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  • giorgis 12:53 am on May 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Solipsism,   

    A monster’s bounty – A weird cyberpunk fantasy adventure – S1E05 

    Brief summary: Lt. Athen Smarte is a Hunter. Solitary warriors who hunt down and dispatch warp monsters. In the last session she was assigned a mission to recover data from an abandoned Hunter base before the corporate antagonists got to them. She’s on site, supported by a hired hacker.

    I just discovered solipsism which may be the key to unlock my adventure in this vaguely defined setting. I’m going to give it a go, and run this mission with this.
    For the Oracle, I will use solipsism’s oracle. If I feel confident, I may include False Presuppositions at double digits (11,22,33…) and Interventions from MUNE counting at +2 results.

    I’m going to use the Chart 4, for a faster mission.
    Defining the 4 Features
    A – Ocano Point Base Gate (start here)
    B – Barracks
    C – Armory
    D – Offices

    Defining the 6 elements
    a – Mission Data
    b – Mao Hsai Goons
    c – Goblins
    d – Alarm
    e – Weapon
    f – Corpses

    I start randomly at 0403

    0403
    Go To: A (5750)
    knowledge 0

    5750
    A
    Elements
    7727 requires blue key
    Outgoing Paths
    B (6897) 0

    I decide that there is some chance to gather some information about the site and find out if it has been used (knowledge adjective). Athen will roll her survival.

    Athen: Survival (d6): Success+
    Q: Are there any sings of goblin use? (Extremely Likely): 94: Exceptional Yes

    Athen and Quinn are at the gatehouse gathering information. The base has been abandoned for so long, but there are some signs of use. Athen looks under the pile of dirt in the corner, and she discovers steel arrows and arrowheads. Barbed and crooked.
    “Goblins” she mutters, and braces her sidearm, signaling Quinn to keep his head low.
    The nearest building they can get to without risking being caught in the open is the barracks, so they make a path to it.

    6897
    Go To: B (9647)
    dark +1

    The adjective is dark and the modifier is +1. I suppose that the darkness gives them plenty of cover. They have a +2 to their stealth rolls.

    9647
    B
    Elements
    b identity +2
    e occult -1
    Outgoing Paths
    9895 +1

    The elements are Mao Hsai Goons with an Identity adjective at a modifier of +2 for Athen, and the Weapon with an occult adjective at a modifier of -1 for Athen.
    I’ll check the Outgoing path after I have played out the scene.
    So the weapon is something occult related, and the -1 modifier, makes me think it’s possibly cursed. In my mind this fits to be a goblin curved sword.

    I’m not quite sure about the goons, so I’ll ask the oracle
    Q: Are the goons alive?
    A: Yes

    As Athen and Quinn enter the barracks under the cover of darkness, they see flashes of light, coming from the far end. Someone is here. Athen peeks and sees some armed men, wearing corporate armor, looking around in the barracks. They are discussing about a curved wicked serrated blade that one of them is holding out.

    I could have Athen try to overhear them, but I think she won’t risk it. After all, her mission’s the data. They will try to sneak past them.

    Athen: Stealth (d6+2): Success+
    Quinn: Stealth (d4+2): Success

    9895
    Go To: D (4992)
    neglect -1

    Any Oracle questions in this part have a +1 modifier.

    Athen and Quinn sneak past the mercenaries, and reach what seem to be the old Okano Base offices. They seem neglected and in total disarray. Computers destroyed. Monitors trashed and keyboards missing all the keys.

    4992
    D
    Outgoing Paths
    9946 +2

    Quinn looks at all the trashed gear and shakes his head as he sees even the results of a fire. “I doubt there’s something usable here. Even if I could link up, the corruption here would be immense.”
    Athen nods. “Let’s keep looking. I don’t want to mess up because we failed to find a hidden terminal.

    9946
    Go To: C (4141)
    transformation 0

    The main adjective here is transformation. Interesting.

    4141
    C
    Elements
    f history 0
    ? alien -2
    Outgoing Paths
    5016 -2
    6971 0
    9056 0 requires a green key

    We’re at the armory. Element f is Corpses and the adjective is history, so this is pretty straightforward. Maybe when the base was abandoned, they didn’t have the time to abandon everything and some hunters stayed behind to gather weapons from the armory and they were caught by the enemy and killed.
    Now the ? is a random element with the alien adjective. I’m not thinking space aliens here, but something completely out of place.

    So there are four categories of elements, I’ll try first to narrow it down.
    I get description: rain, strange noises, an ocean breeze, radio signals.
    Portent: School

    The duo enter what seems to have been the armory. She flashes her torch around. No weapons here are useable anymore. They all are bent, broken or rusty.
    What stops them with mouths agape, is what they see in the center of the room. A pile of corpses, rotting, one on top of the other. On the walls at the far end, surrounding the pile, scripts written in blood cover a tapestry of made of skin. As if someone was trying to take notes in an unknown language.
    Athen had heard stories of orcs and goblin shamans who cast warp magic to have used an unknown alphabet.
    But what makes her want to puke her guts, is what they see further. Some corpses have been dissected in a brutal manner, while others seem to have more than two arms or legs, and they seem fused as if they were connected while their owners where still alive.
    Without thinking further, she grabs Quinn and gets out of, to the nearest door.

    I choose to follow 5016, even if it’s at -2.

    5016
    Dead End
    weak

    Instructions state that: Dead End
    Although there is a guaranteed Path to every location, some Paths lead nowhere. This is a
    \Dead End.” If you hit a Dead End, you go nowhere. You are free to interpret a Dead End
    any way you wish. You may wish to impose a consequence on your characters for hitting
    a Dead End. For example, upon hitting a Dead End, your characters must return to the
    beginning: \A”.

    I choose that some dark warp magic has affected them. They need to make Vigor rolls at -4 (due to the -2 modifier) to resist it.

    Both she and Quinn can barely walk out of the armory. Something in this place has really made their mind clouded. She feels so dizzy she stumbles outside.

    Athen: Vigor (d8): Success++
    Quinn: Vigor (d6): Success

    So I give them the chance to return to A.

    Weakened and dizzy, the duo returns to the gatehouse. They look at each other.
    “Did…did you feel that too?” Quinn asks.
    Athen nods. “It wasn’t just what we saw Quinn. The Orcs had some sinister magic at work here.”

    Q: Is Quinn willing to go back in?
    A: No

    So Athen will have to persuade him.
    Athen: Persuasion (d4): Failure

    “Come, let’s go.” She gets her head back together and extends an arm to Quinn. He doesn’t take it and shakes his head. “I don’t care about the guild payment. I’m not going back in there. This was supposed to be a data snatch, not some occult ritual. I’m out of here Smarte. You’re on your own.”
    Seeing Quinn walk away, the Lt. knows she can’t grab the data on her own. She can only hope the orcs didn’t leave anything intact. She holsters her sidearm and walks away.

    Session Summary

    It was a short session, but a breath of fresh air! Solipsism is a quite different way to run an adventure, but I was amazed at the flow. Yes it’s quite linear, but there are many options and variations that allow modability to suit different ways of play.
    I really liked how I didn’t have to think too much to connect everything together, as the Master Table did all the work for me.
    It’s a bit stronger on the narrative side, since it errs more on the side of CYOA gamebooks than freeform RPGs, but if one wishes they can start asking questions to the oracle to reduce it to a crunch.
    Also I was worried there was going to be metagaming involved, but the adventure ended without me finding half the elements, so they possibly could never have been there (the data or alarm for example).

