Sunday, December 26, 2021

Living Magic

 Recently I was watching Magi on Netflix and was reminded of the wild magic used by elves in The Hallows series by Kim Harrison. Both settings have magic as a living thing, with the Hollows wild magic is little eyes that are avatars of a goddess and in the Magi series magic is based off souls and energy that comes from them.

Here is an idea for duplicating that concept.

Spirit Ally with Injury Tolerance: Diffuse! (Magic, -10%) [360]

This allows the spirit to do various powers with the special effect that it envelopes or flows over the subject. This typically includes elemental shaping but not creation effects as it can condense water or move air. The power must be less than 360 points and have the Magic PM, typically Affects Substantial, No Range or Melee based are included in the modifiers.

Mages then summon the ally to do their bidding by giving it specific instructions. In both settings the base are nonsapient so orders typically require a Concentrate (fitting for magic) and abilities are really limited only by imagination.

Perhaps different effects each require a skill roll to achieve, except for alternative abilities representing learned commands (much like Learned Prayers in Divine Favor or Sorcery).

Obviously this could be just a special effect for regular power builds or perhaps an alternative to an existing spell casting system. In that case perhaps replace the typical Magic power modifier with a variant that allows Affects Insubstantial attacks to counter the spells. Essentially a dispel magic is shattering the cohesion of the spirit, or perhaps even killing it.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Example Detectives

Detectives can come in a wide variety and a campaign could easily have several types working together to solve cases. So here are some examples with brief notes on notable traits and descriptions about how they worked and what made them memorable.

The goal of these entries are not full write-ups but to give you an idea how to emulate certain things and show the breadth of options in what might seem a narrow niche.

Baretta

Baretta was a tv detective in 1970's.  He was a plain clothes detective and had a pet cockatoo. He was considered a master of disguise.
I don't recall the series all that well but he was a tough guy, good at billiards, and pretty smart - though not a genius. He also had several regular informants.
Attributes: IQ 14, ST 12, HT 12.
Skills: Acting; Disguise; Fast-Talk; Games (Billiards); Guns (Pistol)
Advantages: Contacts (Streetwise); Legal Enforcement Powers; Pet.

Columbo

A personal favorite. Columbo seemed like he knew who the bad guy was on first encounter and then spent the rest of the episode trying to prove it. His catch phrase "Oh, just one more thing" could be a use of Fast-Talk as it throws the suspect off and they say something they often immediately regret and definitely did not have prepared. He is a blue collar worker type, despite apparently being one of the police forces better detectives. Despite most of his cases being High Society, I would not give him Savior-Faire (High Society). I would however give him Diplomacy at IQ as he manages to not offend anyone he does not want to, and even then does it in a manner that makes it hard to really call him out on it. I would give him Empathy based not just on his instinct for people but how he reacted to them, he seemed to really care about and understand most people.
Columbo is an example of a likeable but not cinematically so, face type and uses social skills to get the bad guy to incriminate themselves or even confess.
Attributes: IQ 14-16; Per 16+.
Skills: Acting; Body Language; Criminology; Detect Lies; Diplomacy; Fast-Talk; Law; Observation; Search; Sleight of Hand.
Technique: Elicitation (Fast-Talk) - see Pyramid #3/54 The Civil Arts.
Advantages: Charisma, Empathy; Intuition; Legal Enforcement Powers.

Commissioner McMillin

McMillin was a police commissioner, much higher ranked than typical for a player character. He was notable as a detective for the power he could bring to bear as the head of the police department. He was a former lawyer and solved cases that occurred at high society events where he was present with the aid of the police force. This could work in a campaign where one PC runs interference for the rest and helps them get the aid and tools they need.
Attributes: IQ 12+
Skills: Administration; Criminology; Law; Leadership; Politics; Savior-Faire (High Society); Savior-Faire (Police).
Advantages: Charisma; Handsome; Legal Enforcement Powers; Patron (San Francisco Pole Dept.); Rank (Police) 5?; Very Wealthy.

Ellery Queen

Ellery Queen was an author, dilettante, and amateur detective who had the help of his police inspector father in solving crime. His father would bring him in as consultant or Ellery would be doing a story or requested by someone to solve a murder and he would have his father at hand to make the arrest. While most people freelancing for this kind of irritate the police who see them as competition and possibly disrespectful the father son relationship allowed it to work.
Attributes: IQ 14
Skills: Criminology; Intelligence Analysis; Writing.
Advantages: Ally (Police Inspector)

Kolchak the Nightstalker

Kolchak was an investigative reporter who stumbled on supernatural or alien mysteries. He wasn't really impressive in most ways but had a knack for being in the wrong place at the right time. Also caught more than a few lucky breaks in escaping deadly danger. While normal police would not cooperate with a reporter, player characters are another matter. An investigative reporter does not have police resources, nor a paying client but they can get access to many things with press credentials. And a camera makes many people a bit more wary. The trick here is most reporters are assigned not just a "beat", but specific stories so they lack freedom to act on their own leads. In modern day however independent media makes this more possible - if still financially risky.
Attributes: average.
Skills: Photography; Writing.
Advantages: Luck; Serendipity.


Lady Blue

Lady Blue was a short lived tv series with a very violent gun toting protagonist. Very much like Clint Eastwood's Dirty harry character.  Fun show, notable for her tendency to shoot things or people. Not every detective has to be subtle or a genius :)

Lord Darcy

Lord Darcy was a detective in the late 1900's on an alternate earth. This was a series of novels and short stories. He uses magic to solve crimes but primarily with forensic magic that finds and analyzes clues. He was very smart, being called in by the King and others for very sensitive investigations.
Attributes: IQ 15; DX 12
Skills: Criminology; Diplomacy; Forensics; Shortsword; Savior-Faire (High Society); Soldier; Thaumatology
Advantages: Ally (Sean O' Lochlainn, Sorcerer); Claim to Hospitality; Intuition; Languages, Language Talent; Status 3; Wealthy.


Magnum P.I.

Thomas Magnum was a private investigator who did security work for a very wealthy guy and lived in a guest house on his estate. He was a retired naval commander and pretty much a tough guy kind of detective. Though not as hardboiled as say a noir genre one. He was a former SEAL and Intelligence Officer so has some unusual skills and contacts. Very social and generally likeable. He is a good mix of social and connected with solid combat ability. He very much fits into the Action series type.
Attributes:
Skills: Carousing; Diplomacy; Electronic Operations (Security); Electronic Operations (Surveillance); Guns; 
Advantages:  Charisma 2; Courtesy Rank 5 (Navy); Very Handsome;

McCloud

McCloud was a cowboy on assignment to the New York City PD. He was good with a gun, horse, and lasso. He tended to be rough around the edges and as an out of towner had no local informants. He was above average in most respects and quite the charmer when he wanted to be and a good brawler. The concept of an out of towner could fit in with a group, the new guy needs a local to keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn't go too off the rails.  But his actions can often be smoothed over as an outsider who simply doesn't know better, and yes ma'am well discipline him. He was actually used that way several times by the Chief of Detectives in charge to sort of rile things up but retain plausible deniability.  He was very likeable, (essential for the role of getting away with things) but I would call it Charisma more than actual skills. he had a knack for figuring things out and what the bad guy wanted that I think is best represented by Criminology and Detect Lies.
Attributes: Probably 12 across the board.
Skills: Brawling; Carousing; Criminology 14+;Detect Lies; Guns (pistol); Guns (Rifle); Lasso; Riding; 
Advantages: Attractive; Charisma 2; 


Nero Wolfe

Nero Wolfe is a reclusive detective who relies on another to do the legwork for him.  He then pieces together the clues and presents the evidence to the police. As such he does not need combat or first hand investigation skills so much as brain power and the ability to piece it all together. He is reputed to be a genius and has an eclectic skill set.
Attributes: IQ 16
Skills: Criminology; Intelligence Analysis.
Advantages: Reputation; Wealthy.

Quincy, M.E.

Quincy  was a medical examiner in the late 70's tv series. He typically found something odd doing an autopsy and when his boss or the main police detective wanted to go for the easy answer he would stick his nose in and investigate himself.  He wasn't great or subtle in most of these investigations but got the job done. Had to be rescued fairly often and in real life would have been fired. One thing we found out later was he was a retired Navy Captain so he probably knew how to handle a gun. While in many places you can be an M.E. without being a doctor it was required where he worked so he had full medical training. He was stubborn and very smart, often out thinking the other cast members.
Attributes: IQ 16
Skills: Boating (Sailboat); Chemistry; Diagnosis 16+; Physician; Physiology; Research; Sex Appeal; Surgery.
Advantages: Charisma 2; High Manual Dexterity 1; Intuition; Tenure*.
*Tenure is normally used for professions where its almost impossible to be fired. However nothing about the advantage says it has to come from professional channels. It could represent someone too good or dangerous to fire (including social and political repercussions), has very rare skills or abilities, survives through blackmail or other hold over his superiors, or just plain old nepotism.

