Gamma Patrol by John Aegard
Pocket Danger Patrol by John Harper
GMless procedure and house rules
Seth M. as Alpha the Beast Explorer, a mutant bipedal wolf
Special Abilities: Tooth and Claw, Primal Rage, Lay of the Land
Sean N. as Othello the Immortal Storyteller, a cyborg
Special Abilities: Staff of Truth, Take Me To Your Leader, Voice of 1,000 Stories
Devon as Oakbrood the Plant Leader, a giant walking tree
Special Abilities: Tall as a Tree, Grasping Roots, Defuse Conflict, Commanding Voice
Jonathan as Bitros Bitros Ghali the Robot Diplomat, a scary robot
Special Abilities: Evil Robot Clutches, Laser Eyes
Herzog Graaag the Mutant Scavenger, an ex-Supremacist
Special Abilities: Ancient Devices, Line of Bullshit, Poison Immunity, 37 Eyes
Fragtusk the Beast Warrior, a mutant boar / dinosaur hybrid
Special Abilities: Follow the Scent, Sixth Sense, Fighting and Biting, Commanding Roar
(If anyone remembers who played Herzog and Fragtusk, please let me know!)
Fungoid Cult in the Forest (GM: Devon), ex-villagers with spore-infested brains, they are preparing the return of the Great Toadstool
Strength: Cunning, Weakness: Battle, Countdown: 2 turns
Insect Slavers in the Jungle (GM: Seth), fist-sized mutant wasps, their sting induces total obedience and loyalty to the hive
Strength: Action, Weakness: Trickery, Guarded by Snake Marauders
Snake Marauders in the Jungle (GM: Devon), sentient snakes who sneak around swallowing loot then spitting it up back at their lair, they are currently controlled by the Insect Slavers
Abandoned Decadence in the Ruins (GM: Herzog), "The Real Scavengers of Silo Zebra", a family of looters who have been living in an automated reality TV show facility for generations, they're obsessed with something called "ratings"
Strength: Technology, Weakness: Charm
Mutant Supremacists in the Caves (GM: Fragtusk), a violent tribe of racists currently being harassed by the Real Scavengers
Strength: Cunning, Weakness: Daring, Guarded by Ancient Decadence
Telepathic Predators (GM: Jonathan), tiny fast humanoids with psychic powers and miniature siege engines
Strength: Cunning, Weakness: Battle
Winged Leviathan (GM: Sean), a city-sized behemoth that's recently moved into the area, they're also known as "World Eaters"
Turn 0: Threat / Scenario / Character Generation and Flashbacks
(I'm sad to say that I didn't start recording until just after the introductory flashback scenes.)
Seth M.: So, we know that our Village is going to come under attack. We know that we have about as much time as it takes for each of us to take a single action before these guys attack us... Somehow we know this, either intuitively or through our intelligence or reconnaissance, or the past events and situations that we were dealing with in the flashbacks. There's no initiative in this game, so whoever has an idea for how their hero tries to stop one of these Threats can go ahead and call it out... They can punch them, they can strategize, they can raise the Village militia and strike when they're least expecting it, they can research ways to peacefully come to terms with them, whatever, just so long as they're no longer a Threat.
Turn 1: Herzog the Mutant Scavenger vs. the Fungoid Cult
Herzog: So, I have discovered, in my scavenging in the ruins, a pharmacy lab full of swallowable antifungal capsules, and I'm going to sneak in using Cunning and Daring to break into the Temple of the Fungus Cult, and then pour it into their well so that it will cure them of the fungal brain spores and they'll all abandon the Cult and go on their merry way!
SM: Wow, OK, so Devon, how do you feel about that? You two should collaborate on framing the scene and roleplaying the characters... What do you think of that, do you think his plan sounds reasonable?
Devon: I think there are other reservoirs, so it might not totally eliminate them... They're strong against Cunning, so it's hard to get one-up on the Fungoid Cult, they think strangely...
SM: Is anybody else present in the scene? It sounds like you're doing this, you're going out and taking care of it.
H: Is there anybody else who'd be good to have with me?
SM: I'll come with you if you want, I'm an Explorer and I know the area, the Lay of the Land, right?
H: That makes sense.
SM: OK, so the two of us are cutting through the underbrush... I'm marking off 1d8 because I'm helping with Lay of the Land, so we can find the exact location of the well... Anybody else have any long-distance dedications they want to send out, some helping dice somehow? No, OK, then what's dangerous about this?
H: Well, there's the fact that we're trying to sneak in here and they could surround us.
D: I would add that they're...
