- 1 Random Notes For Eventual Copy Into a Blood Web Page
- 2 Introduction
- 3 Game Night July 5, 2012 - Hunting and Hunted
- 4 Plot Infliction I - Zombie's Attack!
- 5 Game Night July 12, 2012 - I see dead people
- 6 Plot Infliction II - Pause in Brooks, AB
- 7 Game Night July 20, 2012 - Vampire Hunter
- 8 Plot Infliction III - Delivering A Head
- 9 Game Night July 26, 2012 - Shot In The Head
- 10 Plot Infliction IV - Two Down, Three To Go
- 11 Game Night August 3, 2012 - High River
- 12 Plot Infliction V - Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you?
- 13 Game Night August 18, 2012 - New Ally?
- 14 Plot Infliction VI - Telepathic Chat With The Creepy Old Lady
- 15 Game Night August 29, 2012 - Carfuffle In Cochrane
- 16 Plot Infliction VII - Fun With Zombies
Random Notes For Eventual Copy Into a Blood Web Page
- Two types of magic - Chaos and Order.
- Magic wasn't as strong as it is now, so few older vampires bothered to utilized it.
- Setting is a much-hotter Earth. Not much settlement near the equator. Most live in the north.
- There is a functioning cell phone network. No Internet.
Main character is a vampire named Goust. He works on a human farm somewhere in the vast prairies of former Canada. (Current politics t.b.d.) His boss/mentor/master is an old vampire named Trinidad - he's a mentalist vampire who didn't use any points to make himself look human. He be ugly. Goust is the only other mentalist at the farm, so Trinidad has been personally mentoring him recently.
Game Night July 5, 2012 - Hunting and Hunted
Goust leaves the farm for the night as he has been given a mission by Trinidad - kidnap a specific gang member in the nearby city. The gang hangs out at a particular bar, so that is Goust's destination. He is enroute when an accidental encounter with a small yapping dog brings him to the attention of three punks - members of the same gang, but none of which are his quarry. They get mouthy as only young punks can and attempt to mug him. The fight leaves Goust wounded, two of the punks really dead, and the third unconscious. Sirens in the distance inspire Goust to leave the scene, but only after grabbing the unconscious guy for a late night snack.
Healed up, Goust continues his walk to the bar. He makes it past the bouncer's and after a short search finds his target. Long boring hours go by as he waits for the target to leave the bar, which he does about an hour before dawn. Goust follows and upon exiting the bar, realizes that there is someone following him while he is following the gang member. Goust sends a quick text message to Trinidad to let him know what's up and Trinidad responds that he is on the way to check it out. However, the person following Goust is catching up.
Goust catches up to the gang member at about the same time the unknown dude catches up to Goust and attack him. The fight is long and the guys seems to be able to take a lot of punishment. At one point, his hoodies falls and reveals the glassy eyes and bullet hole in his forhead. The gang member flees at this point, only to be skewered by a sword, weilded by a one armed woman coming from another direction.
Trinidad finally shows up and beheads the foe Goust was fighting and quickly runs to kill the one-armed woman. He then tells Goust to find a place to hide and feed to heal up.
Before leaving, Trinidad grabs Goust by the throat and blasts him with some kind of chaos magic. He's left feeling confused.
Plot Infliction I - Zombie's Attack!
You get a text message from someone at the farm. "We're under attack! Everyone's who's out needs to get back to the farm ASAP."
Shortly followed by a text from Trinidad: "Do not go back to the farm. Hide in the city for the day and I'll contact you next-night. If you don't hear from me by the middle of next-night, go to Barlow for funds and then make your way to Calgary. There's a woman named Elie at a brothel called Underworld you should meet."
Barlow is a mechanic in the city you've had dealings with before. You've got Trinidad marked and his mark is moving fast towards the farm - he's probably on his motorcycle.
Goust follows the instructions. First finding a good hiding spot to hunker down for the day. And then, assuming that he makes it to the next night without drama, waits until midnight before sallying forth. Well, actually, not sallying at all - being stealthy instead of fast. 2 dice to sneak, and half movement. Pausing regularly for locates, and keeping to a route with cover - the whole cautious thang.
And double-check to make sure that the cell is on silent.
There's drama. You find an abandoned house in dis-repair and hunker down in the basement. While you're waiting, you keep a mental eye on various marks you've placed on the people back at the farm. As one of the only mentalists, you've got all the vampires there marked for coordination purposes. Before Trinidad gets there, you notice a couple of the marks disappear. Another disappears as Trinidad arrives. Then there's a lull. Shortly before dawn, another marks goes... then another... and then Trinidad's mark goes. After Trinidad, it's like fireworks as all of the marks on vampires at the farm vanish in rapid succession until there's none left.
Well, bollocks. Nothing like having all your allies slaughtered, including your mentor which is the most powerful entity you know of.
- Assume that vampires are being targeted by the zombie horde. (Probably some sort of cosmic revenge thing.)
- Assume that there might be some way of them homing in on me.
- Assume that everything will go wrong.
So, screw the whole 'wait until midnight' shit. With Trinidad down, I make my way immediately to Barlow.
You exit the house and immediately have that uncomfortable feeling you get when dawn is approaching. The distant sky is already starting to show some colour. Fortunately, Barlow's garage is near the center of town and not far from where you are. He lives in a small apartment above his shop and you make it there easily. It's dark inside.
