Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Actual Play: Firefly "Old War Horses" Session 1 The Bank Job

Session 1: The Bank Job
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dramatis Personae:
  • Captain Ramsey Zook, played by BR
  • General Samuel Zook, played by BR 
  • Doc Gaines, played by BA
  • Bang Buckwheat, played by BB
  • Prospero Jones, played by J
  • John Havelock, played by A
  • Fiona Webb Ryan, Registered Companion, lady friend of Ramsey Zook
  • Drew and Stewie Sorox, bank robbers
  • Sorox gang members
  • Theo Doolan, bank manager of Kirkmeier Bank
  • Miss Purdy, town school marm, 
  • Sheriff, Deputies and Townsfolk of Kirkmeier
  • Doctor Hassan Schumacher, 479th chief medical officer
  • Chow Davis, 479th trooper

Planet: Ossolambria, moon of Shadow
Town: Kirkmeier

Close of view of Ramsey Zook, Doc Gaines and Fiona Webb Ryan. Someone off screen shouts "This is a stick-up!" and the camera pans back to see Ramsey, Doc and Fiona in a bank, holding their hands up.

A pair of rough looking bank robbers, Drew and Stewie Sorox, along with their 8 gang members, are holding up the bank in Kirkmeier, on Ossolambria, one of the moons of Shadow.

Other townsfolk in the bank also have their hands up, as well as the bank tellers and bank manager.

Roll back a minute or so and the rough men enter the bank while Ramsey, Doc and Fiona chat amicably waiting in line to see the bank manager about a job. Fiona is in town on a tour and met up with Ramsey and decided to accompany him.

Outside the bank, Bang is waiting in the mule and sees the gang enter the bank, with guns out. Prospero is in a nearby junkyard, looking for some parts. John is doing deals with Li Po, a merchant of the town.

Drew recognizes Zook as the officer who ordered him punished for a minor offense during the Unification War and wanted revenge! He starts talking crap to Ramsey and then grabs Fiona.

Doc Gaines gets involved and tries to land a punch on Drew (fails and rolls 2 jinxes), who coldly shoots him down (rolls 1 jinx) (End result: Doc Gaines gets Complication: Gut Shot D6).

As Doc falls to the floor, with Fiona rushing to his aid, Ramsey draws his pistol and shoots down two of the gang (rolls 2 jinxes creating new Complication: Fiona is a hostage D8). Drew grabs Fiona as Stewie shoves money into a bag.

After hearing gunshots outside, Bang tells one of the townsfolk to get the sheriff -- the bank is being robbed! -- and rushes across the street, drawing his pistol.

Bang tells Prospero that the bank is being robbed and asks if that was the plan. Prospero remembers that the Captain, Doc and Fiona headed to the bank to meet with the bank manager, and, no, robbing the bank wasn't on the menu for today. Prospero finds a part in the junk yard that could help the base on Ita with their atmospheric regulator (Asset: Part to repair Ita's Atmospheric Regulator D8) but it's huge!

At the door to the bank, his radio squawks to life -- Prospero needs the mule to haul the part he found to the ship (Complication: Bang's Radio is Squawking and heard by the Sorox Gang in the Bank D6). Members of the Sorox gang inside hear Prospero and they and Bang have a gunfight through the bank door. Bang shoots two of them dead (rolls 3 jinxes for a new Complication: Townsfolk see Bang shooting up the bank and think he's one of the bank robbers D8 and increasing Complication: Fiona is a hostage D10).

John is doing business with Li Po and a kid runs by screaming for the sheriff that the bank is being robbed. Then he hears gunfire and tries to get to the bank but Li Po is a shrewd businessman and tries to get the upper hand. John wins a good deal with caveats (rolled 2 jinxes for Complication: must deliver on deal in 5 days D8).

Bang crashes through the door and a gunfight erupts. Two more of the gang are down (rolled 3 jinxes, increasing Complication: Townsfolk think Bang is robbing the bank D12 and Complication: Fiona is a hostage D12). From the townsfolk outside the bank, it looked like Bang shot down in cold blood Miss Purdy, the school marm!

Fiona, absolutely disgusted she's being held hostage by Drew, gives Ramsey a look "you better kill this sumbitch and right quick". Ramsey shoots at Drew and one of his remaining men as Stewie runs out the back with the money. 

Zook kills one of the gangsters and almost gets Drew, but the last gang member steps into the bullet. Shoving Fiona at Ramsey, Drew beats feet after his brother.

Stewie runs out the back of the bank and runs into Prospero driving a borrowed mule with his part, dropping the bag of money all over the mule and the ground. Flustered, Stewie runs off, with Drew not too far behind and the sheriff, deputies and townsfolk in hot pursuit.

The bank manager makes sure Bang isn't arrested, explaining to the lawmen, as he helps up Miss Purdue, that Bang was helping fight off the robbers.

Gunfire sounds in the distance as the posse trade shots with Drew and Stewie.

A deputy stops where the money was dropped and starts collecting it, talking amicably with Prospero and asking about his part.

The sheriff came back and explained the Sorox brothers got away and made sure the bank got its money back.

Doc Gaines, Prospero and Bang headed back to the ship, since Doc has to patch himself up and Bang isn't sure that the townsfolk might not want to take a shot (or two) at him.

Ramsey, Fiona and John go talk to the bank manager.

///// Cut Scene /////
: Ita, moon of Whittier

479th medical bay on Ita, Doctor Schumacher reports to General Zook that one of the troopers has. One down with a virulent disease that, on a normal planet, could lead to 30% fatalities. Ita, with its hot, hot climate, that number could become 50% or more!

General Zook asks who's sick and informed Chow Davis is the patient. Doctor Schumacher lets Zook know that the medicine to cure this disease isn't in their stocks and standard military delivery would take too long. Perhaps he should call his brother.

Zook chastises the doctor about presuming too much with respect to Ramsey and hangs up, thinks a bit, then places a Wave to Ramsey.

