Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Lonely Hope --Scene 14

Scarlet Vampire

A Lonely Hope

Scene 14

A cold rain drummed mercilessly on the roof of the Camry. Hanson and Blaine were parked at a closed service station, her beat up car blending in well with the others needing attention. Across the street, they could just make out the Quick Stop Shop and, more importantly, the bar near it. The bar where Hanson had run into Cora, and nearly died. The place seemed quiet, or at least less busy than it had been on Hanson’s last visit. Whether this was due to the time of the week or for some other reason, they couldn’t tell.

“I don’t get it. Why would they bring Dona here, of all places? Why not Adrian’s monastery or, hell, somewhere no one knows about.”

“Pretty sure no one knows about this place. Except for me, and I don’t think I count very much. But more importantly, do you remember your little ‘office’ at Voodoo?”

Blaine turned to look at her. “I remember,” he answered, carefully.

“Well, it wasn’t the first time I saw a setup like that. I didn’t understand it at the time, but last time I was here I saw something similar. Didn’t even strike me as unusual until after I got out of your club. ‘Course, in my defense, I was a bit distracted by Cora.”

“Cora? Cora’s here? Fuck, Megan! Tell me you’re fucking kidding. Jesus! Ok, look, maybe…maybe we should back off, call in some backup or something. I mean…Cora?”

“Calm down Blaine,” Hanson, replied evenly. “We don’t know if Cora is here, she could be off doing…whatever is next in Adrian’s little scheme. Doubt he’d waste her on guard duty. Besides, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we are the backup.

“Besides, did you notice anything odd?”

“Odd? I don’t know. This isn’t exactly my scene.”

“We’ve been here almost 45 minutes, and I haven’t seen a single patrol car come by.”

“Yeah? So. Maybe their busy. I mean, they are trying to track down the ‘evil cult,’ remember?”

“That’s not how it works. Different jurisdiction, different departments. Different priorities. No, a shithole bar like this, in this area? There should be a patrol car coming by every 10 or 15 minutes, looking for an easy DUI or in case a fight breaks out. Someone told them to stay away. Which means she’s here, and they’re expecting trouble. They can stay in as long as the like, but we can’t stay out here forever. We need to get in there.

“Alright, here’s what we’re going to do…”


The prompt for this scene is:

Plunder resources necessary to the foe's plan. Either make a check at +2 difficulty or face a Fight instead of a check.

I decide to combine the two—if Hanson is able to succeed at a skill check at +2 difficulty, she wins. If not, she has to face a fight. The base difficulties were determined back in “Session 0,” but they’re based on the Threat: Physical 2, Social 5, Mental 3. These are added to 5, to give me difficulties of 7, 10, and 8.  So, if she’s facing a Social skill check, she’s pretty much screwed.

Before I can proceed, I need to know which skill she needs to beat. Vampire has a number of them, and Hanson doesn’t have a rating in quite a few. To give her a fair chance, I decide it will be a skill that she does have.  Now, let’s figure out what she’ll need to roll.

Will it be a standard check (attribute+ability)? Very Likely 85%-- 82, yes.

Which attribute category? (1-3 Physical, 4-6 Social, 7-9 Mental, 10 Reroll) 7 Mental.
Which ability category? (1-3 Talents, 4-6 Skills, 7-9 Knowledges, 10 Reroll) 4 Skills

Hanson has 7 skills: Drive, Etiquette, Firearms, Melee, Repair, Security, and Stealth. (her complete sheet is here). I roll a d7 and get 7—Stealth.

I decide that she needs to roll Perception and Stealth to figure out the best way in without being noticed. If she succeeds, she’s able to rescue Dona without anyone being the wiser. If she fails, she’ll have to fight whomever is inside. Do note, that it could have been an Intelligence or a Wits and Stealth roll—they’re all “2.” I’m just going with Perception. The Mental Threat is 3, so the base Mental Difficulty is 8. With the +2 modifier, this is a 10. To up the tension, I decide she needs 3 Successes to completely win this. Less, and she’ll need to make an additional Mental check to make up the difference (2 checks if she gets 1 success, 1 check if she gets 2). If she fails, she has to fight. If she botches, it’s a fight, and the enemy gets the drop on her.

Despite running a bit low on Willpower (she’s currently at 3 out of a possible 6), Hanson will spend one point in order to guarantee a success.

Perception + Stealth [4] 3,6,3,6. No successes, but the Willpower gives her 1. She needs to make two more checks. Rolling d7 again, I get Repair and Security.