Here's an important question: Do I have Barlow marked? And, if so, is he inside?
I do a locate - trying to sense if anything is amiss. Is the door locked? More importantly: is it intact?
You don't have him marked. Nothing appears to be amiss. If the door wasn't locked, something would be amiss. Everything seems secure.
If I've got his phone number in memory, I ring him. Otherwise, I knock.
You phone him and can hear a phone ringing on the other side of the door. Nobody answers. You try knocking (loudly) and after a minute or so you hear someone swearing and moving towards the door. Eventually it opens and Barlow comes out, weilding a shot-gun. Whatever verbal abuse he was about to unleash stops short as he sees who you are.
"Oh. One of you. Y'know, us mere mortals like to sleep around this time." He looks outside. "Actually, shouldn't you be in a coffin about now or something?"
"Barlow. Glad to see you haven't been killed by zombies. Yet. Because everyone else has. Before he was killed, Trinidad told me to come to you for funds."
I pause for a moment to let that sink in.
"With that in mind, I'd also like to ask you some favours. First, and most obviously, I'd would like to stay here for the day. Second, and less obviously, I was hoping you might be able to sharpen this:"
I pull out the sword.
"It currently only has a severance rating of 2, and I'd really rather it be higher. Because I noticed that the damn zombies are very hard to kill with regular damage, but seem to be effectively stopped with beheading. Also, I imagine they'd be considerably less dangerous without limbs. Thirdly, I'd very much like to acquire a means of transportation that is faster than walking."
"Also, you'd be welcome to come with me at dusk. I imagine it's possible that a zombie horde might be ripping through this town soonish."
There's a pause as Barlow tries to determine if A: you're insane, B: this is a weird joke, C: you're serious. You think he's probably leaning towards A. While still holding tight to the shotgun, he pulls out a phone and checks it, then looks back at you. "There's a message from Trinidad to let you use the car he's get stashed here." He reaches around behind the doorjam and you can hear keys jingling. He fumbles with them for a bit until he finds the right ones and hands them to you. "I'd recommend not taking it into a big city as it's pretty obvious you're a vamp inside. It's got a full charge and the secondary fuel tank is full. It's in stall 8 in the yard." He then closes the door on you and you hear a few deadbolts clanging shut.
Heh. Since I just called him, I'll assume that Barlow has my number if he finds a sudden urge to talk to me again. In the mean time, there's no chance to parlez, so I find what's waiting for me in stall 8. I'm hoping that it has suitably blacked-out interior so that I can use it as a refuge during daylight.
If no further panicking is required to avoid the rising nuclear-powered doom in the sky, I try to rest, and probe the corners of my mind for sparks of chaos that are new.
In stall 8 there's a largish vehicle. At first you're dismayed as it seems like just any other vehicle, but after getting inside and messing with the controls you find the mechanism to raise the sun shields. All of the windows become opaque and then they all activate to show displays of what's going on outside. It's not quite as viewable as simple windows, but it's enough that you can drive it in daylight without worry. Checking the outside while the sun shields are up, you confirm that all the windows are opaque.
After sitting in the car and raising the sun shields, you relax and attempt to probe your mind. Your mind is mildly offended at the probe and slaps you. Just kiddin'. You notice that you're aware of something that you were not aware of before. It feels kind of like something you've marked, only you can tell it's not actually a mark. Further probing reveals that there are a lot of them, of varying strength. There's one that you'd guess is a couple blocks away, and one that is further than that, probably on the outskirts of town (not the outskirts where the farm is, but the opposite side). Those two are the strongest feelings, but there's also a whole bunch of other ones around the second one.
Obvious first move: MARK THE CAR.
Might as well try out these sun shields. Let's cruise past the location of the nearby mark, then go find a secluded place to park for the day.
Following the nearby mark, you make your way to an alley and it seems like the mark is coming from inside a dumpster.
The juxtaposition of curiosity and cats comes to mind.
Screw it. Assuming that the alley is only going to be getting ambient sunlight for the near future, I'll jump out SNEAK SNEAK SNEAK over to the dumpster. First I'll listen outside of it, then I'll warily look inside for my mark-like entity. The plan being to have this take just a couple minutes before I'm back behind sun shields.
Speaking of cats... you find a dead one. Looks recently dead - less than a day. And it's what seems to have the mark-but-not-a-mark.
Well, that's just messed up. Is the mechanism of the cat's demise obvious?
Regardless, if there's something heavy to put on the lid of the dumpster such that it will prevent a zombie cat from emerging, I'll do that. Then I'll park the nosferatobile in the least-conspicious spot nearby and hunker down for the day.
- What kind of car is this? (You knew I couldn't resist asking about car details for long.)
- Are the deployed sun shields more conspicuous as a vampire-mechanism when parked than, say, just having a tarp laid over it?
- When the sun shields are not deployed, is there anything else about the car that makes it conspicuous?
Nothing obvious about the cat. Doesn't look like it was violently killed or anything like that. As you're handling it, you get sense that you can connect to it somehow, some kind of instinct letting you know that if you had available magic points you might be able to use them. Though something tells you you'd still be a bit short with only 2 points.