///// End Cut Scene /////

Planet: Ossolambria, moon of Shadow
Town: Kirkmeier

In the bank manager's office, Ramsey, John and Fiona wait as the manager makes sure everything is handed about the robbery and then comes in.

He introduces himself as Theo Doolan and asks why they want to see him. Ramsey states they were told that he was the man they should talk to about a job of a sensitive nature.

He smiles and pulls out a piece of paper, looks at it, and turns it over, as if he's expecting something more. Then he turns it back over and looks sheepishly at them.

He tells them that his employer needs some product moved for him. It's on Persephone, in the Eavesdown Docks Bonded Container Depot, No. 2337. There is a pass to get into the Depot (Asset: Pass into Persephone Eavesdown Docks Bonded Container Depot D6).

There are two old Type 47 Containers (large storage containers that hole a lot of stuff) at the location and the product is under a large blue tarp. One of the Type 47s has the delivery address but it's not on Persephone nor Ossolambria. 

The two Type 47 Containers and the product have to be removed from the Depot before No. 2337 lease runs out, which is very soon. Nothing on the sheet of paper tells the crew what the product is, simply it's under a large blue tarp and has to be moved.

Ramsey asks about the fee and Theo low-balls them. John jumps in and negotiates a very good deal, since the product, time to complete job and delivery location are unknown, and fuel costs, docking fees, etc, are known.

They shake hands and the crew heads back to the ship. Fiona has a few more weeks in the area and she bids Ramsey goodbye and they'll talk soon.

The ship launches and Bang tells Ramsey, at Full Burn, it'll take 3 Days 16 Hours to travel from Ossolambria, moon of Shadow, to Persephone.

Next Session: What's the Product? Where does it need to go? And what's up with a virulent disease on Ita?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Actual Play: Blue Rose AGE "Trouble in Hyrith" Session 2

Trouble in Hyrith, Session 2

Session 2
Monday, October 30th, 2017

Dramatis Personae
  • Zajan, Night Person, Warrior, played by J
  • Sabo Duskfire, Human, Roamer, Adept, played by J
  • Kiva, Vata'an Adept, 17 years old, played by C
  • Ajax, Rhy-Fox Expert, played by Me
  • Innkeeper of the Cosy Quail
  • A mysterious Sea Folk sailor woman
  • Perla, a Human stoneshaping artist
  • Anot, a Night Person, art gallery manager (mentioned but not met, yet)

The party headed to the Cosy Quail, where Ajax paid the innkeeper to cleanup the cheesy biscuit crumbs in his room and ordered ale.

Zajan talked with the innkeeper and made a new friend (RP stunt: New Friends). The innkeep let Zajan know that the strangest thing he remembers about the time the party lost their memories, was that one of the sea folk was asking him about first hand recommendations around the town. Innkeep didn't catch her name but she was short, stocky, muscled and hair in a ponytail. She was rough around the edges and looked like she was working folk, a sailor. 

He recalled telling her about Perla's Art Gallery and that she talked with each of us, the night we were called in by the guard to be questioned. Turns out each of the party went to the gallery on separate days, days and trips they still don't remember.

Kiva checked his parents' room but they were not there. He did find a note from them. The rest of the group found out that his parents call him "Moonbunny".

After drinking the ale, the party headed to Perla's Art Gallery. They remembered that Perla came onto the art scene out of nowhere, from obscurity, just a couple of years ago. She arrived at Hyrith 5-6 months ago and established her gallery. It's open to the public but currently back-logged on art piece sales.

Entering the gallery, they saw a whole bunch of statues. Along one wall were several lifesized statues of people, that looked to be the artist's progression in skill over the years. The statues' faces had good detail. The rest of the gallery was filled with statues.

When he enters the gallery, Sabo "sees" a spontaneous vision of a small statue. It's a Rezaean rider. The statue is on a desk. After the vision, he looks around the gallery but doesn't see the statue, nor the desk.

They watch Perla doing stoneshaping magic for a very-true-to-life middle age noblewoman bust. Perla is a human but she looks like she's got some sea folk blood in her.

The party notices that Perla has deep circles under her eyes and she looks pretty ragged and seems to be putting up a façade.

Ajax passed her one of Zajan's cheesy biscuits that he lifted earlier, which gave her some strength.

After talking with Perla, they find out that her assistant/manager, Anot, is missing. Anot is a night person and, it turns out, that he had a relationship with the still missing girl Nissun, the one that the party was questioned about.

Anot has been missing for several days now and Perla is concerned. Ajax managed to get Perla to open up (RP Stunt: New Friends). 

Perla knows that Nissun was around the gallery a lot and that she and Anot got pretty close. Perhaps they ran off together, since the attraction was mutual, but not necessarily exclusive on Nissun's part. Anot was more of a "one-night-person-one-woman" kinda guy. 

Kiva asked if Nissun's father, who runs the stables outside of town, knew about the relationship, which seemed obviously not.

Zajan asked if Perla went to the tournament but she didn't because she was so busy. She did mention that Anot usually went to the first day of the tournament. They also asked about the sea folk sailor but Perla didn't see her.

They got Anot's address from Perla and planned to head over there but before they went, Sabo touched the statues of along the wall and, one of them, "sees" another vision. The subject of the statue walked into a secret room, possibly an underground tunnel, an empty room. The subject got stabbed and killed. On the wall of the murder room is a sigil of a new moon with thorns wreathed around it, a sigil used by the Silence.

Sabo told the rest of the group about the subject of the statue he got the vision from and Zajan asked Perla about the statue. It was one of her personal projects, someone that she saw about town, two years, no, one year ago. She noted his striking features when he came to one of her smaller exhibits, prior to moving to Hyrith.

Ajax figured she's being deceitful about the last time she saw the statue subject, she's mostly truthful but lying by omission. There also was something weird about the way she said "personal project".

As Ajax is leaving the gallery, he does a final smell for any of the three scents that altered the book but none of them were present at the gallery.

Zajan receives notice that the Silence want to meet up with him.