(~1 minute inaudible due to sudden huge crowd of noisy kids, but I believe it had something to do with Herzog suddenly being confronted by his Cultist brother Agar, and Herzog bringing in the d12 Blood Vendetta Against Agar Graaag that he earned in his flashback scene)
SM: OK, anybody else? Is that good?
H: (rolls 5 hits and 3 danger) Aw man, that sucks!
SM: So, that's five bonus dice to the next person to act against that threat, and a Complication, which means you avoided direct harm, but now there's a complication on the entire situation that may come to affect all of us and all of our actions.
D: (inaudible, something about the plan mostly working but that many of the Cultists were away conducting secret business at the bazaar)
SM: So, now they're sneaking around.
D: I think they (inaudible) secret ritual...
SM: OK, on a post-it note, write "Secret Ritual, 2d4" ... So, that's something that can affect any of us in any of our actions, each GM can bring that in if they can justify that the Secret Ritual is causing additional problems... and now, narrate the results, what happened when you tried to pull this off?
H: We got to the water source and we poured it in, but then we heard my brother's voice say, "Fooool! Don't you know that if you poison our well, we simply move on! The great glorious leader (inaudible) sacrifice and fell magics! Soon it will arise, the Great Toadstool, arise!!! Ah hahahaha!" ... because he's a Republic serial villain...
Turn 2: Othello the Immortal Storyteller vs. the Snake Marauders
Sean N.: Alright, these Snake Marauders are controlled by the Insect Slavers, and I think if they were told the truth, it would snap them out of their haze and they'd turn on their masters and become our allies... I propose that part of the effect of the wasps' sting is to distort the victim's reality, it's creating an illusion and perhaps I can make them see the truth! With the Staff of Truth! And I think the only way in is for one of us to be swallowed by one of the giant Snake Marauders, so I propose Charm and Trickery... I'm immortal, right? And we already know they can't eat machines.
SM: So, while the Fungoid Cult is being cured in the forest, this is going on in the jungle... Is anybody else there? Anybody want to join in?
SN: Anybody want to join me in turning the Snake Marauders against their oppressive overlords? Someone with Laser Eyes, maybe?
Jonathan: (inaudible, something about Bitros joining in with the plan and being swallowed too)
SM: So, are we taking it as read that you were swallowed, regurgitated, and you are now back at their lair? And this is where you make your attempt to stop them?
SN: Right, and it's dangerous, many bad things can go wrong... I'm introducing the danger that I had to be swallowed to get here and it may have caused some damage.
D: Also, you've come to where the Insect Slavers are and they could arrive any minute...
SN: OK... rolling to turn the snakes against their insect overlords! (rolls 6 hits and 2 danger) ... look at all these useless d8s... But we did it, we got six! A lot of these d8s didn't help but I'm basically unhurt.
SM: Now let's figure out what that roll means, go ahead and narrate and collaborate on it, what does it mean that those specific dice succeeded and failed?
SN: Well, our Special Abilities did jack-all... but I'd say Charm won out, as well as all of the danger dice, so I think that they were impressed by the bravery of these two creatures to come amongst them... and I want to say that instead of the Insect Slavers infecting every single one of them, they only infected the leader, and the leader made them attack us...
D: I think they've got several giant snake leaders, and then they've got little mini snake minions that just steal spare change and stuff.
SN: And we were able to challenge this leader and overthrow him... and once that was done, the Insects had no more hold over them...
SN: And they've been defeated as a Threat, so...
SM: OK, and this might be a good time to point out that with games like this, it can be easy to lose sight of in-character roleplaying, so I would love to hear you say a couple of lines of dialogue from that scene, and also some snake response.
SN: Alright, I _slam_ the Staff down! "You have been deceived!!!" He slams it against the ground again! ... Do the Insect Slavers have a name, did we name them?
SM: I think they are... the Slaver Wasps.
(apologies to Phil Foglio)
SN: "The Slaver Wasps are not your allies! They have imprisoned you!" And he points his staff at one of the giant snakes.
D: "You were tasty but we were forced to spit you up, we're forced to spit up all sorts of tasty things... You may speak truth, I do not know, I do not knooow, I, I..."
J: (robotic voice) "Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma model has shown that cooperation is the best way to conquer."
D: "Among us, small snakes cooperate with big snakes. Are you a small snake or a big snake? Will you become honorary snakes? Then maybe we can agree?"
SN: Um. "Yes! Amongst your people, I would be honored to be called a snake." Then I give a salute, no wait, they've got no arms, so instead it's a wiggle wiggle snake dance (Sean demonstrates the armless wiggle wiggle snake dance), and I win it with Charm!
