What are y'all up to these days?

under_score

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Our first Mythras game went well. Running Sariniya's Curse, although adapted it to fit into the Shores of Korantia, with the motivation to seek the temple of Sariniya being to discover the fate of that city and possibly recover relics that could be used in the temple in Thyrta that's under construction.
Unfortunately our priestess character had to drop off due to real world chaos, having to go board up windows, so we did not get any magic from the PC side of the party. But we had a good mix of social situations in Thyrta as they prepared for the expedition, some exploration on the island, and three combat situations. The Mythras skill system is a breeze to use. I've always enjoyed the d100 system in Call of Cthulhu and it works just as well here. The passions came up once as a character was weighing conflicting loyalties. It's a useful character tool I think, similar to Pendragon's.
The first combat was a one-on-one fight between the militia PC and his rival, competing for the right to represent their cult in the expedition. It was quick. The rival won initiative, missed on his spear thrust, PC scores a parry, choose Stun Location to strike the weapon arm, rival fails his Endurance check and is disarmed from the blow. We really enjoyed the natural narrative that develops from the combat. It was quick and told a good story.
The second combat had two characters, our hunter and a noble, face a panther in the jungle after a fumbled tracking roll had them stumbling upon its den. This one was a bit more confusing as all three combatants tied initiative. But in a single round of attacks and parries the panther knocked down the hunter but his shield blocked the damage, while the hunter was able to trip the panther, and then the noble was able to spear the panther in the face (a crit with Choose Location and Impale). This scored a major wound, and follow-up damage as they pulled the spear out, and the panther fled into the jungle. Again, combat was quick and efficient and told a story that the characters were later able to relay to their companions back at camp. It was a little clunkier because of the oddity of a three-way tied initiative, but we worked it out fine.
And the third combat was against the animated idol of a goddess and a few savages. This one ended up being pretty slow. The characters quickly determined they couldn't do much against the statue but worked to trip it up by lassoing its legs and using Bash on successful parries. It was a good strategy, but poor rolling just made it take three rounds to pull off. The action economy also gets a little tedious to run through with that many combatants, one of which has 6 actions to go through. It made me think that Mythras seems better for creating very memorable small fights rather than the larger scale fights I'm used to throwing together in S&W.
Anyway, despite us all being new to the system and me having to look up things here and there, and just generally running the game at about half pace compared to when running a system I know well, the players said they really enjoyed it and want to keep at it. Which is really all I can ask for.
 

Raleel

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to spear the panther in the face (a crit with Choose Location and Impale). This scored a major wound, and follow-up damage as they pulled the spear out, and the panther fled into the jungle.
a Major Wound to the head generally doesn't let someone run off into the jungle, but excellent for dramatic effect!

It made me think that Mythras seems better for creating very memorable small fights rather than the larger scale fights I'm used to throwing together in S&W.
if you get up there in numbers it can be a bit of a bear to run at full detail. multiple locations multiple AP. I find that for "big" fights, I use one or two hit monsters (rabble and underlings, see the back) and ignore hit locations on them. this lets you have a little more massive fight without feeling the burden.
 

under_score

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a Major Wound to the head generally doesn't let someone run off into the jungle, but excellent for dramatic effect!
Oh, I got the terminology backwards, it was a serious wound, not major. It did fail its endurance check so should've dropped unconscious, but I couldn't imagine it'd sleep through the spear extraction, and they were happy to let it leave.
if you get up there in numbers it can be a bit of a bear to run at full detail. multiple locations multiple AP. I find that for "big" fights, I use one or two hit monsters (rabble and underlings, see the back) and ignore hit locations on them. this lets you have a little more massive fight without feeling the burden.
That could've been a good option for the savages in the fight, but honestly the real thing that slowed us down was just the high number of actions from an enemy that the players recognized they couldn't directly engage, so it created a very defensive fight where the three of them were just trying hold it off while they tried to trip it. Narratively, it worked, I just think I was too slow in running it.
 

AsenRG

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Our first Mythras game went well. Running Sariniya's Curse, although adapted it to fit into the Shores of Korantia, with the motivation to seek the temple of Sariniya being to discover the fate of that city and possibly recover relics that could be used in the temple in Thyrta that's under construction.
Unfortunately our priestess character had to drop off due to real world chaos, having to go board up windows, so we did not get any magic from the PC side of the party. But we had a good mix of social situations in Thyrta as they prepared for the expedition, some exploration on the island, and three combat situations. The Mythras skill system is a breeze to use. I've always enjoyed the d100 system in Call of Cthulhu and it works just as well here. The passions came up once as a character was weighing conflicting loyalties. It's a useful character tool I think, similar to Pendragon's.
The first combat was a one-on-one fight between the militia PC and his rival, competing for the right to represent their cult in the expedition. It was quick. The rival won initiative, missed on his spear thrust, PC scores a parry, choose Stun Location to strike the weapon arm, rival fails his Endurance check and is disarmed from the blow. We really enjoyed the natural narrative that develops from the combat. It was quick and told a good story.
The second combat had two characters, our hunter and a noble, face a panther in the jungle after a fumbled tracking roll had them stumbling upon its den. This one was a bit more confusing as all three combatants tied initiative. But in a single round of attacks and parries the panther knocked down the hunter but his shield blocked the damage, while the hunter was able to trip the panther, and then the noble was able to spear the panther in the face (a crit with Choose Location and Impale). This scored a major wound, and follow-up damage as they pulled the spear out, and the panther fled into the jungle. Again, combat was quick and efficient and told a story that the characters were later able to relay to their companions back at camp. It was a little clunkier because of the oddity of a three-way tied initiative, but we worked it out fine.
And the third combat was against the animated idol of a goddess and a few savages. This one ended up being pretty slow. The characters quickly determined they couldn't do much against the statue but worked to trip it up by lassoing its legs and using Bash on successful parries. It was a good strategy, but poor rolling just made it take three rounds to pull off. The action economy also gets a little tedious to run through with that many combatants, one of which has 6 actions to go through. It made me think that Mythras seems better for creating very memorable small fights rather than the larger scale fights I'm used to throwing together in S&W.
Anyway, despite us all being new to the system and me having to look up things here and there, and just generally running the game at about half pace compared to when running a system I know well, the players said they really enjoyed it and want to keep at it. Which is really all I can ask for.
Great!
Oh, I got the terminology backwards, it was a serious wound, not major. It did fail its endurance check so should've dropped unconscious, but I couldn't imagine it'd sleep through the spear extraction, and they were happy to let it leave.
You did fine. But why didn't they follow it? I mean, they basically let it wander around in a state of extreme anger, weakness, and hunger?
Looking for food is a major part of it trying to get better...so it would attack humans as well. Smaller and weaker ones by preference.
What did the locals think of this?

This is an RPG forum, thus I feel obligated to discuss the mechanics of wounding...:shade: But in my defence, I'd offer you a way to use that as well!

Failing an Endurance check on a nasty blade wound means you were, most probably, taken down by shock so yes, it would have likely slept through the extraction. Alternatively, I could see it as the panther having its brain shaken so hard it's KO.

And even if it hasn't, odds are they'd just stop when it goes limp, and then the panther would be gently exsanguinated by opening its veins with a sharp blade. With a sharp enough blade, it wouldn't feel it, so it never wakes up.

