Thursday, December 28, 2017

Actual Play: Dresden Files Accelerated Hollywoodland Character Profile: Sammy Wesson

Played by R

AGE 26


Sammy is a 26 year old have changeling half-Sidhe. His Sidhe father had a one night stand with his mother Tammy Wesson and the result was Sammy. He was born is Salem Oregon but his mother moved to Portland for work as she struggled as a single parent. Sammy had a relative normal childhood until his wayward father introduced himself to Sammy when Sammy was 17. Sammy was very intrigued by the Fae but he is not sure he wants to be a Winter Fae... their cruelty turns him off despite the fact that he can demonstrate a cruel streak himself. At the age of 19, his father disappeared from his life again and a few months later another Fae entered his life who called herself Marta. She told him to abandon his university studies (scholarship to Reed College) as he was no working for her as his father owed her a debt which he know has to fulfill. Last few years he has been working as an Agent for Marta on behalf of the Winter Court.


High Concept: Half-sidhe coldblooded Enforcer for Marta (Maeve)
Trouble: left with dead beat dad's debt on a string with the the Winter Court (Maeve)
Aspect: Wrong kind of friends- rebellious allies as my dad was a celebrity fae on the wrong side of the winter queens
Aspect: Wanted Secret benefactor (dear old dad is around and helps I just don't know it)
Aspect: show off mage

Clued-In Mortal

Mantle Conditions:
Knowledge sticky(5 box) -- one box for occult knowledge
In too Deep -- one box mark to recover all knowledge gain aspect of enemy
Called (5 box) -- mark one box to use fae stunts

Chasing Rumors -- +2 advantage or overcome with each knowledge box used
Preparation -- mark box knowledge for useful item
Unseelie Magic -- see rules
Familiar Face -- see rules
Glamour -- see rules
Winter Fear -- Because I am Maeve's enforcer, once per session I can create +2 attack to Force attack against targets I am hunting for Marta when telling them Marta wants them dead.
Infamy -- Because of my dad's infamy or fame, once per session I can create +2 guile attack with Fae and Changelings.
Fancy Magic -- Because I will go for some ambitious fancy magic, once per session I can create an advantage for Force with fancy changeling magic.

Force +3
Focus, Intellect +2
Flair, Haste +1
Guile +0

backpack with magical components

3 x 3s:

Yancey Eaton -- ex high school friend who is police sergeant

Ben Crooker -- information broker on the street
Lana Young -- Warner Brothers Actress Friend

Printemps -- a Seelie Changeling who hates his father and makes it his business to mess with Wesson as much as he can

Monday, December 25, 2017

Actual Play: Dresden Files Accelerated Hollywoodland Session 3

Dresden Files Accelerated: Hollywoodland Session 3 Write-up

Played Friday, May 12th, 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)
  • Raymond Sanders, monster hunter/Changeling (played by N, not present)
  • Ted Summers aka The Dazzling Dante, White Court wizard (played by S, not present)
  • Maeve and entourage
  • Darlene Merrit, Daniel's nemesis
  • Some mobsters, dead and alive
  • George McJiminy, of the East Coast McJiminy's, getaway driver

Sammy snuck out of the back of the theatre and hot-footed away from those Unseelie goons. He went to Darren's church, figuring that would be the last place his pursuers would look.

As he crossed the threshold, he heard the clatter of hooves on the street behind him and knew he'd been found. Turning slowly, he saw Her astride a beautiful but slightly otherworldly horse, surrounded by an entourage of Fae, mounted on lesser but still beautiful and slightly otherworldly horses.

Banter was exchanged. She wanted what he was hunting, not for herself but for the betterment of everyone. It would go a long way to overcoming his debt to her (Compel Trouble: "His Father's Debts to be paid"). He promised either to bring it to her or to tell her where to get it, which was pretty foolish on his part as that put him indebted to her to at least find it. His escape clause of "where to get it" might save his bacon.

She and her entourage rode off, but not before she dropped a small cloth bundle onto the street. Sammy retrieved it, knowing that he was safe (for the time being) since he was ostensibly working for Her. Her patience, however, was not infinite.

The cloth bundle was small, about the size of a hand holding an orange, tied with a dark ribbon. When he opened it, he saw it contained a severed and bloody ring finger wearing a well-recognized ring -- his father's. His father's finger, too. Freshly cut off. 

That's when Daniel and Darren walked up and saw him staring at the severed and bloody finger.

The threat of "one piece at a time" was present, but She didn't do just the obvious. There was more purpose to Her actions than merely a pound of flesh. No, Sammy figured that the ribbon and the finger would lead him to where they needed to go (Aspect: "My Father's Finger will Point the Way").

Darren and Daniel were disgusted by the grisly trophy Sammy held and Daniel started asking questions. Sammy revealed it was his father's finger and ring and it would help them find what they were looking for.

They piled into Daniel's '33 Dodge and Sammy sat in the rumble seat in the back, focusing his energy into the finger to find the ghostly kid they spotted earlier.

