Author Topic: Anecdote Megathread  (Read 350340 times)

Jacko

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #285 on: June 09, 2015, 08:38:11 PM »
My group just ended an Apocalypse World campaign that started nuts and just kept running full-steam ahead. The setting was an isolated space station that had been cut off from Earth for decades and decades due to a wormhole collapsing. Cannibals, tribal warlords and 'proper folk' all fighting each other in a crumbling space station for dwindling resources. One of the moves players can use in AW is to 'open their brain' to the psychic maelstrom of the world. This is usually used to discern new information about things as the characters interact with the world in their own quasi-spiritual way. You can advance that move and if you do that and then roll a 12+ on 2D6+stat, something new happens. To quote the game text "You break through to whatever's on the other side". Freaky, right? One of our players did just that and simply declared:

"I see the Devourer for what it truly is."

This was the first mention of any such thing and cryptic enough to make everyone wonder aloud as to what it meant. The Devourer would eventually become a shadowy antagonist, the cause of all the anarchy and chaos on the station, for two characters to rail against, recruiting gangs and cults to their cause, infiltrating rival tribes and gangs, all kinds of crazy shit. Most of the other characters thought it was all tribal bullshit.

One day, a ship came into radio range. An ark ship carrying 180,000 people in cryostasis (and all the supplies needed for such a sizable group to start a colony) was returning after not finding any habitable planets and running low on reactor mass. The ship carried its own wormhole generator for a one-time-only use when a new colony was established and the craziest characters decided that they needed to get on the ship and get the generator to finally defeat the Devourer.

Queue every PC boarding a ramshackle torpedo and flying towards the ark ship as quickly as possible to beat the station gangs from tearing it apart first. Among the PCs was a psychotic cannibal by the name of Puff who really, really hated gluttonous and greedy sinners. Puff was sane enough to not tip his hand at every opportunity but at least one PC had seen him with a bloody mouth and a dead corpse at his feet. He was, in essence, an agent of the Devourer and had a psychic connection to it from spending years in cryo but no one else knew that. Another PC was an obese scientist named Dr. Raskolnikov, who kept a briefcase of wondrous inventions and oddments known only to him, and had a habit of talking down to everyone that was dumber than him (which was everyone).

The party was split up multiple times as they tried to simultaneously warn the ark ship sailors of the other station gangs, find the generator, and murder (and sometimes eat) people. Things came to a head when half the party was at the generator and the other half was in sickbay. One of them had been thoroughly ventilated by cannibals from the Flycatcher gang and was getting patched up. Dr. R was hiding behind the Marines that were keeping the place secure and Puff was there because Dr. R was there. There had been a one-sided firefight between a PC cult leaders group of fanatics and the Marines. The doctor in charge had been wounded, causing lots of panic and confusion so in the interest of never wasting an opportunity, Puff fell upon Dr. R, stabbing him in the back (literally) and then proceeding to bite his face off (literally).

There's blood and screaming and confusion and sheer fucking chaos and then the generator gets flipped on. Fade to white. Everyone rolls+weird.

10 years go by.

Dr. Raskolnikov had his face eaten and was already cooling when the generator went off. RIP.
The cult leader was never seen after that moment, lost in wherever exists inside a wormhole. Probably Hell. (Failed the roll completely)
The psychic-researcher that triggered the generator was on the moon, watching space and trying to start a cult around his messianic complex. (Partial success)
The badass merc was teaching a women's self-defense class and keeping a low profile. (Partial success)
The witch that had been shot to pieces survived somehow and became a hermit in the mountains. (Partial success)
And sometimes, in London, bodies would turn up missing body parts after a man listened to the tiny, hungry voice in his head. (Complete success on the roll)

It's really amazing to me that the climax of the entire campaign came from a single line spoken months beforehand and really speaks to improv GMing as none of it was planned in advance.

clockworkjoe

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #286 on: June 11, 2015, 02:39:14 AM »
Damn man, sounds fun!

D6xD6 - Chris

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #287 on: June 23, 2015, 07:30:49 PM »
This weekend I ran demos of Night's Black Agents and Atomic Robo on Free RPG Day.  For NBA, the players were chasing down a vampire in possession of a tactical nuke.  Once the players were in possession of the nuke, they were unable to disarm it and a countdown began before detonation.

Upon seeing the countdown, the 12 year-old girl playing the surly Irish wheelman, promptly declared "screw this, mates!" and sped away, leaving her party members behind with the nuke and blank stares.

 ;D

 

trinite

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #288 on: June 24, 2015, 10:48:17 AM »
This weekend I ran demos of Night's Black Agents and Atomic Robo on Free RPG Day.  For NBA, the players were chasing down a vampire in possession of a tactical nuke.  Once the players were in possession of the nuke, they were unable to disarm it and a countdown began before detonation.

Upon seeing the countdown, the 12 year-old girl playing the surly Irish wheelman, promptly declared "screw this, mates!" and sped away, leaving her party members behind with the nuke and blank stares.