The dumpster lacks a lid...
- Car is a 2-door coupe. Electric engine with bio-fuel engine backup.
- Yes, more conspecuous. Tarp might let some ambient light in though...
- Nah, looks like an ordinary car.
As I'm handling it?!?! My character is a freaky dead pet fondler now? GROSS.
Back to the car. 2-door coupé - are there back seats? And does it have trunk space sufficient for an adult human? And does the trunk space connect to the nominal interior? I might obtain a tarp later as a disguise for the parked car, hiding the activated sun shields from casual observation.
...I can't get over how I was handling a dead cat I found in a dumpster. Like, just turning it over in my hands? Or was spinning it around nunchuku-style to test it for weight as a weapon? Or was I sighting down its stiffened form for straightness? Did I sniff it? What other freaky-ass things does my character do with dead pets that I should know about?
Which reminds me tangentially about transcranial magnetic stimulation I've been reading about lately. Among the more interesting effects that can be derived from focussing the magnetic flux on various parts of the brain are: bypassing people's morals, triggering a sense of "religious experience", and preventing people from voluntary movement. And the crazy part is that the people who suddenly went completely still when the field was applied reported that they didn't move because they didn't want to move.
Yes, you sniffed it. Deeply.
Yes on all the car questions. It's kind of like my Integra.
Kinda creepy on the brain stuff. I can imagine a dystopia where we have implants to makes us want to obey our evil overlords.
Did the dead cat smell bad? Because, if not, it might be handy to keep it in my trunk to experiment with later when I've got more points...
Actually, no. That's probably a bad idea, considering that if I can have access to its weakly-mark-like function, others might too. Others that I probably don't want able to track me THAT easily.
The car's Aquinas-ness probably contributes greatly to its survival prospects. Which is handy.
So where to next? Hunker down for the day, or start on the road? Or check out those other marks.
Find a shady spot and hunker down. All things being equally likely to incur the wrath of the encounter tables, Goust would rather not be too active during the day unless there's an obvious benefit.
When the miserable daylight fades, I roll over to Bloody Queen for an O-type Blizzard. I make sure to finish it before I head into CAPES R US, because they don't like customers getting bloodstains on the purple velvet linings of their best capes.
Game Night July 12, 2012 - I see dead people
The day passed uneventfully. After the sun went down, Goust drove the car to the location of the other 'marks' that he sensed earlier. What he found was a graveyard, with the strongest mark coming from a fresh grave. Deciding to dig up a grave, he broke into a maintenance shack to find some shovels. Fortunately, a couple of rednecks saw him and offered to help. Ok, maybe offered isn't quite the right word. What actually happened was they took Goust for a petty thief and attempted some sort of citizens arrest. A number of bullets and telekinetic punches later, one of them regained consciousness just in time to hear his partner's neck crack. Then he offered to help in the form of begging for mercy and doing whatever Goust told him to do, while Goust fed on his companion.
Goust and his redneck companion Joe dug up a coffin and found the body inside. There wasn't anything special about it, just a body.
Further speculation had to be shelved as they were suddenly attacked by four Zombies emerging from a van some 50 meters away. Armed with rifles they shot at Goust at long range while Goust attempted to flee to his car. 3 of the 4 were fairly useless, but the 4th had some shock shooter skill and landed hit after hit, filling Goust with bullet holes.
Barely making it to the car, Goust and Joe drove away. A few bullets impacted the car, but didn't cause any damage and the car was significantly faster than the pursuing van.
On the way to the next town, Goust sensed a nearby mark and stopped to investigate. It was a dead deer near the road. Seems the new marks are simply pointing him to something dead. Further on, they were blocked by a couple of ATV's and a motorcycle on the road. Seemed to be an impromptu toll booth by some losers. Fight fight fight... two of them dead and the other incapacitated. Goust fed on one of them to heal and loaded the unconcious guy into the back of the car for later snacking.
The sherriff from the town intercepted them shortly after being alerted to the gunfire. He recognized Goust as a vampire, but was also somewhat pleased that the guys that had been harrasing people on the road were dead. In the end he escorted them through town and told them to pass through without stopping.
The next town was a bit larger and had a hospital, which was handy for Joe as he was still seriously wounded from the initial fight with Goust. He stayed at the hospital while Goust found an abandoned house to hunker down during the day.
Plot Infliction II - Pause in Brooks, AB
You spend the day in an abandoned house, undisturbed. At the end of the day Joe texts you and lets you know he has the supplies you requested.
"That is excellent Joe. You have my undead appreciation. Where should I pick up the supplies?"
Brooks is 190 km from Calgary - should be an easy drive for one night. Which makes me suspect that it will be fraught with difficulty. Paranoia suggests that it could initially be in the form of an ambush at the supplies. Will proceed with caution.
Joe: "There's a park near the hospital. I'll be there."
You haven't been to Calgary in a decade or so. But the last time you were there, you had to sneak in and out of the city on horseback, well away from the roads. The roads themselves had human checkpoints where everyone was searched.
Had to sneak in and out of the city on horseback? Makes a guy question the value of going into the city in the first place. What's there now? Or, what was there 10 years ago that makes sense for Trinidad to want to send me there.
I'll drive by the park for a couple locates before I circle back to pick up the supplies. Paranoia etcetera.
