Tag Archives: RPG

Blades In The Dark – Session 5

Fifth Session – A lot of different kinds of activity this session, without the frontal assaults that are our bread and butter.  Of course, our attempt to sneak blackmail material into a police inspector’s house to have some dirt on the Bluecoats goes south and there’s some shooting.

Delazia Finchester, of the Circle of Flame (cult), which is an underground subset of the Centralia Club (National Geographic Society style club), has been on Reis’ “get with” list for a while.  (In other words she’s the Emma Frost of the Inner Circle in the Hellfire Club, but less evil). They want some artifacts that sound exactly like the Vecna stuff – the eye of Kotor, the hand of Kotor, the head heart of Kotor… Reis talks everyone else into it, his primary motivation being that Delazia is hot.

So he summons a spirit, the Hand of Sorrow, to get information.  That starts going awry and we end up sacrificing Stinky Pete, our formerly-homeless hanger-on, to it. We are very careful to keep this both from Kraid and his player Tim, who missed the session, as they are both big Stinky Pete fans.

Then we go to trade that info to the Centralia Club and get unceremoniously shooed away by the doormen and a backup ghost.

Blades In The Dark – Session 4

Fourth Session – The Red Sashes are no more, and we decide to start a fighting pit and start trouble with the Crows. I just watched Dolemite so I ensured that it ended up in a Dolemite-style club confrontation in the end!

We’re getting the hang of the game, so decide we need to expand our turf with a fighting pit (which will generate revenue for us). Of course you can’t do anything without stepping on some other gang, even though we did find a spot that had been off limits due to haunting but had recently been cleansed. We took it over and came up with a bunch of plans that we eventually decided were too complicated, and just started a fighting pit, invited Lampblack gang leader Bazsho Baz, and waited for the Crows to show up and start trouble.

They did; we played a weird game of brinkmanship with having the audience back our play but not so much they get murderized. There’s ghosts!  Shotguns! In the end we capture a couple of them and, since we’re from a professional mercenary unit, ransom them back to the Crows.

And Kraid continues his very long term plan to turn the homeless people in the turf we own into craftsmen, making nets… None of us can figure out why he’s sinking so much effort into it. His new friend Smelly Pete is proving useful, though.

Blades In The Dark – Session 3

Third Session – The Red Sashes decide to get back at us by coming to take over our homeless-infested mansion. A lot of violence ensues. Then when we go to try to sell off some bank notes we liberated, a captain woman decides she’ll ride Marto like a Harley on a bad piece of road.

The fight against the Red Sashes starts off pretty rough – the dice mechanic is not good in general (“get a 6 on a pool of 2d6, and you will be fine…”) and they are all higher tier which means penalties to that.  But the tide turns dramatically when Toad crits with a alchemist-bomb into a crowd of opposition and next thing you know we’re mopping up retreating survivors.

Of course, then we’re at war! So many rules… Downtime actions and gang stuff and clocks and mandatory stress relief and it all requires rolls that have collateral problems. But we’re getting by.  We get a bunch of ship captains and such to cut in on redeeming our stolen bank notes, and one takes a fancy to Marto the Bear, which entertains all of us except Bruce.

Blades In The Dark – Session 2

Second Session – We continue to maneuver with the other gangs like the Crows, Red Sashes, and Lampblacks.  We decide we need some turf so take over a  homeless camp. Starting small.  But we meet some lady in an Eyes Wide Shut kind of cult so that’s cool.

My guy can summon and semi-control ghosts, but when things go bad it’s a problem.  This session, our NPC gang members get in trouble betting in a fighting club and so I try to summon a ghost to break it up and I end up having a Ghostbusters kind of experience where I get an ancient god like Gozer instead but in a latrine instead of a refrigerator.

Then we decide to do a home invasion of some guy called Lord Skinnister.  I forget why, besides all his prostitute murders. Oh, right, it was to pay off the gambling debts of our hapless NPCs. Kraid murders his way through the house and we get to the Lord and his weird S&M dominatrix friend. She holds a knife to my throat but Kraid kills her anyway.  I banish him to the ghost dimension in an attempt to distract the ancient god that keeps bothering me.

The game system is very… game-y.  Luckily we had a discussion about this after the last game – so many of these newer games are kinda “meta”, with a lot of detailed rules about doing things that tempt you to plan, plan, plan, roll without pausing for actual in-character roleplay.  This game has that tendency, but we as a group determined we needed to put extra effort into counteracting that so it’s going well.

 

Blades In The Dark – Session 1

First Session – Welcome to our Blades In The Dark campaign!  Besides character and gang generation, we go to jack with the Red Sashes gang at the behest of the Lampblacks gang who are both destablizing the previously ascendant Crows gang.

