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Old 08-25-2015, 06:20 PM   #31
tshiggins
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Default Re: Campaign: Facets

We held the eighth session of Facets, Saturday. I see that I've utterly failed to meet my goal of keeping the write-ups simple.

Chris has apparently dropped out of the campaign, entirely. I can't say that I blame him. It's a long drive up from Colorado Springs, and he seems to be having more fun with Savage Worlds, as well.

Samantha's husband, Mike, took over running Diego, in session seven and had a fun time. He's joined the campaign, now, and is glad to play a cop with solid detective skills, but wanted to change the background around a little. He also renamed the character to "Frank Moses."

I decided the best thing to do is to integrate Moses into the group via ret-con. Diego only had a player in a couple of the sessions, so we'll just say that Frank is the cop who has been with the group, all along, instead of Diego.

So, he's already gone through the portal, he was the one who got shot, and he's the one who has already been faceted by the experience.

I'm not thrilled by that decision, and if the group's circumstances were such that they planned to jump through the portal again, in the latest session, I'd have had him get pulled into the group, that way, and had Diego shift to NPC status and take a job with the Grand Junction PD.

However, the group is currently in a detective story arc, and were nowhere near the portal, and might not find themselves in the position to go back through next session, either. This seemed the most expedient way to pull him into the group in medias res, as it were.

The character is basically the same, and we didn't mess with the stats, and only tinkered with the skills a bit. Here's the reskinned version:

Image: A former Marine Corps signals operator (MOS 0621). Frank spent two tours in the Baghdad Green Zone, initially charged with aiding logistics. However, early in his second tour, terrorists targeted his station and a subsequent investigation uncovered evidence of a security breach. Frank helped the MPs find the breach (a Shi’ite Iraqi policeman, secretly a member of Jaysh al-Mahdi, who favored creation of an Islamist Iraq led by Muqtada al-Sadr). In so doing, Frank discovered he had a flair for investigation and switched his MOS to 5803 (military police). Thereafter, he acted as a liaison with the Criminal Investigations Division (CID), while working for the Provost Marshall Office.

After he mustered out, Frank attended the Utah State Highway Patrol Training Section, in Murray, Utah, and has worked as a UHP patrolman for several years. He's based out of the Section 13 office, in Moab, under the command of Lt. Lee J. Exeter.

Also, Bennie Rae was able to join us, once again, this session, so this write-up has a lot more funny quotes. 8)


Here we go!

Character's Present:


Trooper Frank Moses -- A former Marine currently working as a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP), based out of the Section 13 office in Moab, under Lt. Lee Exeter. Moses works with 4CSAR as needed, and has an interest in Doc Bascher. This character wholly replaces Deputy Diego Torres, by retcon. -- Played by Mike H.

Dr. Henrietta "Indiana" Johnson -- A personable, age 29-and-holding Anthropologist who specializes in the pre-Columbian indigenous people of the American Desert Southwest. A Native of Apache Junction, AZ, "Indiana" is good with people and has been fascinated by American Indian religion and folklore since she was a child. Henrietta speaks Apache fluently, and not-so-secretly wishes archaeology could be more like Raiders of the Lost Ark and less like digging in a trench with a trowel and a toothbrush -- Played by Debbie S.

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 & Appel, Inc.

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. -- Normally played by Samantha H.

Dr. Arthur "A.J." Jamison -- 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. Considers himself responsible for Sunmi Jones, who is enough of a science-geek that the two of them can actually hold a conversation. -- Played by Anten S.

Sunmi Jones -- A Korean-American prodigy and student of chemistry at Utah Valley University, who spent most of her childhood with her deceased mother's family in Korea, but has come to Utah to attend college and work with her father's petroleum exploration firm. Somewhat moe, awkward-but-cute, glasses-wearing nerd girl, who volunteers with 4CSAR because volunteer work is required for her degree. -- Played by Rebecca W.

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, even before it was possessed by what appears to be a benign spirit) -- played by Bernetta W.

Aurelia R. Lockrin -- A young woman with a shady past who teaches History at Grand County High School (Home of the Red Devils!), and volunteers for 4CSAR because she's a bit of an adrenalin junkie, and likes the companionship. -- played by Bennie Rae P.

NPCs Present

Grunt: Beatrice's ally, a large pit-bull possessed by a protective "foo" spirit.

Hops About: A nunnupi (one of the "Little People" from Comanche folklore) who frequently takes the form of a quadruple-sized magpie. The party has determined that she is a faerie, and as such is mischievous, rather random, inhuman and appallingly dangerous. Likes ants, ham sandwiches and Looney Tunes.

Twirls Thrice: Another nunnupi, and the sister of Hops About. More laconic and observant than her rather hyperactive sister, but at least as dangerous in her own way. Likes ants, ham sandwiches, and particularly likes Bugs Bunny.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Most of the group returned to Grand Junction, for the few days needed for Aurelia to establish her false identity as one "Olivia Donna McShane," the daughter of JoBeth Catherine McShane, born out of wedlock with no father listed on her birth certificate. To accomplish this, Aurelia contacted Wren Scarlett, an old friend with mad computer skillz (the Ally purchased two sessions ago), to help create the digital records of the fake identity. While Wren worked on the digital records, Aurelia ensconced herself in her den, and spent several days forging the fake hardcopy documents.

Much to the consternation of Trooper Frank Moses, the documents looked solidly authentic once Aurelia completed them -- including the fake U.S. passport.

Aurelia also asked Wren to take a look at the Academy Club's on-line presence, to see if she could gather any more information. The ally reported that the club's floorplan didn't exist, anywhere, and its security system seemed wholly isolated from the Internet. As such, if they wished to suborn the security system (by looping video feeds, or whatever), they'd have to gain access to the system in the club, itself. Nothing could be done remotely, and the only link the security system had to the outside was a hard-line alarm connection to the Denver Police Department.

Over in Arthur's garage outside of Moab, the engineer, Beatrice and Sunmi worked on the dune-buggies they planned to take through the portal. Meanwhile, Henrietta and Doc Bascher focused on keeping the two nunnupi happy and distracted, in Denver.

To that end, Doc Bascher bought some ant-farms (the nunnupi thought those were great inventions) and took them on an extended day trip through the myriad small parks in Denver's Highlands neighborhood. At one point, the nunnupi learned that Denver has a subspecies of ants that were both red and black, and insisted upon finding those particular types for their new farms.

Bascher and Henrietta also took them to the Denver Zoological Gardens, in City Park, and finally to the Denver Art Museum. While at the DAM, the nunnupi (who can turn insubstantial, when they wish), expressed considerable appreciation for the collection of arts and crafts by the Indians of the Pacific Northwest, found Clyfford Still's color field abstract expressionism incomprehensible, and grew quite excited by the museum's Hayagriva Sand Mandala, which they said exuded powerful magic.

http://creativity.denverartmuseum.org/1996_54/

https://clyffordstillmuseum.org/

(continued...)
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:23 PM   #32
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

his prompted Henrietta to research the mandala more completely, and learned the one in the museum was actually the second of two identical mandalas produced by the same group of Tibetan monks. The first mandala, as is usual with those types of work, was destroyed upon completion when the monks threw it into the Platte River, at its confluence with Cherry Creek. The creation of the second mandala, for preservation in the DAM, required special dispensation from the abbot in charge of the Buddhist Seraje Monastery, in India.

Henrietta noted that the confluence is located in a park in Lower Downtown Denver, near where gold was discovered in the creek in 1858. The confluence, she noted, has been the site of many human visits since prehistoric times, and has always been considered the heart of the city.

Henrietta and Doc Bascher shared the findings when the rest of the group returned to Denver, following the creation of Aurelia's fake identity. They waited until the normal Monday morning tour of the Academy Club, and then sent Aurelia in to make contact with the club's management.