     
  • giorgis 8:02 am on April 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    A monster’s bounty – A weird cyberpunk fantasy adventure – S1E04 

    Brief summary: Lt. Athen Smarte is a Hunter. Solitary warriors who hunt down and dispatch warp monsters. In the last session she hunted and killed three goblins who had made a lair under the Morikai Bread Factory, attacking the workers.

    As her second advancement, I choose to increase Athen’s Vigor attribute to d8. I think she will need it.

    After a well deserved rest, the next day, Athen returns to Vertden FOB. She decides to avoid the mess hall for now and heads directly to supplies and provisions to meet the quartermaster.

    Q: Does she meet Taro?
    A: Yes
    Q: Does he continue bullying her?
    A: Yes, and, he’s not going to let go easily.

    She hasn’t managed to finish 4 steps into the courtyard when she hears an unwelcome voice. “I thought I told you to leave.”
    “Piss off Taro. That was yesterday. I’m back to collect.” Athen sternly replies and keeps on a steady pace.
    Tarp quickly stands up from the bench and cuts off her path. “Leave” he says slowly, pausing on every syllable.
    “Make me.” Athen replies, her hands itching for a fight. Adrenaline still high from yesterday.

    Q: Are there bystanders?
    A: False presupposition.
    Note: I had difficulty finding a proper answer to this and the story detailed to an incorrect path. Therefore I returned back here with a decision that when a false presupposition can’t be answered I will instead trigger an intervention without answering the asked question.

    Intervention: Entity Positive
    Q: Is it Athen?
    A: No
    Q: Is it Taro?
    A: Yes, and he just received a mission

    “Cut this crap Taro. Who cares about her? We have an assignment. It’s a Red Mark mission!” Another Hunter, a friend of Taro’s comes and intervenes.
    “This ain’t over Smarte!” Taro says and laughs wildly as he hugs his friend in joy.
    “Asshat” Athen mutters between her teeth as she can’t digest the news. Taro was given a Red Mark mission. These are corporate sanctioned high end targets for high tech rewards.


    The quartermaster eyes Athen heavily.

    UNE: Cautious, Bearing: Comfort: Focus: Previous Scene.

    “Don’t let that asshole Taro get to you girl. Remember where you came from. You weren’t a bounty hunter or a security lap dog. You were a ranger. Carry that with pride.” The old grognard tells her. Athen breaks a little smile. “Thank you.”
    “You showed those greenskins that they can’t mess with us. Too bad they took so long to call for our help. Here.” He says and puts a pouch credit coins on the table. “Your reward.”
    Athen takes her reward and nods to the old soldier before heading to Col. Faulknen’s office.

    Athen’s wealth die has increased to a d8.


    Right now I’m having some difficulty connecting the dots of the single sessions into a grander adventure scheme. It feels to me as if Athen is running along without any specific purpose.
    I had a discussion over at discord and through some tips that were shared (Thank you @John Lopez – check out his patreon if you haven’t) I realized I needed to spend some time to bullet point a few things about my setting.
    Since the setting is something unique, I must pay attention to it. For starters I will create a quick bullet point journal of characters, factions and locations, including everything introduced so far. Then I will try to map them out (thinking about a hex map) with events overlay. Then I will see if I need to introduce a few more factions or just generate an adventure and build as I go.

    For starters I gathered up in a document all the information I had for characters, factions and locations so far.

    Next I named the city. It’s Morieva.
    And I generated a map in watabou for it.

    Morieva

    Next I detailed the open threads.
    Threads:

    • Goblins in the city
    • Third eye drug exchange
    • Merlin the smuggler
    • Taro’s Red Mark mission

    And now I will generate an adventure using Cyberpunk Adventure Generator

    Quest giver: Anti-corporation Rock Band.
    Quest type: Intelligence of Megacorp HQ.
    Target: Item, A cyberkey that will unlock any lock mechanical or digital
    In the possession of: Quest giver
    Professions: Megacorp hired propagandist reporter
    Location: Streets, Megacorp HQ
    Antagonists: Classic Hitman with a suit and concealed weaponry
    Rewards: Blastor – cyberspace weaponry
    Random event: Propaganda flyers rain down from the sky

    I don’t like the implied setting and it doesn’t fit my protagonist at all. I could push it to fit but instead I will try the next adventure generator in my list.

    Quest Contact
    A Mercenary Group: A nearby mercenary group has posted several jobs. They are willing to pay anyone who completes them.

    Adventure
    Prevent Something: Something is going to happen unless you interfere and you’re the only chance of preventing it.

    Location
    A Fortress: Whether still occupied or not, several military fortresses litter the land from wars past. Unoccupied fortresses rarely stay that way for long when bandits or monsters looking for a lair chance upon them.

    Antagonists
    Royalty: They’re the rich of the rich, make the laws, and are never questioned. But not every royal has the best intentions of their subjects at heart.

    Twists and Complications
    Dodgy Ally: For the adventure to be a success the players will need outside help. This person may have their own agenda, want all the treasure, or could be a spy for the enemy.
    Time Limit: There’s a deadline and the adventure need to finish by a certain time or something happens.

    The Dramatic Conflict
    Family/Friend: Someone the players know will be harmed by completing this job. Is the cause worthy enough for their sacrifice?

    Much better. I can start asking oracle questions to define the adventure as it evolves.

    Q: Is the mercenary group, the Hunter’s guild?
    A: Yes, and the job posting will be offered to Athen directly.
    Q: Is the royalty, the TeraTek corporation?
    A: No
    Q: Is it another corporation?
    A: Yes
    Q: Is the fortress, Vertden FOB?
    A: No
    Q: Why is only Athen capable of completing the adventure?
    A: The answer involves procrastinating over desires, combined with a struggle over nature.
    Q: Is the friend involved in dramatic conflict Col Faulkner?
    A: Yes, but Athen doesn’t know it yet, so that meta plot is subject to change.

    So I have a rough layout. The old Ocano Point base is about to be captured by Mao-Hsai Unlimited corporation. Thing is this base used to serve troops that fought in the Warp Wars and housed the previous Hunter local guild HQ. It was abandoned in a rush and contains research data that must be recovered. The Hunter Athen is the only available Hunter for the mission. A possibility is that there is information on the data that incriminates the Colonel about something that happened during the war.
    I don’t like all the meta knowledge that is being fed to me at once, and also the fact that it doesn’t connect at all with my current threads. On the other hand it’s a quite interesting new thread and I’m willing to see where it will take me.
    Also I dislike the fact that there is no personal goal for the protagonist. I somehow feel as if I’m in a CRPG without any significant scenario.


    Q: Will the Colonel assign the mission to Smarte?
    A: No
    So, I need to create a new character, even if it’s just for this.

    Donjon: Lenard Jaenke: Male Soldier. Lenard is muscular, with cropped silver hair and brown eyes.
    He wears military fatigues and carries a semi-automatic pistol.

    “Smarte! report to Cpt Jaenke. He’s asked for you.” A fellow hunter called her.

    The captain’s office is filled with the smoke from his cigar. He has put it off, but only just before. Athen can barely see the captain through the smoke. The captain is a muscular man with cropped silver hair and brown eyes.
    “Smarte.” He says in a voice, cracked under the weight of countless cigars of the past.
    “Sir.” The lieutenant replies.
    “We’ve got a situation. A delicate one. We have sources that indicate that our old base in Ocano Point has been scouted by Mao-Hsai Unlimited. We had to retreat from Ocano in a hurry and when we hit back, there was no strategic importance for the location anymore.” The captain explains.
    Athen nods.
    “We’ll let them have it. We don’t care about that dump. But…” the captain sighs. “What’s inside must be recovered. We have battle reports, monster autopsies, experimental weapon blueprints. Lots of shit. And we must get there fast. Konicek and Girbach were supposed to get it. But, they were outside of Morieva, and a landslide has cut them off. You’re the only one available, so we rely on you alone for this one. Questions?”
    ‘Crap, a two person job given to just her’. Athen thought.
    “Yes sir. How do I recover the data?” Athen asks.