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes has already been written up in GURPS so I wont repeat it here, except for some Fourth Edition contributions. Basically though he is a solid archetype. Socially awkward, a real genius (though not the smartest in the family), and solves crimes through deductive reasoning (Intuition with Hypersensory and Reliable) and an insane ability to notice the smallest detail (Pyschometry with Hypersensory), Photographic Memory, and an Encyclopedic type Wildcard skill.

Starsky and Hutch

This pair of police detectives were the tough guy mold and also worked undercover. I dont think any real stats need be inferred. The style of two buddy cops with complementary but similar skill sets was the main thing that stands out. They both had good driving and shooting skills as well as decent Acting.

Summary

While one detective type is the norm in most campaigns it is easily possible to have a full team of different types.
  • The Sponsor or Patron is often the leader and can help smooth things over legally, and offer resources. This could be a high ranking official or even a high Status and respected patron.
  • The Sleuth is the investigative genius, able to put it all together.
  • The Technician is often a Forensics specialist but could also be a pathologist or other specialty who can find and interpret clues.
  • Reporters and Darn kids can offer plausible deniability and outside help.
  • Hardboiled tough guys are a classic and most player groups will have at least one person eager to fill the role.
  • The Charming face who has lots of Contacts and Influence skills to ferret out information.
  • The reclusive desk jockey or Nero Wolfe type is a solid choice for a solo campaign but hard to run in a group.
Of course several roles can be combined, and most should have a mix of capabilities. If the campaign is to have a strong focus on solving mysteries and investigating it is best to have some overlap, yet also unique abilities.  Overlap lets the players do more together and unique abilities (including significantly better skills in one area) can give each character a chance to stand out during the game.
Mystery campaigns can be very satisfying but take a lot of prep work by the GM and creativity as well as good note taking skills.



Friday, December 10, 2021

How to be a GURPS Detective

 I have played a few detectives in GURPS and my current favorite character is in a Monster Hunters type supernatural horror campaign that is in hiatus (the GM likes to skip around between several campaigns, so we will get back to it eventually). Running a good detective takes a lot so here are some ideas.

GURPS Resources

GURPS Mysteries is the go to book for playing a detective, especially a procedural one. It covers a lot of material, real world and fictional mystery solving, useful traits, GM tips, etc.
GURPS Action 2: Exploits is good for a cinematic and more fast paced investigation.
GURPS Classic: Cops is from GURPS Third Edition so some of the gear may need rework but goes into a lot of detail on law enforcement and playing someone from those professions.
GURPS Social Engineering is very helpful at the social aspect and this is an important part of most investigations.
Transhuman Space: Transhuman Mysteries is a good resource for science fiction mysteries, even if you do not use that setting.

For the GM

Before allowing a player to build a detective you should make a few decisions on how you want to run the campaign and let the player know.

Will Mystery be Important?

If solving mysteries are important to the plot you need to make sure the players have a good chance of solving them. So make sure they have key traits that will be useful and not too many things that will get in the way or derail the plot. Ideally you want the players to work at it, too easy and they are unsatisfied and too hard and they get frustrated.  This will be easier to manage in a group where you know the players.

If mysteries are not important, let he player know so they do not get their hopes up.  Managing Expectations (above) is a helpful resource here.

Time Management

If everyone is participating in solving the mystery that is terrific. However in most groups you will have your puzzle solvers and your combat and action types.  The time needs to be managed so no single player is left sitting out most of the game session, much less the majority of them!
If only one player is trying to find clues and solve the mystery you need to keep the time short, or do individual sessions. An easy way to do this is to handle things with die rolls, such as skills or even the use of spells and powers. This is likely to be unsatisfactory to the player hoping to figure things out though. So set proper expectations.

What Traits?

What traits are allowed depend on the genre and setting. However, as GM you have a lot of wiggle room. Some abilities seem to be supernatural, yet with the right modifiers could be merely cinematic. Oracle (Digital), Psychometry and senses with the Hype sensory modifier are good examples of taking an obviously supernatural trait and making it "merely" cinematic.  Sherlock Holmes instead of Lord Darcy for example.

High skill levels and especially certain powers or spells can make many investigations trivial. They also make the character feel special. In a campaign where the mystery is just a quick plot device and not meant to be something to spend considerable time on researching supernatural and cinematic abilities are the GMs friend. They let you easily justify the character finding the next link or whatever you need them to do and keep things moving.
In a more mundane setting they may not be allowed and if you want the players to take a lot of time investigating this is a good thing. But even here something like Intuition can help nudge things along as needed.  Especially if one player is the detective and the rest are waiting around for the fighting.

For the Player

So you want to be a detective?  GURPS really lets you shine in this roll and in a lot of possible ways.
You really need to get with the GM and be sure your on the same page as to what rules will be used and how much of the campaign will be focused on finding things out.  If you want to be a detective and the GM plans on simple mysteries or wants them solved in a few minutes time you should put fewer points into these abilities.  Even if much of the time is solving things you likely will want other skills so keep that in mind!  Also if others are going to be involved what will they be doing while you investigate?

The first decision is what style and type of detective you want to be. GURPS Mysteries lists common archetypes and goes into skills and advantages that can be useful. Note that Spiritual Advisor costs the same as a 150% Ally and should probably be built as such. GURPS Action 2: Exploits is more for fast paced gaming but offers solid advice that is useful at any pace.  Both supplements will be useful in building your character.
Since I am not aiming to write Mysteries 2: The Detective here as a blog post I wont go over much more but want to stress this again. It is very important to be on the same page as the GM and to not take too much screen time away from others.

How to share?

Hand tasks to offscreen Contacts or Patrons.  Many things can take a lot of time and be boring to play out, Contacts can do a lot of that for you.  Also you do not need high reliability levels for most tasks.
Get others involved. That stealthy ninja type? Let them break into things to get clues.  The mage or psychic? They can find out information normal methods can't (though countermeasures are likely for known powers). The muscleman or deadly warrior can be your backup in risky meetings. Fighter types often have high HT and can be good at Carousing, let them find out basic info or even lure suspects into a trap for capture.

Sometimes You Have to Do it Yourself

If you never get to use your skills what was the point of paying for them? Again, be on the same page as the GM!  A good GM will let you do some stuff on your own but do not expect it to happen all the time, nor for very long.  When its your private moment try to be well prepared and have your modifiers and questions ready to go.  Also, try to be entertaining for the others at the table. Most players will want thier own screen time but they will be a lot happier when not doing anything if the ones who are at least put on a good show. Its really boring to watch a bunch of die rolls and someone take  minutes to decide what questions to ask or how they are going to break into something.
Prepare common mission items in advance. Its usually faster to tweak to the situation than to come up with a plan on the fly. Also have page references handy.

Example Detectives



Thursday, November 25, 2021

ATTG Season 1, Episode 14: Off we go!

 

Casting

  • Adelphin "Adel" Jean-Baptiste (Laurie) Domains (Death and Magic), child of  Werethekau and Baron Samedi. Machiavellian meddler. Power unto herself. Adelphin can kill with a glance, manipulate magic as if she were born to it (she was), and doesn't seem to be able to actually die. Tagline: "I'm not the devil, but betray me and I will show you hell".
    • Cosmos aka Management (Ally), an unusual cat that is her hotel manager.
    • Rui Qui (Ally) Theogenic demigod, hacker, magician, swordmaster.
    • Siv (NPC) Child of Odin, handed to Adelphin for protection. Being trained by Rui.
    • Cora (NPC) Daughter of Auriol, being trained by Rui
  • Liam O'Shea (Randy) Domain (Strength) and child of Dagda. A huge, powerful, and deadly warrior. A druid and generally a likeable guy. Taught the old ways but is comfortable with the modern. He's traveled much of the world and is looking to see even more. Tagline: "I told you I wouldn't fit."
    • Iphicles aka "The Goodest Boy": Rescue dog from Tarterous.
  • Mitzidu Ito (Rory) Domains (Business, Hearth/kitchen, War), child of Inari and Kojin. The teams business guru, event planner and cook; also magician and samurai. Taglines: "Life never tasted this good before!" and "The Hearth is the heart of the home, but food is the soul of a community"
  • Suveer Patel (Christian) Domain (Clearing Obstructions), child of Ganesh.  Martial artist and student of a thousand styles, Suveer is one of the teams upfront fighters with fists or his gauda (mace). He can get past any obstacle put before him. Tagline: "You are in front of me and no obstacle can stop me. Find a better place to be."
  • August Brody aka "Auggie",   (Chris D.) Domains (Death, Hunting, Cats, Winter), Apotheosized mortal of Frau Holle and Pakhet. A kneebreaker that found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tagline: " The right man in the right place can make all the difference... in the world"
  • Chad (NPC), child of Cupid, Zen like hippy archer
  • Auriol (NPC), Delphic Oracle.