Frank Moses (with three weeks left of his administrative leave) and Doc Bascher, who had not gone on the previous tour, went in as a wheelchair-bound disabled veteran and his caretaker nurse. Meanwhile, A.J. and Sunmi parked in a nearby lot and began to try to hack the member's WiFi system, as Randy and Beatrice set up a rifle-post at the top of the parking garage across the alley, to the west of the club.

From the top of the garage, Randy noted the blue glow of multiple monitors from the window of one of the offices, directly across the narrow alley from them and about 15 feet lower. From this, the pair surmised that they'd set up right across from the club's security monitoring office, but that the angle was so steep that any shot through the window would most likely bury itself in the floor, before it hit anybody. With that, Randy began to assess any jump he might have to make from the roof of the parking structure to the roof of the club's security office.

Aurelia, Doc Bascher and Moses entered the club at about 9 a.m., along with a few others who wanted to tour the facility. Bascher and the trooper joined the tour group, but the would-be Olivia D. McShane approached a young docent, with a name-tag that read "Millicent Brown," and asked to speak with the management. When she gave her fake name, the docent showed her to a cocktail room with many fine paintings, and hurried off to fetch the director.

He arrived shortly, and introduced himself as Dave Shelton. Aurelia spun him a tale of the great-granddaughter of club founder, Oliver McShane, who was estranged from her mother, Oliver's granddaugher JoBeth Catherine McShane, and sought to learn more about her family's history. Aurelia (as Olivia) told Shelton she had learned that Oliver McShane had been one of the founders of the Academy Club, so she wanted visit and perhaps join as a legacy member.

Shelton expressed considerable interest in Aurelia's cover story, and spent more than an hour speaking with her about the past of the McShane family. Slowly, Aurelia became aware that Shelton's discussion of the club included only publicly-available information, but that he had thoroughly pumped her for any information she might have about the McShane family. Aurelia also noted that Shelton seemed far more cautious about her than such a situation seemed to warrant.

At one point, the director did let slip that the club would be highly interested in any McShane documents or heirlooms in her possession, but Aurelia said she had none such. He also noted that, while he appreciated her status as a "legacy" of the club, membership applications did require sponsorship of an existing club members, and letters of recommendation by two other members. However, he invited her to attend, as his personal guest, an "open-house" barbecue scheduled for Labor Day weekend, and promised to introduce her to members of the board of directors.

As the conversation reached its end, Aurelia said she'd like to tour the facility. Shelton said that Millie Brown (who had hovered nearby, and kept the pair supplied with excellent coffee and fresh pastries), would take her on personal tour. Aurelia asked to visit the Ladies Room (located in a part of the club no one in the group had yet seen), and then let Millie guide her around. Along the way, Aurelia discretely picked Millie's pocket and took her magnetic key-card.

By the time the pair reached the club's famous "College Room" banquet hall, the slower-moving regular tour had arrived at the same time (and Doc Bascher and Frank Moses had checked out the freight elevator used to move the wheel-chair bound "disabled veteran" up to the second floor...). Aurelia took a moment to thank the veteran for his service -- and made sure Moses saw that she had filched Millie's magnetic key-card.

The "disabled veteran" immediately had an anxiety attack and accused his "nurse" of keeping his oxygen up to high, and generally made a loud nuisance of himself. The "nurse" tried to get him to calm down, and asked for assistance, and she and the tour-guide tried to shush him down and move him to the elevator. At that point, Frank tossed himself out of the wheelchair, and Millie rushed to help.

At that point, Aurelia took the opportunity to slip up to the third floor, where she found the door to the Library Reading Room had mechanical key-lock, and not an electronic lock, and had been left unlocked. She let herself in and took a quick glance around.

Aurelia noted a black-and-white picture on the far wall that seemed to portray early members of the club, that the ceiling was about 18 feet up, and that huge bookshelves lined three walls nearly to the ceiling, with railed ladders used to reach the highest shelves. A lot of the collection seemed devoted to English and Early-American literature, and skewed heavily toward plays and other dramatic works.

She also noted the large room had numerous overstuffed chairs scattered around, with end-tables and coffee tables within easy reach, and a fair number of "coffee-table" art books ready at hand. Moreover, once she'd closed the door, she heard nothing of the commotion from down the wide stairs, and no traffic noise from the busy 17th Avenue penetrated the room.

At that point, a door in the opposite corner opened, and a large man in his 40s, wearing the blue blazer and gray slacks of club security, entered and asked her business. She started her phony story, but the man politely cut her off once she acknowledged she wasn't a member. He told her the room was reserved for members only, and showed her the door. She heard the mechanical lock click, behind her.

Aurelia slipped back down the stairs and rejoined the tour-group, just as it reached the first floor. Another security man had joined the effort to see to the needs of the "disabled vet" and an ambulance waited outside. The tour-guide apologized for the disruption, and offered the members of the tour coffee and pastries ("...or something stronger...") in the main-floor bar. Most took her up on it, as Doc Bascher bundled the querilous Frank Moses into the back of the ambulance.

(By the time they reached Denver Health Medical Center, the "veteran" had calmed down, and the pair made excuses and left as quickly as they could, promising to FAX insurance information.)

Meanwhile, A.J. and Sunmi had successfully hacked the club's WiFi, and in so doing gained access to an internal site for club members. They noted it had a calendar of upcoming events, the ability to schedule meeting rooms and banquet halls, contact information for the staff, and a discussion forum for members (the section devoted to the bridge players tended to get rather heated, and required frequent intervention by firmly polite moderators...).

Arthur determined that, with the help of someone who knew how to analyze intelligence, he might get a handle on the internal politics of the Academy Club.

(continued...)
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:25 PM   #33
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Location: Denver, Colorado
Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

With that, the group decided it's initial investigation had reached an impasse, and that at least some of them needed to return to Moab to continue preparations for the next portal opening. However, Randy, Frank, Sunmi and Aurelia decided to tail the club director for a few days, to see if Aurelia's visit caused any odd behavior.

Upon learning that, the two nunnupi got into a squabble. Hops About thought the opportunity to witness human violence seemed pretty low, and opted to return to Moab. However, Twirls Thrice said she thought that seemed premature, and felt that the opportunity to see entertaining bloodshed remained high enough to warrant remaining in Denver. Much to the chagrin of Henrietta and Doc Bascher (who had gotten tired of ants in the carpeting of the hotel rooms -- the nunnupi sometimes forgot to cap the ant-farms), the nunnupi compromised and decided to stay in Denver a few more days, in case anything "fun" happened.

The surveillance quartet broke up into teams of two each -- Frank and Randy, and Aurelia and Sunmi -- and began to tail Shelton. Aurelia and Sunmi discovered the club director lived a routine life of regular habits. He usually arrived at the club by 8 a.m., left about 5 p.m., only stayed late when the club had a function, and lived in a very nice 1970s home in the Belcaro neighborhood of southeast Denver.

Frank and Randy took over for the night watch soon after Shelton arrived home for the evening, discovered that the director lived with a similarly affluent man of about the same age, and quickly surmised he was gay.

Several days passed with no change to the behavior, until Wednesday afternoon. Sunmi spotted a black Chevy SUV with tinted windows, about 5-6 years old and scraped in spots, had also started to follow Shelton. Aurelia hung back lest they get spotted by the other tail, while Sunmi kept an eye on the Chevy. When Frank and Randy arrived, the ladies passed the information along, and the two men shifted their attention from Shelton to his other observers.