    Here I will give the dodgy ally twist.
    Q: Will there be a guild payment for it?
    A: Yes

    “You’re going to need a hacker, guild fee. Konicek is our guild hacker, but…” the captain lets it trail off.
    “He’s blocked by the landslide, yes. What about Ocano Point. Is is clear?” Athen asks another question.

    Q: Do the hunters have recent intel?
    A: No

    “We haven’t set foot there in a long time. Can’t tell what to expect. Find a hacker, keep them safe. Find the data, bring them back. That will be all.” Cpt Jaenke wraps it up.
    “Yes sir, on it.” Athen replies and leaves.


    This is a chance to use a Secret Clock. I have no clue whether Mao-Hsai Unlimited will get to the site before Athen, so I will start a clock that will trigger at Red (not combined, either three Diamonds or three Hearts will trigger it) and a dependent clock that has to do with Mao-Hsai data recovery at Black (again, not combined, either three Clubs or three Spades will trigger it).
    Time unit until Athen gets to Ocano Point will be one hour, and after she arrives, it will be one turn.

    I expect that it will take Athen 1 hour to get home and then she can start trying her streetwise knowledge to see if she can find a hacker. I’ll give one hour per attempt.

    13:00: Return from Vertden FOB
    14:00: Streetwise (d4-2): Success.
    Donjon: Quinn Rocheford: Male Computer Hacker. Quinn has messy blonde hair and large green eyes. He wears a grey suit and glasses with silver rims.

    It doesn’t take long for Athen to dust off her contacts list and find Quinn. He had worked with associates of her in the past, but apart from that reference she has no clue about him. He agreed to meet her at Gustav’s.

    Q: Does it take long for Quinn to arrive?
    A: No. I decide it’s going to be another hour, he was readily available.
    Intervention: Regress plot
    So I got lost in a series of questions that lead nowhere.
    I’m starting over again with more specific questions.
    Q: Is Quinn under attack by someone during the meet?
    A: No
    Q: Does Quinn lack a specific piece of equipment required to perform his task?
    A: Yes
    Q: Does he know where to get it?
    A: Yes, but (it’s illegal/costs/will take time to get): will take time to get.
    Q: Will it take too long?
    A: No, and it’s going to be only 1d6: 4 more hours.

    ‘Just my luck’ Athen cursed when Quinn explained to her that he had his deck under repairs when it was damaged in a firefight. At least it would be within the day, and a few hours later, at 19:00, they were ready to leave for Ocano Point.
    She didn’t like the fact that Quinn didn’t tell her about his shortcoming before she had arranged to meet him. He’s either untrustworthy or didn’t want to miss the job. Or both.

    Q: Is there a regular route to Ocano Point? (unlikely, I imagine this as an abandoned place, far from habitated regions).
    A: No, and, there’s no road to there either. They will have to take a cab up to a point and then walk.
    I would expect one hour for the cab ride, and then 1d6: 4 hours walking.
    So, it’s dead midnight when they arrive at Ocano Point.


    Athen will search to see if she can find any corporate presence on approaching the site.
    Athen: Notice (d6): Success+. Let’s unveil the first Secret Clock: No Mao-Hsai presence.

    I need to get some information about Quinn from UNE.
    I get “Dependable Politician”. I’ll take it that he’s a man of his word, and prefers diplomacy to other means.

    “It seems clear. I see no lights, or movement.” Athen says to Quinn.
    “I promised my skillset, but are you sure it seems a good idea to go inside an abandoned fort from the war? There could still be monsters lurking inside. Especially if, as you say, our own troops had to abandon it to the enemy.” Quinn tries to persuade Athen.
    “We’ll take our precautions.” Athen says and arms her pistol.

    Now, since I got a raise on the Notice check, I’ll ask.
    Q: Did Athen notice anything else?
    A: No

    Since I haven’t decided yet how to run this part of the adventure (dungeon romp? hex flower? five room dungeon?) I’ll pause here to recollect myself and do some digging.

    Session Summary

    I’m starting to get a little lost in all the worldbuilding associated with this adventure. I think I’m trying to get two birds with one stone.
    I love the concept and the protagonist, but I should have my world set up before I set off to adventure in it. Then I might have had a better objective for my protagonist, something to drive her to achieve.
    Where is the struggle? What opposing forces does Athen have to contend with to find calmness?
    Insofar I didn’t have these issues with my other adventures because I either had generic lore that could apply easily without much effort, or I knew the setting very well.
    I may run the mission in one of my next sessions but I’m well aware that I need to have some serious world building involved before I continue further.

     
  • giorgis 1:05 am on February 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    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.

    factory

    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.

    Morikai

    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.

     
  • giorgis 11:29 pm on February 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    A monster’s bounty – A weird cyberpunk fantasy adventure – S1E02 Patience lost 

    Brief summary: Lt. Athen Smarte is a Hunter. Solitary warriors who hunt down and dispatch warp monsters. In last session she got a missing person’s report and when she investigated the last known whereabouts she came face to face with a Chimaera. A fire breathing winged goat with the head of a lion and a tail that ends in a dragon head. In the fight, she managed to exterminate it. As a side note she also came upon a drug exchange which lead to a shootout with the criminals.

    The following threads are currently active:

    1. Monster hunting
    2. Resupply/acquire new gear
    3. Monster part vendor
    4. Drug exchange shootout

    Also I am following SWADE’s advancement rules where there is no XP count, but one Advance per session. Athen gains an Advance. She will gain the Extraction edge. This will give her the option to disengage from melee without triggering an attack of opportunity.

    Now I will focus out during the start of this session, running events as downtime.
    For that I will be using several tools and rules. Quick Encounters and Interludes from SWADE, Waylays from BOLD and will start using the Background Surprise Events Oracle to see if any background events have triggered.
    Time unit will be 24 hours.

    I will give Athen 1 week of downtime before I switch back to adventure time.


    April 12th
    Find Merlin and try to sell him monster parts
    Networking (Persuasion): Failure
    Q: Does she find Merlin?
    A: Yes
    Q: Are the parts spoiled?
    A: Yes, and they’re not usable at all

    Athen heads to Gustav’s, the bar down the corner. In her backpack, are the chimaera remains. She looks around and in the corner she notices Merlin.
    She walks up to his table. He seems a bit surprised to see her. “Come in the back alley, I’ve got something for you.” She says and walks out the service entrance of the bar. She waits by a huge dumpster for less than a minute, and the smuggler joins her.
    “So you’ve considered my offer? got something for me?” He asks eagerly.
    She turns her backpack upside down, and the chimaeras head and tail come tumbling down… along with a terrible stench.
    Merlin is taken aback. “What sort of beast did you…! Oh such a pity. It’s rotten. The warp energies got to it. Can’t do much good with these darling, but appreciate the effort. Next time use a lead lined iso bag. Reduces the impact of warp radiation and environment conditions.”
    Athen sighs. “Next time give me the heads up before I put my ass on the line.” She complains.
    “Hey, you never asked.” He talks back.
    She doesn’t answer. She knows when she’s wrong. She drops the head and tail in the dumpster and heads back home.

