A monster’s bounty – A weird cyberpunk fantasy adventure – S1E03 – In the cesspit

Brief summary: Lt. Athen Smarte is a Hunter. Solitary warriors who hunt down and dispatch warp monsters. In the last session she was ridiculed by one of her hunter peers, Taro and was forced to leave the guild’s base in a hurry, not gaining access to guild supplies for her next mission: Monster hunting in the Morikai Bread Factory.

Playing with the oracle: Insofar I’ve been using Recluse basic Oracle with MUNE interventions (triggering at 5 sixes). Continuing from a discussion we had at Mythic GME discord, I will try out using a different die, d10 instead of d6 to reduce the chance of false presuppositions. I love those, but I feel they interfere a tad bit too much especially when coupled with the MUNE interventions.
Also to keep up with the spirit of MUNE I will instead trigger interventions on three Yes,And oracle results. The point being when you ask something, you are biased towards it so, the oracle intervenes.

Q: Does anything happen on the way to the factory? (Unlikely)
A: No, and, it’s less busy than usual.


Athen reaches the Morikai Bread Factory. A quite old building, cement and brick structure from the end of the 20th century rather than the fancier designs that followed. A bunch of workers are standing by the side of the entrance, to prevent anyone from going to work. They eye her carefully, not stopping her since they can tell from afar she isn’t one of her own. She heads to the gatehouse and presents her credentials to the security guard.
He examines them. “Mr Morikai is expecting you. Head to the reception and the lady will guide you.”
A few minutes later, she’s at Mr Morikai’s office, in the 2nd floor, overseeing the entire factory.

Donjon: note: I didn’t like the Cyberpunk NPC results I got, they were all dreadlocks and mohawks, so I used the modern weird fiction ones instead: Michal has a narrow face, with short silver hair and narrow gray eyes. He wears a dark suit and a leather trenchcoat. Michal is kind and cultured.


Michal Morikai, the owner of the corporation is a man with a narrow face, with short silver hair and narrow gray eyes. He wears a dark suit. He turns to Athen.
“Ms Smarte. You need to deal with it quickly. Something in the factory is killing my workers, and they are not willing to go back in until it’s dealt with. I’ve called upon the guild, so your reward will be according to the guild’s charter.
Athen realized that this man had money to spend. Guild fees meant he had paid in advance. If Athen would find the monster, she would be paid according to its threat level. If she found nothing and deemed the call a fluke, she would still be paid, for her time. But if she called it off and there was a true monster that could cost her, her guild status. She could never be a hunter again.
This way people believed in the Hunters. If they declared a location clear. Then so it was.
Athen nodded. “I’ll need some information to work with. How many workers have vanished. Were they alone at the time? What was their build? Where and at what time of the day. Then I’ll need to inspect those locations.” She said to Morikai.

I decide that since there is a quite possible threat, Morikai won’t be without a security guard or bodyguard, he would be the person that has this information.
Let’s ask Donjon: German Kennet: Male Soldier. German is muscular, with short black hair and gray eyes. He wears a grey suit and glasses with gold rims. German is quick-witted and pessimistic.

“My head of security, Mr. Kennet has all the information in the datapad.” As Morikai responds, the tough, muscular man besides him hands over a datapad to Athen.
“Do you need anything further? I suggest you don’t waste any time speaking to the workers. They are striking and already costing me more than your fee.” He adds.
Athen has gotten the hint. “No sir. I will peruse the data and head off. Just make sure there’s no one around when I start the hunt. I don’t want people killed in the crossfire.”
“I will pass the word.” Morikai replies.
“Thank you.” Says Athen and starts reading on the data.

Q: How many people went missing?
A: I will roll 1d100 to determine the magnitude: 17: Not many. So I roll 1d2+1: 2.

I will get their info from Donjon.

Lindsy Sarratt: Female Electrical Engineer. Str 9, Con 8, Siz 9, Int 6, Pow 7, Dex 14, App 11, Edu 13, San 35. Lindsy has a round face, with auburn hair and amber eyes. She wears a designer skirt and blouse and cloche hat. Lindsy is searching for her lost cat.

