Author Topic: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)  (Read 505547 times)

Cthuluzord

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #315 on: July 30, 2012, 05:15:19 PM »
@ Beej

Thanks dude! I reread and "The Dunwich Horror" last night. I'd forgotten how much that one depended on cattle murder too. I feel proud of myself now.

beej

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #316 on: July 31, 2012, 02:35:32 AM »
So Red Tower in Mage the Awakening...

The tone wasn't as scary as people had stuff like Kinetic Blow and Control Sound.  But fun was had by all.

We had four players, playing as a local cabal.  They were investigating the disappearance of two reporters in the meat packing district.   One of the reporters was an Sleepwalker informant for the Concillium.

Obrimos Forces/Prime; Mastigo Mind/Spirit/Fate; Moros Death/Matter/Space; Thrysus Life/Spirit/Forces

Notable events...

Moros player jawed at the cops and refused to follow their order to stop loitering in front of the Chambliss slaughterhouse.  He got beat the F down and thrown in the back of a patty wagon.  (I will note, he critically failed on rolling Mind magic to not get arrested)

A player combining Boxing Fighting Style and Kinetic Blow magic caved in the skull of a ghoul with his first punch.

The Thrysus medic of the group lost an arm to the Cham-Vi Juntan, ended up with upwards of 5 or 6 aggravated damage.  I think I went over board with the Cham-Vi Junta.  And the lighting wards and the ghouls.

Thompson sub machine gun + Control Sound + Control Light = monsters don't know their buddies are getting shredded around the corner.

End Result:  Players didn't figure out the true nature of the Red Tower. 

Poking around, they discovered the heavily warded slaughterhouse.  At that point they decided not to hop the fences because the were afraid of setting off defensive wards and alerting the bad guys.

They founded up finding out about the tunnel access by hitting county records as well as the Borkowski connect while doing research on Chambliss himself.

After some rather brutal, ham fisted and Wisdom draining applications of Mind magic on the Borkowski family, they surmised that the cattle were being used for a nefarious purpose, probably by a Seer cult to gain mana via ritual sacrifice.  (They didn't seem to pick up on the fact for that to be true, there would have had to have been literally hundreds of evil mages in the factory to go through that much cattle on a regular basis.)   

They went into the tunnel and started ambushing monsters.  None of them had anticipated encountering abyssal monsters (the Cham-Vi).  However PCs will never pass up a chance to gun down bad things with thompsons.  They didn't think to retreat and get reinforcements in the face of the fact that someone was summoning horrors from beyond time and space instead of running into Seer cultists.  (Go-go gadget gamer logic)

After the Thyrsus mage got his arm torn off by a Cham-Vi, they retreated and went to the local Consillium to report their findings.  We wrapped things up there because at that point their report would have brought down the Guardians and Adamatine Arrows AKA The FBI/ATF of the Mage world down on the factory. 

Everything took about...4ish hours?
 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 02:38:41 AM by beej »
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Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #317 on: July 31, 2012, 11:12:02 AM »
No big paradox erruptions? Those are my favorite part of Mage. Once the players start fighting monsters they sometimes forget to properly mitigate paradox rolls.

beej

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #318 on: July 31, 2012, 08:04:11 PM »
Nope, they only blew Wisdom and Mind controlling rolls.
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Teapot

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #319 on: July 31, 2012, 09:34:27 PM »
So I just got to run A Dirty World. While it is indeed one of my favorite systems to use, damn man you set a high bar.

Cthuluzord

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #320 on: July 31, 2012, 09:39:22 PM »
I've never had the chance to play Mage, but it sounds like magic would certainly be helpful against a underground maze's worth of gigantic man-eating creatures.

I'm not too surprised they didn't get the full story. I was going for a real old-school horror scenario feel with that one, where knowledge is the only weapon and the mystery is complex. [spoiler]Figuring out that Chambliss is the building, the Cham-Vi Juntan are his digestive system, and the Borkowski's serve as cultists/financiers/feeders requires a lot of investigation. I find most PC's want to get to the shooting faster than that.[/spoiler]

Thanks for telling me about your playthrough. I really appreciate it. I hope some more pop-up here.

