A monster’s bounty – A weird cyberpunk fantasy adventure – S1E08

Brief summary: Lt. Athen Smarte is a Hunter. Solitary warriors who hunt down and dispatch warp monsters. In the last session she found a new lead to follow.

I’m digging deeper into Mythic, and I’ll be using Mythic Variations 2 for this session. I’ve also skimmed through Mythic Variations 1 to mainly for theory and examples to help me understand Mythic GME better.

Therefore, I’m reducing CF to 6 to be in line with MV2 (Mythic Variations 2).

I’m deducing that German Kennet is in possession of a car. I can’t think of another way he would be moving around Mr Morikai, so it makes sense that he has one.

Q: Does it make sense to play out the fixer scene?
A: No

So, she’ll try to purchase a couple of SMGs from Merlin, and Night Vision goggles in case they need to go underground.
Wealth (d8): 4,4: Success. Success, but Wealth die drops to d6.

So, next scene will be them following Alcantar, waiting in German’s car until he shows up.

Is the scene modified? 2 against 6: Interrupted: PC Positive: Guide a Project.

I’m not sure about my interpretation, so I’m gonna ask:
Q: Is she asked to root out any traitors in the guild by Col. Faulkner?
A: No

I was just about to scratch the interrupt scene in favor of the 10-second rule, then it became 100 seconds, then 1000 seconds. I so much hate disregarding mechanics, even when told to do so by the oracle. In the end, as I am about to give in. I decide a more liberal approach. Maybe “project” means one of Smarte’s goals (right now the threads she’s following), and maybe “guide”, means, someone has information to help her towards the goal. All in the context of PC-Positive.

Returning from the meeting with Merlin, Lt. Smarte and Mr. Kennet park outside Athen’s Appartment. They’ve gotten themselves some more serious firepower and night vision gadgets to use, in case things turn more serious than they already are.
As they step outside, a destitute pushes her.
They look at each other for a moment.
“You!” She gasps out. “You’re the woman from the station. You really showed them! Filthy corporate scum.”
Athen instictively looks around to make sure she’s not heard.

Q: Is the destitute woman heard? (Unlikely)
A: Yes

A couple of passers by look at her.
“Shush! You must have mistaken me for someone else!” Athen shushes the beggar woman, and looks at her with meaning, hoping she can get the message through to the deranged mind.

Persuasion (d6): 10, 5: Success with a raise.

“Ah yes, you all look alike.” She says loudly, understanding Athen. “Come, come, I’ve got something to show you.” She tugs Athen from her jacket to follow her.

Detail Check: Sadness, Ceaselessly Mysterious.

Kennet looks at Smarte, and she motions for him to come along. They follow the beggar woman in a back alley, and she heads to a sewer grate and opens it.
“Why go into the sewers?” Athen asks.
“That’s how I escaped that night. The metro and the sewers connect, in an endless maze. Noone knows how to walk them. They all get lost. Except that man. The man with the third eye.” The beggar lady says. “I followed him from a distance.”
“Take us to there then!” Athen asks.

Q: Does the beggar woman agree to guide them in the sewers? (Unlikely, she seems scared)
A: No

“I saw piles of dead people. Terrible stuff. Nightmares. The hunters should not have allowed this to happen. No. We’re alone again. I’m not going back in there.” The beggar woman responds.

Persuasion (d6): 10, 5: Success with a raise.

“I’m a hunter.” Athen replies. “You lead me, and we’ll make those monsters pay.”
The woman thinks it over. “I’ll guide you part of the way. Then I go back. Don’t get lost.”
Athen nods.
“I’ll go bring the support.” German says and he goes to bring the sack with the weapons from the trunk.
Soon the three of them are in the sewers.

I’m not 100% certain I chose the right interpretations. But it keeps the story going, though I must confess that it feels biased, even if the interpretations fit with the story threads.

I’m keeping the CF at 6.

I was so tempted to make this another dungeon crawl (or should I saw sewer crawl), but I’m still going to play by Mythic’s rules and guidelines to the best of my ability. Mythic plays with scenes, and that’s what I’m doing.

Athen and German, follow the beggar woman into the sewers to the point of interest.