    April 13th
    Interlude: Downtime: Diamonds
    She studies or works on an object of some sort.
    Cleans up the pistol, readies it, repairs the armor.

    The next day Athen decides to stay home and do some maintenance.
    She takes apart her firearm, cleans it up thoroughly and puts it back together. She doesn’t want a weapon jam, and she already emptied a score of bullets on that beast. There’s gunpowder residue all around the barrel and shooting mechanism.
    After this is done, she takes a good look at her vest. It saved her life. Thankfully the dragon bite didn’t do any permanent damage to it, and with some patching her vest is back in top shape.

    April 14th
    Ressuply ammo
    Q: Is it illegal?
    A: No, but restricted
    Networking (Persuasion): Failure
    Her permit has expired
    Time for new permit: Long. 1 month.

    During maintenance, Athen did an ammo count. It didn’t take long to count three bullets. She headed off to the nearest firearms store.
    When her turn is up, she goes to the cashier. “50 .45 slugs.” She tells him.
    He asks for her permit.
    “Lieutenant, your permit has expired. You need to apply for a renewal.” He notifies her.
    ‘Crap.’ She thought. When she was in service, she didn’t have to go through all the bureaucratic loops. She fills out her papers once more, and gives them to the employee.
    “How long?” She asks.
    “4 weeks, give or take.” He answers.
    She curses her lack of punctuality and heads back.

    April 15th
    Resupply ammo (other sources)
    Networking (Persuasion): Success
    Q: Does she find them from Merlin?
    A: Yes, and he’s selling them at market price to her
    She buys d6 worth of clips.

    Athen isn’t going to sit tight and wait one month to get bullets. Instead, she goes back to Merlin.
    “You’re becoming a regular darling!” He smiles.
    “Cut the crap Merlin. I need bullets. .45 pistol.” She tells him.
    “Alright. Since I want us to get along in good terms, as a sign of goodwill, I’m going to give them to you at retail price and not street price.” He tells her.
    “That’s better.” She smiles back, and restocks, paying in cold hard cash.

    April 16th
    Interlude: Downtime: Spades
    She spends some time in quiet contemplation

    With all that’s transpire in the last few days, Athen decides to spend the day at home.
    She doesn’t go out at all and spends time thinking about the shootout.
    ‘Who was this man?’ She’s certain she has seen his face somewhere. Her current theory is that he was involved in the drug exchange either as a client or as an intermediary.
    Then she contemplated on the chimera she faced. She wonders if she should look for Svita. Maybe there’s more to it. But she quickly chases away that though. She knows better than to hope. Svita became a quick meal to the chimera, and most probably not the only one.

    April 17th
    Gather information about drug exchange shootout
    Research (-2): Success
    Did the mooks in the station survive?
    Vigor: 1 Success, 1 Failure.
    Q: Did she hear about it in the news?
    A: Yes
    Q: Did she find any information about the reputable servant?
    A: No, it was about the gang
    I will roll on UNE for gang power level: 77: Comparable
    Intervention: Regress plot
    She can’t find out anything more about it at the time, no one will talk about it.

    Athen is in at Gustav’s listening to the radio. With warp energies abundant and satellites destroyed, the only acceptable mass broadcasts are once more the radio frequencies. Only the rich can afford cable connections, and even then, the intra-city network is still under construction.
    Then, she picks up something of interest. “..criminal activities in Vertden are still evident. Just this week, passersby in the subway S2 line station came across the remains of one subject, shot. Police investigating the scene of the crime reported that the subject was involved in illicit activities involving the Third Eye psychohallucinogenic. On other news…”
    “What’s that Third Eye?” she asks the bartender.
    “Beats me, I try to steer clear. Keeping a night business reputable is really hard these times. Anything you do, you keep it out of here, you hear me?” He comes down hard on her.
    “Geez man. Chill.” She cuts him off.
    “Sorry. Just making sure the policy is clear.” The bartender states.
    Athen continues her drink in silence.

    April 18th
    For the last day I will reveal the background events cards drawn, and also use BOLD for a waylay to start off the next adventure.
    Background Surprise Events Oracle: No event
    BOLD: Grim struggle (physical) overcome on accident
    Q: Is it a random event?
    A: False presupposition
    Huh. It’s not an event. It’s something different than an event. It’s the start of a thread of the adventure.
    BOLD states that the use of the solution can be rejected and the use of skill checks can replace it instead. Therefore I’m going to do that.
    Also it states that physical struggle is never about combat, so that’s not an option to start with.

    I’m quite at a loss at what the grim struggle could be about, so I’ll use a portent.
    Portent: Rule conflict
    So there is a conflict of rule… I’m starting to visualize something that could interpret this.
    It has to do with the Hunters. A fellow Hunter mocks her ranking and taunts and challenges her.

    Athen has arrived at Vertden FOB. It used to be a Forwards Operations Base back in the war, but it retained its name even though it switched functionality.
    Now it’s home to the local Hunters guild. Athen hasn’t had any tips and without any reward money from the chimaera, things are a bit dry. Sometimes rumors about possible monster sightings are discussed in the mess hall, and the guild offers some compensation, which for the novice Hunters equals to a bunk for the night and canned food. If things go worse, Athen might have to spend the nights here.
    She’s passing through the mess hall when she hears someone mocking her. At first she doesn’t realize he’s talking about her.

    Taro

    Donjon: 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

    “Came here for another can of meat, Smarte?” The man says. She’s heard this sarcastic voice before. It’s Taro. A haughty outranking asshole. “I have some orc ribs if you want to chew on them.” He laughs out loud. “I doubt you’d be able to hunt them down even if you starved for dinner. Especially with that little pistol of yours. That’s no weapon for a Hunter you must think of us fools if you want us to believe those stories of yours!” He keeps pushing it.

    Taro: Taunt: Success++ (14)
    Athen: Smarts: Failure (3)

    “I’ll show you who is a Hunter you bigmouth asshole.” Athen snaps. She’s had enough these past few days.
    “Bras de fer?” Taro asks smirking. “If I win you get the hell out of here.”
    “And if you lose?” Athen asks having fallen to his trap.
    “I won’t lose” He replies and places his arm on the table.

    armwrestling

    Q: Does Athen know about Taro’s cybernetic arm?
    A: Yes, seems she doesn’t care
    Q: Is it the left or right arm of Taro that’s cybernetic?
    A: (1-3 Left, 4-6 Right): Left.
    Q: Has he extended his left arm?
    A: Yes

    Since Athen Failed so hard against Taro’s taunt, she doesn’t pay attention to all the disadvantages. Taro has a cybernetic arm, and she is using her left arm, which will give her a -2 penalty.

    The first character to net 3 successes wins. I will be drawing action cards as usual.

    Taro: QH, Athen: 9S
    Taro: Athletics: Success
    Athen: Athletics: Failure

    Taro: JC, Athen: 8C
    Taro: Athletics: Success
    Athen: Athletics: Failure: Benny: Failure

    Taro: Joker, Athen: 8S
    Taro: Athletics: Success

    Athen sits across the table and extends her arm. They begin their match. Athen tries hard, with all her strength, but her left arm is not strong enough to counter Taro’s cybernetically enhanced limb. He pushes, and pushed, and her hand connects to the table.
    “Get out of here you stinking bitch.” He spits down in front of her.

    Wow I did not see that coming. I purposefully didn’t give Taro a Wild Card status to give Athen an edge, but everything went down so bad for her in terms of dice rolls.