The Chevy remained on post until the light's in Shelton's window switched off at their usual time of 10 p.m., waited an extra hour, and then they left. From that, Frank surmised that the Chevy belonged to a security team charged with discretely escorting the director home. The pair decided to follow them, so as to test the validity of Frank's theory.

To their surprise, the Chevy headed back out to Colorado Boulevard, but turned south instead of north, back toward the city. They followed as the vehicle took I-25 north back toward the heart of town, but then headed west on 6th Avenue before it got there. The vehicle exited the highway far to the west, where it crossed Colfax Avenue, stopped for the light at the intersection, and Frank promptly rear-ended them (Crit-fail on the "Driving" roll...).

All four doors of the SUV opened, and the vehicle disgorged four large men that both the trooper and the extreme athlete promptly identified as skinhead racists.

Frank rolled down his window and offered his apologies to the belligerent quartet. The driver told Frank that he could either cough up $200 or get a beat-down. Randy immediately began to defuse the situation, apologizing on behalf of Frank and himself, noting that neither man carried cash, and saying they had already called the police. With that, the skinheads backed down, and drove away in their minimally-damaged vehicle (it had been a slow-motion hit, the primary affect of which had been to allow the skinheads to "make" Frank and Randy).

The next night, Thursday, Aurelia and Sunmi decided to tail the skinheads, while Frank and Randy hung back in case they were needed. The change in the pattern alerted the two nunnupi, who decided to tag along. That meant Henrietta and Doc Bascher trailed along, as well, far to the rear.

The Chevy SUV took the same route as the previous evening. They exited 6th Avenue in south Golden, took the surface streets for awhile, and then hopped on W-470, headed south. The exited at Morrison, went through that town into the foothills of southern Jefferson County, and then followed a narrow dirt road up into the hills. Aurelia and Sunmi stopped at the entrance to the dirt track, and waited for Randy and Frank.

The quartet started up the dirt road on foot, as Doc Bascher and Henrietta (and the nunnupi) arrived. After about 30 minutes, Aurelia, Sunmi, Frank and Randy saw a large house in poor condition, with a dozen motorcycles, the SUV and two pickups parked out front. Emblems on the motorcycle saddlebags, and a banner painted on the side of one of the pickups, said, "Angels of Purity Motorcycle Club."

The group palavered about what to do next, and that ended the session.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Funny quotes

<Bennie Rae, who missed the last session, gets a synopsis of the plot thus far, including the history of the decision to tear down a neighborhood in Denver to build Civic Center Park.>
G&AInc: Isn't this the plot to Chinatown?
Bernetta W.: It's Big Trouble in Little Chinatown.

Doc Bascher: We're not taking the nunnupi to the 16th Street Mall! I don't want them to get a contact-high from all the marijuana! The last thing we need are high nunnupi! No stoned faeries!
Arthur: It's the munchie problem that I have a problem with.

Beatrice <to Aurelia>: I like "Olivia Josephine." We could call you Ollie-Jo!
<The rest of the group break into the conversation, and offer critiques and other suggestions.>
Aurelia: This is not my real name, people!

Sunmi <whose player arrived late to the session, and heard Henrietta and Doc Bascher discussing ways to keep the nunnupi distracted...>: Wait! I don't know what's going on with the ants!

Beatrice: Whatever you do, don't take them to the Butterfly Pavilions!

<The group begins to plan how best to send Aurelia into the Academy Club, and what to do if things go wrong.>
Doc Bascher: If you put a rock up Randy's butt, could he put a tracker up your butt?
Sunmi: I heard you say, "tractor."
Frank: I heard you say "tractor," too!

Aurelia: I need to get back in time for the Labor Day barbecue. Assuming nothing happens in the portal. Because going through the portal is always a load of fun....

Aurelia: I don't wanna climb up a building full of skinheads!
Sunmi: Couldn't we just leave? They're all bigger than me!
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:47 PM   #34
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

We held the Ninth session of Facets a week ago, Sunday. This one was fairly action-packed, which was nice, but Mike has determined he needs to tinker with his character a bit more to allow Frank to respond to situations with a bit more "moral flexibility." We'll work on that, and I've started to kick around a few ideas.

Also, because it had so much action, we don't have nearly as many funny quotes, this time.

We also had some fun, before and after. We got together at the Interstate Restaurant, at 10th Avenue and Santa Fe, for Sunday Brunch, and then some of us ended the day at the Taste of Colorado festival and listened to Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. It was a pretty good day, even though I caught a cold either in the crowd, or from Anten.


Character's Present:

Trooper Frank Moses -- A former Marine currently working as a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP), based out of the Section 13 office in Moab, under Lt. Lee Exeter. Moses works with 4CSAR as needed, and has an interest in Doc Bascher. This character wholly replaces Deputy Diego Torres, by retcon. -- Played by Mike H.

Dr. Henrietta "Indiana" Johnson -- A personable, age 29-and-holding Anthropologist who specializes in the pre-Columbian indigenous people of the American Desert Southwest. A Native of Apache Junction, AZ, "Indiana" is good with people and has been fascinated by American Indian religion and folklore since she was a child. Henrietta speaks Apache fluently, and not-so-secretly wishes archaeology could be more like Raiders of the Lost Ark and less like digging in a trench with a trowel and a toothbrush -- Played by Debbie S.

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 & Appel, Inc.

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. -- Normally played by Samantha H.

Dr. Arthur "A.J." Jamison -- a retired NASA scientist with a home in one of Moab's nicer canyon sub-developments, who volunteers for 4CSAR because he needs to do something to get out of the house. Considers himself responsible for Sunmi Jones, who is enough of a science-geek that the two of them can actually hold a conversation. -- Played by Anten S.

Sunmi Jones -- A Korean-American prodigy and student of chemistry at Utah Valley University, who spent most of her childhood with her deceased mother's family in Korea, but has come to Utah to attend college and work with her father's petroleum exploration firm. Somewhat moe, awkward-but-cute, glasses-wearing nerd girl, who only volunteers with 4CSAR because volunteer work is required for her degree. -- Played by Rebecca W.

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, even before it was possessed by what appears to be a benign guardian spirit) -- played by Bernetta W.

Aurelia R. Lockrin -- A young woman with a shady past who teaches History at Grand County High School ("Home of the Red Devils!"), and volunteers for 4CSAR because she's a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and likes the companionship. -- played by Bennie Rae P.

NPCs Present

Grunt: Beatrice's ally, a large pit-bull possessed by a protective "foo" spirit.

Hops About: A nunnupi (one of the "Little People" from Comanche folklore) who frequently takes the form of a quadruple-sized magpie. The party has determined that she is a faerie, and as such is mischievous, rather random, inhuman and appallingly dangerous. Likes ants, ham sandwiches and Looney Tunes.

Twirls Thrice: Another nunnupi, and the sister of Hops About. More laconic and observant than her rather hyperactive sister, but at least as dangerous in her own way. Likes ants, ham sandwiches, and particularly Bugs Bunny.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The group kicked ideas back and forth, as they stood in front of the old Georgian-style home in the middle of the night, and eventually decided to not try to draw anybody out or break in, given that it was likely full of armed skinhead motorcycle gang members, and the group was short a couple of members (one of whom, Beatrice, was the group's best shot).

Aurelia decided to take a quick peeping-tom trip around the outside of the house, to see what she could spot through the windows. Through the kitchen window, she saw the four guys from the fender-bender, and crept closer to listen.

Through the window, she heard three of them bitching about the accident and making loud claims about how badly they'd have stomped Frank and Randy, if they'd just had the chance. The fourth man, however, pointed out that the gang needed to keep a low profile until the "job was done," and that meant they couldn't do anything to draw the attention of the cops, under any circumstances.

The job paid too much, he noted, and was the "key to the big-time," so they'd just have to suck it up. The other three grumbled, but acquiesced.