The text from Trinidad was: "Do not go back to the farm. Hide in the city for the day and I'll contact you next-night. If you don't hear from me by the middle of next-night, go to Barlow for funds and then make your way to Calgary. There's a woman named Elie at a brothel called Underworld you should meet."
You're able to pick up the supplies. Rope and duck tape if I remember. Was there anything else? Joe's there with a neck brace and a cast on one of his arms.
Ah yes, I'd remember like it was just a couple nights ago, except if feels like it's actually been weeks. Elie woman / Underworld brothel / Calgary : CHECK.
The full list of supplies wished for was:
- duct tape
- bandages (types sufficient for stopping mortal wounds)
- crow bar
- hack saw
- sharpening implement (grinder or whetstone)
AIF battle suit
If I have a pretty good idea where the boudary checkpoints are around Calgary, I'll turn off the main highway before then and start going along side roads. I'm looking for farms or ranches that might have an off-road conveyance I can borrow.
Ok, you got all of it except the chain saw.
On the way to Calgary......
Game Night July 20, 2012 - Vampire Hunter
Sneak. Evil. Sneak. Sneak. Sneak.
Drive. Drive. Drive.
Sneak. Evil. Evil. PUNCH PUNCH PUNCH.
Plot Infliction III - Delivering A Head
Goust tracks down one of his free-range marked horses the next night. Possibly after obtaining some apples and sugar cubes. Then returns to Calgaryish.
Skill... let's see. Yeah, there's been enough to get Goust to professional. Bump him up to 30 skill. What is he going up in?
You eventually find one of the horses and make your way back to Calgary. Jenny meets you near the brothel and leads you in. Ellie is eagerly waiting for the vampire head.
The fundamental urge is to play a pure combatant, but that kind of specialization only works in a team. So instead lets apply a stage of the most effective occupation in the Dave-verse: SCOUT.
All 5 points of stealth will be pumped into HIDE. Because that's how I play - with lots of diving behind cover and using reflexive-hide.
I present Evil Pink Yoda with the blood-soaked shirt containing the horrific visage of the late Tom Billups. And then I wait patiently, trying to cultivate a controlled-lupine demeanour at all times.
You may want to rethink the hide thing... after my last game I was thinking there should be a pretty high negative for reflexive hiding in the middle of combat when the enemy knows what cover you dove behind. :)
Ellie examines the head briefly and puts it aside. She then speaks in her gravelly voice.
"Well, laddy, you have achieved your first task. Excellent. The first bit of information I impart upon you is something you may have already guessed, but it's a neccessary foundation for further revelations. You are a necromancer. You have the ability to summon a consciousness from the Chaos realm and channel it into a dead body. Seems Trinidad imparted this ability upon you."
You sense Jenny squirm a bit behind you. The two goons in the room remain impassive.
Dammit. What's the approximate penalty on mid-combat reflexive hides?
Without the power to vanish ninja-wise, scout is less useful. Maybe pure grunt might be more apt after all...
"Well, Ellie, can you elaborate a bit about how exactly a necromancer goes about summoning a consciousness from the Chaos realm and channel it into a zombie?" I pause, to judge how much Jenny squirms. Because I'm evil. "Or, more specifically, who do I have to kill to get personal zombification tutoring?"
Depends on the circumstances, but I'd say anywhere from -5 to -20.
Ellie: "Your next target is a vampire in Okotoks. Her name is Espada. She's only just arrived in the area and is masquarading as a street walker. She shouldn't be too difficult to find."
Fair enough. I'll stick with SCOUT, and maxxed hide. I do enough stashing of stuff to have that be valuable in this world, and the bumped awareness is the real value regardless. Stamina and bonuses, s'il vous plait.
"Out of curiosity, is there any particular reason why this Espada individual is a target?"
Scout: 10 stamina, +2 duck, +3 awareness, +5 hide.
Ellie: "Nah, just cleaning out some of the preditors so the flock can grow. I'd butcher you if you were boring, but I predict you may make things interesting around here. If you live, that is. Heh."
"By your leave, Mistress. Do you have any parting instructions for me?" Probably not, but it doesn't hurt to have Usefulness Points™ for the scary psychopath to tally up in their mental accounting of what order everybody should die in.
I try to lure Jenny to walk out with me, for a chat. "Care for a walk, or a short ride?"
Ellie: "Don't get killed." She then goes back to examining the severed head you brought her.
Jenny looks at you uncertainly. "Should I bring garlic and holy water?"
I groom my beard thoughtfully. "I can assure you that I would only ever fight you in self-defense, and even then would probably try to ask for clarification before actually striking. No, I'm just interested in some meta-data about this organization I appear to be an appendage of, and I don't feel like badgering Ellie or her scary guards. I would consider it a favour, and would be in your debt."
"...sure. Let's go somewhere nice and public though. There's a tavern nearby." She leads you to a bar called 'The Black Wind Pub'. No bouncers, and most everyone inside seems civil. Seems like a place to socialize rather than start a bar fight. You get a few looks as you go inside, but most ignore you. There appears to be one person in a corner that has a vibe of 'if you cause trouble, I kick your ass', that most people seem to be weary of.
"So, what do you want to know. I'm just a lacky, I don't know much."
