Sunday, August 19, 2012

[Leveraged Serenity] Wretches on The Provenance, Session 1

Session 1: June 15, 2012

The session started with partial character generation (using the Leverage rules and mixing in the Serenity rules as necessary).
  • S played Marcus Devereaux, The Road Warrior (Wheelman/Hitter)
  • X played Lance Fielding, The Confidence Man (Grifter/Mastermind)
  • C played Shannon “Mandy” Fielding, The Gadgeteer (Hacker/Thief)
  • P played Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest XII, The Director (Mastermind/Grifter)
  • J played Thomas Harding, The Ninja (Hitter/Thief)
Planet: Paquin 
System: Red Sun
Year: 2515 (4 years after the Independence War and two years before the start of Firefly)

The PCs didn't start knowing each other and were in two separate groups, with Marcus Devereaux, Lance Fielding and Shannon Fielding together and Nathan Forrest and Thomas Harding in the second group.

Lance was a spaceship salesman that was dealing with a smugglers' ring - unfortunately, he told an undercover Alliance cop about the smugglers' latest ship and had to make a run for it from the now-revealed smugglers. So he "borrowed" a ship now called The Provenance 
("Why certainly these papers are in order, officer") and got off Persephone. His sister Shannon joined him and managed to blow up the other spaceships in the sales lot on the way out, using Marcus's hover mule as the ignition switch. Suffice to say, a dozen or more ships were destroyed, Marcus is pissed that his mule got toasted, too. And the smugglers are still looking for Lance.

Nathan is a former Independent who knew Thomas, an Alliance officer, during the war. Thomas believed that the Alliance were the good guys and realized too late that he wasn't on the right side after seeing Alliance officers and troops mistreat prisoners and civilians. Coming out of the war disillusioned with the Alliance, Thomas ran into Nathan and they started traveling together.

Both parties found themselves on Paquin, the planet of carnivals and the Grand Opera House and light, but a planet with it's own dark secrets.

Nathan managed to get Thomas involved in an underground mixed martial arts arena fight and he got second fight billing. Nathan plans to get rich off of Thomas and bet accordingly.

Lance heard about an underground mixed martial arts arena fight club that would soon feature genetically enhanced animals (think dire bears, dire wolves, dire tigers, that sort of thing) and one of his contacts offered him a lot of money to steal one and transport it to Persephone.

So Lance uses his contacts to find the fight location and the password ("Avogadro" - the fight promoter is a maths fan). The source leads them to a warehouse district where they encounter a couple of toughs playing checkers with a chess set outside one of the warehouses.

Interrupting their game, the PCs say the password and the toughs open the door for them. But Shannon makes a snarky comment about their game and they start to get belligerent until Marcus intimidates them to sit back down.

The crew enter the warehouse where they meet a very perky, cheerful woman (guarded by several armed and dangerous men). She charges them $$$ entrance fee, gives them a "free drink" chit and has them check their weapons at the gun lockers ("Don't forget your locker key, management is not responsible for losses.")

Entering the main seating area, they notice a full bar and a standing area around the battle ring. The battle ring consists of a metal stage that shifts and moves with the movements of the fighters.

Meanwhile, in the Green Room (painted an ugly shade of yellow), Thomas is waiting for his fight with Nathan. The door opens and a man, accompanied by obviously Tong gun-thugs, comes in. The man does not introduce himself and politely asks that Nathan does not damage his opponent's eyes. When Thomas asks which eye must be preserved, the PCs discover that the right eye is real while the left is not (the fighter Thomas faces was blinded in the left eye a few months ago). "We must be in accordance, otherwise, we will be in opposition. Opposition leads to unhealthiness and unhappiness." No mention of remuneration is mentioned and the man, and his escorts, leave.

Unhappy with the threat, it gets worse. The door opens again and three obvious Yakuza gun-thugs come in. Without identifying himself, the Yakuza leader asks that Thomas-san please blind his opponent's right eye. After saying his piece, the Yakuza leave.

In the stands, Marcus, Lance and Shannon watch the crowd. They spot the two opposing factions, the Tong on one side and the Yakuza on the other. They also figure out who the owner of the establishment is - Big Stan! Big Stan is right at the bar, wearing a white outfit and a large, white cowboy hat. When Lance tries to strike up a conversation, Big Stan easily sidesteps his attempts at familiarity and sends him away, with a few more "free drink" chits for his trouble.

Lance and Marcus then try their hand at betting on the first fight. Neither comes out on top. Meanwhile, Shannon notices that several in the security were at her last fireworks performance here on Paquin. Whether that is advantageous or not remains to be seen.

The next fight is Thomas and his opponent. Knowing about the fake eye, Thomas has determined not to blind the guy because "I'm not a bad guy." But he did gain an advantage because of this knowledge.

Nathan goes up to the main seating area and bets heavily on Thomas while Marcus bets against Thomas. Every PC except for Nathan is up in the audience seats now and waiting for the fight to begin. Shannon and Lance notice the Yakuza on one side of the seats and the Tong on the other side, both staring daggers at each other and the audience avoiding mixing with both.

The fight starts quite well, generating lots of betting on both sides. The fighters give it a good show - in the midst of their struggle, Thomas tells his opponent (a big Samoan MMA fighter named Jonas Beiber) that the Yakuza want him blinded and the Tongs want his right eye preserved and that he won't do what the Yakuza want. Jonas agrees to take a fall and Thomas makes it look really, really, really good - to the point that Thomas bloodies his face (to obscure the eyes) and then picks him up and fakes breaking his back.

There is a audible gasp and then complete silence from the crowd - most of these fights are violent but not this violent as deaths cause their own brand of problems - and no one realizes the show was just a show. Thomas unceremoniously drags the dead heap of Jonas off stage, leaving a bloody smear on the battle ring.

Big Stan calls for the audience to be cleared, "except for you lot (pointing to the PCs)!" Remember that at this point, the two different groups of PCs haven't introduced themselves to each other or really paid any attention to each other's members.

Meanwhile, Thomas and Jonas get off-stage and the fight doctor is amazed when the opponent stands up, wipes the blood off his face and is fine. Thomas gains a friend for getting him out of that situation at a possible expense.

Everyone leaves except for the PCs, Big Stan, the three Tongs, the three Yakuza and the ever-increasing security guards. Big Stan turns to Thomas and says "We don't pay out on those odds" and the session ends with things looking increasingly dicey for the PCs - their guns are locked up in the gun lockers, they are surrounded by unhappy yet heavily armed people, and Nathan is unable to collect his rather substantial winnings!

Assets defined:

MMA Fighter (named Jonas Beiber, Samoan, has a big tell - missing left eye, Thomas, permanent for the job) D6
Assault rifle behind the bar D6
Guards (half the guards were at Shannon’s last fireworks show) D6

Complications defined:
Heightened security D6, then D8
“We don’t pay out on your kind of fighting” D6, then D8

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