    Her nerves at an edge. She stands up. She knows better than to escalate it. Realizing that she fell for every trick on the table, Athen sighs. She leaves, realizing it’s going to be a while before she manages to show her face again in the base.

    Time to create a story. I will use the two options from GMA and choose the one that generates the most tangible results.


    Disturb Foe, Backstage.
    A booming unnaturally loud voice
    Glowing slitted eyes
    Your ears suddenly pop
    Jasmine flowers


    A strike or protest, Stranded in the Wild, Bank being robbed
    Festival, Factory, Village
    Choice: A strike in the factory
    A phone ringing
    A dark bird watching
    Eye stinging drips of sweat
    Fried dough

    From the Vice/Virtue combo I choose Temperance/Wrath
    Name: Morikai
    Mocking snickers
    A suspicious hesitation
    Numb teeth
    Sharp spearmint

    Style: Earth, Mystery
    Tune: Tyr/Leadership: A just authority gets involved.


    I’m going to combine some of the above to kickstart the next story.

    Athen has just entered her apartment, still frustrated by the days events. ‘How did I fall for Taro’s play?’ She asks herself.
    She goes to the basin and splashed some water over her face to wash away the bitter feeling of defeat, when her phone rings.
    She’s so eager to cast away the thoughts that cloud her mind that she runs to pick it up, water still dripping from her face.

    colonel

    “Hey kiddo.” Says the voice on the other end. It’s Col. Leif Faulknen. Her commander from the war, and a veteran of the Hunters guild.
    “Hey colonel.” She says back.
    “Heard you came by the FOB today. I had something for you, but you never showed up.” He tells her.
    “Yes sir.” She replies.
    “I know about Taro. Don’t fret over it. You’re one of our best Hunters. Next time just don’t let him get to you.” He scolds her kindly.
    “I know sir…” She begins to explain herself but the Colonel cuts her off.
    “So there’s a possible prey at work in the Morikai Bread Factory. The workers are striking after another one of their own disappeared. Morikai himself is furious and wants the guild to act fast.”
    “What kind of opposition to expect?” She asks.
    “Reports from the workers are varying. Some say it has glowing slitted eyes. Others heard snickers, others heard a loud booming voice that made their ears pop. Take these with a grain of salt. You know how common folk are with fairy tales.” The colonel gives a briefing.
    “When do I start?” She asks.
    “Morikai is expecting you there already get a move on while it’s still daylight. I had a handful IRVPs for you at my desk, but you preferred to muscle it out with Taro instead of stopping by my office.”
    “Yes sir.” She replied. She knows the colonel doesn’t like to hear excuses. He’s a man who likes people who own to their mistakes. Those infrared vision pills would be of great help though. She cursed silently once more.
    “Dismissed.” The voice from the other end commanded, and she hang up the phone.

    Session Summary

    This session was mostly a filler session. I wanted to give a shot at the different event generation systems and other tools at my disposal.

    Savage Worlds Interludes: Not much suited for my style of solo play. I understand their value in a social ttrpg as they really help with immersion. The player narrates a story and gets attached to their character. Maybe this would work for a bullet type journal solo play as well. But since I’m already narrating the mechanics I found no added value here. I might give it another shot in the future, but I’m a bit hesitant.

    Savage Worlds Quick Encounters: I had already used focus in and focus out in other game systems and this was a similar experience. Worked as expected without any issues. Nothing more to say here.

    BOLD: One of my favorites. Although I’ve used waylays in the past for generating character background,
    I’ve never used it this way. I will need some more experience to get a better hang of it.

    GMA: So much information in a few cards. An excellent tool for solo play. A simple monster hunting mission has taken flesh. Workers on strike, a bread factory contradicting reports. Now I have a starting point.

    I’m not sure Athen is entitled to an advance after this session. After all it was too focused out and with too much downtime to justify it.

     
  • giorgis 12:50 pm on February 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    A monster’s bounty – A weird cyberpunk fantasy adventure – S1E01 Lion, Goat and Dragon 

    Q: How many stops until destination?
    A: 3d6: 11

    So it will take Athen ~1 hour to reach the destination.

    Q: Is there any encounter on the train?
    A: False Presupposition
    The train never arrives there must be a problem.

    Athen waits patiently in the subway platform. Five minutes pass. Then ten, then fifteen. She starts cursing. If it goes too late there won’t be any point getting to Svita’s home. No one will be willing to talk to a stranger in the dark of the night.
    She listens to an automated announcement. “Due to technical issues the S2 track to New Gorky will be inoperational.”
    ‘Just my luck.’ She thinks and goes outside. She has wasted a good 20 minutes. Time to hail a cab.

    Q: Does she find a cab?
    A: False Presupposition. She has no money for a cab.

    As she steps outside she takes a pause under a street light and takes a good look in her wallet. There’s no way the cash will be enough to get a taxi to New Gorky.
    Considering her options, Athen decides to go back in the subway and take the next train to Old Pictorial, where Svita was last seen.

    Q: Is it in the same subway line (Likely)
    A: Yes

    She needs to get S2 to get there as well, so she’ll bide her time and wait until everything is back on line.

    Q: Does it take long for the line to become operational?
    A: Yes, but not too long. 1d6 x 10 minutes: 30 minutes.
    Q: Does anything happen in the mean time?
    A: Yes
    GMA: Travel Mental Civilization

    NOTE: I decide that I will be using an independent secret clock on clubs regarding Svita’s death, and on spades regarding her health condition. Time tick is 4 hours.

    Travel Mental Civilization: First thing that comes to mind is some psychotropic substance or a virtual region in cyberspace, or maybe both? I roll 1d3: It’s a psychotropic substance that the user trips into believing they’re in another world, missing all contact with real life.
    So, how does this play into our story?

    Q: Does Athen see a drug exchange?
    A: Yes, and she has been noticed as well.
    Since it’s an exchange, there’s at least two parties involved. I will roll on UNE twice.
    UNE: Reputable servant, Destitute witch

    Also I need to define when during her wait does it happen? I roll 1d30: 14 minutes.

    station

    Athen is waiting patiently, minding her own business, when something happens, that catches her attention snapping her out of boredom.
    A destitute woman in a sorry state, hair unkempt, teeth missing, is crying, begging actually a man in a fine suit.

    Athen: Common Knowledge: Critical Failure

    Athen doesn’t recognize the man in the suit, but she can’t shake the feeling that he seems familiar. Unfortunately she spends too much time gazing and he took wind of her.

    Athen: Notice: Success

    The beggar woman mumbles to him something like “give me some of yours, you have so many”, but the man seems fixated on Athen.
    With his attention elsewhere, the woman pulls at his arm, revealing a bag of green pills from inside his coat.
    He pushes the woman away. “Begone you stupid witch!” He shouts.
    But it’s too late now for Athen to play it stupid. She has seen the drugs and he knows it. Considering the quantity, there’s good chance he’s involved or his dealer is nearby.
    Getting caught in others’ business is not how Athen wanted to start the night.

    With Athen’s successful notice roll, I will ask a few obvious things.

    Q: Is there security/law enforcement nearby?
    A: No and there are no security cameras either
    Q: Are there any goons nearby?
    A: Yes and they have noticed Athen. There are 1d3+1: 4 goons.
    Q: Is it crowded?
    A: False Presupposition. I can’t decide on a proper FP, so I ask again and get a: No and, it’s completely empty.
    Also an intervention triggered.
    Intervention: Regress plot.
    The whole event is a regress plot on its own. Athen has no other choice. Run away or risk and stay.

