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The Red Dawn Chronicles
Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:41 am
Note: the following is an accounting of the home game of ShadowDad. Enjoy!
It’s finally happening!! After 18 months of learning, planning, and crafting the setting I wanted to present to my group, we are starting Savage Rifts!
Now I say planning in as much that I have several outlines and scenarios set up so that the players have a fairly free hand at what they want to do.
My game is starting out in modern day East Texas University with the players each creating an ETU character. We start off with The Sweat Lodge but instead of the ritual causing the Crows Nest to burn down, it teleports the party to the far future. After a session or two of them playing through Sweat Lodge and then running for their lives in Rifts N.A. during the immediate aftermath of the fall of Tolkein (They pop in a week or so after the city’s fall, while refugees are still fleeing in droves). I’ll run the training montage, where they can pick their Iconic Framework to layer over their ETU characters.
I’m lucky in that I have a group that can really get into their characters and role play the shock and awe that appearing on Rifts Earth would create. So here is the opening of my Savage Rifts game, The Red Dawn Chronicles.
It is mid-August, 2017. The players are each college freshmen. A few months earlier, they each received an acceptance letter welcoming them to East Texas University and letting them know about the freshmen orientation the college calls the Sweat Lodge. Oddly though, each had some watermark on the acceptance letter warning of some evil portent. When they each showed the letter to family and friends, no one else can see this watermark. Maybe it’s just in their heads….
Aside from Asia, who arrived July 31st to begin practice with the marching band, the freshmen all arrive August 14-16 to begin settling in. Our story opens on August 18th. The Friday of freshmen orientation, affectionately known as “The Sweat Lodge”.
The first game will be run this coming Tuesday. I should have the recap up by Thursday.
Once my player's have transitioned fully into their Iconic Frameworks, I'll be letting them listen to this little 1980's action TV show styled intro I created. The music is the theme to the 1984 film, "Red Dawn".
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jipVIY ... sp=sharing
Hope you guys find this interesting!!
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles
Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:13 pm
Cast of Characters
Here are the characters in this little adventure. All start out as college freshmen attending ETU.
Mord’kai Ravenclaw (Player: Cindy) - His father is Native American and his mother is Jewish. He is shy, bookish and quiet. He loves rock climbing and cross country running. (Will transition to the Mystic I.F.)
Bikram Singh (Player: Andy) - A 2nd generation immigrant of the Sikh faith and tradition. He loves mixed martial arts and loves helping people. He is studying pre-med to become a paramedic. (Will transition to Cyberknight I.F.)
Felicity Hamilton (Player: Frank) - She is the daughter of a very wealthy father who was recently sentenced to several years for investor fraud. While her mom still strives to live the wealthy life, “Lexy” as she likes to be called, wants to break from that world and actively try to help people. (Will likely transition to Glitterboy I.F. with a Glittergirl suit of armor. Thanks to Victor from the G+ Savage Rifts community!!)
Asia Jones (Player: Terry) - African American drummer who grew up in Austin’s HUD housing and lives for SXSW every year. She is unabashedly gay and insists on getting through life on her own merits. (Will transition to MARS Rogue)
Miranda Shepard (Player: Ron) - The daughter of hippie parents, she is a lot more intelligent than her blonde haired facade would suggest. She wants to become an astronomer. (Will transition into Leyline Walker)
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (session 1)
Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:18 pm
Session One Recap
Here is the recap of our session one as told by my group’s scribe and record keeper, Cindy(Mord’kai). I put in my 2 cents here and there in italics and yellow.
We started things off by going to our freshman initiation in a huge concrete basketball bunker. After a rousing (?) speech by the dean, we found our characters meeting for the first time as we were sent to an introductory session with a senior. ((Do they even vet these speakers before assigning them? Our "guide" babbled out some drek about being a zeb-bra. Blending in. Not sticking out. Absolutely no help to us.))
Their senior was played like a Canadian/Californian surfer dude.
In short order we were introduced to a professor, 'just call me Glen Mac'. Seemed like a helpful fellow, although he said he was hunting an apparition, and something had broken his GoPro. Bikram and Mor'd-kai had been investigating the sound of the breaking camera when the teacher approached. Hey, is the pizza ready yet?
The band was called “Assume the Position” and they were an industrial rock band.
As a small group we headed up to find some za and something to drink. The band was starting to play. Bikram started monologing to Lexi, Kai asked Asia to dance, and Miranda was beckoned off down a hallway by a stranger. (shoulda known better, just sayin'!)
The woman tried to warn Miranda about something, and touched her shoulder. It resulted in a terrible burning pain. Lexi, Bikram and Glen Mac tried to figure out what had happened. After getting some ointment and bandages, the student trio tried to leave to file a police report.
Actually, Miranda thought she was completely on fire for a moment there! The ointment and bandages was for the 2nd degree burn she got on her shoulder with a brand in the shape of the ETU raven.'
Finding out they were locked in and not allowed to leave, Bikram became very angry. He tried several things to get security to open the door, and then rushed the stage in an attempt to get the mic from the band…
Bikram actually flipped out when he was told he couldn't leave and nearly tried to attack multiple campus police all at once! Cooler heads prevailed though.
We tried a lot of things after that, so ima gonna sum it up as best I can:
There were weird runes upon the walls, we were able to foul three of them.
Miranda first noticed the runes which looked to fade as the paint dried. She could not get close to them without her brand flaring with pain. As they tried to figure something out, they come across another rune circle which Bikram found he could easily wipe it away.
Suspecting an arson was planned, we tried to distribute fire extinguishers.
Asia kicked in the security door with a kick damage roll of 17! Her and Mord’kai started taking extinguishers to the campus security. The security also started to try and get the doors open and were seriously bothered that they couldn’t. More could the radios or any cell phones get any service at all!
We got tools to jimmy open some of the doors, finding out they were completely blocked.
Asia managed to completely destroy the locks on two doors to the outside but the doors still would not budge. What they did not realize was that the doors were blocked with forklifts or cars placed in front of them.
Were attacked by a bat wielding trio of rune artists, and f'd those PUNKS UP!
Lexi actually took a punk out with an acrobatic double kick that actually killed one of them. Mord’kai took a blow to the head but was able to take another one out. The 3rd guy fled.
Tried to disrupt the mysterious ritual, but failed.
While some of the group went to get help, Mord’kai and Lexi stayed in the hall to watch over the fallen assailants. While in the hall they heard the sounds of a ritual being done in one of the rooms under the bleachers. They try to interrupt it but fail, hearing the sound of a gagged girl being killed. They break into the room moments after the murder. Lexi is in shock seeing the dead girl, Mord’kai is shot at by the cult leader who misses, so he goes into a rage and attacks. The other two cult members look as shocked as Lexi. It seems they weren't told that the girl would be killed.
Instead of causing a massive inferno to roast us all, the magic opened some sort of portal and the entire building was pulled through.
Once the ritual is completed the runes begin to glow with red power, the individual symbols seeming to spin and float off the walls. Tremors can be felt all around the building. Starting small at first but building in intensity. Outside, it sounds like a tornado is sitting on tge building. Mord’kai looks around at the increasingly strong wind sound when a huge oak tree crashed through the roof of the Raven’s Roost. Both the tremors and the glowing power in the runes increase steadily and quickly until suddenly it is if the entire building is violently shifted a dozen yards to the North, slamming all the people in the building against the southern walls. Knocking everyone out.
We were definitely NOT in Pinebox, Texas any longer. (or Kansas, either) Geographically, Kai thought it seemed like the Ozarks.
That’s just a guess, but a good one. The Roost was transported to a region about a hundred miles north of Castle Refuge. They appear about a week after the fall of Tolkien. Refugees are flooding south and the Coalition forces are spread out trying to intercept as many as they can . They wake up about ten hours after the ritual goes off. And are shocked that they are not in Pinebox.
We were approached by an armored human and three skelli-bots. The man rebuffed our advances rather brutally, yelling something about a "scorched earth protocol". We dispatched the small group, but not before the man called for reinforcements. And tried to remove Bikram's kidney with his fancy knife.
A Coalition officer and three skelebots approach the building and fire on the people inside. The officers did have a couple of shotguns and with the PCs help, manage to take out the skelebots and the CS soldier, but not before Mord’kai gets a vibroblade to the side. Miranda sees a strange flying thing approaching.
Not having much time, we tried to convince people to leave the building and flee to the woods as a huge flying robo thingie was coming. Since the security was trying to persuade people the safest place was inside, we were not able to save many people.
The campus police convince almost all the others to stay in the building. The PCs grab a friend of Mord’kai’s and head into the woods. Just a couple of minutes later, a SAMAS suit flies near the building and fires a couple of mini missiles into the Roost, taking out most of the roof.
We find ourselves strangers in a strange land. Can we survive this place and time? We'll see!
And that's where we left off!
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (session 2)
Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:46 am
Session Two Recap
Note: We were missing Bikram's player, so he was run as an allied npc this session.
We were able to recover three grenades, a laser pistol, a lighter, some smokes and some weapon cartridges from the soldier Bikram and Mor'd-kai dragged off. Mor'd-kai was also able to figure out the electronic display on the laser rifle, to better operate it.
The party got 3 CV-212's, a laser pistol and three high explosive grenades.
We observed more troops descending on the gym building, and felt it prudent to keep moving away. The forest was very thick, and we tried to keep an eye out for other ETU survivors.
Hearing the sound of someone coming, we looked for a place to conceal ourselves. Miranda and Asia thought the activity sounded mechanical, and fearing more skelli bots, we hid under a ledge.
I love how our storyteller spells skelebots!
Our objective pivoted from hiding to ambush when we realized there were ETU kids being chased by the soldiers! There were at least six troops, but since Asia counts as three people, that meant the odds were about even. Indeed, the law enforcement major hurled a grenade at the group, and blew FOUR OF THE SOLDIERS TO OBLIVION! She is such a BADASS!
There were four CS Grunts and 2 Skelebots. The bots took the lead witht he grunts about 20 feet behind. It took two bennies, but Asia managed to land the grenade in a square that put all 4 soldiers in its blast. Then rolled really well on damage!
Mor'd-kai charged the skelli bots, singing the ETU fight song to get the attention of the bots and the ETU students that were fleeing. He obliterated one of the remaining figures with his laser rifle, the last bot turned towards the commotion and fired at him. Miss! Quick work was made of the last bot. Asia started to scavenge weapons and material from the bodies, as Kai, Lexi and Miranda approached the ETU students.
Lisa, Eric and Peter joined our group. Lisa seemed to be in shock, much like Priscilla. Eric was a competitive shooter, so he was given a rifle. Peter got some quick, basic lessons on operating a laser rifle by Mor'd-kai, and we began to work our way from the ambush site.
Priscilla is Bikram's girlfriend. She's still in shock and in danger of a complete mental break. Some persuasion rolls manage to keep her and Lisa from tipping over the edge into insanity.
We found a fresh water spring to drink from, and continued to distance ourselves. Kai climbed up a tree. Turning his attention towards the ruined gym, he spied a total of four of the large flying bots, a couple of long transports and a strange, eerie skull mounted on spider like legs. It was MASSIVE, he estimated about 30' tall. Two huge cannons flanked the grinning skull. The last thing he witnessed was sobering - some shackled ETU students being led into the transports.
Looking carefully around for signs of other troops or ETU students, he spied a small gathering of people in a clearing not too far away. They did not look like students, but they did not look like troops or bots, either. Climbing down, he debriefed the group on some of what he had seen, feeling it better to not reveal the ETU students he had seen being loaded into the troop carriers...
This region's CS patrol arrived at the Raven's Roost. There are 4 SAMAS, a Spider-Skull Walker two Mark V transports and four other prisoner transports along with nearly four dozen soldiers and as many skelebots.
Miranda, Lexi, Asia and Mor'd-kai moved off toward the gathering, stealthing their way to do some information gathering. Miranda must have made a slight noise, as she was discovered by a camouflaged sentry. We were discovered!