As Daniel was driving away, a bicyclist ran in front of his car, causing him to screech to a halt. A pretty redhead dropped her bike and walked up to the driver's side door. It was Darlene Merrit, Daniel's nemesis at the Paper.

She smiled and asked what they were up to. She propped herself through the window, over Daniel and shook Darren's hand, then jumped into the rumble seat with Sammy. Darlene asked Darren to grab her bike and secure it to the back of the car so they could get going.

Daniel argued with her, trying to get her out of the car. She told them that some people say that a bunch of folks, including a big-time reporter, got $10,000 each from Vaughn Owen to find something for the Warner Brothers. She also said that these folks were present at Mick's Bar when a known fence was shot and that a later investigation into the fence's shop turned up a large pool of blood but no bodies.

Who could those people be? Darlene asked innocently. Daniel managed to entice her out of the car with a possible lead then escaped, jumping into the car and roaring away into the Hollywood Hills.

Sammy used magic to invoke the finger (Aspect: "The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on"), which pointed at him as if to accuse him of failure, then he managed to get the finger to point towards the leader of the Princes (named Eddie) and they followed the finger around the mansions, until they found one that was large and had a large yard, enclosed by a 8-10 foot wall. The mansion was dark, no light was visible there.

While driving around it, casing it, Darren noted that the name on the mansion gate was "York" and that at one corner was a dark car, idling, the driver only visible with the bright ember of a cigarette. Sammy noted a ladder against the back wall.

Suddenly three gunshots rang out. Then another four, then one, and finally two more. Ten gunshots in the space of a minute or so. Then silence!

Daniel was convinced that the story was in the mansion, so he parked in the back. They noticed that the driver of the idling car was gone but the car was still idling, so Daniel stole the keys and monkeywrenched it.

They climbed the wall using the ladder and saw that the other side had another ladder (someone was thinking). Once on the grounds, they cautiously approached the house and found their way into a room.

They went room to room, looking for the kid Eddie and following the finger. In the great hall, a severed head rolled down the stairs at them. Darren went up to investigate and found a decapitated mobster and a medieval axe stuck in the wall, on the opposite side of the room was an old set of armor, the previous owner of the axe. Darren continued to explore the upstairs.

Sammy found himself in a library, where there were two more mobsters, frozen and dead. He recognized them as some of Legend's men. Legend is a new faction in the area, had barrels of cash and well-trained goons. This is a first for Legend being involved in this sort of situation.

Daniel went through the gallery and a sitting room but wasn't paying close attention and found himself with a gun in his back! Another mobster was holding it to his kidneys and talking blather about getting the kid in a snatch-and-grab. Half his face was bleached white, including the hair.

Darren found a terrace looking down into the house and spotted Daniel being forced through a door by the mobster. The mobster took a shot at him (2 Stress to Darren) as he jumped down and knocked the mobster out (taken out with 4 Stress to mobster). Sirens meant police were on the way.

Sammy caught up with the others and, from the three corpses and the knocked-out guy, deduced that the frozen dead, the axe and the white face were the result of ghosts and poltergeists removing the heat from a room (frozen guys), moving objects (flying axe decapitation) and fear (white face and hair). The frozen guys would have caused a ghost to discorporate for a while until it got it's mojo back.

The knocked out mobster had the bloodmark on him and they presumed that the rest did, too.

The finger started pointing all over, meaning their quarry was either not here or out of range. They quickly escaped, noting an old 1900s painting depicting Eddie and (presumably) Dicky in medieval dress in a dark tower room.

They dashed to the wall as the police arrived and climbed the ladders. They dropped the ladders against the wall so that they were hidden for a while by tall grass and bushes then ran back to their car.

The mobsters' car was still there and the last mobster was trying to get it to work. Daniel stopped and offered him a lift, which he happily took.

He said his name was George McJiminy (of the New England McJiminy's) and they thought it was a fake name. He asked to be dropped at the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel.

Daniel convinced him that they were mobsters, too, (Aspect: "The Boss sent us.....") meant to make sure his group did the job right. He was completely fooled. They got everything out of him, that he was the driver and they were just supposed to go in there and grab the kid and bring him to their boss. Sammy dropped Legend's name and George nodded.

They dropped George off, telling him to be scarce for a while since the boss would be sore about his gang's screw-up and headed for the Biltmore.

Darren realized that he had seen the painting before, in England and it depicted King Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, imprisoned in the Tower of London. The painting was by John Millais, painted in 1878, and titled "The Two Princes Edward and Richard in the Tower, 1483" and that the princes disappeared and were supposedly murdered by their uncle, Richard who became Richard III.

Daniel realized that Darlene was tipped off about them by someone with inside info and was probably being followed so that they were followed. He dismissed as rubbish the obvious culprit, Persephone, (Compel: "Pretty Face") and figured it was her boss Vaughn.

