GM Commentary: ConsOps 2.04

Finally. Progress. In session 4, we reached the point where I expected us to be at the end of session 2 … and all it really boiled down to was “Three Chases.”

Having learned my lession from the previous session, I jumped straight into the boat chase but, once again, I underestimated Vega’s skills. My original thought was for the other PCs to use the weapons on the boat to shoot back at the pursuing Coast Guard types but Vega’s player argued that they probably didn’t want to actually shoot at more official Egyptian authorities which was technically correct, but made for a very anticlimatic chase as Vega left the pursuers in the metaphorical dust. In retrospect, what I should have done is start out with the PCs in pursuit of the surviving HOSTILES who are in the other boat, and then the Coast Guard types show up afterward. As it stands, the only thing exciting was when I rolled a crit with my 25mm deck gun … that Vega’s player promptly Lucked away.

After leaving the Coasties way behind – and responsible for blowing up an obstacle that I think we determined to be a ferry or a barge of some sort thanks to a missed shot with the 25mm – the PCs radioed for help, and soon after, a helicopter with Sudanese colors arrived, bearing REILLY, a former PC in this campaign who is not active anymore as his player dropped out. This will be Hurt’s Player’s temporary character since Hurt is going to be sidelined for quite a while. For some reason, I thought Sudan was a little closer than it was – technically, the chopper they arrived in should not have been able to actually cover that distance; I handwaved it away at the time with “it’s an Action movie” and “they had external fuel tanks.” Reilly’s entire team was shot up, including his pilot, so Vega had to take over again … which once more made the ensuing chase as an Egyptian chopper arrived very anticlimatic. Again, Vega’s skill was so much higher than the guy chasing them that, despite the pursuing chopper being quite a bit faster, he left the guy behind. Again, massive property damage was incurred when the Egyptian chopper used a missile that Vega dodged while stunting versus an obstacle; we determined this was a bridge and I rolled damage anyway to see how bad it was … and it was pretty significant: 160 points of cr ex with an armor divisor of 10 … yeah. That bridge is jacked up.

Once clear of that, the PCs proceeded to an unspecified location in Israel where the chopper was hidden away and the wounded rushed to the hospital, which freed up the PCs to head toward Jerusalem & the hospital that they presume Quinn is located at. Once there, the team basically broke up into two groups … although really it was 3. Reilly went to talk to one of the guarding US Marines to get some intel, while Baum used his Mossad credentials to enter and gain more; Mahoney and Vega remained near their SUV at a close-by cafe. As Baum & Reilly exited, they observed the POI HEIMDALL along with some bodyguard types heading toward a car, and Baum had Vega pick them up. The intent was to shadow HEIMDALL and company … but that went out the window straight away when the contest (Shadowing at -2 vs bad guys’ PER) went against the PCs. Cue … car chase.

This time, the chase included the PCs shooting back – or critically failing and dropping their pistol out the window as happened to poor Reilly. Gigermann, the player, is starting to wonder if HE’S the one who is cursed in this game, not the character(s) he plays. I was moderately happy with this chase, though there are some things I need to figure out for the future – PCs shoot up a tire (-3 on hit location according to Chase rules) … but what happens then? Consulting B555, damage over HP/(2 x number of wheels so 4) (in this that would 57/(2×4=8)=7 cripples the wheel, which would reduce move and the like. It would also require a HT check to determine if crippled. I’ll need to keep that in mind for the next time (as well as shooting at their tires too!) Regardless, I critically failed a Dodge check and decided that this would cause my guys to auto-fail the contest with the Force that Vega was attempting – this led to a Wreck & the damage the car too reduced it to 0hp … and I failed both HT checks (so the car was effectively knocked out and it was now on fire!) The damage the occupants took from the crash put HEIMDALL over his first death check threshold – he’d already been hit by a bullt that passed through the rear window – but he didn’t die outright. We ended with the PCs snatching him and the MacGuffin they were after and bailing to the sound of sirens.

We’ve certainly done a bunch of Chases in this game thus far … but Vega’s insanely high skill level has shown to me that all of my future driving baddies will have to have skills of -14 or greater just to avoid them being immediately left in the dust and even then, there’s no guarantee that he won’t make them look stupid. I’ll have to keep in mind shooting out his tires and the like … though again, he’s got an insane vehicle dodge (I think it’s usually around 12 or 13 thanks to Enhanced Dodge (Vehicles) 3.)

But the PCs have captured HEIMDALL, obtained the MacGuffin case and we’re back on track. So naturally, I’m going to send them back to Egypt very soon…