Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Lonely Hope -- Scenes 2 & 3

Scarlet Vampire

A Lonely Hope

Scene 2
Hanson stopped in front of the Quick Stop Shop Convenience store. It was a rundown store located in a half-empty shopping strip on the edge of town. The place seemed dead—based on the signs in the window, it looked like most of their clients came for the calling cards, lotto tickets, and rolling papers. But a few shops down, past the closed shoe store and Chinese restaurant, was the only sign of life, a dive bar. It didn’t even have a name, just a neon green shamrock in the window. Clearly, they didn’t care to advertise.

That’s where he got hired, she thought. A guy out for a drink, looking for anything. Gets paid, grabs some smokes, and heads out to the “quick and easy” job.

She parked her grey Camry in the parking lot towards the back, making sure it was a decent distance from any other cars and angled to get out quickly. As she stepped out, she noticed her side. The bullet hole had healed, but her shirt was still torn and was stained with blood. Most of it hers, but not all of it. She grabbed her leather jacket out of the back seat and put it on, zipping it up to cover both the marks of her fight with Jake and her weapons, then headed in.

Hanson is prepared form some sort of fight. As such, she has spent 2 of her Blood Points to heal, bringing her down to 6 currently. In order to further ready herself,  she also goes ahead and spends 3 more Blood Points to increase each of her Physical Attributes (Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina) by 1 each.

As soon as she entered, most of the eyes turned to her. They weren’t taking in her beauty. Though she had been dead for two years now, Hanson still carried herself like a cop, and it was clear that the regulars knew a cop’s walk, and they were seeing it now.  She calmly walked through the smoke and the crowd to the bar, where space was quickly made for her. The bartender approached, slowly. He was busy and in no mood to answer questions. But he also wanted the cop out of here as quickly as possible.

“What’ch’a need?” He asked, glumly.
“Lookin’ for a friend of mine. Jake Cawley. You know him? Told me I could meet him and some of his friends here.”
“Sorry, don’t know anyone named that. Sure you got the right place?”
Hanson leaned in, pulling the stack of bills out and placing them, one twenty at a time, on the bar. “Yeah, pretty sure this is the place. You sure you haven’t seen him tonight?”
She glanced up, expecting to see him eyeballing the cash, wrestling with indecision. But instead he gaze was pointed at her. No, behind her. She was about to glance around when she heard the voice say, “You sure you’re looking for Cawley?”

As per the results of the last scene, Hanson is about to engage in a fight with the Opponents best fighter. I don’t know who the Opponent is yet, or who this Fighter is. But, I can make some assumptions. First off, his combat ability will be good, very good. The Physical Threat for this Story is 7, but that’s the base line. The “best” would be at least 2 better than that, which means whoever the Fighter is, they’d have at least a 9 in all relevant dice pools. I also decide that the Fighter is a vampire, and older than Hanson. In Vampire, age is, generally, the most important element that defines a vampire’s raw power. I use a combination of Mythic rolls and the Random Vampire rules to come up with the following:



Two other questions remain:
Does Hanson know who this person is? Int+Streetwise at a difficulty of 6 8,4,7,2,--yes.
Does Cora wish to kill Hanson? Killing a vampire is a dangerous choice, and one of the few crimes the prince is sure to take seriously, particularly if the vampire in question is one of “his.”
Does Cora wish to kill Hanson [Unlikely—35%]? 68 NO.
Vampire is a game of factions and politics, but some people can move between them. Hanson is pretty new to the game, and hasn’t met everyone in town yet, nor does she understand how they all interrelate. But, Cora is pretty well known among vamps, and her presence here could be the tip off that Hanson needs.
Does Hanson know who Cora is working for? [50-50—50%] 100 ABSOLUTELY NOT
Cora is an unpredictable and works with various groups. Hanson has no idea who she could be working for.

The voice made Hanson freeze for a moment, as she searched the mirror behind the bar—Cora! Cora was a mercenary, an agent of chaos, and someone Gypsy had told her to avoid. Not just avoid, but to run from. She was dressed in jeans and a flannel, looking more like a hiker than a grunge rocker, but she fit well into this dive.

She had also been knocking around for at least a century, and no one in their right mind would ever fuck with her.  But you don’t get answers by turning tail and running.

“Hey Cora,” Hanson said, turning around. “Funny seeing you here. Don’t suppose you know anything about Cawley?”

“Sorry, kiddo. Let’s talk outside.”

