It’s Only Make Believe…

It’s good to get back into the regular swing of gaming once again, and it’s nice to have the group expand; introducing someone new to the game is always a blessing and a curse since they really don’t understand the concept. It’s a learning process for them as well, and I as a game masters (as well as the other players) are teachers in this process.

Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0 is a quick and easy game to pick up and even though it’s dated (since the game came out in the early 90’s) it’s still fun to run and play. The technology in the game sure has changed, but the players don’t mind it at all. Considering it an “alternate reality” and just go with flow of the adventure.

I don’t know how many more sessions this game will last since the Dark Future is a pretty damn deadly place and character lives are like matches waiting to be struck!

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Bookkeeping – Cyberpunkin’ Style

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Last night’s session was just a bookkeeping one for the players. They were spending eurodollars on items and stuff they’d need  and also cashing in some IPs to raise a skill or gain new ones. Also, checking out the Chromebooks to see if something caught their eye, and what they think they might need in the long run.

It was an interesting gabfest  and a keen insight of a new player at the table that’s for sure. Though, by the time we had finished the record keeping the evening was pretty well over and it was kind of late to jump into the next adventure.

Though, it’s that time of the year when staff Christmas parties and family gatherings occur frequently that cut into precious game times as well. Hopefully, we will be able to jump into the next adventure when we gather at the table once again.

Never Fade Away

A Cyberpunk 2020 session

Cast of Characters:
Jackson “Mr. Time” Laurier, Corporate MoFo (Chance)
Thad Thaddeus, Solo (Darryl)
Shalimar Seppuku, Rockeboy (Nathan)
Coyote Chrome, Techie (NPC)

*GM Note: Never Fade Away is a story in Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0 rule book and it has been slightly modified for our heroes.

Our adventure begins with a call from “Bag Lady” she’s a well known fixer in Night City. She has contacted Jackson who just might have an inside information on what a big client needs. She has arranged for a meeting at The Atlantis, which is a corporate bar.

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The Atlantis is a place where the contacts are good, and the pickings easy. Where Corporates looking for a fast freelance assassination. medias and Runners looking to trade information. Fixers with guns, armor and smuggling jobs, etc,…

Jackson has called in an old friend to help him, Thad Thaddeus, a Solo, good with a gun and ready to protect. Jackson and Thad work out a plan of action, Jackson will sitting at a booth across from the bar where Thad sits so he can keep an eye and ready for action. Rockerboy legend, Johnny Silverhand strolls into the establishment, his head held high, a cocky light in his eyes. He spots Jackson and makes his way over to the table. He’s stopped by a waitress and signs an autograph and has a selfie taken with her before he sits down at the booth.

“Mr. Time,” Silverhand says. “Bag Lady told me you can help me.”

“What do you wish to acquire,” Jackson asks.

“Time,” Silverhand replies, “And I’m running short on it.”

Silverhand has a task and he explains the situation. Early that evening after a coming out of a gig with his girlfriend, Alt, he was caught of guard by three goons pretending to be fans. They jumped him, wrecked him up good and when he came too in a pool of his own blood, his girlfriend was missing. He breaks his trauma card and comes too in a hospital. Where he has been stitched back together.

It’s here that Silverhand learns from an old contact that the “goons” were sponsored by Arasaka. It wasn’t a hit on him, but they were after his girlfriend, Alt. She just so happens to be a hotshot programmer and had designed a program called “Soul Killer”.  Rumour has it that Arasaka is working on their own version of “Soul Killer” and needed Alt’s input on it. Alt is being held in Arasaka tower and he needs to get her out ASAP.

Thad who has been watching over the bar, notices three men entering and making a bee line right for Jackson and Silverhand. He catches Jackson’s eye and nods over to the doorway and that’s when all hell breaks loose! The guns draw their weapons, they are going to take out Silverhand. Jackson first instinct is to expand his heavy armored coat around Silverhand to act as a shield as bullets begins to flow. The jacket absorbs the hits as Silverhand and Jackson make it to the exit.

Thad jumps into action and begins picking off the goons. In a matter of seconds three goons are down but Thad’s leg is shot up pretty badly. He staggers out after Jackson and Silverhand while he places a call to an old friend, “Lucy 4”. Silverhand has a Porsche in the parking lot and that’s where they are heading. Jackson sees that Thad is seriously wound helps him across the lot towards the vehicle.

The  Porsche explodes and debris rains down among them. An armoured AV-4 hovering over the lot and now bullets rain down from the heavens.  As cars in the lot are being chewed up by a mini-gun, though that doesn’t last long as the AV-4 is hit with a rocket from out of the blue.

“Lucy 4” has arrived on the scene to help out her friend in trouble. She lands her modified “Trauma” AV-4 and everyone loads up. She takes them to a hospital where Thad’s leg needs to be looked after by “professionals” instead of Street Docs.

