Thursday, September 28, 2017

Actual Play: FATE High Road to China Session 2

High Road to China Session 2 Write-Up

Played Friday, January 13th, 2017

Dramatis Personae
  • Fiona, a rich heiress (played by J)
  • Faye, a reporter (played by R)
  • Angelo, a gambler (played by T)
  • Constance Sicard, a friend of Lambert
  • An Old Man
  • Two Stampe SV.4 airplanes
  • Some locals
  • Pursuing thugs from Uncle Louis
  • Pursuing thugs from François Lejeune
  • Lambert, Fiona's loyal butler (referred to but not present)
  • Pierre Gaumont, Fiona's missing father, owner of Gaumont Industrie de Paris (referred to but not present)
  • Louis Gaumont, Fiona's uncle, seeking to take over Gaumont Industrie de Paris (referred to but not present)
  • François Lejeune, another member of the board of directors, late 20s, rich and entitled, family runs the Lejeune Company (referred to but not present)

Fiona races off to the Temple of Athena Nike to meet up with Constance.

She pulls up and is spotted by Faye, who's on the scene, hoping to catch a celebrity at the historic site. It turns out that Fiona was Faye's roommate of 3 years while they were students together at Mount Ida College but Fiona never remembered Faye, even when they were living together.

It also turns out that Faye has a fling with François, to get a story, but now she wants to see him ruined in revenge (or get a good story out of his ruin, whichever gets her the Pulitzer!).

Faye follows Fiona and sees her meeting with a woman painting on a canvas near the temple. She doesn't get close enough to hear their conversation.
Fiona approaches a woman painting and says "I'm in a little bit of a rush... do you know where Constance Sicard is?" while blowing cigarette smoke in a cloud around the woman.

The woman smiles and says "Did Philipe send you?", confusing Fiona.

Constance laughs and says "Your butler's first name is Philipe. Did you really not know that?" The thought of her butler having a private life shocks Fiona.

Fiona says "Aide-toi et le ciel t'aidera. ("Heaven helps those who help themselves")" and Constance gathers up her painting supplies and takes Fiona by the arm. They stroll around the temple talking.

Faye pays a local to give Fiona's car a flat tire but the local runs off with the money. Convinced there is a story, she rushes back to Fiona's car when she realizes that Fiona and Constance are heading back there in a wide loop, and hides in the covered back seat of the car.

Fiona says "I need a way to get out of the city.. far out of the city, without all the goons" to Constance. Constance asks why and Fiona replies "I need to find my father, so we don't go bankrupt to my uncle..." Faye overhears all of this and starts taking notes, like a good reporter.

Constance writes something down on a piece of paper and sticks it in Fiona's pocket "for later, you'll know when to use it" and tells Fiona there is an aerodrome, formerly a military air base, outside of Athens. It's easily missed and she should be able to find a plane there to escape the city. It's called the Hellenikon Air Base.

Realizing she hasn't much time, Fiona jumps in the car and speeds off. Constance calls after her "No fear, we'll enjoy your Lafayette '05 while you're gone!" Fiona grumbles "I should have taken the wine cellar keys from him before I left!"

Angelo, meanwhile, is stuck at the Hellenikon Air Base, after having arrived there on a cheap flight a few hours ago. Taxis are few and far between, so Angelo whiles the time away with playing poker with the few people in one of the hangers.

A local comes by and speaks fast Greek to the airport workers and they all leave, it turns out, because there is a bounty on Fiona's head, alive, and they start searching for her. An Old Man remains behind and continues to play poker with Angelo.

While driving to Hellenikon, Fiona realizes that Faye is in the car when she goes around a corner fast, causing Faye to hit her head and make a sound.
Faye claims that she was hit over the head and dumped in the car but Fiona recognizes her from when she was hanging around François a few months ago (but not that she used to live with her for 3 years!).

Fiona accuses her of working with François but Faye claims she was fleeing François, saying "I hate François! He's a no good scoundrel!" and hope Fiona will take her with her.

Faye trades mechanic service for passage and they make it to the air base, arriving in front of the only two people there, the Old Man and Angelo.

Fiona asks to buy a plane and the Old Man, in perfect English, offers his two Stampe SV.4s for Fiona's Stuts Bearcat, an advantageous trade for the Old Man.