“Outside? Sure,” Hanson gestured vaguely with her hand. “Lead the way.”

With a casual shrug, Cora turned her back and started walking to the rear of the bar, Hanson following as she reached into her bag. A few of the customers hooted and hollered as the two women walked by, until silenced by the regulars. As they exited, Cora breathed in the cool night air. “You know I have nothing against you. You’re just doing your job, and I can respect that. But I can’t let you go without a message. You know how it is.”

Hanson brushed past her, her hand gripping the expandable baton in her purse tightly. “Yeah, message received.”

“That wasn’t the message.”

Not waiting a moment longer, Hanson spun around, the baton extending as she moved, aiming low for Cora’s legs. Even vampires can’t move once you bust their knee caps.

For the first round, Hanson has the freedom to strike first. All of her physical attributes are increased by 1 due to the blood she spent earlier.

She rolls her Dexterity+Melee [7 dice] against a difficulty of 4 and rolls 9,1,2,7,8,10,6—4 Successes.
Now she needs to roll damage. Her Strength is currently a 5, and the Club adds 1. In addition, she gets to roll 4 additional dice for successes, for a total of 9 dice. But it’s the difficulty that matters.

Her difficulty is Cora’s Stamina [4] + Fortitude [5] + 3, for a total of 12. That means she needs to roll at least 3 10’s to do any damage.

She rolls 9,3,8,6,4,7,4,10,1. Even with her Potence granting her an automatic success, it’s not enough to damage the Gangrel.

The baton hit Cora hard, just on the side of the knee, and recoiled back, like she had hit a tank.

The other vampire just smiled at her. “My turn.”

Turn 1
They both spend blood to activate their Celerity Disciplines. Hanson is no fool, and knows she needs to get out of here, but the tight alley offered her little chance of escape. Initiative is rolled, to see if Hanson can flee.

Hanson [2 Dice] 5,2 1 Success
Cora [7 Dice] 5,2,7,3,10,6,9 5 Successes

1st Action
Cora attacks, and Hanson will attempt to defend herself. They both roll their attacks—Cora is attempting to throw Hanson and must roll Dexterity+Brawl [10] against 7, while Hanson relies on her baton and must roll Dexterity+Melee [7] against 4.

Cora: 5,3,8,2,6,3,3,9,8,10, 4 Successes
Hanson: 7,8,8,3,1,9,7 4 Successes

There’s a flurry of movement and blows, but neither gains the advantage over the other.

2nd Action.
Cora attempts to grab again, while Hanson is trying to get away. She will have to take the Gangrel’s attack, but needs space. Cora decides to just go with a classic punch attack, at a difficulty of 6.
Cora: 5,2,6,4,4,2,9,1,3,1 – failure

Hanson runs and ends roughly halfway down the alley.

Turn 2
Again, they both spend Celerity, though Hanson is now getting dangerously low on blood.

1st Action
Cora will rush down the alley, hoping to close the distance. Hanson will throw the lighter she took from Cawley into a nearby trashcan, planning on dumping it in front of her. No initiative is needed, though Hanson does need to roll a Dexterity + Athletics roll. I’m not sure what the difficulty for this should be, so I use the Physical Threat for the story—7. Hanson will spend a Willpower point on this to guarantee at least a single success, and she rolls her 6 dice to get 10,7,1,9,5,2. While the 1 takes a success, her Willpower bring her back up to 3. A complete success. The trashcan full of paper, old rags, and broken liquor bottles lights up quickly.

2nd Action
Hanson pulls the trashcan in front of her and turns to run. Cora must now face Rötschreck, the raw, primal fear all vampires feel around uncontrolled flames. She must make a Courage roll against a difficulty of 7 to resist. Her Courage is a 4, and she gets 10,3,4,9. She resists, and will attempt to leap through the flames. She needs to roll again to do this, though, now at a difficulty of 9 and gets 5,10,7,2.

Hanson looks back in terror as the snarling vampire emerges from the smoke and flame.

Turn 3
Cora again spends blood to activate Celerity. Hanson is down to her final blood point, and so cannot spend any more.