Next time Anot's Place and follow up on Zajan's Silence meetings!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Actual Play: Firefly "Old War Horses"

The Old 479th

The planet Ita is a desert planet and home to the Alliance 479th Mule, Gravedigging and Support Unit, the least distinguished unit in all of the Alliance military. To quote a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff “We have a gravedigging unit?” Or to better quote the chief medical officer of the Old 479th, “we’re a unit comprised of every cast–off, jerk–off, gorram idiot, malingerer, misfit or maverick that should never have been drafted into this man’s army.” As an afterthought, he says “We’re the stray puppies of the military.” After a brief pause, “Even me.”

Ita is ringed with automated defense satellites, warning incoming craft that the planet is off–limits and shooting down those who don’t listen or don’t have proper authorization. And it’s the 479th's job is to keep the satellites running and garrison the planet. The 479th is responsible for guarding the only thing worth coming to Ita to see–the Alliance and Independent Space Fleet Boneyard.

The whole planet is a desert (except for the ice–covered polar regions), so all of it is the boneyard. The arid climate makes it perfect for storing spacecraft without the issues of rust and corrosion. There are no discernible seasons or changes to the weather. It’s hot during the day and cold at night. Sometimes there’s a lightning storm, which is quite pretty unless you are caught in it, then it’s downright deadly.

For the most part, the misery is not the extreme weather, it’s the mind–crushing boredom that guarding big chunks of metal for no other reason than to prevent their theft brings about.

But it’s an easy job. Guard the planet, let no one take anything without authorization, and try to get through the next 10 years of service until retirement and pension.

And here is where the Alliance sent their chief embarrassment, General Samuel Kosciusko Zook, Hero of Serenity Valley. He’s in charge here on Ita, for the past 5 years or so, after he opened his mouth too much. And  the 479th love him as a father. Brilliant, decisive, and commanding, Zook is the reason his troops have the highest morale.

House Zook

There are two very important Zooks on Ita, General Samuel Zook and his identical twin brother, General Ramsey Zook. Like the US Civil War, many families were split over the issue of Unification. Samuel fought for the Alliance and Ramsey fought for the Independents. On many occasions, they fought in the same battle but on opposite sides, including the Battle of Serenity Valley. The war damaged their relationship in many ways, but family is still family and Ramsey refused to surrender to anyone but his brother in the last days. This caused quite a stir in the Alliance, especially when Samuel took it upon himself to insist that the Independents be brought fully into the Alliance, as full members.

So vocal was Samuel on this that it lead to the military silencing him the only way they knew–by ordering him to garrison Ita. They knew it was putative and he knew that they knew, but he followed orders. When he arrived on Ita, it had the worst discipline and the worst problems of any command. His previous troops were easy compared to the issues he faced. And Alliance Command kept sending him more, emptying out the losers and malcontents from each group to send to Ita, to keep him busy.

And Samuel kept busy. He built up the command, instilling in the (in many ways) non–conventional troopers a pride and esprit d'corps that was totally lacking before. It took some time to adjust to garrison life but he found that allowing wives and girlfriends, then family members to join the garrison lead to a more stable society. One that he could order easier. Several years went by and more people came, including his future wife, a relative of one of his sergeants.

Since they were on the fringes of the ’Verse and on the fringes of the Alliance military, they usually got not only the dregs of the service but the dregs of the equipment and supplies. Alliance Command made sure the satellites were well supported but the troops that maintained them were less important. So, with their own pay to spend, the troops needed a link to the rest of the ’Verse, a go–between to get them what they needed.

Then Ramsey and his ship and crew showed up. And everything changed.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Actual Play: Blue Rose AGE "Trouble in Hyrith" Ajax's 3x3

Ajax's 3x3:

