Unknown Armies – Session 4 (02/06/15)

The party arrives at the Circle’s Edge ‘historical relics’ shop and finds four smart-dressed men getting out of it and leaving in a white Lexus.

The shop is attended by a muscular guy of native-american origins. The conversation with him brings up several subjects: the shop owner is Sid Anderson, an hipster millionaire, formerly working as strategic marketing exec in silicon valley, now obliging his fancy for expensive old stuff. Turns out there was a burglary last night, which some watch being stolen; no worries however: the insurance company just came in and they’ll cover for everything.

Back to the office, while trying to picture all this together, Raven goes for a blind road crossing at peak hour, managing to get through unharmed and loaded with enough magic to bend probabilities upside down: at the traffic light nearby she spots an old Ford with the crossroad assailant adept at the drive.

The pursue leads to the SF General Hospital. Also there are four smart-dressed guys (surely in a Lexus): they reach the 33th floor and position outside one of the rooms there (33B).

The party confronts the adept (Morris), who only cracks upon hearing about the men: there’s his daughter Amy in that room, a critically ill young girl of 7. She requires expensive medical care which has been funded by TNI so far, in exchange for some special assignment performed by daddy (and mummy?).

They manage to elude the TNI agents by triggering a fire alarm, rescue the girl with a Patch Adams impersonation and then leave through the staff access, making an escape for the safer place they know in town: the underground clinic of Dr. Victor Crane.

Unknown Armies – Session 3 (26/05/15)

The situation at the motel escalates rapidly into a gunfight. Only through foolishness and blind (or maybe not so) luck the party manages to overcome the opposition and keep their own guts inside (some more than others). There is not much to learn from the corpses: no IDs, locked mobiles… just a company name on the car renting papers.

The wounded leave towards the whereabouts of shady doctor Victor Crane for patching up, while others go to meet the biker at Ocean Beach.

There she is, leaning on the bike near the shore. Maggie needs allies and is willing to share information with whoever may be inclined to be one: the watch is supposed to be the one worn by Amelia Earhart on her last flight in 1937 – a gift from Harry Gordon Selfridge Jr. The lady in the Pontiac name is Angela (Osborne) and she is an avatar of the Flying Woman, same as Earhart has been herself, allegedly. Angela is also Maggie’s ex-lover and was her guide on the path of the Flying Woman as well. Angela got close to TNI and likely acquired information about the artifact that way.

Maggie however is adamant the watch is a fake: too recent make. It should not hold any power, but apparently it does as a consequence of the major charge being used at the crossroad, with the watch at the center as the interest focus of both sides in the conflict. Now it seems to be tied to that moment in time and keeps rolling back to it when the leftover charge within gets released, like some sort of mystical time-warping jo-jo. The process is however unpredictable and may stop working or go wrong anytime – that said Maggie is willing to take the chance, also to erase the mess with TNI and start with the party on a clean slate. The agreement is for the party to investigate the Circle’s Edge shop (where probably the watch comes from) while she goes after Angela.

She smashes the watch against some rocks and all find themselves back at the crossroad, right after the explosion, with a biker in aviator gear approaching.

Unknown Armies – Session 2 (19/05/15)

The next day all go to the Motel address, looking for Maggie the Biker. There they find the room  front door had been forced open already and there is a person inside searching through the place (which is a mess). A telephone on the back of the head puts the intruder conveniently out to setup a forthcoming interview.

Turns out he is a journalist who is investigating on a group known as The New Inquisition (TNI), which operates ruthlessly to acquire magick artifacts or magick people to enrol for their cause; they also appear to have large fundings at their disposal. They have been here before the journo, and left the mess behind.

Suddenly a movement outside the window starts the party on a chase that culminates on the diving board over a swimming pool with no more than 50cm of water in. From there Maggie threatens to throw away some kind wristwatch she is holding, guessing her pursuers are after it. Seeing they don’t relent at all, she smashes it to pieces against the border of the pool.

A booming explosion and blinding flames engulf them all as they find themselves at the crossroad again, with two cars one over the other. A biker dashes away from the scene at full throttle. Everyone retains all memories of what happened so far.

They try to get Maggie a message through the Motel reception, with an invite for a meet up.

An informer confirms the woman actually went to the Motel and packed up in a hurry.