In a different universe, I'd tightbeam a text to the bouncer that he can consider me backup. Partially because I can appreciate the oasis of safe socialization, and partially because I think it might mess with his head. Whatever. Goust will act demurely.
"Well, first of all, even an approximate idea of scope of the organization would be meaningful. Is it just Ellie, you, and a terrifying handful of goons? Or are there hundreds of goons taking orders from Ellie - and is she just the local representative of a larger organization? And what's the main function of this organization? Is it some vague engine of post-apocalyptic idealism, or is it a run-of-the-mill Dave-verse Gang?"
Jenny: "Um, I don't think there's much organization... It's mostly Ellie and the people she hires. What's a 'Dave-verse'? She has people coming and going all the time, usually asking her questions and stuff. Usually I'm not allowed in the room for that. I don't think she has a 'main function' or anything, but it's kinda hard to figure her out so there might be?"
She seems a bit uncomfortable. You get the feeling she isn't asked questions a lot.
Game Night July 26, 2012 - Shot In The Head
Ride drive drive. Sneak. Hide. Sneak.
Saunter. Taunt. Punch punch punch. Hide.
PANIC. PUNCH. OW. PUNCH. OW. PUNCH.
Feed. Stalk. Evil. Run. Drive.
Evil. PUNCH. Evil. Punch punch. Ooops.
Plot Infliction IV - Two Down, Three To Go
So, hunker down for the day and head to Ellie next-night?
Indeed. Also, I add head-sized plastic bags and horse treats to my shopping list.
Next night- as you approach Calgary you get a call on your cell.
OK - so... reality question. Is it safe - for now - to assume that cell phones are not going to be a puzzle piece in some larger game of espionage and covert surveillance? But instead are just simple magical-communication plot devices? Because, if it were up to me, there's no way that a cell phone pinging reception 60-times-a-second with cell towers would be left on while infiltrating across a hostile border.
AnyHoo... I check to see if I recognize the number/person calling, then answer. "Beardy McBeard here."
Hmmmm... magical communication plot device. MCPD? MaCPloD? MaCPD? I like that one. From henseforth, cell phones are known as MacPD's.
Ellie's gravelly voice is on the other side. "When you bring the head, have full magic pointage and we'll try to animate a pet for you."
I dump the blunt telekinesis, and try not to openly weep from feeling so naked and vulnerable. Hopefully, the ride into Cal-tuckey takes more than a coupe hours, such that those 2 MBA points will re-mana so that I'm up to my full 3.
Hmmm... I suppose I should keep my Death Sense peeled for particularly cool critters.
On the way, you encounter a bunch of dead things, but most are rotted significantly. The only thing you find that is recently dead is a gopher. Do you take it with you?
Um - no. No Undead Battle Gophers for me at this time. Actually, it might be more effective to have a live subject that can be conveniently deathified immediately pre-zombification.
Which means I'm looking for a stray poodle.
Ellie calls again: "I've already got you a cat. Now hurry up and get here so I can kill it."
Goust hurries up and gets to the crazy cat lady.
As you stash the car and find the horse, you notice that the car's charge is running low. It's likely the secondary generator will kick in soon unless you charge it up.
The horse seems to be getting used to you by now, as it doesn't complain at all when you mount it and it starts heading towards Calgary almost without you directing it.
Reaching Calgary, you meet up with Jenny and you both go the the brothel and find Ellie. She's stroking a lean siamese cat and once she sees you, she smiles evilly, produces a dagger and slits the animal's throat. You know instantly when the cat dies as your corpse sense flashes. Ellie then lifts it by the scruff of the neck and holds it out to you. She doesn't seem to be the least bit phased by the cat's blood gushing down her arm.
"It should be as easy as using any of your other abilities. Just concentrate on the animal and let it happen. I believe you have 3 magic points, and that is the minimum required to raise the dead. When the demon spirit enters, there will be a brief struggle for dominance - a will power contest. It's likely the demon will be unskilled, so that shouldn't be a problem. Once you establish dominance, you should be able to command the zombie at will, and have a telepathic connection to it."
Jenny backs up a bit, and for the first time you notice the two bodyguards tense up a bit as well. They're all eyeing you and the cat.
Assuming you make the attempt, I'll need two 2D6 rolls from you, and 1 percentile roll.
I get the distinct feeling that there's something I'm not being told about this process. Something potentially quite risky.
First 2D6: 8
Second 2D6 : 7
Percentile roll: 64.
It feels similar to when you draw the power for the blunt telekinisis. Except that with the telekinisis, you are drawing power from the other realm, and with this, it's more like opening a door for the other realm and allowing the power to flow through you. You feel a minor consciousness flow through you and into the cat. As it is merging with the cat you feel it try to break away from you. You bitch-slap it with your will power and remain in control.
The cat opens it's eyes and meows at you. You can sense it's consciousness and if you concentrate you can see through it's eyes, hear through it's ears, etc.
Ellie smiles. "Meet your first zombie..." She then goes on to explain more of the process. The first roll was added to your will power + intelligence + magic points used. That total is the total number of points in the character generation of the zombie. The second roll was the will power contest to establish control. The % roll was to see what stage the zombie was.