Fiona realizes that if she's to escape, two planes are better than one, in case one breaks down, so she buys both and wonders aloud about another pilot.

Angelo says he's a pilot and the two bicker, getting into a bet about who's the better pilot. Fiona says "I bet I could drive CIRCLES around you, land or air!" If Fiona wins, Angelo will work for free, if Angelo wins, Fiona will pay him double!

The Old Man is enthusiastic about this and gives them the keys to the planes. They take off, with Faye in Fiona's plane, and a good tailwind helps Fiona fly off (Aspect: Good Tailwind -- 1 free invoke).

They race through the sky, with Fiona in the lead, then they perform some aerial acrobatics, both doing quite well. In the end, the Old Man declares Fiona the winner and when he finds out she's heading to the Middle East, he goes into the hangar and brings out two Lewis Light Machine Guns and mounts them on the planes. He provides several extra drums of ammo, knowing they will need it.

That's when the various goons searching for Fiona arrive. The heroes jump into their planes and escape before the baddies arrive. As they fly away, they don't spot anyone following them.

They fly roughly 500 miles to Antalya, Turkey, and then another 500 miles on to Cyprus, ending the day there. While in Cyprus, Fiona finds out that her father passed through several years ago, heading towards Tehran. Faye, writing furiously, sends stories into the newspaper about their adventures in Athens when she lands in Antalya, and then another story about Antalya when they land at Cyprus.

Faye interviews Angelo, asking "Are you trying to cash in on that bounty?" Angelo is cagey and Faye asks "Whatcha in for?Money, the thrill of danger, running from something?" Angelo simply says "All three, maybe!"

They leave Cyprus on the second day, landing in Jerusalem on their first 500 mile leg of the day's flying. Since Fiona's father has a warehouse in the city, Fiona keeps a low profile. Faye posts a story about their stay on Cyprus while Angelo volunteers to go to Fiona's father's warehouse for clues.

When Angelo asks about Fiona's father, Pierre Gaumont, with the worker, he misses when the worker talks to the manager. The manager makes a phone call then comes out into the factory to talk with Angelo.

Angelo claims to be looking for Pierre, but the manager, Grégory Plessis, says "M. Gaumont isn't here. In fact, I've heard sad news. His daughter, Fiona, a mentally unstable woman, ran away from her house in Athens and her uncle Louis is looking for her, for her safety. A reward is offered."

Angelo, with his Devilish good looks, tricks Grégory to reveal something about Pierre, where he was last. The manager lets slip that Pierre was headed towards India, after Tehran. Angelo leaves and watches to make sure he's not followed.

The trio fly off in the pair of airplanes, on their second leg of their flight, with Baghdad as their destination.

A half-hour from Baghdad, two planes dive at them from out of the sun, firing at them. Both planes are hit with superficial bullet holes in the fuselage and wings as danger and death approach!

Next time: Will Fiona, Faye and Angelo be shot down? Who will survive the aerial dogfight? Will Faye's stories reach the press? 

Tune in Next Time for High Road to China!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Actual Play: FATE High Road to China Character Profile Fiona

Name: Fiona Gaumont (Played by J)

High Concept: Spoiled Heiress Looking for her Father
Trouble: Craves Control
Aspect: Amateur Pilot
Aspect: Not just a pretty face
Aspect: Feisty and spirited

Approaches: Flashy +3, Clever and Quick +2, Careful and Forceful +1, Sneaky +0

  • Everything has a price: once per session can overcome an obstacle with the power of $$$ if possible
  • Everything you can do I can do better: when I use flashy I get a +2 to overcome or create an advantage in response to another character's action

Fate Points: 3

Friday, September 22, 2017

Actual Play: FATE High Road to China Session 1

High Road to China Session One Write-Up

Played Friday, December 9th, 2016

Dramatis Personae
  • Fiona, a rich heiress (played by J)
  • Lambert, Fiona's loyal butler
  • Pierre Gaumont, Fiona's missing father, owner of Gaumont Industrie de Paris
  • Louis Gaumont, Fiona's uncle, seeking to take over Gaumont Industrie de Paris
  • Raoul Bellanger, member of the board of directors, ally of Fiona's
  • Gilles Villette, member of the board of directors, ally of Fiona's
  • Henri Naveau, member of the board of directors, ally of Fiona's
  • François Lejeune, another member of the board of directors, late 20s, rich and entitled, family runs the Lejeune Company
  • Florian Frassin, another member of the board of directors, bought by Fiona to be on her side
  • Pursuing thugs from Uncle Louis
  • Pursuing thugs from François Lejeune

The Scene: Athens, Greece

The Time: 1921

Several years after the Great War, Fiona is living in Athens, Greece, in a large mansion with her loyal family butler, Lambert.