The Mission

Since the group is traveling to unknown worlds they should prepare for a variety of situations. Mitzadu draws on his experience in the Australian outback and hiking through pre-industrial China and Siberia to put together what he hopes is a solid survival kit. Also buys some gems and jewelry in case money isn't accepted or uses a different currency. He includes some survival handbooks on his phone and physical copies, As each team has their own pocket dimension they can pack more than most travelers, a good edge to have.
Overall the group should be able to survive in any terrestrial environment, at least for a time. We have a Druid, at least two people with Survival, two with Urban Survival, three powerful magic wielders, a dog, cat, excellent combat skills, several languages, and divine abilities such as turning into a fox, creating food and beverage, hunting, and many more. Heck Auggie could even pick up a local unknown language by killing a native!
Step 1: Find the other piece to the Locus, a powerful seeking item. We get to keep this if we finish the mission, Adelphin is holding t and seems to be the one intending to keep it.
Step 2: Find the missing pieces of the key to the outer realms and return them to the library for safekeeping.

First Stop, the Plane of Cats!

After making preparations the group heads to the Library to begin it's mission. Liam used his divination stone, he's now named it "53" and told the head librarian we need to seek the cats.  She takes us to a portal and we jump to a dimension where a bunch of cats greet us and start talking to Auggie.

We had to end the session early, a player was tired from holiday work.

Afterward

We may very well have short sessions until after the holidays, so hopefully in January well be back to a more regular schedule. I am looking forward to us using abilities and skills we normally do not get much use out of. Were normally in Los Vegas and if not fighting, at least interacting with others in a more traditional and civilized fashion. This mission might let Liam use his druid abilities, and the group practice some survival and traveling stuff.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Nordland Bestiary, Fantastic New Book

 

GURPS has several monster books already, but what it does not have for Fourth Edition is a really big general monster manual. That is about to change!

Douglas Cole and Gaming Ballistic has just put on Kickstarter a bestiary for the DFRPG (basically Dungeon Fantasy powered by GURPS).

If it funds (pretty much a sure thing) it will be 128 pages of animals and monsters, including many of the classics and most useful ones.  If it meets all stretch goals (and I really hope it does) it will be 240 pages!

Every critter has art so you know what it looks like and a nice description, not just a stat block. So you not only know what they  can do but how they fit into the world of Nordland (Norse themed fantasy setting that Gaming Ballistic publishes) and of course they can easily be ported to other settings.

In fact since many are classic creatures they can be used to run a lot of published modules and adventures for other game systems.

I have purchased all of the GURPS material from this company and some of the TFT material and its all quality. Besides the book in PDF and hardback a number of add on's will be available, including standing cardboard figures and combat reference cards.

Any further questions? Pop by the Discussion thread and ask them!

Friday, October 29, 2021

ATTG Season 1, Episode 13: A New Power is Introduced

 

Casting

  • Adelphin "Adel" Jean-Baptiste (Laurie) Domains (Death and Magic), child of  Werethekau and Baron Samedi. Machiavellian meddler. Power unto herself. Adelphin can kill with a glance, manipulate magic as if she were born to it (she was), and doesn't seem to be able to actually die. Tagline: "I'm not the devil, but betray me and I will show you hell".
    • Cosmos aka Management (Ally), an unusual cat that is her hotel manager.
    • Rui Qui (Ally) Theogenic demigod, hacker, magician, swordmaster.
    • Siv (NPC) Child of Odin, handed to Adelphin for protection. Being trained by Rui.
    • Cora (NPC) Daughter of Auriol, being trained by Rui
  • Liam O'Shea (Randy) Domain (Strength) and child of Dagda. A huge, powerful, and deadly warrior. A druid and generally a likeable guy. Taught the old ways but is comfortable with the modern. He's traveled much of the world and is looking to see even more. Tagline: "I told you I wouldn't fit."
  • Mitzidu Ito (Rory) Domains (Business, Hearth/kitchen), child of Inari and Kojin. The teams business guru, event planner and cook; also magician and samurai. Taglines: "Life never tasted this good before!" and "The Hearth is the heart of the home, but food is the soul of a community"
  • Suveer Patel (Christian) Domain (Clearing Obstructions), child of Ganesh.  Martial artist and student of a thousand styles, Suveer is one of the teams upfront fighters with fists or his gauda (mace). He can get past any obstacle put before him. Tagline: "You are in front of me and no obstacle can stop me. Find a better place to be."
  • August Brody aka "Auggie",   (Chris D.) Domains (Death, Hunting, Cats, Winter), Apotheosised mortal of Frau Holle and Pakhet. A kneebreaker that found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tagline: " The right man in the right place can make all the difference... in the world"
  • Chad (NPC), child of Cupid
  • Auriol (NPC)

A Special Invitation

The team received sealed letters that when opened revealed magical writing that appeared before their eyes. The letters arrived in a different manner for everyone, basically appearing by themselves.
This was an invitation to the Library which is an extradimensional place and organization that strives to accumulate all knowledge. Members and sponsored guests may access some of this knowledge. The existence of the Library is largely unknown, even to the supernatural community but Adelphin and Mitzadu had heard something about it.

The Library is a construct that exists in multiple campaigns by our GM and a player character in the Ceteri campaign is a low level member.

Mitzadu went to the library on his own, thinking it was a private invitation - possibly due to his recent studies and that he actually has Literature (Occult).  He was very excited to get such a prestigious invitation!
Everyone else arrived by limo as a group, dampening Mitzadu's excitement a bit when they showed up. I mean, the bum (Auggie) got an invite too?
This was all the PC's, none of the dependents or Allies except Riu were included.

The Offer

After cooling their heals in the anteroom for awhile the local head librarian escorted them to a conference room. The library is huge and took a special elevator to reach the room that seemed to travel quite some distance.
The group was offered a job but had to sign an NDA before finding out the details, Mitzadu read the contract and signed right away.  Adelphin and Auggie, apparently less impressed by the Library and the honor -nor intrigued by the idea of the mission and chance to find out something new argued for "terms" before they would sign up. The rest of the group held off until they appeared ready to sign.

Once that was out of the way the group was told that a key to unlock a gate to let in Things Man Was Not Meant To Know had been loosed upon a world and the Library wanted it confiscated before it could be used again. The group accepted the mission and the session ended with us preparing to go to another world to retrieve a divination item called the "Eye" and then to try and find they key. The Eye we could keep but the key had to be turned in and the Library would owe us a favor to be called in later.
Mitzadu is considering membership, partly why he was so eager to go along rather than risk annoying the head librarian.
Failure to retrieve the key could result in disaster for their world and apparently this group has the right mix of skills and abilities to get the job done, at least according to the diviners.  Success may also have an impact on the teams chances of surviving the harrowing.


ATTG Season 1, B-Team Episode 12: Tying up Loose Ends

 

Casting

  • Adelphin "Adel" Jean-Baptiste (Laurie) Domains (Death and Magic), child of  Werethekau and Baron Samedi. Machiavellian meddler. Power unto herself. Adelphin can kill with a glance, manipulate magic as if she were born to it (she was), and doesn't seem to be able to actually die. Tagline: "I'm not the devil, but betray me and I will show you hell".
    • Cosmos aka Management (Ally), an unusual cat that is her hotel manager.
    • Rui Qui (Ally) Theogenic demigod, hacker, magician, swordmaster.
    • Siv (NPC) Child of Odin, handed to Adelphin for protection. Being trained by Rui.
    • Cora (NPC) Daughter of Auriol, being trained by Rui
  • Liam O'Shea (Randy) Domain (Strength) and child of Dagda. A huge, powerful, and deadly warrior. A druid and generally a likeable guy. Taught the old ways but is comfortable with the modern. He's traveled much of the world and is looking to see even more. Tagline: "I told you I wouldn't fit."
  • Mitzidu Ito (Rory) Domains (Business, Hearth/kitchen), child of Inari and Kojin. The teams business guru, event planner and cook; also magician and samurai. Taglines: "Life never tasted this good before!" and "The Hearth is the heart of the home, but food is the soul of a community"
  • Suveer Patel (Christian) Domain (Clearing Obstructions), child of Ganesh.  Martial artist and student of a thousand styles, Suveer is one of the teams upfront fighters with fists or his gauda (mace). He can get past any obstacle put before him. Tagline: "You are in front of me and no obstacle can stop me. Find a better place to be."
  • August Brody aka "Auggie",   (Chris D.) Domains (Death, Hunting, Cats, Winter), Apotheosised mortal of Frau Holle and Pakhet. A kneebreaker that found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tagline: " The right man in the right place can make all the difference... in the world"
  • Chad (NPC), child of Cupid
  • Auriol (NPC)