- 1 - 70: 0 stage
- 71 - 85: 1 stage
- 86 - 95: 2 stages
- 96+: Roll again...
- 1 - 50: 3 stages
- 51 to 95: 4 stages
- 96+: Roll again...
- 1 - 50: 5 stages
- 51 - 95: 6 stages
- 96+: Ref discretion.
So, the vast majority of time, the zombie will be low skill. But every once in a while something nasty comes through.
Ellie: "There are three more items of information to share with you. Two concerning the animation process, and one concerning your adversary. Are you ready for your next target?"
Adversary, eh? That sounds... unpleasant.
"Is the power to make zombies very particular, or is it merely a kind of construct that any powerful mentalist can summon?" I summon Ghlaghghee (pronounced "Fluffy") to my side. "Who or what is next on your death list?"
Ellie: "The power to make zombies must be bestowed on one who has chaos magic ability. Their souls must be opened to the chaos realm. As yet I am unsure how this ability first surfaced, but in time you may be able to pass it on to others."
"Your next target is a particularly cruel vampire who calls himself Blackbird. He likes to toy with his food before he eats it. He's also quite charismatic and has a couple of human underlings with him. They keep by him both for the grotesque spectical of his killings and for the promise of eventual siredom. He is on his way to Calgary from the south and is currently in High River. I believe they plan to stay there another two nights. He is your next target."
"Blackbird. Got it." If there's no indication of something more to be conveyed, Goust and his familiar leave.
So, what stats does the zom-cat have? It seems like the physical stats should be pretty much fixed/limited by its previous incarnation, right? I look forward to feeding it brains.
- Skill: 1
- Stam: 1
- Str: 3
- Spe: 6
- Agi: 6
- Int: 0
- Aw: 3
- WP: 3
- HH: 1
- Mass: 5 kg
Ride ride ride. Drive (charge) drive (charge) drive. Park/hide. Hopefully some place not-too-far from High River.
I tarpify the car for extra hiding, and hide the cat for an external watcher.
Game Night August 3, 2012 - High River
Drive, drive, spot ambush, kill, feed, drive, search, chat, kill, kill, run, sneak.
Plot Infliction V - Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you?
Returning to your car you find that Fluffy has caught a few gophers and eaten their brains.
Gophers have no feelings, so go ahead and kick 'em in the head.
Gophers have no feelings, so go ahead and kick 'em 'till they're dead.
The plan is to drive back to the Marked Horses Zone, ride with Blackbird's head to Calgary, parley with Ellie, obtain a less-holey hoodie. Navigating sans headlights using CatVision™.
Ok, the blurb of her next parley of information is that there is a necromancer occupation you can go up in. Probably doesn't apply to Goust as he's primarially combatant, but it's still an option:
- Intelligence: +1/3
- Zombie Points: +5
- Will Power: +5
- Stamina: 2D
So, a 3rd stage necromancer will have +1 intelligence (handy for geniuses). Zombie points are added to the character generation points of the zombie created. Also, a 3rd stage or higher Necromancer can pass on the Necromancer ability to another chaos magic user - which is what Trinidad did to you. Takes 10 magic points though, so it's difficult unless you've taken the magic ability more than once.
Yeah, I think Goust is going to save the possibility of Necromancer until after at least one more stage of Striker.
While Goust is still in audience with Ellie: "So, there are two more nuggets of information to be earned, ostensibly by killing two more vampire targets. And I'm ready for the next mission, when you give me the information for the hunt. But I'm also curious about what happens after this arrangement is concluded. There's a bigger picture I'm hoping you can fill in for me."
Ellie raises an eyebrow at you and cackles: "I knew you would ask that eventually. Unfortunately, at present you couldn't afford my services... unless you were willing to part with that car of yours. Anyway, your next target is in Black Diamond. It's a ruin of a town, no one lives there, and this is where a vampire has made his home. You'll have to watch out for his dogs."
"Does the dog-pack nosferatu in Black Diamond have a name or description? And, I have no illusions about being able to bargain with you for my exclusive advantage. I meant to suggest that I could have continuing use to you, and would hope that might incrementally buy me some of your tactical favour."
Note to Ghlaghghee: see if you can drag down a crow without damaging its flight capabilities. Do not eat. Really, any bird will do, but a crow would be cool.
Game Night August 18, 2012 - New Ally?
The next target turns out to be a well set up vampire named Benny. Feeling less than thrilled with the information Ellie is providing, Goust decides Benny would make a better ally than enemy... and well Benny would have kicked his ass anyway. A full 4D of telekentic wump will do that. They fought, but not to the death, healed up and went back to Benny's compound.
Plot Infliction VI - Telepathic Chat With The Creepy Old Lady
After nudging your mark, and a brief wait, Ellie contacts you telepathically. "I sense that you have not yet completed your mission. Why do you bother me?" Her telepathic voice sounds like it probably did when she was young, so it's a little difficult at first to match the voice to the ugly old lady with the gravelly voice, but you get used to it.
Telepathically to Ellie: "The probability of my killing the vampire in Black Diamond is very low. He both out-skills me, and out-resources me. Which suggests that I need to be more paranoid in my dealings with you. I am interested in what further information you might have for me, but I'm afraid that I am no longer interested in delivering heads in person. If you like, you can assign a somewhat more achievable target, and I will endeavour to have the head sent to you. Assuming that you would tell me the reward information telepathically, and that I think the target has a favourable probability of success."
