Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Lonely Hope--Scene 12

Scarlet Vampire

A Lonely Hope

Scene 12

In the last scene, Hanson tried and failed to find evidence to unravel Adrian’s web of blackmail. Instead, his scheme to lure the mortal police into a direct conflict with Dona and her followers resulted in death and a near rupturing of the Masquerade so necessary to keep the vampires safe.

It had been three nights since the raid, and the city was still on edge. The raid happened near dawn, and there was little the vampires could do to mitigate the disaster. They had their allies and their pawns to limit as much damage as possible, but police officers were dead, and no amount of political pressure would ease their fury.

Or the media’s thirst for a good story. And police officers in a gun battle with “drug fueled cultists” was just too good of a story to be buried in section C9. Everyone needed their pound of flesh.

So, a pound of flesh had been provided. A few heavily dominated drug addicts and a convincingly appointed “Satanic lair” helped. Some subtle dominate and a hot new story about some teen popstar having an affair with a married movie star got people looking the other way again. But despite all that, the city was on edge. Even the slightest push could crack it.


The vampires wanted their own pound of flesh, and everyone was looking for Dona. She was a dangerous fool at best, and a megalomaniacal terrorist at worst. But no one could find her—even Blaine claimed to have no idea where she was, and his star had fallen almost as far as hers had. The Prince hadn’t yet called the Blood Hunt for her, but everyone knew it was only a matter of time.

Hanson had been kept busy. The first night had been rough—she had been “questioned” almost the entire night. They kept asking her the wrong questions, though. They were so focused on Dona that they wouldn’t even let Hanson get a word in on what else was going on. Still, she survived, and was out. She was no longer one of the Prince’s “enforcers,” at least not for now, but that didn't matter. She was used to working on her own.

And on her own she was, sitting at the train station, waiting for a man who was coming to give the city a push.

She had been contacted by Skylar, one of Dona’s people. Someone, and she wouldn’t say who, was putting a call out for them to meet. Apparently one of "Dona’s friends" from Mexico was coming into town, to help “make things right.” The way she had heard it, it had sounded bad to Skylar, and worse to Hanson. There was talk of “resistance” and “standing up for their faith”—not the kind of talk Dona would have ever used.

So, now she sat and waited until this “Erio” made their appearance.  

The prompt for this scene is:

Eliminate an outside Actor brought in to aid the foe. Face a Fight instead of a check.

Normally, in this case, I rely on random rolls from Mythic or the U.N.E. or my own Random Vampire to generate the character. But this time, I have a pretty clear idea of what I want from Erio. She is something of a mercenary brought in by Adrian. Her job is to show up, spew a lot of rebellious rhetoric to Dona’s followers, and thus convince the Prince to take direct action against them. There’s probably more to it, but that’s as far as Erio knows at this point. I decide to just go with the Physical Threat (7) and decide that, physically at least, she is roughly comparable to Hanson. Here’s her sheet:



Just past 11:30, the final train of the night pulled into the station. Only a handful of passengers straggled out. A few were met by waiting friends or family, but most were alone. They gathered up their luggage and trudged towards the exit, heads down, exhausted from the long day and whatever burdens had compelled them to travel at such hours. All except one.

It wasn’t hard to notice Erio. In fact, she seemed to demand to be noticed. Beautiful and dark and pale, she carried herself with a regal baring. The energy with which she moved made her seem to be the only thing truly alive amidst the half-dead mortals around her. The perfect vampire to lead a revolution Hanson thought.

She stood up and casually walked towards Erio, until they were near each other. At her approach, Erio gave her a half-quizzical look, which Hanson tried to wave off. “Skylar sent me. I’m supposed to take you to the meeting, then get you to a safe house before anyone knows you’re in town.”

Two mechanical questions come up. The first, is does Erio “sense” anything amiss. She has the Discipline of Auspex which can provide an awareness of danger. The difficulty of this roll is up to the Storytellers whim, so I decide to set it to 4. She’s in pretty big danger from Hanson, and she has every right to be cautious.

Auspex [3] 1,3,6 No Successes. Her “spidey sense” isn’t going off

Next, does she believe Hanson’s bluff? She’s not terribly good at that, but she’s trying. She really only cares enough to try and Erio away from the few mortals who are around them. For this roll, I decide to go with an opposed roll—both will roll at a difficulty of 6 and we’ll see who wins.

Hanson
Manipulation + Subterfuge [3] 9,10,4 for 2 Successes
Erio
Wits + Subterfuge [6] 5,3,10,9,2,4 for 2 Successes

I decide that Erio will go along with Hanson for now, though is a tad wary. She isn’t alarmed, but something isn’t quite right about this. Because of her wariness, Hanson will not be able to pull off a sneak attack.

Hanson walked them to the rear of the parking lot. By the time they approached the Camry, everyone else had left the station, save for one lonely cab sitting idly by the gate. Not that he mattered, he was far enough away and Hanson had every intention of keeping this quiet.

As they came to the car, she reached into her bag and grasped her baton. “This is us,” she said, nodding at the car. Baton in hand, she dropped the bag and spun on Erio, only to be met with thin, sharp point of a foil.