With that, Aurelia returned and the group quietly exfiltrated, returned to their cars and went back to the hotel.

The next day, the group contacted Arthur and Beatrice, and discussed the situation. Arthur said he could use some off-the-shelf hardware to create some simple GPS tracking devices, and he and Beatrice decided to drive back to Denver after a quick shopping trip to an electronics store. Arthur cobbled together the trackers as Beatrice drove. Part of the way, they got another call from the group.

Aurelia and Sunmi had taken back the day-shift of the surveillance of the skinheads who had Dave Shelton under surveillance. However, shortly after Shelton arrived back at the Academy Club, Aurelia noted that one of the other SUVs parked in front of the skinhead house seemed to be following a second vehicle. She watched as that vehicle parked at the club, and Missy Brown emerged. After that, the second skinhead tail left, since only one was required to keep an eye on the comings and goings at the club.

Once she saw that, Aurelia phoned Frank and reported the situation. After a fair amount of discussion, the group determined that the thing Brown and Shelton had in common was that they'd both been present for the entirety of "Olivia McShane." The skinheads were following the director and the docent, because those two provided their only links to Olivia.

(This proved to be an example of how the players can miss something that seems dead-bang obvious to the GM. The theories that got kicked around the group originally ranged from "off-base" to "WTF?" Eventually they started to get frustrated enough that I had Mike make a roll against Frank's Intelligence Analysis. It was successful, so I gave them a hint, "What experience did both Missy and Dave have in common?" Bernetta got back on the right track, first, and the group was able to work it out, after that. I was cool with doing it, that way. As a general rule, I forbid advantages that allow the players to ask the GM what they should do next -- Common Sense, and the like -- but G:Mysteries gave some excellent advice about how to run investigation scenarios. Lisa Steele pointed out that what's blindingly-obvious to the GM "from the inside," as it were, is sometimes absolutely opaque to the players. When that happens, it's appropriate for the GM to give them a nudge back in the right direction, and this particular nudge was really minor. Bennie said she felt like an idiot because they didn't figure it out without help, because it was so obvious in retrospect, so that told me it was the right thing to do to move things along.)

The next day, the group cobbled together a plan that might let them take just a few skinheads at a time. Aurelia volunteered to don her "Olivia McShane" personality, show herself, and then see if the skinheads tried to grab her. Once they did so, the group could swoop in and grab them, instead, and that would reduce exposure to law enforcement, because the skinheads would have to admit to attempted kidnapping if they ever said anything.

However, the group definitely wanted Aurelia covered, so the first step was to plant Arthur's bugs on the skinhead vehicles.

The first phase began the next morning, at the house outside of Morrison. By the time Randy and Arthur arrived, the two SUVs were gone, and two men each were lounging on the two porches, front and back. The engineer crept down and put a bug on the battered old pickup truck. He then took the opportunity to check the overhead doors of the two-car garage, and found them neither locked nor hooked to an automatic opener. As such, they could be easily raised.

Arthur slipped back into the woods, just as one of the guards from the front porch started to walk around the house.

The second phase began outside the Academy Club, when the skinhead tails arrived. The group waited for the second SUV to leave, and then Sunmi provided a distraction. She walked along the sidewalk past the remaining SUV -- a tiny, cute little Asian girl singing a K-pop tune and doing little dance-steps as she walked the largest pit bull anybody had ever seen.

Once the eyes of the two occupants were riveted on Sunmi, Doc Bascher slipped up behind the vehicle and planted the bug. However, as she tried to walk away afterwards, the driver saw her in the side-mirror and grew suspicious. Not really sure what he'd seen (if anything) he got out and looked after her, and then walked around the SUV to see if anything was wrong. Fortunately, Doc Bascher managed to hide the bug well enough that he didn't spot it.

(continued...)
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Last edited by tshiggins; 09-14-2015 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:50 PM   #35
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

About 20 minutes later, the second SUV pulled into the drive, and Arthur and Randy bugged that one, too. They then retreated to the woods around the house, and Randy noted the presence of a path that led deeper into the hills. They watched that, for awhile, and saw two skinheads in chemical gear emerge from the house and start to walk along it.

They followed the two men to what they quickly determined was a meth-lab located in a hidden gully, about 100 yards from the house. Arthur and Randy knocked together an impromptu plan.

The third phase began shortly before noon, when "Olivia" and a "boyfriend" (Frank) arrived at the front of the Academy Club, and tried to go in and have a drink at the bar. They were firmly turned away as the bar was open to members only, except during the planned tours. Olivia apologized profusely, claiming she misunderstood, while her "boyfriend" looked annoyed at the whole thing.

Sunmi and Beatrice watched as the two skinheads took note of the incident, and saw one of them pull out his cell phone and make a call. A few minutes later, Randy and Arthur watched as two skinheads trotted out of the house, get in the second SUV and speed away. Arthur began to track it on his laptop, using GPS. It headed back toward town and he called Sunmi and Beatrice with the update.

Back in town, "Olivia" and her "beau" stopped at a restaurant on South Broadway, and apparently get into an argument. As a consequence, Frank hopped in his car left Aurelia standing, alone, in the sidewalk. Beatrice and Sunmi noted that the skinheads in the two SUVs saw everything, and one called someone on the cell phone. However, the gangsters in neither vehicle made a move, and the group decided the really, really wanted to know who was on the other end of that call.

The rest of the afternoon went similarly. Aurelia was followed by one or the other SUV, all day, and made herself vulnerable on several occasions, just to see them refuse the bait. Eventually, as a last gasp, Doc Bascher called the Hyatt-Regency Hotel and reserved a room for two under the name of "Olivia McShane," and supplied all the details. Once complete, Aurelia took a cab to the hotel and picked up "her" room-key, as Bascher set up shop in the hotel bar.

A few minutes later, an "upset" McShane came down to the bar, ordered drinks and began to call a "girlfriend" to complain about a fight she'd had with her "boyfriend." She appeared to get more and more drunk over the course of 90 minutes, or so, and then decided to take a walk. Outside, Beatrice, Sunmi and Henrietta had set themselves up across the street, and up and down the block, and had spotted the SUV in a paid parking lot with a good view of the hotel entrance.

They watched as Aurelia emerged and began to walk down the sidewalk toward 14th Street, and saw one of the skinheads hop out of the SUV and start to follow her, about 10 yards back as the SUV drove out of the parking lot. The ladies started to keep pace with Aurelia in a loose net around her and the skinhead, and watched as the SUV pulled to the curb on 14th Street, around the corner from California.

Suddenly, the skinhead broke into a run, and snatched Aurelia's purse as he dashed past. Realizing it was full of her fake IDs (no big deal) and bogus, non-functional credit cards in the name of Olivia McShane (oops...) Aurelia shouted for help and gave chase.

Sunmi broke into a sprint and Beatrice told Grunt to fetch the purse. The dog jumped out the window and bounded away as Beatrice started up Sunmi's jeep and Doc Bascher emerged from the hotel entrance and saw what was happening.

The skinhead reached the SUV with a decidedly not-drunk Aurelia immediately behind him. She grabbed the purse as he opened the door, she dodged as he tried to punch her in the face, and lost her grip. He jumped inside the vehicle as it started to move and Sunmi tried to hop on the back bumper but failed. The vehicle sped away and a barking Grunt chased it for a couple of blocks before he gave up.

Doc Bascher called A.J. and Randy, and the engineer watched his laptop long enough to determine it was headed back toward the two of them. The rest of the group went mobile, and drove toward the house in southern Jeffco. About 15 minutes later, the SUV arrived and the snatchers emerged, one with the purse in one hand and his cell-phone in the other, dialing as he walked. The driver paused at the front porch to grab a beer from the cooler and describe the action to the two guards, there.