3 Allies:
  • Ciro, Rhy-Fox, local representative of the Aldis Department of Rodent Control. Ciro (pronounced "See-Row") was one of the first Rhydan that Ajax met when he came to Hyrith. They became fast friends. Ciro is the first Rhy-Fox that Ajax knows besides family members. They also look very much alike that only those who know them can tell them apart. The DRC is tasked with killing rodents to safeguard crops all over Aldis and pays a nominal bounty on every rat and vermin tail that is turned in. As the local rep for the DRC, Ciro has contacts among all the carnivorous Rhydan in the city, since many of them work as independent contractors for the DRC.
  • Stanford, Rhy-Cat, Adept, employed by the Adepts Guild, and Ajax's roommate. Introduced by Ciro, Ajax and Stanford have roomed together for a month or so. Usually standoffish, like most Rhy-Cats, and prone to "Adept" behavior, also known as "being mysterious just to be mysterious", she has a tendency to make pointed observations that look beyond the surface and into the heart of the matter. Stanford knows many secret things about Hyrith, including shortcuts, hidden tunnels and the esoteric history of the city. Her schedule is always in flux but she tends to show up when needed, another part of "Adept" behavior that drives Ajax batty.
  • Filo "Wagon-tamer", Human from Jarzoni, Teamster. Filo and Ajax met when Filo (pronounced "Fill-Oh") nearly ran over Ajax's tail with a wagon. The first introduction was not pleasant but with Filo, Ajax found a fellow lover of good ale and good food. Although originally from Jarzoni, Filo is now fairly cosmopolitan, taking Rhydan, Night People, Vata and Seafolk as just people, instead of the demons his upbringing taught him. He's a contradiction in terms: when he's working, he's a rough and tumble man, accustomed to cracking skulls and getting the job done, but when he's with his wife and two daughters, he's a loving spouse and doting, but stern, parent. He knows many of the working class people around the city and delivers goods to many of the various Guilds and shops. Some foks he knows aren't fit for polite society.
3 Contacts:
  • Corxxx, Rhy-Raven, information broker. Corxxx (pronounced "Core-Ex", not "Core-Axe") is one of the local Rhydan that Ajax met when he first came to Hyrith. Corxxx tried to cheat him but Ajax turned the tables. There is mutual respect there, from fellow tricksy folks, but they're not sure whether to trust each other.
  • Izen, Human, Roamer, tinker. Izen (pronounced "Eye-Zen") travels all over Aldis, and often comes to Hyrith several times a year. Ajax met him several years ago in Rezea and Izen smuggled Ajax back into Aldis after the Rhy-Fox had a slight disagreement with a Rezean over a horse and it's price (or lack thereof of an actual horse after the payment had been made). Izen has a bunch of useful (and useless) things in his caravan, all available for a good price. Need something unusual? Check his stock, he might have it. He travels with his nephew and neice (actually adopted orphans) who like Ajax more than Izen does.
  • Hemril Tradithas, Vata'an, "troubleshooter". Twenty years ago, Hemril (pronounced "Emm Rill") fled Kern as a child and settled in Aldis. He learned a variety of skills, from fighting to investigation, from anyone he could get to teach him. For the past decade, with his unusual skillset, he's been a "troubleshooter", also known as a Factor, in Hyrith. He's a workaholic and owns a small house (and the inn beside it) on the coast, just outside of the Basilisk Gate. Ajax met him while he was on a case for a wealthy merchant. They didn't come into conflict but there was potential. Since then, they've encountered each other on a few occasions, and have traded each others expertise for mutual benefit. He has a bad habit of chewing a tobacco-like root and spitting.
3 Rivals:
  • Perci, Rhy-Horse Aldin Noble. Everyone loves Perci (pronounced "Pear See"). She's an adorable Rhy-Horse mare. She's young, beautiful, idealistic, accomplished, kind and thoughtful. She also drives Ajax to distraction. No one is that good, it's just not possible. She brings out the selfish and suspicious side of him, so he constantly questions her motives. Maybe she is what she seems. Ajax just doesn't buy it, even as she shares her cheesy biscuits with him.
  • Junec Ocacrac, Human, Aldin, popular Hyrith storyteller. Within a few moments of meeting, Ajax and Junec (pronounced "June Eck") developed an intense, although currently friendly, rivalry. Ajax is a better storyteller, but Junec has a larger following. They've developed a standard format: they meet, seemly randomly at a local tavern or pub, and have an impromptu story contest, then request audience feedback. So far, they've tied, as each has won two of these contests. There is some hype building for the next such contest and Junec is nervous -- Ajax has an advantage, in that he's an adventurer, while Junec is a storyteller. 
  • Grixerion, Human, Aldin, baker. Grixerion (pronounced "Gris Err Eon") is a baker in Hyrith who makes the most delicious cheesy biscuits. Ajax has a tendency to "borrow" them at every opportunity, often without paying for them. Grixerion takes affront at that. But he does admit, after kicking Ajax out of his shop for the umpteenth time, that even though Ajax doesn't always pay, he does provide "free" advertising for the bakery all around the city and the rest of the clientele enjoy his antics.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Actual Play: Firefly "Old War Horses"

I recently ran a six-session game on Roll20 using the Firefly RPG by Margaret Weis Productions.

On the whole, it went pretty well. Although we did have a turnover in players, I was able to find a bunch of other players who were interested in playing.

I'll be posting the characters as well as the session notes.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Actual Play: Blue Rose AGE "Trouble in Hyrith" Session 1

Trouble in Hyrith, Session 1

Session 1
Monday, October 16th, 2017

Dramatis Personae
  • Zajan, Night Person, Warrior, played by J
  • Sabo Duskfire, Human, Roamer, Adept, played by J
  • Kiva, Vata'an Adept, 17 years old, played by C
  • Ajax, Rhy-Fox Expert, played by Me
  • Captain Ramava, Vata'sha, Hyrith Guard
  • Iradal, Vata'an, Guard Scribe
  • Nissun, a missing girl (mentioned)
  • Fastholm, Nissun's father (mentioned)
  • Zar Mina Kazmi, Adept, favored contestant of the Tournament, lost but won several years in a row (mentioned but not met, yet)
  • Stanford, a Rhy-Cat Adept, Ajax's roommate
  • Serik Alenev, Adept, High Secretary of the Arcane Academy of Hyrith (mentioned)
  • Acheolis, winner of the Tournament, not favored to win at all (mentioned)
  • Rustam Janwari, Roamer, owner of the Unicorn and Jackal in the West Market
  • Ninziar, Night Person, Sabo's girlfriend of less than two weeks (mentioned but not met, yet)

Ajax, Zajan, Kiva and Sabo awake in gaol, with no memories of the past two weeks. As Ajax is trying futilely to escape, the others introduce themselves and ask each other why they're there.

Captain Ramava, a Vata'sha Hyrith Guard, comes into the gaol and tells them that they are persons of interest in the disappearance of a young woman named Nissun, who has been missing since the 1st of Gaileth. It was now the 7th of Gaileth.

They were questioned and held as witnesses. A guard scribe named Iradal took their statement. And now those statements were missing! 
Even then, the heroes remembered none of it. Two weeks of their life, memories gone. Which means some pretty serious sorcery.

Captain Ramava agreed to release them to investigate the mystery themselves. But they couldn't leave town without getting permission from the Guard.
Ramava escorted them to the guard scribe Iradal for release. Iradal gave them back their property. Ajax has a bill of faire from the Cosy Quail Inn, an ornate ticket with a sun on the corner, a ticket stub from an artist gallery and four stale cheesy biscuits, which he ate promptly.

Iradal told the party that we'd all been brought into gaol together. The guard picked us up while we were all eating dinner together at the Cosy Quail.

We found out again that Nissun disappeared on Gaileth the 1st. We'd been picked up because it was rumored we were in her company. There seemed to be a lot of coincidences that Nissun was at places where the party were at the same time.

Iradal also told us that Nissun's father runs the Top Run Stables outside of town. Her father was Rezean and was claimed to be willing to give half his stable to see his daughter again.