A Wilderness Scout out-snuck them and got the drop. Luckily the group they were investigating were part of an underground railroad trying to get as many refugees as possible to safety.
After some rather tense moments, we were briefly interrogated by Stryker, a cyber knight, and Gilly, the woodland scout. Realizing we were not a threat, they escorted us past their perimeter. Alarmed by Mor'd-kai's description of the troop activity at the ruined gym, they decided to move out. Kai and Gilly went back to retrieve the rest of the students; Miranda, Lexi and Asia were escorted into the camp where a ragged band of refugees were being tended to by a hooded figure. They even witnessed the figure's glowing hands seemingly heal a terrible wound! Asia and Lexi whispered to each other about all these startling developments.
Deana, a D-Bee mystic was using the heal spell on a wounded refugee.
When Kai and Gilly got back to Bikram, Priscilla, Lisa, Eric and Peter - Gilly recognized Bikram was injured and placed a patch upon his wound. Activating it, the wound almost immediately began to mend. Getting back to the camp, the group began preparations to move out.
Creative storytelling for the use of a medkit. I know, this was well beyond the golden hour. But hey, this was more narrative than anything else!
Pulling Stryker aside, Mor'd-kai revealed to the knight that many of the ETU students had been loaded into transports. The knight squashed any hopes the young man had about mounting a guerilla style rescue mission. Angry, but accepting the necessity to regroup, Kai joined his friends and began the trek to a "rebel" stronghold. We were somewhere in the Ozark mountains, near Oklahoma/Arkansas.
Oh. The hooded figure who had healed the refugee at the camp? She was totally a green skinned, four armed, horned and winged alien named De'Anna. (sp?) She explained a lot of what we had experienced, and the world in which we now found ourselves. We had been pulled through a rift. Sometimes they transversed space and time, like what pulled her through from her world to this one. But we had come through time, and were about 400 years in the future. Rifts had started appearing a few centuries ago, and ripped the structure of the world apart. Chaos had descended as monsters and aliens began to fight with the people of Earth for dominance of territory and resources.
This was a good chance for me to introduce more of the world info narratively through dialogue.
Here is what she revealed of the world at this time: The troops we encountered came from the Coalition, a tyrannical group based in Chitown (formerly Chicago area) and ruled by Emperor Prosek. The Coalition had recently lay siege to Tolkeen, formerly a refuge for free thought. Attacked by millions of troops, the desperate people of Tolkeen had resorted to summoning demons to help sway the fight. Still, the city fell. We are now experiencing the aftermath of that battle as the Coalition attempts to eliminate any opposition. Oh, yeah. Magic is a thang. What?!?
Also revealed... *** Atlantis has appeared once more off the East Coast of North America. It is controlled by the Splagorth (sp?) a race of aliens that harvest and enslave "lesser" races. *** The South-East region seems to have been taken over by dinosaurs. *** The area we know as Canada is infested with a race of insects that is quickly spreading to be a plague upon the world. *** Mexico and Central America have become several nations, each ruled by cruel vampire lords. *** The West is controlled by several human forces, little of which is known. *** Off the Pacific coast dragons rule. *** South America is split up into many areas, controlled by several different alien races. *** Little has come out of Europe except that humans are battling forces led by demons and gargoyles.***
This was all told by Deana and I filtered it through what she knows, not necesarily what is all true.
On that second day in our new world we are escorted to a refuge several miles away. We are given new clothes, food, water and allowed to shower and rest. Everyone seems accepting and helpful, we see many new races. As we are shown around on the third day, the encampment is attacked by a horde of bandits. Our small band fights off eight or so of the invaders. Kai and Asia blow up some of the bandits using grenades, and Miranda's helpful ((?)) ghost friend encourages her to find a new ability, and she channels it to destroy one of the bandits. Magic, whaaaatttt?
Those who were looking to take an Arcane IF, I let a few magic abilities begin to show up.
Each of us is given opportunity to train with a mentor or group of teachers as we are recognized as being exceptional. Miranda ends up near South Dakota learning about ley lines. From a gnome. Mor'd-kai is taken in by some nearby Indians to learn the path of a mystic. Lexi is brought west to a desert wasteland where a group of Glitterboys take her in. New technology has her training to be a Glittergirl, a more maneuverable armored warrior. Asia is introduced to "Rat", a slightly built human embedded within the outskirts of Chitown where she can hone her rogue abilities. Bikram's training was not revealed, but I'm sure it will be AWESOME! We are able to keep touch with one another through the help of some Technomages.
In the months that we are training, a new organization is forged by those that oppose the Coalition and other tyranny. Led by Lord Coake (he is a cyber knight!) and based at Castle Refuge in an area near Branson, Missouri - the Tomorrow Legion promises hope for those displaced by conflict. Our group is recruited to be part of this force. (There is some discussion as we ended the session here, about what to call our group. The Zeb-bras was vehemently shot down, Wolverines was proposed as it fits with "Red Dawn", I guess we can propose other ideas next session...)
The above was my training montage, transitioning them from college freshmen to full fledged Rifts Badasses!
At last, finis!
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (session 3)
Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 6:40 am
This is getting posted a few days late, but the good news is we are gaming tomorrow (we normally game every other week, which would be next Teusday).
We began with a somewhat subdued reunion with all the ETU (mega-super-heroic) peeps. Subtle changes had left marks upon us all. Mor'd-kai was recovering from a sobering but successful rescue mission in the Canadian Rockies. The "crickets" (as Lexi calls them) proved quite a menace as they had nearly eradicated a group led by some techno mages. Retreating to a cave system in the mountains, Kai was able to use some of his climbing experience as well as his burgeoning Mystic abilities to help the team to victory.
Their "Training Montage" had them split up for roughly nine months as they went from college fresmen to kick-ass Savage Worlds Rifts heroes!
Bikram had traveled to a nearby city where some sort of juicer wraiths from the Federated Mages had been doing some nefarious things. He seemed rather withdrawn from the recent experience, and did not elaborate much...
He was actually in New Lazlo, about 1500 miles from where Castle Refuge is!
Asia appeared stronger, and somehow hardened by her tribulations. She had an interesting new tattoo in lieu of her right eyebrow. Lexi appeared more focused, but happy in her role as a Glittergirl. Miranda seemed to have matured, her braided blond hair was highlighted by a vivid blue color, and map-like tattoos in blue ink could be glimpsed now and again upon her arms.
I'll post my Glitter Girl write up shortly, I promise!
Diplomatic Counselor Paula Mickelson (a former Coalition top operative) entered to debrief us on our new roles with the Tomorrow Legion. Impressed by our potential and abilities to think out side the box, the senior staff had offered us positions as the 7th Division's Recon Unit. Our task was to do sweeps around the perimeter settlements that lay outside the fortress, reporting back any concerns and of course combating any hostiles.
They were formed as a single unit. The logic was that their unique histories would likely make them better as a unit rather than spread them across several different units. Also, the Tomorrow Legion has existed as an organization only a few months now. My game is starting earlier than the official SWR books.
After covering many miles in our swanky new mountaineer three wheeled ATV, and spending days touching base with settlements, we were approaching a logging camp known as Onyx. It was solely run and operated by a group of dimensional beings (dee-bees) that look like big ole beavers. Notes said that the leader, Winona, was very big and brown. Alas, we may never set sight upon this legend, as before we had sighted the encampment, Mor'd-kai was warned by spiritual guide that there was Trouble. With a capital T. You know what that rhymes with? P. And that stands for pool. Which has nothing to do with this story. But Music Man is a great example of pastoral America and chicanery!
Um, not sure what our storyteller was referring to in that last half! But this is the adventure, No Zealot Like a Convert.
Using his raven guide to scout, Kai reported several Coalition troops and skelli bots ransacking the DB camp. Dead Winonians lay scattered around, though some of the creatures still lived. Oops. A soldier stepped over and shot dead one of the survivors! Kai told the team to hurry, and we sprang into action.
Again, our story teller got the D-bees name wrong. They are hoorian, not winonian.
Lexi only had to stand up in her SUIT and target the offending soldier, she has such impressive range with her weaponry. She incinerated the soldier with a single blast, and then it was ON. Kai attempted to channel a mass cure through his raven to help the Winonians, but failed. Lexi moved forward, and incinerated another soldier standing near one of the fallen DB's.
The Glitter Girl was using her smaller main gun (smaller than the traditional GB "Boom" gun at least), so there was no need to worry about the deffening effect.
Bikram activated several spells at once, and rushed towards one of the Coalition groups. Miranda stunned another group. Kai stepped over to speed up Asia, and she rushed over to try to snipe undercover. Blasted, cut to pieces, bolted and bruised - the Coalition force was quickly dispatched with little harm to our group.
They managed to incapacitate one of the soldiers with the mega stun spell. All the other soldiers and all the skelebots were taken out with extreme prejudice.
The oppressive and tyrannical Coalition defeated, we stepped forth to try to find survivors from the terrible raid. We have one soldier as a hostage to interrogate, and some Winonians to try and save...
That wrapped up their first session with all their Iconic Framework abilities.
Next session is tomorrow. I should have the after action report by Friday!
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles
Posted: Mon May 28, 2018 9:47 am
Sorry for the long silence. Our last session got cancelled due to not having enough players.
So for those who did show up, we played board games.
The next session it tomorrow night, May 29th.
A recap should get posted by Thursday.
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (session 4)
Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 8:23 am
Note: This session adds a new player, my daughter Mary who is playing Evereth the Flamewind Dragon Hatchling. She is from a magic rich world known as Eberron..
The session began with Mor'd-kai healing up the wounded in the logging camp with help from Bikram. Asia scavenged weapons (and GRENADES!) from the dead Coalition forces, while Lexi worked on stripping the armor off the captured corporal. She and Asia then examined the leaders communication, and discovered there was a larger force of soldiers in the area, and where they were making camp. We made haste to head to Onyx to warn the settlement of the threat. A couple of the survivors were really anxious about getting there as quickly as possible, so the Coalition flunkie was trussed up and we set off.
This group is getting good at Murder Hobo-ism! They stripped the valuables off the CS dead rather quickly but showed a lot of respect for the dead loggers and were quick to use magic to keep three of the wounded loggers alive.
When the group got to Onyx, we were greeted by one of the senior camp officials. The "fortress" looked adequate for standing against some raider or bandit groups, but would be devastated by the superior technology most Coalition forces would command. Mor'd-kai headed up on a rampart to scout the surroundings with his spirit guide raven, the rest of the group headed to a room to interrogate the prisoner.
I took time to explain how the entire camp was circled by a moat/ditch 6' deep and 6' wide. The burm on the inside rim was a few feet higher, making the inner edge nearly 8' high. Then there was a balistrade of thick, sturdy wood on top of the berm. This looked well defended and would be completely useless against a proper coalition force.
The mystic did a perimeter search for other Coalition patrols, and at first did not see anything. Just at the limit of his range, he spied a giant armored robot in a clearing towards where the main Coalition force was allegedly camped. The behemoth did not appear to be active at the moment, so he went down to report what he had seen.
Mord'Kai the mystic has a unique animal spirit of a raven that he can send out a number of miles equal to his smarts die and see through it's eyes. Flying to the extreme of it's range, it could just make out the top of the UAR-1 at the center of the CS bivuac.
Conferring with the elders of Onyx as the interrogation progressed and information was gathered, concern grew that all the innocent lives could not be protected if the Coalition headed to the settlement. Many of the people were set to evacuate as the "Wolverines" readied to spring a surprise attack.
There were two log transports in the camp. All the civilians were loaded up onto them and sent toward Castle Refuge while the warriors and gaurds of the camp redied for battle.
Coming up with a quick plan, they decided to try to ambush the Coalition at a nearby ley line. Using the captured patrol commander's helmet to signal an SOS, we hoped to draw the force from their camp. Lexi's Glitter Girl armor was camouflaged, and she set her huge gun in a blind in hopes to initiate a surprise attack. Mor'd-kai used his Survival skill to set up some trip wires between the Wolverines and the Coalition.