Now, that's just how I see the situation. Now the question is: which malevolent, bloodthirsty and cruel entity in the setting could help a panther survive in return for its service? Now it's got its service:devil:!
So, I'd make the panther either a priest of a malevolent cult, its living totem animal, or an assassin in the service of said cult:evil:.
Or, alternatively, it could just die from its wounds later on. In which case someone might find it and get a nice pelt off of it. And maybe boast in front of the PCs how he killed a panther someone else had wounded and left to wander!

...and of course, I want to make that extremely clear: none of the above is mandatory. I'm just a voice on some forum whispering ideas in your ear.

That could've been a good option for the savages in the fight, but honestly the real thing that slowed us down was just the high number of actions from an enemy that the players recognized they couldn't directly engage, so it created a very defensive fight where the three of them were just trying hold it off while they tried to trip it. Narratively, it worked, I just think I was too slow in running it.
Well, it takes adjusting to the system, since it's a new detail for you (with BRP lacking APs:thumbsup:).
 

Raleel

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werewolf game last night. My lupus ahroun bonegnawer nearly died from a black spiral dancer getting a lucky crinos claw shot in. This, along with a string of low damage rolls and exceptionally lucky soaks, provoked a longer conversation about how swingy the system is, and how skill makes relatively little difference. The theurge glasswalker, with 2 dice less, was pulling off some amazingly lucky rolls including finding a second career as a linebacker with an every die is a success roll, the gun puppies (we have 3) were all over the place.

We also discovered the fang dagger which we are torn whether the klaive is a trap option or the fang dagger is grossly broken, but it is clear that the power levels are fairly different, and not a way that would be indicated by their relative cost. even against a werewolf, rolling 5 agg no soak vs rolling 5 and getting 10 agg is... well... pretty clear one of those is going to win.

so, not super in love the with the storyteller mechanics, but that's not new :smile: we experienced similar hiccups with scion
 

Certified

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werewolf game last night. My lupus ahroun bonegnawer nearly died from a black spiral dancer getting a lucky crinos claw shot in. This, along with a string of low damage rolls and exceptionally lucky soaks, provoked a longer conversation about how swingy the system is, and how skill makes relatively little difference. The theurge glasswalker, with 2 dice less, was pulling off some amazingly lucky rolls including finding a second career as a linebacker with an every die is a success roll, the gun puppies (we have 3) were all over the place.

We also discovered the fang dagger which we are torn whether the klaive is a trap option or the fang dagger is grossly broken, but it is clear that the power levels are fairly different, and not a way that would be indicated by their relative cost. even against a werewolf, rolling 5 agg no soak vs rolling 5 and getting 10 agg is... well... pretty clear one of those is going to win.

so, not super in love the with the storyteller mechanics, but that's not new :smile: we experienced similar hiccups with scion
Which edition of werewolf are you playing?
 

under_score

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I'm running my first Pendragon game ever tomorrow.
I am hyped.
Are you starting the great campaign? I ran the Uther years a while back and we had a great time with it. I'd love to pick it up again sometime.
 

BlackWolf

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Are you starting the great campaign? I ran the Uther years a while back and we had a great time with it. I'd love to pick it up again sometime.
Not yet, I want to, but at the moment I'm doing a small 5 year campaign to learn the system a bit better. (btw the system is super elegant, as a simplified version of BRP and also being It's own thing)
I want to see how the players will get along with it and maybe even throw another 5 years if it goes well. But yeah I'm doing Uther years too, using only the core book and starting with the sample adventure. I believe I gotta go one step at a time, It was not so long ago some of my players thought that RPG = Dungeons & Dragons, and some people may have the wrong expectations. I even translated and adapted the pitch from Tales to Astound to show them, but still have my doubts if everyone is on the same page.
 

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Metahuman News
We travel to Western Africa to explore the traditional martial art of Hausa butchers, Dambe. A powerful striking style that uses one open hand, and one wrapped in cording. It's growing popularity has Nigeria looking to add Dambe to the Olympics.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseDokPro

Website: http://housedok.com/

Print: https://studio2publishing.com/products/metahumans-rising?_pos=2&_sid=145b3fa95&_ss=r\

PDF: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/277614/Metahumans-Rising

#Metahumans #MetahumansRising #Superheroes #RPG #TTRPG #MartialArts #Dambe
 

FaerieGodfather

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I'm slowly digesting my massive stimulus binge.

I've taken a hard look at Old School Essentials, and I've decided that it's a worthy replacement for my missing Rules Cyclopedia, though the absence of the Mystic class and higher-level rules is deeply unfortunate. I'm planning/hoping-- with the unanimous consent of my players-- to transfer my existing AD&D Spelljammer game over some time in the new few sessions.

Instead of porting over a whole bunch of AD&D classes, as I had originally thought, I'm going to take Necrotic Gnome's pre-OSE Labyrinth Lord supplements, The B/X Warrior and The B/X Rogue and combine them with the Rogue Genius Guides for Pathfinder so that I can keep my class list down to Warrior, Rogue, Mage, Cleric, Druid, Mystic/Psion (if I can find good psionics), and all my myriad racial classes-- current party includes a Dwarf Cleric and a Gish, and I just lost an Elf.

The way it breaks down is that your Edges are largely your subclass (in either the AD&D or 5e sense of the term), subrace, and multiclass decision points or your 5e feats, X at 1st level then an additional one at every fourth. Talents are more of your in-class decision points, like Thief skills or PF class options, X at 1st level then an additional every odd level. Proficiencies, then, are your AD&D WP and NWP slots X+INT bonus at 1st, additional every even; these are the things that everyone can take, specializations on the broad competency I want every character to assume.

Hoping not to overburden the system with too many complicated moving parts, as is my tendency, and to keep it recognizably old school.
 
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spittingimage

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Ran a second playtest session for my homebrew module last night. I'm not entirely pleased with how it's working out. The players are doing their damnedest to interact with the environment as little as possible. It's been 'here is a room where X happens' every ten minutes and not much more. They're getting plenty of random encounters but missing most of the treasure.

I should probably have run this for dungeoncrawler-style players, but none were available.
 

The Butcher

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I was pretty dead set on running ACKS when/if I find the time to play RPGs again. But then Vermintide 2 comes along and they have a campaign based on my favorite WFRP1 adventure. It seems I can’t catch a break from RPG ADD, not even during a gaming hiatus.
 

under_score

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Some unexpected gaming experiences for me lately.

I went ahead and jumped into running a 5e game with the Starter Set. Lost Mine is an easy read and the ruleset quick to comprehend, so I threw together a Roll20 game and put out an LFG post. Within a few hours, had a group of 5 players. One grognard new to 5e, two players with only a couple short games of experience, and two complete RPG noobs. Happily, all five joined my discord server and went through character creation in the days before we met, then game time everyone showed up on time, mics and cameras working, ready to play. It was refreshing, and the game was one of the most fun sessions I've run in months. There's really nothing like the enthusiasm you get from new players. We had a couple tense combats, nearly lost our gnome druid to the goblin ambush but the paladin rushed to his aid. They captured a goblin outside the hideout and the interrogation interaction was entertaining. They played pretty smart, sneaking and scouting through the hideout, and we finished the session after the party rescued a captive in a very one-sided surprise attack on the goblins. A three hour session seemed to fly by and everyone was eager to schedule a follow-up session for next week.

One thing to note is that the support for running 5e is pretty unparalleled. The 5e SRD integration in Roll20 made setting up the monsters needed for the session a breeze. There are a lot of great user created macros to automate a lot of the common rolls. The DungeonDraft community has made great maps of pretty much every section of the Lost Mine adventure. It's gotta be the easiest to run game out there.