D: "We do not have to bring stuff here? We do not have to spit stuff up? We will go do our own thing! This is good. Come, small snake minions..."
SN: The Snake Marauders are going to go maraud something else, but not our Village! ... And I think I want to call my threat dice an obligation to the Snake Marauders.
D: I think you've become like blood brothers with the snakes, which involves some venom coursing through your veins.
SN: Sure! Yeah, snake venom!
SM: Yeah, you exchanged bites!
SN: We exchanged bites... we were going to spit in each other's hands, or do the equivalent, but they've got no hands, so instead of the spit and the handshake, it's the bite! So now, I'm "Venomized, 2d4". Awesome.
Turn 3: Alpha the Beast Explorer vs. the Fungoid Cult
SM: OK, I'm going to cut back to the Fungoid Cult... I was over there with Herzog, helping out with Lay of the Land, and then your brother showed up, "Ah haha, the rise, the rise of the Republic serial villain!" ... And as he says this to Herzog, the camera moves slightly to the side, and you see Alpha the Beast Explorer behind him, and he snarls, "You will not rise, you will fall!" And then he claws him! Right in the back! I've got Tooth and Claw, I'll take that d8.
?: (to Devon) You clearly have the most popular bad guys, we're all gunning for them!
SM: I would say that it is dangerous because I totally gave myself away with that snarl.
D: And you're pretty loud and there's still a bunch of Fungal Cultists around.
H: And unlike me, you are not immune to poison, so there's also the fungal spores.
SM: (rolls 8 hits and 1 danger) OK, my claw d8 didn't really work and I totally gave away the element of surprise, none of those bonus dice worked, but still! ... So, what does it look like? I wanted to give you the coup de grace on your brother...
H: OK, well, let's just say that he goes in and attacks you with a big battleaxe, and you slash at his face and his head just pops right off!
SM: Oh, man! Well, OK, I'm also happy to decapitate him for you!
H: Fountains of blood, it's gruesome. And all the rest of the Cultists, the Cultist leaders come in, "Oh, what did you do??" ... and they fall down and we make short work of them.
?: So, the leadership of the Fungal Cult escapes... they split off to do their own secret ritual, so although the primary Threat is ended, there's still a Secret Ritual 2d4 being performed somewhere.
H: OK, so you killed him and then there's a sort of sad moment where I say, "He was a monster but he was my brother, boo hoo hoo!" ... And it's really crazy watching a guy cry when he's got 37 eyes.
SM: Eww, I end up all wet and shaking myself like a dog... and I'm going to say that the rest of the Fungoid Cult... they were actually relying on your brother's initiative, which the rest of them don't have at all... He was resistant to the spores and just using the Cult for his own gain... and these guys had no motivation of their own. What do you think of that, what happens to them?
D: Well, I think that they're kind of confused but once they drink the water and start being cured of their fungal illness, they'll go, "Wait, what's going on here?" They'll probably wander back into the Village, saying that they don't remember the past five years.
?: Man, that was a bad trip...
SM: So far, this is a very nice story! A story of freeing the bizarre peoples of this earth from their oppressors! We fight for freedom!
?: Wherever there's trouble!
SM: And I just remembered that Gamma Patrol has a funny way of doing overkill which is the "Reward" ... so I'm going to roll a d6 and give myself that Reward, it's a 6: Technology... does that work? So, I have a one-shot d12, and it's technological in some way... could somebody help me with that, because I can't actually come up with a reason...
SN: Well, if Herzog's brother is a scavenger like him, then maybe after his brother was taken down, they take you to his hut and you find some crazy awesome thing from before the Fall that he had scavenged... I don't know what it would be, but actually you don't need to specify, right? It's just "Technology"...
SM: Right, we can leave it vague for the moment. So, I now have some kind of ancient device that I can bring to bear later.
Turn 4: Bitros the Robot Diplomat vs. the Winged Leviathan
J: I've got an idea... so Bitros Bitros Ghali has been doing a little research about Winged Leviathans, and Bitros infers that most living things have innards which are necessary for living, and given his many exploits exploring the inside of giant serpentine monsters... he has decided to use his sound emitter to resonate a low tone that will summon the Winged Leviathan, and perhaps he will swallow him whole! And while inside this massive "World Eater," he will find its weak spot deep within its extremely large intestines, hit it for massive damage and cause it to puke out all of its insides!
SM: Oh my god, what did that Leviathan ever do to you?