Asia the Rogue exploded on her computer use skill check and wound up with a 20 to hack the comms and tracking device on corporal Evenrude's helmet. She disabled the tracking device and got the com to broadcast all communications. The GlitterGirl armor was covered in a makeshift gillesuit and covered in mud. Her main weapon was remotely set up on the far side of the ambush area. To avoid the tripwires, the CS soldiers/skelebots needed to make notice checks. Most failed and fell prone.
Miranda set herself up on the ley line, and as the Coalition drew nearer she started drawing on the energy. Augmenting herself, she began to rise into the air to survey the area. 'Kai became a large hawk using Greater Beast Form. Bikram spelled himself up for combat (Speed/Deflection/Smite) as Asia and Lexi concealed themselves.
Miranda, the Ley-Line Walker managed to spend a few rounds maxing out her PPE to 45. She did not have to worry about PPE for the duration of combat. If Ron, her player, was a bit more brave, he could have multi-actioned like crazy and been even more dangerous!
The battle seemed to be against an overwhelming force. There looked to be over twenty mixed troops. A small group of Dog boys led by a Psy Stalker. A commander. The massive armored robot suit. Skelli-bots and soldiers - all advanced upon our position.
The CS forces came in two waves with the dog-boy pack sneaking around to flank the group. Wave one was a 8 skelebots and 4 CS grunts. Wave two was another 10 skelebots, 8 more grunts, the commander and the UAR-1.
The Wolverines really seemed to gel together as a team. Bikram fought bravely toe to toe against several of the soldiers and bots, cutting down each foe he faced. Once he bore the brunt of the advancing armored robosuit and the Big Gun, he rushed in to aid Lexi with her battle against the giant.
The UAR-1 fired at Bikram, the cyberknight and hit, causing three wounds, but he managed to soak one of them. Still, he survived a hit from a UAR-1!
Miranda augmented Lexi and Bikram, giving them a much needed ability boost. She also healed and provided some area coverage with her stuns.
Boost trait helped with Bikram and Lexi's (Lexi the GliterGirl pilot) fighting, using the mega power and getting a raise on Lexi, her fighting became D12+2. Frank, Lexi's player who is also the player most familiar with Savage Worlds lit up like a christmas tree when he saw what his fighting became.
Asia went completely Pickle Rick, lobbing grenades to great effect. Really, really great effect. She pretty much took out half or more of the forces her own bad self. She did get injured when she was surrounded by troops, but she shrugged off the damage, stepped back and in true Asia fashion, blowed them right up. Yep. They blew up REAL GOOD. Mor'd-kai flew over to heal her.
Asia really did find she has a knack with those fragmentation grenades! She took her movement of 6 to back up then lobbed the grenade at her attackers. Then exploded the damage dice for a total of 32 damage!
'Kai provided some healing aid and a few well placed bolts. His trip wire traps seemed to be fairly effective, causing several of the advancing troops to fall.
Mord'Kai used shapechange to transform into a hawk then flew around the gameboard casting bolts and heals left and right, pretty much spending all his PPE & ISP. I still need to go back and read up on shapechange. I'm not sure everything he did was legal, RAW.
Lexi shot her gun from its remote position at a group of soldiers, then quickly advanced to engage the powered robot armor. She destroyed its gun after it had targeted Bikram to great effect, then helped to cut it down. Eventually the pilot surrendered. The glitter girl also advanced to confront the commander of the force, who refused to surrender... you tried, Lexi. You tried.
Lexi's remote gun actually shot at a Dog-Boy that was firing into a rift that had just opened up on the ley line. The shot turned the Dog-Boy to mist. As for the UAR-1, I was allowing called shots to the limbs or main gun at -4. If they deal enough damage equal to half the Toughness of the robot (rounded up) the weapon or limb can be disabled. That means the called shot locations have a toughness of 18(8). Lexi takes out the gun, dealing nearly 30 damage. Lexi next disables the right leg as Bikram removes the left leg at the knee (did 34 damage with his psi-sword and it's AP 6)
And as the battle started, a great tremor was felt by all the combatants. The ground rippled and shook, and slowly a rift was being torn open upon the ley line. Two slightly elven forms were glimpsed within, one of them tragically cut down by the group of Dog boys. The smaller of the humanoids advanced, and checked on the fallen figure. It was clear she was dead. With a ferocious roar, the maiden turned into a dragon (what?!) and sprang from the rift to rip into the nearest dog boy. He was really near, and then he was really dead. The hatchling engaged the small group and single taloned killed them all. Even when they tried to flee the battle, seeing it was lost, she cut them down like the dogs they were. (Because some of them were really dogs. Get it?) If she hadn't done it, 'Kai would have tracked them and killed them. No place for magic sniffin' hunters and their Psy Stalker boss to be harming him and his friends, sho nuff!
I did narrative cut scenes during the combat, with a dragon hatchling just coming out of her shell and bonding with an elfin shapechanger maiden. They spent hours learning one another, with the dragon leanring how to shapeshift and use her breath weapon. When the bond formed, some of the elfin maiden's knowledge passed to the dragon, granting her a knack with languages (rolled linguist on the heroe's journey table) and how to persuade and intimidate more effectively (again, a roll from the hero's journey table). During a second cut scene, an earthquake begins to shake the cave that the dragon and her "mother" are in so they flee the cave just in time to avoid being burried alive. A rift opens up, revealing the PCs battling the CS forces. The dog-boy pack opens fire on the dragon and her "mother" killing mother.
Still to come will be gathering our prisoners, looting the bodies and finding out if the mysterious dragon hatchling will be friend or foe. She had stormed off in pursuit of the Dog boy and Psy Stalker, so hopefully she is okay...
It was late, so I hand-waved Evereth chasing down and killing the one Dog-Boy and his psi-stalker companion. We normally run til about 10:15 or so, this game ended just after 10:45...
Next session is this coming Tuesday! The report should drop by Thursday.
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (session 5)
Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:21 am
This session involved no combat of any kind! This was a purely role playing session and a nice change of pace!
Our session began as we regrouped following the major battle with the Coalition forces. Mor'd-kai healed Bikram as he was still wounded from being shot by the armored robot's massive gun. Lexi used her large sword to carve "Wolverines!" into several items of Coalition equipment.
Mor'd-kai mentioned that perhaps we should go after the dragon. Carefully, with a plan of some sort. He still vividly recalled seeing the creature viciously rip one of the Dogboys in half. Deservedly so, but really! That sort of raw power needed to be respected, right? The group was discussing how to approach this task when entering the clearing was Eveleth. Hey, she was the dragon! And as we had seen when the Rift first opened, she could change shape to be a young elven appearing woman. Whoa!
We did not spend much time greeting one another, as there was still concern about the Coalition having more troops in the area. Plus, lootin' da booty needed to be done. Asia and Mor'd-kai began the process of tracking the Coalition back to their camp. The rest began to finish securing the three prisoners and gathering the easily scavenged materials. Bikram began to bodger up any of the communication or tracking items on the gear. Lexi covered up the armored robot with several trees and brush to conceal it.
After looting the corpses, they completely fried the UAR-1's systems.
The dragon player, still new to gaming was a bit hesitant to get into character, but her hesitation actually played well into how the dragon would have reacted.
The Mystic cast "Speed" upon himself and Asia, it was an easy matter to track the Coalition back to their camp since the robot's passage was impossible to miss. On the way to the camp where the forces had come from, we noticed a sobering sight. A large, metallic skull sheathed in glowing light seemed to be watching us. As it noticed us spotting it, it sped off at great speed. Mor'd-kai thought it might have been a spying device from the Federation of Magic. The pair continued to the camp area, which was empty. There were signs that several days prior a large troop carrier had dropped off the force, and then moved away. Satisfied there were no remaining Coalition in the immediate area, the two Wolverines rejoined their comrades.
Yep, a Splugorth Slaver's floating skull checking out the action.
With our vehicle loaded with scavenged weapons, armor, the prisoners and whatever else we could carry - we went back to Onyx to let them know the treat was neutralized. For now. The settlement was relieved, and began a celebratory meal for the group. The prisoners were handed off, and Mor'd-kai flew away to let the evacuation convoy know we had defeated the troops.
The evacuation was halted, and Mor'd-kai gave report of what happened to the leaders, giving them the option of returning to Onyx or continuing toward Legion territory. There was concern that the Coalition might send more troops into the area to propagate their "scorched earth" policy. The Mystic returned back to the settlement to rejoin his companions.
There are Castle Refuge Reinforcements on the way. They will be helping Onyx move to a new location.
Spending the night there, it was decided the group would drive to Nathan's Ford the next day to unload the rest of their salvage. A larger town to the south of Onyx, Nathan's Ford is a major Legion stronghold.
Arriving at the Ford, Mor'd-kai suggested he do a quick scout of the town to make sure there was nothing amiss. All looked well, although it seemed something like a circus was setting up tents in the town square. Returning to the ATV, the group headed into town, talking excitedly about getting a nice shower, good grub and a soft bed.
Yep, the opening to Blood Menagerie. Vampire incursion is one the of the larger over-arching storylines in my game.
The sentries into town were impressed by the array of goods we had recovered, and a short recap of what we had seen and done as the 7th Recon was greeted with admiration. As we asked about the spying skull we had seen, the attitude changed to shock and worry. Turns out that was a device used by the Splugorth, a race of foul slavers from the East Coast area of Atlantis. Does that mean there is a slaver group lurking about? They have never been this far west... We are given leave to find the mayor of the city, Jatarra Nathan.
The mayor was an unusual DB, and very curious about what we had seen and done. Maybe TOO curious? Mor'd-kai tried to divert his questioning of Evereth, feeling the mayor was intruding on the very young dragons privacy following her traumatic ordeals of late. The group was pointed to a local Legion building to be fed, get showers and bunks. Mor'd-kai stayed behind to "call" Castle Refuge and give report of what the Wolverines had found.
The mayor is genuinely good hearted. He's just easily excitable and overly curious about the world around him. He's been on Earth for nearly forty years and has met Plato & Tarn a few times. I'm looking to make him a recurring character.
Finding out at the end of the call that the young dragon hatchling would need to imprint upon another person in order to remain physically and mentally healthy, Mor'd-kai related that to his companions when he joined them at the dinner table. There was concern, as most of the Wolverines did not feel they had the requisite skill set to provide the dragon the help she would need. (We are VERY young adults, ourselves!)
What the rest of the group does not realize is that Mary, the dragon's player has decided the dragon will imprint on Asia, the no-nonsense drummer with an attitude. Asia's player will likely be very cool with it, but the character is gonna be beside herself on how to "raise" a little kid five times her size.
The group went their (mostly) separate ways for the night, and regrouped the next morning to explore the town. We had decided to take a day off before resuming our patrol, and so went to the circus tents to look around. Eating some treats and looking at the goods being offered, Mor'd-kai purchased a new outfit for Eveleth so she would fit in better with local fashion. We were induced by a barker to take a look through their tent of oddities and wonders. Little people, mutant badgers and many other things were examined - we were told we should come back that evening for the first show under the big tent. It seemed like he was really, really eager for us to show up. Hmmmm...
I was just coming up with oddities off the cuff. The little people are literally 2 inch tall humans. The mutant badger has a mouth that takes up a 3rd of the body with four rows of vibrating teeth. And the barker was very interested in them. What was left out was that they could not detect magic of any kind in or near the tent. It was like a magic dead zone. In fact, any spell casting done in the tent is made at a -4 to their caster checks. Every member of the circus has an amulet that allows them to not be affected by the dead zone as well as hide their true nature from people magically scrying them.
The players are in for a surprise next time!!
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (session 6)
Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:06 am
As the session began, Mor'd-kai cautiously suggested that everyone grab some weapons to bring with into our afternoon session for the circus. He really did not like the tent suppressing the magical abilities of the group, and wanted to be prepared in case something went amiss. Vibro knives were passed around, and Asia concealed some additional grenades upon her body.
A fella approached us, oddly enough looking for a pan. Like a frying pan. Huh? We directed him over to a local vendor. That was weird...