At that point, A.J. and Randy put into action their impromptu plan. They worked their way down toward the meth lab, and watched for awhile, until the rest of the group (including the nunnupi, who found the whole situation vastly entertaining) had arrived. They told the other six members of the party work their way through the woods around the house, and set up a screen in the trees on either side of the path down the hill, between the meth-lab shack and the main structure.

Randy and A.J. would cut the power to draw out the cookers, and take them as they emerged. Once secured, Arthur would detonate the meth lab (a trivial task for an engineer of his caliber -- the problem with meth-labs is preventing them from exploding...) and the group could take the skinheads in detail as they rushed to find out what happened. The pair took up stations just around the corners on either side of the front door, and waited for the rest of the group to take their places.

Everything started out okay, but just as the rest of the group started to take up their ambush positions, Sunmi tripped and accidentally discharged her pistol (crit fail on the Stealth roll...).

A.J. and Randy heard sounds of alarm from inside the shack, and one of the men opened the door. He spotted Randy and shouted, as the extreme athlete retreated out of sight. The man gave chase as the second man emerged, and Randy clobbered his pursuer as they reached the rear of the shack. The second man, shotgun in hand, was trying to get a clean shot at the ground-fight, when Arthur walked up behind him and stuck the point of his crossbow-bolt in the back of the man's neck. He dropped the gun just as Randy put his man out, and the two were quickly zip-tied at elbows and knees.

Meanwhile, about 50 yards back toward the house, the rest of the group quickly scrambled for cover as the sound of Sunmi's shot echoed down the gully. Within a few seconds, they heard the sounds of approaching guards along the path, and the two from the back porch soon appeared. Unnerved by the failure, and fearing the outbreak of a dangerous firefight, Sunmi broke from cover about 30 yards away, and ran down the path toward the meth lab. The two skinheads spotted her immediately, shouted for her to stop, and gave chase.

The group waited until the pair were past Aurelia and Frank, up front. Then, Aurelia shot the front man in the leg with an arrow, as Frank told both men to drop their weapons. The first man shouted in pain and grabbed his leg, but the second skinhead whirled toward the sound of Frank's voice and took a wild shot that didn't hit anything but spruce tree.

Aurelia charged the second man from behind and tried to slam him to the ground, but the smaller woman didn't manage to hit the larger man hard enough. Frank dropped him with a single shot to the chest from his AR-15. Doc Bascher stepped out from her tree and pointed a shotgun at the head of the one with the arrow in his leg. Beatrice, further down the hill, sent Grunt to guard the veterinarian, and he arrived just as the three men from the front porch appeared at the top of the hill and spread out, and Henrietta waited for the line of fire to clear so she didn't shoot anybody, accidentally.

The arrival of the next trio triggered a quick little skirmish. Beatrice got a good bead on the one who broke right, and dropped him with her .30-06 rifle to secure that flank. Frank and Doc Bascher took shots at the two remaining, injured one, and the other started to run with Grunt in hot pursuit. The dog pounced on him within two seconds, and put him flat on his face.

About that time, Sunmi reached the meth-lab, where Arthur and A.J. had just finished securing the two chemists. Somewhat dismayed to see her, A.J. and Randy rushed past Sunmi back toward the fight, leaving the scared teenager alone with the bound cookers and an open meth lab. She peeked inside as her two colleagues disappeared up the path.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That ended the session. The group managed to disable three skinheads and kill two others, with no casualties of their own except Sunmi's broken nerves.

Frank realizes he's gone completely off the reservation as a law officer, and needs to think hard about how to proceed.

Meanwhile, the purse with the fake identification must be recovered, quickly, before the skinheads and (more importantly) their sponsor realizes the credit cards are fake and the whole thing has been a set-up, of some sort.

Funny quotes
(I only wrote down a couple, this time)

Aurelia: How close are you, on the dune-buggies?
Beatrice: Couple cases, and we're done.
Arthur: I'm on it! (Leaves to buy more beer.)

Frank: As long as there's no gunshots or an explosion, we're good.
<A few minutes later, Sunmi trips and accidentally discharges her pistol.>
Frank: Well. Crap.
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:35 PM   #36
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

We held Session 10 of Facets, this past Sunday. It was a fairly short session, as we got started late. Mostly, we continued the combat from last time, then the group had a strategy discussion.

Character's Present:


Trooper Frank Moses -- A former Marine currently working as a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP), based out of the Section 13 office in Moab, under Lt. Lee Exeter. Moses works with 4CSAR as needed, and has an interest in Doc Bascher. This character wholly replaces Deputy Diego Torres, by retcon. -- Played by Mike H.

Dr. Henrietta "Indiana" Johnson -- A personable, age 29-and-holding Anthropologist who specializes in the pre-Columbian indigenous people of the American Desert Southwest. A Native of Apache Junction, AZ, "Indiana" is good with people and has been fascinated by American Indian religion and folklore since she was a child. Henrietta speaks Apache fluently, and not-so-secretly wishes archaeology could be more like Raiders of the Lost Ark and less like digging in a trench with a trowel and a toothbrush -- Played by Debbie S.

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 & Appel, Inc.

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. -- Normally played by Samantha H.

Dr. Arthur "A.J." Jamison -- a retired NASA scientist with a home in one of Moab's nicer canyon sub-developments, who volunteers for 4CSAR because he needs to do something to get out of the house. Considers himself responsible for Sunmi Jones, who is enough of a science-geek that the two of them can actually hold a conversation. -- Played by Anten S.

Sunmi Jones -- A Korean-American prodigy and student of chemistry at Utah Valley University, who spent most of her childhood with her deceased mother's family in Korea, but has come to Utah to attend college and work with her father's petroleum exploration firm. Somewhat moe, awkward-but-cute, glasses-wearing nerd girl, who only volunteers with 4CSAR because volunteer work is required for her degree. -- Played by Rebecca W.

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, even before it was possessed by what appears to be a benign spirit) -- played by Bernetta W.

Aurelia R. Lockrin -- A young woman with a shady past who teaches History at Grand County High School (Home of the Red Devils!), and volunteers for 4CSAR because she's a bit of an adrenalin junkie, and likes the companionship. -- played by Bennie Rae P.

NPCs Present

Grunt: Beatrice's ally, a large pit-bull possessed by a protective "foo" spirit.

Hops About: A nunnupi (one of the "Little People" from Comanche folklore) who frequently takes the form of a quadruple-sized magpie. The party has determined that she is a faerie, and as such is mischievous, rather random, inhuman and appallingly dangerous. Likes ants, ham sandwiches and Looney Tunes.

Twirls Thrice: Another nunnupi, and the sister of Hops About. More laconic and observant than her rather hyperactive sister, but at least as dangerous in her own way. Likes ants, ham sandwiches, and particularly Bugs Bunny.

-------------------------------

At the end of the last session, Our Heroes had captured both of the motorcycle gang's meth chemists, plus one of the guards, and both the guard and one of the chemists were banged up some, but nothing that would keep either in the hospital longer than a night. Two other guards weren't so fortunate. One had taken a .30-06 round to the chest and died instantly, and another had taken a 5.56 mm round and was in critical condition. The latest session began with Doc Bascher up to her wrists in the guy's chest, tying off bleeders.

Arthur and Randy came dashing up from the meth-lab, fearing that Sunmi's sudden appearance had meant something had gone terribly wrong. Once they determined that wasn't the case, the group left Sunmi to guard the prisoners and help Doc Bascher, while the rest moved up the hill to reach the trees at he back of the battered old Georgian on the outskirts of Morrison currently being used as a base by the Angels of Purity motorcycle gang.

