at Home and On Campaign

at Home and On Campaign

19 September 2014

Secret War VIII – Toolenay Falls

A vast conspiracy is reaching completion on the Floating Cities of Toolenay. After tens of thousands of years, the Ancient Ones and their willing puppets have brought together the 3 Eternity Stones.  If they can complete their ritual with the stones, the disruption of time and space will re-awaken their entire race and rain death and destruction upon the galaxy.  Standing against them are a few plucky heroes. To follow this story from the beginning, go here: SECRET WAR I.

Leaving Astropath O’Blivion  to monitor the Eternity Shrine for any action by the conspirators and Rosa (the gunslinger) to babysit him, the rest organize themselves for the coming battle.
Team One
Inquisitor Verhoeven, Agent Sophie, Bodyguard Ace Cannon and a Naval Security Team
Team Two
Major Guiscard, Sub-Ambassador Sulla Tigh, and a contingent of Eight Ball Command led by Sgt. Mannesman

For the Ancient Ones and their co-conspirators, 3 Lordlings, Cannoness Quintilla, and Baroness Niehoff are participating in “The Ritual”
To protect the participants, Cannoness Quintilla has brought Radical Inquisitor Gesthemene and a Squad of Soldiers from the Church Militant. 
Baroness Niehoff has contributed a Reich’s Assassin and 2 squads of Automs
Game Explanation
Skip this if you want to stay in the story.
I feel compelled by the unusual nature of this game to step out and explain its structure. First of all, I was reaching for a scenario that would be “different” and a complete counterpoint to my “Social Adventures” where there was no violence. (see "Party to Remember"). Another driver of the design was that I realized that since I wanted a certain big-picture outcome for the overall background and story of Sector Six, it made no sense to leave that outcome as an objective and thus to chance.

So I began to work with the concept that the setting was a huge battle and the game itself would take place as a small scale game inside of that. The best example I can think of to illustrate this idea resembles the Omaha Beach sequence of “Saving Private Ryan”.  As the carnage rages at Omaha, the movie itself squeezes down to a small group of characters and their objectives. So if I wanted to game that scene using Pulp Alley, I would treat the larger battle as the setting with large spaces of “extremely perilous terrain” or “impassible terrain” and the scenario itself would be the League Characters moving from one objective to the next (like the “Trail of Crumbs” scenario in the PA book).

I hope that explanation is clear enough, because the next step was taking that concept and implementing it to the specifics of this game.  The larger battle is not gamed, it is represented by a logical series of pre-programmed events that will cause the impassible, perilous (and extremely perilous) terrain to evolve each turn.  The Characters will have to deal with all of the chaos (and fight their enemies) as they try to achieve their objectives.

As the good guys arrive and the game opens, the bad guy minions (Automs, Assassin, Radical Inquisitor) are just finishing off the local cops/militia and the Ancient Ones (and the other bad guys) have begun their ritual. The Lordlings, Niehoff, and Quiltilla are not characters (they are too enraptured by the awakening ritual) they will be objectives.

Other objectives will be revealed based on events.

The game was played by 3 victi…(I mean volunteers) from my gaming club. I GM’ed.
The Battle
The Ancient Ones detect O’Blivion signaling the allies. The gunship strafes the building followed by a firefight between Rosa and a squad of Automs. Rosa is superficially injured, but 2 Automs go down.
The allies on are a strict timetable.  The Astropath can sense the psychic energy rising as the Awakening Ritual progresses, and he communicates that there is not much time before its completion.

Inquisitor Verhoeven decides to land his team on the north island, and the Naval Security troopers lead the way into the teeth of the enemy. 3 casualties on each side.
The Team led by Maj Guiscard drops the Eight Ball squad on the western island then sweeps around to the eastern island where the Major and Sub-Ambassador Tigh debark.
At this point the action seems to stalemate while the combatants cautiously trade shots, but time is running out. O'Blivion can sense the impending completion of the ritual. The allies are getting the better of the exchange, but their progress is way too slow.
With a telepathic warning from O'Blivion, Verhoeven recognizes the urgency of the situation, He charges with a maniacal frenzy and he tears into the enemy…
Guiscard radios the Helena - Admiral King, I think it is time for Plan B
Adm. King -Helmsman! Execute jump!
As the Helena is blasting targets at point blank range, Verhoeven seems unstoppable. 
He disptaches the Reichs Assassin in a single exchange
But just as the tide seems to be turning, the enemy gunship returns and catches the Helena with a full salvo amidships.
And it begins to lose control
Adm King: This is KCS Helena, we are going down.  Repeat, going down over the Eternity Shrine, everyone get clear.
All of the allies run for the shuttles and pods,
At the last second, O'Blivion grabs Verhoeven ... and with a blinding flash, he teleports them onboard the Passereaux
The allies are safely in orbit, and the Awakening has been stopped.
However, the Unknown gunship is escaping, and most tragically, the energies released from the ritual are scouring the surface of Toolenay.