The party decides to go there and wait for The New Inquisition arrival, to confront them. While hiding or taking place around, a text message comes back from an unknown sender: after few exchanges an agreement is found about meeting at Ocean Beach few hours later.

A Lexus stops in the parking below and four men dressed up like bankers or lawyers come out of it, heading straight towards Maggie’s room. From the front door they can hear someone singing out loud from the bathroom, in a high pitch voice, and they pull out their guns.

Unknown Armies – Session 1 (12/05/15)

Looks like you all happened to be at the wrong place at the right time: a crossroad in San Francisco’s hills, just when a car took over from a ramp and landed onto another passing by below.

The scene is a mess, with the hitting car flipped and the other one partially squashed – its lady driver miraculously safe. Not so much luck for the other car driver: a woman as well, and a very dead one too. The passenger however managed to crawl out and is now pulling out a gun and pointing it against the other car’s driver, all with copious tears running through his face.

The lady got out too and has reached for the boot, in an attempt to pull out some kind of ancient sword from it. Here things go weird as you step into this, adding your own share to the mayhem. At some point the gunner teleports aside to get a clear shot on the lady and manages to hit her. Your attempts to attack him all appear to weirdly miss the target. The wounded lady pulls herself on top of her Pontiac Firebird , right above the large phoenix-shaped bonnet decal, and suddenly an explosion knocks you all off to the ground, blinded by flames that look like fiery wings for a split second. Both contenders gone.

You just notice a biker on a custom, observing and leaving the scene at this point: wearing a leather jacket with an eagle logo on the back and an aviator helmet with googles. You get the plate too.

You also recover a leaflet from the Pontiac wreak, advertising some kind of shop named Circle’s End. You also got possession of the sword the lady left behind.

The police arrives on the scene and seems fine with your statements, which carefully remove any reference to unnatural events from the facts.

Following up with some detective work you discover the bike’s owner identity as Margaret LaTorneau, an LA resident, currently staying in a motel about town.

Some research on the sword reveal it to be devoid of any magick, but probably ancient, even though perfectly kept: looks like a greek gladius with the hilt shaped as a pair of wings; possibly a ritual weapon for Nemesis, goddess of the righteous vengeance.

Nova Praxis – Session 5 (10/02/15)

On their way to Valare manor, off the city’s boundaries, the crew spot a car following them. It turns out the Whale had sent them backup in the persons of Francisco and Maya, two of her long time associates.

Reaching the manor, they find it heavily guarded and opt for subterfuge to get in, with Jacob taking the appearance of the late Rusila Alvid. Inside on the first floor they find some servants and guests, both in ghosting form, like SIMs (which is not supposed to be the case in virtualities). The only ‘real’ person appears to be the butler, who barely acknowledges them.

On the first floor they go through a series of rooms without being able to locate the way up, when suddenly they are called out by the butler, walking upside-down on the ceiling. He doesn’t appreciate at all them poking around and responds forcefully to their request for seeing Mr. Valare. Thugs join in the confrontations, as well as ‘ghostling’ from the lower floor, turning the house into a war zone.

At the end the crew are the last ones standing and are able to reach the second floor. There Valare awaits them in the master bedroom, behind a thick glass wall. he is assisted by a huge, fat nurse at his bedside. The butler is present there again as well, silently overseeing.

Valare himself appears to be a wizened old man who is stuck in bad and can only communicate through the display of his life-sustaining apparatus. He used to be a crimelord even back on Earth before the war, an Alliance loyalist during it and a House Turin boss afterward. He abused the mindset technology to the extreme consequences, forking himself an indefinite number of times: this has allowed him immortality and hive-mind awareness across all his forks, but at the same time has stretched his mind so much that he has lost control of his own body, even in a virtuality.

The crew confronts him with evidence of his involvement both in Second Chances traffic of cores and the smuggling of Tsarya’s weapons to anti-Coalition groups (the Talons) – he appears particularly upset about learning those had been delivered to Federation-side Remnants.

As a conclusion the parties come to agree on a truce between House Turin and the Whale, as long as some sensitive information will not be divulged. For final settlement with the crew Valare provides them with a Second Chance authorization code, to go and collect any of their own core backups that had been stored there.

 

 

Eclipse Phase pitch

with Albert. Starting 17th February 2015

What’s it about in one sentence?