Arthur, Randy and Aurelia moved to the west side of the house, and began to approach the large bathroom window, as Beatrice (with Grunt at the heel), Henrietta and Frank took positions in the trees to the north. Randy and Aurelia had reached the wall just below the window, when watchful skinheads opened up on Beatrice, around the corner to the north.

A brisk little firefight developed on the north side, as Aurelia cut the screen, jimmied the window and used Randy's cupped hands as an assist to flip inside the bathroom and land smoothly in the tub. Randy followed quickly, if less elegantly, and then both helped the middle-aged A.J. scramble through the window. A few scrapes later, Arthur flopped into the tub.

Aurelia, followed closely by Randy, eased into the hallway outside the bathroom, took a quick peek through the archway and saw a skinhead with an assault rifle standing in an alcove across the room. However, his attention was focused on the windows and doorways to the north.

Just as Randy and Aurelia both reached the doorway, Frank and Beatrice found their marks and two skinheads dropped, shouting that they'd been hit. The skinhead with the assault rifle slid around the corner into the kitchen and dissapeared from sight.

Trusting that the sounds of their movements would be masked by the noise of the firefight and Iron Maiden's The Trooper blaring on the stereo, Aurelia and Randy crossed the room and Randy tackled the man from behind. The brisk little firefight outside came to an end just as the dogpile began, and the skinhead proved tough enough that Henrietta had time to dash in from outside and clock the guy with her hiking stick from behind.

Meanwhile, Frank's entry through the kitchen door, AR-15 at the ready, caused the man wounded by Beatrice to surrender promptly. He hadn't spotted A.J., who had a bead on him with the crossbow, and upon his surrender, Arthur dashed up the stairs to sweep the second floor.

After that, the group took the dead bodies back to the meth lab, Doc Bascher patched up the wounded as best she could, and the rest of the group brought the prisoners to the house and zip-tied them all. At that point, Hops About and Twirls Thrice expressed considerable satisfaction with the entertainment provided, which they'd watched from a perch on the top of the back porch -- although they did a bit of good-natured grumbling when Henrietta forbade them from eating any of the bodies.

The party suddenly realized the skinheads presented a quandary. While the actions they'd taken so far would get everybody except Sunmi, Beatrice and Henrietta tried (and likely convicted) of trespassing, aggravated assault and battery, and even manslaughter. As for the three women, Sunmi would likely get off with a slap to the wrist, but Beatrice and Henrietta might very well go under the needle, once they'd exhausted their appeals.

However, should they summarily execute the surviving skinheads (which none of them could bring themselves to do, anyway...), everybody would wind up drooling out the last seconds of their lives on an execution table.

Unfortunately, leaving them alive meant they had enemies who might be able to identify them, at some point in the future. Moreover, if they left the prisoners bound up, they'd get loose within a few hours, and then call their gang members for help and payback. (Nobody figured they'd go to the cops -- interstate transport of drugs and possession of an automatic weapon rendered that option... untenable.)

(continued...)
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:36 PM   #37
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

After interrogation, the group learned that the guy with the rifle was trusted lieutenant of the Angels' honcho, Spencer Davidson. They said Davidson had begun to consider expandion of the gang's current turf from Albuquerque up into southern Colorado, and thought they might find a market for meth (legalization had made marijuana sales wholly unprofitable for street dealers, and most of them had moved on).

Two days ago, Davidson had gotten a call from a fixer, who set him up with a someone who had offered them enough money to stake the move nicely, in exchange for surveillance of Academy Club staffers Dave Shelton and Melissa Brown, so as to locate one Olivia McShane. The idea, the lieutenant explained, was that they'd try to find McShane, track her back to her home or get hold of her identity information in some other way, and then call everything in to the sponsor.

Given the six-figure price, Davidson had jumped at the opportunity, and sent his men up to Colorado to do the job -- and scout the territory for other business ventures.

The group then spent awhile kicking options around, but in the end went with a suggestion from Randy. The lieutenant had already called Davidson and left a message, and expected a return call any moment. He was to tell Davidson that not only had he secured the purse of "Olivia McShane," but he'd been forced to one-punch her, and that the group had brought her unconscious body back to Morrison, as well.

The lieutenant did as instructed as the party listened closely, and reported that Davidson would arrive in Morrison sometime the next day. That gave the group about 12 hours to get the critically-wounded to a hospital (take one of the gang's SUVs, park it outside an emergency room with the wounded inside, and then scamper), prepare a reception, and set up a way out, should things go pear-shaped and the guy show up with a combat-effective entourage or, better yet, a powerful mage -- or, best of all, both.

Meanwhile, A.J. reported that the missing SUV remained parked in Missy Brown's neighborhood, which meant at least two more skinheads were still at large, in the Denver area, and would likely return within a few hours.

That ended the session.

-----------------------------------

Funny Quotes

Debbie: Everybody! Take note! I shot a bad guy! I killed somebody!
Bennie: I've known you for years and, in all that time, those are the last words I would have ever expected to come out of your mouth. Especially when you also did a happy-dance.

Randy: What's with the name, "Angels of Purity"? I thought you guys were supposed to be tough. That sounds like you're with one of those "born-again-virgin" groups.

Frank: At this point, I've committed more felonies than any cop, ever.
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Old 10-22-2015, 07:59 PM   #38
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

Session 11 of Facets took place last Sunday. It was another short-ish session, but one packed with events. G&AInc had a busy night at work, so he came in late, and Rebecca had an important social obligation and couldn't make it, this time.

Characters Present:


Trooper Frank Moses -- A former Marine currently working as a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP), based out of the Section 13 office in Moab, under Lt. Lee Exeter. Moses works with 4CSAR as needed, and has an interest in Doc Bascher. This character wholly replaces Deputy Diego Torres, by retcon. -- Played by Mike H.

Dr. Henrietta "Indiana" Johnson -- A personable, age 29-and-holding Anthropologist who specializes in the pre-Columbian indigenous people of the American Desert Southwest. A Native of Apache Junction, AZ, "Indiana" is good with people and has been fascinated by American Indian religion and folklore since she was a child. Henrietta speaks Apache fluently, and not-so-secretly wishes archaeology could be more like Raiders of the Lost Ark and less like digging in a trench with a trowel and a toothbrush -- Played by Debbie S.

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 & Appel, Inc.

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. -- Normally played by Samantha H.

Dr. Arthur "A.J." Jamison -- a retired NASA scientist with a home in one of Moab's nicer canyon sub-developments, who volunteers for 4CSAR because he needs to do something to get out of the house. Considers himself responsible for Sunmi Jones, who is enough of a science-geek that the two of them can actually hold a conversation. -- Played by Anten S.

Sunmi Jones -- A Korean-American prodigy and student of chemistry at Utah Valley University, who spent most of her childhood with her deceased mother's family in Korea, but has come to Utah to attend college and work with her father's petroleum exploration firm. Somewhat moe, awkward-but-cute, glasses-wearing nerd girl, who only volunteers with 4CSAR because volunteer work is required for her degree. -- Played by Rebecca W., who missed this session, so her character didn't do much.

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, even before it was possessed by what appears to be a benign spirit) -- played by Bernetta W.

Aurelia R. Lockrin -- A young woman with a shady past who teaches History at Grand County High School (Home of the Red Devils!), and volunteers for 4CSAR because she's a bit of an adrenalin junkie, and likes the companionship. -- played by Bennie Rae P.

NPCs Present

Grunt: Beatrice's ally, a large pit-bull possessed by a protective "foo" spirit.

Hops About: A nunnupi (one of the "Little People" from Comanche folklore) who frequently takes the form of a quadruple-sized magpie. The party has determined that she is a faerie, and as such is mischievous, rather random, inhuman and appallingly dangerous. Likes ants, ham sandwiches and Looney Tunes.