It is here where the team decides a course of action calling in and cashing in markers. They need to get into Arasaka and they need a plan. Jackson places a call to A.D.A Montgomery to see if his old flame “Coyote Chrome” is out of jail. Turns out she is and has been for several months. She’s been catching up on the latest technology. Also since Thad’s leg is useless if they can get a “big gun” for him to use. Since Thad has a keen shot, maybe he can just do some good from a vantage point.

Silverhand places some calls to members his old group “Samurai” he wants them to get together for a big show in a park right across from Arasaka. While Thad makes a call and brings in Shalimar Seppuku to help out as well.

They all gather and work out a plan that will get them into Arasak tower and rescue Alt. Word gets spread that Samurai is getting back together for a big gig in Park Green and the techies begin set up the equipment, as fans begin to trickle into the park. Thad takes up nest in a good location, a tower across the street that is currently going under renovations on four floors and he sets up a snipers nest.

Jackson and Shalimar will filter in with the crowd and will make their way to Arasaka once the plan is underway. The stage is set and the time to strike will begin once Silverhand sings the lyrics “Chippin’ in”.

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Thousands of people have been filing into the park waiting for the show to begin, Thad from his vantage point scans the area and keep tabs on things out of the ordinary. Shalimar is among the crowd while Jackson hands by a tree and waits for the right opportunity.

Silverhand takes the stage and begins the show, Shalimar can spot a red dot dancing around Silverhand’s head and he alerts the others. Thad with his keen vision spots a sniper at another building and is going to take him out. Jackson cautions him saying that to do that no will give away our plan since the sniper cannot take out Silverhand in front of a huge crowd across from Arasaka. Thad waits and hopes that Jackson isn’t wrong.

The show goes on and Samurai breaks into their classic hit, and Silverhand incites the crowd and jumps into them. This is the signal and Thad decides to take out the sniper first before she get’s a chance to fire. Jackson grabs Shalimar and they head to building as well, they break from the crowd and into the building.

Now I won’t go into detail of the events that happened here (just imagine the scene from the Ryan Reynold’s film Smokin’ Aces). With Shalimar and Jackson dealing with the guards in the lobby and then heading to the elevator making their way up Arasaka searching for Alt and fighting guards. Coyote Chrome hacking into Arasaka to mess with the security, and trying to find out where Alt is located. There are encounter with a few modified cybernetic sentries. With Thad and his sniper rifle picking off anyone and everyone who happens to get in the way.

After dealing with cyborg, Jackson get’s hit with a hail of bullets (14) from a Minami 10 SMG and one shot manage to hit him in the head, causing a huge wound and takes him out. Shalimar battles the cyborg and manage to shove him down an elevator shaft, by now they can hear the crowd of fans that have stormed through Arasaka and make their way to the penthouse. Though, a helicopter takes off from the rooftop, Thad is about to fire a shot but then his gun jams. The helicopter takes off.

Thad calls in Lucy to help since Jackson is seriously injured.  Shalimar tends to the wound with first aid but he doesn’t know if will matter. Lucy’s AV-4 arrives and they load up, she swings by to pick up Thad as well and they head to the hospital to determine the fate of Jackson.

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One Shots Is The Way It Is

It’s hard to get a live action going around the tabletop these days when players don’t show up for a session. That’s why I think I’m going to treat all sessions from this point on like convention scenarios. Wrapping it up at the end of the night and not worry about whose going to show up the following week to pick up where we ended from.

I’ve got two current campaigns that are left hanging like cliffhangers of cancelled television series that will probably never get resolved. Over time I, and players, forget what happened in the session. Like there’s one from a few months back with Conspiracy X in which something was going on in the Antarctic and a really big discovery. The other is a D&D campaign that we started and then it was left hanging due to life events.

There was a time when a grand adventure with take several sessions and the players were back at the table the following week looking forward to see what lies ahead.

But, I guess as we get older, life events happen to waylay the best plans of mice and men. I think my days of epic campaign gaming is behind me as the players at my table are few and far between these days. I should focus more on one shots and convention style playing and wrap the adventure up in the evening no matter what point of the scenario we are at. To give it closure and not leave it as a cliffhanger that might never be resolved.

 

 

 

Survival of the Fittest

A Shadow of the Demon Lord RPG adventure

Cast of Characters:
GameMaster (Cecil)
Kane, a human warrior (Jason)
Kiera, a human magician (John)
Gears, a clockwork warrior (Nathan)
Pung, an orc warrior (Tim)

We are all part of a caravan heading to a settlement called Fletcher’s Rest. One evening as the caravan is about to set up camp for the night a huge group of bandits strike. There is a huge battle and a lot of blood spilled, but in the end it seems like the bandits have one.

When dawn arrives the survivors; Kane, Kiera, Gears, and Pung gather together. Kane has a newborn baby with him and he doesn’t say anything about it but it’s slung in a rucksack with blankets and a bottle. Gathering our gear and setting off to find the roadway we stumble about through the forest making our way to civilization. Until we find a main road way and proceed north, a few miles travel and there is a group of brigands.