This "Mr Pan" is a blatant rip off of the Understudy character from Edict Zero FIS. I love his personality and attitude and I found it very easy to do his voice. I recommend cheking out Edict Zero FIS. Just google it!
We went into the tent for the performance with high hopes of being entertained, and left feeling like "Meh." There seemed to be some unusual things we saw, like the huge canine Rex actually seemed to be speaking during the act that featured him. Contortionists seemed too flexible to be human. Stuff like that.
As we stood near the tent to discuss what we would be setting out to do the following day, we heard a commotion from inside where the next show was happening. People were running out of the tent, in obvious distress. Cries in a familiar voice about "unmasking fiends" and "true nature" along with the sounds of people being hit with a pan rang through the air. We entered to see what was happening.
Entering the tent, we saw Mr. Pan hitting the contortionists with his skillet. And they were actually VAMPIRES! What?! Quickly we saw we were facing two different types of demons (the barker and Wykham), three wild vampires (the contortionists) and a secondary vampire (the "wolf" Rex).
Yep, this is a very altered version of Blood Menagerie one-sheet. I took the idea and developed it quite a bit further, with them fighting 3 wild vampires, 1 broadkil (Wykham), a custom demon (The barker, I took the gargoyle and tweeked it on the spot) and a secondary vampire (Rex, he was in his wolf form). My biggest battle yet in terms of power against the PCs. Oh, and yes, that is Mr Pan whacking away at vampires with a cast iron skillet. I have not statted him out yet, but he is going to be a true atlantean vampire hunter that has gone quite mad in his quest to fight the blood suckers.
Most of the innocent people had fled. We asked they alert some guards and Mayor Nathan of the events, and then went to battle. Fortunately Bikram was able to manifest his cyber knight abilities within the magic dampening tent.
Miranda and Mor'd-kai were thwarted in their attempts to do magic until they realized that each of the monsters seemed to have ruby rings upon their hands. Could that be why their abilities were not dampened? As the fiends were felled the pair rushed forward to retrieve two rings.
The rings and tent were GM fiat. The tent nullified magic and weakened psionics unless you wore one of the ruby rings all the enemy's were wearing. They caught on super fast and went for those rings! Of course, they could spend two rounds wriggling the ring off then an action to put it on, or take an action to cut it free and another to put the bloodied ring on. They chose the bloody option.
Meanwhile, Evereth, Lexi, Asia and Birkram battled with great valor and ferocity. Asia was able to take a wooden cross and stab it through one of the wild vampires, killing it in one blow!
The vampires wear no armor so once you could get past their immunities, they were easy picking. That and I rolled badly.....
As more of the evil creatures fell, "Rex" turned into a gaseous mist and fled. As he did so, the tent and the rest of the ruby rings also dissipated. It was quick work to isolate and take down each of the remaining figures.
Mr. Pan revealed he had seen through the disguise of the circus, and that he had been to many towns and hamlets that had "invited" the fiends within, only to be feasted upon or enthralled. Nathan's Ford was lucky indeed to escape this insidious plot. And the multitude of wonders and oddities we had witnessed within the tent, they were only elaborate illusion crafted by the vampires to fool people into believing they were legitimate. Mr. Pan gave his leave, explaining he needed to track down "Rex".
I mentioned before that this would be a sandbox styled campaign. This was the first real choice the players had. They could go with Mr Pan or follow other leads. As for the invitation, this is not true. Vampires do not need permission. This is something that Mr. Pan has convinced himself is true, part of his insanity.
The mayor showed up, flabbergasted that vampires and demons had somehow circumvented the town security. Mor'd-kai urged him to revoke the invitation the vampires had been given. Part of the mystic wondered was that from Fright Night or Buffy the Vampire Slayer...
Mor'd-kai offered to let Castle Refuge know of this new crisis on the frontier, and ran to use the communications panel in the town hall. As soon as he lifted the receiver, he heard a recorded warning message that the Castle was in the midst of a terrible ley line storm. Some rifts had opened, and people were cautioned to stay away. Concerned, the mystic returned downstairs to let the rest of the 7th Recon know.
Taking a cue from "The Voice of Hope" a Ley Line storm of huge preportions rips across the area around Castle Refuge, blocking communication with the castle.
Facing many options to explore, the group considered the several paths that had opened. Mor'd-kai pointed out he could perform a meditative trance (Commune) that might give some guidance. The group thought that sounded prudent, and he went into the forest to seek a link with The Great Spirit.
Soaring to a new height, the young man felt he could "see" with clarity an eagle might envy. He witnessed vampires entering towns and villages. Coming in as one, but leaving as three or four - their numbers were swelling in the towns north of the Rio Grande. The Splugorth, venturing forth from the east slowly - but every town they touched with their foul presence was completely enslaved. Or worse. Then to the north, the "crickets" spreading like a plague upon the land. And Castle Refuge. The mystic saw the ley line storm and multiple rifts opening. From one of them, three massive forms emerged. Creatures large enough to give Godzilla pause, what havoc could they wreak upon the Castle and its inhabitants?
I took this opportunity to narratively inform the party, through Mord'kai's spirit raven, about the options they have and the forces they are up against. The vampire plague was to the south. The single splugorth slaver that has been active deep into the continental US to the east. The Xyticix to the far north distracting and preventing the C.S. from mounting any more large scale actions against other powers after the fall of Tolkien. And the three large creatures coming out of the rift near castle refuge to the west of them.
As he paused to consider all of these terrible challenges, he sensed a figure to the north east turn its attention his way. A cloaked figure with glowing blue eyes, seeming from the Federation of Magic, reached out for him. Just as the spectral fingers would have touched his spirit, the vision abruptly ended, and he found himself sitting back on the forest floor. What manner of creature could have intercepted his godly vision?
They don't know it yet, but Lord Dunscon is taking interest in their group.
Once again he returned to his comrades. As they finished explaining to Mayor Nathan the combat with the faux circus performers, Mor'd-kai explained all that he had witnessed during his vision. We ended our session debating how we were going to proceed...
My group was leaning toward helping out Castle Refuge, the obvious choice on the surface but the castle is actually very well prepared for such an incursion. If they go that route, the vampires and splugorth will expand. The splugorth will call in a second slaver to collect even more slaves. Then there is the black market beginning to move into the area and some force from the western regions of Arizona and Nevada that is rising up.
Lets see what they do in the next session.
Due to the July Fourth Holiday, the next play session will be July 10th. I hope to have the update out before the following Sunday.
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (session 7)
Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:13 am
We began the session discussing what we would head off to do. (Insert Mor'd-kai speech here) Bladey-blah-blah. Honor, people, let's save Castle Refuge. So that is what we decide to do. With a short field trip to a ley line so Miranda can try to communicate with the Castle and make sure we are needed.
Gosh and golly, it is awesome we did that, because it turned out we were NOT needed. As Miranda used the ley line as a communication wire, she heard directly from walkers at the fortress. (That would be ley line walkers, not the zombie sort!) Two of the massive DB's had been sent back, and the third one was being dispatched the old fashioned way. Painfully, no doubt.
Some back and forth ensued. Miranda was informed by another walker that there was a report that well to the north and east of the castle a Coalition camp had been built. And within the camp were supposedly some people from our timeline. Like, from ETU!!! We reported the sighting of the Splugorth scout, and were given our choice of what to do. Go after the Splugorth, or attempt to rescue the prisoners. We chose the prisoners. 'Natch.
I actually did not want them heading back to Castle Refuge. I wanted them to stay in the field. Also, Mord'Kai's player expressed interest in wanting to investigate what happened to the other ETU students. So I decided to have intel come in that shows some of the ETU kids are being held at a detention center about 150 miles from them. They still have the Spluigorth and the Vampires and the Federation of Magic and the Black Market all moving and shaking in the background. The longer they delay in addressing any of these, the more entrenched these threats will become.
The people of Nathan's Ford gave us a swanky vehicle to use, better utility than our "old" one. It has a nice flatbed type platform on the back for our large dragon and Glittergirl companions. We estimated it would take about three days to make it to the area of the encampment, so we headed off early the next morning.
They asked for a larger vehicle that would allow the dragon and glitter girl to be able to fit in/on the vehicle. I gave them a modified Moutaineer with a flatbed conversion.
It was our second day traveling when Miranda slowed the vehicle to a gentle stop. A large tree had blocked the road, and she had spied some red skinned figures through the dense foliage. Mor'd-kai scouted above, and he was alerted by the shining clean cut of the tree stump. This road block was not accidental!
As Miranda increased the vigor of all the companions, the Mystic landed in a tree and unleashed an onslaught of bolts upon one of the figures. From the vehicle, the group of companions saw several silver streaks impact near the ground, followed quickly by a barrage of weapon fire from some of the bandits. A feathered form plummeted to the ground, burning. Upon hitting the ground, the young man returned to his human form. Inert.
This was a simple random encounter with some broadkil. They were up agains 1 warrior, 1 cyber-enhanced and 1 leader, all of them were wild cards. I got a lucky hit on Mord'kai that dealt 7 wounds. Luckily her dice exploded on her vigor check on the death and injury table.
Bikram quickly exited the truck, and ran toward one of the figures. His blade bit deep, and in moments he had felled one of the creatures. They were DB's known as Broadkill, who sought to augment their already formidable physical prowess with cybernetics.
Asia was angry and frustrated as her grenade launcher jammed, and her shot with the laser rifle was unable to connect. Lexi did not need to move off the truck platform as she shot one of the forms, staggering him. Evereth took wing, and landed near one of the Broadkill. Her barrage of fire did not seem to harm the creature, as it danced nimbly out of the way. The return fire upon the dragon looked impressive and devastating, but was completely impotent as it failed to even scratch a single scale.
Asia rolled a critical failure on her grenade launcher. So I had it jam on her and the grenade that she fired went way wide and was wasted. She hates wasting her grenades!
Bikram advanced towards a second form, slicing and unleashing a magical burst of his own. The Broadkill survived the fierce onslaught, and facing the determined Cyber Knight, did not seem to see his doom. For Evereth approached, and bit the fiends head clean off.
The dragon is getting into the habit of biting heads off...
Miranda and the dragon moved towards Mor'd-kai, hoping they could help him with magical healing. Evereth concentrated upon the still smouldering Mystic, and his eyes fluttered open. Then Miranda touched him, even as a sunbeam skipped through the tree leaves to shine upon her, wreathing her in golden light. (The ley line walker got a huge raise on her roll, healing Mor'd-kai of all his wounds and even his injury!) Stunned from being mostly dead and then fully healed, the young man stuttered "You must be an angel because you fell on my head and now it hurts....doooo." Concerned there was brain damage, Miranda checked him for a concussion even as a red bloom of embarrassment crept over Kai's face. Awkward!
Miranda's caster check exploded and she got three raises! So I ruled that Mord'Kai was fully healed. In the game, Mord'Kai thought Miranda was moving in for a kiss. He was wrong.
Asia and Lexi checked around, finding a small lair where the would be bandits had stashed some booty. Animal bones, and humanoid, too! gave proof to the fact that the Broadkill had been up to no good for some time. Karma is sometimes not a bitch, it can be a dragon biting your head off, apparently. We retrieved a vibro sword and some other weapons, and regrouped.
That evening as we camped we played out our first interlude! Bikram began to comment how he longed for the simpler time in his life when he worked at his families truck stop. He had not appreciated it much when he lived the moment, but now he recognized how precious those memories were. Mor'd-kai asked him some questions, then tried to explain to Evereth what a truck stop was. It was Kai's fault that it became a discussion about how soda and high fructose corn syrup were inventions of the white man to poison people and make them fat, and then the Great Tobacco Argument ensued. Asia mentioned to Kai if he ever needed to vent about oppression, she was there for him. Word!
I wanted to start introducing some of the other rules. Other players had gotten a benny here or there for role playing. I wanted to give Bikram's player a chance to get a benny as well. His interlude was not great (the player is normally really good at role playing and exposition!) but it was good. Benny to the player!