SN: Alright, I dig it, so yeah, getting swallowed by the Winged Leviathan is sort of like getting hit by wind. It's so massive that it swallows you and the nearest town next to you. These things are gigantic, so getting swallowed by one is no problem at all... and it seems to me like this is Cunning and Tech? Or Daring and Tech?
J: I'm thinking Daring and Tech, because I'm using my literal lack of fear to squash what for any other biological lifeform would be heart-rending fear from this incalculably large beast absorbing me.
SN: It's kind of like the Pinocchio story, you enter this thing and you have an adventure, there are islands inside it and there are other things that live in there, whole ecosystems within it... and you have found its weakness, which is Tech...
J: I'm going to find the weak spot. Like, I recall there's a part of the human large intestines where if you put pressure on it, it will cause you to throw up.
SN: The challenge is that you're trying to put pressure on a mountain... You found the one little weak spot, but it's just titanic.
SM: I can give you another d6 to say that you may overload your energy systems doing this, your power cell might just redline and fail.
SN: I'm going to add in a danger that if you don't apply enough pressure and you just sort of tickle it, you're going to get sneezed out and shot into orbit.
J: (rolls 6 hits and 5 danger) Yes!
SM: You almost sacrificed yourself and you pushed it to the limit but you did it, good job! ... So, you take 2 threat dice plus there's another Complication on the scene...
SN: I'd like Seismic Shifts, like maybe the bellowing of this thing exhaling has created tectonic movements?
SM: Go ahead and narrate based on your dice, what happened? What worked and what didn't?
J: I got a couple of double hits, so I think the internal ecology presented no threat... the flora and all the digestive enzymes are sentient and they were extremely weak to my diplomacy... I told them they had no reason not to allow me to pass and they couldn't offer any argument against it, so I just rolled past them... and when I made it to the weak spot, it was massive but my Laser Eyes did it!
SM: So, did you kill the Leviathan? Is that how you ended the Threat? Is it hitting the ground that causes the Seismic Shift?
H: I like that, I like the idea that there's this corpse now that's the size of a city and could be seen from space.
SM: So, Tremors, or Seismic Activity, go ahead and put that on a post-it note, someone, with 2d4.
SN: I'll just say "Earthquakes, 2d4"...
?: Dude, the smell, when it hits you.
J: "I thought they smelled bad... on the inside!"
Turn 5: Oakbrood the Plant Leader vs. the Telepathic Predators
D: OK, so... the Telepathic Predators are smart and they've noticed that most of the heroes have left the Village, so now they're scouting around in preparation for their major assault while everyone's out of town... Oakbrood notices a couple scouts and crushes them to death with his enormous tendrils... and this is unlikely to take them out, they're just some scouts, so it's Strength and probably Battle here, and then the Grasping Roots for 1d8.
J: And Battle is their weakness!
D: Is there any extra danger here that people see?
?: So you're just trying to lash out?
D: I'm trying to eliminate their scouts that are running through the Village.
SM: I bet the Earthquakes are causing problems.
J: I think these little guys are pretty quick, and the tree is a little slower.
D: OK, I'm fine with rolling that, let's see what happens... (rolls 3 hits and 5 danger) ... For my 2d4, I think they've lured me out of position, so they're basically running me around in circles and I'm being exhausted.
SN: Could you have tipped over?
D: Possibly, I did fail on both... yeah, I guess I have actually fallen over.
SN: Because normally, you're so rooted in the ground but now you're moving so fast.
D: And there were Earthquakes, OK, so yes, "Have Fallen Over, 2d4"...
SM: "Predators On The Loose," is that what we want to call the Complication? They're running around now causing problems everywhere?
D: OK, "Predators Are On The Loose"...
Turn 6: Fragtusk the Beast Warrior vs. the Insect Slavers
Fragtusk: I'm going to try and take out those Insect Slavers now that they don't have their snake guards, and I figure they've got to have a hive in the jungle somewhere, and a queen we can kill or drive away.
SM: I think that's quite certain, yeah.
F: So, I'm going to try to track it down with my Follow Scent and just go straight in, Fighting and Biting, using Cunning and Battle!
SM: OK, neither of those is their weakness.
SN: I'd like to help because now I have this obligation to the snake clan to get vengeance on their Insect Slavers.
SM: Venom brothers!
SN: Venom brothers, right! And I'm taking the Storyteller advantage "Take Me To Your Leader," just because it keeps coming up, and let's say that I remember the universal parley that allows us to bypass all of the sentries and to be brought in and taken directly to the queen...
SM: That works for me.
SN: I'm giving you my last two bonus dice.