“You didn’t really think I was going to fall for this, did you?”

“Honestly? I was hoping you wouldn’t”

This fight is a clear dual; both are armed and ready for the fight. Erio’s foil is slightly better weapon than Hanson’s baton, doing damage of Strength + 3, but has a Difficulty of 5. Hanson’s only does Strength + 1, but has a Difficulty of 4 (something I screwed up on the last session). The one advantage Hanson does have is that she knew this fight was coming, and has spent 3 blood points to increase all of her Physical Attributes by 1. While Erio was suspicious, she hasn’t had a chance to spend her own blood—something I would have allowed had she bested Hanson earlier.

Round 1 Both vampires spend a blood point to activate Celerity.  As they are both in melee, no initiative is rolled.  In addition, Hanson will spend a Willpower on her first attack to guarantee one automatic success.

1st Action
Hanson
Dexterity + Melee [7] 4,4,2,1,7,10,1 2 Successes. With the Willpower point, that leave Hanson with 3.

Erio
Dexterity + Melee [7] 4,2,7,4,4,9,1 1 Success. Hanson bests her by 2.

Damage [8] 6,3,6,6,7,5,6,5 +1 for 6 Successes. But, unlike some of Hanson’s recent foes, Erio can attempt to Soak. The difficulty for this is 5+attackers successes (Max 10).
Soak [3] 10,5,8. She is able to soak 1 level, but still stakes 5 levels of damage, reducing her to Mauled, and in theory taking a -2 to all subsequent rolls.

I decide that she will, naturally spend a Willpower point to ignore this penalty.

2nd Action
Hanson
Dexterity + Melee [7] 5,6,5,8,8,7,10 for 7 Successes

Erio
Dexterity + Melee [7] 10,3,10,3,5,5,8 for 5 Successes. Hanson beats her by 2.

Damage [8] 5,1,9,7,8,7,1,2 +1 for 3 levels of damage.
Soak [3] (Dif 8) 3,2,9 Erio gets 1 Success, but still takes 2 levels of damage. She is reduced to Incapacitated, and can no longer take any actions.

Hanson quickly stepped inside Erio’s reach, not intending on dragging this out any more than she had to. When Erio took a step back to better bring her sword to bear, Hanson cracked her against the skull. Bits of bone, blood and brain splattered on her, and staggered Erio.

Erio recovered quickly, and deftly jabbed the blade where Hanson’s heart should have been. But Hanson had once again stepped to the side, and brought the baton down on her elbow, crushing the limb and leaving it dangling uselessly by her side. When Erio leaned over unsteadily to try and pick the blade up, Hanson contemptuously pusher her over, gratified to hear the sound of crushing bone as she landed.

“You want to kill me, bitch?” Erio spat out. “I haven’t even done anything. Fuck you.”

Hanson picked up her bag and began fishing through it. Half distracted, she answered “Kill you? Why would I want to kill you? No. There are far too many people who would love to have a chat with you.” Finding what she was looking for, she removed the stake from her bag, as Erio’s eyes widened.

When she was finished, she stuffed the body in the trunk of her car and scattered the gravel to conceal the blood as best she could. As she was about to get in, she noticed the cab shift into gear and head out to the road. Guess his fare never showed up, she thought. No matter. She was sure he couldn’t have seen anything anyway. Besides, she had a special delivery for Gypsy, and the Prince.

Thanks to a little luck and healthy dose of violence, Hanson succeeded at this scene. As a Conflict scene, she gains 1 Victory Point and Adrian loses 1, leaving them both tied at 7. Now I have a choice for Hanson. She could move onto an Investigation scene, hope to get a clue, then onto an Action scene and hope to get the necessary 10 Points. Or, she could do another Conflict scene and hope to further reduce Adrian’s total. For this, I actually “cheat” a bit. I roll a d10 for both Investigate and Conflict, and I pick the one I like better. I decide to go with an Investigation Scene and get

An allied Actor can get you a Clue at personal risk. Roll a die; on an even number make a skill check to help them succeed. On an odd number, Fight to protect them.

I roll an 8, so it looks like Hanson is going to be teaming up with someone next time!

Victory Points
Heat
Hanson
7
Opponent
7
2
Investigation & Action Scene Count
7
Willpower-Max 6
5
Blood Pool-Max 11
7
Health-Max 7
7
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.
Failure
5
Investigation
Waylaid by hostile Actor
Success
6
Action
Convince an ally of the foe to betray them
Success
7
Conflict
Suffer betrayal by an Actor.
Success
8
Rest
Rest and Recover
N/A
9
Investigation
Hunt down an Actor to provide a Clue
Success
10
Action
Sabotage a tool, etc., to betray the foes use
Failure
11
Conflict
Steal foes possessions
Failure
12
Conflict
Eliminate Outside Actor
Success
13
Investigation
Work with Allied Actor to get a Clue.


Rules and Mechanics
Not familiar with Vampire? Check out the Primer
Story StructureScarlet Vampire
OracleMythic


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