Our gang, the Gambler’s Orphans, was a mercenary company on the losing end of a recent war.  Now our base is an orphanage, the Yaggo’s Home For Miscreant Children, in the Six Towers district.  We seek to build ourselves up into a force to be reckoned with!

  • Bruce is Marto “the Bear”, a Hound (murderer type 1).
  • Tim is Kraid Naben, a Cutter (murderer type 2).
  • Patrick is Thaddeus “Toad” Todd, a Leech (doctor/alchemist).
  • Chris is Hasten Doom, a Lurk (thief).
  • Ernest (I) am Reis, a Whisper (ghost wrangler).
  • And Paul is our GM.

We learn how to exercise the rules and plan and execute jobs. The job goes well and we take the Red Sash war treasury.  This is one of those mechanics where you need a 6 on d6 to succeed and succeeding with some major blowback is largely indistinguishable from failure, and you can usually boost up a pure fail into that fail-with-much-pain region.  I had played a one-shot of this game at Chupacabracon and had realized that it’s not much good as a one-shot because so much of the mechanic is about long term clocked goals and incurring wounds and stress and stuff that penalize you in subsequent sessions.

We also learn about their use of the hip new mechanic called “clocks”, which is making a pie-chart kind of circle and using it as a counter towards some goal.

Still Here, Still Gaming…

I know I have trouble posting much any more, but I am putting session summaries up still on the Reavers page.  The campaign’s still going (in fact, I see that we just passed 10 years!).

We’ve been playing other stuff in the off weeks as well – currently, a Blades In The Dark campaign – I’m putting some summaries up (they’re hand written by a player), the campaign page is here.

We briefly played Coriolis but the GM had trouble keeping it going. It’s supposed to be Arabian Nights in space but it kinda felt like all our other space games in the end.

Spire – Session 10 – Operation War Games

drowmurderAll our plotting has come to a head as our drow revolutionaries look to overthrow the Aelfir domination of the Spire. We have the prisoners of the Hive armed and ready to bust out. And in the bacchanals of the blind oracle, we see an opportunity to set the major defense forces of the Aelfir, the Black Guard and the Solar Guard, along with the Solar Church of the aelfir, against each other.

Marian of the bacchanals is working with “the demon of the lashing wind” to power the sex magic oracle effects. If the team wants to contact it, they would need an eidolon and a gift to make it work for them. Demonology in Spire and how it works – there are 20-30 known “demons” in Spire. The names allow demonologists to make subtle shifts in reality or artifacts (infusion) or incursion (let a demon lose on the population). Demonologists are public enemy #1 because an incursion could destroy a wide swath of the Spire.

Setting It Off

The team discusses a plan and comes up with:

  • Subvert the bacchanal – find a way to slip in the top ten nightmare scenarios from the high elf perspective to the visions as the next bad guys fingered by the oracle. Make sure the ministry and the prison are not the focus of those. Later, after the 10 visions, subvert the bacchanal so that it is an incursion to do a scorched-earth cleanup.
    • Target #1 – Mary of the bacchanals is trafficking in demonology. True ones are the best!
    • #2 – Light-Through-Splintered-Glass; finally we get rid of this knob-head.
    • #3 – Black Guard leader
    • #4 – Black Guard leader
    • #5 – High Elf Military leader “gnoll invasion level” – Lieutenant Radiant Word Scours the Sun.
    • #6 – Wicked Mr Alas’ lieutenant that is a demonologist
    • #7 – Our Glorious Lady Pope Maji Lalin – this one is popular with Drow.
    • #8 – Solar Church Archdeacon Many the Seedling’s
    • #9 – Councilman Drynn – somewhat related to Bohemian Crystalhead cult
    • #10 – Leader of the “sky whales” – Gwennit Saint Grendel, drow dock foreman.

Some of these are drow or drow-aligned, but you have to make the lineup plausible, so we feed them drow who will either get arrested/killed and destabilize the Spire or are powerful enough they’ll rally their own forces to fight back.

The team goes to to God Row to get the 10 visions into the seers’ head – They start with Heralds of the Prophecy!!! Based entirely off their neon sign and Slav’s religion domain.  One of them is a friend of the revolution.  Father Herald, Pope Herald, and Junior Herald represent the HotP. The heralds listen to their offer then ask them to return in 24 hours.  A vengeful knife is left to watch them to ensure that they do not betray the Ministry.  They are told the next day, “Buy ambrosia, we will load it with visions, and you’ll have to sneak it into the seers’ presence for consumption.”  Ambrosia can be consumed, tossed on a brazier, and other forms.

They arrange to show up to the next bacchanal and “feed” the ambrosia to the seer. They will appear as servants at the bacchanal.