SM: So... you both enter this enormous horrific decaying mutated honeycomb of a hive! Crawling through it, watched by the Slaver Waspzzz who are hovering around you...
SN: We should be adding in danger.
SM: Oh, is it dangerous? I suppose you could add danger if you like...
F: It's very dangerous, there's a lot of these bugs around.
SN: Is the honeycomb in danger of collapse? Could the earthquakes be shaking it? Could things be falling?
SM: Yeah yeah, bring in the 2d4 for the Earthquakes! It also causes the danger of antagonizing the wasps, so they might start freaking out... they're trying to stay calm but they're starting to wonder if you guys aren't responsible for all this shaking going on... (Fragtusk rolls 6 hits and 5 danger) ... So, another perfect sacrifice move where you didn't quite kill yourself and you took them all out!
F: Yeah, we walked in and started communicating, and then attacked the bees... and I'm sure there were some scrapes and maybe even a sting or two.
SM: And I think in the midst of all this Fighting and Biting, there were a couple of lines of dialogue! "Bzzzz... You cannot defeat the Slaver Waspzzz! Pathetic creaturezzz, you will become us! We will be you!"
F: "I don't think this negotiation is going very well."
SN: "No, I don't think it is either."
F: "The time for Cunning is over! You have not accepted our terms, RRAARGH!" And for the Complication... there are now bees flying around with no queen.
SM: Bees On The Loose!
?: Well, what happens when you whack a wasps' nest, right? They go crazy.
SM: So, Crazy Bees?
SN: Aggravated Bees?
F: "Rogue Mind Wasps, 2d4"...
?: It's hilarious, we have all these situations where we've taken out the main Threat, but they've spawned a little partial Threat like the Secret Ritual from the Fungoid Cult... We have Earthquakes and all sorts of pissed off people running around.
End of Round: Threats vs. Village
SM: Now, you owners of the remaining Threat cards, roll a d6 for each of them... (only Jonathan rolls a 3 or less) ... The Telepathic Predators just hit the Village! That's one hit to the Village, one-sixth of the way to the grave! So, describe it please, what happened? We know they're On The Loose, we know they're in the Village.
J: I think they have a newfound source of machinery and machine-working, so I think they've crafted a series of tiny siege weaponry which they now roll into the Village and pummel it with tiny mortar blasts, thousands of them.
SM: The cutest catapults you ever did see.
J: Yeah, until they blow up the foundation of your house and it just kinda topples over!
SM: So, boom, the Village is officially under attack!
J: The first shots have been fired.
Turn 7: Oakbrood the Plant Leader vs. the Abandoned Decadence
?: And what's going on here? It's a reality TV show?
SM: Yes, and clearly we need their help to defeat the menace of the Predators.
D: I'm open to diplomacy if you want.
SN: Yeah, by all means!
SM: Well, you need to stand up first, but that's a minor point.
D: OK, yeah, I'm not really looking my best when I go to meet the reality show people... they're in their silo, filming... so I guess Charm and I guess Trickery as well, to try to convince them that hunting the Telepathic Predators would be so much better... I mean, look, they've got all these catapults and stuff! Would that not be great television? And then maybe you could save the Village for once, instead of looting it! You do need variety for your TV show...
H: A line producer comes in wearing giant headphones and a suit like a knock off from Blade Runner and he's like, "Hey, so you know, I really get what you're doing here, I know that you're trying to save your village and that's cool, I can totally see that, but I've really got to say that these little guys are not going to show up very well on the screen, and you can't really hear what they're saying. They're not so great as antagonists. You, on the other hand! Huge deep voice! Cutting your own limbs off! That's like a 12 share right there, that's gold!"
D: I'll throw in 2d8 for Defuse Conflict.
SM: Defuse one by beginning another?
D: And I think it's dangerous because I'm talking to people with chainsaws.
?: I think there's a danger that you might have to sign a contract to do this... I would love it if you became part of their show.
SN: It's also dangerous because one of the major actors was saying, "You know, I kinda like these little Telepathic Predator guys, it might be fun to join up with them and start tearing stuff up!"
?: And the Predators are still On The Loose, 2d4?
D: Maybe those scouts that I trapped are still nibbling at me, trying to get away from my Grasping Roots.
?: And there's the actor who likes the Predators, so they're definitely a Complication in this scene.
D: So, neither Charm nor Trickery is their weakness?
H: Actually, Charm is their weakness!
?: So, maximum results are doubled.
(Devon rolls 7+ hits and 6+ danger)
?: Look at those three d4s, they're all fours!
SM: So, the fact that the Predators were On The Loose totally worked to your advantage!
