Sunday, November 3, 2013

Game Notes!

I'm running Night's Black Agents later today and Promethean tomorrow. Actually, in both cases, we might just be recapping what's already happened, spending XP and doing some stage-setting, but since I have ideas for both games, I should take some notes.

So, Night's Black Agents. Last time, the characters took out Vasily Avilov's operation in Paris. This, obviously, sends some ripples through the conspiracy, and makes the higher-ups sit up and take notice. I think, at this point, I should figure out the tier-five people, as well as the remaining tier-four slot. Tier-four is a national power. Right now we've got Renate Bauer at the BSI; I figure she's responsible for routing a lot of the conspiracy's money through legal channels. That also gives the PCs a good opportunity to really screw with the conspiracy if they take her out. Also, we have the Reiniger Clinic in Switzerland, doing a lot of the same kind of research that Tasse is in Paris. Oh, look at that, I need another level 1 entry, too, but that's neighborhood.

OK, we're in Bonn, Germany. According to the Wiki page, there's a lot of international traffic and travel here, which means that the vampires use Bonn as a way to meet up, choose new puppeteers, and discuss their plans without being noticed. They steer international conventions toward Bonn - actually, that could be my level 1. Convention coordinator Mike Nadel, scheduling liason at the World Convention Center. He's not a puppeteer, just in the pocket of the conspiracy through financial means. He takes bribes to make sure that the conventions that that conspiracy wants to line up with each other, do, and that hotel blocks and so on work in their favor (that is, they get hotels with big kitchens and industrial freezers, or at comfortable distances to such). The human trafficking arm of the conspiracy always puts a lot of people through Bonn at the right times, too.

Now, for our level four...let's have a transnational group, one that can run its own convention from time to time. International Free Energy Association, working on sustainable energy sources, free electricity, and so forth. They're based in Budapest, officially, but if the PCs dig into them, they'll find some cross-traffic with the Hy-Klass Escort Service, and (if Hanover ever manages to trace the money back) that the Russian mafia money funnels to and from both.

Finally, our level-fives. First is  Vilmos Hajnal, a Hungarian-born crime boss and puppeteer. He's posing as his own son; the original Hajnal supposedly died in 1958 (victim of KGB). In fact, Tesla himself turned Hajnal into a puppeteer and helped him become one of the most powerful criminals in Eastern Europe. Hajnal stays on the move all the time - trains, planes, RVs on the roadways, ships - and travels at whim. Truth is, he receives his marching orders from Tesla, and he never knows where he's going next (and neither do his people).

And then, hmm. I kinda want something else science-related, since that's very much Tesla's focus. Oh, duh, definitely should be an Aricebo kind of thing. So let's make something up.

Let's say that east of Vilinus, near the Lithuania/Belarus border, there's a top-secret facility with very powerful broadcasters and receivers trying to pull in and decipher messages like the one Tesla decoded way back in the day. The project is a USSR holdover, known to a very few scientists and personnel still living (including, probably, David's contact, Ivan, though he's only heard rumors). It's level five not because it's immensely influential and powerful, but because virtually every government in Europe has protocols in place for keeping it a secret. If the PCs investigate, doors start slamming and alarms go off that they never knew existed.

Now, for this game, since they're going to be after Renate, they can stake out her home in Bonn, but she's a BSI op who's using her position to launder money. She does most of her sensitive work at work, behind locked and carefully guarded doors, and never takes incriminating stuff home with her. She doesn't make vampires normally, but if the PCs generate any Heat in Bonn, she kills a couple of men and makes them into vampire bodyguards while she goes hunting. Renate isn't reactive, she's proactive (which is why she was in Paris meeting with Thibault and checking Avilov's body).

Good start, I think.

Now, as for Promethean, I had an idea for this story. I can't do new milestones for the PCs until they spend their XP and choose new Refinements, if any. But here's a thing - when were we during the last story? Well, checking my handy timeline here...May. Crap. Very hard to justify anything happening at a ski resort in May, innit? Hmm. Damn. Ski season doesn't start until November or so, and ends in April, but this certainly wouldn't be happening in May. To make this work believably I'd have to cover...what, at least 8 months. Hrm.

Well, maybe that's not impossible? The last session saw everyone fly off a damn mountain. Feather literally threw Skip off. It's not out of the realm of possibility to think that the characters split up for a while, especially the ones that were having Torment problems. But 8 months, I don't know. A lot of resorts have summer activities, and a rainstorm might make the place impassable, but...

I suppose I could hold the rainstorm in reserve in case the characters try to leave. Hmm. I guess the other, other option I could do is ask whether the players would prefer to take 8 freaking months of downtime or just progress straight to Colorado. Or, I could run an intermezzo kind of story while we're in Denver, just to eat some of that time, and then jump up to the mountains once it gets cold again. So many options.

Let's consider this: I'm running Promethean until the semester ends and Michelle picks up the next intermezzo. That's how many sessions? Maybe five or six. I don't think I want to fuck about with placeholder stories, but the appeal of snow is just too much to ignore.

OK, fuck it. The last session took place on May 16, 2007. We're jumping ahead eight months to mid-January, 2008. I'll let players tell me what's doing. And then, New Year's Eve, 2007, I'll have them all at the same party (location TBD after they tell me how they spent the downtime).

And then a week later, they get back together and head out of town, van breaks down, they get picked up, and get taken up to a resort. The resort is called Angelus, because "on the nose" is OK by me sometimes.

Angelus is hosting a wedding this weekend. The bridge, Serena May, is here with her maid of honor (little sister Stephanie May) and her three best friends, Brooke Wilson, Winnifred "Freddie" Gale, and Madison Serrano. Her parents died in a car accident two years ago, and most of her family is estranged (white, highly conservative, and they don't approve of her choice of mate). She's Wyoming, but hasn't been back in years.

The groom is Babi Singh, an Indian-American man from Denver. His parents are not exactly traditional; rather, they appreciate tradition but don't let it restrict them. They're paying for the wedding because Serena's family can't or won't. Babi's extended family is mostly in India and couldn't make the trip, but his best man is his best friend (Mike Amole), and his groomsmen are two college buddies (Damien West and Richard "Olly" Ollenbeck) and Madison's husband, Leslie.

There are some assorted guests, as well. The wedding party is here to have the bachelor/bachelorette parties, the rehearsal, and then the ceremony, and then the guests stay on another day or two while the newlyweds leave to fly with the groom's parents to Madras.

So, I know I want to use "Devil's Dance Floor" by Flogging Molly for the "devil" song, here, and I want to have something coming between Babi and Serena. Old boyfriend, old girlfriend, demon coming to collect his due from one of them? I think I'll wait on the particulars until we go through the downtime. There are literally too many possibilities, and I really want to make it mean something to the PCs.