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Old 01-21-2015, 12:11 AM   #1
tshiggins's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Default Campaign: Facets

I came up with an idea for what starts out as a modern-day wainscot fantasy campaign about a year ago, and it has been percolating, ever since.

The characters start out as volunteers with a Search & Rescue team in a world that matches our own, nearly identically. The organization, "Four Corners Search and Rescue" (4CSAR) is loosely based on the well-funded Grand County, Utah, Search & Rescue (GCSAR), based in Moab.

I'd hoped to get it started, last year, but a pretty serious water disaster in my condo, and the subsequent cleanup and repairs, took much longer than anticipated.

That's all done, now, and I picked up the idea, again, several months ago.

We had our first session, Saturday, and I think it went reasonably well. I liked that combat flowed a little more smoothly than is usual for our group, even with three brand new players -- including my sister and her oldest daughter. They worked hard to understand the GURPS system, and did pretty well.

A Quick Recap...

...but first, a word. If you look over at the Falkenstein Campaign thread at, " tein," you can see how much time I put into session logs and additional information. While fun, it actually drained a lot of my time and creative energies to write up those walls of text.

So, I'm not going to do that, this time. I'll try to limit myself much more in this campaign, than I did over there.

Now, for the fun part.

Characters Present:

Randy "Random" Shoop -- a twenty-something, semi-pro mountain-bike competitor who has trouble staying focused, but is basically a good and reliable member of the team -- Played by Gold & Apple, Inc.

Francis "Jeb" Stuart -- an anti-federal government survivalist and gas station attendant, who believes strongly that local communities should be self-sufficient, and thinks 4CSAR epitomizes that ideal (plus, it provides health insurance) -- Played by Tod H.

Dr. Belody "Doc" Bascher -- a local veterinarian for both large and small animals, who frequently fixates on her job and uses 4CSAR as her primary social outlet. She has a pet pig named Master Oink of the Porcine (just a pet and not an ally, trained to fetch, carry things and squeal when alarmed, meant mostly for comedy relief) -- Played by Samantha H.

Dr. Arthur NOLN (character not quite done) -- a retired NASA scientist with a home in one of Moab's nicer canyon subdevelopments, who volunteers for 4CSAR because he needs to do something to get out of the house -- Played by Anten S.

Deputy Diego "Danny" Torres -- Grand County Sheriff's deputy who acts as the department's community policing officer and works with 4CSAR as needed -- Played by Chris L.

Beatrice "B" Lawrence -- U.S. Army veteran who works for a local air charter service as a helicopter mechanic. A cynic about men, and accompanied by "Grunt," the biggest, best-trained pit-bull anybody has ever seen (purchased as an ally, and a totally badass dog) -- played by Bernetta W.

The eastern sky had begun to pale with pre-dawn light when the six volunteers most widely (if quietly) considered the elite of the Four Corners Search & Rescue team (4CSAR) gathered at the station, across the street from the Grand County Sheriff's Office. The commander of 4CSAR, Pete Munroe, Vice Commander Bertie Meyer and Equipment Officer Miguel "Mike" Ramirez made sure they had coffee and breakfast sandwiches. Grand County Sheriff Allen Brown was also there, along with his liaison deputy, Diego "Danny" Torres, as well as four federal agents.

The volunteers learned that a low-level drug dealer who had in the past limited himself to the sale of two or three kilos of mid-grade ditch-weed marijuana had turned up the day before, June 20, 2014, with a full kilo of good-quality hashish for sale in Salt Lake City. The suspect, who used a number of different names through the years, had then used his proceeds ($70,000-$80,000) for his regular shopping-trip at a Salt Lake City Wal-Mart and a New Age occult ship in Grand Junction, Colorado. He had also stopped at a machine shop in Provo, and then a bicycle place where he purchased an assembled Yuba Mundo cargo bike with some hauler options.