Delila Calder: Female Mechanic. Str 12, Con 12, Siz 16, Int 11, Pow 11, Dex 11, App 13, Edu 12, San 55. Delila is willowy, with blonde hair and green eyes. She wears casual clothing and cloche hat.

I kept their stats intentionally so that I can have a 3d6 comparison. Lindsy was a less than average build and strength, engineer. I will take the input about the lost cat as an event to use here. Maybe she had a pet cat at the factory which went missing and she got lost while searching for it. Delila was much bigger though, not as weak as her coworker that went missing.
I am aware that in none of the generated results was a ‘factory worker’ or similar occupation, but nevertheless I will keep the results as generated because the match the story. Both those women were technical workers. Their jobs were not in the main floor where there are many eyes, but in the technical floor and engineering were usually they work alone.

Q: Is the technical floor and the engineering two separate locations?
A: Yes
Q: Does the factory operate at night? (Unlikely)
A: Yes, And it operates at 24/7. (Intervention Count – IC: 1)
Q: On which watch did they went missing?
A: Lindsy went missing on the 2nd watch (4-8 am) and Delila on the 4th watch (4-8 pm).
Q: Are the technical floor and the engineering connected?
A: No, and one to go from one place or the other would have to go outside of the main building.

Athen read the information in the datapad. Whatever went after the two workers attacked when alone. Also size was not an issue since, Delila is a heavyset woman. She read about the rumours that the Colonel described to her over the phone, armed her sidearm and went for the engineering first. Choosing to follow the timeline of the events.

So, I need to define current time. We have established it’s still daytime, so I presume it’s sometime after noon. I roll: It’s 4 pm.

Athen: Notice: Success.
Q: Does she find something?
A: False presupposition. It’s not really that she found something, she thinks she found something but it’s the cat.

Athen takes a good look around, flashing her torch to all kinds of dark places, her pistol aiming at the same time, when she catches movement. Something screeches and hisses at her and jumps towards her flying over her. She holds on to her nerves and manages not to shoot the cat. She sighs and continues her search, but there is nothing more to be found.
She walks back to the main building and takes the side entrance to the technical floor.

Athen: Notice: Success.
Q: Does she find something? (likely)
A: Yes, and it belongs to the missing worker. (IC: 2)
Q: Does it belong to Delila? (likely)
A: Yes
Q: Is it a toolbag with her initials on? (likely)
A: No
Q: Is it a flashlight with her initials on?
A: Yes

Athen searches among the vents and hoods and pipelines of the technical floor. There’s a lot of hiding places, but something catches her glimpse. It’s a flashslight. She picks it up, and it has engraved “DC” on the side. ‘So Delila was last seen here’ Athen thinks. She looks up and down for any vantage points or escape routes for any creature.

Q: Is there any opening nearby?
A: False presupposition. Athen can’t figure it out. There are so many different shapes of tubes and vents that she can’t tell which one is a route and which one isn’t.

With her only clue in the technical floor, Athen decides to go for a typical ambush. She sets up several noise traps (essentially tin cans on a string) in any possible locations that she can find, and then she puts a bait noise trap in a central location that she can oversee. She will trigger the last trap once she is ready.

Athen: Survival: Success. She puts the traps.
Athen: Stealth: Success. She hides in a corner.
Athen: Notice: Success+. She has excellent oversight.

Q: Does anything arrive in the next watch?
A: False presupposition. Okay seriously. I’m starting to have trouble answering false presuppositions on generic questions. But here’s the epiphany. Something doesn’t arrive, but something flees!

Athen takes her time to set up the traps, and finally under a perfect cover point, she triggers the bait trap. Essentially a recorder playing the sound of a human child crying. She then hears the sound of rattling tin cans, and awaits a little longer. But nothing comes. After a certain amount of time passes, she inspects her traps and finds that an the cans to an exit have all been rattled aside. Something was there with her the entire time, and fled the moment she set her ambush.
She curses at the lost opportunity and follows the exit to see if she can get a trail.