Her father went to the East right after the Great War to secure more business and she hasn't seen him for several years.

She receives notices from several members of the board of directors of Gaumont Industrie de Paris that her uncle Louis is making a play for the controlling interest of the company, which is bad because he'll ruin the company in less than six months, whereas it would take her at least 2 years to ruin it (at least according to Lambert). 

If Uncle Louis takes over the company, she'll lose the mansion, the money and everything!

She jumps into action, contacting several members of the board in Paris, Raoul, Gilles and Henri, and convinces them to side with her in the power struggle. She receives a telegram from François Lejeune that he will side with her if she marries him and together they will control both his family company and hers.

She realizes that François is a rich, entitled brat, although a handsome one, and that he would take full control, which isn't what she wants, so she agrees to marry him but only if she gets her father's permission as a ruse to stall for time. Her plan is to go to the East, find her father and get him to sign a document naming her a member of the board and the CEO of the company. She figures she has only a few weeks to get this done.

Lambert then warns her that she must flee because they will soon come for her and that they will bribe him to betray her. As if on cue, the phone rings and Lambert negotiates with the caller his 30 pieces of silver to betray her up from 10,000 francs to 42,000 francs (after all, he is just a simple butler). He tells the caller that she has gone to the Monastiraki (a famous market in Athens) to buy clothes.

Lambert hangs up the phone and proceeds to the study's safe, removing documents that Fiona needs to have her father sign as well as bundles of cash. He takes 42,500 francs for himself, saying "You paid me better than they did, so of course I let you escape!"

Fiona, realizing that these forces against her mean business, grabs a shopping bag, sticks the case with the documents and cash in it, and rushes out the door, kissing Lambert goodbye. Lambert suggests she avoid her friends as they will probably be watched but says that his friends probably won't be. 

He says "Go to Constance Sicard. She is often painting the Temple of Athena Nike this time of day. Tell her 'Aide-toi et le ciel t'aidera.' ("Heaven helps those who help themselves")."

As a parting gift of advice, he tells Fiona "Bon marché tire agent de bourse.("If you buy cheaply, you pay dearly.")."

Fiona runs outside, pretending to tell Lambert she is going to buy a dress, and jumps into her 1914 Yellow Stutz Bearcat automobile and tears out of the mansion's driveway, heading towards the Monastiraki.

She spots two Citroën Torpedo 1919 automobiles on her tail, one from the Lejeune company and the other presumably from her uncle.

Driving like a mad-woman through the streets of Athens, the two Citroëns menace her and start a running gun battle between them. Fiona, calling upon her abilities gained as the Winner of the Athen's Invitational Off-Road Women's Course of 1920 (Aspect, 1 free invoke), manages to leave them in the dust as they plow into a fruit stand and a coffee shop after missing the break-neck turn she made.

The driver of the Lejeune car salutes her as she drives away... into further danger!

Next time: Will Fiona gain assistance to find her father?

Tune in Next Time for High Road to China!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Actual Play: FATE High Road to China Set-Up

Your father is somewhere in China. Maybe. Well, he's somewhere in the East. Yeah, over there, somewhere. Don't know from nothing where he is.

You lost touch a few years ago. Wait.... has it really been 10 years?

Your uncle is trying to have him declared dead so he can take over the company. He thinks you're a sap and you'll just scram. Thinks that giving you the High-hat will get you to back off.

You don't want that. It'll cut into your inheritance..... And your partying.

So you've got enough dough to hire a flyboy or two, the Real McCoys, and buy a couple of planes, rust buckets that give the ole Bronx Cheer.

Some friends, one a live wire, one a bearcat, want to come along, too. Thinking it'll be a hoot. Hopefully none of them are all wet.

