A monster’s bounty – A weird cyberpunk fantasy adventure – S1E07

Brief summary: Lt. Athen Smarte is a Hunter. Solitary warriors who hunt down and dispatch warp monsters. In the last session she was shut down from investigating certain leads and hit a few dead ends.

Note: I had messed up the numbering of my sessions, and had to rectify it.

I was eager to add a combat advancement after last session, but since she didn’t see any action I decided to up her Persuasion and Healing skills instead.


Now for the next scene Athen will go to the base R&D team and talk with them and search the database, with regards to occult warp rituals.

Before this all starts we gotta check if the scene is modified in any way.

Is Scene Modified? : 5 against 6: Altered Scene.

I’m quite at a loss of how this scene is altered. Maybe something has happened to the database. I’ll ask the oracle.

Q: Is the database damaged?
A: Yes

Athen heads over to the library. She turns on the computer, and it flashes before her eyes, then the screen dies out.
“Who’s in charge here?” She yells.

Q: Does someone answer?
A: Yes
Q: Is it someone she already knows?
A: Yes

Cpt. Jaenke walks in from behind a desk. “I’m on active duty Smarte. What’s wrong?”
“The computer it died out. We need to call the service.” She responds.

Now, I’m gonna use UNE to set the conversation mood: cautious.

“What do you want to look for? Maybe I can help.” He asks.
Athen is still forthcoming, so she answers “I wanted to take a look for the occult rituals I saw over at Ocano Point. Mao Hsai…”
“Mao Hsai has taken over the base and it’s over now. No politics. Remember?” He answers.

Let’s see his bearing and focus: suspicion, and fame.

“Why are you so bent on this case Smarte? Mao Hsai got to you? are you on their payroll. Wanna take the quick road to fame? You know it ends in death.” He caps up his sermon.
Athen is quite speechless. “No, no sir.” she says.
The Captain seems to think if he’s going to let off another warning, but Athen gets out before he does.

She feels pissed off. First Taro, now the Captain seem to have their sights on her. Maybe she should go rogue and abandon the guild altogether. “Shit!” she yells, when she’s behind the barracks.

Q: Does anyone listen?
A: Yes, and it’s the worst possible person. Taro.

She hears laughter from the corner, and voila, Taro emerges. “What happened Smarte? life treating you well?” he snarks.
“Shut your trap Taro. You wanna put your money where your mouth is? now’s the time. Just you and me.” Athen taunts him.

Q: Does Taro engage?
A: Yes, and, he pulls a knife.

“Oooh the little brat wants to get her ass kicked? I’m gonna leave you another mark on the face.” Taro says, raising his fist, and unseathing his combat knife.
“The wyvern was pretier than you, asshole.” Athen replies as she runs her finger down her scar. She pulls her knife too, and the two of them begin their combat dance.

Last time I had introduced Taro, he had the following results from UNE:

Himeya “Assassin” Taro: Male Mercenary. Taro is thin, with blonde hair and bright amber eyes. He has a military cybernetic arm and carries an assault rifle. Taro is addicted to the street drug PBZ-3.
UNE: NPC Power Level: Much stronger
UNE: delightful conscript, offend poverty
UNE: NPC Bearing: fear, NPC Conversation Focus: weapons
I also recall he has a cybernetic left arm.

So reading these I need to ask.
Q: Is Taro currently high?
A: Yes, extremely.

I will roll on the Event descriptors to see if I can get some insight on the effects of the drug.
I get Carelessness Energy. Okay, so he will get a -1 penalty to anything Agility and Smarts related, and a +1 bonus to anything Strength and Vigor related.

Round 1:
Initiative: Athen KC, Taro 9H

Athen: Fighting (d6): 4,7: Success: 12: Success with a Raise: Wounded.

As Taro closes in, and tries to lunge, Athen steps on the side, evades his trajectory, and stabs his weapon arm right between the fingers. He screams, drops his knife and clutches his wounded hand.
Athen steps behind him, her knife at his throat.
“Do as much as look at me next time, and it won’t be just your hand I’ll stab.” She punches him and walks away.
‘That felt good.’ She thinks as she leaves the base. ‘That felt really good.’ She knows Taro won’t tell anyone. He’s too proud and haughty to admit he’s been beaten.

