Sunday, August 14, 2016

Night's Black Agents: Discussion, then Explosion

EDIT: Forgot I was behind on my #RPGaDay2016 posts. Let's just slot that in!

What Game is Your Group Most Likely to Play Next? Why? Ooh, I like these questions. Well, I have several groups, but the one that's likely to be switching up is my Monday group. Presently we're alternating between Feng Shui and Marvel Heroic, but Michelle is going away for a few weeks soon, so I don't want to play without her. So I think the plan is: Play Feng Shui tomorrow and end our current story arc, play Marvel Heroic for the next two weeks and finish that Event up, and then play...something else for three weeks while she's gone.

But what? I had been thinking Chariot because I need to review it, but I dunno. I need to read it and see if that's something my group would enjoy. Iron Edda is another possibility because it's Fate (which my players know) and it's a lot of fun; I played it at Origins and it worked really well as a one-shot, so we could totally make it a three-session game with no trouble.

What Makes a Successful Campaign? Collaboration. Games, campaign or otherwise, don't work unless everyone's invested. That means everyone shows up, pays attention, contributes, gives feedback, and keeps up with the events of the game, not just defaults to "my character, my character, my character."

Your Dream Team of People You Used to Game With: Oh, wow. It really depends what we're playing. I've had some fantastic players who couldn't figure out mechanics and didn't try, but were amazing roleplayers. But I think I need to pick a game before I can pick a dream team. Let's go with Misspent Youth, just because it's something my players from back in the day would have found fun. Picking five people from people I'm not currently gaming with, I'd want +Jacob Green+Tom Trent (that's a bit of fudge, since he's local and plays occasionally, but he's not in any of my ongoing games), +Chris Horvath+Kimmaree Horvath, and +Carrie Harris. That'd be a fun game, I think.

Last night was Night's Black Agents. On we go!

Last time, the agents fled Bucharest and wound up in Greece, planning their next move in the sun-drenched splendor of Mykonos. They pulled out the ol' corkboard (well, the players did) and talked about what they knew and where they might go.

The figured that the conspiracy had various arms - research, money, muscle, food. They knew they'd dealt research a blow by taking out Macan, and they knew they'd screwed with money by taking out Bauer. Hanover reminded them that they'd put a crimp in food by disrupting Hi-Klass Escorts and the conspiracy's operations in Paris.

They also looked for information on the "brutes" they'd seen, using photos to try and identify them. Some of the brutes had criminal records, but none at Budapest Prison. Some were ex-military, some police, some were just people. It looked to the agents that the conspiracy just grabbed people when they needed muscle, and preferred to grab people who knew how to fight. Knowing that, they started looking for spikes in missing people that fit that profile. MacAteer put filters in place to notify him if such a spike occurred.

The agents discussed what to do next. The first choice was Janos Sas in Budapest, but that wasn't exactly a soft target. They were also low on samples to make their biological weapons, so finding a known "master" would be useful, but the only one they knew about was Ava Kingsilver. Gambone relayed what he knew: Kingsilver was ex-Israeli Army, went rogue, sold weapons to a lot of unsavory folks in various European nations and if she had a home base he didn't know it. Finding her would probably require reaching out through an "untainted" mutual acquaintance, and they weren't quite ready to do that.

They looked into the IFEA and found that the finances were pretty clean. Branching out, they looked into Nikita Utkin (owner of Rus-Bel Air) and found that he had criminal family ties (Russian mob) that went back three generations, and he did time in the 80s with Anton Dedopovic.

Essert, meanwhile, yielded interesting results. Tracking movements, they found that he'd flown into Berlin from Switzerland a day later than planned, where Sas had met him. After that meeting (no one else was in the room where it happened) they found he'd cancelled social engagements, given himself a raise in his position of CEO of EssertTech, and moved some money into offshore accounts. Their assessment was that he was either about to run, or he'd been turned. Parker noted that at the party, he hadn't exhibited the trademark lisp of a master, so if he'd been turned, it was recent.

Looking for samples, they turned their attention to Tasse Medical and found that someone was moving money from hidden accounts associated with the company. They also found that a lot of the research had been wiped, and that trail led back to Luc Lemarque, a lab tech they'd talked to waaaaaaay back here. Figuring that there might be physical samples there, and figuring that Paris was sufficiently far from the conspiracy's power base, they started making arrangements to head out.

Around then, though, MacAteer got word of missing people in Istanbul. The conspiracy was tracking them. Parker sent her contact Bakir a message to lay low, and the agents started packing up.

As they were, though, Ess, monitoring local boat traffic with a CB, heard a burst of Hungarian. MacAteer, out on the dock, saw two boats pulling in - one of which carrying armed men. They shot at him, but he dove for the house and they missed. The other agents took up defensive positions and fired back. Gambone and Ess tossed grenades, but they landed in the water (that managed to shake the boats, though, and throw off the gunmen's aim).

Two of the men jumped from the boat to the land and charged for the house, but got met with gunfire. One made it in and swung at MacAteer, but Ess shot it in the head and killed it. Parker took up a sniping position and fired at a dude who seemed to be the leader, but even a shot to the throat didn't down him. He tossed a grenade of his own into the house. Most of the agents dove clear, but MacAteer caught some shrapnel and used his Disguise MOS to play dead, and then snuck out to go steal a boat.

A subsequent shot to the chest seemed to rattle the "leader", and he dove into the water and pulled one of his dead comrades in after him...meanwhile, the agents heard sirens approaching. MacAteer rolled up in a stolen boat, they loaded the bodies of the two "brutes" aboard and headed for their yacht.

A little forensic pathology later, they had blood and tissue samples from the brutes, but they weren't nearly as interesting as the masters'. They sent samples along to Dr. Sedillo in Italy, and took their boat to France so they could head for Paris. That'll be the next op, then.