1st Action
Cora will attack with a punch, and Hanson will attempt to defend herself with her baton.
Cora 9,4,2,7,5,2,4,8,8,9 5 Successes
Hanson 2,10,9,5,1,7,4 4 Successes

Cora hits, though with only a single success. She has a Strength of 4 and adds 1 for her to hit. Her difficulty is Hanson’s Stamina [4]+3, or 7, and gets 4,6,5,4,3, no successes. But, she also has Potence of 1, giving her one automatic success. Hanson rolls her Soak [4] against a difficulty of 6 and gets 4,9,8,1—she takes no damage from the blow.

2nd Action
Cora strikes again, Hanson cannot defend herself.
Cora 2,7,2,4,7,3,10,9,10,6, 6 Successes.

She rolls her damage (Strength [4] + Successes [6] against a difficulty of 7 and gets 8,7,9,2,5,9,3,7,2,10 for 6 Successes. Hanson attempts to soak against a difficulty of 11 (attacker’s success +5) and gets 9,1,1,2.

A botch. She takes not only all 6 levels of damage, but one of them is aggravated as well.

Hanson tossed the flaming garbage can and ran as fast as she ever had. Her hunger called out to her to kill, but the unstoppable thing behind her was no prey. She heard the loud thump as Cora landed behind her, laughing, as sparks flew past them both. She was jerked back by a hand pulling on her jacket, and she tried to use the momentum to whip the baton at Cora’s face. But it just snapped back, again. Cora slammed her fist into her and sent Hanson flying against the building. She felt the bones snap inside her. She tried to cry out in pain, but only a slight gargle escaped her lips. She could feel one of her lungs give way as her shattered ribs pierced her internal organs. The last thing she saw was Cora’s hiking boot come crashing down on her face.

Hanson lost the fight, and the Scene. Since Hanson lost, the Opponent automatically gains a Victory Point. In addition, the Opponent gets to roll against the current scene count and gets a 4—they do not gain an addition point.
Victory Points
Heat
Hanson
1
Opponent
1
0
Investigation & Action Scene Count
2
Scene Number
Type
Description
Result
1
Investigation
Tail an Actor who might have a Clue. On a check failure, face a Fight.
Failed to Tail, succeed on Fight
2
Action
Face the foe's best warrior
Failure
3



Scene 3 

Hanson’s jaw snapped shut, instinctively. She felt tiny bones break and tasted rotten, dirty fur in her mouth. She ignored all that, as small rivulets of blood seeped into her, bringing back a vague consciousness.

She was soaking wet, and felt more exhausted than she had ever felt in her life. She forced her head to move, to let her see where she was. She could feel her cracked skull, but couldn't feel anything below her waist. Fuck, my spine, she thought. She also couldn't see right, and it took her a moment to realize one of her eyes was dangling loose from its socket. Slowly, she reached up, her body screaming in pain, and forced it back into place. She gave herself a few minutes to deal with the pain that raged inside her before forcing her one good eye to open, to let her see.

She was stuck in a storm drain, a dead rat on her throat. Harsh beams of sunlight cut through a nearby manhole cover. She wasn’t going anywhere soon. But she needed answers. Why was someone so desperate to ruin Dona’s meetings that they would risk the Masquerade? Why did they do use a cut out? Why hire Cawley when everyone knew where and when the meeting was, and they could have called at any moment? Why was Cora involved in all this, and who was she working for?

Before she could get answers though, she needed to heal, and to feed. To become strong again. But first, she must sleep.

Hanson will take a Rest action this turn. This will allow her to regain all her lost Blood Points and heal all of her wounds. As this is not an Investigation or Action Scene, the Opponent does not get to roll. However, the Rest action automatically grants them a Victory Point.

I wonder where she’ll go next. She could attempt for force a Conflict, and reduce the Opponents Victory Points, but I feel she still needs more information. She’ll go with an Investigation scene next. I roll and get:
Trick an Actor into revealing a Clue. Roll a die; on an odd result, you face a Fight whether or not you succeed on the check.
Well see who the Actor is and what they know next time!
Victory Points
Heat
Hanson
1
Opponent
2
0
Investigation & Action Scene Count
2
Scene Number
Type
Description
Result
1
Investigation
Tail an Actor who might have a Clue. On a check failure, face a Fight.
Failed to Tail, succeed on Fight
2
Action
Face the foe's best warrior
Failure
3
Rest
Hanson hunts, feeds, and heals
N/A
4
Investigation
Trick an Actor into revealing a Clue.


MoMj: The Corruption Saga - Session 8b-Deirik

Deirik returned to Alucard and continued to be consumed with finding the opportunity to kill Torvald the Betrayer. It was all he could ever ...