I consider that Chaos Factor remains at 6.


Her sources at Vertden FOB burned, and with the increasing hostility, Athen will attempt to find Mr Kennet. See what he wanted to talk about. The next scene will play out in Morikai Bread Factory. There she might find Kennet’s employment’s records to find his home address.

Is the scene modified? 10 against 6: No

Athen arrives at Morikai Bread Factory. The receptionist is surprised to see her again.
“Mr Morikai’s life might be in danger.” She explains. “Has Mr Kennet been here?” She asks.

Persuasion (d6): 4,2: Success.

Q: Has Mr Kennet been there?
A: Yes
Q: Is he still there?
A: No
Q: Was Mr Morikai with him?
A: No

“Yes Ms Smarte. Mr Kennet passed by earlier today, alone.” The lady answers.
“Could you provide me his home address? It’s a matter of urgency.” Athen presses on.

Persuasion (d6): 1,2: Failure: Benny: 2,2: Failure.

“Sorry. I cannot give any private information to a third party. Especially one concerning Mr Morikai’s security detail.” The receptionist is adamant.
“Can you call him then? Connect me to him? I must talk to him.” she counters.

Persuasion (d6+1): 6, 12: Success with two raises.

“I’ll be happy to.” The receptionist smiles.

Q: Does Mr Kennet answer?
A: No

Let’s see if Athen saw the dialed in number.

Notice (d6): 3,9: Success with a raise.

As the receptionist dials in the numbers, Athen notes down mentally. 774-372-813.
A minute later. The receptionist shakes her head. “He’s not answering madam. You’ll have to drop by later.”
Athen smiles, and steps out. She heads to the nearest public terminal and plugs in the information, see if she can find the home address.

Q: Is the address belonging to the number available?
A: Extreme No.

Athen tries to find the home address belonging to the phone address, but not only she can’t find anything, the number returns back as invalid. Did the receptionist just con her into believing she had called?
Athen pretends she forgot something to get past security, storms back into the bread factory, and pulls her gun at the receptionist.

Intimidation (d4-2): 1,5 vs 4: Success.

The receptionist is startled, and raises her hands up.
“You lying bitch. What are you hiding? Why did you lie to me?” Athen demands.

Q: Did Kennet tell her so? (Likely)
A: Yes

“He told me to! Please don’t hurt me! He told me if anyone came asking to drive them away.”
“Where is he? Is he inside?” Athen continues.

Q: Is Kennet inside? (Likely)
A: Yes

The receptionist nods. Athen motions her with the pistol to move on.
“Lead the way and open the door so that he doesn’t expect me. Signal him and you die.” She adds.
They head upstairs and she opens the doors to Mr Morikai’s office.

Q: Is Mr Morikai there as well? (Likely)
A: Extreme yes.

As the receptionist enters first, Athen pushes her to the side, to reveal herself. She comes upon the sight of a gagged and bound Mr Morikai. German next to the desk searching the files.
Morikai tries to talk, his eyes begging for Athen to save him.
German is taken by surprise.

Q: Does German have his weapon on him?
A: Yes
Q: Does he try to reach for it? (Unlikely)
A: No

“You!” She says at the reception. “Go to the corner and don’t make a sound.”
“You!” She says at Mr Morikai. “You’ll have your chance to explain yourself.”
“You!” She says at Mr Kennet. “Tell me what the fuck is going on.”

I’ll use UNE for the conversation mood: Forthcoming
NPC Bearing: Investigation
NPC Focus: Current Story

Let’s see also for how long is German working for Morikai (d100): average amount of time

“That’s what I’m trying to find out! I’ve been working for the big guy for five years now. He’s always been a little weird, but those last couple months he’s been too weird.” German explains and Athen gestures to him with the pistol to go on.
“He never cared much for the workers, I know this much. I don’t care either. But when they started disappearing it was as if it was work as usual.” He sighs. “The he had some more meetings, some folks I had never heard of before. Late at night, with none of the usual folks.”

Q: Does German have some evidence? Something that sparked off his behavior? (Likely)
A: Yes

“For security reasons it is I that take of the paper trash from his office to the shredder. One day I found this piece of paper.” He puts his hand in his pocket.
“Slowly.” Athen says to him.
“This writing ain’t human.” He continues as he removes a crumbled paper from his pocket and lays it open on the desk.
Athen closes in and sees the evidence.

