Friday, August 24, 2012

Double Actual Play Part 1: Lady Blackbird

"So, a double AP post.

Here's the story. Saturday was Kris's last gaming session with us in person before he heads off to college and I have to Skype him in. As such, I really wanted to be able to do some actual gaming. Sadly, Daniel's and Kenny's schedules are a little weird. Eventually, we come to a point where Kris is staying for the whole time, and Kenny joins us a bit later, and Daniel leaves earlier than the other two.
Kris and Dan and I just hang, and when Kenny shows up we're chatting and trying to figure out what to play. Kris has been wanting to run Lady Blackbird, so we go with that. When we get to the end point for the night (you'll see what it is) Daniel's parents show up and he gets picked up, leaving just Kris, Kenny, and I. We decide that we want to try to get  through a Fiasco. Unfortunately, we're a bit slower than we hoped, and leave it right at the start of Act II.
So that's why we have two different half-APs."

Kenny as Cyrus Vance, an ex-Imperial soldier turned smuggler and soldier-of-fortune, Captain of the Owl.
Daniel as Kale Arkam, a burglar and petty sorcerer, first mate and mechanic of the Owl.
Myself (Ego) as Natasha Syri aka Lady Blackbird, an Imperial noble, in disguise, escaping an arranged marriarge so she can be with her lover.
and Kris as GM!

So, all of us have played before. Well, I've run it twice, but this is my first time taking a PC. The usual stipulation of "don't play a character you've been before" applied, locking out Snargle since I don't want to play him and both Kenny and Daniel have played him. A couple things are decided in a quick Q&A thing before we started.
* The Owl appears to be a mortician's ship. This helps because they smuggle bodies around the Blue. However, the bodies aren't the prize - Vance smuggles weapons inside the bodies of the dead.
* Vance was kicked out of the military for smuggling. He was a corporal before-hand.
* Lady Blackbird has no idea these guys are smugglers. I'm realizing now that she's Simon Tam - stowing away on a passenger vessel that secretly happens to be a criminal ship, trying to keep her own secret sealed up.
* Magic is true in all nobles's blood, but not only their blood. The Empire has been stamping out all non-noble magicians, but it's not complete yet.