Is the Scene modified? 8 against 6: No

Q: Do they encounter anything on the way there?
A: No

Q: Do they get lost?
A: No

After a good while into the dark, searching around corners, following their guide, she suddenly stops.
“Go forth. Second junction to the right. I’m not coming along.” She says.
“Will you wait for us here?” Athen asks.

Q: Will she? (Unlikely)
A: Yes (barely)

She nods. “But only for a little while. If I hear noise, I’m gone, like the rats.”
Athen taps her right hand over her heart in a thank you gesture. She knows the old lady risks a lot by waiting.
“If you don’t find me, follow the yellow arrows. They’ll get you to the orange line. You’ll figure it out from there.” She adds, and the duo arms their guns and treads carefully onwards.

I’ll do another detail check here. “What do they find?”: Focus Thread: Investigate occult rituals in Ocano Point: Offensively Small

Q: Is a small humanoid shaman there?
A: Yes

So it’s a short goblin.

Q: Are there more goblins with him?
A: Yes

Q: Are there any humans alongside?
A: Exceptional yes, and random event.

I take that exceptional yes means that they’re collaborators as well as victims.

Before resolving the random event I’ll set up the scene a bit.

As the armed duo takes the second junction to the right, they hear speech. Human tongues and non-human tongues exchanging words in an unknown language. They also hear screams for help in what sounds clearly as human.
Closing in, they see several short gaunt figures armed with crude weapons, bashing around some men and women, who clearly seem captured.
What catches their attention though is a goblin – that’s what they make of the humanoid figures – shorter than the rest, wearing a tall hat as if to appear larger than what it is. He’s carrying a staff on one hand, with a green glowing orb on top, and a serrated dagger on the other. Next to him is a human, with whom he seems to have a proper conversation.
All around the room are similar fusions of bodies to the ones she saw over at Ocano Point. What is nauseating is that some of these bodies seem to be still moving, albeit like a headless chicken moves.

Let’s resolve the Random Event now: NPC Positive: Goblins: Assist Jealousy

Two of the goblins seem to be antagonizing each other as they bring a prisoner to the shaman. He laughs and tells them something in their dark speech which only makes them more furious, and they each cut off the limbs of their victim and present them to their leader. The victim, as if under the influence, screams but doesn’t try to move.

I deem that’s a good time for a good old Spirit check.

Athen: Spirit (d6): 5, 4: Success
German: Spirit (d4): 3: Failure: Vigor (d6): 5: Success. German is Shaken.

Let’s see if Athen notices her teammate’s status
Athen: Notice (d6): 2,4: Success

German, almost pukes at the gross sight. He barely holds it inside. As Athen was ready to barge guns blazing, she pauses, and instead tries to get in a vantage point, hiding in the shadows.

Athen: Stealth (d6): 3,5: Success

Now German must make another Spirit roll: 2: Failure

Athen aims at the goblins, while German still tries to force himself to look at the monsters. In the meantime, the shaman takes the two hands and places them together in a pile of flesh, and starts mumbling some dark spell, while sparks of green light flow from his staff to the pile.

Athen looks carefully to the man next to the shaman, see if she recognizes him under the dim light.
Athen: Notice (d6): 9,5: Success with a Raise.

Q: Does she recognize him? (Likely)
A: Yes, and Random Event.

Q: Is it dirty official?
A: No, then it must be Holbrook Alcantar

Q: Is it Holbrook? (Sure Thing)
A: Yes

Random Event: Close a thread: Investigate third eye drug exchange: Overindulge Representative

She recognizes the man to be their target, Holbrook Alcantar, the person who was in league with Morikai.
Holbrook watches the shaman cast his spell, then, as he finishes, he opens up his briefcase, full of pills. He kneels and presents it to the shaman. The goblin smiles sardonically and passes his hand over the pills, while spewing spit and words. The pills then start glowing green, like the ones Athen saw at the drug exchange. That’s the source.

Q: Do the goblins go pick another victim?
A: Yes

The antagonizing goblin guards smile and walk back to the prisoners, while Athen waits for Kennet to recover. She can’t wait forever.

Now German must make another Spirit roll: 15: Success with two Raises.

Kennet takes a few deep breaths. And looks back at the scene and Athen, who gestures for him to open fire.