Twirls Thrice: Another nunnupi, and the sister of Hops About. More laconic and observant than her rather hyperactive sister, but at least as dangerous in her own way. Likes ants, ham sandwiches, and particularly Bugs Bunny.

-------------------------------

Following last session's firefight and subsequent interrogation of the biker lieutenant in charge, as well as the hook baited with the falsely-reported capture of the putative "Olivia McShane," the members of the group figured they had until dawn to complete preparations for the arrival of the leader of the Angels of Purity. It's about a six-to-eight-hour drive from Albuquerque to Denver, for those in enough of a hurry, especially if they bent the speed laws, a bit.

Fortunately, the night was still fairly young and Denver a large enough metropolitan area that some important resources remained available. Doc Bascher did yeoman's work to stabilize the critically wounded, and then Sunmi loaded them in one of their trucks and headed toward St. Anthony Hospital up in Lakewood. Her job was to drop the truck in a lot close to the hospital, walk away, call in the location and then wait in an all-night restaurant for someone to come and get her.

Meanwhile, Frank and Henrietta headed to big-box home-improvement places and stopped at the sporting goods section of a Wal-Mart, and came back with plenty of 12-guage shotgun shells, plastic tubing, nails, gasoline, styrofoam coolers, anodized aluminum cookie sheets, batteries, kitchen timers and miscellenous small electric parts.

While away, Arthur laptap pinged him, and he noted that the bug planted on their vehicle indicated the approach of the two supremacist bikers who had apparently been watching Melissa Brown. The truck came all the way up to the house, where the party jumped the two Angels of Purity bikers. Doc Bascher shot one in the buttocks with a tranquilizer dart gun ("WTF?!"), the other surrendered, even though Arthur dropped his crossbow (crit fail).

The surprise had been total, and the guy had gotten out of the truck with a milk shake in one hand and a bit MacDonald's bag in the other. The group zip-tied them both, and then took them down to the basement, where Doc Bascher tranquilized the ambulatory guy, too. Randy, who was napping on the second floor, wasn't needed (also, G&AInc hadn't shown up yet, anyway...).

Once they returned, Arthur, Beatrice, Aurelia and Frank got busy in the garage of the skinhead's house, which had all the tools needed to build and maintain a functioning meth lab. By the time the sky had started to pale in the east, they'd completed some "toe-popper" shotgun shell traps, three large napalm canisters and pipe-bombs -- the last two with fairly functional radio detonators.

Arthur put up a web of surveillance cameras not only along the long driveway leading in from the public highway, but also around the entire perimeter. Nobody would be able to creep up by surprise and flank the group.

(Arthur and Beatrice have engineering and mechanical skills, including electronics and explosives, while Aurelia revealed yet more of her shady background by helping to rig lethal traps. Frank's military background also proved quite useful. It helped that nobody really wanted to try anything fancy -- they just wanted simple devices that provided a reliable video feed, or went *boom*...).

Just before dawn, Beatrice peeled back some of the shingles and cut a hole in the roof of the house, on the slope opposite the front of the house so it couldn't be seen. She wanted a quick escape route, as she planned to put herself below the crest with the .30-06. They decided they'd pick up Sunmi when the shooting was over, and then everyone took short naps in shifts.


(continued...)
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Last edited by tshiggins; 10-24-2015 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:00 PM   #39
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

At about 10:30 a.m., or 13 hours after the coerced telephone call and much longer than anybody expected, Arthur announced that the surveillance cameras he'd installed along out on Highway 285 had picked up 10 motorcycles ridden by bikers flying Angels of Purity colors. That put them only about five minutes away, and everybody scrambled to take their positions.

Beatrice raced to her sniper's nest on the roof. Aurelia, Randy and Doc Bascher set up inside the house, and Henrietta, Arthur and Frank took cover in the trees and underbrush on the side of the gravel driveway, opposite the house. Inside, Randy put a Pantera CD in the stereo, and cranked it up to "11" just as the bikers pulled up.

The bikers came to a stop and roared their engines before shutting down their bikes, and then reacted with confusion when nobody came out to greet them. The clear leader and one of his lieutenants began to walk toward the nearby kitchen door, as several club members at the back of the column headed for the front door.

Unnerved by the potential flanking maneuver, and the fact that the first couple of bikers didn't step on any toe-poppers, Beatrice pitched a pipe-bomb down the slope of the roof. Realizing that the plan hadn't survived contact with his allies, Frank detonated the napalm canisters hidden in the vehicles near the front of the column of motorcycles, and all hell broke loose.

A particularly effective vehicle explosion blew the door off one truck and into the spine of the lieutenant ("Clint") at the back door (solid success on the roll to set up that bomb, and a critical failure on the guy's Dodge...), half the bikers reacted with stunned amazement, several others (including the boss -- this wasn't his first rodeo) dove for cover. One of those at the front of the house landed on a toe-popper (which squibbed out) while a second one up front went prone on another toe-popper and lost a knee.

Meanwhile, Frank opened up with his confiscated M-16 (suppression fire), Arthur dropped one with his crossbow and started to reload while monitoring his cameras, Doc went on overwatch from the kitchen window, and Henrietta exercised her newfound faith in aiming. Beatrice chucked a couple more bombs that prevented Boss Bartholomew from reaching his bike (which Frank had perforated by then, anyway), but a second lieutenant ("Jonesy") reached his saddle-bags and came up with a Ingram Mac 10 chambered for .45 ACP just as Beatrice sent Grunt to take down the Angel Bart.

Jonesy took aim at the dog, but hesitated to shoot into close combat long enough for Randy to leap through the (already open) kitchen window and tackle him -- much to the annoyance of both Doc Bascher (she had a bead on the guy) and Frank (who did not want friendlies in the kill-box).

Several of the bikers wigged out and scampered, Jonesy tried to shoot Randy with the Ingram but missed (Randy had him grappled, by then) and the Boss tried to put a round in Grunt before Aurelia popped out, pointed an arrow at his face ("WTF?!") and told him to surrender. He complied, and the rest of the bikers followed suit -- much to Beatrice's annoyance (she still had a pipe-bomb left).

With that, the group zip-tied everybody who wasn't missing any parts and stashed them in the basement, added the body of Clint to the two already in the meth lab, and searched the bikes. They came up with the (now somewhat-battered) FN-FAL Boss Bartholomew tried to reach, the Ingram (which Frank advised they get rid of), added to their now-sizable collection of 9-mils, and discovered a sturdy, metal briefcase that Aurelia said had a lock tough enough that she'd need some time to get it open.

They hurriedly loaded Bartholomew, Brandon (the lieutenant already captured) and Jonesy into their own vehicles, along with all the loot; roofied everybody else from Doc Bascher's supply of dog tranquilizers; set fire to the meth lab and headed west, deeper into the mountains -- strobe-lights from emergency vehicles flashing in their rear-view mirrors from a mile back.

Aurelia rang up her ally, Wren, and asked her to check Google Earth for a place to hole up, and learned about an abandoned mine a few miles away (pretty common in the Colorado Front Range, actually, and since many feature piles of orange mill-tailings laced with traces of mercury and arsenic, most people keep their distance).

The group made their way to the mine and dragged the Angels into a dilapidated outbuilding. Aurelia got the briefcase open, and found two small Starbuck's coffee thermoses, a notebook and $50,000 in non-sequential 20s and 50s (brief celebration!).

A quick perusal of the notebook revealed a set of questions that closely resembled the sorts of things "Olivia" was expected to supply in her membership application to the Academy Club, as well as several devoted to any knowledge she might have about any "esoteric" books owned by her supposed great-grandfather, Oliver McShane.