 ;D

Hope that was a really fast car.
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Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #289 on: June 24, 2015, 11:02:59 AM »
I got to play in that scenario but I didn't make it much past the vampire head slipping my called shot and punching me through a desk into a cement wall because we ran out of time. I did have two guys totally new to GUMSHOE who did a pretty good showing as agents.

D6xD6 - Chris

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #290 on: June 24, 2015, 07:21:38 PM »
Hope that was a really fast car.

Well, at the beginning of the scenario, she got to choose between a fast car and a maneuverable one.  She promptly explained that there really was no choice, and only stupid-heads would take the slower car.

She was right!

The Lost Carol

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #291 on: August 25, 2015, 11:05:14 PM »
I know this isn't QUITE an anecdote, but don't know where else to put it.

In part two of After Hours, David's book report is from a supplement for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. Inside the book was the name and address of the prior owner, a private second class from the US Army. My IRL crew runs ADND exclusively (I know, it's my Palladium, I'm trying to get them to play new stuff...,) so I wanted to pick up the Player's Handbook in case I wanted to run a campaign. After opening the shipping bag and flipping through it, what did I find in the back of the book? A pair of schedules for January 1996, from a group from the US Air Force. What're the odds? I didn't think there was a stereotype of military men playing DND...
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Severite

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #292 on: September 05, 2015, 08:03:52 PM »
The most humiliating TPK I have seen was a module I ran (I don't remember the company.......) that was a Dracula's mansion kind of thing. Well, in this adventure are a pair of obelisks, one has the inscription "For greater wisdom insert weapon here with a slot to do so beneath it. When one inserts a weapon it breaks (the weapon) and a card pops out that says "One does not gain wisdom through the use of weapons". The second obelisk inscription reads "For greater intelligence, insert head here" with a slot big enough to except such...........after the first decapitation, the players decide it must be alignment specific and they all give it a go......

sinanju

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #293 on: September 06, 2015, 03:27:07 AM »
I was running The Expendables in GURPS. Think Stargate, only exploring alternate dimensions instead of distant planets. The PCs were a a group of hardened rules lawyers who strained to carry a huge inflated liferaft filled with a mountain of gear for every conceivable environment and situation thru the gate, then figured out what they actually needed. (I told them "only what you can carry, and you have a 30-second window" and this is what they came up with. I couldn't argue.)

So in this adventure I had them step through the portal and find themselves tumbling into a huge mass grave filled with corpses. My intent was to have them running and gunning in a world where the Walking Dead were running amok. (The mass grave was where the government was dumping the zombies who'd been killed for good.)

But the players/characters immediately fell into Paranoid mode. They began spinning increasingly elaborate theories about a dystopian US under a brutal martial regime... and it sounded a lot more entertaining than my idea so I ran with it. They were chased by black-clad minions of the President-For-Life and his ruling junta, and eventually were cornered by a helicopter gunship. The gunship pilot demands their immediate surrender over the speaker system.

Most of the players can't drop their weapons and throw their hands in the air fast enough. All except Frank, whose player is not good at quick decisions, hates to lose, and will occasionally decide to take his personal Custerian stand at the oddest times. So he decides that this is the perfect time to pit his MP5 against the armored gunship with the mini-gun trained on him.

He gets off a couple of shots (to no effect).

A few other PCs all run for cover while the mini-gun hoses down Frank. One PC remains absolutely still, hands in the air.

The mini-gun turns Frank into swiss cheese, then makes short work of the fleeing PCs.

The surviving PC is taken into custody and placed in an interrogation room. They have a few questions.

"I sing like a bird," says the player. After all, he reasons, he's missed his window to return (if the PCs don't return on schedule after two tries, the address is written off). Once he convinces the authorities that he's not a rebel, he's got a good shot at getting recruited to join the black-clad minions enforcing the junta's rule. And that's way better than going to jail, or getting a bullet in the back of the head. And so he does.


clockworkjoe

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #294 on: September 10, 2015, 03:34:24 AM »
Good story, but what happens next? It sounds like he's effectively out of the campaign as well.

sinanju

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #295 on: September 12, 2015, 11:39:02 AM »
What happens next? He makes up a new character for the next adventure. The Expendables had a high turnover, which was both expected and intended. It was a game for a bunch of rules lawyers and ruthless power gamers, whose credo was "if it's a fair fight, you're doing it wrong." They expected the GM to be as ruthless as they were. And as we all took turns running games, that was generally the case.

Except for Todd. Poor Todd. He just didn't have the killer instinct. And one day he decided to run a GURPS Vampire the Masquerade game. He asked if we wanted to be Camarilla or Sabbat. "Sabbat!" we chorused. I'm sure he had some kind of plot in mind, and it involved fighting werewolves, who tended to attack us by jumping in and out of the Umbra like Nightcrawler teleporting all over the Oval Office in that X-Men movie. (I was pretty sure it didn't work that way, but whatever.) We dealt with them by throwing grenades around wrapped in silver wire.