I’ll try to get some numbers down for the combat.
Goblins (1d6+2): 3 + the shaman
Prisoners (1d10+1): 4
Room size: 36
Distance to goblins: 21

Q: Is there another exit?
A: Yes, at the back of the room

Round 1: Athen+Kennet 8S, Goblins 7H, Shaman+Holbrook 6C

Athen 1 shot at each goblin: Shooting (d10),-2: 2,3,8,1: 1 Success: 10/4: Wounded: Goblin 3 is down
Kennet 2 & 1 shot at each goblin: Shooting (d6),-2: 5,1,2: Miss
Goblin 1: runs to Athen: 10: Distance 11
Goblin 2: runs to Kennet: 6: Distance 15
Goblin Shaman: 2 bolts at Athen, 1 bolt at Kennet: Spellcasting (d10),-2: 9,9,7,4: Success, Success, Success: 2, 19, 5: Athen is Wounded Twice: Benny: Soak Roll: 3,7: Success: 1 Wound removed.

Q: Does Holbrook flee? (Likely)
A: Exceptional No. He also pulls his pistol and shoots.

Holbrook: Shoots Kennet: Shooting (d4),-4: 7: Miss

Round 2: Athen+Kennet 6H, Goblins QS, Shaman+Holbrook 8C
Goblin 1: runs to Athen: 9: Distance 2
Goblin 2: runs to Kennet: 6: Distance 9
Goblin Shaman: Zombie: Spellcasting (d10): Success: 1 Zombie is risen for 1 hour
Holbrook: Shoots Kennet: Shooting (d4),-4: 3: Miss
Athen Spirit (d6): 10, 4: Not Shaken & Acts: Quick Draw Pistol: Double Tap Goblin 1: 7,1: Hit: 14/4: Wounded: Goblin 1 is down
Kennet shoots FA at Goblin 2: Shooting (d6),-2: 5,5,3: Miss

Round 3: Athen+Kennet AS, Goblins 5S, Shaman+Holbrook KH
Athen: Double Tap Goblin Shaman: Shooting (d10),-2: 2,4: Miss: Benny: 6,1: Hit: 6/4: Shaken
Kennet shoots FA at Goblin 2: Shooting (d6),-2: 2,5,2: Miss
Goblin Shaman: Spirit (d8): 7,2: Success: Not Shaken
Holbrook: Shoots Kennet: Shooting (d4),-4: 3: Miss
Goblin 2: runs to Kennet: 7: Distance 2

Round 4: Athen+Kennet 10D, Goblins 10C, Shaman+Holbrook 2S
Athen: Double Tap Goblin Shaman: Shooting (d10),-2: 7,3: Hit: 14: 2 Wounds: Soak Roll: Vigor (d4): 7,5: Success: 1 Wound
Kennet: shoots FA at Goblin 2: Shooting (d6),-2: 2,5,2: 10: Success with a Raise: Hit: 33/4: Goblin 2 is down
Goblin Shaman: Spirit (d8): 7,2: Success: Not Shaken
Holbrook: Shoots Kennet: Shooting (d4),-4: 3: Miss
Zombie: runs to Kennet: 7: Distance 14

Round 5: Athen+Kennet AH, Shaman+Holbrook KC
Athen: Close in 6, SA Goblin Shaman: Shooting (d10),-3: 7,1: Hit: 8: 1 Wound
Kennet: Reloads
Goblin Shaman: Spirit (d8): 2,3: Shaken
Holbrook: Shoots Kennet: Shooting (d4),-4: 1: Miss
Zombie: runs to Kennet: 9: Distance 5

Round 6: Athen+Kennet AD, Shaman+Holbrook 2H
Athen: Close in 6, Reload
Kennet: shoots FA at Zombie: Shooting (d6),-2: 3,3,5: Miss
Goblin Shaman: Spirit (d8): 2,1: Shaken
Holbrook: Shoots Kennet: Shooting (d4),-4: 5: Miss
Zombie: runs to Kennet: 10: Distance Close

