Wednesday, June 16, 2010

[Savage Worlds] Urban Fantasy, Session 2: The Assassin's Lament

A whole bunch of people showed up at Games and Gizmos in Redmond on May the 28th. In addition to the regular Mutant Buddha crew of CS, CB, CR, BB, MW, IL and myself, guest players CM, GM (of Corvis Monkey Troupe fame) and PP (up from Cali) joined in the mix. That made 10 players. MW continued the urban fantasy game but the loudness of the shop (it was the regular M:tG tournament night) and the number of players made that difficult.

When last we left the party, an assassin had attempted to kill Milo and the crew thwarted that. A bit of investigation lead various PCs to two different situations: entering the Fae lands or finding out more about the assassin. I offered to help run as an assistant game master to MW and was given the assassin portion of the adventure.

My group consisted of PP (in the role of Milo Goshtashebi, the antiquitarian who was the target of the assassin), CM (playing a Troll of CS's PC Don Ling's acquaintance named Bruce Archer), BB (continuing with teenage cat burglar Tom Steele) and IL (playing the grave-touched Steve Smith).

MW ran the rest of the players into the Fae Lands: CS playing Don Ling the Sidhe, CB as Natasha Ambrosius the Urban Scholar, GM as Conroy Sutcliff, CR as Phyllis Norg the Troll, and my character Nick English, Private Eye (played collectively by the group).

The group learned, through Nick's contacts, that the assassin liked 5 star hotels (of which there are only two in town). Further tracking down leads produced a name (Mr. Speck) and a location (the Chatham Hotel). According to Billy the bell-hop, Mr. Speck was out at the moment but he'd call when he came in. Billy also said the guy had "dead eyes" and was pretty creepy.

I took the opportunity to hand out some Bennies to the players if they came up with some facts and a plan. They came up with the following: Mr. Speck was a hard drinker after finishing a job (which he believed was so), the security system at the Chatham Hotel was on the fritz, and they planned to get him drunk to find out who hired him while Steve ransacked his room. Yes, all plans work as well as they're planned. Since the players figured a five-star hotel would be pretty swank, they raided Don Ling's wardrobe and were spiffed up in nice suits. I even allowed that before Don Ling went off to the Fae Lands, he cast a glamour on Milo to disguise him but I told PP and the group that it was paper-thin - any sort of disturbance, including a verbal altercation, could have it "peel off" and Milo would be exposed!

The call came and Milo, Tom, Bruce and Steve headed over to the Chatham Hotel. They met Billy in the lobby, a large-well appointed room befitting a hotel build in the 1890s. A pair of elevators was at the far end, past sofas and couches scattered around for the patrons use. A variety of plants adorned the room and corridors to rooms, bars and dining rooms went off in all directions. A large chandelier was in the center of the lobby. A large wedding reception was underway and could be seen through the doors to the grand ballroom.

After passing Billy a $20 (illiciting the comment "Where the Hell is Nick?"), the bell-hop told the PCs that Mr. Speck was in the bar and someone left him a note at the front desk. It was only after Billy left that they realized the hotel had three bars: The Gentleman's Bar, a cigar and hard liquor bar; the Garden Bar, a wine bar; and the Common Bar, a sports bar. The PCs split up, each taking a bar, while Steve went to check out the note at the front desk. The plan was that if Mr. Speck wasn't in the bar they went to, they'd then go to the other bars, thereby staggering their entrances in order to appear that they weren't together.

Milo went into the small Gentleman's Bar and spotted Speck. Squeezing past him, he found a spot at a table. Bruce the Troll went to the Common Bar and Tom went to the Garden Bar. After not spotting the assassin, Tom went to the Gentleman's Bar and flashed a fake ID (he's underage) but the darkness and the smokiness of the bar helped him get served. In the Common Bar, I turned to CM and told him they had Bottomless Nachos. I waved a Bennie at him and said he wanted to stay for a bit. CM accepted the Bennie and ordered a beer and nachos, which was very cool because the group was counting on CM's Troll to be their backup!