Surprisingly, my AS&SH game has been a lot harder to run. No one uses video on that game and there seems to be a lot more long quiet pauses and less player to player interaction. Also, despite being a very experienced group of players, the focus on playing the map is a lot more evident. Our last session could best be described as going square by square searching for secrets while I rolled wandering monsters. Every combat of the night was the result of wandering monsters while doing this. I'm not sure why the play has turned into this. I've never been someone to hide traps or treasures behind non-descrip walls without giving any narrative indication that there's something of interest there. We spent about 15 minute in real time, over an hour in game time, digging through every crack of a small storeroom that was filled with rotted crates and barrels. They eventually found a box with some evenly cut sticks, dowel rods essentially, and spent a few minutes shifting their belongings around to decide how to carry these useless sticks. It's become pretty frustrating and I'm not sure how to change the way the game is being played. The usual incentive to hurry things along in the dungeon is the risk of wandering monsters, but they seem content to just fight wandering monsters until they've been whittled down enough that they need to return to town with a box of sticks.
Thrilling swords & sorcery adventure this is not.
 

Bunch

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Last week I reconnected with an old dog buddy from childhood and his girlfriend. We did a short 5e chargen/start of adventure run through. They enjoyed it enough to rope two more friends in for last night. Both new players didn't quite get it was starting this week. We continued the intro adventure while waiting for the others to show. One never made it. One did with weird audio issues that required some reboots,installs etc.
Ultimately three players were online and we poofed the third player in to join the other players which was actually well supported by the adventure. Ultimately the part was almost TPKd by a trio of undead house cats and some animated salt and pepper shakers. Everyone had fun!
 

Bunch

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Last week I reconnected with an old dog buddy from childhood and his girlfriend. We did a short 5e chargen/start of adventure run through. They enjoyed it enough to rope two more friends in for last night. Both new players didn't quite get it was starting this week. We continued the intro adventure while waiting for the others to show. One never made it. One did with weird audio issues that required some reboots,installs etc.
Ultimately three players were online and we poofed the third player in to join the other players which was actually well supported by the adventure. Ultimately the part was almost TPKd by a trio of undead house cats and some animated salt and pepper shakers. Everyone had fun!
It felt pretty epic to have actual experience watching 1st level players nearly TPKd by housecats. And the battle with the salt and pepper shakers was epic. Barbarian was going up and down like a ping pong with the cleric healing until he was spent. I suspect it's the most epic story that will never be told in a bar.
 

Brock Savage

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The usual incentive to hurry things along in the dungeon is the risk of wandering monsters, but they seem content to just fight wandering monsters until they've been whittled down enough that they need to return to town with a box of sticks.
Dude that sucks, I am really sorry to hear that. I would be pretty frustrated as a DM. Dumb question but are they aware of the XP for treasure dynamic and that fighting wandering monsters is a lot of risk with little reward? It doesn't make any sense and I have never experienced such a thing. I have heard stories of players being so risk-averse that it sucks the excitement out of the game but this is something new to me.
 

under_score

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Dude that sucks, I am really sorry to hear that. I would be pretty frustrated as a DM. Dumb question but are they aware of the XP for treasure dynamic and that fighting wandering monsters is a lot of risk with little reward? It doesn't make any sense and I have never experienced such a thing. I have heard stories of players being so risk-averse that it sucks the excitement out of the game but this is something new to me.
Yeah, it seems like the gold for XP is actually somewhat contributing to this behavior. They don't want to leave a copper piece behind. They're managing the risks by generally playing very smart in combat, setting up watches while they do their searches and being content to leave the dungeon with just meager scraps. It just doesn't make for very exciting gameplay.
I'm thinking I need to explain to the players that I'm not trying to play a gotcha game of pixel hunting, that if there's potentially something of interest in a room I'll give some indication and figuring out what that thing is is more fun than trying to find its existence to begin with.
And maybe my dungeons need to start having some sort of destruction mechanism to reinforce the whole get in, grab the loot, and get out gameplay. Like a massive treasure vault but as soon as you pick something up the whole place starts caving in.
 

AsenRG

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Yeah, it seems like the gold for XP is actually somewhat contributing to this behavior. They don't want to leave a copper piece behind. They're managing the risks by generally playing very smart in combat, setting up watches while they do their searches and being content to leave the dungeon with just meager scraps. It just doesn't make for very exciting gameplay.
I'm thinking I need to explain to the players that I'm not trying to play a gotcha game of pixel hunting, that if there's potentially something of interest in a room I'll give some indication and figuring out what that thing is is more fun than trying to find its existence to begin with.
And maybe my dungeons need to start having some sort of destruction mechanism to reinforce the whole get in, grab the loot, and get out gameplay. Like a massive treasure vault but as soon as you pick something up the whole place starts caving in.
Or, you know, maybe just have a talk with them:grin:?
 

dbm

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We've run the third 'instalment' of my SWADE Last Parsec campaign, which via Fantasy Grounds has been about three, three-hour sessions. To recap where we were:

The party are three Jump Corp troubleshooters, brought to Eris Beta-V by a contact who needs some reliable help. They are:
  • Dippity, a very social Serran with psychic abilities
  • Frank Boston, a Mr Fixit / McGuyver action-engineer
  • Terrence Grey, gentleman thief and crack-shot.
In their first outing, they failed to stop the release of something into Harmony Station, but they made it away in one piece. In their second action they were asked to investigate a brutal murder seemingly perpetrated by one alien-tech academic on another, failing to notice that they were being used as patsies by a third party! Not so hot so far in terms of results, but good fun for everyone involved which is the true measure of success!

I will put the third mission under a spoiler as it comes from the 'Savage Tales' in the Eris Beta-V book...
So, after being implicated or at least wanted for questioning in relation to a murder, the party's sponsor tells them to get off station for a while whilst she clears things up with JumpSec, the local security outfit. She has heard rumours that another space mining vessel will be sabotaged in some way, so she sets them up with basic false histories as gas and asteroid miners and sends them to protect a ship - the Hephaistus.

This is the 'Security Detail' Savage Tale from the book. Savage Worlds Plot Point campaigns were new to me before starting this, and they may be new to you, too. They basically seem to have a fairly loose campaign arc plotted out over 7-ish instalments, some of which can be quite big whilst others are fairly small. They also have Savage Tales which are somewhat embellished plot points. 'Security Detail' has the basic idea of the threatened ship and a couple of NPCs sketched out, not a huge amount more than that. But put together with the background information and a little imagination they can be spun up into a more complete adventure.

In my envisaging, the mining ship is a dual-purpose gas and asteroid mining vessel. Eris Beta-V has a gas ring which can easily be mined for hydrogen. That is the easy-money side of mining, but low reward. There is also another ring made up of smashed alien technology (key to the background of the world and the campaign as a whole). These asteroids are mined by firing pods into them, which miners inhabit for a few days whilst they are attached, drilling alien tech out of the big chunks of space debris. Think Space Marine boarding pods but with drills and the like...

The party come onboard and meet the ship crew (the captain and ship's engineer, primarily) and the two other crews of miners. The way I have imagined this is that each mining crew operates as a separate group of contractors, with their own lead who calls the shots whilst they are on the asteroid, an engineer who runs and monitors the tech of the pod, and one or more 'lunks' who do the actual mining with heavy drills in armoured space suits. The party actually fit this shape really well so that was a nice bit of convergent thinking.