Q: Is it similar to the writing in Ocano Point?
A: Yes

“That’s orcwrit. That’s for sure.” She says. “Alright. I’m gonna trust you now. I’ll stop pointing this at you. You gotta trust me too and don’t try anything stupid. I don’t care what the guild says. I wanna get to the bottom of this. Humans are dying, grossly.”

At first I decided to ask the Oracle and roll, but the I realized it makes NO sense for German to go against her at this point. So I used my GM-Muscles and took over.

German nods. “I believe he’s in league with some orcs or collaborators. It must be part of a bigger plan, because of all the meetings. I took him here to see if there’s anything else in his desk that could help my investigation, and then you arrived. He ain’t speaking though, and believe me I tried.”
“They never do speak. Even back in the war. I think they fear their masters more than us. Heck I would too.” Athen explains.
“What should we do with him?” German asks.
“Bring the worker’s rep here. Tell him who’s to blame for the missing workers. Then deliver Mr Morikai to them. Let them work it out.” Athen proposes and Morikai’s eyes widen with anxiety.

Q: Does German agree to that?
A: Extreme yes

German turns to the recepionist. “You heard Ms Smarte, call the worker’s rep.”
A short while later, the factory boss is delivered to the workers, and Athen and German don’t look back.
They have more important things to do, like find more evidence.

Q: Is the desk locked?
A: No
Q: Do they find anything of interest?
A: Yes
Q: Is it a document?
A: Yes, Random Event: PC Positive: Carry Adversities.
Q: Is the document in orcwrit?
A: Yes

Searching through the desk drawers they find another piece of paper, sporting the same writing in unknown language. “We’ll need to take this to an expert.” Athen says.
“Alright.” German replies. “Hey, look. I just want you to know we’re in this together, wherever this goes. I hate the darn creatures. Lost some of my own people to them, and I will never rest knowning they’re out there still hurting us. Whatever we face will doing this job. I have your back.” He confesses.

I interpreted the Carry Adversities result, in that she has now someone to help see this through.

Athen smiles in a ‘thank you’ manner. “Let’s take the datacomp with us as well. We can get this to a hacker to get us in. Maybe we’ll find a contact there to follow.” She says, changing the topic. She had never been big on words.

I’m adding German’s stats at the bottom of the post for reference purposes.

I’m removing Mr Morikai from the Characters List.
I just realized that Chaos must always move up or down. Okay, so in this case the PCs where in control of the scene, therefore Chaos Factor is now at 5.
I’m renaming a Thread to investigate the orc collaborator conspiracy.


After a discussion in the mythic gme discord, it was brought to my attention that I can ask the Oracle if a specific situation warrants a scene, or just happens in downtime (Thanks @Thessius!)

Q: Should I run a scene concerning finding an orcwrit expert to translate the documents?
A: Extreme Yes

So this should be an important scene, which should move the story forward.

The scene will have to do with Athen and German hanging around in some sleazy bar, waiting for German’s contact to show up.

Is the scene modified? 9 vs 5: No.

German: Streetwise (d6): 8: Success with a raise.

The Ace of Spades, not the most safe spot to get your drink in Morieva at night. Nevertheless that’s where German brought her, claiming he knows people there.
They grab a seat at a small round table in the rear, order a couble of cold ones, and German goes to the bar. He exchanges a few words with the barman, and returns.
“We got lucky.” Seems my friend knows the right person, they’re gonna meet us here.

Q: Does the contact show up alone?
A: Yes

Let’s hit donjon to get some information about this NPC.
Jasper Catlow: Male Doctor. Jasper is willowy, with short golden hair and hazel eyes. He wears a casual suit and glasses with dark rims. Jasper speaks with a strange accent.

UNE: pragmatic recluse
Motivation: blight industry (?)
Mood: neutral
Bearing: secrets
Focus: future action

Introductions are made, and Dr. Catlow gets to the point.
“I’m told you have some non-human scripts.” He eyes the two carefully. His accent is snobbish.
“Well then show me.” He adds.
Athen carefully pulls out the two documents.