Cthuluzord

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #321 on: July 31, 2012, 09:42:59 PM »
@Journ-a-lst

Thanks man! Did you use pre-gens or let characters roll characters for themselves? Cause pre-gens totally help.

I ran a game recently where characters rolled for themselves. Deputy Cudgel was born, but it definitely wasn't hard-hitting noir storytelling, by any means. ADW is kind of hit or miss like that.

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #322 on: July 31, 2012, 10:36:17 PM »
I ran a game recently where characters rolled for themselves. Deputy Cudgel was born, but it definitely wasn't hard-hitting noir storytelling, by any means. ADW is kind of hit or miss like that.

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Teapot

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #323 on: August 02, 2012, 09:54:09 PM »
I only have one player so I told him he could make anything he wanted as long as he wanted  a journalist or US consulate worker.

The game was Shanghai 1934 about the murder of a cabaret dancer.

My mistakes were: making the murderer less antagonistic to the player, making his boss too friendly, making the Green Gang thugs too weak (the pc was working with the hateful cop, while the PC held two off by shooting and pointing his gun at them, the cop beat two to death*), doing bad accents, giving the player a roll to realize he'd start a riot if he went with his plan** and despite having a couple of weeks to work out the game not being nearly as good as "Wages of Sin" which I hold as the peak of Dirty World games, especially since you claim it only took an hour.

*The cop was the one NPC I was really happy with as he came off as angry and hateful without being silly. The reporter was okay but didn't get much time to develop. I did name him Peter Fallow because stealing from books is good.
**To frog march a thug across Shanghai to the French concession, the thug had a confession to make. The night before the player told the journalist that the murdered woman was pregnant. But the tea house we game in was closing so we had to call it.

beej

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #324 on: August 03, 2012, 03:59:59 AM »
So Bryson Springs...

I ran this with one of my regular Skype players and players from one of his other groups that I had never ran with before.

So...this had a lot more horror, brutality and pc-on-pc violence than Red Tower.  My take on the scenario only worked because I had a player I could trust with game break power.  And for that, I thank him.

We had a Acanthus Fate mage, a Mastigo Mind mage, a mortal FBI agent, a mortal LA Times Reporter and a mortal county Public Works Employee (his idea..he refused to play a convict)

The two mages were from Santa Barbara looking into the disappearance of Liang Wang, a well known member of the Mysterium order.  FBI was called into solve a murder at the WPA wash house quickly and quietly.  The Reporter was sent to follow up on rumors of murderous Okies.  PublicWorks is in the area doing rounds.  (I know..we had to reach)

The big twist I made with the scenario is that the Fisher King is an Exarch (for those who don't play Mage, they are big fucking bads in a reality above us who manipulate everything.  The scroll was major artifact that lets Acanthus Seers (minions of Exarchs) to see the strands of Fate and manipulate them...paradox free.  This only worked because I trusted the player I gave this too.

So...

PublicWorks & Reporter arrive together to the Hooverville after meeting at and  hearing about a murder from the Gas station guy.   PublicWorks enters the wash room after being told it was 'broken' and critically failed a composure roll at the sight and ran screaming out of the Hooverville.  FBI drives up to see PublicWorks puking and hysterical outside the camp.  FBI looks at the wash room and then dragoons the Reporter into helping him interview the Okies.   The Okies are pretty tight lipped, with the exception of the revelation of what happened to Annabelle.  Meanwhile PublicWorks climbs into FBI's car and refuses to get out cause there's a psycho killer on the loose. 

The Mages show up and get questioned by a suspicious FBI.  They convince  Ye Wang they can help as they are in the same line of work as her dad.  She gives them the scroll and notes. 

FBI/Reporter/PublicWorks head back to Kraft's.  FBI had stopped in at the beginning, found Kraft had a beat up Okie named Kelly who had confessed to murder.  FBI hadn't bought the confession believing Kraft had beat it into the boy to close a case quickly.