Your uncle is a devious bastard. He'll do anything to stop you, even send some hard boiled hoods after you.

So get a wiggle on, right out of that gin-mill you've been hanging out in, and take to the road: The High Road to China.

From 2016 through 2017, I ran a five-episode one-shot of High Road to China using Fate Accelerated Edition, in a homebrew setting based upon the classic 1980s film, on Roll20 with three players and wrote up the session notes. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Actual Play: FATE Eagle Eyes: Herculaneum -- In the Shadow of Vesuvius Character Profile Aetius

High Aspect: ex-Mystery Cult assassin, orphaned by the Cult's High Priest
Trouble: Gnaeus Lucius, the Cult of Attis' High Priest, wants me dead
Ideal: my anonymity is my weapon
Petitio Videtur: I want to become untouchable
Virtus: The Right weapon at the right time

Approaches: Sneaky +3, Quick and Clever +2, Forceful and Careful +1, Flashy 0

  • Because My Anonymity is My Weapon, I get +2 when I Sneakily avoid being noticed.

In-Play Generated Aspects:
  • Even in the dark, I can find my way (Succeed with Style, 2 free invokes)

Fate Points: 3

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Actual Play: FATE Eagle Eyes: Herculaneum -- In the Shadow of Vesuvius Session 4

Here's the write-up for Session 4 of Eagle Eyes One-Shot that occurred Friday, September 23rd, 2016.

Dramatis Personae:
  • Sabin, a Resourceful Widow of a Rich Patrician (Played by R)
  • Prim, Sabin's slave (Played by J)
  • Cassius, a Devil-May-Care Poet (Played by W)
  • Aetius, a ex-Mysteries Cult Assassin (Played by A, not present)
  • Mystery Man, the Eagle's representative in Herculaneum and the PCs boss, called Quintus (a Equestrian) and Glaucus (a Patrician) by various folks
  • Pomptina, second wife of Kaeso, probably having an affair with Kaeso's son, Antonius
  • Antonius, son of Kaeso by his first wife
  • Gymnasia, Antonius' girlfriend
  • Senator Senex
  • Lycus, a rich guest at the party, unknown what he does, is he a official or a criminal?
  • Gallus, a friend of Prim's
  • Gloriosus, a slave who's 7'4" tall (played by Andre the Giant in the film version) who is a friend of Prim
  • Various guests, guards and servants
  • A tiger

The session begins with the tiger roaring through the house.

Sabin, knowing that Prim is in the secret tunnels, heads towards the tiger roaring, hoping that Prim is OK. Prim, escaped from the tunnels, is thinking the same thing about Sabin, so she heads back into the house.

But the crowd blocks her way. She spots a friend of hers, Gloriosus, a 7'4" tall slave. She convinces him to part the crowd for her and they go in search of Sabin.

Cassius is still busy with Gymnasia in one of the bedrooms so he pauses, briefly, and then ignores the sound.

Sabin passes through the Triclinium and meets a foppish nobleman who claims to have good creativity but all he does is talk. The other drunk diners laugh at the sound of the tiger.

Sabin is turning the corner towards where the tiger is and the bedrooms and Prim spots her from afar.

Aetius, carrying the naked Antonius, rushes through the Triclinium and crashes into Gloriosus, knocking himself down.

Sabin doesn't find the tiger, it's disappeared again, probably back into the secret tunnels.

Meanwhile, the drunk diners in the Triclinium call for Prim and Gloriosus to perform, so Gloriosus picks up the stunned Aetius and the unconscious naked Antonius and starts a grotesque manniquin play with them. Prim dances around them amid roars of laughter from the crowd.

Sabin turns back and watches the manniquin show with amusement.

Cassius looks out the door but doesn't see the tiger. He hears the crowd and gets jealous that he's not the center of attention.
He gets dressed and hurries out. Gymnasia, naked except for a sheet, follows.

In the Tricilinium, Cassius starts accompanying Gloriosus' manniquin play, helping the giant create a compelling story.

Gymnasia joins in and quickly loses her sheet, dancing with Prim around Gloriosus naked.

At that point, the tiger shows up and everyone freezes. The tiger looks fascinated at the weirdness going on.