Athen: Survival (-2): Failure. The hard brick and stone don’t allow for much tracking.
Athen: Notice: Success++
Q: Does she find anything in relation to the escaped presence? (Likely since she had two raises)
A: Yes, and it will help her identify the presence. (IC: 3! Intervention!)
I will draw two GMA cards to see what she has uncovered, and then roll for the intervention.
The two sensory snippets that I find most fitting are related to smell. ‘Rancid oil’ and ‘Frying sausage’, but I will expand on them.
Now for the intervention.
MUNE: Intervention: Entity negative.
Q: Is it Athen?
A: No, so it must be the presence. On its quick way out, it made some noise and spilled some of its food, essentially creating a trail to be followed.
Note: As you may have gathered, I’m not a big fan of metagaming so I prefer to keep results to entities on the scene. Otherwise I could have deemed that another worker had been attacked or whatever.

As she opens the door, the smell of rancid oil and fried meat fills her nostrils. A long time ago she might have hoped. But now, she’s certain that’s a monster’s human meal that she smelled. She hears a loud rattle and runs off after the noise. A trail of oily footsteps makes for an easy tracking.

I will draw a GMA card to get information about where does this trail lead. To the roof, to another room, or to the underground?
A: An arrow pointing right down. So it’s underground.

Q: Is it the sewers?
A: No, but, its the cesspit.

Athen runs after the trail on a circular staircase, so tight that she barely fits, and reaches the ground floor. The sewer grate has been moved aside but not closed back. So whatever she hunts, must be close. The stench fills her. Old sewage and disposal, mixed with fried human meat. She considers she has to open the flashlight, betraying her position, and wishes once more she had those IRVPs.

So, since there is fried oil, there’s a good chance there is a fire, which could be a source of light.

Q: Is there a fire lit with adequate light?
A: False presupposition. The creature didn’t use a fire to fry the meat, but electric machinery. They’re sentient and used human tools as they found them, drawing power from the grid.

Stealth is out of the question, so I will ask what does she see with the flashlight before most probably switching to combat.

Q: Is it humanoid creatures? (likely)
A: Yes
Q: Is it goblins?
A: False presupposition. Huh. Okay so the creatures are humanoids but they aren’t in the cesspit. That’s why there is no light.

Athen takes a deep breath and lights up the flashlight aiming with her pistol at the same time.
There is a rusty ladder heading down to the bottom of the cesspit.

Based on what I know so far I make some decisions. I was considering the option of some amphibian humanoids but I doubt they would eat fried meat. Hence the entrance to their lair should be above the surface of water.

Athen sees no one there. She flashes her light all over the place and doesn’t get any sign of movement. Looking closer, she can see that the cesspit bottom has only an inch or two of sewage and in the other end of the wall there is a hole large enough for a person to come through.
She holsters her sidearm, clenches her flashlight by her teeth, and starts to descend the ladder.

Athen: Athletics: Success.

Athen descends the ladder without much effort, and takes a peek into the hole, her flashlight turned off.

Q: Is there any light coming from the hole?
A: Yes, but it’s dim. So either the light is far away or the source isn’t strong enough.
Q: Is there a passageway or a full room?
A: Passageway.

Athen: Stealth: Success+. That’s good whatever creature is at the end of the passageway won’t probably notice her.
I’ll ask the Oracle if there are any traps, since Athen didn’t bother to check (not that she could with a turned off flashlight). I’ll set it to unlikely considering the difficulty of access.
Q: Are there any traps? (Unlikely)
A: No, and it’s a quite easy trek to the end of the passage.

Q: How many goblins are there?
A: 76: A lot. 1d6+2: 3 Goblins.
Q: Are both workers dead?
A: No. Delila is still alive. Tied up in the corner.

Athen makes out the snickering laughter of humanoids as she draws closer. She knows this sound all too well. It’s those evil short greenskins. Some call them little orcs, some call them goblins. From the shadows she takes a better look.
The room looks like a crumbling basement from a nearby building. She’s no longer under the bread factory. In the middle of the room there is a fire burning and a cut off human hand probably belonging to Lindsy is fried on a pan. Tied up in a far corner is Delila.
Athen can’t tell if she’s alive, dead or unconscious.
One of the goblins is stirring up the others. She doesn’t know Orc-tongue but she can understand enough to know it’s briefing its brethren on her pursuit. She has to move fast. She picks a target and blasts it off out of the shadows.