Prelude and Loose Ends

We came back from a mid season break of 6 months. It was pretty quiet during that time and the members trained and did various background activities.
  • Liam got a job at a local BBQ place. The dog "Good Boy" is still with him and healed up nicely.
  • Rui trained most of the team to increase their blade skills and the team did various sparring and combat training overall.
  • Mitzadu boned up on his magic and studied lore on relics, preparing to turn the eye trophy he got from Zatgats into a relic.  As part of this training he learned how to channel aetheric power into his blade, temporarily turning it into a flaming sword.
  • The Olympians have called off the heat on the group and though there is some bad blood, officially they would prefer to keep it all as an internal matter and are embarrassed about being fooled by one of their own. Zeus did find and free Poseidon and since he awarded two of the group (Mitzadu got an eye and Bab Yaga got an arm) as payment for Zagreus misdealing's the group is at least officially safe from retribution.  Some might hold a grudge at losing so many of their elite special operatives, but its likely Ares, Hades, and Poseidon all are ok with the end result. Mitzadu got a minor Divine Rank buff (0.25 level) from his known actions, though it was a team effort (and maybe others got a bump too, depending on if they wanted to spend exp) in the matter.  Likely most consider him pretty stupid for challenging a god and directly talking to several of the Olympians and declaring his intent, there is no doubt it took guts and honor and that counts for something in the community.
  • Yannis left the team and was replaced by August who was introduced this episode. He was recently apothezied and is confused with the voices from the two godlings in his head who died fighting each other. The team took him in and is helping him learn to cope and get trained.
Mitzadu (this is really his blog, and my character) found out that the FBI was really ticked about him revealing some of the info on the terrorists and fundraising for the local PD. Apparently they think his insider information might be because he was involved with the terrorists, though they never asked him any questions. Since he was unable to use his social skills and advantages to try and defuse the situation he is preparing for possible fallout. His consulting company has hired extra staff to prepare for subpoenas and audits (The IRS was asked to get involved, which is how he found out what was happening). Also going over all his accounts and clients to make sure everything is on the up and up and nothing illegal slipped in, including clients. He has also prepared a few speeches and made sure his congressional and presidential donations are current and substantial to help with a publicity campaign if needed. The general thrust is planned for 
  • "These feds are upset at local police getting help to do the job the FBI, ATF, cant or wont do to protect Los Vegas -its people and its business community." That plan is to get local govt and police support, already in good standing due to his local philanthropy, donations, and networking. he will also point out that after the local anti-terrorism task force and SWAT were upgraded we haven't seen anymore attacks.
  • "Instead of trying to capture the terrorists, they want to go after the victims" This campaign would be to garner popular support and includes targeting conspiracy theorists and anti-govt types who don't trust big government to make the investigation a political hot potato.
  • He is not planning on playing the race card, but might backdoor the idea that first they imprisoned him as a child during WW II in a Japanese interment camp for things obviously beyond his control and now they are trying it again. Another political mess, unless they find solid real evidence to support the investigation and harassment. Right now all he thinks they have is knowing about the attempted bombing of the local FBI building which did not make the news and knowing the names and general method of operation of the attacks on his home and other locals. Information that could have been leaked from an agent, seen by a witness, or from one of the surviving victims. Since they never asked they have no way of knowing, and he could assert attorney client privilege  or say it was anonymous tips. He is one of the best high priced lawyers in the county, after all.
Nothing has been heard of from Hachiman in response to killing his son in the duel, not sure if that will happen or not  - the GM warned their would be consequences for winning that fight (better than dying though).

That pretty much sums up the episode, it was mostly catch-up and everyone declaring what they were doing during the break.




Friday, October 8, 2021

Writing Projects

 My next supplement has been sent in and in the playtest queue, probably the end of this year or first part of the next.  Also the working title has been announced!  This will be Template Toolkit: Spirits and of course I cant go into detail yet but here is a hint.

This supplement is aimed primarily at the GM and designed to help the GM quickly generate spirits and decrease the risk of missing a key trait.  However, it also includes some surprises and new material that I hope will be useful for many campaigns that use spirits.


Additionally I submitted and amd working on a few other things yet to be announced.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

ATTG- Season 1- B-Team Episode 11: It Gets Real

 

Casting

  • Adelphin "Adel" Jean-Baptiste (Laurie) Domains (Death and Magic), child of  Werethekau and Baron Samedi. Machiavellian meddler. Power unto herself. Adelphin can kill with a glance, manipulate magic as if she were born to it (she was), and doesn't seem to be able to actually die. Tagline: "I'm not the devil, but betray me and I will show you hell".
    • Siv (NPC) Child of Odin, handed to Adelphin for protection.
    • Cosmos aka Management (Ally), an unusual cat that is her hotel manager.
    • Rui Qui (Ally) Theogenic demigod, hacker, magician, swordmaster.
  • Liam O'Shea (Randy) Domain (Strength) and child of Dagda. A huge, powerful, and deadly warrior. A druid and generally a likeable guy. Taught the old ways but is comfortable with the modern. He's traveled much of the world and is looking to see even more. Tagline: "I told you I wouldn't fit."
  • Mitzidu Ito (Rory) Domains (Business, Hearth/kitchen), child of Inari and Kojin. The teams business guru, event planner and entertainer. Taglines: "Life never tasted this good before!" and "The Hearth is the heart of the home, but food is the soul of a community"
  • Suveer Patel (Christian) Domain (Clearing Obstructions), child of Ganesh.  Martial artist and student of a thousand styles, Suveer is one of the teams upfront fighters with fists or his gauda (mace). He can get past any obstacle put before him. Tagline: "You are in front of me and no obstacle can stop me. Find a better place to be."
  • Yannis Papadopoulos aka The Courier (Chris D.) Domains (Communication, Secrets, Rainbows), child of Harpocrates and Arke. Team sneaker and postman. If you see him, its already too late, your package has been delivered. Tagline: "The thirty minutes or less policy is for those that like to live dangerously."
  • Chad (NPC), child of Cupid
  • Auriol (NPC)

Prepare for Battle!

Baba Yaga was scrying like crazy trying to find Poseidon and finally got a hit after Suveer suggested using the sword piece we had to look for its other parts. She assembled the party, though Yannis opted out.
We drove over to a bowling alley where her spells led us.
The group came in from the back entrance...

Faux-Poseidon

We went in armored up and charms loaded. In fact by the end of the fight we all had hit our stacking limit on buffs.
Poseidon's avatar was holding court in the center of the alley surrounded by a bunch of spartans. More were scattered around. Liam and Suveer broke off to head down a side passage to go after a bunch of spartans hanging out in the lanes, while the rest went through the middle. Adelphin supercharged a fireball and incinerated a dozen spartans surrounding Poseidon, Baba Yaga cast a protection spell to protect everyone from Poseidon's aetheric powers. Rui and Chad headed in and killed a few spartans, while Mitzadu headed straight for Poseidon.
Returning gun fire hurt Mitzadu a little, who used Second Wind multiple times to reduce damage from three gunman. Liam and Suveer took a few hits from the gunmen but caught them mostly by surprise and from behind. The fight went fast and furious and I'll skip the details, highlights were...

  • Mitzadu went for a head on approach, hoping to delay Poseidon enough that the heavy hitters could take him out. He had Celerity, Safeguard, and Juggernaut buffs going. Was able to dodge most of the gunfire and poke at Poseidon but not seriously hurt him. However when he went after the mages, Mitzadu managed to block him and hold his ground.
  • Liam and Suveer cleared one side of the building, making the critical effort of quickly stopping the gunmen.
  • Riu and Chad with a little help from Adelphin and Auriol cleared the near side of the room.
  • Baba Yaga dropped some heavy spells that while they did not hurt Poseidon, helped protect the group. A LOT.
  • Adelphin cast some buffing spells, including All as One which let the fighters on Poseidon pass around feints.
  • After the supporting cast were cleared out, Riu, Liam, and Suveer (in that order) joined Mitzadu in fighting Poseidon up close and personal.
  • Mitzadu was able to use Extra Attack and Rapid Strike to attack, then Feint and pass the feint along to the others who could do more damage. Poseidon had a lot of DR and was shrugging off most of our damage but Ruis sword Lament was able to do significant damage when he stuck it in Poseidon's heart. The finishing blow was Suveer jumping on the sword still stuck in Poseidon's chest after he had blasted Riu away and swinging on the blade (plus burning a lot of HP to power its abilities) dealt the finishing blow.
Everyone contributed meaningfully, some in support others direct damage, but the combination is what won the day.

Hello Zeus, We Did Not Kill Your Brother!

Auriol as an Oracle was able to summon Poseidon who was breaking some rules of the Compact. Zeus showed up a second or two after we won and was quite annoyed.
Auriol convinced him (since in her Oracle role she could not lie) that this was not really Poseidon in charge of the avatar. Poseidon materialized and they had a conversation, Zeus wound up pulling Zagaras out of Poseidon leaving behind an empty skin. A bunch of gods from various pantheons showed up and an argument ensued, explanations demanded, etc. However Baba Yaga was not to be ignored and demanded her blood price. Zeus ripped off Zagaras arm and threw it to her, she accepted that as the price. Adelphin called out Mitzadu's debt and Zeus ripped out Zagaras eye and threw it to Mitzadu. Inari nodded acknowledgment and pride at her son and the party left the scene and godly debate.