Sabin uses her great beauty as well as being the center of attention to bring the tiger under her control and end the manniquin show with a wild cheer from the drunk crowd.

The tiger's owner quickly muzzles and leashes the tiger and the guests start heading home, saying that Pomptina's party was the best party ever!

The Mystery Man shows up, asks Prim if she accomplished her task. Prim hands over the fake ledger. He turns to Sabin and she hands over the real ledger. The Mystery Man turns to Cassius and commends him, saying "well done. I'll most likely kill you in the morning." Cassius isn't sure if he's joking.

Aetius shakes off the giant's hand and storms out, pissed that he was used as a puppet.

The Mystery Man smiles and says "come, children, let's go home" and leads the heroes out, just as dawn breaks and bathes them in a golden glow.

Gymnasia, still naked, snuggles up to the unconscious Antonius lying on the floor.

Lycus lies unconscious in a cell, somewhere in Herculenium, as the Mystery Man and his brutishly large companion look in on him. The Mystery Man says something along the lines of Sabin's drug did quite the job, we don't expect him to awake for many hours.

Cassius tries to chat up Sabin but she's been fooled once, and she's no fool.

The End.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Actual Play: FATE Eagle Eyes: Herculaneum -- In the Shadow of Vesuvius Character Profile Cassius

NameCassius Rex
High Aspect: Fools say otherwise, but I AM the Handsomest Performer to Walk these Streets
Trouble: I've charmed 100 women and Their Husbands Want Me Dead
Ideal: Play to the Calling of Your Heartstrings
Petitio Videtur: Everyone Will Know My Name
Virtus: My Performances Best Apollo Himself

Approaches: Flashy +3, Quick and Clever +2, Sneaky and Careful +1, Forceful 0

  • Because all the world is my stage, I get a +2 when I flashily create an advantage when all eyes are on me.
  • Because I am a Handsome Devil, I inflict a mild consequence (e.g. Charmed, distracted, besotted, etc.) on a woman when I invoke "Fools say otherwise, but I AM the Handsomest Performer to Walk these Streets"

In-Play Generated Aspects:
  • Keep 'em Laughing (Succeed with Style)
  • Earned Butler's enmity (1 free GM invoke due to succeed at minor cost)
  • Wide Open Spaces (for the Party) (Succeed with Style, 0 free invokes)

Fate Points: 3

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Actual Play: FATE Eagle Eyes: Herculaneum -- In the Shadow of Vesuvius Session 3

Here's the write-up for Session 3 of Eagle Eyes One-Shot that occurred Friday, September 9th, 2016.

Dramatis Personae:
  • Sabin, a Resourceful Widow of a Rich Patrician (Played by R)
  • Prim, Sabin's slave (Played by J)
  • Cassius, a Devil-May-Care Poet (Played by W)
  • Aetius, a ex-Mysteries Cult Assassin (Played by A, not present)
  • Mystery Man, the Eagle's representative in Herculaneum and the PCs boss, called Quintus (a Equestrian) and Glaucus (a Patrician) by various folks
  • Marcus Verus, brother-in-law of Sabin, murdered Sabin's husband and inherited everything, leaving Sabin and her child nothing
  • Octavia, Marcus' wife, had a relationship with Cassius
  • Kaeso, murdered Patrician Merchant
  • Pomptina, second wife of Kaeso, probably having an affair with Kaeso's son, Antonius
  • Antonius, son of Kaeso by his first wife
  • Gymnasia, Antonius' girlfriend
  • Kaeso's chief Butler
  • Senator Senex
  • Phillia, a widow and head of a powerful merchant house
  • Lycus, a rich guest at the party, unknown what he does, is he a official or a criminal?
  • Various guests, guards and servants
  • The tiger's owner
  • A tiger

The scene opens with Prim trying to escape through the secret passages in Kaeso's villa. She succeeds in escaping from the guards and servants and loses any pursuit in the passages.

Completely lost, she figures she's near the sleeping quarters and follows the sound of the party through the secret passages, eventually finding a secret door that dumps her out into the garden, screened by some potted plants and a palm tree.

As the secret door is closing, the tiger attacks and takes a swing at her but she avoids being hurt, knocking over the potted plants and gaining the attention of the party goers and the tiger's owner, who berates her loudly with "where is my tiger!?!?!" This brings Prim to the attention of Marcus Verus.