Goblins: Notice (vs Athen’s Stealth): Failure, Failure, Failure
So Athen has a free round. She double taps at the nearest goblin. The one who stirs up the rest and has its back turned to her.

Surprise Round:
Athen: Shooting: Hit+: Damage: Shaken

Initiative: Athen: 8♠️, Goblins: Q♣️
Goblin1: Spirit: Success
Goblin2: Draws dagger and runs towards Athen: Distance reduced to 3.
Goblin3: Draws dagger and runs towards Athen: Distance reduces to 4.
Athen double taps Goblin2: Hit+: Dead

Initiative: Athen: A♥️, Goblins: 5♥️
Athen double taps Goblin3: Hit: Dead.
Goblin1: Spirit: Failure: It tries to flee.
Q: Is there another entrance to the room?
A: False presupposition. The goblin starts to climb up the rubble to get to the opening from the ceiling.
Goblin: Athletics: Success

Initiative: Athen: 7♣️, Goblin: A♣️
Goblin: Athletics: Failure
Athen: Shoots and reloads: Shooting: Hit: Shaken. The goblin falls to the ground.

Initiative: Athen: 6♦️, Goblin: 5♠️
Athen double taps at the goblin: Hit: Dead.

The Hunter shoots off twice at one of the goblins, but she barely hits it, the bullet going through and through its shoulder.
It stands motionless crying out, trying to shake off the pain as it’s two brethren draw serrated blades and with a nasty grin on their face, they charge at Athen.
Emotionless, she aims at each of them, sending them to oblivion with a two bullets lodged in them each of their heads.
The last goblin cries out under the echo of the shots in the closed room and starts frantically trying to escape. It climbs the rubble to the ceiling too where an opening is barely visible, but a few steps before the top, it miscalculates and stops for a moment in order not to lose its balance.
That’s all Athen needed. With another shot, she hits its finger and it loses its grip and falls to the floor. Before it can react, Athen has reloaded, and shoots twice, finishing it off in cold blood.

Regarding Delila, I will roll to see if she can move: I will give her a d8, due to her size: Vigor: Failure. She’s dead.

Athen rushes to Delila, but she finds that there’s no pulse. She probably died from the initial wounds the goblins inflicted when they captured her.
She cuts off the three goblin heads, ties them in a rope and heads back out.

“Those stinking maggots killed my workers? The testimonies I’ve heard don’t match the descriptions.” Morikai says to Athen.
“They’re nasty and like to play games in the shadows. Making you think there’s more of them or that they’re bigger. Call a cleanup crew for the corpses. Their lair was connected to the cesspit of the factory. It’s best if the families don’t see them in this state.” Athen responds bluntly.
“I will, Hunter. Thank you. The payment will be performed through the guild. You gave immediate results and I will relay this. Is there anything else I can do for you?” Morikai asks.
“Do you have a portable freezer? I don’t want my trophies ruined.” She smirks.
“German.” He calls to his bodyguard. “Arrange it.”

Athen is back to her appartment and she can’t catch an easy sleep. The sight of death didn’t flinch her, she’s used to it. She keeps wondering how did three goblins manage to come in the city. Was it strugglers or is there something hiding behind it?

Session Summary

I had a rough time with all those false presuppositions, though I believe that the twists that derive when done correctly outweigh the trouble.
In the end I kind of eyeballed it that they were goblins. Scaring the workers and picking them off one by one.
I’m not quite certain that the challenge was up to par with Athen’s skills but in solo play there isn’t much leeway. If I miscalculate the balance it could mean quick character death.
This session felt like a one shot. I am itching to see if the various sessions will eventually connect into a campaign, as I’m worried this might not happen.
Finally I’m giving Athen an advancement. I will decide what in the next session.