The most advanced scientific institutions of Sector Six have been lost.
Although the enemy has been stopped, they have not been destroyed.  After a last evening spent with the whole band, Verhoeven and his entourage board a charter clipper to return to Krellborne IX.

The KCS Passereaux, Ambassador/Agent Sophie, and Eight Ball Command are returning to the Kingdom with the sad news of the destruction of the Helena, and the heroic sacrifice of Admiral King.

Friends have been made, and battles fought.  The Secret War continues.
Wow, it has taken forever to get this posted!
Thanks again to sho3box/cheetor for participating, what a blast.
Thanks to ALL  for your patience, and stay tuned!

Hello to our new Readers!:
and Warlord Paul

Welcome Aboard!

25 August 2014

Secret War VII: Convergence

For several months our heroes have been tirelessly investigating a massive and far flung conspiracy involving
the Imperial Church and Clergy- Canoness Quintilla
elements of the 4th Reich- Baroness Niehoff
...and newly discovered aliens of incredible power and hostile intent
The start of this epic can be found here: LINK
What evil machinations are afoot?

The investigation taxed the best efforts of two mixed teams (Imperial and Kingdom of Colores) separated by vast distances (and 2 separate blogs: this one and that are finally circling back to an emergency rendezvous orbiting the planet Toolenay.

The KCS Passereaux, with Ambassador Sophie Andres and Imperial Inquisitor Verhoeven on board, closes for link up with her sister ship, the KCS Helena.
In the briefing room of the Helena, Inquisitor Verhoeven lays out the hard won and shocking facts to Imperial Sub-Ambassador Tigh and Major Guiscard.
There have recently appeared mindless slaves on Krellborne IX. Zombie-like beings, who when interrogated, can only babble on about a return of "The Masters" and some nonsense about "3 stones together for eternity".

Element 1.
Over three decades ago, Canoness Quintilla was passing through Krellborne IX on a pilgrimage. While on the surface she was enticed by a local priest to visit some ancient ruins relevant to the fundamental tenets of the Imperial faith.  

While among the ruins, she was drawn by a strange energy, a calling that only she could hear. Completely transfixed, she ventured alone into a previously unexplored area of the ruins and encountered an apparition of a race so incredibly ancient, the universe has no record of their existence.
The specter offered a deal. In exchange for a "favor" at some future date, a talisman of the old world, known as an "Eternity Stone" would be hers. The stone is unremarkable in appearance, but it carries incredible power.  Among many other things, it can manipulate time and space and can influence the thoughts of beings of low will. The Canoness took the deal.

Element 2.
The Nazi's have always been obsessed by the occult.  It is not known when or where they acquired a second Eternity Stone, but what is known is that Baroness Niehoff now has personal possession of the artifact. 
It can be surmised by recent events that she was seduced by the same ancient race in a manner similar to the Canoness.

Element 3.
Last year at the Peace Summit, these two instigators met (LINK). 
This was the final event in a conspiracy assembled for hundreds of millennia by these ancient "Masters".  Since that moment, there have been sightings and battles with these ancient creatures all over the sector. (LINK and LINK) They are awakening.  The conspiracy is inexorably driving cataclysmic events to this time and place...


Out of all of the worlds in the galaxy, why here?

Because when you want to really hide something, hide it in plain sight.

The whole sector has heard of Toolenay's famous "Waterfall in the Sky", right?
Popular history says that this marvel was constructed as a monument to Toolenay's scientific prowess. A singular achievement in anti-gravity and teleportation technology on display for the whole galaxy to see.

It's a lie.

Nobody remembers this, but two centuries ago, the waterfall's creators named it, "The Eternity Shrine", because the Shrine isn't powered by their science, it's powered by the third Eternity Stone. 
The "Masters" are here.
The "favor" required from Niehoff and Quintilla? They have brought their stones here.

Rosa and the Astropath are standing sentinel in case the enemy moves.

 We need a plan.

The reason for the delay is the Eternity Shrine
First, I tried paper mache'

So then I bought a water pump and tried to build a fountain with actual running water.
Nope, again.  The problem with actual water is the water. Kept making a splashy mess during the test.
So back to paper mache'

I like the result, but I am slightly disappointed I couldn't get the real water to work. But heck, if we don't reach for the sky, we don't get better. 

A Great Big Welcome to our new Followers!
Marijn Bierhof
The Composer
Gerardo Crespo Anasagasti

09 August 2014

Secret War VI: Loose Threads

Background to this game is in the previous post here: LINK
The Battle
A small team from 8 Ball Command of Maj. Guiscard, Sub-Ambassador Tigh, and Specialist Bont land on the westernmost island of the Mondly Research Institute. Bont immediately accesses the nearby Telemetry Sensor and downloads the test data.
Guiscard spots the Researcher (Dr. Woiler) and her bodyguard on the east island and takes a peoplepod over.
However, Baroness Niehoff and the Nazis observe the activity from the next island. 
They have been waiting to see if there was a security team was waiting in ambush, and since the new arrivals haven't tripped any alarms, they spring into action.
The Autom plugs into the terminal and enters the datanet. The file appears as an ancient tome within an energy field. (Okay, I KNOW. You are judgementally thinking, "Computer interfaces with Computer, why would there be any cyberpunk imagery?"  Shut up. It was supposed to be people, and it would have looked cool... ...moving on...)

