GM Commentary: ConsOps 2.06

As expected, this session was pretty much just the tactical combat for the warehouse assault, alongside some Egyptian military forces. To set up the next plot element, I had Reilly and Vega absent from the battle which left their players to take over two NPCs. One was Agent el-Sisi, Egyptian National Security Agency, built as an Investigator using Action (stats in GamePrep: ConsOps, 2.06) while the other was a Unit 777 soldier.

Very early on, I started to get concerned that I did not have enough actually planned for the session as multiple HOSTILES went down early, principally due to the player-controlled Unit 777 solder who kept hitting the skull with his shots, but the God of Dice is a fickle master and the flow of the battle shifted. The use of a M203 by the bad guys was actually not correct as – by RAW – it requires 30 yards for the grenade to actually arm, but we handwaved that away with the excuse of “it’s Action!”; the damage it actually inflicts still seems pretty low and didn’t really do more than to scratch Mahoney who jumped into a convenient dumpster (which was another missed opportunity on my part because Action 5 has a section of dumpsters that I could have used.)

Later, Mahoney would have what should have just been a close call – one of the HOSTILE shooters had an open shot to Mahoney’s back and, after all modifiers were calculated, missed by 1. Mahoney’s player then confused us all with a rule that he misremembered (probably Shield Damage where if you miss by the Defensive Bonus, it inflicts damage to the shield itself.) As a result, he was convinced that I was due a reroll capped at 9 and, rather than spend a bunch of time looking that up, I went with it, not expecting to succeed. Naturally, I rolled very well and inflicted some hits that put him into the negative hit point range. And then he crit-failed a major wound round, which lead to him passing out. This same HOSTILE managed to drop the player-controlled Unit 777 trooper, but eventually retreated after taking some damage.

The firefight tapered off with about four of the HOSTILES still upright but quickly retreating – two of them are pretty badly injured (I shouldn’t have cleared off the combat tracker until I annotated that better). I also noted about the midpoint of this engagement that I need to figure out a better way to record ammunition expended by the HOSTILES for future encounters – MAHONEY and Agent el-Sisi both emptied their rifles in this fight and a lot of my bad guys probably should have done the same, but I was doing a crap job of monitoring that. Hmm … maybe it’s a mod I should request from Ronnke for the NPC sheet? Will consult with him.

With the warehouse firefight done, that left one PC (Mahoney) unconscious and injured, and the other (who does not speak Arabic fluently – he’s at Accented, which should attract Agent el-Sisi’s attention) surrounded by actual Unit 777 personnel.

Jumping to Reilly and Vega, I was (again) caught off guard briefly by Vega’s decision to drift his car and use it to body slam BRAGI into the wall and, for a moment, was unsure how to salvage my desire to end with him getting shot by a ‘Compliant’ Reilly since Vega was initially intending on staying in the car. Luckily, Ronnke (Vega’s player) talked himself out of the car with a desire to see what was in the car with the guys in that Bragi had just shot. This let me conclude roughly the way I wanted to, with Reilly “happy to comply” and turning to shoot Vega with his shotgun.

As with the previous session, I had a lot of trouble with comprehensible English at the beginning. The words were just tripping up around my tongue and, rather than waste time with a “setup,” I should have just started in media res, with Reilly and Vega already gone and the other two getting shot at. Or maybe have their van get RPGed so it flips. Again, lesson learned … as if I’m not going to end up screwing up the same way the next time.

And speaking of the ‘next time,’ with Mahoney sidelined for a little bit and Reilly ‘compliant,’ that means we’re going to need to introduce two new (temporary) PCs next week instead of the one I’d originally expected. So I guess I better get to work at that…

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