A group of operatives for a shadowy conspiracy must embark on a mission that will help prevent a possible conflict that could destroy a large chunk of the remaining population in the Solar system.

Details

It has been eight years since the Fall, and the loss of Earth to the Titans and their creations. Transhumanity, through luck more than anything has survived in the vastness of the Solar system, trying to move on with its life. Dangers lurk in the shadow, both created by things other than humanity and our own seeming need to perpetuate conflict, in a time where unity is needed.

You, that is the Firewall Sentinels you are playing, are on a mission on the Martian surface, attempting to find where certain groups are acquiring extremely high quality equipment(mostly military), some of which is making it’s way into the hands of the more violent parts of the Barsoomian movement, and other organizations which can upset the peace on the Red planet. Especially worrying are indications of possible WMD manufacturing, although any signs of that have yet to be verified by Firewalls extensive information network.

Now, you might be asking, what exactly is a Firewall Sentinel? In short, Sentinels are Firewalls troubleshooters, the people who head into situations (both combat and otherwise) that cannot be investigated or dealt with remotely. Sentinels come in many forms, talented hackers to con men and women, mercenaries to engineers.

Who you are is largely up to you, so long as you’re willing to do your part to saving humanity, and have the skills that it needs, Firewall will likely not turn you away, although they prefer people who are actually trying to be doing the right thing.

Being a sentinel is not (usually) a ‘full time’ job, you likely have work and connections outside of it, although you are expected to be ‘available’ at any time, which means most Sentinels either work freelance or for very flexible bosses.

As a short note for character creation however, do note that in 99% of instances, you are either approached by firewall due to your skills and personality, or due to having witnessed something (and survived with sanity intact), and had been recruited then.

Very –very– rarely do people approach firewall from the outside, given it’s status as a shadowy conspiracy ran by [REDACTED], although there have been a few cases, including a…concession by the group to the Titanian Commonwealth to allow one of it’s agents to participate in firewall ops, in exchange for resources, connections and help on certain matters, as well as basically a ‘free’ hand in the Outer system to deal with issues pertaining to [REDACTED].

System

D100 system, rather basic, but it works. Mind, I’m still debating whether or not to use something else in it’s place, but probably not.

https://robboyle.wordpress.com/eclipse-phase-pdfs/ (Has the corebook, as well as a few other sidebooks available as a free PDF)

Recommended Media

Honestly, this is kinda hard to say, media that portrays transhumanism is mostly Literature, visual media is…somewhat rarer. Below are a few I know of that you can watch/read.

Appleseed (Manga). Ghost In the Shell (Manga/Anime) Deus Ex Series (Video Games) A miracle of science (Webcomic)

Legend of the 5 Rings Pitch

with Adrian R. Starting 17th February 2015

What’s it about in one sentence?

Fantasy roleplaying in a far eastern setting, drawing on Korean, Chinese and Japanese elements.

Details

The PC’s will take on the roles of samurai in the lands of Rokugan. Taking on the role of swordsmen, magic users, diplomats or variations on each.

Sent across the burning sands desert the PCS have been asked to find a weapon to use against the traitorous Spider Clan the group has reached the
city of Medinaat Al Salaam, more specifically the cave of Mul-Shazzir…The Khadir of the 40 Sons of Trespass!

Our PCs have uncovered a weapon that will, hopefully, help destroy the ‘Floating Kyuden’ that is terrorising the lands of the Phoenix and Dragon Clans.

It is a rather unorthodox weapon but one with the potential to change the face of the PCs world….

It is also sharing the body of one the PCs….but more on that if the game gets voted in 🙂

System

Simply put: D10. Using a roll and keep system based around Traits/attributes and Skills. Trust me…its easy 🙂
Plenty of players have access to both hard copies and PDF so if anyone needs access to books they will be available.

Recommended Media

To be honest it’s the same media recommendations as last time.
TV: Monkey, The Water Margin and a splash of the Sinbad movies
Literature: Tales from Old Japan

Nova Praxis – Session 4 (03/02/15)

The prehistoric killer whale reveals to be the actual client who hired the crew and invites them to meet back in Samara, claiming to have their more recent memory backups there.

The hideout is accessed through the city sewer system, with a series of tunnels leading to a vast underground basement mostly occupied by a pool where the large cetacean swims together with a smaller one.

