beginning points(10) on a ranged attack can get something like 4d6 AP 1. A typical HTH attack built on 10 pts does 5d6+STR+ bonus of any weapon held - somewhere between 5d6+d4+0 for someone with STR D4 and no weapon, to 5d6+1d12+4 for someone using a great axe. In addition, a majority of the Attack Options are only useful (or only usable) in melee combat. There are few tactical options for shooting, and fewer still if you're out in the open and not sniping. (FYI the Defend option only affects Parry, so it should have had no affect on the combat with War Cry last game). Things would be even more unbalanced, given that very strong characters can also throw objects, giving them a ranged combat ability. However, since these attacks would not be considered Heavy, they will bounce off most of the mooks we encounter. I realize that it can be argued that HTH attacks are more limited than ranged attacks and should, therefore, be less expensive. IMHO, however, the difference is already accounted for by the fact that HTH attacks can spend bennies on damage and ranged attacks can't. Making HTH attacks cheaper than ranged attacks is overkill.
  7. This is primarily an artifact of Savage Worlds as a whole, but the game system is seriously bennie driven. Often the bennies your character does or does not have seem more important than strategy or tactics.>
  8. Not sure whether this is in bounds as an artifact of the setting or whether it is just due to the portions of the plot that have been selected for us so far, but there have been few, if any, opportunities to use non-combat skills or powers so far.

Overall I give the setting some props for originality, but not for game
balance. I don't think that the system is well balanced for a supers
game, and if I were going to start one I would look elsewhere for rules.

This is in no way meant as a criticism of the group - I've had a lot of
fun playing the game on Monday nights and writing about it on other
nights. DOCTOR STEEL SHALL RULE THE WORLD! Until Boneyard beats the
stuffing out of him, of course.

But that's just my opinion, given for free and worth just that I
suppose. Do others have thoughts?

Mechante Anemone: I have to say this is the most fun group I've played with at the SGA
Monday night games. Ever. People are awesome, funny, in character and
out; they cooperate and work as a team, they're great. My very
favourite sequence so far has been the planning of the attack, which
included — at Kevin's suggestion — a montage of building the
submarine. It was hilarious and it felt creative.

I was profoundly disappointed that, with all this cool planning, we had
zero success. We learned at the end that with the radio jamming, the
aliens and their quislings had decided to hide in the basement, leaving
only the regular forces up top, so instead of a useful diversion all we
did was split up our forces. The bad guys (the OTHER bad guys!) were
completely taken by not-surprise. My two cents: I wish that we had been
allowed to get partial success, some small benefit for a lot of neat
planning and enthusiastic team work, not to mention the use of fully
half of Doctor Steel's inventor pool.

As it is, there are three options at the beginning of next game: (1) the
forces remain unaltered and we are all wiped out (mathematically
certain); (2) more bad guys (no, the *OTHER* bad guys!) show up and for
some reason they decide to capture us in order to gloat; (3) the
overbearing Dr. D's forces come and save our butts so he can do the
gloating himself. There is no possible way for us to get out with any
success, our dignity, or (probably) our lives. :-(

Savage World seems to lack a "henchman" level of power, between mooks
(non-Wild Cards, who go down have the first hit, do not have a wild die,
and do not have bennies) and Recurring Archenemies (Wild Cards, who can
be "shaken" then take three wounds before they go down, have a wild die,
and three bennies). It's natural to try filling that with a
novice-level Wild Card, but I think there are a number of middle-term
solutions that could be used. For example:

  • give the henchmen one or more extra wound, OR
  • give them a wild die, OR
  • give them one or more bennies

But not all of these advantages at once.

Joe-Prime: As a "twist" on the usual Save The World storyline, it gets full
points for creativity. But so far the adventures have neither felt super nor
heroic. both jail break and the save the scientist mission could have been
in any genre anywhere. the only thing that was Super was the level of the
people involved— everyone involved. guards, mooks, robots— all of them
were Superpowered and so, in effect, the PC's were not Super in any way,
shape or form.

Yeah, there's a major disconnect in the heavy armor/weapon catagory. The
only things in the core rules that have "heavy armor" are incredibly tough
things like tanks. its supposed to be something that is immune to anything
but a bazooka or something. powered armor should be heavy but mooks should
just take cover like everyone else.