Q: Does he ask to be paid?
A: Yes. 80 silver dollars.

Now I did some reading of my previous posts to see if I had any reference to a unit of wealth and in a quick skim I didn’t find any. I decide that having a silver dollar coin would be a nice thematic addition to the setting.

Athen has the necessary funds to not require a wealth die roll. Nevertheless she will try to barter a little.

Persuasion (d6): 2,3: Failure

“It will be 80 silver. For my time.” He says.
“Hey you don’t get to look at these all the time, how about 60?” Athen says.
“You know anyone else who can read these? Don’t waste my time and you won’t waste your money.” He counters. Athen gives him the coin, and waits eagerly for the translation.

I’ll take a step further and decide that the NPC motivation which was blight industry, doesn’t refer to Catlow, but to the documents.

Q: Do both documents refer to the same matter?
A: Extreme No. They’re completely unrelated, maybe different author as well.
Q: Does the second document refer to the occult rituals?
A: Yes
Q: Does the first document (blight) industry have any drug reference?
A: No
Q: Does the second?
A: Extreme yes
Q: How well does Catlow translate?
A: a bit below average.

Dr. Catlow reads the first document again and again. “Okay, this one is quite generic. It refers to some of the most important industries of Morieva and how they’re a target. Something about ‘under, attack’ can’t understand much more.”
“This one” he says as he reads through the second, “seems to be written with a different paint. The size of the letters is also different. It’s talking about performing rituals… and that the subjects must be prepared with substances for a long period of time. Something about a third eye. I can’t make much sense. That’s the main problem with orcwrit. The words are there, but their concepts are so much different than ours.”
Suddenly it all made sense to Athen. The puzzle pieces fit in one by one. Collaborators are working with orcs to prepare the human subjects for warp magic rituals. The new drug on the streets is all part of their plan. At the same time they’re trying to undermine the infrastructure of Morieva. Maybe they’re using the sewers? Like in the bread factory. She still fails to see to what end all this is happening. One thing is for certain. The people of Morieva are in danger and they must investigate further.
She thanks Dr. Catlow for his services and once he’s gone, she shares her concerns with German.

Q: Does the bodyguard agree with her? (Likely)
A: Extreme Yes

German Kennet listens carefully. “You’re absolutely right Athen! We must find out more, you say you have a hacker we can take this datacomp to? Maybe we should take a look before jumping into the sewers.”
Athen nods, and goes outside to call Quinn.

Q: Does she find Quinn?
A: Yes
Q: Is he available to work on the datacomp?
A: No.

Persuasion (d6): 5,4: Success

She calls Quinn from a payphone. He ain’t happy to hear her voice. “I don’t want to work with you. Can we just forget we met?” He says over the phone.
“Nothing like last time. I just have a datacomp for you to hack into. Find me a few contacts. Routine boring hacking stuff.” She tries to calm him.
“Alright alright, but it will cost you silver.” Quinn agrees.

So, both threads are progressing, none is resolved yet. I’m adding Dr. Jasper Catlow to the Character List, and increasing Chaos Factor to 6, as things seem to be moving out of control.


Q: Does the meeting with Quinn warrant a separate scene?
A: Yes

Athen and German will be going to Quinn with the datacomp to look into it.

Is the Scene modified? 3 vs 6: Altered Scene.

Q: Does the meeting take place at the Ace of Spades instead?
A: Extreme No

Okay so I interpret this as meaning that Quinn is a very careful fella and doesn’t want to be in a public place or his own (otherwise it wouldn’t be an altered scene).

So the meeting will take place over at Athen’s apartment.

Athen and German are waiting at the hall, when there’s a knock at the door.
“Who’s there?” Athen asks, by the side of the door.
“It’s me, Quinn.” He answers.
Athen lets him in and he sets up at the kitchen table, failing to find another proper surface.
“Where’s the data comp?” He asks, and German gives him the device.

Q: Is the cost high?
A: No

Quinn connects his personal datacomp to Morikai’s. “It’s gonna set you back 70 silver.” He tells Athen, who puta her hand deep in the pocket to pay him.
“Get on with it.” She responds.