After some questioning, we learned that the tickets were for the Tournament. Every year, the Arcane Academy meet with a Martial Academy from the Capital of Aldis and compete in a variety of events. Then the winners of those events go head-to-head and winner take all. 

The Tournament lasts about a week and, while there were no dates on the tickets in the characters' possession, the games ended several days ago.
The tickets with stars were for Arcane events. The tickets with suns were for non-Arcane events. The favored Arcane contestant, Zar Mina Kazmi, who had won several years in a row, surprisingly did not go all the way in the Tournament.

Iradal showed them the notebook that had their statements in it, but the statement sheets had been removed. No one knows who took it. Ajax smelled the book and detected three distinct scents that he would remember.

After getting out of gaol, they headed out into the city to see what they could find out. Ajax suggested they go to see his roommate, Stanford. Stanford, a Rhy-cat, is an Adept and knows about the Arcane Academy and would probably be able to help get their bearings.

Ajax opened the door to his apartment, causing a howl of indignation and pain as Stanford's alchemical experiment blew up. "AJAX!"

Stanford was irate with Ajax but agreed to help the party. They found out more about the Tournament. The winner, Acheolis, did an awful showing last year, not making it past the 2nd rankings. But this year won the whole thing, a surprising turn of events.

When they wanted to find out more, and possibly meet with folks from the Academy, Sanford offered to put in a good word with them with Arcane High Secretary Serik Alenev. Then he made Ajax promise not to come back to the apartment so he could finish his experiments.

They traveled to the West Market, where there were several interesting shops, like the Dancing Door Liquor Store, Wandering Road Book Bin, the Secret Knife Fishmonger, the Unicorn and Jackal, and The Fifth Wheel.

They wandered the market. Sabo traded some fake "good luck" charms for something much more worthwhile with the Rustam Janwari, the Roamer owner of the Unicorn and Jackal. While there, Sabo learned he had recently started a relationship with a Night Person woman named Ninziar. And he had no memory of it!

Next Time: The Cozy Quail and an Art Gallery.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Actual Play: Blue Rose AGE "Trouble in Hyrith" The Return of Ajax, the Rhy-Fox!

The Return of Ajax, the Rhy-Fox!

Yes, the master of cheesy biscuits has returned. The GM of the "Mask of Ebban" adventure decided to run another game of Blue Rose AGE, set in the coastal Aldin city of Hyrith.

As of this writing, the campaign is continuing and we've had our seventh session, much to our group's enjoyment.

Unfortunately, the previous players did not join us, instead we had three new players, J, J and C. Since I don't have access to their characters, I've only posted Ajax (see prior post) but I've added some NPCs that Ajax knows that the GM can throw into the mix.

So sit back and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Actual Play: Dresden Files Accelerated Hollywoodland Session 6

Dresden Files Accelerated: Hollywoodland Session 6 Write-up

Played Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

Dramatis Personae
  • Father Darren O'Connell, Catholic priest and holy sword bearer (played by C)
  • Daniel Ehrlichmann, hot-shot reporter/wereleopard (played by F)
  • Sammy Wesson, Clued-in Mortal/Changeling (played by R)
  • Ted Summers aka The Dazzling Dante, White Court wizard (played by B)
  • Raymond Sanders, monster hunter/Changeling (played by N, not present)
  • Persephone, White Court Vampire Assassin
  • Adrian Brandeis, Red Court Vampire Assassin
  • Fritz Lang, Hollywood Director and Monster Hunter
  • Peter Lorre, Hollywood Actor and Monster Hunter
  • Darlene Merritt, Daniel's nemesis
  • Donny Torrez, a street kid contact of Darren's, now on the straight-and-narrow
  • Harry, Jack and Albert Warner
  • Maeve and entourage
The rain was falling on the city. A hard rain. But it couldn't wash away the grime that Darren, Daniel, Sammy and Ted were mixed up in.

Darren and Daniel, along with Fritz Land and Peter Lorre, were on the roof of Daniel's apartment building, fighting Adrian. Darren's sword flashed in the early morning darkness, while Daniel, in leopard form, clung to Adrian's back. 

Sammy was on a nearby roof, chasing after Persephone, who was trying desperately to escape.

Daniel used his cat-like tread to unbalance Adrian (used Boost: "Cat on a Hot-Tin Red Court Vampire? Cat Got Your Tongue?" to help create Aspect: "That cat's trying to trip me!" 2 free invokes).

Meanwhile, Persephone dove around a pillbox on the nearby roof and when Sammy went after her, she doubled back and leapt the distance back to Daniel's building, through Daniel's apartment's busted window. 

Sammy saw her quickly look around and dive behind a couch, holding a film canister up into the light, then dash for the door and nearly out of sight from Sammy. That could be the elusive film canister they were all looking for!

Adrian, outnumbered and wounded, held up his hands and called for a truce. "Parley! Parley! I have information that I'm willing to trade for my life!" (Attempt to Create an Advantage against Darren that failed so badly Darren got a Boost: "The Catholic Church doesn't negotiate with Evil!"). Fritz and Peter cried out to Darren to not make any deals with this fiend from hell.

With his faith on his side and desiring to destroy the evil that Adrian represented, Darren raised Durendal and struck at Adrian, scoring a nearly life-ending hit (Darren achieved 15 shifts of damage, which nearly took Adrian out). Adrian slumped against the wall, his entrails spilling on the rooftop.

Ted made it to the roof in time to see Darren's strike and, filled with the rage of his father's death, a new conviction (newly defined Character Aspect: All Red Court Vampires must die!) and fueled by his drunkenness (using Aspect: Three Sheets to the Wind), he looked at the nearly-destroyed figure of Adrian and blasted him with all his considerable magical power, fusing Spirit and Fire to create a Lightning Evocation Blast that atomized Adrian (achieving 8 shifts of damage, which utterly destroyed Adrian) and caused Daniel to leap upon the pillbox roof and Darren to step back to escape its destructive power.

From the opposite rooftop, Sammy, focused on Persephone, saw a flash of lightning out of the corner of his eye as he called upon his Winter Court magic to send a flaming comet of ice and death to smash into Daniel's apartment to stop Persephone's escape.