Miranda and Asia were able to hack into some of the Coalition comm channels as we traveled on, so we were getting some chatter about what was going on in the area of the encampment. Kai saw a very large contingent of troops on patrol a few miles from our vehicle. They looked to be easily avoided. Significant is that the Coalition had seemed to have heard that a force from the Legion was on their way to engage, but the size of the force had been greatly exaggerated.
How can we hope to liberate our fellow ETU students from such a well guarded camp? I'm sure we will think of something!
Next time, I was going to run them on a mission to scout out the prison camp. I will be running it similar to how the heist rules work in the "Wiseguys" playtest from Just Insert Imagination. They did a good job of creating the "staking the joint out" styled montage from heist styled moveis and shows. I'm modifying it to fit this setting.
Till next time!
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (session 8)
Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:33 am
Note: This session was my worst one yet in my opinion. I felt like I did not bring enough to the table. Like I could have prepped better or just skipped trying out some new rules variant (see below) I came up with. Luckily, my players did not seem to notice just how off I was this past session.
I guess we can all have off days.
Our session was dominated by scouting, planning, hacking, scheming and sending out an S.O.S. Not to the world, dear reader. An S.O.S. to Castle Rampage (deedle-dee-dey) Erm. Clearly I meant Castle Refuge, and who keeps on playing that guitar rift? Sheesh.
I tried an idea to run a modified dramatic task for the scouting as a way to determine general success or failure. It did not run as smoothly as I thought it would. Well, I guess you never learn if you don't try!
Asia and Miranda volunteered to scout out the small town to the north of the captive compound we are seeking to crack open. As they hit the outskirts, a suspicious sentry started to dog their steps. To NO AVAIL! Our comely infiltrators managed to sneak within one of the Coalitions communications buildings. Some clever hacking by the pair and they were able to backdoor the ability to lock down the troop barracks and the vehicle garage doors within the captive compound. Way to go ladies!
The CS prison compound was set up just outside a medium sized town that was largely CS friendly. But not entirely.
Whilst they were a sneaking, Mor'd-kai was a scouting. Or he would die trying! What a minute. What? The mystic failed a series of roles as he tried to conceal himself about a half mile from the compound. As he attempted to climb a tree wearing a gilly suit, he somehow grabbed a rotted branch, and fell with a heavy thud upon the forest floor. He was not injured, but a Coalition patrol heard the commotion. As they drew nearer to his position, they were able to perceive him shape changing into a raven. Several shots came dangerously close as the mystic took evasive maneuvers. He was able to redirect his approach, and gain a perch concealed within a tree. He garnered a pretty good picture of the compound, and numbers of captives and troop strength.
Mord'kai again came under fire, and just one session after having to make a roll on the incapacitation table.
As the crew regrouped that evening and discussed what they knew, it was our belief we would need some help from the Legion in order to succeed. The next day, we resolved to split up and accomplish some goals. Mor'd-kai would continue his scouting, and reach out with his mental abilities to some of the ETU students he had seen, letting them spread the word to trusted captives. Help was at hand, they should listen the morning of the second day for the ETU fight song as a signal for ACTION. Hopefully followed by uneventful rescue.
Bikram and Asia went back to the small town, trying to meet any resistance fighters posted there. Success, as they reached Rik, and worked with him a plan to divert some of the Coalition forces from the compound. Way to go! Rik would wait for a message to be relayed to him, and create multiple points of destruction and chaos within town.
Miranda, Lexi and Evereth traveled to a ley line to contact the Legion, and sent a message asking for help. After some back and forth, it was stated the only assistance that could be spared at this time was another small unit known as the Odd Squad. (Thank GOODNESS it wasn't the Mod Squad!! That may have been an overload of rebellious, snarky young adults! Now I am picturing a standoff: Asia vs Linc; Miranda vs. Julie; Bikram or Lexi vs. Pete. Mass bell bottomed HYSTERIA!)
I actually had not considered them trying to "radio" for help so far behind enemy lines. But I had just recently started listening to the old Savage Cast Podcast episodes and I remembered the Savage Rifts Liveplay with SPF called "Enter The Odd Squad".
The Legion also pledged to gather some transportation about 50 miles to the south of the camp. Well, crud. It was gonna take a lot to get all 450+ prisoners safely to the Legion. It is a good thing that 7th Recon are the WOLVERINES and we know how to eviscerate enemies!
Late the next evening the Squad showed up. Not really what we were expecting, and Lexi had to physically shut her mouth, as it was a hangin' open. The Squad is commanded by Christmas Carson, apparently a gunslinger from what looks like our Old West. If that timeline was infested with nasty undead revenants. Oh. CC has a robotic horse that she rides. It talks. AWESOME! Rupert the Wise looks like an armored Frankenstein monster. Avalonian, a mysterious humanoid figure shrouded like a badass from Assassins Creed video game. Quintas Pompaius Magnus, a figure that looks remarkably like a Roman centurion. Rock-n-Roll, a large brown rock dude. And lastly, Kalindia, Priestess of Light. A winged elf looking woman. No big... :+P
Enter the Odd Squad indeed! I don't have SPF's stats/character sheets so I've done a rough stat out of my own for each, building them as NPCs rather than PCs.
Luckily, my players did not seem too disappointed with my modified dramatic task as I was. Next time, we see if they can take out an entire CS prison camp. But why is the camp so thinly guarded?
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (session 9)
Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:45 am
NOTE: This session I tried using a modified dramatic task for the information gathering montage of the session. This was also my first ever attempt at actually running a dramatic task. As a result, it was not nearly as successful as I was hoping it would be. I think it bothered me more than my players so no biggie, but I figured for those followingt along with my thought processes, I felt it important enough to mention. Just another reason to really read up on any new rules you are trying out and not to get to crazy with altering them until you know what you are doing!
Well, on to the show!
We started things off with some planning. In no particular order here is what we proposed: Sending a message to Rick the Resistance leader in town to co-ordinate the Resistance's diversion; setting up roles for the two squads once we initiated the liberation plan (Miranda, Asia, Bikram and Rupert the Wise would be drivers for the evacuation vehicles. Kai and Christmas would be look outs and provide combat back-up. Quintas would join Miranda, Asia and Bikram in helping to shepherd the detainees from the compound and into the vehicles. Rock-N-Roll, Kelindia and the Avelonian would enter the compound as combatants. Lexi and Evereth would be backing up the combatants, neutralizing threats as needed.)
The resistance leader was essentially Rick from Casablanca. I did a passable (or is that laughable) impression of Humphrey Bogart. As for the compound, it was about 350 feet by 300 feet in size. There are two vehicle buildings, two barracks, and administrative offices. The detainees were kept in small shacks 20'x40' that had three high bunks lining the two long walls.
With so many people to be evacuated, the transports would be loaded with as many people as possible. There would have to be some people who followed, using a walk/run format, with people swapping between riding and walking/running. Following up as rear guard would be 7th Recon's vehicle with Kai, Evereth, Lexi, Christmas, and the Avelonian.
They actually figured out that if they had people riding on top of the APCs, nearly all the people could be taken with just the four Coalition Mark V APCs located in the compound. This would mean packing them into the APCs like sardines.
The party started with Asia masterfully manipulating the Coalition computer system, with some aid from Miranda. She realized she could set up a program through her "back door" that would open the compound gates and the detainee "cell" doors and close the vehicle bays and the troop barracks. All with one little command. PLUS she was able to encrypt her actions to prevent the Coalition from reversing her hack. Nice!
Asia needed a successful computer use skill at -2 in order to override the computers in the compound. It was this easy only because of a back door she managed to create the previous session. She needed to make two rolls, one for the oter perimiter security and one to lock down the vehicle buildings and barraks. She rolled a 13 on her first check and, with the aid of Miranda, rolled a 6 on the second. Yeah, she owned the CS computers at this compound.
We needed to wait for the diversion from town to be set off. Wow, what a diversion! There was a minor explosion, followed up with some radio chatter about how the Resistance had targeted some buildings in town, but things were under control. The communication was cut off, as a huge flash of light, followed by ground tremors and then a huge BoOM were experienced. Kai saw the massive flash and a small mushroom cloud from his vantage point in the trees. Hopefully no innocents were harmed! Oops! Claxons went off in the compound, and the call for troops to muster immediately galvanized the Coalition within.
The contact back in town set off some small explosions and sabotaged a main power station. I pulled from the deck to see if he ran into complications, I got the duce of clubs. So the power station (which was fusion powered) lost containment and the equivilent of a tactical nuke detonated less than a quarter mile North of town. Good news, they CS was really motivated to check it out. Bad new, the town is in for some big trouble.
Skellibots poured out, and troops began to follow. The soldiers took off in some big wheeled armored vehicles, while the Skellibots just motored off quickly. Five guards began to climb each of the four towers to supplement the guards within. We waited a bit for the group to head towards town...
I still like the way our storyteller writes skelebots!
As the big doors closed, we knew our time was NOW. Miranda, Asia, Bikram, Rupert and Quintas roared towards the gates in 7ths vehicle. Asia initiated her program, and the gates opened up. They stopped the vehicle between the gates, and popped out. Rupert began to bypass the security on each of the four large transports we would be borrowing. Asia qued up the ETU fight song for broadcast. Bikram and Quintas began to move forward, there were some troops surging forward! Miranda waited for Rupert to (un)secure the first transport, so she could start it up and move forward to begin loading the first of the captives.
All those good computer use rolls came into effect and they basically owned the compound faster than I would have thought possible. Mind you, I was running the Odd Squad as Wild Card NPCs but they all had only some basic skills. I did not want them to outshine the PCs.
Kelindia flew over, and obliterated one of the towers with a well placed spell. Rock-N-Roll used his earth glide to slide under the fortified walls, and flanked some of the advancing soldiers. Kai flew forward to engage the opposite flank. Lexi moved forward from the perimeter, while Evereth was on hold in reserve.
Kelindia's onslaught spell worked better than expected. I rolled the 6D6 and wound up with a damage total of 47. So the top of the tower just exploded. I always roll in the open, so there was no fudging the result. I really did not want her to have that big of an impact...
The soldiers were quickly dispatched (everyone kicked ass and used their bennies to good effect to maximize damage), and as we were mopping up the stragglers, a huge explosion in one of the vehicle bays rocked the area. A huge, powered rocket suit had discharged its four missiles to blow open the locked doors and entered the fray. Let's just say it was not a good day to F with the Wolverines and the Odd Squad. The soldier took the air, and was just raising its weapon when Lexi obliterated the rail gun on the suit with a magnificent called shot. With no choice but to descend and go hand to hand, the soldier attempted to jet off. Using his radio to communicate a Mayday and command all troops to return to the compound, his attempt to flee was cut short as Evereth took wing. How many licks does it take to get to the creamy center of a Coalition robot suit? Two bites and the mighty dragon tore off the jet pack that kept the soldier aloft. We can only imagine the evisceration that followed as she rode him to the ground.
This was an updated 109 PA SAMAS suit. I was expecting it to give them a really tough time. I was wrong.
Asia, having donned her Black Lives Matter tank top over her armor before the battle began, started to direct the captives to the waiting vehicles. With great presence, she was able to persuade the captives to leave their barracks and load into (and on to!) the waiting vehicles. The session ended with the convoy rolling South. We know there will be pursuit, can the group prevail against the MIGHT OF THE COALITION?
We next meet on August 21st. This will be the last appearance of Evereth as my daughter is starting high school and wont be able to keep attending a session so late.
Till then, see you online!
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles
Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:06 am
Awesome man, keep them coming!
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles
Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:02 am
I have enough ideas and material to keep it going quite some time. But my group does suffer from RPG ADD. So it is possible this game may go on hold for an indefinite period as my group starts to want to try a new setting.
We already have one person getting a FFG Star Wars game ready to run.
I'm hoping I can get to October, that would be another 3-4 sessions. If I'm lucky, I might get through November.