A slight scuffle and then a discovery, the brigand leader had a piece of paper in his pockets though the paper is stained we are able to make out “caravan arriving…. heading west… the jewel…” it seems this group had been in on the assault. Making our way along the roadway there is a bend in the road and a trail that leads off. Somewhere in the distance there is a coyote baying. We decide to check the trail and walk a few miles in, but then their is decision that we must find Fletcher’s Rest and tell them what happened. As we make our way back to the main road, we are attacked by giant spiders!

The battle isn’t a long one but we do have wounded. We decide to set up camp once we make it to the road, a clearing and decide to set up watch. Gears said he will stand on guard since he is a clockwork person and doesn’t really need sleep. As Kane, Kiera and Pung settle in Gears is on duty. Throughout the evening the coyote baying gets closer and closer and Gears figures it’s going to be an attack and proceeds to awaken everyone else. A werecoyote emerges from the woods and attacks. The battle is a huge one but manage to take the were down for the count.

In the dawn, the heroes patch themselves up and make their way along the road and a few miles of travel they hear chatter in the woods. They discover it’s two guards from Fletcher’s Rest who have been searching for the caravan. Kiera informs them that it had been ambushed by bandits and we are all that’s left of it. They inform us that the bandit’s den is close by but first, they take us to a  witch that lives in the area. Her name is Rayna and she tells us that the Jewel of the Flayed King is missing and needs to be returned to Fletcher’s Rest. We decide to go hunt out the bandits, Kane hands over the newborn to the guards to bring back to Fletcher’s Rest and that we shall return there once we located the bandits and retrieve the Jewel and he can pick up the child. The guards tell us the gem is located in the caravan strongbox that the bandits must of confiscated.

We make our way back to the trail where the spiders were and follow the trail deeper into the woods and until a clearing where there is a small tower on a hill. Since it’s morning, there is no activity going on outside as we approach. Figuring the bandits must be resting after a night of celebrating, we make up to the tower without incident and then Pung decides to bash the door. The bandits are caught off guard and there is a huge battle going on and then after several hard fought rounds the bandits have been dealt with and the leader of the bandits captured! We find the lockbox from the caravan and the gem is still inside. We decide to head to Fletcher’s Rest.

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After a long day of travel we decide to set up camp for the night. The bandit leader tied up to a tree with Gears keeping watch at night. Then there is a howling in the evening, which get closer and closer and the Huntsman appears. A huge brute of a being that spits blood and is armed with sharp blades. It kills the bandit king and gives us a warming to “give back the jewel” before it leaves in the night.This was a pretty weird encounter which had us stumped since the beast was huge and deadly and we were ready for battle but it turned and left the way it came after killing the bandit king.

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In the morning, we pack up and arrive at Fletcher’s Rest late in the day and go to the mayor’s residence to give him the jewel, retrieve the baby and take up residence in the inn before there is one hell of an encounter as “The Flayed King” arrives for the jewel that we gave to the mayor and then the Huntsman appears and there is one hell of a battle. We don’t know what to make of the situation other than getting bashed around a bit and then we flee the town and let the two big baddies duke it out. In a situation like this we don’t know who is Godzilla and who is King Kong? Who do we side with? But we left the town to it’s own fate.

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Space Opera

This morning I received a ton of Space Opera supplements and modules. I had already picked up the box set at Cangames a couple of years back. I felt like a kid at Christmas opening up the parcel that was delivered to my front door, a few Star Sector Atlases, a couple of Sheldon’s Compendium of Starcraft books, a handful of adventure modules to nestle alongside the box set.

I do have fond memories of playing this game back in 1981-82 when Chris McBride had picked it up and wrote a series of adventures for it. Chris was heavily inspired by Star Wars and had done campaign in that vein. I remember it was pretty brutal but a lot of fun to play and we had a great few sessions of it.

It was a game I thought about picking up but never did since I thought (my first gaming group) we’d be together forever and a day back then. I never thought about  Chris moving to greener pastures from a small town to the big city seeking to further his education. It was year or so later that he did and taking Space Opera with him. That bastiche! And thus, my brief affair with Space Opera was done.

Now flash forward 30+ years and here I sit admiring the supplements in my possession. Making me think of wanting to run a session or two (even a one shot might do) sometime in the near future.

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We Are Stardust

Sipping coffee and enjoying the crisp cool November air.

It’s November, already. It just seemed like only yesterday the news of David Bowie’s death shocked the world. It still hurts knowing that he had shuffled off this mortal coil of ours. But, there is comfort thinking that maybe he’s exploring the universe as Ziggy Stardust?

Right now, David Bowie’s Scary Monsters … and Super Creeps album is playing in the background, it’s one of my all time favourite albums to listen to. It’s been on my heavy rotation of playing this year and the reason is understandable.

For the past several days now I’ve been hammering out a couple of adventures for Dark Conspiracy Role Playing Game. I had recently acquired Heart of Darkness scenario (I had it before but then I loaned it to someone and forgotten who I had loaned it too) as well as another copy of the core rule book.

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It’s always been a personal favourite of mine but I haven’t had a chance to run a proper campaign and such a long, long time that I think I’m due to run it. Well, let’s see what the future will bring.