The party have a few days travel time away from the station and towards the rings of Eris Beta-V. The inner ring is made up of asteroids, whilst the outer ring is gas. The idea is that the ship makes its way to the outer ring, travelling past the inner ring in both directions. The gas-mining aspect of the work pays the basic bills for the trip, but the profit comes from spying some juicy asteroids to mine for Voidman tech...

During their time before the inner ring is reached, the party split up to do some investigating. They first scope out the ship's crew and decide they are unlikely to be the saboteurs as they seem very attached to their vessel. So the next thing is to investigate the mining crews who seem far more likely candidates. Of the two crews, Garret's crew seem a little stand-offish initially but once the party gets to know them a little (and Dippity has excellent social skills) they find them to be fairly helpful and friendly. The second crew is run by a taciturn fellow called Tauch Soro and his engineer is Wintoon Xan (both humans, in fact everyone on-ship is human apart from Dippity); they seem very odd and the party overhear them talking about 'the voice' and what it has promised them. Suspicion quickly (and rightly, as it happens) falls on Tauch and Wintoon.

One of the things I wanted from this campaign was a more 'real' interaction with the world. Even though the party had strong suspicions they didn't just decide to get violent with their suspects. They bought into the idea that you need some kind of evidence before you can go around accusing people of being saboteurs...

The party do some more investigation. Frank identifies a few potential vulnerable points in the ship that might be sabotaged. They also decide that the ship will be more vulnerable / plausible to explode once it is full of gas so they decide any sabotage attempt is likely on the way back to the station with a full load of gas. This also matches, somewhat, what they saw at the end of the initial adventure where a gas-mining vessel exploded on its approach to the station. They have suspicions, but nothing concrete. They decide they need to break in to the rooms used by Soro and Xan.

This was an interesting development. Tauch and Wintoon shared a room which had significantly higher privacy / security than the rooms the party were occupying, which raised some suspicions in them. (At one point they did raise this with the captain, who just said that they liked their privacy and paid her to have this; she knew them from a few prior mining trips and didn't find it too strange or suspicious in its own right). Terrence is a skilled thief, and Frank has some hacking skills, so they decided to break in to their rooms. They made it in, but only just. Getting into the room with a Success but not a Raise, they left behind some subtle evidence of their entry (thought they didn't know this at the time). In the room they found a very fancy computer terminal, linked to the ship's systems with an unusually high level of access. They also found a very fancy and heavy locker which Terrence thought he could get into with time but would likely leave a trace. Concerned about the room's owners returning, they decided to back out of the room locking it again behind themselves.

I ran this as a three-round Dramatic Task, which is a great way of putting some structure on non-combat stuff in Savage Worlds. I really like the mechanism. They players got enough successes to find evidence supporting their suspicions, but not enough to find conclusive proof or get out without leaving any trail. This will happen again in the adventure...

So, the saboteurs know someone has been in their quarters, but not who. As it happens, they don't know either the PCs or the other crew on the ship so they decide to try to eliminate both groups. I flip a coin and it determines that they initially decide to take out Garret's crew, and will come to the PC crew second. How do they decide to do this? By sabotaging their mining pod. As it happens, Frank is checking out the party's pod when he sees Wintoon Xan hanging around in the pod bay. Frank calls Xan over and asks for any tips on the pod set up since Xan's crew are clearly more experienced. As a GM, this fairly blew my mind! Asking the suspected saboteurs for advice on how to set up your ship! With a smirk, Xan made some changes to the pod settings in front of Frank and then left him to it! Frank studied the changes but Xan has rolled over 20 on his Repair roll (the catch-all engineering skill in Savage Worlds) and Frank could only muster a single digit result. Xan had made changes but Frank couldn't really understand the implications of them... Whilst Frank was focussed on his own pod's config, Xan slipped off and made some more dramatic alterations to Garret's pod, physically sabotaging some of the control thrusters on it. Frank was too engrossed to notice what was being done, and then the mining alert sounded, mustering the teams to get to their pods as the captain had spotted some choice-looking asteroids in the ring of alien space junk...

The team launch, feeling a little nervous but wanting to keep up the charade. They have a difficult ride to their asteroid, with only Frank's excellent piloting keeping the from a hard landing. Basically, Xan had 'detuned' their systems to give them a hard landing, but he wasn't actually trying to get them killed. Contrast that with Garret's pod, where he had basically de-activated half their manoeuvre and braking thrusters... They crashed badly!

The set-up for how the inner ring works is that there is a number of small moons that orbit just above and below it. These moons sweep up and destroy Voidman space-rocks that drift too far from the ring-proper. An implication of this is that the derrick ships don't hang around after launching their mining pods. They pull back to a safe distance, out of contact with the pods until the agreed pick-up time. I decided pick up is done sky-hook style, with the pods deploying catch-poles and rigging for the ship to latch on to with a retrieval pass. Basically, once they are on the asteroid they are static and completely dependent on the mining ship coming back for them.

So, Garret's pod had crashed badly. He and his lunk where out cold, their engineer Brianna had managed to stay conscious though she was injured. One of the amusing side effects of playing on a VTT was I had found cool pictures for all the principal NPCs. Over half of the NPCs had cybernetic limbs of some kind, and the image for Brianna had both legs and one arm replaced - it really added to the feel that this mining business was really dangerous and people regularly lost limbs whilst doing it!

This was a lit touch-paper for Frank, however. His back-story is that he was a rescue engineer and had lost a crew due to some mistake on his part. His drive was to try and make up for this failure, and with good skills, Mr Fixit and McGuyver as Edges he was excellently placed to do something about this. He jury-rigged a space line between his ship and theirs on a different asteroid, the team winched across and started to evacuate the injured crew once it was apparent that their pod was unsalvageable. Whilst Frank and Terrence handled the evacuation Dippity checked out the cause of the crash, finding evidence that some of the thrusters had failed, but no explicit evidence of sabotage. With time against them as the asteroids tried to drift apart, the PCs returned to their pod and set up a makeshift medical room in their mining bay. At this point Frank's player whipped out his Adventure Card - which said he could basically bring any non-Wild Card allies back into the scene uninjured. The way this played out IC was that his field medicine was so good he had brought them back from mostly incapacitated (and in one case at death's door) to stable and conscious by the time the mining ship collected them a couple of days later. In effect, the rescue aspect was a total success and Frank's player said he really loved how he had built his character as a skilled rescuer and that had totally paid off for him. :grin:

Given the set up (the derrick ship being out of comms whilst the miners worked) it came as a shock to them to find one of the pods destroyed, but they were relieved and amazed that the PCs had managed to rescue the inhabitants. Again, the PCs knew that they didn't have anything to strongly pin this on Soro or Xan, but they felt they had to say something so they took the captain to one side and explained their suspicions. Dippity was persuasive enough for the captain to allow them to confront Tauch and Wintoon, but she wasn't happy about it and certainly needed proof before they could take things any further. The party were up for that, no problem, so headed after their prime suspects to confront them at last...

They (Tauch and Wintoon) were not stupid about this being a key moment, however, and so they had headed back their own rooms to hold-up and break out guns... A violent confrontation started as soon as the PCs came on them and started demanding access to their rooms.