Steve easily stole the note from the front desk and made a copy of it. It had Milo's name and address as well as a heraldric symbol of a unicorn at the bottom of the paper. Milo started talking to the people around him and Mr. Speck continued to drink. I turned to CM several more times and offered him a Bennie each time - another set of nachos and beer were ordered after each exchange. I had successfully tied up the party's big gun and the looks around the table were priceless. Awesome!

A soft overhead announcement in the lobby and bars said "Will Mr. Speckle please answer the white courtesy phone. Mr. Speckle, the white courtesy phone." I turned to IL, who's PC Steve was in the lobby, and said "The white courtesy phone is right over there. Do you want to answer it?" while waving a Bennie at him. IL demurred so I made it two. That was enough to get his interest so he picked up the phone.

A woman's voice on the other side told Steve that Mr. Speckle had failed them and if the carrot didn't work, then the stick must. A spray of green lightning shot from the phone and struck him, knocking him over into a large potted plant but he managed to make a Vigor roll to avoid any harmful effects. Since he was invisible at the time, IL used his Stealth skill to remain hidden.

Meanwhile, in the Gentleman's Bar, Mr. Speck stood up to go and noticed Milo, turning towards him and looking at him intently. I gave PP an opportunity to figure out that, as an assassin, he would know enough about his target, including what he sounded like.

Milo was made! Turning around, Mr. Speck left the bar, passing by Tom, who promptly and rather successfully picked his pocket. I gave BB the choice of either taking his gun or his wallet. I offered a Bennie if he chose the wallet. Guess what? BB chose the wallet!

Milo and Tom followed Mr. Speck out towards the lobby, getting spotted as they did so. When the assassin came around the corner towards the white courtesy phone, he noticed that it was off the hook, so he looked around and picked up the phone. Calmly, he said that he had reaquired his target and the job would be done soon. After hanging up the phone, he headed towards the elevator.

IL pushed his luck and made his Stealth roll but Mr. Speck rolled a better Notice roll and knew about where he was. I offered IL an opportunity to make a Smarts roll to see if he understood that he was made but he failed. So I gave him a Bennie if he arrogantly assumed that he was safe. IL himself took that to mean he was going to stand right next to Mr. Speck near the elevator.

When Tom and Milo came into the lobby, they spotted Mr. Speck standing by the elevator and were spotted by two Redcap goons hanging out there to back-up the assassin. One of them was the Redcap that got away in the alley. He recognized Tom! That's when Bruce, after eating a metric ton of nachos walked in.


The initiative cards were laid down and I was very lucky to draw an Ace for Mr. Speck and the Redcaps while the players got much less. Mr. Speck went first - with a spin-kick, he dropped Steve, then drew his gun and shot Milo, scoring a Shaken and Wound for each of them. Redcap no. 1 jumped on Tom, Shaking and giving him two Wounds. The other Redcap took a swipe at Bruce but failed to connect. The situation looked pretty bad for the PCs.

IL, BB and PP used up a bunch of Bennies to make their Soak rolls, getting rid of the Shaken condition and their wounds, then they went in their turns. BB had his PC attack the Recap, scoring terrible wounds. CM used a Bennie to state that the chandelier was held up by a rope and fought his Redcap, throwing him under the lights while throwing a knife to slash the rope, causing the chandelier crashing down on both Redcaps.

Steve managed to get his feet under him and pulled his gun, shooting at Mr. Speck's head. He succeed in Shaking and Wounding the assassin. Milo opened up with his pistol, and PP made an incredible roll, scoring over 20 points of damage on Speck - doing enough damage to incapacitate him.

The assassin, Mr. Speck, was shot in the throat and, with his spirit standing still like a tree, his now corpse spun around, spraying the invisible Steve with blood, making him appear as a blood-covered ghost. The body continued spinning, splashing blood all over the bride who had just exited the wedding reception.

The session ended with Steve intimidating the spirit of Mr. Speck, trying to find out who hired him, right before the party made their escape, accompanied by the sounds of police sirens. All he got, though (after a very successful roll), was the assassin's bank account and access codes.

It was a fabulous session and the players had a great time. Especially the use of Bennies to bribe the players against their best interest (or in their best interest). No worries, I'll get the write-up for Session 2 from the other group's adventure and post it soon.

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