Prep work for the revolution:

  • they have an army at the Hive prison
  • they have weapons for that army
  • Stella Blue, newspaperwoman – publishes stories about demonologists and incursions with the by-line “they’re bad for the drow and the high elf are responsible”.
  • Target list for that army and general hate list for the mobs – para-military, high elf leadership, drow quislings,
  • Lyddia gets the Guard arresting and confiscating food stuff caravans going to the upper levels. They get a warehouse of food.
  • Gladiators are lined up by our Hyena Priest – she gets arrested and thrown in the Hive.
  • Bound warriors are lined up but they end up fighting each other.
  • Hyena Priest Abu whips up the faithful in Charnel – they agree to riot when the time comes.
  • Slav gets the students riled up and radicalized. This is wildly successful.
  • Anastomosis – we magically spread the ideas that the high elves are abandoning the Spire due to ongoing costs, demonologists problems, human technology, drow family values, and the new gnoll army.
  • Mama Thinrees is brought in and prepared to making undying for the revolution – she agrees and prepares to make undying of heroes of the revolution, captured high elves, and so forth.
  • The Sect of the Great Glass Eye is primed to riot.
  • Vermissian Tubes via Bridge Street Station, the primary smuggling route from down spire to up spire, is successfully prepared to funnel half of the Hive army Ivory Row. Tariq arranges this with his revolutionary cadres.
  • Slav uses her magical powers to cause the next bacchanal to cause an incursion.

Revolution!

The doctored visions go out and the shit hits the fan.

The Paladins arrest the following:

  • Mary of the Bacchanals – untouched
  • Light-Splintered-Glass – ejected from council
  • Black Guard leader – executed
  • Black Guard leader – executed
  • Our Glorious Lady Pope Maji Lalin – executed in the streets
  • Councilman Drynn – ejected from council
  • Solar Church Archdeacon Many the Seedling’s – ejected from council and sent to a “remote” monastery.
  • High Elf Military leader “gnoll invasion level” – Lieutenant Radiant Word Scours the Sun.
  • Wicked Mr Alas’ lieutenant that is a demonologist
  • Leader of the “sky whales” – Gwennit Saint Grendel, drow dock foreman.

Some Black Guard are fighting the Solar Guard; most are working with them. The prisoners riot and attack.  Chaos reigns across the Spire.

The Vermissian Anatomosis causes some high elves to flee to the old country. But many high elves decide to stay and fight, stay and go native, or retreat to the various strongholds on the upper spire or Feather Island.

The Guard doesn’t fare well. Warden Langley goes into hiding. Commissioner LeVop runs and dies. The Guard disintegrates into precincts and smaller units with no leadership.

“Fortunate” Tamar Al-Nisr assassinates high elf mid level leaders who attempt to keep things organized, particularly those preaching moderation.

Abu Al-Nisr follows the mobs and assassinates leadership of anyone opposing the mob.

Order From Chaos

Lyddia ropes in Warden Langley to rebuilding the Guard into a drow police force. Their objectives are fighting fires and arson, making markets safe for commerce, getting food, water and other services to the public, and identifying the new political units forming (e.g. the Docks Union 4747 “Free Drow”).

Captain Wander-the-Lost, an high elf military man on the high council, revives from a deep depression to rally the troops and stabilize the Spire situation. Fortunate Tamar maneuvers to assassinate Captain Wander-the-Lost. Slav backs him up with an Evil Eye Curse.  The captain is a hardy and paranoid high elf, he survives the initial attack and deals Tamar several wounds.  But the captain dies nonetheless.

We leave off with the revolution largely successful, but only months to come will show how all the chips fall and whether the drow of the Spire will be free again!

Face Off

But all is not over. Lyddia changes reality with Anastomosis again – suddenly, everyone believes Tariq Al-Nisr died heroically leading the attack on Ivory Row to rescue drow from the clutches of the high elves and their human packs. It is said that his blood was so blackened from his many lovers that his assassins died immediately.  Beware the con man pretending to be the “real” Tariq.  The Ministry is collecting for the lovers and orphans of Tariq fund.

This is all in service of the prophecy that Lyddia would kill Tariq, so she is trying to fulfill the prophecy but gunning for the person-hood not the life of Tariq.

Tariq, unawares, goes the Rut and Wallow bar to confer with his allies. He is told, “How dare you wear that heroes’ mask!”  He chased from the bar and into the streets by an angry mob.

Abu finds out his brother is dead and someone is impersonating him. He finds the Tariq “doppleganger” and fires his crossbow volley style at him.  The doppleganger yells back, “It’s me, Abu!”  Tariq takes 5 Blood Stress before he convinces Abu that is really him. “Our brother Tamar is a retard!  Hyenas have two nipples!”  Abu is relieved that his brother is alive, but knowing that entire Spire thinks him dead, he recommends that his brother get a new identity.

Tariq goes to Therratrix whose powers include generating new identities. He gets one and vows to become Lyddia’s lover and screw her life up.