Round 7: Athen+Kennet JH, Shaman+Holbrook KD
Goblin Shaman: Spirit (d8),-2: 9,9: Not Shaken
Holbrook: Shoots Athen: Shooting (d4): 5: Hit: 9/8: Shaken
Zombie: attacks Kennet: Fighting (d6): 4: Miss
Athen Spirit (d6): 17, 5: Not Shaken & Acts: Double Tap Goblin Shaman: Shooting (d10): 6,4: Hit: 12: 2 Wounds. Goblin Shaman is down.
Kennet clubs the zombie with the SMG: Fighting (d6): 5: Hit: 12/7: Wounded: Zombie is down

Round 8: Athen+Kennet JS, Holbrook 9D

Kennet attempts to make Holbrook surrender: Intimidation (d6): 5: Success

Q: Does Holbrook surrender? (Likely)
A: Yes

They start shooting off their submachineguns. Bullets spraying everywhere. The loud bangs echoing in the sewers. The flash of the gun barrels is evident, and as the first goblin falls under the hail of fire, the two others run towards the intruders.
The goblin shaman points his staff towards them and green bolts fly off, one of them hitting Athen right in the chest, piercing the kevlar and wounding her.
Holbrook, trying to show off to his friends doesn’t run away, instead he pulls out a small .22, and crouched, he starts shooting back.
Athen grouches, and despite her wound, she stands up, drops the submachinegun and pulls her pistol. She puts two into another goblin, advancing towards her.
Kennet keeps shooting at full auto, missing by a long shot, while the goblin closes in.
The goblin shaman casts another spell. This time he aims at the pile, and a shambling flesh creation is animated and starts walking to the party.
Athen shoots the shaman again, and again and again, walking towards the little bastard who is suppressed. One by one her bullets find their targets, and after putting a fresh clip in the chamber, a bullet blows his brains out.
At the other side, German has emptied a whole clip, and it is by sheer luck that he managed to kill the charging greenskin. He understands his limitations, so when the animated zombie comes at him, he just uses the submachinegun as a makeshift club. Bashing the abomination’s head again and again until it stops moving.
The group then turns their attention to Holbrook. Bloody angry faces, they aim their weapons at him.
“Drop it!” German growls to Holbrook. “Unless you wanna join your friends in Warp Heaven.”
Holbrook looks back at the exit, but he knows he’s missed his chance. He drops his pistol and surrenders.

They tie him up and look around for anything else, before starting the interrogation.

Athen: Notice (d6): 9,4: Success with a Raise.

Q: Is there anything of interest?
A: Yes
Q: What is it? (Detail Check)
A: Focus PC: Miserably Interesting

Athen finds that the victims were mostly run down people. The poor and the downtrodden. But what raises the interest of Athen is that she finds several IDs belonging to military or security personnel. It seems that the goblins aimed at both the people noone would notice, as well as the people that would defend Morieva. Maybe the tainted wheat she read in the messages was tainted with this drug substance.

I will try out the Behavior Check of MV2 now, as Athen and German interrogate their prisoner.

Holbrook Alcantar
Identity: Corrupt official, goblin collaborator
Personality: Roughly familiar
Activity: Lie dispute
Disposition: Passive (-2)
Theme: Interrogation
NPC Action 1: NPC Action: NPC Action 2: Talks, Exposition

Haha, sometimes Mythic’s results fit in perfectly. I rolled a descriptor here, but as expected it made no sense, and since I have all the information I need, I’ll disregard it, and run along the conversation.

German puts his gun on the collaborator’s head, while Athen kicks the dropped .22 away.
“Start talking.” He demands.
“Alright, alright. We bring placebo pills to the goblins and they warp them to make the recipients suitable subjects.” He starts saying.
“To what end? Who else is involved?” Athen asks.

NPC Action 1: NPC Continues
Q: Are there others involved?
A: Exceptional Yes
Q: To what end? (Detail Check)
A: Postpone Death

Holbrook laughs. “You have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into, right? We’re everywhere. The cream of the cream of Morieva’s administration.”
German hits him with the end of his gun. “Why?”
“Oh but for what else? Immortality. You see wicked magics, we see untapped potential. We can live forever.” Holbrook laughs again.
“What do the goblins get out of it?” She asks.