Marcus comes over and grabs Prim, demanding to know about Sabin. He starts beating her but Sabin arrives with Cassius and intervenes, not before Prim gets bloodied by the brute.

Sabin successfully embarrasses him in front of the other guests and in a rage he turns and sees his wife Octavia talking with Cassius, the man who had an affair with Octavia just a few months ago.

Filled with murderous intent, Marcus charges towards Cassius, who promptly fades into the crowd with Octavia and they disappear to have a private assignation.

Prim thanks Sabin for saving her from Marcus' brutality. Sabin, after a quick look at the ledger with the bribes and other payments in it, figures out three possible marks in the crowd: Senator Senex, Phillia (a widow and merchant who Sabin hopes to emulate) and Lycus, a rich man of mysterious occupation.

She realizes that Senator Senex is the most important and observes that Lycus is talking to him. Senex is looking very uncomfortable, like a man who thought his problems were over but now they are doubled.

As Sabin drifts through the crowd toward Senex, Lycus takes the Senator's toga (which Sabin sees have blood on them) and wanders off.

Prim decides to go back to the library to complete the job the Mystery Man gave her. After her beating, with a black eye she figures she's unrecognizable but she grabs the toga that Lycus sets down and heads into the house.

With her puffy, bruised face, she gets by the guards with no problem and encounters the servant she shut the library door on right outside the library. Expressing concern, she helps the servant to go rest elsewhere. The servant fails to recognize her and goes off.

Prim sneaks into the library, where Pomptina and her maid are still passed out and Kaeso is still dead. She rifles through the desk and finds the fake ledger that Sabin left behind. She realizes that this is the ledger to show the taxman or a city official to fool them. She pockets it and tries to leave.

Meanwhile, Cassius and Octavia are having sex in one of the bedrooms in the villa when Marcus bursts in with a sword, intent on killing the poet. Cassius escapes into the secret passages by the skin of his teeth and exits into one of the other bedrooms, where he, buck naked except for a lute, encounters the tiger's owner. 

Boldly Cassius greets the tiger's owner, as Gymnasia, Antonius' girlfriend and also naked, walks into the bedroom. The tiger's owner, confused about what's going on, leaves. Cassius charms Gymnasia with his good looks, nakedness and lute.

Meanwhile, Sabin approaches Senator Senex and he spills the beans: he killed Kaeso because Kaeso was blackmailing him. Now he fears that Lycus will also blackmail him. Sabin convinces the senator that she has friends who can help him and bundles him off to her villa outside the city, escorted with her guards who have orders not to let the senator leave.

Prim hides in the library when she hears people outside the library door, fearing they will come in. She hides herself among the unconscious Pomptina and her maid, until she decides to bluff her way out.

Prim opens the door to the library and boldy walks out, right into a servant telling her friend Gallus all about Pomptina's fascination with peas, green peas, yellow peas, and the various sauces for them.

Sabin notices that Lycus is looking around for the toga that Prim took and approaches him with a goblet of knock-out drugged wine. He foolishly drinks it and drops unconscious for a good 14 or 15 hours. Sabin summons the Chief Butler and asks him to have some servants take Lycus to sleep it off.

Gallus tries to escape the peas-talking servant by getting Prim involved in the conversation but both are soon trapped by the boring servant. Several guards come up and Prim and Gallus manage to switch places with them, leaving the guards to talk peas with the servant. As they walk away, they hear one of the guards talking about how much he likes peas. Prim offers up one final bit of pea advice: a nice butter sauce, before escaping.

The Chief Butler orders his servants to take Lycus to the bedrooms and they open the first bedroom door, to find a sword stuck in the wall and Marcus making violent love to Octavia, his wife.

They kick the door shut and move to the next bedroom, where they find Cassius making love to Gymnasia. The other servant kicks that door shut and they move on to the third bedroom.

Opening the door, they are startled when Aetius comes charging out with a naked Antonius over his shoulder, hotly pursued by the tiger. The two servants drop Lycus and run like hell away, as the final visual shot is the tiger roaring over the unconscious body of Lycus.