Sammy figured info about Legend. His name is Arthur Legend, he's probably a mobster from back East but Legend is not his real name. He's in conflict with the Black Court vampires and this is the first time, as far as Sammy knows, that he's involved in black magic, with the bloodmark tracking spell. Legend's company is called "Legend and Son" and he's got a mansion of his own in the Hollywood Hills, so why would he be at the Biltmore Hotel?

The session ended with some questions answered but a whole bunch more unanswered: Where's the film? Who all want it? What do the Princes have to do with this? What does Legend want?

Friday, December 22, 2017

Actual Play: Dresden Files Accelerated Hollywoodland Character Profile: Father Darren O'Connel

CHARACTER NAME: Father Darren O'Connel
Played by C

AGE 31


Darren is an Irish immigrant who commissioned as a Roman Catholic Chaplain when he was 26. Transferred to support upcoming operations with the 34th Infantry Division, and ultimately deployed with the 1st Ranger Battalion.

The ensuing massacre in Dieppe, France left thousands of Allies dead and wounded including one young Irish man with No. 4 Commando. In his dying breath this young man asked Chaplain O'Connel for his last rights and to promise safe keeping of chipped, rusting iron blade.

Moments after picking up the sword, sweeping heavy machine gun fire began claiming more of 1st Ranger Battalion and they were forced to retreat. Medically retired after machine gun fire took his left eye in the Dieppe Raid during extraction. While recovering and rehabilitating at West Los Angeles Area Station Hospital, he would have severe nightmares.

Eventually he started having nightmares while he was awake, the flashback of the massacre and things that never happened. Even when he closes his eye he can see evil walking around in human skin, men feeding on the very souls of those they touch.

He sought guidance from priest nearby: what was it that he was seeing and if he was damned and this was his curse. That priest was shocked, but explained that what Darren saw was indeed real and this curse means he is the bearer of Durendal Explaining that the Almighty had told him that one day he would be tasked with training a broken man to bear a great burden.

To rid himself of this burden, he must follow His guidance to destroy the evil which haunts his vision and dreams. Unsure of how a rusty blade could be used to destroy much of anything, the doubt was known to the priest.The blade was blessed such that it will only cut when the intent is righteous so that evil may not bear its strength.

Of course, a man traditionally trained with a M1911 has very little experience with a sword so Darren made his way to Hollywood to learn apt swordsmanship from a Frenchman at Beaulieu, at the advice of the priest.


High Concept: A broken warrior priest seeking redemption
Trouble: Sleepless nights and waking nightmares are a strain on faith
Aspect: Lord forgive me for what I'm about to do, but these bastards must die
Aspect: Rangers lead the way
Aspect: These closed eyes see your true nature

Holy Knight

Mantle Conditions:
On a Mission from God (sticky)
Crisis of Faith

Sword of the Cross (Holy Sword): If On a Mission from God is checked, ignore differences of scale and the weapon attack is considered supernatural. Using the sword while not On a Mission from God, then Crisis of Faith condition is invoked.
Right Place, Right Time: Once per session, arrive at the right time to help someone in need.
(Additional) Divine Defender: Once per session, can take the damage in place of another.

Force +3
Haste, Intellect +2
Guile, Focus +1
Flair +0

Durendal (Holy Sword)

3 x 3s:

Miseur Beaulieu - Fencing instructor, mentor
Father DeMonte - Priest who works at a the church near the hospital

Donny Torrez - Street youth who tried to rob the church, but took some advice from Father DeMonte to change his way after seeing Darren with his holy blade on his back. Sweeps floors at the Bayeu Movie Theater during night showing.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Actual Play: Dresden Files Accelerated Hollywoodland Session 2

Dresden Files Accelerated: Hollywoodland Session 2 Write-up

Played Friday, April 14th, 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)
  • Raymond Sanders, monster hunter/Changeling (played by D, not present)
  • Ted Summers aka The Dazzling Dante, White Court wizard (played by S, not present)
  • Lawrence, a fence on First Street, deceased
  • Five animated corpses
  • Donny Torrez, a street kid contact of Darren's, now on the straight-and-narrow
  • Persephone
  • Some Unseelie goons

Laurence the fence is shown locking up his shop and walking towards Mick's with a jaunty air. He lights a smoke and a passerby asks for a light himself. As he lights the stranger's cigarette, three shots ring out and Laurence's cigarette falls from his mouth, he drops the lighter and looks down at blood rapidly spreading across his shirt. 

The stranger steps back in shock and turns to watch a car speed away, as Laurence stumbles into Mick's and falls dead at Darren, Sammy and Daniel's feet.

Darren starts giving him Last Rites as Daniel rifles through his pockets and Sammy runs out the door but doesn't see anything.

Police sirens are rapidly approaching, so Sammy goes back inside. Mikhail calmly says that no one saw nothing and asks the bar occupants, none of whom volunteer any info. Mikhail suggests that they move on before the police get there.

Daniel takes the keys and the betting slips but leaves the wallet and they pay for their drinks (with a hefty tip) and Mikhail points them to the back door.
They reach the back door right as the police come in the front, and make their escape into the back alley. A few blocks down is Laurence's shop, so they hoof it down there to break in before the cops get there.

