Monday, April 2, 2018

Game Prep A-Go-Go

This is my last day of spring break. I had wanted to do a character a day, but then I got hit with some really shitty news on Tuesday and lost basically all of Tuesday and most of Wednesday to depression and suicidal ideation (hey, you read my blog, you take your chances). I'm much better now (I mean, I'm still depressed, I basically have been nonstop since fall), but that doesn't change the fact that I planned on making like seven characters this week and I'm gonna wind up doing four if I do one today.

But, on the other hand, I really wanted to get caught up so I could continue doing one a week all year, and as of right now I am (13 weeks into 2018, 13 characters done). So that's nice.

Anyway, today I'm doing game prep. I'm finding it's useful to do a game prep post once a month-ish. Since most of the games I run are monthly, that works out nicely (the ones that aren't are bi-weekly, which might require an additional Blades in the Dark or Promethean post on occasion, but I don't suppose that's a problem).

Right, so, the point is, if you're one of my players, maybe don't click the thing here.



Promethean

This is first because I'm running this today. 

Last session was good. We had a couple of milestones, including one that's been a long time in coming. I think that the next arc for this chronicle is going to involve Ollie, spirits, and creating new Prometheans, but I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. So let's think about the important things that happened last time.

The Jovian: Has its hooks into Feather and Avalon pretty well. Avalon's approach to Deviant isn't going to get her anywhere because it's not breaking humanity's laws or norms, and therefore not driving her to understand them. Plus, it runs the risk of attracting Ollie, who is still kinda obsessing over her. Feather made a minor milestone, but that's so the Jovian can keep her from doing important stuff (like making a new Promethean, which is her last universal milestone). The Jovian would rather deal with those two; Enoch has too great of an understanding of the occult to be safe to mess with, and it can't really see or understand Matt. 

The obvious question is how much Lurch knows about it and whether he could help, but I don't want the NPC to tromp in and fix everything and the Jovian is pretty rare, so I think I'll keep those two arcs separate. Speaking of which:

Lurch: Lurch is happy to see Matt and meet his friends, but he's still utterly confused as to what he's meant to do to complete Phosphorum. And he does have to complete it - it's on his Pilgrimage. He doesn't necessarily have to complete Psychopomp, though, just a Role on Phosphorum, though I think dealing with death in some way other than actually dying is probably important for him. So I think facilitating him completing that Role, and thus getting him to the point that he can attempt the New Dawn, is appropriate to the chronicle. 

Let's say, for the record, that Lurch has completed the following Roles: Aes (Bodyguard, Seeker); Argentum (Observer); Aurum (Companion, Leader); Cuprum (Hermit); Ferrum (Martyr); Mercurius (Explorer); Plumbum (Ascetic); Stannum (Outcast). His Pilgrimage is 7 (8 if he completes Psychopomp) and his Azoth is 6. 

The Phosphorum Athanor was created by...let's say Jesse, Phoenix' creation (so he's a Galateid, or was, who knows if he's still a Promethean). It's built into a shrine at Blue Grass Memorial Gardens cemetery, in a mausoleum. So once Lurch takes them to the Athanor, that'll give Matt his Explorer milestone, though I kinda feel like we should work for this a little. The Prometheans have been to the Underworld, so an Avernian Gate isn't new. How about since they've got the Jovian on them, touching the Athanor (anyone but Matt or Lurch) kicks up a Firestorm? I do like Firestorms. 

Let's call this a Dirae Firestorm, triggered by a Promethean "carrying" the Jovian touching the Athanor. 
Element: Elpidian
Scale: Centered on the mausoleum, radius one yard/dot of Azoth of the character triggering it
Duration: One turn per dot of Azoth
Strength: I think I'll roll for it (p. 266) when it happens
Aspects: Well, there'll be at least one, so we'll say that it'll have Flooding - tears flow from the mausoleum. If there are others, we'll say it carries EMP (shorting electrical devices in the area) and Depressive (everyone feels sad and loses one point of Willpower per turn spent in the area of effect), in that order
Aftereffects: All characters immediately lose Pyros equal to twice the Firestorm's Strength. Also, every character has an Elpis vision about death and inevitability. I think since there are 8 characters I'll pair them, based on whoever's closest to each other when the storm subsides, and then have them share a vision. That'll also give them clues about the Jovian, since Lurch and Matt don't have it on them.

Whew, I think that's good for today's game.

Blades in the Dark

This is quick, I think. Mostly just updating other factions since last time. Let's do the clocks as they stand.

  • Unseen: Infiltrate the Spirit Wardens (6/8) 
  • Spirit Wardens: Uncover the infiltration (4/8) 
  • Gondoliers: Investigate the desecrated hollows (4/8)
  • Scurlock: Fulfill debt to Seterra (0/12, on hold) 
  • Circle of Flames: Obtain all the remains of Kotar (Eye, Hand, Heart, Tongue): 6/8 
  • Grinders: Build an army (5/12), Fill war treasury (5/12) 
  • Fog Hounds: Obtain a regular patron (3/6) 
  • Lampblacks: Losing patiences with Widdershins (2/6)
OK, so, the scoundrels did a number on the Ministry and their actions made sure that spirit bottles have circulated to unofficial and criminal channels, but not so much in official ones. That means that the Spirit Wardens are, amusingly enough, having a lack of bottles. That also means that the Spirit Wardens are going to keep an eye out for a way to screw with the Widdershins gang. And look at that, Cage is using spirits to track Gargoyle. 