I made a speedster and stuck to my concept of "living amplifier" and picked
the powers that fit the idea as best I could. I noticed that I only had one
heavy attack—I didn't mind being the "mook killer" as it sorta went with
the anarchist lowpower concept. I figured that not everyone had heavy
armor…would they?

Well, they did. Everyone has heavy armor. Everyone. Which means that
effectively heavy attacks arn't special anymore and they're just attacks.
unless you don't have a heavy attack, then you're out in the cold. Which I
have been. Unless I use my explode power (which was picked as a last resort
dramatic power…not a "use over and over" power) I have to pick up a fallen
pistol to hurt ANYONE. Which really sucks considering one of the points of
the character is that he's a living source of sound and shouldn't need to
pick up a gun to hurt anyone. kinda takes the super out of super, if you ask
me.

Karl's been really nice about having the guards use normal rounds until it's
clear they can't hurt you and +then+ switching to HK ammo. but if I was a
guard in this world…I'd use the HK's right off…every time. I'm not
blaming Karl. He's doing great keeping it fun with what he has. But unless
there's more to the game that isn't armor-fortified supergoons(tm) and wild
card blaster robots, there's zero point in playing anything that doesn't
have a heavy attack of some kind. And even then, watch out.

Boneyard is a monster. Massive toughness combined with undead/construct is
absolutely unstoppable. Boneyard has a 24 toughness against any sort of
bullets: thats on average of 9 dice of damage to shake him…9 dice of
damage. that's off the scale for handguns.

Now, that's against mundane attacks. If the warsphere went after boneyard,
he's down to a "mere" 11 toughness against the 3d6 attack of the warsphere.
even then it's still better than 1/2 that he won't even flinch.

it's one of those "luck of the draw" things where the wild card blaster goes
after our blaster in an ariel gunfight while boneyard plays with the mooks.
and yes, he was playing with them…they can't hurt him and so it might as
well be a game. it was only kevin's entertaining silly RP that made boneyard
fun— he certainly wasnt in any danger.

Yeah, if a weapon is a heavy weapon, it shouldn't have AP. either one or the
other. both is just silly. overkill really. and yeah, supposedly those guns
are "Rare and expensive" but as they've been 100% present in both adventures
so far, they're not TOO rare or expensive to be handed out like candy.

I saw sophie trying to be a blaster and she's was cut to ribbons both times.
the core savage worlds rules are brutal where heros are expected to use
tactics and cover and other "not so heroic" things to survive combats. if
you play in genre, you get blown to pieces.

Which isn't in genre..Supers should be super, period. A flying blaster
should be something to be feared, not something that's mowed down by mooks.
standard issue mooks should not have heavy weapons— a single "captain" with
powered armor and heavy ammo, maybe…but everyone? pleaaase!

Also, for whatever reason, Sophie has gotten the full attention of the wild
card blaster in both adventures— blasters on blasters is like a gunfight.
the first person shot loses. but then again, she couldn't have switched
roles either as the mooks would have shot her just as dead as the wild card
robot. Blasters simply arn't deadly enough.

Seems like the really killer combo is not far off from carnivore— super
speed and hth attack. the superspeed gives you a penalty to be hit (by
everything) and the HTH attack punches thru whatever your fighting. toss in
frenzy and wild attack to really abuse the system.

bennies are the "heroic" reserve that makes the heros…well, heroes. but
when you run into enemy wild cards, you quickly get into a betting game
where the first side that runs out of chips loses. you have to chew thru the
bennies before you can start doing any damage. but I think this game so far
has had waay too many wild cards. they're supposed to be rare— the named
characters that stand out. sure glaive and longarm should be wild cards but
they should be the only wild cards. There should be no wild card mooks or
drones or robots. nothing that's not elite.

I talked with one of the playtesters of the game and he said "once you
get past the hero creation part of it…it gets dull quick…it's just a
long drawn out combat. over and over." and while that's a part of the SW
system (it's a wargame) I think that the whole "underground" part of the
setting could be fleshed out more. As it is so far, the "plot" has been us
going and doing some bigger badders supervillian's grunt work. there's been
no sense of accomplishment or choice in anything we do. I was hoping he was
wrong, but he wasn't.