They look onto the street and see that there is a police-and-bar-patron brawl going on at Micks, with more police in paddy-wagons showing up to break it up, so they know they won't get disturbed breaking into Laurence's.

The shop is called "Laurence's on First, a boutique". They go around the back and Daniel uses the keys to get in. Daniel leads the way in and Sammy follows. Darren immediately smells blood and lots of it but Daniel and Sammy walk into a pool of it and get blood drips on them.

They immediately step back and see that there are five bodies hanging from the ceiling, dripping blood into a pool on the floor.

Darren sees that the bodies were cut with precision to let out as much blood as possible and that they died around the same time as Laurence. 

Sammy figures out that this was part of a ritual called a Bloodmark Tracking Spell (Aspect with 1 free invoke) that requires 5 to 12 people to do. 

Darren recalls that Laurence had his own Bloodmark ("Laurence's Bloodmark" Aspect with 1 free invoke) which he saw while performing Last Rites. Daniel finds the shops account books and grabs them while Sammy uses his Unseelie Magic to follow up the evil ritual with another to track the 5 to 12 people with the Bloodmark ("Tracking the Trackers" Aspect with 1 free invoke).

Then the dead bodies start moving. The corpses animate, which Sammy later reveals was the end result to the ritual normally but may have been brought earlier by his spell. Daniel and Sammy start to leave but Darren feels compelled ("Mission from God" Mantle condition) to end these undead and free their spirits and bring stop this evil.

He draws Durandal and uses the holy sword to bless the corpses, causing them to finally rest in peace. The heroes realize that they need to find more clues about the kids involved with fencing goods with Laurence.

Darren knows a former street kid named Donny who might be able to help. He's working at a nearby theatre, the Bijou, and sweeps up after the late show.

They head over to the Bijou and watch the late movie, with Donny getting them into the projector booth for some privacy. Daniel goes over the books and figures out the simple code for the real account book that covers the criminal side of the business. In addition to a list of customers ("Laurence's List of Customers and Buyers" Aspect with 1 free compel), he discovers that both Vaughn Owen and Persephone are in the book and tells the others about Vaughn but not about Persephone (Trouble "Sucker for a pretty face" compel).

Sammy notices some Unseelie goons watching the movie and they are actually watching him. His use of magic attracted unwanted attention (Trouble "Debts to the Unseelie Court" compel).

Darren is stressed due to the death, undead and pool of blood so is out of sorts and doesn't enjoy the film (Trouble "Sleepless nights and nightmares" compel).

When the movie is over, they get a chance to talk with Donny as he sweeps up. They ask Donny about the kids and he tells them about the Princes, what he knows. 

He knows that most people call them "The Princes" or "The Princes of Tower Street" but they don't hang out near Tower Street, so he knows that is fake. He knows that Eddie and Dicky are brothers (Eddie is 12 and Dicky is 9), and that the "old man" that they claim run the gang is a fake, he doesn't exist, it's Eddie and Dicky that are in charge. 

He was there when the Princes met up with a rival gang and recalls that Eddie said specifically that they were "The Princes in the Tower" but everyone thought the tower meant Tower Street. He knows that they have safe-houses all over the city in their gang members' homes but that Eddie and Dicky live in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills and they speak with a posh English accent.

He is evasive when Sammy asks if Eddie and Dicky have killed anyone but he does say that both Eddie and Dicky are creepy, that they don't act like 12 and 9 year olds. Darren describes the ghostly kid he and Daniel saw to Donny (without the ghostly details) and Donny confirms that was Eddie.

Daniel goes to the lobby and, although it is late, calls Persephone to discuss an in-person meeting. She picks up and is delighted to hear from him but can't meet tonight as she has dinner guests over. Daniel hears someone on the line say "help me" which he takes to be from a radio program or maybe Persephone is watching a Warner Brothers movie. They arrange to meet the next morning.

Sammy goes out to the lobby and hears someone calling for help on the phone line as Daniel finishes up his call with Persephone.

Sammy is nervous about the Unseelie goons. The theatre manager is cleaning the concession stand bar and tells him that his friends are waiting for him outside. Sammy offers him 5 dollars for the back way and the manager shakes him down for 5 more before pointing him to the exit in the movie theatre. Sammy beats feet and escapes.

Darren and Daniel step outside and encounter the Unseelie goons. The goons ask them to remind Sammy that he has debts and She's going to collect. Daniel insults one of the goons and the other pulls his pal away, saying they'll meet again.

The session ends with Darren and Daniel standing outside the dark theatre in the early morning with more questions than answers.

Who is using Blood magic to track and what are they tracking, the film? How many are there, with Laurence dead, there could be 4 to 11 more out there. What is it about the Princes? How do they figure into this? The body count has risen to 6 in such a short time and it seems more death is on the horizon......