And the Baroness sneaks unseen over to the west island...
Guiscard is successful in convincing the Researcher to help them.  As it turns out, she already had serious misgivings about the new artifacts and the mysterious benefactors that brought them.
However, the game is afoot, and spotting the Baroness just before it's too late, the Major warns Sub-Ambassador Tigh.
Tigh turns, just as the Baroness attacks!
Bont (getting out of the way of wrestlemainia) moves over to the middle to try for the second terminal, and ends up delayed by having to explain himself to Patrolman Jones
... so the Nazi Autom proceeds unopposed to the file, and extracts it on the first try.

The Baroness drives Tigh off the edge of the building, and the Nazi officer opens fire!
Tigh is bleeding, but not out...
In the chaos, the Baroness orders the Nazi Autom back to the safehouse with the file.
Guiscard takes shelter on the roof of the lab and exchanges fire with the Baroness and the Nazi Officer. None of the combatants suffer any serious wounds, but it does take some of the pressure off of Tigh.
Officer Jones has been on the radio for backup and a SWAT team is on the way.  Both sides decide it's time to quit the field and withdraw.

The Nazi agents got the main file, but 8 Ball came away with some experimental telemetry data and the Researcher. 

Soon 8 Ball Command and their new allies are aboard the KCS Helena going over all the facts and trying to piece them together. The Dr. Woiler explains that in addition to the anti-grav technology, they were given an object of unknown purpose, and told to simply "investigate".  The object was ancient, and emitted a low frequency energy. What does it all mean?

Epilogue (2 days later)
The Comms station on the KCS Helena comes alive. The Passereaux has jumped into the Toolenay system with Inquisitor Verhoeven and Agent Sophie onboard. Coming on at full thrust, their initial message is dire, their adventures on Krellborne IX (chronicled here: LINK) have exposed a danger that is bigger than anyone has suspected.
"It's worse than you think. Be ready for anything.
Inquisitor Verhoeven and KCS Passereaux Out"

Next Episode,
Secret War VII: Convergence
Hi Folks,
So, if you were following my BatRep you read the Computer v Computer absurdity.  Well, when you invite people to come play, the best laid plans...

I would like to extend a very big WELCOME to our new followers:
Mattias Darrow
Ady Arnold

As Always, Thanks for Looking!

27 July 2014

Secret War V: The Floating Cities of Toolenay

Chasing the many threads of a wide Nazi conspiracy, the Colores agents have split into 2 action teams. One team, led by Agent Sophie has traveled to Krellborn IX.  They have made contact with an allied Imperial agent, Inquisitor Verhoeven. Reports have started to come in, and here a a link to the action so far:

The second action team, aboard the KCS Helena, reaches a parking orbit above Toolenay and through the connection to the planetary data net begins collecting information for the investigation.  As the relevant facts filter in, 8 Ball Command and Sulla Tigh narrow their focus to a small research lab that has made a mysterious and sudden leap in capability with gravity based propulsion technologies.
Waiting until nightfall, a small team consisting of Maj Guiscard, Sub-Ambassador Tigh and Specialist Bont will attempt to infiltrate the lab and determine if there is a trail back to the alien that attacked the party on Eden Station LINK. Also, they will look for evidence of a conspiracy involving Imperial Agents in the employ of Countess Quintilla.
The Helena has intercepted communications indicating that the known Reich’s Agent Baroness Niehoff (and underlings) are monitoring the area, and may try to interfere.
The Plot Points
Try and make contact with the Lead Scientist, Dr. Woiller
The bodyguard will have to be dealt with and is considered an “Extreme Peril”
Access the lab’s datanet through either one of the consoles and retrieve data to be examined later.
Lastly, it is possible to pull experimental data from the labs telemetry sensors. (This would be less valuable than information from the datanet, but useful all the same)

Special Rules
To move between each of the floating islands, the locals use a system of magnetically controlled PeopleMover pods. If Characters move to a PeopleMover Station, their pod can be placed at any other station to finish their move.
Local Law Enforcement is represented by Patrolman “Jones”. He is a “Follower” level character and moved in a random direction and distance every turn. If he comes within 3” of a character, he will test as a peril against a character’s Cunning (Hi Stranger, what brings you here tonight?). If the Character fails the test, Patrolman “Jones” and the Character will enter into a brawl as he attempts to arrest the Character.
The Datanet cyberspace map will appear once a Character has moved to a console.  This is based (read: COMPLETELY STOLEN) from Maelblogia’s ingenious invention for cyberpunk action in Pulp Alley, LINK: Cool Cyberspace Idea.
AAR to Follow!