The only sense of control or choice in the story was was the drilling sub.
that was cool. :)

I think that SW is often a good system to steal from. The hero system is a
good template for quick and yet detailed character creation in a somewhat
low-powered heros world. If I had more time I might try out something of an
experiment— use the creation rules and ditch/modify the setting so that the
PC's are rightfully bad asses again. just like in the comics, the only real
answer to a super is another super.

the group is great. fun people all around. Karl's done an excellent
job running the game and being both cruel and kind in turn (like a good GM
should) but in this case, the way the story and setting is, I feel neither
super not villianous. it feels oddly, like a game of SW shadowrun— break in
past the defenses and get the goodies before the guards show up and kill
everyone.

oh wait. There's guards in the room with the scientists. never mind. best we
can hope for is to have someone get the goodies out before everyone dies.
lets hope doctor steel survives. You don't want Noise pushing any buttons in
the submarine. that's got disaster written all over it.


Chien Noir

Game System
Dogs in the Vineyard
Pitch
Who killed the Black Dahlia? The Black Dog Detective Agency is on the case!
Game Master
Ed Freeman
Players
3
Date
January 23 & 30, 2006
Technical Notes

Instead of the DitV default setting, used a noir detective agency setting in 1947.

MODIFICATIONS:

FAITH

The King of All Life? Thought I saw him in a Mission Street soup kitchen. Looked pretty stung out.

Listen up, bub. Los Angeles may look like paradise but there are snakes everywhere you step. This town will eat your soul for a snack if you let it. You've gotta have your own code, right and wrong. Keep to your code and you can walk through the muck with your head held high. Lose your code and the tinsel will pull you down like seaweed pulls down a drowning man.

DEMONS

Demons? I thought I saw a couple last week over on Norton street. The F-Troop rolled 'em for lunch money and set them back to Bridal Falls.

Who needs demons when the corruption is so thick a guy can't breath? Every cop, judge, and DA is on the take.

This is a town where justice gets bought and sold. There are a lot of good people that get the shaft, and bad people doing the shafting, and sometimes you're the only hope people have for $50 a day plus expenses.


Recaps
Player Thoughts

Mechante Anemone: The intensity was great and Ed was wonderfully prepared. It's a minor downside that we didn't get to try the "Dogs in the Vineyard" system much because it was one of those games where everyone is so immersed in the story, that we hardly break out the dice at all.

Shosuro Kando: Here are my semi-random, barely caffeinated thoughts -

  1. Good game Ed Freeman! Well researched, fun setting, interesting case. Overall I think a very enjoyable game.
  2. The "Dogs" mechanic is weird. I liked the idea that you take damage depending on how much you escalate the combat, but the system itself sometimes felt more like a dice matching game such as "Button Men" than an RPG system.

<p>Player: "I shoot the bad guy! Pow! Pow! Pow!"</p>

<p>GM: "OK, what dice are you throwing into it"</p>

<p>Player: "Well, you have lots of dice to block, but nothing higher than
a 6, so I'll go for two dice that add up to '7' to wear down your dice
pool."</p>

<p>GM: "OK - instead of using my large dice I will use 3 of my smaller
dice. So I take some damage."</p>

<p>Player: "So I hit the guy?"</p>

<p>GM: "Yes."</p>

<p>Player: "Does he go down?"</p>

<p>GM: "I still have dice in my pool, so no."</p>

<p>Player: "Is he injured? Hindered? Slowed down?"</p>

<p>GM: "Well, once we run out of dice we'll roll to see how injured he
is. You might have killed him. Maybe not though."</p>

<p>Player: "But he's going to keep shooting at me."</p>

<p>GM: "Until we run out of dice, yes."</p>

<p>It seems like in Dogs you should always leave your persuasive arguments,
special intimidation techniques, clever sword blows, and head-shot
sniper attacks to the very end of the combat because until you wear down
your opponent's dice pool they will be fairly ineffective no matter what.</p>


The Case of the Irish Roses

; Game System

; Pitch

; Game Master

; Players

; Date

; Technical Notes

; Recaps

; Player Thoughts

; Additional GM Thoughts
:

Kung Fu Christmas

Game System
Feng Shui
Pitch

Teaser I: MOVIE TRAILER
BLACK SCREEN

Voiceover: "Some things are inevitable."