Daniel's apartment building shook as Sammy's spell struck the side of it, smashing giant holes into Daniel's apartment and the hallway, and separating Persephone from the canister. The explosive force bodily pushed Persephone through another apartment's front door, through that apartment, through that apartment's bathroom door, through the wall, through the adjacent apartment's bathroom door and out the adjacent apartment's front door and into the stairwell, where she was out of sight.

Sammy spotted the canister in the rubble as the party on the roof steadied themselves from the explosion. Masonry fell onto the street below, as did the fire escape they came up to the roof on, crashing down across the street to strike the building Sammy was standing on.

Daniel, realizing that the sound came from his apartment, rushed down the roof stairs, transforming back into a human midstride and walked into an apartment that looked like, nay, that had a bomb go off in it. His front door was gone, vaporized, as well as most of the hallway wall and his couch, refrigerator and end table were all embedded in another wall.

Walking within five feet of the canister, he stepped over the rubble and walked to his bedroom to check on Darlene. Shell-shocked, Darlene got dressed and walked out into the remains of his apartment, reached for the front door knob that wasn't there, started a bit in surprise, then reached out again and pretended to turn a knob, open a door and step through, and close the door behind her before she straightened her clothes as best she could and unsteadily walked down the hall to leave the building.

Darren, Ted, Fritz and Peter passed her in the corridor with nary a comment. Daniel calmly light a cigarette and surveyed his ruined apartment as Sammy used magic to step through raindrops from the other rooftop into the apartment and calmly picked up the film canister. 

The film canister had a sticker that said "Casablanca Set Shot, Vol III and Vol IV, April 24th, 1942" In addition, there was Hamish's mark "MCMXXVII-0931" on the canister. He glamoured it into a book to keep it hidden from prying eyes. To his amazement, the book turned out to be Spenser's "The Fairie Queene", with a familiar figure on the cover, who seemed to wink at him in a knowing fashion.

As the sounds of fire engines and police cars approached, Daniel asked Fritz if he had access to a film projector. Fritz offered the private theatre in his mansion and they headed for Daniel's car outside. One of Daniel's neighbors opened his door and made a comment about warning Daniel about that gas leak then shut the door before he could respond. 

As he followed the rest, Ted looked around Daniel's apartment and found a decanter of alcohol embedded in the wall. He pried it loose, broke off the neck and took a swig -- Vermouth, best for martinis or cooking but little else. He handed it off to one of the firefighters he passed on the stairs, realizing that booze held little appeal to him now that he had his father's bloodmark and, besides the knowledge that every other person who had those bloodmarks were dead, had no idea what that meant (changed Trouble: I have my father's bloodmark).

They piled into Daniel's car and made the short trip to Fritz's home. Sammy gravely handed over the film canister and watched it's contents like a hawk as Fritz loaded it into his projector. The film started and the Adventures of Superman: Volcano played on the screen.

Volcano was released in July, 1942, so it couldn't have been the film they were looking for but Darren, Sammy and Daniel realized that they'd seen Volcano before: At the Bijou Theatre the night they went to talk to Donny.

Donny must have been involved in the theft from the beginning, working with the Princes to get the film. Then he stole it from their mansion and took it to the Bijou, where he switched it with the Superman Volcano film. Darren and Daniel remember him going on an errand that evening, so he must have picked Daniel's pocket for his apartment keys, hidden the Superman Volcano film there in the Casablanca canister, then come back to the theatre, slipping Daniel's keys back on him.

Racing to the theatre in the early morning, in the hopes of getting the real film, they spotted a posh car out front and the lights in the marquee on. The driver refused to say anything except he let slip that he works for "Mr. Warner" and he got in his car to avoid them.

As they walked into the theatre, they heard the projector starting up. Stepping into the theatre proper, they saw a film playing on the screen. In the darkness, they saw a figure of a man watching the film, smoking a cigarette, the ember glowing bright.

The screen showed the three Warner brothers, Harry, Jack and Albert, murdering their brother Sam in a ritual sacrifice. After the murder, the three left the view of the camera for a few minutes. In the intervening moments, the dead body of Sam moved, then stood up, then shambled off, out of view. The brothers looked shocked when they came back and there was no body. Daniel took a careful picture of the actual crime on his pocket camera before the film stopped and the lights came one.

Harry Warner looked at Darren, Daniel, Sammy and Ted, and then turned to Donny, seated nearby with a briefcase, presumably filled with money, nodded his head and gave a wave of the hand. Donny got up, gave Darren a look that said "Anything to get my mom and me out of here" and left with the money.

Harry looked back at the group as Jack and Albert appeared in the theatre with the film in hand. He nodded at them and turned back, saying "We sacrificed Sam for fame and fortune. We had no idea he would become a vampire and the 'Master' of the Black Court here in Hollywood."

While he talked, Jack thumbed his lighter and set the film on fire. The film went up, burning to ash.

Harry smiled at them, as if to say "go ahead and see if anyone believes you. I'm betting not." He and his brothers left, leaving the group in the theatre.

At the same time as the film was burning, in a desecrated church in the valley, the Master of the Black Court, formerly Sam Warner, sat on a throne, surrounded by his court. He stood suddenly, cried out then burst into flames, burning to ash before his followers' eyes. 

In the shocked silence that followed, the Master's most trusted lieutenants, "Fatty" Arbuckle and Virginia Rappe, looked at each other with unbridled enmity and then at the rest of the court. Sounds of a riot erupted from the church.


Sammy walked home in the early morning. Suddenly, he was aware of a familiar presence. He heard the ringing of horse bells and saw Her and her entourage riding beside him. She was pleased that the film was destroyed, that it ended the Master and factionalized the Black Court for a long time. "I still have work for you, just remember that. You still owe me," She laughed as she and her entourage rode off.