D: It was because the Predators are now attacking the silo, and they're suddenly not so cute when they're nibbling on your wiring. OK, so we successfully convinced them to go varmint shooting, but I take a bunch of danger that takes me out... so I think I'm co-starring or something... That's a new Threat card, "Rescue Oakbrood from Reality Show"... he's not really happy with his contract.
SM: And we've got two turns to do it before he's lost forever!
?: Before he hits syndication!
D: I'm their new narrator... (deep voice) "Last time... on the Real Scavengers..."
SM: Plus you can do the crane shots.
?: You can hold all of their cameras at once! You might even get your own reality spinoff series!
D: Oh, great.
Turn 8: Bitros the Robot Diplomat vs. the Complication: Secret Ritual
J: OK, I want to take down the Secret Ritual... by finding the ritualists' hearts and extracting them! "Kali Ma!!!"
SM: O... K... Where is this going on? Frame the scene a little bit.
J: So... this Secret Ritual must still be happening at the bazaar, I don't think the Fungoid Cult was routed very far... I'm going to roll up with my little RC car treads and go through the bazaar... People are hawking their goods, and the word on the street is that the Secret Ritualists are in the old stonemason building, in the basement, the one with all of the shades drawn. They are there doing their Secret Ritual, which involves... works of charity! Like, maybe they're babysitting some of the kids whose parents are working at the flea market! When suddenly, this evil killer robot comes in, preying for blood, and that's the scene! It's Strength and Battle and I'll take a d8 for my Evil Robot Clutches... So, is anyone going to aid me, you know, murder a whole bunch of ritualists who are babysitting some kids?
SM: Uh... Hell yeah, I'm in! Yeah yeah, I'm with you, I'm there! After clawing your brother's head off, I've been helping you to sniff out the rest of the Cult... We sneak down there and while you're Kali-Ma-ing people in the heart, I'm chomping on them with my Tooth and Claw!
SM: Here you go! (gives Jonathan a d8)
J: Thank you! Anybody else?
(even more silence)
J: OK then, any dangers?
SN: Well, one is that they might already have indoctrinated the kids... You're like, "Don't worry, kid, I saved you..." and then he stabs you!
J: Right! I may be evil, but I think there's still some semblance of Asimov's laws in my head, and I'm pretty sure one of them was no child killing.
SN: Right, so your programming might freeze up.
SM: And I think you're definitely risking social ostracism, walking out covered in blood. I think maybe that's going to cause you some trouble later.
J: They're gonna run me out of town on one of their giant magnets! (rolls 3+ hits and 5 danger) That's a lot of ones... I'm going to be taken out of the action but this is going to be very funny... Can I narrate this? Because I know exactly how this is going to happen.
?: Actually, you're not taken out, you only got five danger.
J: Dammit! I wanted to be taken out!
SM: Well, you do take 2d4 and there is a new Complication.
SM: That happens a lot in this game, you take out a Complication but create a new one. So, the Ritual could just be continuing in another location, and we could just keep that Complication on the table...
J: Maybe these kids who have been indoctrinated by the evil Cult, their own parents don't want them anymore, they're on their own... actually, I don't know if that's going to work as a Complication, so yeah, let's just keep the Secret Ritual out there.
SM: OK, so that was just one place where the Secret Ritual was being conducted, but there are others... And your 2d4 threat dice, is that everybody being after you? You have to hide or something?
J: Yes, I'm on the run.
Turn 9: Othello the Immortal Storyteller vs. the Telepathic Predators
SN: I don't have any more bonus dice, but I'm going to write in a new Special Ability as a trait to use descriptively. One of his Abilities is "The Voice of a Thousand Stories," and he has memorized all of these other stories told by all of these other storytellers, and his mind can effectively appear to telepathic creatures as a whole city's worth of people, like a thousand people, to lure them away... to the Predators, he appears to be a whole other race for them to conquer. And they've already been scattered and disoriented by Oakbrood, they've got some hits on them already...
SM: So, you're maintaining all of the different characters from all of those stories in your mind at the same time?
SN: Right, normally I would access one at a time, because I guess I'm some sort of cyborg, but instead of loading one at a time, I load them all. And I think I'm going madly schizophrenic as I attempt to lure them away, into what is now known as the Dangerous Land of the Fallen Leviathan... I am using Cunning, which I know is their Strength, which is bad, but this is Cunning and Trickery, and there's three d8s on them already, and I'm taking two d6s for the danger of becoming schizophrenic. I also still have some snake venom in me for 2d4. So, who owns the Telepathic Predators? Can I lure them into this zone of danger with a thousand voices?