NPC Action 1: NPC Action: NPC Action 2: Acts Out of PC Interest

Q: What do the goblins get out of it? (Detail Check)
A: Haggle Plans

“They have plans. A grand strategy for all the world. But now we get to negotiate with them. We get to be part of their strategy. All because you managed to defeat them in the wars. We have to thank you for that Ranger.” Holbrook replies.
Athen shudders that the man knows she served in the wars as a ranger. That could be deduced of course, but is it possible that he knows more about her? Are the hunters infiltrated by collaborators?
“What plans?” She demands.

NPC Action 1: NPC Continues +2: Gives Something: Debase Plot

“Morieva is but the beginning. Once we’re successful, more will follow. We will take control of the city. The next war is going to be from the inside. By the time they realize what is happening, it will be too late.” Holbrook adds.
“Names. Start giving names.” German says.

NPC Action 1: Theme Action

He will give them 2d6 names: 10. Politicians, officers, corporate suits.

Q: Is Col. Faulkner between them? (No Way)
A: Yes, Random Event: NPC Negative: German Kennet: Inquire Intrigues

Donjon: Bryana Graydon, female journalist. Bryana is common in appearance, with blonde hair and gray eyes. She wears a casual skirt and blouse and cloche hat. Bryana is calm and impartial.

Among the names there is Bryana Graydon, a female journalist. The moment German listens to her name, he steps back, as if hit by a truck. Holbrook continues, and also tells them about Col. Faulkner. Athen feels the ground beneath her disappear. Noone to trust. Nowhere. They look at each other. Holbrook smiles.
“He’s lying!” German shouts. “They know about us and he’s lying to shake us.” He aims his pistol at Holbrook.
“We can’t take the risk.” Athen replies. “We must find out if he’s telling the truth. Even if we waste precious time.” Tie him up. He’s coming with us.

Chaos Factor remains at 6. The characters are in control of their immediate surrounding, but it seems the whole world is against them.

I’m adding Bryana Graydon to the list.

The third eye thread as well as the ocano point investigation thread are closed, and only the main thread remains.

The next scene will have Col. Faulkner invited to Athen’s appartment and try to find out if he’s telling the truth.

Is the scene modified? Yes: Altered Scene: Faulkner will arrive with muscle.

It hasn’t been long since Athen hang up the phone call with Col. Faulkner. She explained to him that she had to see him in person for an urgent matter, with discretion, as she couldn’t trust the phone lines for possible hacking.
Holbrook is tied up and gagged in one end of the room, and German is watching him for any attempt to escape.
Is he fooling with them? Lying and trying to throw dust in their eyes? Or enjoys telling them the truth, certain that they can’t do anything to alter the course of the upcoming events. The collaborators are not known for their tongues to roll so easily. Yet, she’s been shaken, and watches out of the window, waiting for the Colonel to arrive.
Then he sees him, come, in full uniform. Alongside with him are two more unis.
“Shit.” Athen mumbles. ‘What could this mean?’
She grabs her sidearm and turns to German. “We’ve got company. The colonel is here, but not alone.”
They put Holbrook right in the middle of the room, open the door, and take positions, out of line of sight, at the sides of the room.

There are several explanations as to why the Col. arrived with security, so the best thing to do is a detail check.

Q: What is their reaction when they see Holbrook?
A: Attainment the public
The what now?

Okay. So public… Holbrook is a public servant. They try to grab him.

Q: Does Holbrook try to warn them about the armed captors?
A: Yes

Crap. The worst case scenario. There’s only a very slight chance they’re not allies.

I’ll make an opposed Notice vs Stealth roll.
5 Notice vs 10,7 Stealth. Athen succeeded with a Raise.

The bodyguards, followed by the Colonel, arrive outside the apartment and see the open door and Holbrook tied and gagged. They rush towards him, disregarding his attempts to warn them of the ambush.
As they reach him they hear the sound of guns cocked.
“Alright boys, put your toys down and play nicely.” Athen warns them, having the upper hand.

Q: Do they attack?
A: No
Q: Do they draw?
A: No

The men are caught by surprise and turn to face their ambushers, but don’t draw their weapons, fearing for their lives.
“Is this what I see true? My eyes aren’t failing me? Certainly I thought my ears where failing me when the Captain told me about you. Have you gone out of your mind completely Smarte? Kidnapping a city official?” The colonel yells from the hall outside.
“Found him in the sewers kissing some goblin cheeks. He confessed. Your name came up.” She replies from inside.