A lot of the game was really something you'd need to be there for - a lot of banter. We started in the brig, of course, and jumped right into it with me yelling at Vance "Why the fuck did we just get dragged in here? I thought you fuckers were just a mortician's ship, why is a mortician's ship getting captured by an Imperial WARSHIP?!". We kept bouncing back and forth. Turns out that Cyrus Vance is a total asshole - that "honor" thing most of the time he gets played with just wasn't there. This was a "sell out your team" Cyrus Vance. Of course, I wasn't exactly playing the nice timid runaway Lady Blackbird - apparently, the Lady swears like a sailor. I'm deciding that it was something she picked up from Uriah Flint when they were together. She isn't defiant of her noble heritage or anything - she likes how her noble upbringing has made her better than others, and to a degree the swearing is to try to blend in with the commoners. Kale through the scene is being a bit of a sleaze and a pickpocket, creeping on Lady Blackbird. We're bickering and such when, partway through, another guard shows up and talks to the other guard about how we're on our way back to the Ilysium and that they know that's Cyrus Vance and that he's gonna be in prison forever for what he's done, if he doesn't get a death sentence. The two of them are now extra-alert and are standing guard over the door.
Now, about this cell. It is a solid room, with a solid bulkhead door, but with a small square opening about 3/4 up that's barred. There's a porthole.
We're all yacking at each other about how the hell to get out of here, and Vance and Kale are talking about how they might be able to pick the lock except the guards are there, when Lady Blackbird (who had been silent through this) gestures to Naomi to bust the porthole glass. Naomi, of course, punches right through. The Lady then reached out and called forth lightning in the roiling clouds outside and channeled it along her, blasting it through the little gaps in the bars and blasting right through the two guards, frying them to cinders.
We then spent a minute deciding what the hell reaction they would have to that. Turns out they just shrugged it off - I suppose that makes sense, being a crew of a sorcerer, a warpblood, and a goblin. This is when we defined the place of magic in society as a rare trait that the nobles are hunting down.
So now I've blasted the hell out of the guards. Kale goes ahead and picks the lock. Bam. Now we find these cinder'd guys and the ship is on alert - we can hear over the PA system that "Apparently, um, the ship seems to have been struck by lightning. All maintenance crews check your equipment." So I got lucky and they didn't realize it was magic, nor that it seems to have gone into the prison. We quickly stripped these suckers of their possessions (Lady B has a pistol now, Cyrus has a gun that he'd smuggled on him - that's just what we're saying, it was cooler than picking up a gun, and Kale yanked some knives out of his Ass of Holding) and started to look around. There were two other cells - one empty, but the other had another poor sucker in it. He's, well, a terrorist - a civilian ship bomber. But he could be helpful! So we bargained with him (and made sure he wouldn't kill us) and let him free as long as he'd help us (it is escaping me what we actually named him). We bickered about where to go, and found slipped down the hall until we found a map.
So now we're at an impasse. We have two real options of how to get to the hanger with the Owl: We could go straight through the bridge or down through the engine room. This caused quite a debate, seeing as Kenny and his gung-ho asshole Cyrus Vance was ready to rush the bridge, while Blackbird was advocating the engine room approach. Vance was all for rabid violence against the enemy leadership - he's angry, he wants his ship, he wants revenge, and he wants it fast. I'm all for safety and not dying and sabotaging the crew at the same time. We decide to split up and start trying to pull the rest of the crew to our sides. Kale, out of fraternity (and being ordered), is going with Vance. Naomi is of course with me, and the prisoner we took with us is totally on my side - he knows a suicide run when he sees one. Snargle was also ordered to go with Vance. And so we split!
Our route to the engine room took us through the vents, and our big conflict was that, when we popped out, there was a small group of engineers already there, suddenly asking "Hey, who are these people? You there! What are you doing in here?". I, as the only PC there, siezed the initiative and lied to them about how we were the support staff coming in to make sure everything is okay from the lightning strike. After a fortunate roll (and more spent pool dice) they believed me, and the all of us got out of sight in there and started our sabotage work. Cut to:
The Owl crew slipping through the halls, getting up toward the bridge. At the hall leading into the bridge, the guard there call them out and battle starts. Cyrus starts off by just advancing and shooting, and thanks to poor rolls seems to have managed to entirely miss, and got shot in the leg besides. That fucker's gonna get it - Kale runs forward to attack. Now, I was out of the room getting more drinks when they decided this, so I have no idea how they got here, but they seem to have gotten fascinated by Kale's Contortionist tag and ended up strangling him with his balls. I don't even remember whether they're using the guard's testicles or Kale's, but regardless that's quite a contortion. And so, there's only one outcome that could have come from that - a disastrous roll. Vance calls out his Secret of Leadership though, and lets him try again! He goes again and...what do you know, ANOTHER disastrous roll! Then Daniel's parents showed up to take him home. I'm 99% sure we're de-testicle-ing Kale next session.
That was the end of the session! I'm ready to see how this progresses, and yet I won't be able to this weekend.

I'll have the Fiasco one up soon, just didn't want to have to tweet another "Sorry it's taking so long" bit and get the content to you as fast as I can.

EDIT: I guess I'll do double music as well.
Someone needs to just upload a straight video of Stella Katsoudas of Sister Soleil (featuring Geo Lenardo)'s Killer and a Queen. I mean, it was on the Underworld: Awakening soundtrack, it's not like no one's heard it... In the meantime, enjoy it playing over some chick's boyfriends. Rip the video to mp3 or something. It's a good song (and the whole soundtrack to Underworld: Awakening keeps growing on me more and more).

End Recording,

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