One more session to wrap it up!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Actual Play: FATE Eagle Eyes: Herculaneum -- In the Shadow of Vesuvius Character Profile Prim

Name: Primula AKA Prim
High Aspect: Slave trying to buy her own freedom
Trouble: Queasy Stomach
Ideal: Out of sight out of mind
Petitio Videtur: When I'm Rich I'll Be A Better Person
Virtus: Friends around every corner

Approaches: Sneaky +3, Careful and Clever +2, Forceful and Quick +1, Flashy 0

  • Because I'm a slave and no one pays attention to me get +2 to sneaky in situations where slaves are not unusual

In-Play Generated Aspects:
  • Familiar with Kaeso Bucculeius Silanus Estate's Layout (0 free invokes) but Marcus Verus is at the party
  • Too much out of place (negative aspect)
  • Bloodied (minor consequence, negative aspect)
  • Disguise (Success with Style, 1 free invokes)

Fate Points: 4

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Actual Play: FATE Eagle Eyes: Herculaneum -- In the Shadow of Vesuvius Session 2

Here's the write-up for Session 2 of the Eagle Eyes One-Shot that occurred Friday, August 26th, 2016.

Dramatis Personae:
  • Sabin, a Resourceful Widow of a Rich Patrician (Played by R)
  • Cassius, a Devil-May-Care Poet (Played by W)
  • Aetius, a ex-Mysteries Cult Assassin (Played by A)
  • Prim, Sabin's slave (Played by J but absent this episode)
  • Mystery Man, the Eagle's representative in Herculaneum and the PCs boss, called Quintus (a Equestrian) and Glaucus (a Patrician) by various folks
  • Kaeso, murdered Patrician Merchant
  • Pomptina, second wife of Kaeso, probably having an affair with Kaeso's son, Antonius
  • Antonius, son of Kaeso by his first wife
  • Kaeso's chief Butler
  • Various guests, guards and servants
  • A tiger

The session begins with Cassius and Sabin at the party. Sabin makes herself the center of attention to better control Pomptina, since she lost track of Kaeso. Cassius makes himself the center of attention as well, keeping the audience laughing.

Both hearing the shout for "Guards! Guards! The master has been murdered!"

Pomptina is freaking out because guards with bared swords are running through her party, ruining it and dashing her hope for social elevation. She isn't understanding that her husband has been killed.

Sabin takes the opportunity to ingratiate herself more into Pomptina's companionship and sticks to her like glue. A servant comes and tells Pomptina that the master, her husband, has been murdered. Pomptina is in shock and doesn't understand what's going on.

Sabin asserts control, as a patrician, over the servant and has him take them to the head butler, who is standing outside the library with guards and the servant brained by Prim. There is no sign of Prim and the servant can't say who brained him.

Sabin takes over and gives orders to the butler, who isn't sure who's in charge, Sabin or Pomptina, but Sabin wins and he promptly orders the guards to search for the assassin while following Sabin's orders to protect the guests by having them move the party to the garden to see the performing tiger.

Cassius is still entertaining the audience when the butler arrives and starts giving orders. Cassius gets his way with the butler but earns undying enmity as a result. He then spends some time making sure the party is split into smaller groups so that there is more space to sneak around in.

Flashback: Aetius is an assassin for the Attis Mystery Cult. His boss, Gnaeus Lucius, the Cult of Attis' High Priest, orders him to kill a former cult member who didn't like how Gnaeus was treating his riches as if they were his own. Gnaeus has been acting more and more erratic over the past few weeks and, while Aetius has been told to kill enemies of the cult, this is the first time he's been told to kill a former cult member. Aetius is told to make it look like an accident and so he stalks the former cult member. 

When the former cult member's family goes to a party a week later without him, Aetius sneaks in the house and tries to kill him. It goes completely pear-shaped. The former cult member is a knife fighter par excellence and beats Aetius like a punching bag, forcing Aetius to kill him in a bloody, murderous way before escaping.

That blows Gnaeus' plans to get the former cult member's family back in the fold (as well as their riches) all to hell and the family accuse Gnaeus of his murder. Aetius, battered and stabbed, is told to meet at a place where he expects Gnaeus to have him killed. He instead goes to see his parents and finds them killed by Gnaeus' men. Aetius is discovered by his parents neighbors, who assume he killed them, so a mob forms, lead by the Cohortes Urbani (city watchmen), and they chase him.