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Actual Play: Dresden Files Accelerated Hollywoodland Character Profile: Daniel Ehrlichmann

CHARACTER NAME: Daniel Ehrlichmann
Played by F

AGE 32

LOOKS: Black hair, blue eyes, slender build, often unshaved and in yesterday's clothes, fast on the draw with his smokes.

ORIGIN: Immigrated into the United States in the early 30s due persecution because of his Jewish ancestry, the rest of his family tried to migrate to Switzerland, but were turned away and he doesn't know their current whereabouts. 

He started working on the east coast as a journalist, and quite successfully at that. After a hot affair with a mysterious blonde, he started to transform into a predatory animal - a wereleopard. After that fateful night he never saw her again, and she is the one mystery that he didn't manage to solve at all. 

His at start uncontrollable transformations thoroughly ruined all his job prospects, put him on the bottle for quite a while, and made him start travelling about just like all the other poor sods, hobos, etc. - finally, leading him all the way to the west coast.

During the time on the road he gradually managed to master his transformations. That newly found self-control and stability made him look out for some more steady jobs. In the news media he found his "mundane" footing again. His desire to hunt down a news story, to "make the kill", resulted in him pissing off quite a lot of powerful people. But not even some physical "persuasion" would deter him from pursuing his "prey". A nice pair of gams and a pretty face might, though.


High Concept: Relentless News-Hunter
Trouble: Sucker for a Pretty Face
Aspect: Professional Troublemaker
Aspect: The Heart of a Predator
Aspect: Darren's kind of a Guardian Angel

Werecreature (Wereleopard)
Reporter (mundane mantle)

Mantle Conditions:
Physical Transformation (sticky) [  ]
Press Credentials [X]
Off-the-Air (sticky) [ ]

Beast Whisperer (Werecreature Core Stunt)
The Human Touch (Werecreature Core Stunt)
Journalist Favors (Reporter Core Stunt)
Word on the Street (Reporter Core Stunt)
Media Frenzy (Reporter Core Stunt)
Shifting Adept (Werecreature Stunt; Free Stunt)
Fleeting Transformation (Werecreature Stunt, -1 Refresh)

Intellect +3
Guile, Focus +2
Force, Haste +1
Flair +0

diverse Pens, several Notpads, a Pocket Camera, a Flashlight, Smokes, Lighter, matches from lots of clubs, some cash, a 1933 Dodge Rumble Seat Coupe.
Letter of invitation to WB. Business card of some Vaugn C. Owen, Security Chief of WB.
10.000 Dollars stashed a Dimi, the lawyer.
1 of Mr. Legend's ledgers.

3 x 3s:

Dimitrios "Dimi" Karamitsos  - Greek - A dirty bastard of a lawyer, and a very good friend.

Linda Darling  (not her real name) - Middle-aged mistress of a "professional escort service" catering to very well to do clients. 

Ms Darlene Merrit  - young, red-headed, perky and quite ambitious news reporter who tries to prove herself to Ehrlichmann's boss as the coming hot-shot reporter everyone is waiting for. Currently set on stories about the rich and famous, cultural stuff, nothing really spectacular, she is constantly on the lookout for the Big Story (tm) that will leverage her career to the upper echelons of the news business. She is a constant rival to Daniel, but he doesn't take her, "the red menace", seriously, because - well - she is a woman. That is a dangerous underestimation of her actually quite formidable qualities and her even more formidable stubbornness which keeps her on a story.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Actual Play: Dresden Files Accelerated Hollywoodland Session 1

Dresden Files Accelerated: Hollywoodland Session 1 Write-up

Played Friday, March 31st, 2017

Dramatis Personae

  • Father Darren O'ConnellCatholic priest and holy sword bearer (played by C)
  • Daniel Ehrlichmannhot-shot reporter/wereleopard (played by F)
  • Sammy Wessonclued-in mortal/Changeling (played by R)
  • Raymond Sandersmonster hunter/Changeling (played by D, not present)
  • Ted Summers aka The Dazzling Dante, White Court wizard (played by S, not present)
  • M. Beaulieu, Darren's fencing instructor
  • Vaughn Cadwalader Owen, Warner Brothers Head of Security
  • Persephone
  • Hamish Somhairle MacIver, Grip Shack "Manager"
  • Ben Crooker, information broker, contact of Sammy
  • Dimitrios "Dimi" Karamitsos, lawyer, friend of Daniel
  • Lawrence, a fence on First Street

On a rainy day in Hollywood, California, each of the PCs receives a couriered letter.

Daniel is in his newpaper's bullpen, working on a story when a young 15 year old soaking-wet courier brings him a letter. After he signs for the letter, on a carbon pad that has only his info, he examines the letter. Expensive envelope, heavy paper, quality and expensive. Calligraphy writing on the envelope is "Mr. D. Ehrlichmann".

Inside, the letter, written on a standard typewriter, asks Daniel to come see Vaughn Owen, Head of Security for Warner Brothers Studios. Vaughn is well known to Daniel, in fact, Vaughn politely threatened to break his legs just a while ago. The letter promises $10,000 cash for his services.