Aftermath

Yannis vanished, unlikely to be seen again.
Mitzadu got a fractional increase in Divine Rank due to his actions. Everyone knows he did not win that fight alone, but he was given some credit and respect for declaring to Ares and Hades that Poseidon owed a blood debt and in the end paid it, or at least the god impersonating him did. That kind of thing can make people take notice, and that is a large part of Divine Rank in the setting. Of course making a name for yourself may have some benefits, but it also can put a target on you as people eye possible credit and recognition for taking you on. ie. the gunslinger problem.
Mitzadu now has the eye of a god (Domains Hunting, Mystery, Rebirth, and the Underworld) to work with and spends the next several months studying up on how best to use it for an enchantment. The months spent on that were not enough to make such an item but the effort did help him recover some of the magical power he lost in making his first relic and tweaking his recent war domain for a temporary enchantment on the blade (powered by his aetheric energy). Plus he gained some new knowledge in studying the issue.
Suveer gained a large amount of temporary aetheric energy from getting the killing blow.
It will be 6 months (game time) before the next session, and the spartans have been told to stand down on us. As for the rest of the group and what they did with the time (and saved character points), stay tuned.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

ATTG Season 1 B-Team, Session 10: We Need to Have a Talk

 

Casting

  • Adelphin "Adel" Jean-Baptiste (Laurie) Domains (Death and Magic), child of  Werethekau and Baron Samedi. Machiavellian meddler. Power unto herself. Adelphin can kill with a glance, manipulate magic as if she were born to it (she was), and doesn't seem to be able to actually die. Tagline: "I'm not the devil, but betray me and I will show you hell".
    • Siv (NPC) Child of Odin, handed to Adelphin for protection.
    • Cosmos aka Management (Ally), an unusual cat that is her hotel manager.
    • Rui Qui (Ally) Theogenic demigod, hacker, magician.
  • Liam O'Shea (Randy) Domain (Strength) and child of Dagda. A huge, powerful, and deadly warrior. A druid and generally a likeable guy. Taught the old ways but is comfortable with the modern. He's traveled much of the world and is looking to see even more. Tagline: "I told you I wouldn't fit."
  • Mitzidu Ito (Rory) Domains (Business, Hearth/kitchen), child of Inari and Kojin. The teams business guru, event planner and entertainer. Taglines: "Life never tasted this good before!" and "The Hearth is the heart of the home, but food is the soul of a community"
  • Suveer Patel (Christian) Domain (Clearing Obstructions), child of Ganesh.  Martial artist and student of a thousand styles, Suveer is one of the teams upfront fighters with fists or his gauda (mace). He can get past any obstacle put before him. Tagline: "You are in front of me and no obstacle can stop me. Find a better place to be."
  • Yannis Papadopoulos aka The Courier (Chris D.) Domains (Communication, Secrets, Rainbows), child of Harpocrates and Arke. Team sneaker and postman. If you see him, its already too late, your package has been delivered. Tagline: "The thirty minutes or less policy is for those that like to live dangerously."
  • Chad (NPC), child of Cupid
  • Auriol (NPC)

Prelude

The last session ended with the party having gone to Tartarus to fetch a piece of the sword and failing to acquire it.  However they did rescue an old friend of Mitzadus and the adoptive father to Adelphin - Koschei the Deathless.
Baba Yaga, Koscheis wife was notified and arr9ived quickly at the Karnival hotel.

Setup

This was a roleplay and noncombat session, so I break down some of the conversations Mitzadu was party too.

Press Conference

Mitzadu called a press conference, it being the next day after his house was burned down.  He informed the press that he had talked with the Police Chief and offered his support for her plans should she get the Mayors approval. This will lead the press to ask her questions, but they were doing that anyhow with all the recent violence. At least now they have outside confirmation she has a plan in place so it should help her out and put some pressure on the mayor.  The mayor can either roll with it or not. If he does not he needs to come up with another plan the public really likes, but if he rolls with the plan Mitzadu made he can look like a hero if it works and blame others if it fails.
As Mitzadu is not a politician his political risk is low but having both the police chief and the mayor reap the rewards for his idea and financial backing will help him long term.
Mitzadu is a deal maker after all...

As the press conference ends Mitzadu calls out both the Thule Society and the Spartans, showing a drawing of their tattoo.  Mitzadu hopes this will cause some problems for the Spartans as people will be on the lookout and associate the mark with a terrorist group.
The Spartans should be annoyed by this as they prefer secrecy and even having their name aired publicly is at least a minor inconvenience. Since Mitzadu was already on their death list and they burned down his house he feels he has little to lose in that regard and he did warn Ares and Hades that he had plans to strike back.  Hopefully there will be meetings and discussion about such tactics as killing civilians.
The Spartans may of course figure that was his only move and nothing more will come of it, but they are very wrong.
The F.B.I and local police may want to have a talk with Mitzadu about his source but his plan is to claim attorney client privilege in the matter. The local police are unlikely to press the matter due to political influence, the F.B.I might be more aggressive but they have their own problems and hopefully do not want to add a local millionaire lawyer with extensive business and political connections to their list of problems.

A Talk with Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga spent the night nursing Koschei back to health and summoned everyone who was part of the rescue party to her rooms in the morning. She was not happy.
She questioned everyone, again - some highlights...
  • Liam pulled out his divining stone and we asked numerous questions.
    • Poseidon was apparently not Poseidon.
    • The other pieces to the sword are in Los Vegas. A bit risky but handy if they are to be used in the harrowing as once it starts no one can leave the area.
  • Liam was gutted so his entrails could be used for a divination.  He was immediately put back together but had a very sad and hurt look on his face.
    • Baba Yaga later brought him special cookies? as a treat.
  • Baba Yaga declared war on the Olympians.
    • Mitzadu wrote up a report in Russian on everything he knew and speculated and handed it to her to help save her some time.
    • Mitzadu later used a supernatural Contact in the Russian mob to let them know to be on the lookout and very helpful if an old friend of his from Russia drops by. He doubts she would be looking for serious resources or help but perhaps a local guide or a few lookouts while she is about her business.  If she does come around he'll know who she is, but its up to her to reveal her name if she wants to. However, she is in a very bad mood and they do not want on her bad side.
  • Auriol had her piece of the sword magically implanted in her body and cut it out to hand to Babay Yaga when Baba Yaga insisted on seeing it. The sword was then handed off to Adelphin who said she would secure it in the hotel.
  • Auriol turns out to be a Delphic Oracle, at least in line to become one when the current one dies.
  • Yannis handed back her business card, declaring she was persona non grata to him.



Wednesday, August 18, 2021

ATTG Season 1 B-Team, Session 9: To Hades!

 

Casting

  • Adelphin "Adel" Jean-Baptiste (Laurie) Domains (Death and Magic), child of  Werethekau and Baron Samedi. Machiavellian meddler. Power unto herself. Adelphin can kill with a glance, manipulate magic as if she were born to it (she was), and doesn't seem to be able to actually die. Tagline: "I'm not the devil, but betray me and I will show you hell".
    • Siv (NPC) Child of Odin, handed to Adelphin for protection.
    • Cosmos aka Management (Ally), an unusual cat that is her hotel manager.
    • Rui Qui (Ally) Theogenic demigod, hacker, magician.
  • Liam O'Shea (Randy) Domain (Strength) and child of Dagda. A huge, powerful, and deadly warrior. A druid and generally a likeable guy. Taught the old ways but is comfortable with the modern. He's traveled much of the world and is looking to see even more. Tagline: "I told you I wouldn't fit."
  • Mitzidu Ito (Rory) Domains (Business, Hearth/kitchen), child of Inari and Kojin. The teams business guru, event planner and entertainer. Taglines: "Life never tasted this good before!" and "The Hearth is the heart of the home, but food is the soul of a community"
  • Suveer Patel (Christian) Domain (Clearing Obstructions), child of Ganesh.  Martial artist and student of a thousand styles, Suveer is one of the teams upfront fighters with fists or his gauda (mace). He can get past any obstacle put before him. Tagline: "You are in front of me and no obstacle can stop me. Find a better place to be."
  • Yannis Papadopoulos aka The Courier (Chris D.) Domains (Communication, Secrets, Rainbows), child of Harpocrates and Arke. Team sneaker and postman. If you see him, its already too late, your package has been delivered. Tagline: "The thirty minutes or less policy is for those that like to live dangerously."
  • Chad (NPC), child of Cupid
  • Auriol (NPC)

The Setup

The group is all back in the war room after a 4 hour rest and cleanup/bandaging from the motel scene.
The plan is to go to to Hades to get the third piece of the sword. Mitzadu asks Auriol why she hasnt given them the piece she has since that was the deal for rescuing her daughter. He would like to get that piece as far away as posible before going after the next one. Auriol says she will give it to us if we get the last piece out of Tartarus and if we dont give it to Poseidon as a bargaining chip to leave her alone. Mitzadu and Adelphin both object to that with Adelphin saying shell simply kill her and bring her back as a zombie before letting that happen.  Auriol is a bit taken aback and rethinks her situation.
Mitzadu tells the group of his plan to give each piece to a separate pantheon so no one can have the completed sword. Also that Hades didnt object to the idea.  However a powerful offscreen voice informs the party that all the pantheons would be afraid to get involved so the plan wont work. The voice then proclaims they cant decide what to do with the swords now as they have to hurry to Tarterous.

The Journey

Yannis is still extremely unhappy about participating in this venture and refuses to go with the group but will open the portal.
The rest opt to go, with Auriol leading the way as she knows its location. We portal into Hades by the river Styx and wait for the ferryman. Mitzadu asks for the toll and Adelphin forks over some jewelry, then all pile in with Liam a little surprised the boat does not overturn or sink.
We are carried quickly to the gates of Tarterous which are wide open. Almost like someone wants us to succeed and quickly be on our way...
The group wanders a short distance and up a huge hill surrounded by trees with people hanging from them.