Aetius runs down a narrow alley and is blocked by the mountainous man seen in previous flashbacks. With scant seconds to spare ahead of the mob, the walking mountain grabs Aetius and pushes him through a door to temporary safety.

The room is dark until the Mystery Man lights a candle and explains the circumstances to Aetius. Aetius is recruited to the Eagles and over the next few months he does some jobs here and there, not always killing, but often making sure accidents happen that have some sort of effect that the Mystery Man wants. He lives on an estate outside of Herculaneum and notices that Sabin is brought there and becomes the mistress of the estate. He also notes Prim's arrival.

Back to the Present: Aetius is told by Mystery Man to show up at the party and be prepared to do a deed. He witnesses Sabin become the center of the party and Cassius playing his instrument. When the screaming starts, Mystery Man brings him down an empty corridor and shows him a secret passage, telling him to grab Kaeso's son Antonius, alive.

He promptly gets lost in the secret passages in the mansion.

Sabin, now alone with Pomptina, brings her into the room with the corpse of Kaeso to see what's going on. Pomptina sees the dead body and faints, and a handmaiden starts fanning her while Sabin sends the other one to get smelling salts. 

Cassius, wanting to know what's going on, goes to where he heard the screaming start and sees the library door partially open. Sabin, momentarily not stuck with Pomptina, proceeds to riffle through the library's desk as Cassius sees her through the partially open door.

Sabin finds two sets of books, one with a red cover the real one with names, dates, amounts and why payments were made, and the other, with a brown cover and embossed with a crown, with the fake bookkeeping. Kaeso was stupid and didn't put anything in code. Sabin hides the red book on her person.
Aetius is lost and can't find his way to find Antonius and stumbles through a secret door into the library, at the same time that Cassius, intrigued by the beautiful Sabin, walks into the library and quietly closes the door behind him. The secret door closes behind Aetius.

The three look at each other and Sabin pulls a dagger, expecting trouble. At the sight of possible violence, the handmaiden, who is fanning the unconscious Pomptina, faints.

The three are startled when Mystery Man opens the secret door Aetius came through and addresses each of them. To Aetius, he says "I thought I told you to get Antonius." To Sabin "Where is your slave Prim and what are you doing here?" and to Cassius "Aren't you supposed to be distracting the guests?" He rounds out his queries with an appeal to the gods "What the hell am I paying you three for?!?!?!" then disappears back into the secret passages.

Realizing that they are all Eagles, they get back to work. Aetius goes back into the secret passages and finds where Antonius is -- he's in a room in the mansion, having sex with his girlfriend. When she steps into the bathroom to clean up, Aetius quickly jumps in the room, subdues the naked Antonius and drags him into the secret passage. The girlfriend, thinking he ran off after having his fun, gets pissed and goes off in a huff.

Cassius and Sabin head to the party and introduce each other. Cassius charms Sabin with his handsome demeanor, putting her off her guard. In the gardens, they learn that the tiger is missing.

Meanwhile, Aetius, carrying a naked Antonius through the secret passages, hears the tiger roaring in the secret passages but can't figure out where it is! Sabin also hears the tiger loose in the mansion!

Session 2 ends with a tiger on the loose!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Actual Play: FATE Eagle Eyes: Herculaneum -- In the Shadow of Vesuvius Character Profile Sabin

NameSabin (Suh-bean) Verus (Were-rus)
High Aspect: Resourceful foreign widow of murdered patrician
Trouble: Brother in law killed my husband and took his property
Ideal: Only to those who deserve it
Petitio Videtur: Rome owes me my rights
Virtus: The poison's in the pudding

Approaches: Clever +3, Flashy and Sneaky +2, Careful and Quick +1, Forceful 0

  • Because I used to be married to a merchant I create an advantage when wheeling and dealing.

In-Play Generated Aspects:
  • Beautiful yet Foreign outfit (Succeed with Style, 2 free invokes)
  • Promptina's Bestie (Success, 1 free invoke)
  • Center of the Party (Success, 1 free invoke)
  • Stuck on like glue (Success, 1 free invoke)
  • I spot the mark (Succeed with Style, 1 free invokes)
  • Tiger at your feet (Success, 1 free invoke)

Fate Points: 3