J: Totally, that's awesome.
SM: And consider which Complications are in play here... like the Slaver Wasps still flying around.
J: Yeah, I think there is a risk with the wasps, perhaps they are in fact adopting the Predators... resulting in a Predator which might not be led astray by your voices... so that might be an issue.
SN: Anyone want to help, anybody even still around?
SM: It's late and I can't think of anything, but I guess I've helped a couple of people now with the Lay Of The Land, because I appear to be the Explorer in this party... I'm not there, but maybe my teachings could lead you safely to the proper location?
SN: Or are you one of the voices inside my head? I've replicated your voice and it's giving me advice?
SM: Oh, of course! I probably insisted that you make me a major protagonist in a large percentage of your stories.
SN: Right, right, awesome.
J: And I think you ran into me on the periphery of the Village, like out in the swamps, because that's where I've been exiled as an evil drone robot at this point. But I can totally help you out by disarming the siege engines because I have all of these little precision lasers, I can snip the ropes on their catapults.
SM: And are they actually being ridden by the Slaver Wasps, did that really happen?
J: Yeah, I think the ones that are coming after you are riding the wasps... No, wait... Maybe the wasps are so big, they sting the back of their heads and can still fly around with them dangling.
SM: Oh my god, this is getting even creepier. Just roll, just roll.
?: They form this crazy...
SM: I don't want to share this imaginary space anymore!
?: Alright, alright!
J: Battle is their weakness and Cunning is their strength.
SN: (rolls 7+ hits and 6+ danger) So, that doubles because I'm using Cunning, so they're taken out with overkill, but I'm taken out as well.
SM: You get a Reward, so let's bring that in to the narration, roll a d6... 5: Romance! ... OK... good luck everyone, bringing in a romance somehow... and I guess that's everything, so go ahead and narrate it.
SN: I see that a lot of the successes here come from our Special Abilities and from the hits left over from Oakbrood's initial assault, so part of this is that they were scattered... and certainly Alpha's voice was a leading element... so they must prey on thoughts, the Telepathic Predators must want to absorb them. These d8s are all successes... Clearly, your Laser Eyes disabled all the catapults, so they had to follow us deep deep deep deep into these crevices that were formed by the Leviathan crashing... and using Cunning, we were finally able to get them under a huge ledge and time it just right. You used your Laser Eyes to fire on the ledge and it just collapses on them, this huge chasm just collapses in on them... But I've sacrificed myself...
SM: Are you lost as well? Do you fall into the chasm?
SN: Yes, I'm lost in the chasm.
SM: Whoa, THAT is the worst thing that can ever happen to an immortal.
SN: Trapped in a chasm and insane, yeah.
J: Wait, how does a romance come into this?
SM: That's a very good question, the Reward... yeah, we can reroll it if you want.
SN: Oh no, I like romance...
J: You did have a schizophrenic break at one point, so maybe one personality has fallen in love with another?
SM: Oh, wait, wait a minute, I got it... There's an immortal woman at the bottom of the chasm! She's been there a long time, and she has been _lonely_.
SN: All 1,000 of us will fall in love with her!
J: "You have no idea how long I've been waiting!"
SN: Alright, so we have an immortal companion!
Turn 10: Herzog the Mutant Scavenger vs. the Mutant Supremacists
SN: Well, aside from all the crazies running around, the only real Threat left is the Mutant Supremacists.
H: And I'm going to go deal with them, 'cause they're my peeps. Yeah, I'm going to use an Ancient Device to scare them... I'm gonna talk to them and inform them that our multicultural crew of robots and sentient plants and beasts are tired of your Mutant Supremacist B.S.! And we are going to kill you! With this! And I pull out this... thing... "You'd better run! I'll push this button in three minutes if you don't clear out!" And what is this thing? I have absolutely no idea. It's Trickery plus Charm plus Line of Bullshit.
F: They don't know much about past technology, they're more into the future and mutations. On the one hand, it could work. On the other hand, they may think you're about to irradiate the entire area and that would be cool with them.
H: "No, it's not an atomic bomb, it's an anti-mutation bomb! It will un-mutate you!"
SN: "But you would be sacrificing yourself!" says one of your fans!
H: "It's a small price to pay! I love each one of my 37 eyes, but I do not love them as much as I hate you!" So, the first danger is that I have no idea what the thing I'm holding in my hand is. I don't have any idea, it could be an A-bomb, it could be a garage door opener, I have no idea.
SN: I think there's the danger that since you're one of them, you might feel compassion for them.