After that, he stopped at the Freedom Flag gunshop in Provo, where he promptly engaged in a violation of the federal Gun Owners Protection Act (GOPA), by purchasing four fully-automatic M-4 Carbines with military-grade optics and NATO 5.56mm ammunition -- a distinct departure from his former criminal profile. The agents requested the help of 4CSAR team to locate the suspect, as he had disappeared into the Dark Canyon Wilderness Area, south of Moab and due west of Monticello, Utah, GPS coordinates Latitude : 37.800676 | Longitude : -109.7873.

The team was not to try to capture the suspect, but to locate him and then call in the federal agents to make the arrest. They wanted to know what prompted him to purchase the automatic weapons, and find out why he suddenly felt threatened enough to believe he needed them.

Following some debate (Randy Shoop and Jeb Stuart expressed serious reservations about assisting "the Feds"), the group agreed to help, and Sheriff Brown asked Deputy Torres to accompany them. The group traveled to the location of the suspect's -- "Seņor AKA" -- abandoned rental Chevy Suburban. After searching around a bit, the group picked up the trail of "AKA's" heavily-laden cargo-bike. Bizarrely, the trail headed down into a northern tributary canyon -- a stupid and impossible route, given that the cargo-bike and its load probably exceeded 220 pounds (100 kilos).

The group followed the trail down into the twisty canyon, found a place where the Seņor AKA had somehow negotiated an impossible tangle of deadfall trees and rocks from a recent avalanche, and traced him to a slot-canyon off the main tributary stream -- which they knew could not have any sort of exit. They followed the trail, found it dead-ended in a lovely grotto, and determined that he'd taken a small passageway to the west. They had to dig out that passage with hand-tools, as it had been concealed by a large pile of sand.

The members slid down the 10 feet or so to a chamber coated with Ancestral Pueblan ("Anasazi") petroglyphs of all sorts, and saw that another slot-canyon began in that chamber. It sloped upwards at 30 degrees, and went dead-straight west. Additional petroglyphs appeared along the walls, periodically, but they comprised the only sign of human activity in the surrealistically-straight canyon.

Grunt the dog and Master Oink had to be dragged into the chamber, as they became quite distressed the moment the team cleared the passage. A quick check of the cell-phones revealed the screens had gone to static, and the two satellite phones emitted hisses, pops and squeals.

(Close examination of the walls indicated they had been carved by water, just as any other slot canyon, and the floor was coated with deep, damp sand that showed the bicycle tracks, perfectly. They found no tool-marks or any other indication that humans had carved the canyon.)

The team proceeded up the canyon (again, Jeb took some convincing -- he stopped long enough to line his cap with aluminum foil, and refused to holster his pistol), and a thick mist rose around them. As the mist reached its greatest density, each was suddenly affected by a terrible headache (not quite a migraine), and they considered turning back.

They continued onwards, reached the upper end of the canyon, and were promptly attacked by two large humanoid creatures. The creatures were eight feet tall, and had blunderbusses and clubs enhanced with barbed wire on one, and large metal nails on the other.

After a nasty little dustup in which Randy was slightly injured after he charged the giants (but then managed to get one in an armlock long enough for the team to kill it, after they'd gunned down the other), the group explored the lair of the creatures. They quickly discovered that it resembled the troll-cave in the first "Hobbit" movie, with the exception of four honey-cured, pre-cooked hams purchased from Wal-Mart, a bag of brass ball-bearings purchased at a machine-shop in Provo, and most of a five-pound bag of smokeless powder purchased at Freedom Flag Guns.

Perusal of the tracks in the canyon confirmed that Seņor AKA had stopped to chat with the two giants, for awhile, before exiting via the opening of a wider canyon, to the north.

A quick check of the phones indicated they had rebooted themselves successfully, but the cell-phones had no bars and the satellite phones couldn't make contact.


That's where the session ended. I didn't have the presence of mind to jot down any funny quotes, this first time.

I awarded two experience points, each.
MXLP:8 [JD=1, DK=1, DM-M=1, M(FAW)=1, SS=2, Nym=1 (nose coffee), sj=1 (nose cocoa)]
"Some days, I just don't know what to think." -Daryl Dixon.
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