GamePrep: ConsOps, 2.09

As stated previously, I’m trying to force my brain back onto this game – too much of my mental bandwidth has been devoted of late to GenCon, work, and gameprep for the face-to-face Traveller game (not using the official Traveller universe) that I’ll be running at some point in the near future.

Currently, I’ve got three major scenes planned for this session, but since the second one is a Chase/Combat, it’s entirely possible we won’t get to scene three … which is also a Chase/Combat but with lots of Stealthy stuff involved. Regardless, the below is my rough plan.

Scene 1: Seaborne Woes

  • Begin in media res with PCs arriving at the fishing boat, having been forced to swim it.
    • It is 0600. Characters have spent multiple hours in the ocean. The sun is coming up.
    • PCs have been forced to ditch most of their gear due to weight, so they’re down to pistols and knives. 
    • Swimming checks req’d. May add +1 for Fit. CritSucc = ¾ FP remaining upon arrival. Success = ½ FP remaining upon arrival. Failure = ¼ FP remaining upon arrival. CritFail = 0 FP remaining upon arrival & must make Will check to avoid passing out almost immediately.
  • Upon arrival at fishing boat, quickly discover that Mahoney is not here and there are signs of a struggle.
    • The motors have been shot and thus disabled. Repairing them or at least jury-rigging them to get the boat back to shore is potentially doable with a successful Mechanic check; looks like Vega is the only one with Mechanic skills and this check will default to Mechanic (Motorcycle) at -4. Some tools are available (Basic equipment, but missing important items so additional -2), which brings total modifiers to -6. Each check will take 1 hour, so extra time is available. Unless Critical Success, the engine is going to only ‘mostly’ work, by which I mean that it works for a while, then dies and must be fiddled around with to get it running again.
    • The extra equipment that the characters left on the boat has been ransacked, with the majority either tipped over the side or rendered useless. 
      • PCs to make a PER-based Tradecraft check. Success by 2+ allows them to realize that the tracking gear that they brought was raided … and one of the GPS tracking beacons is missing! That can’t have been an accident…
  • Limping back to the coast will take pretty much all day because of the damage inflicted to the boat – the engine(s) keeps cutting out and everyone has to spend a lot of time bailing water – and that’s just to the nearest stretch of coast-line, not their origin point. To get there will take another day by boat. Needless to say, the characters are all thoroughly exhausted by the time they reach land – down to 1d-2 (minimum 1) FP, some of that being due to lack of sleep, so they’re going to need to find a place to get some rest in addition to replacement of gear.
    • Appropriate skill checks req’d to replace gear – no, Brian, Smuggling is not appropriate here.
      • Per Action2 RAW: Success finds item, failure is failure, critical failure = ambush
  • During this, CHANA should become aware that Mossad is attempting to recall her to Israel for redeployment. At the same time, her contacts in Doctors Without Borders have reached out to her again – they’re gearing up for another attempt at entering Yemen to deal with the resurgence of the cholera outbreak. She should probably suspect that the two are connected…

Scene 2: Streetside Ambush

  • Following their replacement of gear, as the PCs are loading up, a vehicle approaches … and it has BRAGI (driver) and REILLY in it. There is a long, pregnant pause as both sides take in the other – from their expressions, it is clear that BRAGI and REILLY were not expecting to see the PCs.
  • Cut to … CHASE!
    • BRAGI is the driver and they are in a luxury car with Superior Handling (+2 Hnd).
    • REILLY has all of his gear and has, inexplicably, become a Gunslinger. His objective is to neutralize the car, so they can get away. And the best way to neutralize it … is by shooting Vega.
    • If BRAGI’s vehicle is disabled, the two flee on foot into a nearby building so the Chase can continue upon the rooftops.
  • QUESTION: How do I ensure that one of them (at the very least) gets away? Could have REILLY stop and basically ‘hold the line’ against the PCs while BRAGI escapes (complete with later surprise mask discovery ala MI:Ghost Protocol)?)
    • If I can manage this, could have REILLY also end up suiciding ala Leon from The Professional via multiple grenades. 
    • Even more interesting there is this: if ILAN or VEGA tries to get close to him after he’s been dropped, he grabs PC’s wrist, tells them ‘my compliance will be rewarded,’ before pushing something into PC’s hand. This something is … multiple pins from some grenades! PC is still being held onto by REILLY so must get free…

