Clean Slate, Chapter 5 (Current Thinking)

So, yeah. I’ve done a terrible job of preparing for the game this week – too distracted with thinking about the GURPS Traveller game that I play in on Saturdays (it’s currently on hiatus while we do Dungeon Fantasy) that I’m going to be taking over; it wasn’t until I started thinking about and planning that game that I realized how much I’ve wanted to run a sci-fi game … but again, I fricking digress. Monster Hunters, dude. Get your crap together!

 

 

With the way I ended last session, I really should start with Colin … and probably will, then cut to Sofia for her whackiness, then back to the OSBI guys. Now with them, the way I ended was clearly indicating another fight, but something one of the players said – it was along the lines of ‘this has been a very fraught few minutes for our characters’ – made me realize that yeah, the OSBI guys (sans Lee) have been going almost non-stop since they first kicked in the door of that penthouse. Even before that, they had the stairwell fight, but after the door was kicked in, we jumped into a firefight that ended with a big explosion that then became a fight with a wraith followed by a jump through a portal and into another firefight. Just typing that makes me exhausted so having them go directly into a fight again, this time with three Wraiths? That seems a bit much … plus, only one of the bad guys this time was actually dead which prompts the question: what happens if this wraith-spell triggers on a living person? Something to ponder…

Anyways, since Colin is (probably) the first up, that means I need to figure out how to proceed with him. What I need to accomplish here is to get him out of this pocket of Nevernever and back into the real world, which means he needs to cross the Stone Bridge and open the West Gate. Now thinking in terms of ‘faerie tales,’ I really should have the Bridge guarded by a Troll … and, as stated previously, since Jenks is a computer guy, this Troll should also be an internet troll (for the LOLZ) but … I kind of want to do something like the old guy guarding the Wall in Stardust.

I could then potentially use him to at least kick off Jenks’ “Identity Crisis” sub-plot, perhaps with the dude making reference to the fact that Colin is obviously a Changeling who has not ‘made his decision yet’ which should only further confuse Jenks. In keeping with my “learn from your previous mistakes, dummy!” I’m also leaning toward just setting this guy up as a “No, sorry. I can’t let you pass because X” kind of guy so it’s wholly up to the Player as to how he actually does get past him. Since the player realized (and verbally advised me) last week that “Jenks is a cheater” (in terms of gaming, not romance) as his core conceit, what I really need to do is just establish the parameters, then let him figure out how to break them. Which, to be fair, I should have been doing from the beginning and lost sight of.

So … how to challenge him then? Maybe combine my original thoughts – troll guarding the bridge – with the Stardust comparison – old man guarding the wall – and make it a really old troll guarding the bridge. Since trolls demand tolls, I can make the requirement for crossing be a gold coin … which Jenks just gave to the Regent as payment for the Key! Checking the Troll template from Fantasy (p111) gives me a really solid staring point for this guy, though the IQ-2 thing hurts … so let’s ditch that entirely. The quirk – Code of Honor (Carries out
spoken agreements) – is potentially his biggest weakness here, so I should probably try to figure out exactly what he swore … no. That’s me trying to figure out how Jenks should beat this again and I shouldn’t be doing that. Let’s just say “Old, wise troll who guards the bridge and charges a toll for anyone to cross it.” And, of course, due to the vagaries of the terrain, crossing the bridge is absolutely the only way to get across.

Once he’s over the bridge (however he does so), then he needs to find the West Gate. With this, I’m just presuming it will be a matter of following the road until he reaches the gate. Should there be a guardian here as well? Yeah, probably. Maybe something fierce-looking so he has to be creative. Should set that up too with the above troll … hmm. Maybe instead of the troll being the problem he has to get around, it’s this guardian? That actually works better since the bridge guy can then be a data dump and warning type. Anyway, unlocking the gate causes it to open and light spills out … then, I’ll cut away from him.

Neat idea here: try to go for a cool transition where bright light is one Colin’s face that “blinds us” and then we cut to Sofia who is dealing with light on her face? Might be too much trouble, but if I can work something like that in, I’m totally going to go for it.

Anyway, at the moment, Sofia’s entire scene is a delaying tactic so she doesn’t get to the climactic fight location before everyone one … while also reminding us that Weirdness Magnet is a -15 point disadvantage! The idea behind this scene is (IMO) fairly solid: a demon (Fallen Angel, really) shows up following her vampire fight and demands that Sofia Do A Thing … which turns out to be give directions. From there, she will proceed to the Howell Estate, but (hopefully) at the accompanying NPCs suggestion, not try to kick in the door and start shooting. Here, I can let her gather some intel – massive wards are in place and … huh. There’s a vampire. And another one. And another. And look, a different kind of vampire. What’s going on? So she will see that Something Big is going on and being a curious sort, will want to know what, which could (depending on her) lead to some scrying attempts using RPM (although possibly not as the player continues to struggle in figuring that out – as much as I love RPM, I feel like I’m the only one who actually wants to figure it out in our group so…)

Jumping to Lee instead of the other OSBI agents, I’m going to have him arrive at the Sweet Tooth candy plant and then promptly get into a firefight with some bad guys who shoot up his car something fierce (which will, no doubt, piss him off.) Other players will handle the shooters. I’m actually leaning toward starting this with the shooters pretending to be OKC cops and allow Lee to pick up on “something’s wrong” right before the shoosting starts. Logically, this is just PER or Observation, but he has the Natural Copper talent so … maybe he just makes it automatically? Or maybe that adds to his PER/Observation check?

During this fight, he will hear the sounds of gunfire inside which should end around the conclusion of his fight, so when he barges in, Jack & Woo are recovering from an off-screen fight with the wraiths. Could (and probably will) throw something in here about the burning wraiths being a whole lot less scary in the refrigerated warehouse. More real cops show up thanks to Jacks 911 call (augmented by anything Lee does), then ambulances to take injured away. PCs compare notes and should discover something that points to the Howell Estate. During this, I need to make sure to establish that the local tactical team is “on a training mission” and Jack’s boss is with them. This is to set stuff up for the climax.

Yeah. That’s a doable outline. Now I just need to figure out the various specifics. Whee.

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