Ted had a lot of thinking to do. His father's recent death, after thinking his father dead all these years, and acquiring his father's bloodmark, had shaken him to the core of his being. He went onto a dark path.

Knowing the danger that Persephone posed, Darren tried to track her down.

Daniel also sought Persephone, but he dealt with his problem, Darlene, by slipping her an envelope with some of her nude pics and the picture of the Warner brothers murdering Sam. She moved to a different paper and tried to get the Warners' murdering ways published but none of the respectable papers would touch that story with a 10 foot pole. She was reduced to having it published in a "yellow" newspaper, which lead to her losing her job and moving to the East Coast. Daniel heard she married rich and got out of the newspaper business.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Actual Play: Dresden Files Accelerated Hollywoodland Factions

Known factions for Hollywoodland:

1. Warner Brothers Studios

Principals: Warner Brothers: Harry (President), Jack (Production), Albert (Treasurer), Sam (deceased 1927)

History: As real world but enmeshed in the supernatural because of bloody and unnatural murder.

Goal: Make movies, make money

Secret Goal: Kill Sam for good

Obstacle: Sam Warner

Resources: Plenty of cash; powerful friends and political favors; large studio with plenty of manpower; the studio grounds proper, with writers and actors, cameras and equipment, guns and weapons, costumes and makeup, etc.

Weakness: military might is limited; misbehaving stars can lead to scandals; exposure of Principals as murderers

Aspects: Money is no object; Doors are easily opened

Next Steps: Find movie reel of murder of Sam Warner and destroy it to kill him for good.

References: The Fall of the House of Warner (Brightlights Film)Casablanca (wikipedia)

2. Black Court Vampire nest

Principals: The Master (aka Sam Warner)

History: Sam Warner was murdered by his brothers in 1927 while being filmed. He became a Black Court Vampire because his soul is trapped in the film. He has blackmailed/threatened his brothers thereafter. He has created a cult of personality with a coterie of weird monsters. He is involved in a secret war with Legend.

Goal: Domination!

Secret Goal: see Goal

Obstacle: Everyone!

Resources: forces -- The Master's has the largest "army" in the area, comprised of many deceased actors, "Fatty" Arbuckle, Virginia Rappe, to name a few, who are Black Court vampires, a group of unseelie changelings on the run from Queen Mab, a pack of were-rats, a handful of weird monsters (including an Outsider or two), scores of zombies, some cultists and a few Renfields; run-down warehouse with a gladiatorial coliseum known as the Coliseum of Death and access to the sewers; under the Pier; a desecrated church in the Valley.

Weakness: Must remain hidden. Unaware that the film is a liability.

Aspects: Blood and brutality over subtlety; Welcome to my Coliseum of Death

Next Steps: Defeat Legend


3. Legend and Son (secret group)

Principals: "Arthur Legend" (Dutch Schultz)

Goal: Domination!

Secret Goal: see Goal

Obstacle: Sam Warner's Black Court

Resources: barrels of cash; well-trained goons; underworld connections; mansion in the Hollywood Hills, several safe-houses

Weakness: Paranoia, limited foot soldiers

Aspects: If you can't be a good example, you'll be a horrible warning;

Next Steps: Find the film and destroy the Black Court

References: Dutch Schultz (wikipedia)

4. "Begleiter von Engeln und Teufeln" (Companions of Angels and Devils) aka Fritz Lang's Monster Hunters

Principals: Fritz Lang, Peter Lorre

History: Fritz Lang, the director of Metropolis, is a monster hunter. He started hunting monsters in Germany in 1927, the same year Metropolis came out. He was inducted into the "Companions of Angels and Devils" hunter group and rose to lead the group by 1930. M (1931) was cover for his crew killing a Black Court nest in Berlin. Peter Lorre joined him in the group. In 1933, with the rise of Hitler, the Companions were decimated by a Thule Society empowered White Court Vampire named Adrian Brandeis (German for "dark dweller on a burned clearing") and a Red Court Vampire named Persephone (Old Greek for "bringer of death"). The only ones who survived were Lang and Lorre, who then escaped to the U.S. They started a new Companions from the variety of German ex-pats.

Goal: Kill monsters, but be smarter about it

Secret Goal:

Obstacle: every monster out there

Resources: currently limited to German immigrants fleeing Nazi persecution; access to cash, equipment and locations with little preparation

Weakness: overly cautious since the Companions were decimated in Berlin

Aspects: Avenge our fallen comrades; Returning to the (misunderstood) Old Ways out of Fear of Changes

Next Steps: see Goal

References: They Cracked This 250-Year-Old Code, and Found a Secret Society Inside (Wired)150 Vampire Names Both Ancient and Modern

5. The Princes in the Tower

Principals: Edward V of England (appears age 12) and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York (appears age 9), ghosts of the Princes in the Tower

History: Evil ghosts from England, their corpses found their way to Hollywoodland . The ghosts appeared in several Our Gang movies as "extras" and became close friends with the Our Gang stars. They created a series of children gangs to rob and steal, mostly doing B&E, mostly non-violent.

Goal: Become real again/raise from the dead.

Secret Goal:

Obstacle: The Law

Resources: several gangs of children; mansion in the Hollywood Hills, safe-houses throughout the city (gang members' homes)

Weakness: Supernaturally tied to their corpses, can't go long distances away or very long time away from them; can only push their child crew so far

Aspects: Translucent in Sunlight; Nobody notices a kid

Next Steps: Find the film to become real again.

References: Princes in the Tower (wikipedia)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Actual Play: Dresden Files Accelerated Hollywoodland Session 5

Dresden Files Accelerated: Hollywoodland Session 5 Write-up

Played Friday, June 9th, 2017

Dramatis Personae

  • Father Darren O'Connell, Catholic priest and holy sword bearer (played by C)
  • Daniel Ehrlichmann, hot-shot reporter/wereleopard (played by F)
  • Sammy Wesson, Clued-in Mortal/Changeling (played by R)
  • Ted Summers aka The Dazzling Dante, White Court wizard (played by B)
  • Raymond Sanders, monster hunter/Changeling (played by N, not present)
  • Darlene Merritt, Daniel's nemesis
  • Fritz Lang, Hollywood Director and Monster Hunter
  • Peter Lorre, Hollywood Actor and Monster Hunter
  • Persephone, White Court Vampire Assassin
  • Adrian Brandeis, Red Court Vampire Assassin

Ted and Sammy went to Laurence the Fence's business to investigate the bloodmark spell. They broke in easily with the keys and Ted performed a ritual to find the blood sorcerer who cast the spell.