?: I think another danger is that in the mutant clan, battle is usually fought mano a mano in a duel, so one of them might just call you out.
SM: Any of those Complications come into play?
F: No, but as you do all this bluffing, an elderly mutant steps from the crowd and says, "Son, you don't want to do that..." It's your father!
H: I have got the worst family!
SN: Could we combine those two dangers? Does he have to duel his father?
H: Yeah, alright... (rolls 5 hits and 2 danger) ... Well, they call my bluff, I press the button and it goes weeeeoooooo and there's all sorts of crazy nutso stuff... like, it makes a big crazy lightshow, I don't know what it is.
?: Does it blow your hand off? Does it de-mutate people? Does it do anything? I mean, we're getting to the end of this game, it's time to blow it up right now.
H: Yeah, I don't know, it doesn't de-mutate anybody, but at the same time, it makes this crazy strobe light... "It's done! In 24 hours, you will all be de-mutated!"
SN: Those hits represent a massive advantage for the next person going in.
SM: Then, are the Mutants routed? Did they believe it?
H: Well, I said that it will happen in 24 hours.
SM: So, are they panicked?
H: They might be.
SM: Are they running around?
H: It was a really impressive lightshow.
SM: What happened to your dad?
H: Um, he kicked my ass.
SM: He kicked your ass?
H: There was going to be a duel, yeah.
SM: Or did you kick _his_ ass? I mean, you weren't taken out.
H: I managed to press the button but not before I got, like, poked in 25 of my eyes.
Turn 11: Alpha the Beast Explorer vs. the Mutant Supremacists
SM: OK, we're almost out of time, only one Threat remains, who hasn't gone?
F: I can't attack the mutants because I'm their GM.
SN: Oh, OK, Seth, do you want to bring this home?
SM: Sure, yeah, I have no bonus dice left but it's already got 5 hits on it.
SN: And neither Charm nor Trickery is their weakness.
SM: Well, I think we know how Alpha the Beast Explorer takes care of business.
J: With neither Charm nor Trickery?
SM: So, the fight with your dad didn't go well. He beats you down, he pokes you in your eyes, he even kicks you in some of your eyes?
SN: Well, it's hard not to, right?
SM: So, where did we leave that scene? How does it end? Your dad beat you up, and that's all we know, right?
SM: I think you're down on the ground, but everybody's reeling from the lightshow, everybody's shocked, this is the element of surprise that the five previous hits represent... and as your father is trying to process this and decide whether you actually did something or if it was a complete bluff... Alpha the Beast Explorer comes up... and puts him in a headlock! It's Strength and it is Trickery! Didn't expect that, did you? I don't have any bonus dice left, I'm exhausted by all of this, and I think one danger is that I really am exhausted and your dad might just take me down... he's a tough guy and I just saw him kick your ass, so my only hope is to surprise him, and grab him just in time for you to deliver the coup de grace! And if I may be so bold as to bring in a Complication upon myself, I will say that, as I'm coming up behind him... I see that he's got a wasp stuck to the back of his head!
SM: He's been under their sway this whole time!
J: Another danger, maybe Graaag doesn't have it in him to punch his own father.
SM: Yeah yeah, can he do it? I'm risking a lot by counting on him... I think there's a 50/50 chance he'll wimp out, and so do the dice.
SN: OK, any other Complications?
SM: An earthquake? A final tremor, perhaps?
SM: (rolls) Oh no, wait! My Ancient Device d12!
SN: Oh yeah, roll it, roll it! You gotta use it!
SM: Where'd my d12 go? And what exactly is this Device? Please, somebody define it before I find a d12...
SN: I think it's battle armor! It's like exoskeleton battle armor!
SM: Fuckin' A! (rolls the d12, it's a 1)
SM: Oh well, the batteries are dead, they died a hundred years ago... and I am taken out, but so are they, and I got overkill, so let's just roll up a quick Reward... Alliance / Friendship! Alright, so, I think that I got knocked out while wrestling your dad.
H: But when you grab him, I see the wasp! And I pull the wasp from my father's eye! Or the back of his head! And I crush it! And then it's all "Father!" ... "Son!"
SM: Yay, a reunion!
SN: And the Supremacists become our Allies now, right? That's awesome, with the reunited father and son leading the way.
SM: Aw, it's wonderful, the Village is saved!
SM: Although there's a bit of a cliffhanger as to whether the tree and the immortal will be rescued, but that's another story...
D: I think I end up narrating all of their reality shows.
SM: You're a superstar! You end up a superstar and the immortal ends up in love.
SN: In love, trapped under the rocks and insane. Awesome.
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