FADE IN: A deserted highway at night. Snow falls thickly. In the distance the headlights of a semi truck crest a hill.

FADE TO BLACK

Voiceover: "Like the changing of the seasons - the wheel turns."

FADE IN: Close up of the front wheel and part of the cab of a semi truck. A flash of lightning reveals a pig painted on the door.

FADE TO BLACK

Voiceover: "No matter where you start, your path is a circle."

FADE IN: medium shot of the semi truck turning off the highway onto an access road. Some sort of large factory complex is visible in the distance. As the truck turns the words "Pork Chop Express" are clearly visible on the side panel.

FADE TO BLACK

Voiceover: "And if you leave trouble, all that is certain…"

FADE IN: truck pulls up at a security gate, and is checked over by guards carrying submachineguns. Searchlights pan across the scene, and there is the sound of a helicopter passing overhead. Guards wave the truck through. As the truck pulls away from the kiosk the words "WALMART WELCOMES YOU" painted in yellow, friendly letters, are revealed on the side of the security station.

FADE TO BLACK

Voiceover: "…is that trouble will find you once again."

FADE IN: close up of the ground beside the truck. Sound of door opening and a pair of booted feet appear. Camera pans up and back to reveal JACK BURTON.

BURTON: "All right people, lets get those Roboraptors loaded — it's a long way to Portland and the Pork Chop Express has a schedule to keep! Chop chop! And where can a real American get a decent cup of coffee around here?"

FADE TO BLACK

Voiceover: "When a champion is needed — he will appear."

Cue soundtrack "Mortal Combat"

CUT TO: Medium shot of GRACIE LAW and JACK BURTON standing on a catwalk, looking down.

GRACIE: "Jack, we've got to do something!"

CUT TO: dolly shot of Jack sneaking up on an elderly Walmart guard. Jack hits the guard over the head with a board. The guard turns and smiles at Jack.

GUARD: "May I help you?"

Guard punches Jack in the chest, sending him flying back off camera.
CUT TO: shot of warehouse interior. Jack and Gracie run across frame closely followed by a dozen ninja dressed in Walmart blue. Cue sound effects of fight, and ninja come flying back to land unconscious on the ground.

Cut soundtrack.

BURTON (off camera): "Aw no! No no no no NO! Who the hell ARE you guys anyway?"

CUT TO: Medium shot of SANTA and ELF in kata poses, surrounded by unconscious ninja.

ELF: "Who do you think, numbnuts?"

SANTA: "Ho ho ho!"

Resume soundtrack. CUT TO BLACK

HE SAVED CHINATOWN - NOW CAN HE SAVE CHILDREN'S MOST BELOVED HOLIDAY?

JACK BURTON IN KUNG FU CHRISTMAS

Directed by John Carpenter

Starring
Kurt Russell — Jack Burton
Kim Cattrall — Gracie Law
Dennis Dun — Wang Chi
Bob Hoskins — Santa Claus
Jackie Chan — the Elf
Diane Salinger — the Spirit of Christmas
Sam Walton as himself
Voiceover by Victor Wong

Teaser II: BILLBOARD ADVERTISEMENT
Shot of warehouse interior. Left foreeground of frame shows several metalic robot dinosaurs. All appear frozen and covered with ice, and icicles are dangling from their snouts and limbs. Right foreground is SANTA CLAUS, facing dinosaurs in Buddha's Palm stance.

Upper caption: :"HE KNOWS IF YOU'VE BEEN BAD OR GOOD"

Lower caption: "KUNG FU CHRISTMAS. DECEMBER 19"

Game Master
Edmund Metheny
Players
5 (Sophie Lagacé, Laura Mortensen, John Reiher, Cain?)
Date
January 9, 2006

Everway

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; Technical Notes

; Recaps

; Player Thoughts

; Additional GM Thoughts
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