Monday, February 19, 2018

Happy President's Day! Game Prep!

Those things are unrelated, except inasmuch as I'm off work today due to the holiday so I have time to do game prep. I'm gonna let Blades go, though, as I don't have spoons to finish.

You know the drill, if you're a player, don't read. I don't actually think any of my players read my blog except maybe Michelle, anyway, so.


I'm running this today*, so probably I ought to start here. Last session there was violence, but what I think is interesting is that the characters didn't actually kill anyone (though most of those TFV folks are going to be out of commission for a good long while, which is something everyone forgets about healing times and normal humans in this system). They have Virgil back, and now they need to find Lurch and get out of dodge. I need to think about things from the perspective of the "bad guys."

OK, this particular TFV team is out. The only one that wasn't injured was Ramirez, and while he's probably in Disquiet it's not going to be enough to override his good senses (not like he's stage 3 or 4 yet). The larger issue is that the Cheiron Group is hip to the throng now, and they have different tactics and resources than TFV. On the other hand, I kinda want them to be able to track the PCs and jump back at them later when they have a good sense of how to hit them (naturally, this all ignores the PCs repeated requests to leave them alone, but then again, the PCs have managed to do a lot of damage, scare a lot of people, and then there's Disquiet).

There's the Jovian, too, who'd be working on keeping them away from Lurch, so I think we'll make that the next real plot point, particularly since Skip is on track to switch back to Ferrum and make an Athanor. Let's have the Jovian take a more direct hand today, and hand out Beats to lead them off track and keep them away from Lurch.

Hmm. Ordinarily I'd pull out Glimpses or Mysterious Places and have the Jovian lead them somewhere interesting, but I'm also kinda thinking it'd be nice to finish up this story. I also wouldn't mind getting back into the "angel" groove. I think there's probably a way to combine all of this.

Let's have Matt see a qashmal whose job it is to lead him to Lurch. Qashmal is a cat, playing with the kittens, and then bumps against Matt and beckons to follow, cross-cut to Enoch/Skip/Grimm/whoever talking with "Rock," and then bramp, the cat vanishes like the lights going out in a storm. If they can disrupt or get rid of the Jovian, the cat can come back (the very next day). Hopefully that's not too obtuse for these folks.

As for Lurch, if they can find him, he can lead them to the Phosphorum Athanor. He can also talk about his recent setbacks, but the PCs hopefully can talk him through it. He's pretty close to done (like, he could attempt it, he might just wind up with amnesia), which would hit a few milestones for the group.

Don't think I need to stat anything; there's been enough combat just recently anyway.

*Well, I was gonna, then I apparently got sick, so fnah.


This'll be our fifth case. Nice. 

So, I kinda want to do something undead, given that I've spent the last few months thinking about undead things in Chill. The characters are, in large part, not terribly combat-savvy, so I'm thinking draugr is a bad idea. Ooh, actually, I think I want to use a scarecrow. 

So let's say up in the foothills outside Boise, we've got a house belonging (formerly) to one Earl Loomis. Loomis died three months ago, killed by the xaxog. Rather, he was killed by a logger (his land borders a logging forest, he likes to watch them work, the xaxog stirred things up like it do, one of the loggers shot him and he crawled back onto his land and bled out). Loomis was always pretty self-sufficient and he's been getting groceries delivered for a year or so now. His nearest neighbors are more than a mile away and they don't know him well. Loomis made it to his garage before dying, and decayed into a scarecrow. 

Earl Loomis (Scarecrow)

EWS: 75 (Notable)
REF: 90
STA: 70
Injury: Minor –10, Serious –20, Major –30, Lethal
Disciplines: Operate, Spook, Teleport (in lair only)
Aspects: Bloodless, Cloaked (in lair only), Deadly Attack (Minor), Expendable, Lair (Blackout, Halt, Seclusion, Swarm), Reincarnate, Special Weakness (fire, leaving its lair), Specialization (Ambushes +30), Supernatural Speed (in lair only), Unfeeling, Unliving
Loomis' lair extends a half-mile from his body, so it encompasses the garage, the house, some woods, most of the driveway, and a big chunk of yard. Bleeding (5 STA loss, or no STA loss if a Minor Injury that involves a cut already exists) on a tree allows a character out of the Seclusion in the woods, but there's no key on the non-wooded side. There's a firepit just outside the Lair on the west side, which could be used to burn the corpse if the PCs can manage it. 

Searching the house lets them learn about Loomis: 67 at the time of his death, Viet Nam vet, worked as a mechanic during and after the war, bought the house in 1980, married, no children, his wife Geena died of cancer in 2014 and most of his army buddies are dead. Not on social media (has a FB account, but has not used it since Geena died). 

The house does not have wifi, and once Seclusion is up there's no internet at all. That means Research is of limited utility, although I think birdwatching journals in garage might be fun - that way Loomis can note his encounters with the loggers and even mention seeing the xaxog. Sketches, I think. 

This is going to be fairly brief as cases go, probably just a session or two. I need a way to get them out there, though. Sasquatch sighting might be good, even if it's not a sasquatch. Let's say a body is found at the bottom of the hill, beaten, broken, pecked up by crows. The body is taken to St. Paul hospital, and Rosalita Clemmons contacts Dee and tells her about it. They can get to examine the body if they motor, and that data should point them toward the house. Groovy.

Night's Black Agents

Oh, lordy. 

I'm burying this down here for a reason: Gambone is looking to sell out Wolfie. We know that last time, as the characters were pulling into Reykjavik, they got some unwelcome attention. Turns out that was because Gambone contacted the conspiracy. 

So, we need something that will make them scatter. Police presence would be perfect because they can't shoot their way out of that (they can, based on past experience they won't). That allows Gambone to incapacitate Wolfie and deliver him to the conspiracy, and then probably he'll vanish, and that's gonna leave Parker, MacAteer, and Ess to figure out what to do next. If they want to try and rescue Wolfie, terrific. If they want to give it up, great. Either way it looks pretty grim. 

They were flying into Iceland, I think? No, boating. Cool, so they can pull into the wharf. Police boats pull in behind cutting off their exit to the sea, police cars and guns on the wharf, nowhere to go. Extreme Iceland (a tour company) is right there, so they can go and steal cars and run. I think the conspiracy proper is going to stay back from there; they'd rather like the Icelandic police take the "terrorists" into custody and then grab them later once Interpol gets involved, though getting Wolfie directly is really best-case scenario.