When we weren't busy fighting werewolves we were street racing through Portland, shooting at (and throwing grenades at) our opponents because We're Sabbat. We Don't Care! We engaged in contests to see which of us could be cruelest and most inventive about killing humans. (And I have to say this is one of the few times I saw this group all pause, and consider what they were doing, and back off because it was just to psychopathic even for their murderous characters.)

Meanwhile, one of Todd's pet NPCs hosted live local wrestling shows on television on Friday night. Of course, he was a powerful vampire. So one of the PCs decided it was time for some diablerie. On live tv. So he goes to the wrestling show, kills any (human) security guards who try to stop him, and goes after the NPC vampire with a broadsword. The vampire's vampire goons intervene and there's a huge vampire brawl on live television. PC fails to kill the NPC, but does manage to get away.

At which point the Prince of the City calls my character and another PC into his office. He demands that we find our friend and kill him for what he did. We refuse point-blank. We point out to him that he didn't have us searched before we entered his office, we're very heavily armed, and we can take him and his goons. And after some dithering, we escape unharmed.

The thing is, if ANYONE in the group but Todd had been running that game, our response to the Prince's orders would have been to click our heels together and salute, shouting, "Sir! Yes, sir!" Because we'd have known that the Prince of THAT campaign both could and WOULD murder us in a heartbeat for that kind of insubordination. But this was Todd. We knew he almost certainly wouldn't have them react that way, and more importantly, we were pretty sure that if he'd tried we COULD have taken that roomful of NPCs. We'd have tried, anyhow.

So, the lesson here is: these guy will run roughshod over you as GM unless you've demonstrated you can play hardball too. Which is why, when confronted with a helicopter gunship, these guys immediately surrendered (except for Frank).
« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 12:16:15 PM by sinanju »

trinite

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #296 on: September 12, 2015, 03:32:46 PM »
I hope the President-For-Life used Frank's PC-knowledge to start conquering other dimensions, with Frank as his general.
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Redroverone

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #297 on: October 23, 2015, 09:37:12 AM »
A little over 30 years ago, I was privileged enough to get an invite into a D&D group that ran on Thursdays, whose GM was affectionately known by many many people (including one Mr. Gygax) as Mad Ruthie. Why, I never learned. Anyways.

The campaign was, at best, total chaos. Party strength ran from as few as seven to as many as 20(!) people in a night, depending on how many people from the ever rotating cast would show up on a random Thursday. Levels ran from first to around 10th, or so. I never made it past level 7 with any character, however. Anyways.

First levels were essentially DCC funnel characters. Sent into rooms, with instructions to report back what they saw in the room. Generally, they never came out, so the party knew when to gear up for a fight. Once you made second level, though, you weren't the FNG anymore, and so you were golden. Well, except for the mass combats with the huge fatality rates among the low levels.

Along the way were simply the zany creations of a very imaginative lady and the really bad ways her players reacted to them. Among them was finding a Bag of Holding with a Sherman tank inside. A magical box that cast Teleport when you spoke the magic words 'Calgon, take me away!'. The old man in a room with a pile of housecats. The housecats reacted badly to our Fighter killing the old man, and the resultant 'combat' ended with our Fighter losing one eye. Of course, none of the Clerics cured it, and soon after someone replaced the crest on his shield with a cat's paw. The first level who wandered into a room with a beholder, upon which said beholder rolled six attacks, none of which hit, and the first level exited the room and said that he didn't see anything. I miss those games.

Addendum: After I came back to games a few years ago, my first group was playing the Lost Unicorn Star Trek TNG game. The GM was foolish enough to tell me that the only things he wanted out of my character was no psionics and no hybrids. 'Everything else is fair game!', he said. That was a mistake, and the reason why their ship ended up with a Breen pilot. Much hilarity ensued.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 09:41:33 AM by Redroverone »

Jace911

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #298 on: October 25, 2015, 01:55:08 PM »
Just finished a one-shot of the new Delta Green with four friends who had never played or heard of it before they sat down (Other than what I told them to see if they were interested). Their mission: to search the apartment of a recently-deceased Friendly and former DG agent to make sure his heirs didn't find anything incriminating or dangerous when they came to collect his things. By the end of the day two of the agents were dead, one was missing time, the fourth had a psychotic fear of identical twins, and a state park four hours away from the man's apartment had been burned to the ground with nearly twenty dead.

Mission. Fucking. Accomplished.

(Full write-up to follow)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 01:58:08 PM by Jace911 »

Henry Hankovitch

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #299 on: October 25, 2015, 06:09:03 PM »
Had a pretty intense Legend of Five Rings game last night.  The group had been tasked with eliminating a Scorpion daimyo and all his heirs, for treason against the clan.  This included the daimyo's nine-year-old son.  When they'd finally "rescued" the son from blahblahplot, they debated for a while what to do with the kid.  Unsurprisingly, most of the group was not willing to kill a little kid.  While they did that, the group's Soshi infiltrator (ninja posing as a rank-and-file samurai) wandered over and slipped the kid a poison drink; several hours later, the boy is dead.

At the end of the session, the player of the Soshi asks, "so how much XP for the kid?"