The trio arrive at the Trooper station to find it a mess.  Like the wash house someone had dragged a body along the ceiling and then out a side door.  The inside of the place is shot up like Kraft put up a stiff fight before getting..well something bad.  Reporter and FBI theorize that Kelly must have escaped during whatever happened and they set about searching the area.  The trio end up finding Liang's body in the shed, several buried bodies and finally Kraft's body that looks like it got thrown off a 40 story building.  Checking Kraft's records they find out the 'Kelly' in the cell was Jessup Kelly, who has family in the Hooverville and never mentioned their son's arrest...no one did.  They arm themselves...because well..gamer logic and head back for the Hooverville.

Meanwhile the two mages go over Wang's papers and what not.  Of course when the two mages see “Do not read aloud” they read, because their mages and pcs.  They feel like they're hit with a magic hammer and then see strings running up into the sky.  A little use of magic on their part reveals that its Fate magic, they are looking at the literal strings of Fate.  Acanthus begins experimenting cause its his field of magic and finds he can influence people, like make them change directions walking without them seeming to notice.  This freaks them both out because it appears to be paradox free and doesn't require mana.  Mastigo can't seem to manipulate the strings and his character gets jealous because it's Fate magic creeping into the realm of Mind magic. 

:)

Acanthus keeps 'testing' the ability with the Okies, talking about how much he can't wait to get back to UC Santa Barbara and explore it more.  Not to mention how useful it will be against Seers and their agents.  Mastigo is not happy with the continued 'testing', telling Acanthus to stop toying with the Okies.

Reporter/PublickWorks/FBI show back up.  FBI begins to aggressively questioning Okies about the Kellys, Kraft and the murders.  Reporter tries to question Ye Wang but Acanthus uses his 'ability' to 'walk' Reporter away. 

PublicWorks wanders out of the Hooverville cause he's still freaked by the wash room.  He goes over to the orchard when...the marionette swoops in!  (By this point I got the feeling the player just wasn't feeling the game and was temping the had of the GM, so I obliged.) 

The mages see the red string appear and slip away to investigate and hear screams coming from the orchard.  They book it over and find a magical construct chasing down PublicWorks.  Acanthus tries to use his 'ability' but can't, telling Mastigo that it feels like someone else is 'holding it's string.'  They resort to slinging magic at it.  It appears to be fairly magic resistant, but they draw its attention away from the hapless mortal.   Acanthus then threw out the tree solution (he told me later he had heard about it from the Rag podcast like I had) and used his 'ability' to make PublicWorks run by the marionette to get its attention.  He controls PublicWorks perfectly and executes the tree solution perfectly.  (a couple of fences bit the dust because of paradox)

(I will add Acanthus is now starting to make Wisdom checks and failing them, he's using the power to directly endanger mortals.)

Mastigo is horrified to say the least and two Mages start exchanging heated words.   Mastigo threatens Acanthus, saying he's going to report him to Concillum for abusing magic and needlessly endangering civilians.  Acanthus goes off on him for being paranoid and jealous and that the scroll is affecting his mind.  Then they both see another red thread, off to the west beyond the Hooverville.  They grab a now blubbering PublicWorks and fetch their car and head west.

While shit is going down in the orchard, FBI gets Annabelle's father to tell him where the Kellys are with the promise of personally going after Ryan Spelling.  FBI and Reporter hop in the car and head west to the ghost town.

FBI and Reporter arrive and are confronted by several Kellys.  FBI tries to be reasonable with questioning the Kellys, saying he knows its physically impossible for Jessep to have committed all the murders and all he needs is to speak to the boy about who murdered Kraft.  The Kellys tell him to go pound sand.  FBI gets pissed and threatens the family that if they don't turn over Jessup, he'll bring them all in for aiding a cop killer and a mass murderer.  Pa comes out this point and calls down a marionette.  FBI and Reporter make it back to the car in time.  FBI pulls out his tommygun and Reporter a pistol and shred the creature.  (We're talking like 14 success in two rounds combined).  A couple of more Kellys come out and its a firefight.  FBI and Reporter are pinned behind their car as the Kellys open up.

Mages & PublicWorks show up.  Acanthus uses his 'ability' to force a Kelly to run suicide style at FBI, who guns her down.  Mastigo turns on Acanthus and they start slinging spells.  Paradox happens because PublicWorks/FBI/Reporter are mortal sleepers.  Glass blows out on the Mages' car and cuts them up.  Mastigo yells to FBI & Reporter that Acanthus and he are both mages like Pa and that Acanthus will use his powers to kill them if it means saving his own skin.