The memory merge process is carried out, revealing the following: after the backup at Second Chances the crew met their first client: Rusila Alvid, connected with House Turin. The job he gave them was about dispatching a rival crime lord named ‘The Whale’. The crew successfully managed to get to the target (at the time in a human female biosleeve), to discover she was waiting for them and telling they had been manipulated upon doing the backup at Second Chances, with a kill-switch implanted into their bodies, due to trigger upon completing the mission. Their cores have been basically sold to Second Chances for re-use in back ops anytime they need.

They then agreed to get a new backup done and left it with the Whale, which also backed-up herself. Next they proceeded to kill her as planned, triggering the kill-switch and dying right after. The Whale then re-sleeved in orc form and hired the crew from Second Chances shortly afterward.

Upon the merge, the crew also get to re-sleeve into their original bodies, which are now safe from the kill-switch.

They also manage to crack the encryption of the black box of the aircraft from the jungle, uncovering a traffic of Tsarya manufactured weapons going from the Talons of Freedom to the Remnants – which the Talons accidentally had mistaken for being from Alliance side instead of Federation, with tragic consequences.

The next part of the plan now is for them to head into the Chicago 1920 virtuality (replicating the eponymous city from early XX century), find Rusila and figure out who is really behind all this. Their contact there is Aime Antla, a jazz singer by trade, doubling up as a spy for the Whale.

Arriving in Chicago they head for The Outfit, a club owned by Rusila. Aime gets them in to attend to her peformance and then manages to arrange a meeting with Rusila afterwards.

The meeting takes place in a blind alley, where Rusila awaits with some thugs. It becomes soon clear that he sold them to Second Chances and that is just a middleman in a much bigger operation. When confronted with evidence of Tsarya weapons being smuggled by Talons he gives in and mentions Mr. Valare, a major crime lord operating (mostly) in Chicago.

Then the gangsters try to surprise and dispatch the crew, but are quickly overcome and killed in the attempt.

Nova Praxis – Session 3 (20/01/15)

The shootout concludes with the crew overcoming the soldiers and capturing their officer, which they manage to persuade to cooperate and get other soldiers to let them leave unharmed. The soldiers turn out to be Remnants forces, still loyal to pre-Coalition faction from the war time.

While moving through the hideout, a storage cave is discovered behind a metal gate, holding several crates, which appear to be weapons of House Tsarya manufacturing.

Resuming the travel over the river stream, they encounter a horde of frenzied dinosaurs and barely manage to steer the hovercraft away from their trajectory. It looks like the reptiles were fleeing from something.

The following day they reach the pluvial forest, surrounding the Salty Lake, and have to proceed on foot through it. Here the steamy atmosphere and minerals create a natural interference for the Mesh, making surveillance extremely difficult.

As they cross the forest, they get attacked by two dinosaur, which then rapidly flee upon a roaring screech, preceding the arrival of a huge amphibian carnivorous bipedal lizard.

The battle takes some on the verge of death, but at its climax all crew members hear a voice into their Mindset, prompting to “take it to the water”. As they manage to lure the predator there, a massive creature emerges from the water, bites with its huge jaws and drags it underwater.

The water goes dark and then a massive creature emerges from it, vaguely resembling a killer whale, but much larger, with bones protruding off its skin and double fins on each side.

Nova Praxis – Session 2 (13/01/15)

The last two members of the crew complete their re-sleeving process one day later, and meet with the others at the gate of Samara, where they are ready to leave for a jungle expedition on board of an hovercraft, to meet the unknown client.

Decision is taken to travel along the course of the river, upstream, which provides a exquisite view of the impressive wildlife and landscape of Proch, if not much concealment.

In the second day of travel, heading towards the waterfalls, a crashed aircraft is spotted near the river shore. Close examination on the scene and data analysis reveal four burnt corpses inside (true born, likely apostate, not local to Proch) and heavy damage caused by some kind of missile explosion, no more than 24 house before, which is reconstructed as coming from behind the waterfall cliffs in front.

Approaching the cliffs, the crew sneaks past two guards patrolling from the caves above (one armed with an RPG) and reach a small cave entrance behind the waterfall. Here they surprise a group of solider in mimetic-guerrilla outfits, getting the upper hand in the ensuing gunfight.