But also the Unseen are working to infiltrate the Spirit Wardens, and the Spirit Wardens are kind of distracted at the moment. Seems like they could use Widdershins for that. I'll make that a job they could do.

Um, jobs, then.

Making an Omelet: Grull gives One-Ey this job and the next one. The Spirit Wardens use deathseeker crows to seek out people who die in the city. The Unseen wants to weaken that ability by training their own, but they haven't managed to breed them. They want some eggs from the rookery at the Belleweather Crematorium. Grull (a carriage driver, but actually one of the Unseen) told them about this score already; it's still available. He'll meet them wherever they want with the goods, but they have only an hour to get the eggs from the Crematorium to him or else they don't get paid. Complications: Ghost guardians, guards with sparkcraft weapons, someone might recognize Cage's mask, doing this loud will mean going to war with the Spirit Wardens.

Bakoros: Grull also offers this job: A Spirit Warden known as "Bakoros" is going to be giving a lecture at the Doskovol College of Immortal Studies in Charterhall. He (?) customarily takes a carriage back to the Belleweather after those lectures. If the crew can get him to a particular townhouse in Six Towers, there's a good payout involved. He needs to be alive and unhurt. Complications: Bakoros is a badass, and he will fight to the death. If he figures out he's being kidnapped, he'll not only call for help, he'll go for blood.

Vice Den: Copper can get this job because of gambling. This shifts because it makes so much more sense this way, and can really be a combination of this and the Ruby. All the crew has to do is figure out how to get Ulf to let them run the place. Ulf Ironborn's gang has taken over a gambling den near the Widdershins' hideout. It's got a long gangplank leading over the canal, so it's become known as "the Island." They deal mainly in card games, dice games, and the occasional rat race. Ulf is using it mostly as a way to generate money, and the boys who run it aren't from Nightmarket; they're Skov refugees and their "people" are in Dunslough.

Luxury Fence: Penderyn kicks this off by mentioning this to Cage. Cricket (she tends to chirp/whistle when she's nervous or bored). Cricket is short, wears her hair in a bob, and dresses somewhat less than luxuriously, but she can find a buyer for some really high-end stuff. At present, though, she's under the employ of the Hive. The Hive, of course, doesn't really do business with occult or arcane things, meaning that the if crew can "taint" Cricket somehow, they could drive the Hive off and start using her as a fence. This can start off by Penderyn mentioning that he wants to fence some higher-end objets d'arte but Widdershins doesn't have that kind of rep.

Demon Bags: A Leviathan Hunter cohort of Siren's named Myre mentions that he smuggled a whole bunch of demon bags - black silk bags of Tycherosi origin. They're illegal in Doskovol, but with the shortage of spirit bottles, people are starting to use them more. Myre can hand them off to the crew, but he doesn't know anyone who can fence them. Complications: Getting them off the boat means getting them by the stern quartermaster Naria. The demon bags themselves are volatile and reactive to spirit-stuff. Finding a fence is the crew's problem; Myre just wants a percentage.

Sounds good.

Night's Black Agents

Holy cow, what does it take to kill these people!

Well, they're really in something of a pickle. Everything on that plane is tagged and tracked, and sure, they can find it and disable it, or rewire it (Electronic Surveillance spend for the former, Digital Intrusion roll for the latter). The second they cross into British airspace they'll be met with military presence, and if they cross out over the ocean again (which they will, almost immediately, on their current course) they'll be shot down. There basically isn't a way to make the authorities think they're not compromised; there was too much time for the crew to radio in. 

That does mean, though, that Hajnal can't just send someone to shoot them down (could he anyway? Probably), and he doesn't have much military influence this far west. The conspiracy basically has to sit and wait to see what happens, here, and that gives the PCs a chance to slip away. But if they slip off the radar, the conspiracy is going to burn Gambone's Solace alive and blame it on him. That's gonna sting (obviously the next op should be to save her, but that assumes Matt thinks to bring that up).

Mostly, I think, the next session is going to involve them getting out of their current predicament, which could mean increasing their Hot Lead to 10 and escaping the conspiracy, but that means they need to high-tail it to Italy like, now in order to save Maria (which will be the next op). Or, the next op is gonna involve dealing with Gambone disintegrating.

Chill

Not a lot of notes here. The notes I took before the last session still hold up. I don't think I've turned on Seclusion yet, because there are 5 dark tokens, but that'll basically be the first thing that happens (and it only lasts until a recovery passes anyway, which might be why I waited; I want them to notice it). 

Several of them are injured, so Loomis could definitely soften them up some if he wanted to get grisly. I want them to investigate the garage and find the bird-watching journals and sketches of the xaxog, though.

Think that'll about do it.