Out loud to Benny: "It's also possible that Ellie is just going to send death squads this way. Or whatever her typical M.O. is."
Ellie: "Hmmm, I thought you and he were an about even match. Pity. Heh, I'm guessing you succummed to his out-talking you instead. He's a cunning one. While I understand your paranoia about me I'd save some for him. He'll likely learn all he can about you, wait until you're vunerable, and then kill you. Your next target was actually going to be a bit of a challenge for you... but if you failed on this one, perhaps we should wait until you're less wimpy. Assuming you're not dead."
Benny: "Mmmmm, death squads. Tasty."
To Ellie: "Your warning is duly noted. Let me know what the next target is when you've picked one. If you still require delivery of the head(s), I may require you sending Jenny out for the last leg if my delivery shamblor will cause too much trouble in Calgary."
To Benny: "So, we should scheme some plans. With your technical capabilities and base of operations, and my nascent zombie powers, we could cooperate to become much more effective. According to Ellie, I need to become more powerful in order to be able to grant similar powers to you, which seems right, but we'll have to test that. Do you have any problems with me trading other vampires' heads for further zombie/chaos magic insights from the evil hag?"
Ellie: "Your next target was to be a vampire in Airdrie named Navruzov. He isn't that tough himself, but he has a couple of tough bodyguards - usually carrying machine guns. I was going to suggest using zombies to distract the guards while you found and killed him."
Benny: "No problem. So, how smart are these zombies? It would be handy to have a few guard zombies about during the day. The dogs are good, but an intelligent zombie could be even better."
To Ellie: "I'll look into Navruzov. Feel free to designate a new, alternate target."
To Benny: "Good question! Let's find out. I'm going to head out to reconnoiter a potential Ellie-designated target, and mean to stop off and make myself a human zombie on the way. Maybe several, depending on how things go. Mind if I charge up my car on your grid, and borrow a cooler with an emergency dose of blood? Also, we should exchange 0-point marks and cell phone numbers."
Out of plain old bizzarre curiosity, does my death sense tingle while I'm driving at speed splattering bugs?
Reminder: there was no
skillexperience awarded for the last bout.
Benny: "Actually, one of my captives is nearing the end of their usefulness. They eventually lose hope and become less docile, so I try to get fresh ones now and then to replace the old. How about I bring him up, we have a bit of a feast and then you try your zombification on him?"
Goust hides his expression as best he can behind his considerable beard. "Let's not pretend that either of us is quite ready for the needless temptation of having the other helplessly feeding at this stage in our partnership. Your value to me is as a techy, keeping this compound functional in a manner I cannot, and I think that is worth sharing the tactical advantage of a zombie horde with you. You're nearly worthless to me dead, and your death essentially dooms the worth of this compound - so you're basically safe from me."
Pause for dramatic effect. "But the other way around is trickier. Because it's hard to wait for rewards. With me dead, you've got one less potential Ellie assassin to worry about, and a spiffy car in the bargain. Or possibly, with me incapacitated you could try to stuff me in a cage and coerce me into using my nascent zombie powers for your purposes. But you're not without imagination, and can guess at some of the potential of having a powerful horde of zombies. And to be capable of that, I need to become more experienced. So too, I need to gain skill to have a chance to pass on the necromancy spark to you - which is probably your main reward."
"So, how about we help each other get more powerful, such that we can both be more than either of us is likely to be capable of on our own paths."
He lets out a chuckle. "Ahh, healthy paranoia. Nothing quite like it. Don't you think that if I wanted to kill you I'd have done it back in town? Another option would be to kill the guy without feeding."
"So who's this other target Ellie has you going after? I'm a tad worried you'll not be coming back."
Goust shrugs. "Motivations are not binary. Your decision not to finish me off easily in that instance might have been by the narrowest of margins, contributed to by plain old curiosity. That calculus might have changed since then. The target Ellie was going to nominate was Navruzov in Ardrie, who apparently has a couple assault-weapon-slinging thugs with him. I expect my planned zombie recon will suggest not to try that."
Game Night August 29, 2012 - Carfuffle In Cochrane
Leaving Benny with a fully charged car and cooler of blood, Goust headed north. He stopped in Cochrane and through the use of sneakery and a zombie bird, managed to get a full zombie human (2nd stage!) and another corpse for eventual zombification. He also gained a stage and is now Striker x 3 and Scout x 1.
Plot Infliction VII - Fun With Zombies
I forget, did you leave Cochrane before dawn, or are you hiding out in Cochrane until next-night?
Definitely getting the coch our of Fuckrane after returning to the car. The plan is to then find a remote, well-hidden spot to zombify the latest victim, and to begin gathering the aerial zombie recon force.
Abaddon (Defender x2)
- Skill: 20
- Stamina: 40
- Str: 4
- Spe: 4
- Agi: 4
- HH: 1
- Int: 3
- Aw: 11
- WP: 5
- Size: 75 kg
- +7 to duck
- +1 to parry
You hide the car somewhere after Cochrane and let Abaddon start hunting birds. Dawn is quickly approaching, so you hunker down in the car. Do you want to meditate and try to create the zombie during the day and let Abaddon explain the situation to him, or wait until night falls?