Unknown to the party, 'the voice' had provided Tauch and Wintoon with undamaged Voidman tech. This is literally priceless in-character, and would become a point of distinct interest when things were finally resolved. But, right now, it meant that Tauch had the means to teleport out of his room, and he did that with some demolition charges in hand... The party had no idea about this at the time! The fire fight was relatively short and brutal, with Xan and the two lunks in their team being quickly overpowered by the PCs. When they challenged Xan and threatened him he folded and told them that Tauch has gone to the engine room with the intention of blowing up the ship. They had basically reached the point where they new the game was up and the only way out was a lucky escape whilst blowing up the ship, so that was their new plan.

The party managed to get down to the engine bay in double time based on Frank's previous exploration and finding some ducts they could use rather than normal routes. They caught up with Tauch as he was in the final stages of setting demolition charges onto the ship's main reactor. He saw them and fled; the party split up, with Dippity chasing Tauch and using psychic attacks to incapacitate him. Frank lept on the bomb and tried to disarm it. This turned into another tense Dramatic Task, with Terrence helping and Dippity actually making things worse... But they just managed to pull it off and, for reasons unknowable, the inner workings had a little LED counter ticking down to detonation; in true action-hero style Frank disarmed it with just three seconds still on the clock...

With the saboteurs now fully revealed and defeated the only thing left (or so I thought...) was to interrogate them. Dippity has mind-reading powers and its limitation is that, if you get it wrong, the subject knows what you are trying. This was really useful in stopping them just going around reading everyone's minds to find out who the saboteurs were, but that limitation no longer mattered so Dippity dived in to Tauch's mind, getting a solid Raise on the result.

She dug into his memories, and pulled out a vision. Tauch and Wintoon on another ship, passing close buy one of the moons of Eris Beta-V, Aite. A disembodied voice spoke into their minds. It promised them unimaginable wealth if the sowed chaos on the station and within the mining community. The strange thing was, from Dippity's first-person experience as Tauch, whilst the being showed visions of mining ships and the station these were strange and almost cartoon like. As if the person sending the vision had had them described but never seen them. The voice also gifted Tauch and Wintoon with some whole and undamaged Voidman tech to use in their sabotage. It was very strange. The PCs kept these facts primarily to themselves and the surviving saboteurs (the lunks had died in the fire-fight...) were put in the ship's brig as they changed course back to Harmony station. With two attempted mass-murders the captain decided that this was all above her pay grade...

That was all I had envisaged from this story arc, but things took a dark turn as they ship approached the station... The party decided to radio ahead to their patron and tell her the details of what had happened, and most importantly that the saboteurs had been put up to it by some external party and that they were still alive for questioning by JumpSec. Soteeg paused and then told them that this could be an issue... She had suspicions that there was a mole in JumpSec, and that was why she had brought them in to help. If JumpSec interrogated Tauch and he told them about the strange voice then the mole might realise that their plan was in great jeopardy. She was concerned that they might change tack and simply attack the station without warning. It would be much better if they saboteurs could not be questioned by JumpSec...

This was pure improvisation based on the event unfurling, but it was all plausible for Maruul Soteeg. I didn't especially expect the party to go along with it, they had been mostly 'good guys' up to this point. How wrong I was! The remainder of a session was spent quickly planning a 'failed escape' for the two saboteurs in the brig! To summarise, they managed to sufficiently convince Tauch and Wintoon that they would let them out for a share of the big score that the voice was promising, they temporarily disabled the onboard cameras and also booby-trapped one of the escape pods. They sprung the saboteurs, herded them into the escape pod, launched it and detonated it in space! With moments to spare they managed to get back to the crew section before people came looking for them, to make sure no one had been hurt whilst the saboteurs busted their way out. This was another Dramatic Challenge, and the party managed enough successes for a really good showing, but were one short of a 'perfect' result. That will come back to haunt them at a later date when JumpSec start to analyse footage of the explosion from the ships external cameras...
Phew! So, disaster averted for the moment, and the party richly rewarded by their patron for what seems like a pivotal success. The Voidman tech they have found is mostly being used by Dippity since she has the skills to make best use of it, but to balance that the party have given all their cash rewards to Frank and Terrence, both of whom have now invested in cybernetics.

Another mission beckons in the near future as the campaign-proper starts to gather pace!
 
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Dumarest

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Yeah, it seems like the gold for XP is actually somewhat contributing to this behavior. They don't want to leave a copper piece behind. They're managing the risks by generally playing very smart in combat, setting up watches while they do their searches and being content to leave the dungeon with just meager scraps. It just doesn't make for very exciting gameplay.
I'm thinking I need to explain to the players that I'm not trying to play a gotcha game of pixel hunting, that if there's potentially something of interest in a room I'll give some indication and figuring out what that thing is is more fun than trying to find its existence to begin with.
And maybe my dungeons need to start having some sort of destruction mechanism to reinforce the whole get in, grab the loot, and get out gameplay. Like a massive treasure vault but as soon as you pick something up the whole place starts caving in.
Or something like this...
25.gif
 

Certified

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This is not our normal Metahumans News update. Just sharing an add on.

Thanks to Babies with Knives and our new form fillable character sheet.

Check out their YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BabieswithKnives/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BabieswithKnives/
 

saskganesh

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Those kind of hour long searches for a box of sticks are not uncommon; it's like the dark side of Old School. A sense of urgency should help focus them. Falling Rocks, Poison Gas, Balrog waking up, whatever. Character-driven urgency is better,I think, but that is not always possible.

I have a group that has a bad habit of searching for secret doors everywhere. Because they can.

This is the same group that spent two game weeks tunneling into an empty enemy castle. They wanted the element of surprise.
 

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Metahuman News
Not all who serve are heroes. Some fall from grace. Others we're never heroes to begin with. This month's one shot introduces the Night Warden, along with his crew of "reformed trustees," and three unique adventure seeds.
Content Warning: This adventure discusses abuse of power within law enforcement.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseDokPro

Website: http://housedok.com/

Print: https://studio2publishing.com/products/metahumans-rising?_pos=2&_sid=145b3fa95&_ss=r\

PDF: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/277614/Metahumans-Rising

#Metahumans #MetahumansRising #Superheroes #RPG #TTRPG
 

E-Rocker

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Just realized I never posted this...

E-Rocker Productions Proudly Presents…

HEPCATS Team Zero in…

The Space Station Saga!

Episode 13: Welcome to the HEPCATS, Wren. Hope You Survive the Experience!

(What? You say that’s the text from the cover of The Uncanny X-Men # 139, except that I swapped in the names “Wren” and “HEPCATS” for “Kitty Pryde” and “X-Men?” Total coincidence, I’m sure).

20- 21 November, Rhino Year
Real life date 7 May 2020, online

Present: Ayu, Baron von Braun, Wren, Zera

Three days have passed since the ill-fated party.

Baron, Ayu, and Zera are heading down the hall to get their new briefing from Agent Z when Wren approaches and introduces herself. Baron observes that the team is very trusting, since, whenever a new person shows up and claims to be part of the team, they take that person at their word, even with little to no evidence.

Wren is a human-sized Fairy with wings. Zera is displeased because she was recently told, “by HEPCATS and by God,” that she was the only winged HEPCATS agent. In defense of God and the HEPCATS, at the time Zera was told this, it was true.

It must be a long hallway, because Team Zero all have time to introduce themselves and go over their backstories, and Baron sums up their adventures thus far.

Wren and Ayu realize they remember each other from high school. So we learn that Androids and Fairies go to high school. Together.