    Athen looks around the empty platform, as she increases her pace away from the event, trying to hide among the subway support columns.
    She notices four unsavory figures moving towards her.
    She curses as she realizes that she saw something she shouldn’t have. She’s on her own. No security cameras, no officers either. Was it on purpose? She pulls her firearm and ducks behind a pillar, her heart pounding.


    Round 1
    Initiative: Athen: 10♦️, Suit: A♠️, Beggar: 5♣️, Goons: 4♣️

    Q: Does the Suit Flee? (Likely)
    A: False Presupposition. He’s nowhere to be seen. Maybe he’s fled already.

    Athen shoots at Goon1: Double Tap: Hit: Wounded. He’s down.

    The beggar woman flees.

    Since the Goons aren’t exactly fanatics, I will be rolling a Spirit roll at -1 for every casualty after the first, to see if they stay or leave.
    Goons: Spirit: Success

    Goon2: Shoots at Athen: Miss
    Goon3: Shoots at Athen: Miss
    Goon4: Shoots at Athen: Miss

    Round 2
    Initiative: Athen: A♥️, Goons: Joker

    Goon2: Shoots at Athen: Miss
    Goon3: Shoots at Athen: Miss
    Goon4: Shoots at Athen: Miss

    Athen shoots at Goon4: Double Tap: Wounded: He’s down.

    Round 3
    Initiative: Athen 10♦️, Goons K♥️

    Goons: Spirit (-1): They flee.

    Fearing for her life, Athen ducks out of cover and double taps her .45 semi to the man coming at her from the outer side of the platform. Both shots hit, the bang echoing through the platform, and he falls down next to a bench, clutching his chest.
    The man in the suit is nowhere to be seen, while the beggar woman flees. She knows all too well when to disappear.
    Two of the men take cover behind the columns and shoot back at Athen, missing, while the last one moves on trying to flank her, shooting at her but missing wildly.
    They shoot another round as Athen stays behind cover safely.
    Athen’s military training kicks in. She knows the danger of being flanked and shoots at the man in semi-auto wounding him as well. As he falls, the rest of his friends run away, not expecting such opposition.

    Athen will try to find her shell casings.
    Athen: Notice: Success++++

    Athen picks up her shell casings one by one, and sprints out of the subway station. She’s not afraid of persecution. The police don’t care about low lifes who turned to crime, but she just wants to be sure.
    No matter, she’ll have to find another way to get to her destination.
    She decides that her best option right now would be to walk to the next S2 line subway station and take the next train from there.

    Athen: Stealth: Success

    With some vague math, I calculate that the station is about 30 minutes walking distance from her current location.

    She keeps her head hooded, low profile, avoiding eye contact and walks quietly, sticking to the shadows whenever possible, without drawing to much attention to herself. Eventually, she reaches South Ckena station, and takes the train to Old Pictorial. It’s 22.00 h when she finally arrives.

    I will draw 3 GMA cards to get some insight as to what where Svita’s last whereabouts.
    GMA: Regenerate Fair Container.
    This fits in nicely with Svita’s mechanic profession (which was pending verification from my part), so I’ll go along with it.

    Athen heads to the power scrapyard.
    The old power units where converted to use warp energy during the war, but this took a heavy toll on the huge capacitors. They were oxidized rapidly, discarded and sent to scrap yards. Bold -or stupid one might say- engineers, mechanics and technicians in need of fast cash, often tried to salvage them and get them back to operational status, subjecting themselves to warp radiation in the process. Mutation, cancer and death was not uncommon, and they more than often had to spend their savings in cybernetic replacements for the afflicted body parts.
    Athen heads up to the gate and takes a good look to see if there’s anyone human guarding the fenced premises. She has better luck with living beings rather than automatons.

    Athen: Notice: Success+
    Q: Is there anyone inside? (Likely)
    A: Yes
    UNE: Plebeian Cleric. GMA: Temperance/Fear

    Inside the gatehouse is a tired middle aged man with medium brown hair, eyeing Athen carefully. In the wall behind him all sorts of religious symbols are hanging. Only one of his hands is visible, playing with a poker chip of abstinence. His other hand is behind the counter, probably holding on to a gun aiming at Athen, or an alarm button at the ready. He seems nervous and Athen doesn’t want to startle him any further.
    “What do you want?” He demands.
    Athen decides to play the Hunter card. She slowly removes her hood, revealing her face along with her battle scars. She looks him in the eye.
    “I think you may need pest control. Someone went missing around here.” She answers.

    Athen: Persuasion: Failure: Benny: Success.

    Hesitant at first, the man pushes the button to open the fenced gate.
    “You do what you have to, Hunter” he says and closes the window before Athen has a chance to reply.
    She would have wanted to ask a few questions, but she decides not to press her luck any further.
    She turns on her flashlight, and with her other hand ready at her pistol, she begins to investigate the yard.

    I will draw a GMA card and choose a sensory input and take it from there.

    GMA: Petrichor–Rain on dry earth

    Q: Has it rained? (Unlikely – Had no such input)
    A: No

    Athen walks around, using her flashlight. The petrichor smell fills her nostrils, but there is not a single trace of evidence that it has rained before. She didn’t catch wind of any clouds in the sky or thunder. Something was clearly off.

    Athen: Notice: Failure: Benny: Success.

    I will draw three GMA cards to generate an event.

    GMA: Defeat material deity

    I interpret the material deity as a supernatural creature. It’s a monster. I will take the abstract route regarding defeat and ask the Oracle.

    Q: Is there a dead (defeated) monster here?
    A: No

    So it’s a live one, and Athen needs to defeat it.

    I will roll on Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells monster generator for it.
    I get Beast: Body of an animal, tail of another and wings of a third.
    I won’t bother to roll any further. I decide it’s a Chimera.

    Since Athen is walking around with a flashlight it’s unlikely she’s undetected.

    Her senses alert, unnatural weather events means warp energy has manifested in this place, but that’s to be expected in this scrap yard. It’s the perfect hiding place for beasts.
    As she turns around the corner, between the gaps of a huge capacitor, her flashlight lights up a lions head with eyes closed. As she spreads the light around she sees that’s it’s located on a goats body and sports wings as well. The light awakens the beast and it opens its jaws letting off a loud roar.

    Initiative: Athen: J♠️, Chimaera: 9♦️
    Athen: Double-tap & move behind cover.
    Athen: Shooting: Hit+: Shaken
    Chimaera: Spirit: Success: Won’t be shaken next round

    Initiative: Athen: 10♣️, Chimaera: 5♠️
    Athen will shoot & reload.
    Athen: Shooting: Hit: No damage
    Chimaera will breathe fire.
    Athen: Agility: Critical Failure: Benny: Success

    Initiative: Athen: 7♣️, Chimaera: Joker
    Chimaera will close in melee, attacking twice.
    Chimaera: Fighting: Miss, Miss
    Athen will double tap.
    Athen: Shooting: Miss

    Initiative: Athen: Q♣️, Chimaera: Joker
    Chimaera will continue fighting.
    Chimaera: Fighting: Hit, Hit: Shaken, No damage.
    Athen: Spirit: Failure: Still Shaken

    Initiative: Athen: J♣️, Chimaera: 7♠️
    Athen: Spirit: Success+: Can act this round!
    Athen will double tap.
    Athen: Shooting: Hit+: 2 Wounds!
    Chimaera: Spirit: Failure: Still Shaken

    Initiative: Athen: 9♠️, Chimaera: 7♦️
    Athen will disengage & double tap.
    Athen: Shooting: Hit+: Wounded
    Chimaera: Spirit: Success: Won’t be shaken next round

    Initiative: Athen: A♥️, Chimaera: 3♦️
    Athen will move further & shoot & reload
    Athen: Shooting: Miss
    Chimaera: Flies away

    Initiative: Athen: 9♦️, Chimaera: K♠️
    Chimaera: Flies away
    Athen will run closer and double tap
    Athen: Shooting: Miss

    Initiative: Athen: 6♥️, Chimaera: Joker
    Chimaera: Flies away
    Athen will walk closer and double tap
    Athen: Shooting: Hit: Dead!