Hanson crept along the back alley. The walls still showed the scorch marks from her battle with Cora. The back entrance was the closest way to the makeshift prison where she was sure they were keeping Dona, but it had plenty of its own dangers. Namely, that she would be blind going in.

Which is why Blaine was busy with a nice diversion. He had already called in a “robbery” at the Quick Stop Shop, and had headed over as a drunk customer. A few racial slurs and a tantrum about some nonsense should get the owner ready. He should be leaving right about now, and once the cops finally did arrive, well, that should get everyone inside looking the wrong way.

She waited until she saw the flashing lights reflect off the rain soaked buildings, then moved up to the door. It was locked, of course, but she didn’t worry about breaking it open—the door was in a pretty crappy condition to begin with. She was just about to pull, when she remembered just how crappy it was. If she opened it, and the bar was even somewhat quiet, everyone inside would hear it. She looked around the alley for a way around it.

Wits + Repair [3] 8,10,4 for 1 Success.

Rooting through the trash, she found a bottle of cast off cooking oil. She grabbed a beer bottle, rinsed it out with the rain pouring from the gutter drain, and carefully poured the oil in. She added a little bit of more rainwater, and keeping her thumb firmly on the top, mixed the two together.

She poured the concoction on the hinges as best she could, and gave it a few moments to seep into the seams. Taking a deep breath, she grabbed the handle and wrenched the door open. It made more noise than she would have liked, but less that it was going to. Not quite as a good as WD40, but good enough.

Intelligence + Security [4] 9,3,2,10 for 1 Success.

Hanson skulked inside, and paused when she saw a shadow moving against the wall. Turning the corner, she saw a young man ahead. His back was towards her, and was swaying back and forth. She allowed herself a better look, and it appeared that was looking forward, into the bar area. Probably as curious and alarmed as the rest by the cops presence. Looks like he got the short straw to stay back. Too bad for him

One guy, distracted, and with his back to her? I don’t make Hanson roll it out. She takes him down.

Staying low, she carefully scanned the bar area, to make sure no had noticed her so far. Everyone seemed distracted by the cops, and the drinks they kept throwing back. She thought briefly of rushing them. With speed, a weapon, and a little luck, she might be able to scare them enough to keep them off balance long enough to get them out of the picture. But then she saw her, behind the bar. Cora was there, blending in. Hanson choose discretion, over valor.

The “storage room” or office, or whatever cute term they used for their prison, was locked, of course. And the poor bastard they left behind wasn’t important enough to warrant a key. Hanson checked her pockets, looking for the lock pick gun, but realized it was still back in the office. Fuck, she thought. She’d have to do this the hard way.

Taking out her Leatherman tool, she flipped up the flat head. The lock on the door of course had no visible screws, but there were ways around that. She felt around the sides until she could feel the slight opening, where it met the door. Carefully sliding the flat head in the gap, she wiggled it back and forth until the cover popped off. Once that was gone, it was fairly simple to dismantle the lock. Sure, she scratched and dinged the door up pretty bad, but that was their fucking problem.

Once the lock was disassembled, she slid the door open. The room was empty.

“Fuck me.” Hanson said quietly.

“Hanson?” A voice said, and emerging from one the shadows was Dona, holding a broken chair leg as a crude weapon.

Hanson gestured for her to be silent, and motioned for her to follow. The two quietly crept out to the alley.

Hanson has succeeded at the test for this scene, and so gains a Victory Point. Since this was an Action Scene, she gains another, bringing her total up to 10. Adrian also gets to roll against the current count (9), and gets a 7, bringing his total up to 8. This most likely won’t matter, as with 10 Points, Hanson immediately heads to the Final Scene. This is an Action Scene, and if she succeeds, she wins the conflict. The prompt for this conflict is:

Guide the Target or another important Actor out of the foe's reach for at least a temporary period. Roll a die; on an odd result, face a Fight to protect them as well as the check.

I decide to interpret this as a chase scene. If she fails, she’ll have to face a fight. Probably with Cora. Which, while dramatically appropriate, would be bad, very bad, for Hanson.

Finally, an element of bookkeeping. I decide to reward Hanson with a Willpower point, per the rules for accomplishing a personal goal. Her Willpower goes back to a 3 out of 6.

Victory Points
Heat
Hanson
10
Opponent
8
2
Investigation & Action Scene Count
9
Willpower (max 6)
3
Blood Pool (Max 11)
4
Health (Max 7)
6
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.
Success
14
Action
Plunder resources necessary to the foe’s plan.
Success
15
Action
Guide Target out of Foes reach



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

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