At the office, Agent Z informs the team that Baron was recruited for his abilities, and the HEPCATS organization wasn’t sure if “Baron” was his name or his title. But now that they’ve learned that the answer is “yes,” they wish to leverage his position as a member of Clan von Braun.

Clan von Braun is a widely known and respected family, and they even have holdings in other Shards than Baron’s home Shard of Les Rues Sanglantes (Victorian Horror Shard), including Neotopia (Retro-future Shard). Team Zero is being dispatched to Neotopia where Baron will act as a negotiator.

Ayu, Wren, and Zera have never been to Neotopia and have questions about it. Agent Z informs them that space travel is relatively quick and easy there, but there’s an odd phenomenon where, oftentimes, an entire planet will have just one biome and just one government. Also, there are many different alien species, and, while some are truly alien, a lot of them just look like humans with various forms of bumpy foreheads.

Ayu is particularly concerned about Android rights in Neotopia. Agent Z informs her that, since there are many different governments throughout Neotopia, Android rights vary drastically from place to place. On some planets, Androids are full citizens, on some planets, Androids are slaves, and on other planets, they’re somewhere in between. It really depends on where you are.

The team’s destination is the Wayward Inn space station above the planet Kelsey, where they are to resolve a conflict between Princess Bluela of the Blues, Duke Erwin McGregor of the Dragonfolk, and the Zipperheads. Princess Bluela has a Summer Palace on the River Zardox, and has built a dam on it, which is preventing water from reaching the formerly fertile valley where the Zipperheads raise crops. Also, a local young man, Duke Erwin McGregor of the Dragonfolk, was taking a walk through the Princess’s land, where she discovered him and has been keeping him as an “honored guest,” i.e. hostage, ever since.

Agent Z also tells the team that, for now, they “shouldn’t worry about that whole demons controlling robots to steal Dracula’s genealogy book from HEPCATS HQ” situation. The organization is looking into it, and Team Zero should focus on their current mission.

Agent Shoe provides them each with a wristwatch video phone and a one-time use teleportation disk. Ayu gets a blaster that hides up her sleeve, Wren gets a fairy wand that doubles as a listening device, Zera gets a powered warhammer and a throwing crescent, and Baron gets a stronger lasso (enemies have -1 to escape from it).

It’s not far from Neotopia gate to the space port, where Team Zero meets the pilot, Sage Andrews, and the engineer, Tanya Percy. These two women will be operating the spaceship that will take the team to the Wayward Inn. Tanya makes an effort to convince the team that, although she’s young, she was “born and raised on space ships!” and is, in fact, a competent ship’s engineer. No one was worried about it until she started in with the convincing…

Sage and Tanya mention that this is a used ship, but it has recently undergone an extensive retrofit, and “should be fine.”

En route, globs of Purple Space Ooze make themselves known and attack everyone on board! Meanwhile, it turns out the ship is, in fact, not fine, and numerous systems begin to fail, including shields and life support. With teamwork, luck, and skill, Team Zero, Sage, and Percy defeat the globs of Purple Space Ooze, and restore the ship’s systems, preventing the ship from becoming a floating deathtrap.

Arriving at the Wayward Inn space station, the Majordomo greets the team and expresses his extreme gratitude that they’ve come to “help resolve this delicate situation.” Each HEPCAT gets their own room, luxuriously appointed in a style befitting their tastes and interests.

In the morning, after a sumptuous breakfast buffet, Team Zero is shown to the conference room to begin the negotiations.
To be continued....

XP: 3

Episode 14: Going Boom in a Locked Room! Or, To Save a Dragon from an Evil Princess!
22 November, Rhino Year
Real life date: 14 May, 2020, online

Present: EVERYONE! FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!! YAY!!!

Agent Z scolds Kurt, N0-5R, Pierre and Sargoth for missing the flight to the Wayward Inn space station and sends them to get their gear from Agent Shoe. Agent Shoe is even more off his rocker than usual.

Agent Shoe gives N0-5R a “crunch-time program,” which can be used 3 times before it burns out. It allows N0-5R to use his healing skill in 6 seconds, rather than 10 minutes, and a “Staff of Positivity,” which is just a regular, if nicely carved, staff (Str + d8 dmg).

Pierre gets a stack of 300 flyer-sized pieces of paper pre-formatted for flyers, and a portable printer of appropriate size.

Sargoth gets a fancy headband full of lockpicks, and a birthday cake. It’s “both festive AND delicious,” according to Agent Shoe.

Kurt gets electrified brass knuckles (Str + d4 dmg; Str + d4 + 1 vs. machines), and a “great disguise kit!” The allegedly great disguise kit is just a cardboard box full of a variety of hats and fake beards.

These four arrive at the Wayward Inn, and see that the space station has a large retail area, with many shops and restaurants, and Lazy Larry’s Lounges of Luxury. Three preteen boys, Pete, Limlam, and Corey approach Kurt and ask for his autographs, but Kurt convinces them he is a lookalike and not the real Kurt Warlock. They still want his autograph.

Meanwhile, in the Round Room, diplomacy is happening. Present are the facilitator, Crazy Sammy, who is there to make sure everyone obeys the Space version of Robert’s Rules of Order; Princess Bluela with her minister of diplomacy, Speaker Hambone, and her bodyguard, Tasha; Duke Erwin McGregor of the Dragonfolk and his bodyguard Sir Tim McDowd; two Zipperhead farmers, Charlie and Lucy; Baron, Zera, Wren, and Ayu; and eight unobtrusive Station Security officers.

Baron hears out the concerns of all sides. The Zipperheads want Princess Bluela to let water through the dam into their farming region. Duke Erwin just wants to go home. Princess Bluela says she wants everyone to stay off her property, but it seems like what she really wants is to flaunt her power.

The rest of HEPCATS Team Zero arrives at the Round Room. Pierre gets into a staredown with Princess Bluela’s bodyguard, Tasha. Tasha blinks first.

A robot comes in to serve coffee. Crazy Sammy is a bit flustered because a coffee break wasn’t on the schedule. Once people get coffee, a very bright flash shoots out, blinding everyone in the room. Once people are able to see again, they see that Speaker Hambone lies dead upon the floor. Station Security immediately locks down the room to secure the crime scene.

Tim McDowd and Tasha are staring each other down, on the verge of pulling their respective weapons. Team Zero manages to get everyone to calm down enough that they can investigate. Ayu determines that Speaker Hambone was killed with one slash of bladed weapon, wielded by someone who clearly knew what they were doing. As the team questions everyone, the coffee-serving robot lets out a maniacal laugh that is clearly being broadcast remotely, and its chest panel opens to reveal a timer that is counting down.

Someone suggests that Station Security open the door so people can get away from the bomb, but they won’t do it, since the murder hasn’t been solved. Ayu attempts to hack the robot to stop the bomb from counting down. She successfully stops Stage One, but the backup countdown kicks in, and the soon-to-be-bomb-victims are rapidly running out of time! So Pierre creates a mental force field to help contain the blast, and Wren uses her magic to cast Protection on herself and her teammates.

Everyone makes it through the blast unscathed, thanks to these heroics!

Crazy Sammy is desperate to get out of the room. Pierre questions Crazy Sammy about why he’s so eager to leave. Crazy Sammy makes the valid point that someone just tried to blow them up, and also denies that he had anything to do with the bomb, using oddly specific language.

Pierre reads Crazy Sammy’s mind, and learns that the real reason Crazy Sammy is so eager to get away is because he is the one that killed Speaker Hambone, out of jealousy. [Note to any potential GMs- murder mysteries can be quickly short-circuited by PCs with mind-reading abilities].