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (session 10)
Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:43 am
Missing this session were Evereth the Dragon's Player and Bikram the Cyber Knight's Player. Also, my daughter will more than likely have to step away for the school year as she is good enough a student to be placed in several honors classes for high school which means a lot more homework for her and we meet up on Tuesdays, playing until 10:30 pm or later. I am hoping she can show up for the next session so we can role play her departure, but either way, the next session will be Evereth's last with the group for a while.
Also, my group is looking to switch up GM's soon, so my game will likely take a break for several months to a year as others are given a chance to tell stories of their creation and run our group on new and exciting adventures.
On to the session!
We learned as the session began that Asia's hack job was much more effective than we suspected. Her talents, with the assist by Miranda, allowed us to get a bigger lead upon the pursuing Coalition forces. Four hours into our sojourn we stopped to give everyone a bio break. Lexi noticed some dissension among the ranks of the rescued. Using her background in psychology to IMMENSELY GREAT EFFECT, she was able to persuade some of the more vocal riff raff to help our efforts.
Asia got raises on several of her computer use rolls and the Coalition computer tech rolled double one's on his check (D'oh!) so yeah, she really mucked their system up.
The group quickly noticed how some of the freed prisoners were trying to reassert the authority they had in the camp, being unofficial leaders of their individual huts. A few of them looked to simply be bullies. Miranda's character made a great speech and followed it up with a persuasion roll of 18! So, yeah, the unrest settled down pretty fast!
Kai was able to see we were being followed. Asia and Ruben the Wise were able to use some of the on hand munitions to set a booby trap in the road. Off we went, and a bit later we heard a faint explosion. Hopefully that trap did some damage! As we traveled we did what we could to slow down the approaching force.
Asia had to make an electronics roll at -2 to rig a mini-missile as a land mine. She was warned that if she failed the missile would be ruined, if she rolled double ones, it would explode. She rolled her dice with baited breath. Her first roll was a 1 & a 2, which just about gave her a heart attack. Then she bennied the roll and got an 11. Go her! After setting a boobie trap, Bikram and Evereth trailed the convoy, Bikram used his psi-swords to slice into large trees and Evereth would guide their fall to make sure they blocked the path effectively, then Evereth would pick up Bikram and fly back to the convoy.
Later that night, Kai turned into an owl and scouted. He saw that two flying cycles and a Mark V troop carrier were gaining ground upon us. They would catch the convoy unless something prevented them... Lexi needed to give another pep talk to some of the peeps, they were looking for additional food that we just did not have. She was able to again use her persuasion to get the dissenters to stand down. Whew! That could have really made things messy. Nice job!
The Coalition sky cycles started to shoot up the trees that were felled before the Mark V got to it, so that the APC could just easily roll right over the shattered remains of the wood without needing to slow down.
While this was going on, some of the more stubborn leaders of the freed prisoners were again challenging the group. Lexi had to make an opposed persuasion check, with the most outspoken of the prisoners getting a +2 to his roll as he was feeding into the fear and hunger the prisoners were experiencing. Lexi had to burn a bennie, but managed to get a roll just high enough to get a raise. This completely quelled the dissention.
Several of the intrepid heroes dropped back to engage the enemy as the convoy rattled along. To prepare, Asia set up another trap. Kai cast speed upon Lexi and Evereth. Miranda gave Kai, Lexi and Asia an augment to their shooting skill. The Coalition rolled over the trap, and we sprang into action.
One thing I forgot to mention, at this time, the Odd Squad were still riding with the group. Rock-n-Roll, Christmas, and Rupert joined the players in hanging back for the confrontation with the Coalition.
The primary targets were the two pilots on the cycles. With the help of Rock n Roll and Christmas Carson the pilots were quickly eliminated. There were grenades tossed. There was a rampaging, ravaging dragon. A Glittergirl went Pickle Rick on some Coalition forces. A mystic bolted and blasted away. And in the end, there was little more than smoldering corpses and twisted metal. Lexi drew "Wolverines" on several surfaces. And then, for the most part unharmed, we rejoined the convoy.
The battle started with the Lexi and Asia getting the drop on the Sky Cycles with their ranged weapons after both pilots failed their notice rolls. Both hit their respective sky cycle pilots and both pilots made their vigor checks. Asia's target soaked both wounds while Lexi's target soaked one of the two wounds she dealt. This was followed by Evereth, who had been hiding in the dense foliage of the treetops, leapt from hiding to land on the cycle that Asia fired on. With her scales bursting into flames. The pilot tried to shake the dragon off the cycle. I made a pilot roll for the CS pilot and got a 13, Evereth had to resist falling with a strength check. With a strength of D12+4, she got a 15.
In short order, both sky cycles were brought down, the Mark V managed to shake Lexi in her Glittergirl armor but could not wound her. The players targeted the weapon systems on the APC while rock and roll kept shaking it from below (I had him make a smarts check to target the tires rather then just shaking the vehicle, I never got higher than a 3 in four rounds of combat...). They PCs managed to blow a side door open and lob in not one, but two fragmentation grenades and get some exploding dice on the damage. One did a total of 22 damage, the other did 26. So all the CS Grunts inside the main hold were turned to paste. Two rounds later and Lexi, in her smaller Glittergirl armor crawled in and killed both crewmen in the cockpit.
Asia's player thought to leave the APC as a boobie trap as I started to describe how it was destroyed by their demolition efforts. I gave her a chance to make a smarts check to think of this before the explosion, she got a 3, bennied and got a 2. So Asia thought of it as the first charges started to turn the Mark V into a burned out husk.
Shortly after we rendezvoused with the Legion and the larger transports they brought to transfer the rescued people to, more Coalition forces were seen to be following us. A substantial force. The convoy was quickly transferred to the larger vehicles, and we (and by we I pretty much mean Asia) set up several more traps in the stolen Coalition transports. After scavenging hard drives and other useful tech from them!
Just after dawn the next day, they abandoned the Mark V's they took as they met up with the castle refuge relief force that came with a dozen transports to handle all the prisoners and with enough food & water for them all. They did boobie trap these and even set them to chain detonate when one went off. When the larger CS force made it to the four Mark V's, they managed to set them off, destroying all four Mark V's as well as killing a dozen or so CS troops and damaging or destroying several of their own vehicles.
The trap was spectacularly successful, and it seemed that the Coalition cut their losses and went back to lick their wounds. There is a feeling that the Wolverines of the 7th Recon are squarely in the sights of Coalition command, however. Target acquired.
The whole convoy travelled non-stop until about an hour after sundown. That evening went peacefully and the next morning the Odd Squad departed to continue on their original mission while the players stayed with the convoy wanting to head back to Castle Refuge.
The CS did not send any more forces after them. But the Wolverines are now one of the Coalitions "Most Wanted" terrorist groups out there.
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (session 11)
Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:46 am
This was a seed from one of the great people over on the Savage Rifts G+ group. The original idea kinda went from a nice side trek/getaway for my players. Then, as the scene unfolded, the player's apprehension kinda infected my original idea and a more horror themed session unfolded.
Here's the link to the original G+ post:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DustinSmit ... twfexyigJH
The Wolverines of 7th Recon were all drawn to the same area outside the large camp. We all had the same feeling of familiarity or deja vu, and so moved forward to examine this strange phenomenon.
As we reached the top and looked down, we could not believe our eyes. A small, American appearing small town was laid out. Kai and Bikram went in, despite Lexi's protests. As the pair entered the outskirts of town, the smell of BBQ and coffee wafted our way. We were greeted by a fella (Frank) sitting on the porch of a small home. Kai told a white lie, that we were in the area on a scouting retreat. That is why we were dressed funny.
They all started to see a faint glow just over a small hill a few yards from the edge of camp. I kept the feeling of tranquility and peace in my descriptions and my voice. I tried to make it as inviting as possible without trying to sound eager. I honestly started this as a nice littel excursion to give the players a break. But somehow, it all went sideways....
Miranda sensed a Nexus in the area covered by the town, and began to gather some of that ole timey ley line juice. Her ghost friend manifested and warned her about the area. As the two men moved further from them, radio communication began to break down a little bit. Bikram took out his cell phone, and said that it had signal. Whhhhaaattt? Maybe we WERE back home! Bikram thought about having any willing former Coalition prisoners ushered into the area so they could have the opportunity to be back home. Kai just wanted to call home. So he asked Frank if he could borrow his phone, and flipped him a twenty dollar bill for the trouble.
No, they had no signal. They thought they did. I had them all make spirit checks at -4 (super difficult) and all failed. Since there was no inherent harm in the failure, I did not feel guilty about the high penalty. As things got stranger, they would get to make follow up spirit checks at -2.
Frank agreed, showing him inside where the phone was. Kai got dial tone, and punched in his mom's number. It went to voice mail, and he left a message on what had happened to him. Almost as soon as he hung up, the phone rang. His mom accused him of lying, that 'you can't be my son, he is dead. I saw his body!' - Kai mentioned that the government must have fudged that, the government lies. She knows all about that. Another exclamation, and dial tone. Kai paused, trying to think of what he should do when the dial tone stopped and a terrible voice taunted him. "Thanks for making us aware of your mother, her blood and bones will taste so sweet!" Uh-oh. Now he was getting mad.
At this point, the player still thought they were back in the past and that the character's mother was in real danger. I don't know why I did that. It just seemed the players were winding themselves up so much I just decided to give them what they were expecting, but not how they were expecting it.
An older woman (Lucille) came from the kitchen with some cookies on a sheet. Kai was aware of a fresh baked smell, and the woman said "You should have known better than to make that call. Now THEY know about your mother." They? Who? Kai followed her back into the kitchen for questioning, and asked if he could have a cookie.
Yuck. It tasted of marrow and bone, definitely an acquired taste. He managed to be polite (?) and finish the cookie. Meanwhile Bikram was talking to Frank outside. He asked about some current events, where to find good BBQ... Frank told him Charlies had some great food, and where to get it.
It was made from congealed blood & meal with bits of bone and marrow swirled in. Mord'kai had to make a vigor check to successfully eat that thing.
Kai noticed a strange shadow shape crouching like a spider in the corner of the ceiling. How had he missed THAT? Trying not to look directly at it as he questioned Lucille, he managed to not attract its attention. Lucille did not really give him any answers about who THEY were, so Kai went back to join Bikram. Now he noticed another shadow creature in the corner of the porch, watching Frank. And Bikram seemed to have garnered some additional attention. Three shapes surrounded him, with one of them seeming to actively latch upon him! Looking down the street, it seemed like several more shapes were heading their way.
I honestly made them up on the spot. I took a creature from the film 'Spirited Away', and the shadow creatures from 'Odd Thomas' and threw in a creature from a recurring nightmare I used to get. They were like the little fish that stay close to sharks to feed off the remains of it's kills.
Not wanting to endanger Frank (he might be innocent after all), Kai suggested that he and Bikram go get some BBQ. Bikram agreed, and the trio of shadows drifted along. Kai tried to make Bikram aware of the danger around them, but the Cyber Knight did not understand the reference. So Kai used a more direct method. Bikram summoned his blade, and severely damaged the shadow upon him.
Bikram failed a second spirit check so I let his player know that going to the BBQ restaraunt seemed good, he was hungry and good BBQ was hard to find in this future. As the others, still outside the town's influence realized they were loosing radio communication decided to head on in. Mord'Kai was able to see the shadow spider man thing and tried to warn Bikram. The player was acting oblivious so I said his character could make a smarts check to figure it out. He made it and lashed out at the one with it's hands around his head. He actually did not realy harm the shadow. These were non-violent entities. The real threat was about to become known.
The trio of ladies had become concerned, since radio communication had been broken. They entered the area and things started to get *really* weird. More shadows looked to be coming toward us. Children seemed to be taunting us with calls of "ollie-ollie-oxenfree!" (as if we would ever HIDE or play games with evil. pshaw!) Miranda boosted traits. Asia lobbed a plasma grenade. Lexi whipped out a chain sword. Bikram swept his blade around to make the shadows flee from him.