This triggered a round of speculation that basically broke down into three main theories:

The Frank Theory: The bikers were hired by the Academy Club, which might not actually have Oliver's books and wanted them, desperately.

The Beatrice Corollary: The Academy Club might have hired the bikers, and might have the books, but perhaps they could only be opened by someone of McShane's blood.

The Aurelia-Arthur Theory (and the most popular): The Academy Club's old mysterious adversaries had hired the bikers and likely had a mole inside the establishment. They either wanted to know the contents of the books and anything else "Olivia" might know about them, in which case it might mean the Academy Club didn't have the books either (although the Beatrice Corollary may be in effect).

With that, A.J. pointed out that the group had just engaged in a lot of needless speculation. After all, they had Bartholomew in the room, and that meant they could just ask him.

At that point, we stopped for the night. The interrogation will lead off the next session.

-----------------------------------------------------

Funny Quotes

Frank: The reality is setting in. If we walk around like Boy Scouts, selling cookies and popcorn, we're just gonna wind up dead.

Henrietta: If they don't like the tranq gun, they get the real guns. Lets hope the tranq gun works.

Frank: Okay! I have a plan!
Aurelia: Does it involve killing people?
Frank: No! Well... no. Maybe?

Bennie Rae <listens to Mike discuss how to make toe-poppers and home-style napalm>: And how do you know so much about this?
Bernetta: The look on her face was awesome!

Henrietta: It's amazing what we go through for a purse.
Aurelia: It's not just a purse! I spent hours making up that fake paperwork!

Debbie: You make your best "Throwing" roll so far, and drop the pipe-bomb right in the lap of the guy we need to take alive.
Bernetta: I haven't detonated it, yet!

Beatrice: Wait! I have more pipe-bombs!
Aurelia (to Frank): What were you thinking?
Frank: I know, right?
__________________
--
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.

Last edited by tshiggins; 10-24-2015 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Made some mistakes in the sequence of events
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Old 11-24-2015, 07:37 PM   #40
tshiggins
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Default Re: Campaign: Facets

Session 12 took place recently and, while the session was a bit short, the PCs played things smart and wound up with some solid leads.

Character's Present:


Trooper Frank Moses -- A former Marine currently working as a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP), based out of the Section 13 office in Moab, under Lt. Lee Exeter. Moses works with 4CSAR as needed, and has an interest in Doc Bascher. This character wholly replaces Deputy Diego Torres, by retcon. -- Played by Mike H.

Dr. Henrietta "Indiana" Johnson -- A personable, age 29-and-holding Anthropologist who specializes in the pre-Columbian indigenous people of the American Desert Southwest. A Native of Apache Junction, AZ, "Indiana" is good with people and has been fascinated by American Indian religion and folklore since she was a child. Henrietta speaks Apache fluently, and not-so-secretly wishes archaeology could be more like Raiders of the Lost Ark and less like digging in a trench with a trowel and a toothbrush -- Played by Debbie S.

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 & Appel, Inc.

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. -- played by Samantha H.

Dr. Arthur "A.J." Jamison -- a retired NASA scientist with a home in one of Moab's nicer canyon sub-developments, who volunteers for 4CSAR because he needs to do something to get out of the house. Considers himself responsible for Sunmi Jones, who is enough of a science-geek that the two of them can actually hold a conversation. -- Played by Anten S.

Sunmi Jones -- A Korean-American prodigy and student of chemistry at Utah Valley University, who spent most of her childhood with her deceased mother's family in Korea, but has come to Utah to attend college and work with her father's petroleum exploration firm. Somewhat moe, awkward-but-cute, glasses-wearing nerd girl, who only volunteers with 4CSAR because volunteer work is required for her degree. -- Played by Rebecca W.

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, even before it was possessed by what appears to be a benign spirit) -- played by Bernetta W.

Aurelia R. Lockrin -- A young woman with a shady past who teaches History at Grand County High School (Home of the Red Devils!), and volunteers for 4CSAR because she's a bit of an adrenalin junkie, and likes the companionship. -- played by Bennie Rae P., who was absent this session.

NPCs Present

Grunt: Beatrice's ally, a large pit-bull possessed by a protective "foo" spirit.

Hops About: A nunnupi (one of the "Little People" from Comanche folklore) who frequently takes the form of a quadruple-sized magpie. The party has determined that she is a faerie, and as such is mischievous, rather random, inhuman and appallingly dangerous. Likes ants, ham sandwiches and Looney Tunes.

Twirls Thrice: Another nunnupi, and the sister of Hops About. More laconic and observant than her rather hyperactive sister, but at least as dangerous in her own way. Likes ants, ham sandwiches, and particularly Bugs Bunny.

---------------------------

The session started with the interrogation of Brandon and Bartholomew Krieger, whom the group had taken to an abandoned mine not far into the mountains, along Highway 285 west of Morrison, Colorado.

Bart Krieger negotiated as best he could, given his position, but in the end agreed to provide the party with as much information as possible about the people who hired them for the surveillance job, in exchange for guarantees about the safety of his injured brother.

He said he’d received a call from a guy he knew only as Stoney Pete, a fixer out of Houston who sometimes tossed jobs their way. Pete called him less than a week ago, and offered them a job following some straight-edger citizens up in Denver. Since the client was offering in the low six figures (minus Pete’s cut) for a simple job with no wet-work required, Bart jumped at the opportunity. He’d started to consider expansion of the Albuquerque club’s meth distribution network up into southern Colorado, anyway, and the bounty for the job would capitalize the move, nicely.

The Angel leader said that, when he’d gotten the call, the previous day, about the apparent kidnapping of Olivia McShane, he’d decided the job had either gone unexpectedly well or turned into a complete cock-up, but wasn’t sure which. He’d immediately contacted Stoney Pete to ring up the principal for additional instructions, given the unexpected development.

The fixer got back to him within a few hours, and told him a face for the principal would meet him and a single associate in the Lobby Bar of the DoubleTree Hotel in Colorado Springs, at 9 a.m., with additional instructions. Bart said he and 10 of his crew had mounted up and ridden five hours, to reach the Springs by late evening. He’d gone in to meet the principal’s representative, the next morning.

He described her as a gold-plated female who, as with many wealthy women who take care of themselves, could have been anywhere from her mid-20s to mid-40s. She had brown hair and sunglasses, dressed professionally, and carried the metal briefcase with her.

She had instructed Bart to give the supposed Olivia McShane the first contents of the first Starbucks thermos, and then ask her the questions listed in the notebook. She told the Angel boss to carefully note everything said, and ask any additional questions that might seem obvious, as followups.

Once the interrogation was complete, she’d said, Bart was to have McShane drink the second potion, and then drop her off near her hotel. She said McShane wouldn’t remember anything that happened the previous two days, and recommended that he dose her with some liquor before giving her the second potion.

Once complete, Bart was to call a number and read the responses to the recording machine that would answer. She’d assured him the recorder would have enough time for him to leave a detailed message. In exchange for the extra effort, she’d offered him the $50,000 bonus, and said Olivia should suffer no lasting harm.

With that, the group determined that the first thermos contained a potion that compelled the drinker to tell the truth, while the second likely acted as a magical “super-roofie.” They decided to test this theory by having Bart drink the second potion (over his strenuous objections), and watched as he passed out after they’d forced it down his throat.

At that point, the group kept their word and dropped both brothers off at Denver Health Medical Center, downtown (deliberately choosing a different hospital than the one at which they’d dropped the critically wounded members of the motorcycle gang, previously), and then kicked the theories around a bit. In the end, they decided they needed additional information, and felt the obvious next step was a quick road trip to Colorado Springs.

(continued...)
__________________
--
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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