I’m a bit indecisive about the tools to use right now. I could do a behavior check, but I’m gonna see what UNE gives first.

Conversation mood: Guarded
Bearing: Hostile, Destruction
Focus: Future action

Q: Does he threaten?
A: Yes

“You’re on a path to self destruction Athen. Your career is over, I hope not your life too. Put your gun down and I’ll make sure you get a psycheval. Avoid the court martial and all that crap. For old times sake.” Col. Faulkner threatens.
“I sincerely had hoped that you were not involved, Colonel.” Athen says and shoots the men in the legs.

Athen: Shooting (d10),+2: 8,4: Success: 13/6: Wounded

Q: Does German follow her lead? (Likely)
A: Yes

German: Double tap: Shooting (d6),+3: 7: Success: 11/6: Wounded

German also double taps the man he had at gunpoint, right on the leg. The two men drop screaming.
“You’re done for Smarte!” The Colonel screams from outside.

I think this is a breaking point for Smarte. She’s no killer, but she knows the threat Holbrook represents. She doesn’t want him to continue operating and he must pay for what he’s done so far.
Yet she knows she can’t keep dragging him around as the latest events will turn her and Kennet into fugitives.
It’s one of the cases where I won’t decide for my protagonist but I will roll a Spirit test. If she fails, she will execute Holbrook.

Spirit (d6): 1,2: Failure

Athen: Head Shot: Shooting (d10): 9,8: Success with a Raise: 14/5: Wounded. Holbrook is dead.

Athen motions for Kennet to follow her outside from, jumping from the window, as the colonel may be overwatching the apartment exit.
Before she does so, she takes a good look at the corrupt collaborator. She’s filled with all the suppressed emotions from the war. This man has betrayed all her sisters and brothers to make humanity safe again. Without thinking much, she puts a bullet in his head, right between the eyes.

Q: Can they jump down?
A: Exceptional Yes.

At arms length from her apartment’s window there is the fire escape.
They get out and make a run for German’s car. They have to escape Morieva and lay low.
As the car flees to safe distance, Athen can’t shake the recent revelations from her head.
“Hey partner.” German tells her. “We’ll figure it out. We’ll go to another city, find some support and expose these traitors.”
“You’re right…partner.” She responds. Her gaze in the mirror, looking back.

Okay. Time to close up the scene.
Chaos Factor still at 6.
Holbrook is removed from the Character List.
All previous threads are closed.
New threads: Escape Morieva, Expose Collaborators
Athen and Kennet both get the Wanted Hindrance.

Q: Does the Escape from Morieva warrant it’s own scene?
A: No

I’m gonna do a Zoomed out scene of the escape.
Kennet: Streetwise (d6): 3: Failure
Athen: Stealth (d6): 5,4: Success

So, they don’t switch vehicles or find any support from the underground, but they manage to lay low, avoiding highways and get out of Morieva.

I’ll be closing the session and season here. I’m going to give Athen an Advancement: Marksman. I’m also going to make German a Wild Card.

Session Summary

I found this session to be so interesting! Even though at some times I felt like I was circling around the same obstacle, without managing to pinpoint it, in the end the reason was clear.
The threat was revealed to be much bigger than anything Athen could have faced at once.
And what better way to close up the season, than with the bad guys winning, and darkness taking a piece of my protagonist’s soul!
I really enjoyed the convo that was driven by the Behavior Check, and in general found MV2 to be so much faster and streamlined than core Mythic GME.
Overall Mythic really held its ground and did what it was meant to: provide a coherent story structure upon which to run my adventure. I’ll definitely be using it in the future, or a mix/hack of it.

Season Summary

This story started with a lot of questionmarks, and as it went onwards it failed many times to provide the necessary drive. I’ve used several different tools, but due to a wrong approach based on the situation, it kept failing.
Success (from a solo RPG perspective) came with the use of Mythic, which I was avoiding, due to my preference for a Player Driven approach.
Keeping an open mind is important when trying out solo tools. I found out that I shouldn’t constrain myself depending on what I think I might like.
I’m leaving the first season of A Monster’s Bounty with a nice feeling, and I look forward to picking it up again later!