Cyclops!

As the group gets near the top they see a huge alter with 8 twelve foot tall cyclops guarding it. Plans are quickly made and its decided to have Adelphin and Rui rush the alter to check out the sword in its middle and any protections that need to be countered. Liam and Suveer flank their left, Mitzadu and Chad flank right, and Auriol brings up the middle between them.
Liam summons his godly strength and tries to chop one ion half but his blow is deflected. Suveer leaps to his aid, the giant misses Liam and together the two quickly fell him by first breaking his pelvis with a power that reflects his blows off Liam's new shield then chopping off an arm before mercifully killing him.
Chad tries to place an arrow in a cyclops eye but the arrow is slapped away with a might axe. Mitzadu swings twice at the torso (Rapid Strike and Deceptive Attack) but does little damage, holding one attack back for a counterattack. Auriol tosses a bolt of darkness at it but misses. Mitzadu uses his remaining attack to hurt it some more.
The cyclops swings at Chad who dances back out of the way (thanks to a Tactics reroll). Mitzadu then sees another cyclops run up to Auriol and charges it and this time opts for a strike to its large single eye. He hits both times, killing it instantly.
Chad shoots the cyclops they were fighting in the eye, blinding it.
Liam picks up Suveer and throws him at a cyclops that is a bit behind the others in the first wave and Suveer kills it with the force of the move and his sharp sword.
Meanwhile at the front of the line Rui protects them both with a wall of swords and Adelphin uses her death gaze.
Chad hits the cyclops again before its finished off by Suveer.

Rui figures out the sword is a fake!
Auriol quickly (perhaps too quickly?) protests she didnt know.

A Cry From on High

As the group gathers to leave and takes a final look around Liam notices a dog hanging from a tree and Mitzadu hears a voice in Russian saying "Save the dog". As Liam is already doing that, Mitzadu asks the man why hes here and if he saw what happened to the sword. He mumbles something about wishing to see his wife and daughter one last time.  Mitzadu finally recognizes his old teacher and friend Koschei the Deathless and goes to cut him down. As a godling he shouldnt be here, especially in mortal form. The man doesnt recognize him and keeps mumbling and Mitzadu assure him he will take him to them. Adelphin comes down from the alter and recognizes her adopted father.
She casts Sense Sin on the dog who appears as pure as the driven snow and they all opt to leave.
As they leave the gates Adelphin leaves some jewelry, Suveer a sandwich, and Mitzadu that special Italian sandwich he knows is Hades favorite.
The group summons the ferryman and quickly depart. A tip is discussed and Mitzadu makes a delicacy from his magical rice grinder for Charon who is inordinately pleased. Rui has meanwhile collected a gallon of water from the river (careful not to touch it) and Adelphin offers a bracelet to the river in return - it throws it back somewhat changed.
Charon gives them both a handshake

Aftermath

Mitzadu treats and feeds Koschei and once he is sure he is stable sends a magical message to his wife - Baba Yaga.
She replies she will be there immediately and Mitzadu, not wanting an angry Baba Yaga scaring the guests (or worse) as she tries to find her lost husband goes out front to meet her. She shows up in her chicken hut but its magically covered with a "You dont really see this" spell so no trouble there. Shes furious, demanding to see him and Mitzadu escorts her along with Adelphin.
Words exchanged, people and dogs treated, and threats made before things settle down. Auriol fearfully asks if that was really her - likely really rethinking that strategy of pissing off Adelphin by giving the piece to Poseidon.

Afterthoughts

Surprisingly quick fight scene, the GM said he needs to toughen them up. The players were just happy at not dealing with automatic weapons!
The group, or at least Mitzadu needs to see the Oracle and all figure out a next move.
Who has the third piece? Did Poseidon get it early to keep Zeus from stopping him after he had the other pieces? Did Zeus grab it to keep Poseidon from getting it? Or was it yet another new party altogether?
If the group gets a piece how can they destroy it or otherwise keep it out of the Olympian hands? Should they? The thought crosses Mitzadus mind to let Poseidon get the pieces and let the Olympians have their own civil war.




Sunday, August 15, 2021

ATTG Season 1, Session 8 Hot Time in the City

 

Casting

  • Adelphin "Adel" Jean-Baptiste (Laurie) Domains (Death and Magic), child of  Werethekau and Baron Samedi. Machiavellian meddler. Power unto herself. Adelphin can kill with a glance, manipulate magic as if she were born to it (she was), and doesn't seem to be able to actually die. Tagline: "I'm not the devil, but betray me and I will show you hell".
    • Siv (NPC) Child of Odin, handed to Adelphin for protection.
    • Cosmos aka Management (Ally), an unusual cat that is her hotel manager.
    • Rui Qui (Ally) Theogenic demigod, hacker, magician.
  • Liam O'Shea (Randy) Domain (Strength) and child of Dagda. A huge, powerful, and deadly warrior. A druid and generally a likeable guy. Taught the old ways but is comfortable with the modern. He's traveled much of the world and is looking to see even more. Tagline: "I told you I wouldn't fit."
  • Mitzidu Ito (Rory) Domains (Business, Hearth/kitchen), child of Inari and Kojin. The teams business guru, event planner and entertainer. Taglines: "Life never tasted this good before!" and "The Hearth is the heart of the home, but food is the soul of a community"
  • Suveer Patel (Christian) Domain (Clearing Obstructions), child of Ganesh.  Martial artist and student of a thousand styles, Suveer is one of the teams upfront fighters with fists or his gauda (mace). He can get past any obstacle put before him. Tagline: "You are in front of me and no obstacle can stop me. Find a better place to be."
  • Yannis Papadopoulos aka The Courier (Chris D.) Domains (Communication, Secrets, Rainbows), child of Harpocrates and Arke. Team sneaker and postman. If you see him, its already too late, your package has been delivered. Tagline: "The thirty minutes or less policy is for those that like to live dangerously."
  • Chad (NPC), child of Cupid

Comparing Notes

Adelphin calls for a meeting and Mitzadu readily agrees as he has some info he wants to share. Liam isnt back yet but shows up during the meeting bearing food and drink from his trip to Tir Na Nog.  He gives two apples to Adelphin and two to Mitzadu, these are the famous Emain Ablach from the Isle of Apples, sometimes called Avalon. They will help recover magical energy from spellcasting.  Also he is carrying a keg of beer and a side of bacon with healing properties. The rather irreverent Suveer tries to swipe the back for a sandwich but Liam guards it carefully.

The team is brought up to speed on everyone's recent meetings and visits with family, friends or associates and a plan is hatched for finding and rescuing Cora from Poseidon's clutches as we know she is on earth, likely guarded by Spartans.
Mitzadu shares some of the sake he got from his father and tells everyone he was advised they should talk with the Oracle of Delphi who is in town for the harrowing. Hes not thrilled about it as he doesnt much like prophecy or predestination and Greek prophecies tend to be among the worst.
He also tells them about the plans he made with the police chief, his meeting with Ares, and requests Adelphins help in contacting Hades.

Hello Hades, Have Some Sake and a Sandwich

While the rest chill in the conference or war room, Adelphin and Mitzadu head to the roof where she summons Hades.  He immediately pops in and exchanges brief pleasantries and a drink with Adelphin before turning his attention to Mitzadu.

Mitzadu puts his diplomatic skills to the test and tries to show his respect and flatter Hades while not coming off like a sycophant, then he gets to the points.
#1 Is the issue with Hades and the sword. Mitzadu figures Hades already knows whats going on but he does actually respect Hades, certainly much more than most of the Olympians and wants him to not be killed by Poseidon. He mentions both for him to keep his guard up and in hopes of eliciting cooperation in getting the pieces as far away as possible.  Hades indicates he is under an oath to hold it but if someone steals it that would not be his fault.
#2 With that core business out of the way of trying to save a bunch of gods from a potential war he talks about the Spartans. He explains, just as he did with Ares that coming after him was fine - if a bit cowardly and against the spirit of the Compact by killing off rival gods before the harrowing formerly begins. However they killed mortals who were not part of the war and kidnapped a Kitsune and magically crippled her. The Spartans need to pay the blood debt and be discouraged from such behavior.  Simply go directly after the godlings they want to kill.
Mitzadus aim here, as with Ares is to minimize collateral damage and hope the leadership tells the Spartans the price of their current strategy is too high and to change it once they have been hit hard enough.  He isn't expecting any help or to have his name taken off the Red List, but why make all the Olympians thinks he despises them and will be a threat to their earthly assets.