PA brings down another marionette and sends it at the mages because he knows their mages.  Acanthus uses his 'ability' make PublicWorks run suicide style at it.  Mastigo uses the chance to double tap Acanthus in the head.  PublicWorks gets carried off into the sky, FBI now believes Mastigo because he saw enough of PublicWorks to know he was too much of a coward to be that self sacrificing and it looked exactly the same as what the Kelly girl did.    Reporter and FBI drop Pa and Mastigo drives the rest of the Kellys running.  FBI decides after everything he has witnessed, that he'd rather be safe than sorry and turns the Tommy gun on Mastigo.  Mastigo blows a paradox on a Mind spell and stuns himself.  FBI walks up to the now drunkenly stumbling mage and guns him down.

Reporter is rather horrified but agrees to back up whatever story FBI comes up with because no one will believe the truth.  FBI gathers up all of Wang's possessions and torches them with the rest of the ghost town.   The end.

Yeah. 

The mortals were freaked out non-stop after the first glimpse of the wash house.  FBI blew several humanity checks along the way.  I treated Humanity a little like Sanity. 

The Mages descended into paranoia once they read the scroll. 

This only really worked because Acanthus's player was on board.  He used the 'ability' just the right way.  They loved it.  I loved running it. 
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Cthuluzord

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #325 on: August 03, 2012, 04:32:23 AM »
That is crazy! It sounds like you handled things really well. I'll admit, though I wrote the scenario as systemless, I never imagined a PC having magic powers capable of interacting with the strings. It's always good to a have a player that you can give a red button like that to and know they won't push it. Of course, the reverse is also true.

Your Mage reports have me thinking about running Dresden Files again. The more I think about it, The Red Tower could fit well into a Chicago campaign; death magic is always fun in that setting. I should also read up on Mage; you're selling me on it and I've never played a very magic heavy game.

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #326 on: August 03, 2012, 11:58:30 AM »
Great game beej, I always love a good Mage game.

Magic doesn't make things too much easier for the players if everyone has it. I can still remember the look of surprise on a player's face when an enemy mage dispelled the magical shield the player had used to shrug of mortal harm in several encounters and then just shot him with a handgun. Or after the third time the enemy knew exactly where the surprise attack was going to come from when one of the players had the brain wave: "wait... can they scry too?"

Think of it like running Eclipse Phase only people say "magic (insert name here)" instead of "nano/space (insert name here)".
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 12:00:17 PM by Tadanori Oyama »

beej

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #327 on: August 03, 2012, 04:17:55 PM »
Actually, I never thought to make that connection Tadanori but yeah.  That is true.  There's even telepathy for Tact Net :)

I havent' played Dresden but I hear the city building aspect is great.  I think we all would love to see your make a Mage campaign Caleb.   Or possibly Changeling.

Mage magic can cause so much mayhem with just minor applications.  Your players are loaded down with AR15s, shotguns and magic body armor?  Cast Control Sound over their area and max the volume up to 11 and watch them deafen themselves with their own guns.  The bad guys using cops to chase you down?  Cast Transmitter and broadcast an officer down call several blocks over the radio waves.  Or one of my all time favorites is zippo+Control Fire = Oh god it burns!!!

This is assuming of course you don't criticaly fail your paradox roll and pop your buddy's heart like a water balloon.


Fall Without End could work as a Changeling Hedge/Arcadia game.  Hmmm.
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Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #328 on: August 03, 2012, 04:38:45 PM »
Mage really does become a game where out-thinking the enemy is the only real option for success, especially in cabal vs. cabal situations.

The RPPR guys would probably spiral inwards on one another during a Mage game. And, of course, there's poor Aaron who would try to heal people without proper explaination, get Paradox, cause more wounds, etc. Also? Ross + Mind Arcana = urinary tract infections for everyone. I mean, you can see these problems coming a mile off.

beej

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Re: Caleb is a mad genius (or Yet Another Fan Club Thread)
« Reply #329 on: August 03, 2012, 10:06:16 PM »
It would be a slow-mo Michael Bay train wreck.  It would be glorious.
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