Darren is at Salle Beaulieu, one of many fencing schools in Hollywood. It is located above a garment factory and has a huge floorspace. The courier, an older man, nearly 50, also soaking wet, has Darren sign for it on another new carbon pad. Same expensive envelope, calligraphy on the front "Father D. O'Connell" and letter that Daniel got but different content except offering the $10,000 cash for services.

Sammy is hanging out at his apartment, watching the rain fall, when he spots a courier stopping at his building. A knock at the door and he greets a wet courier, who has him sign another new carbon pad for the letter. Same expensive envelope, calligraphy on the front to "Mr. S. Wesson", same gist to meet with Vaughn Owen for $10,000.

They each show up separately at the Warner Brothers Studios and are on the list at the gate. They find themselves in a large waiting room, waiting. A secretary sits about 20 feet away, answering calls and doing secretary things.

They talk about why they're there. They realize that they each one of them know at least two of the others. Daniel mentions the $10,000 as money to be paid to murder someone, it's that over-the-top.

After cooling their heels for a while, Daniel barges into the office, which turns out to be much smaller than the waiting room. Inside is Vaughn Owen, who welcomes him in, and then invites the others in as well. 

Vaughn is very urbane, polite but very much an iron fist in a velvet glove. He offers the party food and drink, including Glenfinnich 1890 Scotch. 

Vaughn explains that he wants them to find a film canister that contains shots of the movie set for the soon-to-be-released Casablanca. It is very important that it be returned to him, undisturbed, intact and not viewed.

He paid them $10,000 each and got their promise (treat as Aspect: Stays Bought on each of them). He shows them a similar canister and tells them the one they are looking for has a Sticker that says: "Casablanca Set Shot, Vol III and Vol IV

April 24th, 1942". Other specifics will be handled by his assistant, Persephone. Vaughn gives them passes to the studio to go freely everywhere and talk to everyone, then leaves them to enjoy the scotch and await his assistant.

Ray pockets the bottle of Glenfinnich and they leave, just to run into Persephone. Daniel is a "sucker for a pretty face" (Compel) so he ignores noticing anything that may warn him off, but Darren notices that something about her alarms him. He also recalls that Persephone is Old Greek for "Bringer of Death".

Persephone takes them into the movie lot, out to the Grip Shack, where the film canister was stolen. Sammy notices that the driver that takes them out there via car is in mortal fear of Persephone. They find the shack still with the broken lock. 

Inside the shack is grip and camera equipment. In the back, in an area little travelled, are where all the movie set films are stored. The only one currently missing is "Casablanca Set Shot, Vol III and Vol IV". 

Looking through the film log, Sammy notices that all the movie set films have names and descriptions of the set written down, except for the one they are looking for. Vol I and Vol II have description, as does Vol V and Vol VI, Vol VII and the rest, but written in place of any reference to Vol II and Vol IV is "See Warner".

Persephone leaves them to investigate and they meet Hamish, the Grip Shack "manager". Hamish had been with Warner Brothers since the beginning. He explains the system in the shack and says that none of his crew would have stolen the film canister, nor broken in the shack, because they had keys.
Ray shares the Glenfinnich, which opens Hamish up a bit. He looks at their studio passes and makes a mark on each of them before handing them back. They asked why he did that and he told them he marked everything so he knew he saw it before and could track it. Sammy asked if he marked the films, too, and he had.

He remembered that the missing film canister was marked MCMXXVII-#### and the other Casablanca films were marked MCMXLII-####. He admitted that Vol III and Vol IV weren't originally in the Casablanca set. And that none of the Warner Brothers had been to the shack for years, since at least 1927.

Hamish also let them know that the marking dealt with the the year, so MCMXXVII was originally marked in 1927. When he consulted his personal log, he found it: MCMXXVII-0931, originally recorded in 1927 sometime between October 4 and 10th but there was no description for the entry. 

He remembered that October 6th was when Warner Brothers released The Jazz Singer and that on October 5th, Sam Warner had died suddenly. Hamish was very saddened by that and the memory was still very raw for him.

Hamish remembered that there was a film crew working late the night before the break-in was discovered. It was filming an Our Gang/Little Rascals film and there were a lot of kids as extras on the lot. It would have been possible for one of the extras, a kid, to hide on one of the sets, break into the shack after everyone had left and stolen the film canister.

When Daniel asked Hamish about how long Persephone had worked for the studio, he was confused, not knowing who he was talking about.
As they walked back to the studio gate, they mused that maybe the film showed the death of Sam Warner, possibly a murder, done by the other brothers. That's why they're willing to spend $50,000 for the five PCs to find that film.

Sammy mentioned that there was a gang of children who were breaking and entering, robbing places around town and perhaps they were some of the extras on the studio that night. Maybe he knew someone who could give them info on that gang.