The first thing they heard through their radios was "Ashes, Ashes, They all fall down!", followed a few moments later by the kids saying "ollie-ollie-oxenfree!" out loud (not through the radios). About a half dozen kids from around the block started to surround them. As the players attacked the shadows, the creatures all backed off. Then the fun started.
Not long after this, the ground began to tremble. Large tentacles crackling with electrical energy appeared, and we began to battle them. The size of the tentacles seemed to grow moment to moment as the features and people of the town began to dissolve around us. Every time a tentacle was destroyed, an unearthly chorus crackled over the comms. It was Miranda almost getting knocked out of the sky and severely injured that indicated we were over our heads. Lexi had been the reluctant warrior, and had said we should not be there. Now Miranda's friendly ghost said to her that we should run. So the ley line walker began the withdrawal back to "our side" of the nexus. As she was doing so, the tremors were becoming increasingly severe, and the ground was starting to rise up to reveal a HUGE something underneath.
All the children, Frank, hell, all the people in town vanished in acrid smoke. Where they stood is where the tentacles rose up from the ground. Every round they grew by another 50% in length and got about another foot in diameter thicker. The ground rumbled all over, as if an earthquake was starting. The quakes kept getting worse every round. As they attacked the tentacles, they were very successful at slicing through them (for the first few rounds, they had a toughness of 10). As they were cut, a large bestial scream was heard coming from everywhere and the ground shook more violently. It became apparent to most of the players that this was a fight they needed to flee.
Kai was still very conflicted, but followed the rest to the edge of the random rift. He was still concerned that his of-this-dimension mother was in danger, and did not like that idea one bit. As we all gathered outside the rift, it disappeared. Just then one of the former captives called out to us, and approached. He asked what we were doing, and jumped to the conclusion that Bikram and Miranda had been fighting with each other. We returned to camp, after Miranda healed up her and Bikram's wounds. Asia sensed Kai was really hurting and tried to comfort him. Appreciating her efforts, the mystic refused and settled down to try to channel a divination. He spectacularly failed, and fell into a deep slumber instead. The next few days were uneventful, and we made our way to Castle Refuge.
Actually, the refugee came to the top of the hill and called out to them. They turned to face him, expecting him to see the town shaking with large tentacle rising from it but he was just staring at them. They turned to the town and it was gone. Miranda no longer sensed the nexus point, which was impossible as far as she was concerned. The refugee thought Bikram and Miranda were fist fighting as they were both wounded (2 wounds each).
The rest of the trip to Castle Refuge was uneventful.
See you in two weeks!
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (session 12)
Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:22 am
In this session, they make it back to Castle Refuge, report in, and learn of some more news about the Splugorth and Vampires.
The session opened with Mor'd-kai suggesting that we should have a plan on what to move onto once we reach the Castle. He asked the group what they preferred to do, commenting that either the vampires to the South or the Splugorth to the East seemed to be the larger threats. Asia commented she would like to hunt vampires, she rather enjoyed staking them to oblivion. Lexi was more reluctant, stating her weapons were not as effective against the fanged fiends. Miranda had (to my imperfect recollection) no druthers. Bikram enthusiastically wanted to go after vampires, his blades bit deeply... or was that Bikram? Wait, where did he go? (Bikram's player was missing, so that was theoretical enthusiasm)
Bikram's player arrived to game late, something about a dental appointment that ran long and a blowout on the way to game. Sheeesh! All these excuses! *grins*
When we got to the Castle, Kai and Asia (who had just realized she was the highest ranking member of our cadre and actually had responsibility to report in to the command) checked in and reported on our prisoner rescue mission. We were told that the command staff had actually wanted us to head East, as several small outposts had apparently been taken by the Splugorth. The Castle was trying to do what they could to expand communication to their farthest outposts, but it was a slow process. They also stated that several other teams that had been sent to investigate had vanished without a trace. Truly a concern! Kai suggested sending the Odd Squad that way, but was told they had actually headed West to deal with a problem in that direction.
I created situations to the East, West and South as well as hinted at issues to the far North and East. I left the breadcrumbs and let the player's decide which problem to investigate. The Splugorth are invading deeper into the country to the East, skirting around the Southern end of the Federation of Magic. Vampires have come up through Mexico into Western Texas and have been steadily increasing their influence through Southern and Central Texas. This is in addition to their invasion of Arizona. There has been word of goblins to the West, near the old Colorado area. The Xyticix have been pushing southward and the Federation itself has started showing interest in the region around Castle Refuge. The last three, the PC's have been told about in passing, but I do not think the players remember those bits of info.
Oh, and there had been really unusual communication from a Mr. Pan? He claimed to be down in an area called Pinebox, and specifically asked the Wolverines be sent down there to aid him. He told the dispatch that is where we had come from, and by the way, Mor'd-kai should know his mother had really been okay. (HOW DID HE KNOW THAT?) :+) A loud metallic clanging could be heard in the background, dispatch had reported, and Mr. Pan had stated he was in the process of fighting some vampires.
Mr Pan returns! One of my favorite NPCs to play! He is a man out of time, kind of like the PCs. He's also been modified by True Atlanteans, turning him into a Tattooed Warrior, specifically a vampire hunter.
Since the chance to return to Pinebox and the site of ETU was being dangled in front of us, Asia and Kai stated that is definitely where we needed to head. So we started preparations for dealing with vampires. We all got super soaker type rifles that could be loaded with plain or holy water. Small "balloons" that could be filled with holy water. Wrist held sling shots. Silver bullets. U/V tipped bullets. Spears with silver tipped ends. A cast iron pan covered with silver. Some additional drums filled with regular water, and containers with holy water.
Between the Rifts core book and the Vampire sourcebook as well as the SW Horror Companion, I cobbled together all their vampire hunting gear. They are feeling a bit confident about their chances.
Kai realized that he would be able to use one of his abilities to generate a few gallons of holy water each day, and so began to generate more of this potent liquid. And we set off south.
Being a Mystic, I allowed Mord'Kai's player to cast a modified communion spell as a way of blessing the water. Each casting turned one gallon into holy water at a cost of 10 PP per gallon.
It was during an afternoon break that we were attacked by a group of "crickets". Kai could not believe his eyes when his raven scouted them, what were they doing this far south? They were led by a larger bug, wielding several lethal looking blades! They rushed upon us as Lexi - warned about their presence - went to get back into her power armor. Their speed as they closed on us was too fast, and the smaller bugs were able to attack us with their bio weapons. The rifles seemed to do terrible damage, Asia and Kai were sorely wounded in their opening salvo.
They were attacked by a small patrol of Xyticix. Mord'kai and Miranda both know that they are not normally found this far south. They were entering Eastern Texas at the time.
Kai was able to heal Asia and himself of some of the damage, and then Miranda (being *so* Miranda!) got a raise on her mass healing and we were ALL better! As the Wolverines got to respond, Asia blew up stuff; Bikram stabbed and slashed to great effect; Lexi shot things and pretty soon nothing stood alive to oppose us. Whew. That was a close one! Kai said we needed to let the Castle know we had fought a group of crickets so far to the south, and Miranda used a nearby ley line to let them know. We used some of our spears to mount the big cricket to the front grill of our vehicle as a sign of our badassery.
We rolled into the area of Pinebox with no further incident. Part of the old highway was still intact, and Asia got out to reclaim a rusted bit of history - a sign sagging upon an ancient post. She used some of the tools in the vehicle to screw the metal to our vehicle. Let the customization begin!
Asia asked us all how we felt being back in Pinebox, and we pretty much agreed it was strange. Next time we find out just how peculiar Pinebox has become!!
As of this writing, I'm still figuring out just how I'm going to play this one. I have some ideas but nothing really firmly visualized yet. I still have a week though!
(To the tune of Soundgarden's Spoonman)
Killin' vampires with your hands.
This fiend has some fangs.
All my friends aren't Indians
My friends aren't all brown or red!
-Mord'Kai's tribute to his favourite singer, Chris Cornell, who died a year before Mord'Kai and his friends were ripped from their time and dropped into the world of Rifts.
Till Next time,
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (session 13)
Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:21 am
Sorry for the long delay. My player got me the recap this past Tuesday. It's been a busy week!
We started with Bikrum navigating the narrow streets of (New) Pinebox. We parked outside a row of shops, and Asia and Miranda went to gather some information. Inquiring about Mr. Pan, they learned that he may have been instrumental in saving the mayor recently. He was over in the "High Hill" area of town.
So, I gave the players a choice of action last session. They could go to the aid of this mysterious "Mr Pan" and go to Pinebox, or they could help rid the region east of Castle Refuge from some disturbing reports of Splugorth Slavers. They chose Pinebox...
High Hill appeared to be on the site of ETU. It was an immaculately manicured, gated community of mixed condo living and manufacturing. Kai noted that there were soldiers on the roof of each building. Four on some, two each on "condo" buildings. That was odd. After clearing security, we were directed to "condo" building 4.
Building security (boy, this place is S.E.C.U.R.E.) gave us leave to head to Mr. Pan's unit. Loud music blared from the hallway. Mr. Pan seems to be a little more strange than we had believed. Lexi did not want to engage him at all after we heard an exclamation of "Oh, you're naughty!" from the apartment in question...
While Mr Pan sounded like he was adressing some sultry vixen teasing him, he was actually watching Die Hard and commenting on a scene where Bruce Willis was being clever.
He may have been talking to a movie he was watching. Maybe. That evening we met the mayor. Ate a really good meal with him. Heard about the vampire attack that happened, and how Mr. Pan saved the day. ((The mayor was in a trade caravan when they were assaulted heading back from Dallas. At first they thought they were dealing with armored bandits. Until "dead" bandits began to rise, and they realized they were armored vampires and seemed Very Organized. Mr. Pan stepped in and turned the tide of battle. It was during this battle that he contacted Castle Refuge for our assistance.))
We gathered more information, asked about what protections High Hill had arranged for Pinebox, and agreed to set out in the morning for the first of about six small settlements between Pinebox area and Dallas. We pulled into the first small town early that morning...
Kai was the first to say that something was wrong, then Mr. Pan chimed in with agreement. The people we saw seemed cowed. We parked near a "government" building, and Asia and Miranda went inside. There was a sheriff inside, who viewed the ladies with suspicion.
So, the first town they got to was not much more than about three dozen buildings and a few side streets off the main road. The government building was the sheriff's office.
Asia wove a tale of us following up on reports of Splugorth in the area. Had he seen or heard anything out of the ordinary? He claimed all was well, but Asia could tell he was hiding something. She asked if we could look around, and the sheriff agreed. As soon as they left his office, Kai could see from his raven's vantage point that the sheriff called someone.
The sheriff was a condescending "good ole boy" kinda man who looked at the PCs like unwanted gum on his shoe. That and he was hiding something....
Scouting around, Kai could view a figure in armor stepping out of a house from nearby to take a look at us. As the figure re-entered the building, the mystic sent his raven inside. The armored person took his helmet off, and it was a vampire. Kai could see two others in the living room, un-armored. (Under armored?)
We came up with a quick plan to attack the house. Miranda would remain in the vehicle to control any human reinforcements that came to help. Bikrum and Kai through the back; Lexi, Asia and Mr. Pan in the front. Lexi blew a hole through the window, and Asia entered. She moved forward to engage one of the vampires, Mr. Pan following behind. Asia shot the fiend, and the pan man followed up with the knockout blow. Bikrum cut the door hinges off with his psi-sword, and stepped in to engage two fiends he discovered in the back. A loud voice from upstairs asked what was happening, and suddenly a mist from the floor vent resolved into the figure of a master vampire. Mor'd-kai stepped into the house and shot the master with a holy water super soaker. Wow. There were waaayyyy more vampires in the house than Mor'd-kai had noticed! Oops!
Combat started late and there was a debate to even start it. After two rounds, we called it for the night as one of our group was falling asleep, having been up 18 hours.
Next time, we dive right into combat and its aftermath.
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles Delay in next post
Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:17 pm
Due to some scheduling snafu's, my group will next meet on November 6th, so the next update will likely be around November 10th or so.