After this conversation Hades asks Adelphin to tell Yannis that he would like to speak with him. Yannis doesnt immediately answer his phone and Adelphin goes to talk to him face to face. While waiting Mitzadu tries to entertain Hades who seems a bit depressed and offers him the second gourd of Sake. Turns out its potent stuff and Hades gets a little tipsy! He asks if Hades would like anything to eat and when Hades tells him about a specific bistro on the east coast that made one of the best sandwiches he ever tasted Mitzadu recalls eating there himself. He pulls out a relic he recently purchased called the Magical Mo of Shennong which is an ancient Chinese rice grinder and using simple rice can make any food the bearer desires and knows how to prepare.  Making a few excellent Culinarian! rolls he presents the sandwhich to Hades who is pleased with the results.
Eventually Adelphin comes back and informs him that Yannis is unwilling to meet him so he offers a magical tattoo to Adelphin to give to Yannis, saying its from his mother.  Also some personal messages best left off this journal as its not Mitzadus story to tell.

The Rescue at the Red Means Go Motel

The party gears up for combat, donning any armor, casting a few spells, and passing around charms before they try scrying for Cora.
Mitzadu tosses a Safeguard charm at the parties bullet magnet, Liam and casts Kojins Visage to help him be better aware of his surroundings. Adelphin tries to hand Mitzadu a charm but its effects wont cooperate with his Safeguard and Lesser Celerity charms. Liam improvises a Bat Vision and Dark Vision charm as the godling in the room appears to possess darkness powers.

Yannis takes the lead on scrying with help from Adelphin, Liam, and Mitzadu who also cast supplementary spells.
They wind up with a perfect birds eye view of the motel and the forces present. Yannis is asked to create two portals into the room, one near Cora and one opposite her by the entrance. He reluctantly complies.
Portal #1 lets in Suveer, followed by Adelphin, Rui, and Auriol. Suveer breaks a Safeguard charm on Cora and tosses her to her mother. Rui and Adelphin block off that half of the room with deadly barriers, one of fire and one of whirling swords. One of the guards dives into the bathroom to avoid getting caught in the fire.
Portal #2 lets in Mitzadu followed by Liam, Chad, and a reluctant Yannis. Mitzadu goes for the godling resting on the bed, dodges a bolt of darkness and chops him up pretty well, he is finished off by an arrow to the arm from Chad. Liam does what he is best at and draws enemy fire from the two guards with guns on this side of the room. 
Liam surprises everyone by dodging some of the bullet fire and his barkskin armor is shredded by the ones that hit. He slams one of the guards (the one with the sign saying "I'm a mage!" through both barriers, killing him quite thoroughly. Unfortunately his death curse brings down the portals, cutting off the teams escape.

The whole area heard the gunfire and Spartans who were stationed in several rooms, likely to catch those coming in from the street in a crossfire head over.
The Spartans had prepared the room by putting in a fake wall from a room next door into the bathroom. The wall is knocked out in hopes of surprising us, unfortunately for them the bathroom door is covered by a deadly wall of flames.
They shoot up the wall by group #1 and are killed by Adelphin and Rui for their trouble. Auriol tries to shelter Cora and Suveer dances between the barrier of blades and flames using his power to get through obstacles.

On the entrance side of the room a guard pops in and tries to shoot Liam in the back. Yannis cuts loose and seeing more guards coming up to the room amps up his rainbow blast, making it a large cone and blinds or kills about a dozen guards or mages, including the one in the door.
Mitzadu looking out through a hole in the wall that used to be a window before being shattered by bullets and beams of light sees one of the godlings standing defiantly on a car and charges him. He gets close enough to strike with the Katana but is expertly parried.
Suveer runs out and sees the remaining godling on the ground just outside the door, having been shot by one of the guys trying to shoot Liam.
Liam finishes off the last Spartan remaining in the room.
The Spartan godling Yorimi Sakakihara dances back on the car and gestures for Mitzadu to follow. Mitzadu taunts him by challenging his honor saying he expects him to step on top of the car and be cut down by the two dozen or so gunmen. He declares no one is to interfere and Mitzadu, now committed prepares to attack.
Yannis not caring about such things calls a beam from the sky and takes out most of the remaining gunmen. Suveer is in the area but not hit by the precise attack and along with Rui go off to finish off the remaining forces.
Liam steps out and take care of a couple at the door. Yorimi vanishes away from the beam and appears about 20 yards away.  Mitzadu heads over to continue the fight.

Mitzadu and Yorimi trade blows but both are expert swordsman and parry each other. They try a few tricky moves and Mitzadu realizes Yormi is much better than he is but his spells help even things. Yorimi, seeing his forces wiped out goes for a finishing move called "Death by 88 Cuts" which is a blur of rapid fire strikes and Mitzadu manages to dodge many but not nearly enough and takes mortal wounds. Knowing he has one shot left and barely hanging onto consciousness Mitzadu opts for an aggressive set of Deceptive strikes to the heart and two of the three get past Yorimis defenses. Yorimi dies but as his dying words say that Mitzadu will regret his actions.

Aftermath

Mitzadu killed a powerful Samurai and picked up the war domain, his foe was the child of Hachiman and Uzeme so Mitzadu plans to inform them directly that though he served the Spartans he died with honor.
Liam beheaded the Egyptian god Mitzadu and Chad took out and increased his Strength domain.
Adelphin absorbed the godling unlucky enough to be killed by his own men and gained star powers.

Liam summoned a rainstorm to put out the fires and the group left, with Adelphin animating the bodies and marching them off to her collection.
The godlings were carried out and the motel and remaining guests left to deal with the arriving police and fire department.  Lots of blood and bullet holes to explain, never mind two seeming explosions.
The news will enjoy the ratings boost, the police will likely get some extra funding, and the local business community not be too happy.



Thursday, July 29, 2021

ATTG Season 1, Session 7 Snap, Krackle, Pop!

 

Casting

  • Adelphin "Adel" Jean-Baptiste (Laurie) Domains (Death and Magic), child of  Werethekau and Baron Samedi. Machiavellian meddler. Power unto herself. Adelphin can kill with a glance, manipulate magic as if she were born to it (she was), and doesn't seem to be able to actually die. Tagline: "I'm not the devil, but betray me and I will show you hell".
    • Siv (NPC) Child of Odin, handed to Adelphin for protection.
    • Cosmos aka Management (Ally), an unusual cat that is her hotel manager.
    • Rui Qui (Ally) Theogenic demigod, hacker, magician.
  • Liam O'Shea (Randy) Domain (Strength) and child of Dagda. A huge, powerful, and deadly warrior. A druid and generally a likeable guy. Taught the old ways but is comfortable with the modern. He's traveled much of the world and is looking to see even more. Tagline: "I told you I wouldn't fit."
  • Mitzidu Ito (Rory) Domains (Business, Hearth/kitchen), child of Inari and Kojin. The teams business guru, event planner and entertainer. Taglines: "Life never tasted this good before!" and "The Hearth is the heart of the home, but food is the soul of a community"
  • Suveer Patel (Christian) Domain (Clearing Obstructions), child of Ganesh.  Martial artist and student of a thousand styles, Suveer is one of the teams upfront fighters with fists or his gauda (mace). He can get past any obstacle put before him. Tagline: "You are in front of me and no obstacle can stop me. Find a better place to be."
  • Yannis Papadopoulos aka The Courier (Chris D.) Domains (Communication, Secrets, Rainbows), child of Harpocrates and Arke. Team sneaker and postman. If you see him, its already too late, your package has been delivered. Tagline: "The thirty minutes or less policy is for those that like to live dangerously."
  • Chad (NPC), child of Cupid

We Have Questions! (Snap)

We took the one Spartan trooper left alive back for holding and interrogation, let him stew about a week for an interrogation bonus. 
Meantime we did some much needed combat practice and sparing with each other, led by Rui Qui who is a master swordsman.
When it came time for the interrogation Rui Qui did it with assistance from Adelphin and Mitzadu and essentially absorbed the contents of the subjects brain (Domain (Knowledge)) and then typed a report on his computer. 
After that Liam broke his neck.
Auriol (The Lady in Red) had woken up and was quizzed about her circumstances. She knew as soon as she was woken up that her daughter had been captured due to the spell placed on her.
It was quite a bit of info and pretty much brought the entire party up to speed and on the same page for the first time in the campaign. We were told the Spartans had a Red List of priority kill targets and Adelphin and any associated with her were on it. Mitzadu was also on it for having survived two previous Harrowings as that made him potentially dangerous despite not having a combat related domain or one typically thought of as dangerous. Liam was not on the list yet as he had just started associating with Mitzadu and neither was Chad. The Spartans had detailed dossiers on most of the group so we should have trouble surprising them with our capabilities. Auriol gave her personal history and told us that Poseidon had fathered a child on her in a very abusive relationship and she had eventually gotten away and hid the daughter, no mean feat that!
She was recently commissioned to bring a package to Poseidon and in return he would give up on the child. She balked at that when after getting the package she saw what it was, One of three pieces of the Sword of Chronus which is capable of killing a god. Apparently it has been used in a few times then broken up and parts locked away then reforged as needed for use - rinse repeat.  Currently Poseidon has one piece, the other is in Tartarus and she has the remaining piece. She explained he has gone quite insane and plans to kill Zeus with it.

A Bit of Krackle...