    The lieutenant fires at the monster with her trusty .45, hitting its wing. It roars in pain, shaken. She shoots, hitting once more and with her clip empty, she makes a quick reload. This time the beast’s thick hide didn’t get penetrated.
    The monster opens its mouth and where Athen expected another roar, she sees a jet of fire forming. Quickly she ducks behind the tough capacitor cover, letting the flames die behind her.
    The beast finds the opportunity to close in the distance and with a quick flip of its wings, it’s on top of Athen, clawing at her vainly as she evades using the cover as an obstacle. She shoots back twice, but she’s at a disadvantage now and misses both shots.
    The chimaera claws at her once more and lashes at her with its dragon head tail, bitting her ribs to her left side. Her Kevlar vest saves her life as dragon teeth get embedded in it. Shaken from the attack it takes her but a moment to snap out of it. She’s faced monsters before!
    She aims closely to the torso and blasts off twice. Both shots penetrate the thorax and the chimaera cries out in pain. It’s bellowing roar echoing in the yard.
    As the beast is immobile due to the suffering, she opens up some distance between them, moving among the capacitors, while shooting twice more, hurting it further.
    Athen reaches a safe distance, and empties her clip, her last shot missing before she reloads once more.
    Grievously wounded, the flying tetrapod takes to the sky, Athen barely realizing that she’s the hunter again. She has opened too much distance between them, and she runs after the flying monster, shooting twice and missing.
    The beast is even further away, as Athen slows down to take better aim. Her double tap finds its target, and with a loud cry the beast crashes down to the ground.

    Athen will try to remove valuable parts from the chimaera.
    Athen: Survival: Success.
    She removes the most obvious parts without getting hurt in the process.

    Athen catches her breath. She looks at her torn jacket, the kevlar vest showing underneath. She counts her bullets, only 3 remaining. She knows she’s had it close.
    She runs to the corpse and cuts off the tail and the head before going to the gatehouse.

    “You got a bag? Preferably a big plastic one?” She asks the guard who is locked behind his counter. He nods and throws one at her without saying a word. The sight of the chimera’s head has got his tongue.
    “Call the cleanup crew tomorrow. It’s a 500 pound carcass in there. Don’t leave it to rot, it will attract more of them.” She says with an air of authority. She doesn’t feel the underdog anymore.

    If Svita was last seen here, odds are, she’s dead. Athen won’t be looking for her. She killed the monster. For her, it’s mission accomplished. Now she’ll have to call that Merlin guy. See what he has to offer for the monster body parts.

    Session Summary

    Another rough start for one of my protagonists!
    And all those False Presuppositions!
    In a discord discussion I had with Thessius regarding Recluse, he pointed how one could change the odds of how often FPS occur, by choosing a different die size. I’m considering making this variable based on how the story progresses, maybe in combination with interventions. Changing the die size also is in line with the Savage Worlds trope.
    In another discussion with him, he also referred to Chekhov’s Gun. I’ve read about it and found it really interesting. So essentially I intend to try and connect the events that occurred in the station to my main thread of the missing person, by asking the relative questions when they appear in the narrative, essentially biasing the story. By asking the Oracle, I will still keep a random factor in play, retaining the possibility for it being a random event/side quest.

    One thing that bugged me, is how easily I switched Athen to murder hobbo in the station. She shot first! I was wondering if all the low fantasy adventures I run in the previous weeks had switched my mindset. In retrospect, I think I played her well in character. She’s alone, in an abandoned subway station with four no-good-doers approaching. She knows she saw something she shouldn’t and they most probably want to silence her. The lack of security means there’s an open ground for a fight. With all her background, I think I chose correctly.

    In the end I thought this was going to be a slow investigation session, building up to the final confrontation in one of the next ones, but I was proven wrong. The fight with the chimaera was so close! I’ll definitely be giving Athen an advancement after that, and she definitely deserves some downtime and new gear.

    As to the game system, Savage Worlds is once more a nice breath of fast, furious, fun. Combat resolved fast, cinematic and with several ups and downs. I’m still at a mix between editions and I will have to define further the rules I’m allowed to use.

    Developing the world setting alongside with the story and playing the protagonist is both difficult and exciting at the same time! I take things slow and I intend to keep it this way. If she survives I may use this as a main quest and run other one-shots and develop tools on the side in-between sessions.

     
  • giorgis 8:14 pm on January 31, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    A monster’s bounty – A weird cyberpunk fantasy adventure – S1E00 

    Prologue

    Athen hang up the corded phone. For a moment she looked at the fixed line telephone as if it was something that didn’t fit. In the same way that suddenly you recite a word again and again because it feels unknown. She paused for a moment and considered the past. She still remembered vague images of cellphones. Satellites were a thing long gone since the warp gates opened and spawned hell upon earth. She knew that lingering too much on the past wasn’t good for her mental health. She had seen more than a few veterans perish away, not from some disease, but from depression.
    After all, she had just gotten a tip about a possible job. A missing person. Few cared nowadays. Maybe a private investigator would be hired to find them, if the family was rich enough to hire them. But no, she didn’t care about the individual. Her job was quite different. Missing persons were often taken by monsters. Fallout from the war.
    She dressed up, cargo pants, army boots and camo jacket. As she picked up her gear from the derelict shelf, her Lt. insignia fell down on the floor. She picked it up, and for a moment, once more images from the war flashed in her memories. She saw the orcs and trolls charge at their position, as she emptied clip after clip on them. She saw wyverns swoop down and shred her companions to pieces. She saw … she stopped and let out a cry without tears. She was dry of tears now. ‘Get a grip girl’ she thought. They had won the war and destroyed the warp gates, but at what cost?
    The nations were in ruins. Corporations who had profited from the war effort were the rulers now, with governments being mere puppets. The technological advances they had gained from the war with this unnatural enemy had opened up new fields of science, while shutting down old ones as the warp energy had corrupted everything. Mutations were abundant, resulting in suicide or abandonment of children. The social web was in ruins. To top it off, the beasts that had entered from the warp gates had fled to every single hole they could find. Sometimes they were hunted down and killed, but many times they were thriving.
    That’s what she hunted. If she finds the missing person alive, well, that’s an added bonus.

    Introduction

    I want to change gears from low fantasy. I love low fantasy, but I want to challenge my creativity a bit. I aim to run a solo campaign in a world that will be fleshed out as I go. It’s going to be a weird cyberpunk fantasy setting. Inspired by the Witcher meeting Shadowrun in Spellcross. Prologue pretty much explained the basics.
    Game System: Savage Worlds
    Sourcebooks: Fantasy Companion, Sci-Fi Companion
    Oracle: Recluse with MUNE
    Solo Tools: UNE, BOLD, GMA
    I’m slowly switching to Savage Worlds Adventure Edition (SWADE) from Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorer’s Edition (SWEX). I’ll be using concepts and rules from both.
    For starters I will be using the Wealth, Skills categorization and Core Skills concept from SWADE.