Just thought I'd put that out there.
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles
Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:08 pm
We are still getting together on November 6th, no change there.
This will be our last session for the foreseeable future. One of my home group members (Ron, aka Miranda) will be moving from the Chicago suburbs to the Seattle suburbs in the spring. He was hoping to GM a game he's been working on for some time. So I'll be stepping down as GM so he can run his setting before he leaves.
So, I'll be sure to post a special final (for now) session of the Red Dawn Chronicles soon after the November 6th session.
See you then!
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (The delays! Oh, the delays!)
Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:28 pm
Just a heads up, some of my group has real life/work commitments preventing us from getting together on November 6th.
We are shooting for a November 20th game date.
Until then, I present to you story time! Our session record keeper wrote this small fiction piece after the events of session 11 (The mysterious town).
Enjoy and I'll have an update before the end of November.
This is told from the viewpoint of Mord'kai.
** The raven tapped upon the rock with its beak. A cold breeze ruffled its feathers. It turned to face him, cocking its head as if asking a question. TAP-TAP-TAP. The ravens eyes were white and sightless. **
"Get up, we are moving out!" The hand was rough on his shoulder, the grip likely harder than Bikram meant it to be. Kai rolled over groggily, his mouth dry. "What?" was the only thought he could muster.
Wasn't it a moment ago he had tried to seek guidance from the Great Spirit? He squinted in the growing morning sunshine. And "How?" was the question that drifted through his head.
Feeling eighty instead of eighteen, he struggled to his feet. Yes, this was the spot he had picked to meditate last night. A large hawthorn tree away from the bustle of the large camp. A spot near its base where he could lean upon the trunk, snugly between two roots. Now he could see why he ached so. He had fallen to one side, a root digging into his ribs and his neck at a weird angle. He tried to stretch the discomfort away. The image from his dream floated back to him. He knew that place... his brow furrowed as he gathered his few belongings and limped off toward the mess truck. Hopefully he could grab something to eat, he was feeling hollow after missing dinner AND breakfast.
Yesterday had been horrible. He was still aching after hearing her voice after all these months. How her Israeli accent had popped up, a sure sign of how upset she was. Even though he realized it was likely a deception, the pain was still real. It had sounded SO REAL. And just thinking of his mom being in danger upset him. Made the static in his head buzz even more.
He was able to grab a meat roll and a steaming cup of coffee, working the stiffness out of his body. He was finally walking straight again. He got into their truck and slid into the back, avoiding Miranda's concerned looks. Asia tried to engage him in conversation as she joined him in the backseat, asking if he was okay. He gave a nod, and tersely said "Going to scout." He leaned back and closed his eyes, sending his raven out to soar above the trees.
His concentration was fragmented, though. His mind still felt fuzzy from fatigue. His thoughts kept drifting to what had happened. He tried to shake off the disappointment at how ineffective he felt he had been. Unable to help Miranda when she was so terribly injured. Unable to take to the air. Unworthy to seek answers from his divination magic? And how quickly he had angered at Asia's suggestion he slip off and find some relief in alcohol. She didn't know. It had never come up how he avoided drinking as a result of seeing so many lives ruined by drugs and booze on the reservation. They had talked about their shared past, and the protests they participated in. How it had molded their decisions to go to ETU. But he never had brought up the poverty and despair he had seen whenever he visited Standing Rock. How his father, and then his grandfather had shielded him from the ugly reality of just how many of the native population had succumbed to their addictions.
He settled his breath into a regular, deep rhythm. Deliberately he willed "Out with the bad. In with the good." The past could not be changed. The now was where he was needed. He noticed that Asia was tapping out a complex beat and immediately felt better. It wove an interesting counter point to the faint 80's music he could hear through the comm coming from Lexi. Bikram and Miranda were discussing something in the front, their voices muffled.
He felt a degree of comfort settle over his mind. This was the sound of normal now. He was a part of this team, and they had just pulled off a huge coup against the Coalition. Whatever the future brought, they could handle it. Tenacious as Wolverines should be.
Til next time!
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles (Session 14)
Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:23 am
In this, our final chapter (for now), we complete the battle that started last session!
(Bikram and Mor'd-kai faced two fiends in the back of the house, Asia and Mr. Pan faced off against one in the hallway. Miranda and Lexi remained outside, where a growing menace seemed to be emerging from the houses and businesses nearby. Humans, likely thralls, were gathering to put up a fight)
Miranda surveyed the line of angry people heading towards the home, safe within the 7th Recon vehicle. Lexi, aware of the danger enraged townsfolk might present, strode forward to head them off. Gauging they were still too far off to pose much of a threat, she waited calmly. Some warning shots might be warranted, she thought...
Just a reminder, Lexi is our Glitterboy pilot in Glitter Girl Armor.
Kai unloaded his Holy Super Soaker of Doom (that's what SHE said) at the closest vampire, to great effect. The creature tottered, hissing vile threats before it seemed to steady itself. Bikram moved forward to slash the second vamp, and dusted it. Hurling a curse at the duo, the (master?) turned into a cloud and disappeared. Don't you hate when that happens?
What she referred to as the master was, in fact, a secondary vampire.
In the hallway, Asia found herself suddenly flanked by two vampires, eager to find someway to her heart. Oops. The poor guys did not realize they were the wrong sex. (waaah-wah) Mr. Pan flanked the rear flanker and the flank was on! Bikram came forward, having been alerted by Kai that there were more in the hallway. So he flanked the front flanker, completing the rare quadruple flank maneuver. Kai kept to the rear of the hallway, using his ranged attacks against the vamps and letting Bikram come a little bit closer. He was their kind of man. So big and so strong!
Remember, this is told through Mord'kai's point of view. He's always found it odd that Asia was gay and continually sees himself as the most manly of the group...
Out front, Lexi and Miranda made sure their friends were okay within, opting to stay outside and deal with the civilians. Hoping to limit any casualties, Lexi tried to persuade them to back off verbally. And then she used a few rounds of metallic persuasion. THAT seemed more effective! Miranda helped to boost the crews shooting skill, pretty handy when the posse was packing.
A glitterGirls cannon, while not quite as impressive as the "Boom Gun", is a terrifying sight none-the-less!
Caught between two of the fiends, Asia was wounded. Between her, Mr. Pan, Bikram and Kai the pair did not last long. They were panned, slashed and holy watered to oblivion.
The group began to search the house for more vampires. Coffins abounded, but no sign upstairs of any additional creatures. The first floor was clear... It was Kai who discovered a hidden door in one of the first floor rooms. With stairs leading down. Down. Down to darkness.
The basement was the real heart of this dark home. I thought for sure I would make the players second guess fighting vampires after they went downstairs.
A handful of townspeople still approached, and were getting close enough where their safety might be compromised. Another volley of bullets from Lexi, and only the sheriff still stood against them. He witnessed what a shot gun could do against a fully operational Death Lexi-star, and realized there was nothing he could do to penetrate that gleaming armor.
After two rounds of laughable combat, the enthralled townsfolk realized they had absolutely nothing that could harm Lexi's armor.
Inside, the quartet co-ordinated a plan to head downstairs. Lighting. Spells. Preparations. Rock, paper, scissors to see who would go first... J/K - of course it was Bikram. That's what Righteous Dudes of Ultimate Awesomeness do! The stairs ended in a basement room, with two doors. Closed doors.
Miranda and Lexi were wrapping up things on the street, so down the four heroes went. Spreading out in the small room, they opted to open the door nearest the stairs first. Bikram and Mr. Pan investigated, as Asia and Kai remained in the central room. Nothing appeared to be in the room, but there was another door. Stepping towards the next portal, Bikram heard Kai gurgle for help. They were under attack!
The secondary vampire used his mist form to reappear in the basement room and attack.
Kai was charged by a master vampire, driven into the wall with his neck in a vise like grip. The creature looked over at Asia and growled, "Listen to me!" as it's eyes glowed red. Nope. Asia don't let piddlin' shit like gettin' dominated interfere with her VAMPIRE KILLIN'! The young woman shook off the attempt to enthrall her, and stepped back out of the doorway to allow Bikram and Mr. Pan to move forward. She shot at the creature with her holy water soaker.
The vampire shoved Mord'kai into the wall hard enough to crack the cinder block wall he pinned 'kai to. He attempted to use puppet to control Asia but failed. Asia did not like that. While they were focusing on the vampire that had Mord'kai, two other vampires slipped into the room.
The battle became a pit of hellish chaos. As Asia maneuvered to get a clear shot at the vamps, she did not realize two more fiends had slipped into the room that Bikram and Mr. Pan had searched. They both attacked, and the woman fell, sorely wounded.
Fortunately for all, Miranda had just then descended the stairs and used her powerful healing magic on Asia and Kai. Fully restored, Kai continued to blast with his holy water. Still badly hurt, Asia opted to remain down and use her handy sonic attack drum. One of the vampires was very affected by the penetrating sound waves.
Asia had a set of custom high tech sonic weapons that worked like drums. She used them to cause both of the new vampires to become shaken.
Hearing that Asia was down sent Lexi into full blast mode. Unable to fit her power armor down the stairway, she made herself an entrance, choosing to blast a hole into the roof as well to let some sunshine in. The two foes did not last long against the Glitter Girl and Asia.
Lexi blasted through the floor on the oposite side of the stairs to avoid crushing the others already in the basement. She came around to the small side room that the two other vampires had ambused Asia.
One of the vamps was dusted, but the Master was able to withdraw deeper within the basement. As Bikram, Kai and Mr. Pan pursued, they saw two human's in the final throes of death due to extreme blood loss. They had *just* been drained!
I did a little GM Fiat and had the secondary vampire speed heal himself with the blood of two previously captured humans.
A supernatural chill and darkness crept out from where the master vampire had withdrawn. Taunts and jeers filled the area, but the 7th Recon + The Pan Man were too stout hearted to be afeared. Moving forward, with help from their flank from Lexi, Miranda and Asia - the three fellas stalked the stalker.
This again was a GM Fiat. The supernatural darkness made viewing into it impossible. Powerful light would allow someone to see ten feet into this inky darkness.
Once again, Kai was the initial target as the fiend rushed him and attempted to crush him against the wall. The battle was fierce, but with the Master cornered and a Cyber Knight in destroy mode, there was little doubt to the outcome. As Mor'd-kai unleashed one of his most powerful spell blasts, holy energy lit that sucker up and he perma poofed. The darkness and chill faded, and we beheld a horrendous sight. Coffins and desiccated corpses lined the basement. Maybe a hundred bodies, piled up like cords of wood. We made sure the place was cleansed, and as we exited the charnel house, the townsfolk were shaking off the evil spell that had enthralled their minds. Looking around in horror, guilt and a dawning realization of just what had been in their midst...
And this, unfortunately wraps up the campaign a bit abruptly. The PC's are left with a knowledge that there are more such cells as this throughout the Texas region and possibly moving toward Castle Refuge. Mr Pan seems hell bent on stopping them at all costs. As of now, they are still unaware that he is a True Atlantean Vampire Hunter.
I am hoping that we may return to this setting in about six months to a year. Until then, Fight the good fight and keep the Tomorrow Legion Alive!!
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles
Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:59 am
Thanks Shadow Dad for sharing this with us. I deliberately did not reply in this thread before hand in order to keep from interrupting the story. I hope you get a chance to jump into another game soon and this one ending is not a sign of a gaming famine for you. (6 months is a long time for no gaming.)
Re: The Red Dawn Chronicles
Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:14 pm
We are not taking a break from gaming.
A player in my group recently found that he would be moving to Seattle from Chicago in April and was wanting to run a game before he leaves. So we are transitioning into his game. After that, someone else may want to take over the GM seat before I can get us back into SW Rifts.
The good new for that is hopefully we will have PDFs of the next three books out by the time we game again.
I suspect I will be able to finish my Vampire story arc and possibly another arc after that one.
After that, I fear gamer ADD may set in. As all of us enjoy GMing as well as playing.