Scene 3: Escape & Evasion

  • Following the above encounter, PCs may attempt to track down Mahoney’s location via the tracking beacon. The beacon in question is a GPS transceiver?
  • CUT TO Muscat, Oman … and the Russian consulate. Naritpal Mahoney is being offloaded from a vehicle, complete with a bag over his head.
    • He’s fully healed now but has NO gear as the Russkies took it from him.
    • He is being … debriefed by Colonel Anatoly Sergevich Sudokov (aka CS: TYR) who wants to know their ties to LOKI (though he uses the proper name.) ConsOps extracted him from Syria…why? What is the target?
      • He promises Mahoney that he will make them pay for the patriotic Russians that they have murdered in their killing spree…
      • TYR is called out of the room before the torture can begin – ask for a Hearing-based PER check in the box, then ignore the results. He is able to eavesdrop and learns:
        • The other PCs have just arrived in Muscat, so Colonel Sudokov orders his people to raise alert level accordingly as well as prepare a strike team. They will avenge their patriotic brothers…
        • There has been a confirmed sighting of Breznikov entering Ta’iz, Yemen, two days earlier by assets embedded in Doctors Without Borders. 
    • Give Mahoney chance to escape … other players participate but not as active bad guys.
      • IDEA: McKay helps him escape! The NSA operative and former team member has been hacking into this facility’s network for an entirely unrelated NSA reason, then deviated when he realized that Mahoney was captured. How does he relate who is behind it to Mahoney? 
        • Maybe Mahoney hears Russians questioning “Vat does this ‘CODEWORD’ mean?”
        • Guard in the room receives a phone call on his cell, tells the caller that there is no ‘CODEWORD’ here (which gives Mahoney a moment to go into combat mode) before super high pitched screech temporarily deafens the guard & allows Mahoney opportunity to take him out.
        • How is guard equipped? Probably suit, sidearm, radio, cell phone. Once Mahoney has the cell phone, he’s on with McKay who will walk him out of here since he (McKay) has control of the cameras.
      • Mahoney has Brawling-15, Stealth-12. Those he encounters should probably just be regular workers.
  • Once out of the consulate, McKay directs him to somewhere safe where the PCs can reunite.

Back to GamePrep for ConsOps

Am in the process of forcing myself to get back to working on my game since I just know that “game-night” will sneak up and ambush me before I know it. Luckily, I think I’ve gotten a solid grip on what’s next. Am formulating notes now and will probably post my initial gameprep notes tomorrow or the next day.


GURPS: Shadowrun PC – FREYR, elven gun-mage

My GURPS: Action game has, by necessity, gone onto hiatus due to half of the group having to miss a bunch of sessions during the summer, so, as a result, we’re playing a bunch of so-called “One-Shots” in the Shadowrun universe. I’ve had a lot of trouble getting my teeth into this setting in the past, which is weird because I like Cyberpunk and I like Urban Fantasy, so this should be right up my alley. Finally, however, I’ve got my character and I’m having a blast with this guy. Last session, for example, we encountered a team of heavily armed badasses and, in three seconds, I’d killed three of them … and that was before I picked up my Trademark Move, which I’m looking forward to springing on the GM at the next session (if appropriate.)


ST 10; DX 13; IQ 12; HT 12.
Damage 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs; HP 10; Will 12; Per 13; FP 14.
Basic Speed 7.00; Basic Move 7; Dodge 11; Parry 10.
5’10”; 200 lbs

Advantages/Disadvantages/Perks: Ally (The Great and Powerful Freyja (actually my sister, Sarah, who is an awesome hacker, despite her near bodiless conditions),50% of starting points, 9 or less); Appearance (Attractive); Charisma 1; Code of Honor (Professional); Concealed Carry Permit; Contact (Alice; Effective Skill: 12 (Street stuffs); 9 or less; Somewhat Reliable); Contact (Detective Tosh Athack, Knight Errant; Effective Skill 15 or less; 6 or less; usually reliable); Contact (ODIN, former handler at the Agency; Effective skill 15; 9 or less; somewhat reliable); Debt -20 (to medical organization to keep his sister alive); Dependent (Alice; no more than 75%; 6 or less; Friedn); Duty (the Agency; 6 or less; extremely hazardous; involvuntary); Enhanced Time Sense (Electrical); Fit; Gunslinger; Longevity; Luck (Aspected: Combat Only); Intolerance (Drug Dealers & Addicts); Light Sleeper; Magery 0; Night Vision 5; Obsession (Keeping my sister alive); Off-Hand Weapon Training (Guns/Pistol); Quick Reload (Detachable Magazine); Reputation +1 (Bad-Ass Runner; all the time; small class); Secret (Former government “operative”); Signature Gear 1; Social Stigma -1 (Metahuman); Tradmark Move (The Mook Drill (Ranged Rapid Strike using Quick Shot, TA Guns/Pistol (Skull) vs two different targets within 30 degrees, 2 shots each, Effective Skill: 18 (with +1 to normal Rcl)).); Weapon Bond (Pistol)

Quirks: Actually does not find elven women particularly attractive; extremely uncomfortable in clubs; minor addiction: pops over the counter painkillers like candy; picky eater; very polite, even to those he’s about to kill. Especially to those he’s about to kill.