The Majordomo calls to find out what’s going on and is told about the blast. He asks the team to handle it, since he has his hands full with problems in the Retail Zone, since his Vice President of Commerce for the Retail Zone quit without notice. Pierre offers to step up and help with the retail problem.

The group tries to identify the maniacal laugh that was broadcast from the robot. One of the Station Security guards thinks it sounds like the Evil Emperor Zeke, whose empire starts a few planets away from Kelsey. He points out that, while most people are the hero of their own story, Evil Emperor Zeke totally owns being evil and even has “Evil Emperor Zeke” written on his business cards.

Duke Erwin McGregor, however, is pretty sure that the maniacal laugh belonged to his father. When asked why his dad would want to kill him, Duke Erwin says that “Dad believes that his nephew, um, my cousin, would be a better heir.”

Princess Bluela immediately decides that if Duke Erwin’s dad is going to try to kill him with reckless disregard for bystanders, she does not want him around, and agrees to release her “honored guest.”

Baron offers to release Crazy Sammy into Princess Bluela’s custody, if she will agree to let enough water through the dam for the Zipperheads to resume farming. She finds this acceptable.

Everyone walks away happy-ish.

Except Speaker Hambone, who is dead.

And Crazy Sammy, who is in the custody of a power-flaunting princess.

And maybe Princess Bluela, whose Minister of Diplomacy was murdered, but she didn’t seem that concerned about it…

Team Zero decides they should pay a visit to Duke Erwin’s dad. Opinions vary on where the nature of this visit should fall on a scale of “polite conversation” to “murder.”

XP: 3

Episode 15: Royally Zapped!
23 November, Rhino Year
Real life date 28 May, 2020, online

Present: Ayu, Baron von Braun, Kurt Warlock, N0-5R, Pierre Delecto, Zera

The Promenade on the Wayward Inn space station is hustling and bustling. Many types of people are there, including Gemopians (humanoid aliens made of crystal), Septosians (humanoid aliens resembling Swamp Thing), and a dozen humanoids in fully-encased power armor in royal colors.

Pete, Limlam, and Corey approach Kurt and ask him to star in the movie they’re making, Kurt Warlock and the Space Station Kids. Kurt says he’s busy, but does help the kids come up with a Rube Goldberg death trap for the climactic scene of the movie. He also points out that, since Kurt Warlock is a master of disguise, any of the three of them could play the part of Kurt Warlock.

The Majordomo likes Pierre’s ideas for improving the Retail Zone and appoints Pierre the Acting Vice President of Commerce for the Retail Zone. The Majordomo is so impressed with the first three points of Pierre’s five-point plan that he doesn’t even make him detail the last two points.

Princess Bluela deliberately makes a scene of climbing the stairs to Lazy Larry’s Lounges of Luxury and hiring the five gentlemen on the balcony. They carry her inside and her bodyguard, Tasha, waits on the balcony, looking annoyed.

Duke Erwin of the Dragonfolk asks the HEPCATS to escort him home to the planet Kelsey. As expected, N0-5R opposes this plan because it wasn’t in the mission briefing, but everyone else is on board, so N0-5R will go along with it.

They just have to wait until evening, when Captain Sage Andrews and her engineer, Tanya Percy, will be back at the station with the ship. Duke Erwin is glad that he’s no longer Princess Bluela’s “honored guest,” i.e. hostage, but he does miss playing chess with her. He seems a bit mopey, but, to be fair, his dad did just try to kill him yesterday.

One of the restaurants in the Retail Zone rolls out a free brunch buffet available to everyone on the Promenade. Zera takes one of everything. Baron drinks the blood from the rare prime rib with a straw.

As people are enjoying the buffet, a swarm of Borelian Zap Flies attacks, stinging everyone with electricity! A single Zap Fly would just be a nuisance, but since they roam in swarms danger is nigh! And more swarms are on the way! A dozen or so swarms,all together! Ayu, Baron, Pierre, and Kurt get wounded (one Wound each) from the numerous electrical zaps!

Duke Erwin’s bodyguard, Sir Tim McDowd, throws himself on top of Erwin, which effectively protects his charge.

Two station security guards, Bob and Charlie, mention that Borelian Zap Fly swarms, controlled by the computer, were added to the station’s security measures after the Android Invasion of the Misty Summer. The swarms do slightly more damage to androids, robots, cyborgs and similar than they do to purely organic beings.

Between Zera’s hammer, Kurt’s electrified brass knuckles, and Pierre’s mental powers, the Borelian Zap Fly swarms are on the ropes. Pierre even manages to take control of one swarm, with a power beyond his normal abilities.

Ayu cleverly hacks her blaster so it will send a reprogramming ray, but before she can get a shot off, Baron attaches a serving tray to his whip, and whips the fire extinguisher system, setting it off. Meanwhile, N0-5R is working on healing Pierre.

Borelian Zap Flies have a weakness to fire extinguishing gas, and are quickly eliminated. Everyone on the promenade is a bit disconcerted and shaken up by what just happened, but seem to be okay. Baron works on repairing Ayu. The Majordomo thanks the HEPCATS for saving the station from a second disaster.

Queen Arabella of the Blues arrives. The dozen people in power armor turn out to be her escorts/ guards/ entourage. She ascends the staircase to Lazy Larry’s and drags Princess Bluela out of the establishment by her ear. Making sure everyone within earshot can hear her say, “Are you trying to disgrace our family, Bluela? Are you? If you’re going to make a scene of yourself, publicly hiring bordello boys, you don’t hire five!

(dramatic pause)

“You hire all of them! When you make a spectacle of yourself, make it a spectacle befitting royalty!

Pete, Corey, and Limlam show up, saying that they’ve got a rough cut of their movie that they would like to show. The Majordomo is happy to provide a room with a great AV system. Team Zero, the kids, the Majordomo, Duke Erwin, and Sir Tim McDowd all head for the AV room to check out this fine piece of cinema.

To be continued ...

Closing credits song: “Intergalactic Planetary” by the Beastie Boys.

XP: 3, bringing totals to:

Baron: 46, Veteran
N0-5R: 46, Veteran
Ayu: 45, Veteran
Zera: 41, Veteran
Wren: 37, Seasoned
Kurt: 29, Seasoned
Pierre: 25, Seasoned
Sargoth: 21, Seasoned
 

E-Rocker

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HEPCATS Episode 16: Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You
23 November, Rhino Year
Real-life date 11 June, 2020, online

Present: Baron, N0-5R, Zera

Now that the Borealian Zap Fly swarms have been dealt with, Pete, Corey, and Limlam are quite enthusiastic to show the rough cut of their movie, Kurt Warlock and the Space Station Kids, to Team Zero. The Majordomo kindly provides a room with a great AV system. Duke Erwin and his bodyguard, Tim McDowd, also come.

After some brief technical difficulties, the kids are able to show their movie. It’s surprisingly well done for a film made in a few hours by pre-teens with no prior filmmaking experience and no budget. The kids did particularly well with the Rube Goldberg death trap at the film’s climax. In fact, it seems like, with a few finishing touches and wide distribution, the movie could earn an 88% positive rating on Neotopia’s version of Rotten Tomatoes. The kids apologize for the lack of music in the film and say they haven’t found anyone to do the score yet.