Q: Does Quinn manage to hack the device? (Likely)
A: Yes

With ample time at his disposal and all the tools available, Quinn soon bypasses the security protocols of the personal datacomp.

Q: Are there any contacts that stand out?
A: Extreme Yes.
Let’s turn to UNE: Cultured Magister
So it’s a government official in a position of power, who’s involved. Since this was an Extreme Yes, I take it that there’s undeniable information regarding their involvement.

“So, we’ve got several messages here, back and forth with a fella called Holbrook Alcantar…wasn’t he running for city council?” Quinn lets his words trail off. “What you do with this information is up to you. Anyway, the messages were encrypted, but I’ve managed to decipher them. Take a look and decide. My work here is done. I don’t want to know what happens further.”
German looks at Athen with a ‘can we trust him?’ face. Athen nods, even though she knows not to trust anyone. She’d hate if Quinn ended up in a ditch on her accord. The hacker packs up and leaves.

Q: Does it have to do with the third eye drug?
A: Extreme No. Crap, I was leaning heavily towards this scenario.

I roll on the Events & UNE tables to see if I can get an insight on the content of the messages. I get dominate illness and abduct valor.

So here I am contemplating if should disregard the Extreme No answer above. I mean it fits perfectly. On one hand I want to give leeway to the GM side, on the other I don’t want to write huge blocks of story text arbitrarily without any mechanical input from the game or GME.
After careful thinking I decide to go with it. I’ve considered a way to make it fit, and maybe all the puzzle pieces will click in the end.

One by one they read the messages between Morikai and Alcantar.
It’s evident that Morikai used the factory to deliver tainted wheat products around the city. The messages don’t describe what substances are used to taint the products or what will happen to the consumers, but Alcantar has played his part in delivering said packages to armed forces around Morieva.
“How deep does this go? They have spread their tentacles all over the city!” German sighs.
“We need some contingency. I don’t trust the guild or Mao Hsai. Not anymore.” Athen says.
“We can’t trust the cops or the city either. We don’t know who’s involved. And if we go to the media, the enemy will be alarmed.” He adds.
He mulls it over, but Athen seems not to care. “We’ll copy the files and get a lawyer to release it in the event of our death. I want to follow that Alcantar fella. See where he leads us. I’m gonna call my fixer. Something tells me we’re gonna need to pack more before this thing is over.”

Chaos Factor goes up to 7.
Character List updated with Holbrook Alcantar.
Threads remain the same.


With this scene over I decide to pause the session here.
I’m giving Athen another advancement per Savage Worlds rules. This one will be Quick Draw.


Characters

  • Hunters
  • Mao Hsai
  • Goblins
  • Merlin
  • Dirty Official
  • Quinn
  • ~~Michal Morikai~~
  • German Kennet
  • Dr. Jasper Catlow
  • Holbrook Alcantar

Hunters

  • Taro
  • Col. Leif Faulknen
  • Cpt Jaenke
  • Konicek
  • Girbach
  • Quartermaster

Locations

  • Vertden FOB
  • Home
  • Ocano Point
  • Gustav’s
  • New Gorky
  • Old Pictorial
  • Morikai Bread Factory

Threads

  • Investigate orc collaborators conspiracy (main thread)
  • Investigate occult rituals in Ocano Point
  • Investigate third-eye-drug exchange

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.
Race Human
Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d4, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Athletics d6, Common Knowledge d6, Driving d4, Fighting d6, Intimidation d6, Notice d6, Shooting d6, Streetwise d6
Hindrances Curious
Edges Brawler
Pace 6″
Parry 5
Toughness 5
Wealth d6


Session Summary

Maybe the session of this adventure that I enjoyed the most so far. It had mystery, action and suspense.
I absolutely loved the part where an extreme No answer turned the tables to my trail of thought and provided a way for the plot to progress I hadn’t imagined before!
That’s a nice example of how solo play can surprise you.
What I struggled most was my GM side pushing to take the story to one direction and Mythic pulling towards another. This issue existed even in my previous Player Driven gamestyle, but it’s even more pronounced with Mythic, because of the different approach. Mythic requires that you think of the story foremost, so having focused there, you feel the impact more when you have to disregard your imagined scenario.
I’m still going to take the story to wherever Mythic takes me. I’m really curious.