They were walking past a filming when Darren and Daniel spotted a kid watching them and the kid looked like he was translucent in the direct sunlight he stood in then the kid ducked behind a building. It was a brief view for Darren but Daniel got a better look and it felt like someone had walked on his grave. Could it have been a ghost? There was no trace of the kid. Could the ghost have stolen the film? Darren didn't think so since they have no substance.

After leaving the studio, Sammy brought Daniel and Darren to Trond's Deli, where an information broker he knows spends time. They sat down with Ben Crooker. Ben kept on trying to order the best BLT in town for each of them but the waitress kept away.

Ben told them that there was a gang, but no one knew who ran it, who was the adult, the "Fagin" who was running the kids. They were mostly non-violent and just broke and entered. Two of the leaders were kids named Eddie and Richard or Dicky. He also said that Sammy knew a few of the fences that they used, Lawrence on First Street was one of them. Daniel described the ghostly kid they saw but Ben never saw any of the gang so he didn't know how they looked. They finally got their BLTs to go and Sammy gave Ben some cash for the info (and enough to keep him silent about it).

They split up to put their cash away and they'd meet up later. Daniel brought his $10,000 and the BLT to his friend Dimitrios, to store in his safe. Sammy hid his cash in a glamoured safe in his apartment and Darren handed his money over to his mentor/parish priest, who warned him to be careful.

At 8PM, they met up at Mick's Bar on First, for a drink before going to see Lawrence. Three shots rang out on the street and a blood-covered man stumbled into the bar, collapsing at their feet. It was Lawrence and before he died, he gasped "Eddie!"

Darren started giving him last rites and Daniel started rooting through his pockets, finding keys, some betting slips, a few bucks in a wallet. Meanwhile, Sammy ran outside to see who did the shooting but no one was there.

Next session: Who shot Lawrence? Who's Eddie? Where is the film? What are they going to have to do for that $10,000?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Actual Play: Dresden Files Accelerated Hollywoodland Setting

Hollywood, 1942.
World War II is in full swing. In some parts of the world, it's been going on for over three years.
Blood....bright red blood is being spilled in Europe, in Africa, in the Atlantic and, yes, even in the Pacific.
Not quite a year ago, across the Pacific, nearly four thousand miles from Los Angeles, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.
And the blood of the over two thousand American servicemen killed in Pearl Harbor has finally, after months at sea, washed ashore in Los Angeles, staining the beaches red.
Up from Venice Beach, magic flows along Mulholland Drive, a natural Ley Line, through Universal City, to a nexus where Ley Lines from Beverly Hills, Santa Clarita and Glendale meet at the Hollywoodland Sign.

Those 45 foot tall, stark white letters on the Sign loom above Tinseltown, broadcasting the accumulated magic back down onto the town, creating another sort of magic, a magic of cinema.

In a month or so, the film Casablanca will debut.

Blood and magic. Magic and blood.

As dangerous a combination as a crate of sweating dynamite in the back of an out-of-control pick-up truck, barreling down a wild, mountain road, heading for a hair-pin turn.
And the spark that will cause that dangerous mixture of blood and magic to explode, the Santa Ana Winds, are blowing down from the desert across the city.
Raymond Chandler was right: "There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge."

You received a letter yesterday, brought by a Studio courier, promising you $10,000, for a small favor.

You're not fooled. Ten grand isn't a 'small favor'. Santa Anas, blood and magic. 

Somebody's gonna get hurt......

Welcome to Hollywoodland.......

Hollywoodland is a one-shot mini-campaign using the Dresden Files Accelerated RPG rules published by Evil Hat.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Actual Play: Dresden Files Accelerated Hollywoodland

I ran a 6-session mini-campaign using Evil Hat's Dresden Files Accelerated rules set on Roll20 and Discord earlier this spring/summer.

I set it in the 1940s, in Hollywood. Long time readers of the blog will note that there already was a "Hollywoodland" label. I finally got a game together, from the disparate elements banging about in my head.

And blood and gore and all manner of bad things happened.

As usual, I wrote up the sessions and shared them with my players.

I'll share them with you as well.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Actual Play: Blue Rose AGE "The Mask of Ebban" Part the Second

Played March 2017

It was a brilliant plan, Mother, brilliant. Worthy of my genius.

And I would have succeeded if it wasn't for my useless minions and those meddlers and their dog!

No, Mother, I know it was a Rhy-fox, not a dog, but I'm being insulting here.

I bet they're laughing it up in some tavern somewhere, maybe near the Veran Swamp or some other hell-hole.

But that fox has got my hoofprints in him so he won't forget that any time soon.

/rages, venting frustration/

But it was so cliche! Defeated by fools and pets! And betrayed by my own followers' incompetence!

/rages even more/

The Mask! I lost the Mask. It was central to my plans. 

/calmly, dispassionately/ 

It is of no import. It was only a mask.

It was going so well, Mother! The plan was proceeding apace.

When I found the manor, I knew! I knew it would be mine and I would rule over everything! I felt it, in my bones, Mother!

This ruin was just a first step. But I had to look the part, didn't I? Look the part of a lordling. Latest fashions!

