Saturday, April 20, 2013

Game Prep-a-go-go

Of course. I start posting more on Blogger because I can get to it from work and update when I have a minute, and what happens? They update their firewall and I can't anymore. Blargh. So that's why you haven't seen me around as much. Ah, well.

Well, I'm running Dresden today, Night's Black Agents tomorrow and Promethean on Monday, so I'd best get started.

Dresden is actually pretty easy. I need to catch Clive up, and that means he needs to get attacked by vampires. So that happened tonight. Let's say two Black Court, of Billy Ray's faction, meaning they're armed with pistols as well as vampire powers. I don't want that to drag on too long, since it's just one character, but that can happen as the barbecue is happening. So the characters can get together after that.

They can maybe find some way to keep Rusty, Alice and Clive safe. I want to have Rusty's fight with the vampires become important, but I can save that for a compel of Blood Thirsty when it becomes relevant. What really needs to happen next is that Lou and Opal need to decide on a race track, set the times, and Lou needs to complete the card. And then we need to have the race itself, but I'm actually not sure how that's going to work.

We've got 9 people racing, but none of them are PCs. The PCs need something to do while the race is happening, and I can certainly have someone trying to cheat or blow the race up, but the thing is that the Faerie Courts are involved, and you'd think that would be more of a deterrent. The race has to take place at night so that the Black Court can watch, so there's that. I'd like for the players, if not their characters, to have some way of influencing the race.

Well, I think between Clive's fight with vampires and setting up the race track, and maybe some family drama with Albert and Arthur, and everything, that we'll have enough to fill this session. I'd like for everyone to go into the next session (which is probably going to be the last one in this story, maybe next-to-last) with a bunch of Fate points so we can have ourselves a big showdown of whatever kind.

So let's move along to Night's Black Agents. Assuming we play it; one of my players was in Boston during the attack, and since this is game of setting bombs and stuff I don't know how she'll square with that. She said she thought she'd be fine, but we might wind up doing board games instead.

Anyway, they're at Heat 7. They're in  Budabest, the whole city is on lockdown from the terrorist attack at the subway station. Let's think about what the conspiracy knows.

The vampires know that the characters made it as far as Budapest, and since one of the street gang members that they were trading bullets with last time ran, the vampires have a pretty good idea that the characters are still in town. They'll have monitored the trains, so they know the characters aren't on said trains, but Hanover did a pretty good job of covering their tracks last time. So let's say the vampires know they're in the city and are watching usual channels to see if they crop up.

Which could actually work to the characters' advantage. I'm fine with everyone spending a week in Budapest; it'll give time for the Heat to die off and for the the characters to refresh some General Abilities, but also for the vampires to get dug in. Also, since we're using Mirror rules, I pick a Contact for the characters. I pick Milrod, the weapons dealer that Smith used back in Serbia, I roll, and as long as I don't roll a 1, he's turned. So I roll a 3. He's turned. OK, then.

Since the vampires can't find the characters easily, they've retraced their steps and found Milrod. No point in turning him into a vampire or a puppeteer, they just torture him until he gives up what he knows - Smith is NSA, and he bought a sniper rifle and an AK-47. Now the vampires know that there's an American agent in Budapest with a propensity for firearms. Milrod is looking for Smith, so he's sent word out that he's looking to get him. He's in Budapest, looking for Smith. He wants to meet, and he'll claim he has information about "the paymaster from Zagreb."

If the PCs go to a meet, Milrod is beat to shit and limping (Diagnosis) and being watched (Tradecraft). However, assume the meet is in a public place and the characters can talk a bit, he's also nervous and legitimately scared (Bullshit Detector). Once the characters are marked, the vampires will just wait until they leave and then track them (I'm sure there are systems for that), and then hunt them down to kill them. If they interrogate him, he tells them (surreptitiously) that they're being tracked by someone "absolutely brutal" (Reassurance reveals that he's traumatized, an Interpersonal spend gets him to give more details about the torture and his captors - they spoke Hungarian and Slovak).

The characters get jumped by three vampires later on, armed with automatic weapons (though they start with stealth, knives, and hand-to-hand; one hangs back to spray if necessary). These guys vanished from the train station on the same day the characters came into town, and were presumed dead in the blast. All normal citizens, converted to vampires. All of them were johns who took advantage of Hi-Klass Escorts, which operates out of Gyor (and is a node for the conspiracy, and a start for human trafficking).

In addition, the Heat level starts at 5, being generous, as long as when I asked "what did you do during downtime," the characters don't answer anything stupid. I can roll on that at some point and have the characters get jumped by Budapest police as well as or right after vampires, and see where that goes.

Good. OK, then. Promethean. Last time they fought a bunch of Pandorans, made a couple of milestones, OK. And then they nearly crashed the van, and started walking off into the desert. The aim, here, is to find some clues as to Enoch's demiurge, and get them looking for her and basically figuring out Enoch's creation. She left Pilgrim Marks behind - she didn't know the origins of them, only that they were significant to what she was doing. She left two in the desert here ("Failure," in the dry hot spring near where the characters were sleeping and "Guilt," near the makeshift grave she made for the woman she dismembered to create Enoch, out in the desert).

Ooh, I like that. OK, so, out in the desert there's a barrow. Buried in a strongbox is a woman's ear, still with earrings. The earring is an Azothic Object, 2 dots, worth +2 to Socialize rolls. Her ghost is also hanging around out here.

Abigail Torres
Power 4
Finesse 4
Resistance 3
Rank: 2
Ban: Cannot hear
Bane: Fresh water
Influence: Desert 2
Numina: Blast (sand), Essence Thief, Hallucination, Drain
Corpus: 8
Defense: 4
Initiative: 8
Willpower: 7
Speed: 13
Virtue: Adventurous
Vice: Thrill-Seeking
Integrity: 5

So they can destroy her, she can try and drain Nergal, but if they talk to her, Enoch can gain a milestone. If they put her to rest, everyone gains a Humanity Beat. She can tell them a little about the woman who killed her, but the demiurge didn't actually do that - the demiurge was out here on pilgrimage and found Abagail dying. She tried to help, but Abigail was too far gone, so the demiurge tried the ritual. It didn't work, and the resulting Pandorans made it as far as the hot spring near the work site before falling dormant. The demiurge tracked them there and made the pilgrim mark.

Still gotta get them heading to Trinidad, though. Hmm. Well, Abigail can tell them that the woman who "killed" her was black, very dark skinned (I think she's from Nairobi), and spoke with an accent. The should give the characters a place to start.

Whew. I think that'll do it.