The kids approach each HEPCATS agent to get their feedback. Baron liked it. Zera said it wasn’t very much like Mulan. N0-5R told the kids, if they need a musician to do the score, N0-5R knows a good one, and gives the kids DJ Q2’s contact number.

“Never mind the heart, that’s not part of the number.” -N0-5R

Sage Andrews and Tanya Percy return to the space station with their ship, and are ready to transport Team Zero down to planet Kelsey.

Baron and Zera board the ship, and N0-5R reluctantly comes along. N0-5R is really not enthusiastic about the team taking on an unofficial mission. Duke Erwin and Tim are happy to have a ride. Tanya ensures everyone that the ship is in fine repair now.

Meanwhile, Pierre is busy with his new role as Acting Vice President of the Retail Zone; Kurt is acting as technical advisor for the edits to Kurt Warlock and the Space Station Kids; Ayu is having a malfunction; Wren is doing fairy things; and no one is quite sure what Sargoth is up to.

The flight path down to the planet goes over Kelsey’s north pole, where the ship is attacked by five soldiers on rocket sleds. The ship has entered the atmosphere, so when some of the ship’s windows are shot out, it’s less of a problem than it might have been. Baron works with Percy to repair the ship using some clever McGyver-ing, while Zera shoots out the window with rainbow burst energy, knocking several of the soldiers off their rocket sleds, where they presumably fall to their deaths.

Zera then flies out the window, carrying N0-5R, who hits rocket sled soldiers with the “Staff of Positivity.” Zera then swings N0-5R like a baseball bat, knocking the last soldier off his rocket sled. N0-5R manages to recover that rocket sled.

No effort was made to discover who these soldiers were, or why they attacked…

Duke Erwin is concerned, since his dad recently tried to kill him, that if they fly too close to the palace, they’ll be shot down with anti-aircraft guns, so the ship sets down in the mountains, where he and Tim know of tunnels leading into the palace.

As the group is about to enter the tunnel, a giant Land-Kraken beast crushes the tunnel entrance with one of its eight giant arms! Each arm has an eyeball on the end, and there is also one large, central eye.

The group quickly strategizes. N0-5R has an Unexpected Insight, realizing that they will have a much better chance of inflicting damage if they attack the creature’s eyes, rather than its body. The creature keeps charging up to shoot the electrical beam from its large, central eye, but every time, the team manages to dodge the beam. They proceed to attack the eyes, including the large eye, and make short work of the beast.

They find another entrance to the tunnels (or maybe dug out this entrance? I forgot) and proceed to the palace. The king greats them at the gate, raises his arms in a jovial fashion, and proclaims,

“Son! I’m so glad you’re here!”

To be continued…

XP: 5 (that was one tough monster the team beat the tar out of), bringing totals to:

Baron: 51, Veteran- Levels up!
N0-5R: 51, Veteran- Levels up!
Zera: 46, Veteran- Levels up!
Ayu: 45, Veteran
Wren: 37, Seasoned
Kurt: 29, Seasoned
Pierre: 25, Seasoned
Sargoth: 21, Seasoned
 

Raleel

Not actually a Mythras sales bot
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Me and the other main dm have agreed to run a beta test of my mythrss cyberpunk ruleset for my crew in a couple weeks. He’s going to run it and I’m going to set up the stuff. Of course, if a number of things hadn’t gotten in the way, I would have had them out by now and beaten M-Space to the punch but so be it.

this Friday we are taking a break and playing ark on a private server. I think it’ll be good for us
 

Mankcam

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Still doing a weekly desktop PC link-up on Monday nights to play in MMOs, it's been a ritual for 15 years now. Always fun, and a good excuse to catch up with friends. It's gaming, but not roleplaying.

On the tabletop rpg front:

Recently I have been playing with my friends over the web in a VTT rpg, as a player-character using ICE's 'HARP' system (like Rolemaster Lite) -
It has been rudimentary, we have been using Skype + DungeonZ Dice Calculator, however it has been working really well.

HARP resolves everything in one roll (both attack and damage), so it is actually very smooth to play as a VTT rpg. It's been alot of fun, and strangely feels less fiddily than it does when playing it face-to-face.
I think if we were to move to a system wherein you need multiple rolls then we would probably need to consider one of the more professional VTT platforms like Fantasy Grounds or Roll20, but for singe-roll resolution systems like HARP or Fate, then the way we have been doing it is fine.

It has been a very enjoyable campaign, and we actually managed to game more during this pandemic lockdown (well, I haven't been on 'lockdown' due to my job, but we have been observing social distancing measures during this time).
My group of friends usually meet face-to-face at someone's place once a month to play rpgs, but we were able to do a weekly link-up using VTT. I can really see the appeal of this, although I still prefer actual face-to-face contact. It's like jamming music, I rift off others alot more when I am there in person.

I'm starting to prep for some Pulp Cthulhu games I intend to run in another month or so.
I've also got some ideas if we return to our Middle Earth game (which I GM using Fate Core with the Cubicle 7 books for inspiration)

I am missing running some 'crunchy' tactile combat with Hit Locations etc, so I'm hankering to test-drive some Modiphius CONAN. Failing that, I'm definately wanting to GM some Mythras Mythic Britain, or RuneQuest Glorantha at some stage (I won't do RQG until Chaosium publishes the new Cults Of Glorantha books).

As an aside, I have also been getting into D&D 5E much more these days, primarily to run for my adolescent sons.
I started them on Fighting Fantasy a year or two ago now, and they love it. The 14 yr old wants to start GMing for friends, and knows about D&D, so I thought it best to transfer them to D&D due to the commercial availability of it, and the fact that it's alot easier to come across players for it.
I am also very impressed by the entry-point ease to D&D 5E, and the huge ammount of support it has compared to other systems. Stuff like D&D Beyond and all that.

Not to mention that I do actually like the core mechanics for this version of D&D.

I always loved the old vibe of Basic D&D from the 80s, it was very 'pulp fantasy', and captured that loose flavour well.
However I found that AD&D was too clunky for me, and started going off D&D when friends kept trying to move from BECMI into AD&D.
I then played a bit of D&D 3E when it came out. I liked the logics of it, but, in the end I really didn't dig it at all as I already had other skill-based rpgs that seemed to work alot better with less effort.

I bought D&D 5E a couple of years ago out of interest, but never got into it until playing in a campaign last year.
Now I'm really having fun running it for my boys, and it's simple enough for them to run their own games as well.

It's easy to see the appeal of D&D 5E, and although it's not my favourite system, it certainly is a good one to have.
I'm happy to have returned to it with fresh eyes this over the last year or so

All in all, gaming life isn't too bad at present :thumbsup:
 
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Bill Reich

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In Wednesday's campaign, we few hobbit sheriffs and deputies got some dwarf volunteers to join us in going into the dwarf homeland in order to stave off what they call "inevitable doom." This week, the monsters weren't so tough but there is a dark mist everywhere and an air of gloom. I suspect a glamour spell at work but my character has no real knowledge of magic and she's dumb as bag of hammers.
In the Thursday game, where I am the GM, after fighting off some ninjas, the player characters and their employer merchant had agreed to return the golden dragon (not a D & D golden dragon, just a Chinese dragon that happened to be golden) To the Wu emperor in return for a full pardon and a reward. However, the dragon escaped and now they are fleeing west on the Silk Road in hopes of getting out of the emperor's reach. They were attacked by two demonic servants, probably servants of Wu, and their fell beast mounts but they survived. One of them was down and out on the first move of the fight but was alive and could be healed.
 
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