    Character

    Lt.Athen Smarte
    My protagonist is Lt. Athen Smarte. She’s a veteran of the warp gates war, who now makes a living as a monster hunter. Since I’m going to be focusing on her, I’ll use UNE and BOLD to flesh her out a bit more before proceeding to Savage Worlds character creation.

    I did a few rolls on UNE, but nothing made sense, in how I want Athen to be, so I won’t be using that for her.
    I’m switching to Demeanors, Motivations, Boons and Banes from Septimus.
    Demeanor: Solitary
    Motivation: Contentment
    Boons: Patron
    Banes: Disfigured
    BOLD: steady army overcome by the authority, steady trap overcome by faction intervention, haunting invader overcome by close friend

    Wow, all this fits in so perfectly. Time to write it up.

    steady army overcome by the authority

    Athen was still young when the warp gates opened in Europe. At first communications went down. Only cable lines worked. By the time the network was back on line, reports were coming about losing contact with entire settlements. Rumors started spreading about an unknown invader. Whole military bases were said to have been decimated. Then she saw them.
    She was in school in her hometown Nica, when a ruckus broke out. Everyone was gathering by the windows at her classroom. She managed to squeeze through and get a view from the 3rd floor. An army of ugly despicable creatures was marching at full speed towards their small town. Her heart began to pound. They were closing in so fast, but everyone was frozen with fear, awe and disbelief.
    That’s when she heard the sound of tracks on asphalt, followed by the loud thunder of cannons. Her classmates started screaming and running away, but she stood amazed by what she saw. The armored cavalry was locked in combat against the humanoids. Crazed they reached the tanks, despite their losses. A few of them that were taller and stronger managed to rip apart the tank hatches and kill the crew, but in the end, the humans prevailed.
    After the battle they were gathered and evacuated. A long refugee march had started then. For the next years they relocated again and again as the battle front changed depending on the flow of the war against the invaders – orcs they called them.

    steady trap overcome by faction intervention

    Soon they learned that those orcs were not mindless killers. They were brilliant strategists setting up ambushes and careful battle plans. She had spent the last few years living in the back of an army truck. As the orcs pushed on a new battle front from the south, command ordered all civilians to head back to the abandoned city of Tovce, only the enemy lay there in wait, silently within the buildings. It was a slaughter. She would have died too if it weren’t for elite merc troops of TeraTek Corporation jumping in with their power armor with rocket packs. They were testing their new weapons, and made short work of the humanoids.

    haunting invader overcome by close friend

    It wasn’t long before Athen finally joined the Rangers. War was all she had known, since she was a child, and as soon as she was of age, she enlisted. Battle after battle she spit blood and sweat. She fought in Rezova, Pava and Laveza. But the worst fight she was in, was the siege of Vraltury, a small village on the top of the hill. The fighting was fierce, and they were breaching house by house to repel the invaders, giving lives for every inch they liberated. She was on top of a two story building, whose roof was torn apart, setting up overwatch for the squad down in the alleyway. She had the orc commander in her sights on the building across, when suddenly she hear a loud roar, and the loud flap of wings. In an instant a huge scaled dragon like beast swooped down on her, it’s claws slashing at her face. It swung it’s tail, featuring a huge scorpion-like stinger thrusting towards her, when her best friend, Hank Burcham set his rifle to full auto and emptied his entire clip on the beast. Most of the bullets ricocheted off, but it was enough to turn its attention away from Athen. It stung Hank, the poison blackening his body, killing him in moments. Athen screamed, she lobbed a grenade and ducked to cover. The monster was dead, but her friend was no longer there, giving his life for her.

    Solitary, Contentment

    Having seen the horrors of unnatural war, friends and family perishing, Athen no longer wishes for the company of others. She merely wants some calamity for her and for others. Although not a social member of the community, she is there helping them and being helped in return. More than once, locals have turned to her for assistance with some creature haunting them.

    Patron, Disfigured

    Her commander from the war, Col. Leif Faulknen, seems to have taken her under his wing. They both go way back, and he may provide intel or resources to Athen.
    The wyvern attack left her with a big gash which turned into a scar to her face. It may be uncomfortable to look at, but it’s not unusual in these dark times.

    Character Stats

    Race Human
    Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
    Athletics d6, Common Knowledge d4, Fighting d6, Healing d4, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Shooting d10, Stealth d6, Survival d6
    Hindrances Heroic
    Edges Quick
    Pace 6″
    Parry 5
    Toughness 5
    Wealth d6
    Equipment: .45 Semi automatic pistol, 3 clips of ammo, Kevlar vest. Survival knife, Flashlight.

    Teaser

    I’ll start with setting up the initial information I have.
    I need to know about the missing person.

    Q: Does Athen have a missing person’s name?
    A: Yes
    Donjon: Svita Dotinska: Female Mechanic. Svita is tall, with white dreadlocks and large silver eyes. She wears a grey jumpsuit and has battered cybernetic legs.
    So I will be using donjon info as if its a possibility depending on how the story progresses.
    Q: Does Athen know her Last Whereabouts/Home Address/Workplace
    A: 1d3: 2. She knows 2 out 3 of the above.
    A: Last Whereabouts & Home Address.
    Time of day: 20:00
    Date: April 11th
    I’ll roll 3d6 for the distance of each location in kilometers: Last whereabouts 12 km away, Home: 15 km away.
    I’ll roll 3d6, the higher, the wealthier the neighborhood. I get a 10. It’s a common apartment in a big city block.
    I decide I’ll go first at the Home Address. Gather as much information as possible.

    Athen holsters her sidearm before heading out. Nightfall is dangerous. It’s not only the monsters she hunts, but thugs and petty criminals roam the streets at night, looking for an easy score. She’s not going to give them one.
    She gets to the street, and heads to the nearest subway station.

    Q: Is there an encounter?
    A: Yes, and, she can’t avoid it.
    I’ll use UNE: Optimistic craftsman, suggest the law, review wrath, produce opulence.
    Mood: Sociable
    Bearing: Whispers
    Focus: Current Story
    Donjon: Merlin “Moonlight” Byrn: Male Smuggler. Merlin is short and heavyset, with violet hair and amber eyes. He wears a black biker suit and an armored jacket, and carries a flechette pistol. Merlin suffers an acute fear of cyberspace.

    “Hey Ms Smarte!, Ms Smarte!” she hears a familiar voice.
    “Shit”, she thinks. It’s that persistent smuggler she once bought weapons from. He keeps trying to get her to work with him. She doesn’t stop, hoping he’ll lag behind.
    “You’re going to look for Svita right?” Athen looks to him surprised. “How did you…” she starts asking.
    He cuts her off. “Don’t look so surprised darling! I have my sources. Now, you and I both know that the police should be handling this matter, but they don’t care do they?”
    “What do you want Merlin?” Athen asks, having recovered from the sudden reveal of information.
    He puts his hand on her shoulder. “Look, those creatures you hunt, their… raw materials can catch quite a hefty price. You bring them to me and I can provide you with top-grade equipment.” He suddenly lowers his voice to a whisper. “Guns, I’ll let you even take them out for a trial if you find the mark. A special just for you.”
    “I’ll think about it Merlin.” She answers. “Oh, and don’t touch me again.” She responds, removing his hand.
    She turns and leaves, entering the subway. Eerie yellow incandescent lamps barely light up the corridors. Graffiti, cracks and mold decorate the walls, while the smell of urine here and there fills her nostrils. She feels her pistol, wondering if she needs to upgrade her trusty sidearm. Merlin’s proposal wasn’t half bad.

    Intervention Count: 1

     
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