Mitzadu called an old friend, Michelle Lilly (daughter of Chloris/Flora) to warn her she was on the Red List, though as she was outcast from the Olympian pantheon awhile back he figured she already was and knew it.
She was glad to hear from him, yes she knew about the list - and had he heard she was getting married? She invited him to the wedding, he offered to cater it which she obviously expected<g> and said her fiancĂ© Stephane had been hoping for that and offered him some Golden Apples as she was the daughter of Idunn.
Mitzadu immediately started salivating at what he could prepare with THAT ingredient!  He noticed his phone was about to die so said he would call back.

And Pop!

While some of the group considered the information and mulled ideas, Liam deciding that since he was not on the kill list and this was all a bit beyond him (being a very young godling after all) drove over to Mitzadus Summerlin home for some rest and to enjoy the gardens. However as soon as he arrived he was accosted by gunmen who had already disabled security (likely through magic) and killed his staff.
Liam tried to take cover in the bushes and call Mitzadu for help but Mitzadus phone chose that moment to lose its charge so he was on his own. Had he been able to reach anyone we could have gated there in I think 3 different ways.
Unfortunately someone has the Cursed disadvantage...
Liam expended a considerable amount of magical and aetheric power, as well as bodily fluids to survive but escaped through a Plane Shift spell. Liam wasn't on the Red list before but he certainly is now!


Post Session Meetings

So after hearing what happened to his home Mitzadu is pretty angry, though you would have to know him real well to tell. He is the type that gets cold and calculating rather than yell or start hitting things.  The Spartans killed his staff, the gardener, chef, security guard, and two maids. The chef was a young man he was mentoring, the guard a pleasant old Marine vet who was good with people, the maids a nice pair of witches more comfortable with magic than actually good at, and the gardener a pleasant enough though somewhat surly old native American who supervised the contractors for the pools and grounds more than did any hard labor - they slit his throat and shot the rest. After Liam escaped they set the house on fire and the fire department was unable to save it from pretty much burning to the ground.
It appears to just have been spite, unlike the trap with Maki, because if the purpose was to kill him they would have staked out the place. Instead they expended resources and risk just to annoy him and try to force him to stay at the Karnival hotel where he is harder to attack.
Also, now he has nothing to lose. With a death mark on him and any who associate with him, they backed him into a corner. No way out except through them and he knows he cant win against the Olympians, he is just a minor godling after all. So literally nothing to lose as the same fate awaits him either way. He is sad at the loss of his friends and staff, but if the desire was to send him into hopeless depression they misread him. He has lived hundreds of years and survived 4 harrowings, death is an old companion he knows can arrive at any time. He heard from Adelphin that Liam ios hurt but safe in Otherworld.
So he sets some things into motion, tries to gather some info and said his goodbyes to his parents.

Gnome Multimedia

Mitzadu used his Busnessman! skill and Domain (Business) to set up this company and several shell companies to hide its true ownership. Though one of those shell companies is barely hidden and he expects to be found pretty easily - its called Eris Consolidated and he hopes that name will cause dissension, confusion, and of course Discord within the pantheon. The neat trick here is that the goddess Eris is likely to actually appreciate being given credit for its activities so less likely to vehemently deny it. Even better if she does deny it there will be doubts as its definitely within her wheelhouse.
The purpose of Gnome Multimedia is to create memes that make certain gods look ridiculous and generally annoy them by making people think of them as jokes.  Poseidon is of course the primary target and he set up the idea of a "My Blue Pony" campaign where Poseidon is a cute tap dancing pony who plays beach volleyball with young boys and girls. He gets chased around by a goose named Heus and a crab named Karkinos who is always trying to snap at his feet and trip him. Planned is a internet short, a movie, and to start off a set of Blue Pony birthday cards and other merchandise for young girls.
In the setting belief helps shape the gods, though this wont reach a wide enough audience and it will take decades for the young girls to grow up and pass along thier toys to daughters it could hurt a little. At the least most of the pantheon are very insecure and prone to being easily offended and hurt by any perceived slight.

Police Chief Tracy Benoit

Mitzadu got a Very Good reaction roll with her and it was decided this was in part from his standing in the community (Status 2, Filthy Rich, known philanthropist) and being an exceptionally skilled lawyer. When he called her office he was put right through, possibly his home being the victim of a terrorist's attack lent some urgency to her response.
She was likely expecting an outraged constituent, casting blame, making threats, and calling the police force incompetent. What she got was a surprisingly calm and collected person who politely expressed his dissatisfaction and worry for the community and the possible effects on local business and politicians if people were afraid to come to town. Also he was offering help. Mitzadu offered to have a fundraiser for outfitting and equipping an expanded SWAT and anti-terrorism task force and get the ball rolling with his own money.  He just needed her on board and to pitch the idea to the Mayor and city counsel but with known private backing it should be an easy sell. Unsaid, but clearly understood was a lot of people would not be reelected if the issue was not quickly and dramatically resolved.  Also her status would be elevated and she is up for reelection.
Though she happened to bring up the latter.
She offered a security detail, he gratefully declined asking the money be used to protect others less well off and able to protect themselves.
Overall a very good meeting that might yield some inconvenience to the Thule Society (already in trouble because of C-Teams work) and the Spartans.

Family Affairs

Next up Mitzadu cast his Seek Greater Kami spell to reach his mother Inari.
She responded by summoning him to her home where he watched her tend the garden for twenty minutes before talking with him. She knew much of what was going on and remarked how he had been "busy". Also he should call more.
He expressed his apologies and informed her of Poseidon plans to assemble the sword and kill Zeus, and the concern that he wouldnt stop there. Especially since according to one source he had gone quite insane. Also the Spartans had quite an army and seemed out to kill any godling who might be a threat to a full Olympian ascension through the upcoming harrowing.
She informed him that she new some of this and couldnt help or directly interfere but that some of agents could interfere with their agents.
Poor mother, she actually thought he came to ask for help rather than to warn her and thus the other Kami and godlings.
He thanked her and informed her of the upcoming wedding and asked her to consider coming, one of the brides being a daughter of Idunn he felt it especially appropriate.
She then handed him his samurai armor, apparently having pulled it out of his house and some weapons, a Katana, Tanto blade and a Wakizashi. He politely and gratefully accepted (though he has his own magnificent blade he crafted decades ago so this seems weird). She then mentioned he should see his father as a form of dismissal.
Kojin was working at the stove, greeted Mitzadu warmly and they briefly and idly chatted about nothing. He sent Mitzadu on his way with two gourds of sake and a bento box. Father seemed to get the real reason for the visit, a goodbye.
Mitzadu then appeared back on earth with his gifts and headed home to put them away.
Some side notes...
It was suggested that he visit the Oracle if he can find her, she is in Los Vegas.
Maki has had her magic temporarily blocked, they are working on it.

Two Old Warriors

Next up Mitzadu tried to call Ares, having met him at the party and been complimented and thanked for providing such great food they had at least a speaking terms relationship.  Also both warriors so Mitzadu felt certain things could be said and asked, if not answered through a common soldiers bond.
Ares was apparently off earth so a spell was improvised to reach him. Ares knocked back and told Mitzadu to meet him on the street downstairs.
They greeted each other politely and Ares said he knew what this was about.
Mitzadu acknowledged that and quietly informed him about Poseidon's apparent plans and how he likely would not stop with one kill but finish off any he saw as a rival or threat. Ares should watch his back. Mitzadu was trying to get a feeling for Ares involvement, though not expecting a firm answer either way. Ares was guarded but polite and hopefully appreciated Mitzadu's discretion at not naming names or relics - they were on the street after all and not secure from scrying. Ares told him that he shouldn't even be speaking with him, but wow that was really good bacon! Mitzadu thanked him for the compliments and said he would happily feed him any time.
Next the issue of the Spartans was brought up and Mitzadu was less circumspect here as the issue posed far less risk to Ares. Ares declined to directly answer if the Spartans were solely under Poseidon's control but did acknowledge the efforts to cull godlings before the harrowing. He seemed less than comfortable about it and the two commiserated a bit about politicians and cowards. Mitzadu explained he knew he could not win or survive but that a blood debt was owed and he would do his best to collect and go down fighting, making his death as costly ass he could. Ares seemed to understand and respect that and they parted with Ares saying he hoped if anyone took his head it would be him. Mitzadu respectfully promised to try and at least bloody him and make the fight worthwhile.

No Answer

Last on the list, though certainly on the list was Hades. The spell was cast bit reaction roll only neutral and thus declined. Mitzadu will ask for Adelphins help at another attempt but I wont post the goal here as the GM told me he would prefer to improvise and be surprised.

Afterthoughts

That was a long post! It was the game session and a followup one on one and I hope you enjoyed reading it.
The last session did not go really well as some people felt they have been getting too little screen time and there is crosstalk interrupting them.  I made some suggestions and acknowledged some aditional effortts I can make to try and help but emotions were high and it did not really take. So I created a new series of posts called Gaming Advice (linked in the headers above and the search tag labels to the right) that put my thoughts on the issue (sanitized for objectivity) as not only could they potentially help our group they are common issues and I hope helpful advice to others.
A new microphone was ordered and hopefully arrive before the next game! I think that will help a lot.