Languages: English (Native)

Skills: Acrobatics-12; Armoury (Small Arms)-12; Body Language (Human)-12; Climbing-12; Criminology-12; Detect Lies-12; Diplomacy-11; Driving (Automobile)-12; Fast Draw (Ammo)-15; Fast-Draw (Pistol)-14; Fast-Talk-11; First Aid (Elf)-12; Forced Entry-13; Forensics-12; Guns (Pistol)-16; Holdout-13; Interrogation-12; Intimidation-12; Judo-12; Karate-12; Knife-13; Observation-13; Professional Skill (Tradecraft)-11; Research-12; Search-13; Smuggling-13; Stealth-12; Streetwise-12; Tactics-10

Techniques: Immediate Action (Guns/Pistol)-13; Quick-Shot (Guns/Pistol)-14; Targeted Attack (Guns/Pistol/Skull)-13

Spells: Blur-12; Continual Light-10; Darkness-10; Haste-12; Light-10

Equipment: Heavy Pistol, 10mm (Signature Gear, Weapon; Electrothermal-Chemical; Targetting HUD Link; Targetting Software +2; Reflex Sight; Fine Quality) (4d+2 pi+. Acc 4); Kukri (Fine, Monowire); Reflex Body Suit (DR 12/4*); Reflex Gloves (DR 6/2*); Armored Shades; Assault Boots (DR 12/6); Nice Suit

Interesting Realizations

So … it’s been a while since I actually watched Avengers: Endgame and, to my very great surprise, I haven’t had the urge to rewatch it at all. In all honesty, as time has passed and I’ve really digested it, I’ve realized that I actually didn’t like it as much as I originally thought I did. It’s still a tolerably decent flick and, whenever I do get around to watching it again, I’m probably going to fast-forward to some of the more exciting scenes – Worthy Cap remains my hands-down favorite scene – but I’ve come to that uncomfortable realization that some of the stuff in it sort of fell flat for me.

For example:

  • Black Widow’s death makes no sense when you think about the Rules of the Soul Stone. In Infinity War, a superior flick, IMO, they establish that Thanos has to sacrifice what he loves … but Natasha commits suicide so Clint can’t, which means this it doesn’t quite track. I’ll have to rewatch the bit in Infinity War to confirm that this is the rule, but I’m pretty sure it was.
  • Cap’s return to Peggy just breaks his character for me. There’s no way he would just sit on his hands, knowing that his best friend is being mind-screwed and is going to murder a lot of people, including Tony’s parents. I think, in my head-canon, the last scene of Endgame where Steve is kissing Peggy isn’t indicative of their marriage, but just a quick stop-off on his part before he continued on to finish returning all of the other stones. Peggy marries the dude she was kissing at the end of her show and honestly, I’d prefer Cap to end up with Natasha anyway.
  • And how did Cap get to the planet for the Soul Stone or, for that matter, back from it?
  • Restoring everyone who was wiped out by the Snap five years later is kind of a mess. Imagine: Jack and Jill are happily married and Thanos Snapped Jill out of existence. Jack grieves for a couple of years but manages to move on when he meets Jane, whose husband John was Snapped away. They fall in love, get married and Jane is expecting a child … and the Snap is undone. Now Jill and John are back, having lost no time and their spouses are with someone else! Or what about Tom, who was in the plane that Richard was piloting. And then, Richard was Snapped away. The plane crashed and Tom died … but where does Richard return when its undone? That’s a mess…
  • And don’t get me started on Fat Thor. Ugh. It seems like they turned him into a joke so as to further ensure Carol (aka Captain Mary Sue) is highlighted as the most powerful…

Eh. The whole thing was sloppy and that just makes me sad.

And not very optimistic about the next phase of the Marvel movies. We’ve got Captain Marvel with her short haircut, old man Steve Rogers and Falcon-Cap, does that mean Fem-Thor is right around the corner? I want someone to point out to Feige that all of those changes failed