Let's get the zombie going immediately. Don't want him getting too ripe.
We got a 0-stager. Will power dominance achieved. Not quite as nice a roll on the point system scale, but little matter as he's probably going to be disposable.
- Skill: 1
- Stamina: 3
- Str: 3
- Spe: 3
- Agi: 3
- HH: 1
- Int: 1
- Aw: 3
- WP: 3
- Size: 80 kg
"So, newest zombie - what's your name, and what was the name of your host?" It occurs to me that it might have been waaaay funnier to have turned the old lady into a zombie. Because A) it might be harder to tell, and B) who's going to suspect an old lady of being an undead horror?
Next: tactical aerial zombies.
The zombie stares at you blankly and with a slurred voice says "Jason". Then it just stares at you some more. You don't get much else coherent out of him.
Part way through the day, Abaddon has managed to down 2 crows, 1 robin, and his prize - a hawk. Are you going to zombify them as he downs them, or just let him make a pile while you sleep?
Goust turns to Abaddon. "Bit of disparity going on there, innit. Do you think you'll have any trouble directing Jayshunn, or would it be helpful for me to specifically command him to do as you command?"
Let's zombify them during the too-bright rest period after 3-hour naps wherein Goust can recoup his MBA. The understanding being that the car door is not opened until the tarp is sufficiently re-covering the car to block ambient sunlight. We don't want any vampire-melanoma, now do we.
Abaddon snorts. "He seems compliant enough."
You end up with a 2nd stage crow, a 0 stage crow, a 1st stage robin, and a 0 stage hawk. You have a total of 7 zombies - 4 birds, 1 cat, and 2 dudes.
At some point during the day, you get a phone call. It annoyingly wakes you from one of your naps.
The crow is Defender/Assassin. The robin is 1st stage leader.
A 2nd stage crow! NICE. Can it talk? Out loud, I mean. A 1st stage leader robin is pure hilarity. I imagine it's not super-pleased with its existence.
Answering the phone, is the number familiar? "Goust here."
The crow can't talk now... but could probably be taught.
On the phone is Jenny. She sounds freaked out.
"Um... hi. This is Jenny, remember me? Um, is there something going on out there? Ellie just announced that we all need to pack up and head west over the Rockies. They're all preparing to go... I borrowed her phone..."
Going through the Rockies is extremly dangerous. Lot's of outlaws and none of the roads really exist anymore. The only way to get across is by steed. It's a many week journey.
"Hello Jenny. If there's anything going on out here, I'm oblivious to it. Though, unfortunately, I haven't been active to the East very much lately. If Ellie is decamping, that's extremely interesting - thank you for letting me know. Is there anything I can do for you?"
Which of the birds is the fastest-travelling? It might be good to do some long-distance reconnaissance.
Also, probably will have to burn a point of MBA to contact Benny. "Sorry to interrupt your sleep, partner. I've just heard from a source in Ellie's crew that they've been instructed to pack up and head West over the Rockies. Something has got her spooked. We might need a more mobile version of your operation, as well as looking into upgraded defenses. I'll try to see if I can get more information - both by trying to talk to Ellie directly, and perhaps by some reconnaissance. I might be cutting short this trip to Airdrie."
Jenny: "No... just was hoping for some more info. Ellie's too busy to fill me in. Anyway, bye."
Probably the hawk is fasted long-distance.
Benny: "Rockies? That's nuts. They're probably just changing their location in Calgary and want you to think they're long gone."
The hawk will start flying East immediately. I imagine it'll take a while to get there, while I think about what it's looking for. It should stay out of easy sniping altitude.
Before Jenny hangs up: "Thanks Jenny. I'll check out East to see what I can see, and let you know if I spot anything."
To Benny: "It is nuts. Almost as nuts as both vampires AND zombies being real and virtually destroying civilization. I'm not sure what sort of extremely important wandering around a deserted town you feel you have to get done. But, on the crazy chance that this intel is legit, how about you work on some ways to help us survive either running for it or increased possibility of shambling incursion in your spare time."
And, just because it should be tried, I twang Ellie's mark to get her attention.
Benny mutters something about 'crazy shit' and hangs up.
Ellie responds almost immediately. "Yessss?"
Note to self: Find a new techie to run blood farm before killing Benny.
"Hello Ellie. If I were to be on the lookout for an evil onslaught that would make it best for sentient beings to flee over the Rockies, where should I look and what should I be looking for?"
Ellie (after a few moments pause): "Find a way to kill Benny, and I'll tell you. I will give you an educated guess though, what I'm running from will eventually come after you."
"So, Ellie which is your preferred target then - Benny or Navruzov. And why."
"No preference... just thought you'd have better luck with Benny. Navruzov has tough goons."
"That almost sounds like you have concern for my safety. However, principles demand that I let Benny forfeit our compact of his own choosing before I kill him. Anyway, hypothetically-speaking, a zombie-hawk is flying Eastward to look around. Do you have any requests for things you would like a bird's eye view of?"
When night comes, Goust will proceed to Airdrie. Cautiously.
"Zombie hawk... that's creepy. I doubt it'll see anything yet. Good luck though." She leaves your mind.
Off to Airdrie....