Then I'd take over the Pavin Weald. Then Aldis and Kern! That lich has nothing on me.

But again, Mother, that was the long-term plan. It's slightly disrupted but I will rise again!

I had already started, gathering minions. Those Sprites that followed me were useful but I needed more. And Clickclack building clockwork minions was pure genius. My genius, Mother, not Clickclack's, let's just be straight about that.

When those two fools came out of the forest, it was a gods-send! And when one touched the Mask, he was easily dominated. The other was of no import although my minions were fools to let him escape. I knew there would be trouble about that but I was busy with more important aspects of my plans.

He was found, obviously, by those meddlers and their dog. Yes, Mother, it's a Rhy-fox, I know. I'm still being insulting.

I heard them banging around in my manor. MY MANOR! Like the thieves they are. I gathered what minions I could in the short time and waited. They'd come to me.

Took them long enough, I was positively bored waiting. Yes, Mother, patience is a virtue.

They busted down my door. MY DOOR! Then stared in at me and the fool wearing the Mask, looking like idiots watching a show.

At first I only saw the Night Person warrior and the Human archer. 

No, Mother, I didn't mention the fool wearing the mask's name. It was Artie or something, it doesn't matter. Why bother to learn minions names? Oh, so many people and you're confused? OK, we'll call him Artie, OK? 

What was the Rhy-fox's name? Now you want all their names? Why all these questions? OK, OK, we'll name all of them. The Rhy-fox is Foxy, the archer is Manny and the warrior is .... Sheila.

/exasperation building/

Yes, the warrior is a woman. 

/exasperation is starting to show/

No, Mother, those aren't their real names. We weren't formally introduced. They mentioned them to each other, perhaps, but I was busy trying to dominate them.

Can I continue my story now that we have everyone named?

/exasperated sigh/

My minions attacked with gusto as I began a stately dance. Sheila started to dance with me. Fool, easy to dominate! And with Night People's dark history, she should have joined me right then.

They thought they would hold the doorway but we overwhelmed them!

We forced them into the hall, where Foxy attacked Artie, and Manny and Sheila battled my sprites.

Oh, you should have seen them, Mother. My sprites were mopping the floor with them, causing them to lose ground. It was murder most delicious!

We would have won!

And then that fox! That damnable fox! He attacked the Mask! 

In rapid succession, he tried to remove the Mask from Artie! Not once, but twice. The struggle was worthy of unruly children, slapping each other with their weak hands while screaming and bawling.

He tried once and almost succeeded. After that failure, he tried again and succeeded in knocking the Mask off and onto the floor. Artie collapsed. I really have to get better dupes. No quality there.

That's when they rallied, Manny and Sheila. One by one, my minions were going down. 

So I grabbed the Mask, I was careful not to touch it lest I be the one dominated, and that's when that dog attacked me! Mother, keep up, I'm still being insulting.


Me! It attacked ME!

/calmly, with dispassionate tone/

Retaining the Mask was more important than this and I can always get more followers, fools being what they are, so I ran.

No, Mother, it wasn't cowardice, it was tactically reviewing the circumstance and achieving a new perspective that required me to be elsewhere.

So I hoofed it.

And that Foxy and Manny followed after. I knew that running would leave at least one of the meddlers behind, if only to protect that unconscious fool Artie.

One of my sprites delayed Manny and I made it out the door, with Foxy right on my heels.

I thought I'd get away, but that dog (keep up, Mother) tripped me and the Mask tumbled from my hand.

It was a delaying action, I know. I should have just grabbed the Mask and ran but it started to insult me! ME! Getting insults from a talking dog!

That was beyond the pale, I tell you. And you know my temper!

I kicked it and it felt good. It tried to bite me, tearing my clothes even more. Those bites hurt!

Then Manny the archer showed up with his stupid bow and stupid arrows and he shot me! That hurt the worst! Worse than all the bites!

Yes, here's the arrow. Perhaps I'll have it gilded. Perhaps I'll find Manny and shove it up his .... what was that, Mother?

Oh, yes. How did I get away?

I bedazzled him with magic and kicked the dog to death then ran.

Yes, Mother. I left the Mask behind. What do you mean you liked the characters of the Rhy-fox and Manny and Sheila? What do you mean they sounded nice? They're MY ENEMIES, MOTHER!

I ran and then creeped back. Sheila and Manny were around Foxy, I think it was alive. When I last saw them, they were limping back to that watchtower, with Artie being supported by Sheila and Manny had Foxy around his shoulders. I couldn't tell if that damn Rhy-fox was dead. If so I hope that Manny turns him into a scarf or a coat (if he doesn't, I will)!

Losing the Mask is of no import. I have other plans. You know most of them because you tried to stop me, Mother. At least until I shoved a dagger in your heart. I know, I know, not the nicest thing to do but my temper.

I still love you Mother. You know that. 

Those fools will rue the day they fought me. Sheila, Manny, even Foxy if he's still alive. Rue, I say!