Ted learned more than he realized. He bound the spell into his wand and knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the blood sorcerer was Ted's father, supposedly dead for 28 years, since Ted was 6 years old!

That drove Ted into a alcoholic binge. He dropped the wand and headed straight for Mick's, demanding that Mick leave the bottle. Sammy, puzzled at Ted's behavior, picked up the wand and followed him to Mick's.

There, Ted revealed that the blood sorcerer was his dead father, which drove him to drink even more. Sammy said he understood and Ted asked how he could. Sammy showed Ted the finger from his father, given to him by Maeve. Ted looked at the finger and said that was messed up.

Darren met up with the survivors of the Berlin Monster Hunter lodge, which turned out to be actor Peter Lorre and film director Fritz Lang. Darren mentioned Persephone and Daniel's interest in her. 

Peter and Fritz identified Persephone, "Bringer of Death" and Adrian Brandeis, German for "Dark dweller on a burned clearing", as the vampires who killed their comrades. Both Peter and Fritz wanted in on the hunt to kill these two vampires. They left the restaurant and went to find Daniel before it was too late!

Daniel was making love to Darlene and started slapping her around, demanding to know who put Darlene on his tail. She fought back, thinking he'd kill her but he overpowered her.

While she was fighting back, there was a knock on the door, that became rather insistent as Darlene struggled to escape Daniel. Daniel couldn't tell who was at the door, because there was a muffled reply. Other people in the apartment building were being disturbed, so Daniel knocked Darlene out and, naked, grabbed a pillow and opened the door.

On the other side was Persephone, looking quizzical at Daniel naked with a pillow. Daniel asked her to come back in 10 minutes but she insisted on seeing him right now. She asked him to invite her in and he did.

Persephone came into the apartment and immediately pressed herself against Daniel, with only a pillow between them. Daniel was overcome with passion and dropped the pillow. Daniel picked up Persephone and threw her on the bed then jumped on her, ready to make love.

Persephone inspired Lust in Daniel and started to feed, but Daniel realized that something wasn't right and cooled off the passion, claiming that now wasn't the right time.

That's when Darren, Fritz and Peter showed up, busting through Daniel's door ! Darren drew his holy sword Durendal and attacked Persephone.

Persephone dodged Darren's attack with inhuman speed and picked up Peter and Fritz with inhuman strength and threw them around the room, which clued Daniel into realizing that Persephone was dangerous.

Persephone escaped by jumping out the window, onto the fire escape, then started climbing the ladder to the roof in the driving rain. Darren followed, sword in hand.

Ted and Sammy continued their drinking binge and Ted focused on the wand to point to his father, the blood sorcerer. It first pointed to him and to the bottle that he was drinking from, as if to accuse him, then pointed out the door. They finished their drink and hired a cab to follow the wand where it lead them. 

They traveled all about town, finally ending up in front of an apartment building. Stepping out of the cab, they spotted Darren chasing Persephone up a ladder to the roof. Ted blasted Persephone with a water blast (plenty of water around with the driving rain) and Sammy froze the water blast, both in an effort to knock her from the ladder.

She was buffeted but managed to make the roof, with Darren right behind her. Sammy used his Unseelie magic to ride lightning from the ground floor up to the roof in an instant, joining Darren in the fight with Persephone. Ted followed the wand into the apartment building and up to the fifth floor, right at the stairs that led up to the roof, where he found a body, face down.

In Daniel's apartment, Fritz and Peter picked themselves up and jumped onto the fire escape, using the ladder to climb to the roof in pursuit of Persephone. Daniel quickly dressed then pulled out his camera and took naked pictures of an unconscious Darlene as blackmail!

Darren swung Durendal at Persephone and she dodged. A figure stepped from out of the darkness and rain on the rooftop and attacked Darren, just barely grabbing onto him. It was Adrian, a Red Court Vampire Assassin. Both Fritz and Peter tried to assist the heroes but did nothing but get in the way. Adrian pulled Darren close to feed but Darren used his strong Faith to resist!

Sammy attacked Persephone, blasting her with his Unseelie Magic as Fritz and Peter again tried, and failed, to assist, just getting in the way. Daniel came up on the roof and transformed into his jaguar form, jumping on Adrian's back.

Ted stared at the body laying face down in front of him, frozen in indecision. The wand pointed straight at the body. Trembling, he turned the corpse over and saw his father's face, drained of blood by a Red Court Vampire. 

Filled with rage about all the lost years and mourning his father's death a second time, Ted brutalized the body, smashing his fists into his dead father's face. At the height of his drunken rage, his magic merged with his rage and his father's bloodmark fused into him, gaining him knowledge about the others who were also granted bloodmarks by the evil ritual. 

He felt that two of them were on the roof, dead. Ted headed for the roof. 

Meanwhile, Persephone, seeing that there were more opponents than allies on the roof, turned tail and ran. Sammy tried to stop her but she managed to get off the roof, with Sammy in pursuit!

Next time: the conclusion to the fight with Persephone and Adrian! Will this lead to the film canister?

On a personal note: This was a difficult combat. I had never run vampires in this system, so with their strong and varied abilities, they were hard for me to run for the first time. The strength of Darren, a Holy Knight with his Holy Sword Durendal, proved to be his Faith +5 approach, which gained the PCs a strong advantage. It would have been a far different combat without it and I doubt that Darren would have avoided being fed upon by Adrian. On the whole, it was a good first try and hopefully I will improve in the next session.