Monday, February 12, 2018

A Simple Plan, Scene 1

A Simple Plan

Scene One

See, I wasn’t really sure what they were after, just that I had to get to it before “they” did. And I wasn’t even sure who “they” were, other than the lawyers. But I was sure they were a front, of some sort. Some were involved, probably, but I had no way of knowing who. Not then, at least.

But, whatever, that’s not important. Yet. I had no idea how to get into the Vulcan facility, so I had to hitch a ride on one of their cement truck things. It went pretty well, got me all the way to their quarry. In through the gates, no problem. No one even thought of looking back there. Though, I suppose that’s not surprising. Have you ever been in one of those things? If it was on, or even kind of full, it would kill you.

So, thanks to my brilliant plan, I was inside the gates. Of course, what I hadn’t thought about was that they don’t park the working vehicles near the office. The office gets the sedans and pickup trucks. The construction gears gets parked way on the other side, right by the quarry itself. So, after we parked, I just sat there, probably for a good twenty minutes, freaking out, trying to figure out what’s next.

The place was huge. Like a mile or two across, or something. Lights everywhere. And it’s night, but there’s still people around. Not a lot, sure, but some. So, I’m sitting there, crammed inside this damn mixer, trying to figure out what I’m going to do next. The problem is, I’m decent at
staying hidden, so long as I’m still, but if I move, the jig is up. Given that, just walking across wasn’t an option.

Well, it took me a bit, but I manage to pull myself out of the mixer. Step 1 complete. I figure I can at least look around the garage, maybe find a uniform or something. No luck. I’m stuck with my now ruined suit.

Yes, I wear a suit and tie when I’m working from home. Work is work.

I did find a hard hat, though, so that’s something at least. And then, after a bit more digging, I found a clipboard. Now I’m set. I attached some random pieces of paper to it—receipts, work orders, pretty sure a Chinese menu, whatever I can find. I figure so long as you have a clipboard or a file of folders or something, and you walk like you know what you’re doing, most people won’t look at you twice.

The first scene prompt for this story is:

Infiltrate a Location where the activities relate to a Clue. On a check failure, face a Fight.

I interpret this as Terry needing to sneak into the offices of Vulcan to try and steal the files, which will somehow provide him with the clue he needs. As a Nosferatu vampire, this should be cake walk for him, since that Clan has the power of Obfuscate. But, I’m playing a (slightly modified) 1st Ed game, and in this edition new characters can’t just walk around invisible whenever they want. Also, I want to up the challenge, so I decide that Terry has to complete three challenges for this scene, or else he’ll face a Fight (which, again, he is REALLY BAD AT). The challenges are going to be: get from the garage to the office without being seen, get into the office building, and finding the correct files.

To complete the first challenge, Terry is going to try the old “walk around like you belong there” method and hope no one looks at him to closely, so he’s going to need to roll his Charisma of 3 plus his Acting of 1. Also, this is more of a Social challenge than a Physical one, since it’s not like he’s creeping around or anything. The difficulty, therefore, is the standard 6.

Charisma + Acting [4] (dif 6) 6,9,10,10 4 Successes. Terry succeeds at the first challenge.

Maybe it was my brilliant disguise, but it worked. Better than I thought it would. A couple of the guys even gave me a wave and a friendly “good night.” I waved back, but shook my head. ‘Cause, you know, I’m “stuck here having to work late” and all that.

Now that I think about it, it might have been the dirty suit that sold it.

Anyway, so I’m at the building, and that’s great. But now I need to figure out how to get inside.

I really have no idea how difficult it might be to sneak into the offices in question, so I turn to Conjectural Roleplaying GM Emulator and its Loom of Fate Oracle. This oracle varies not based on Chaos (like Mythic), but instead based on what the ultimate goal of the scene is. I decide to go with “To Knowledge” as this is an Investigation scene. It’s a percentile table, and gives not only Yes or No results, but also results like Yes, And or No But,  and the like.

Is the office well secured? 10 No, But..

The “But” modifier diminishes the result of the “No.” So, I decide that the office isn’t well secure—in fact, getting in is pretty easy. But, there’s an unusual number of people working late tonight. They know that the documents are being subpoenaed tomorrow, so they’re working late on getting the paperwork together, and destroying what they can.

Obviously, the place was locked; no real surprise there. I have absolutely no idea how to “pick locks” or the like. I figured I might be able to break a window or something, but that wasn’t really my idea of a Plan A, you know? Instead, I creeped around and was handed a lucky break. One if the back doors, a fire escape or something, was propped open. Whoever was working late, there was a whole bunch of them coming out to smoke. I suppose they had figured that closing and rearming the alarm wasn’t worth it, so they just kept it off and stuck a rock there to keep the door opened. Made the night easier for them. And easier for me.

I got inside, but that was the least of my problems. The place was full of people, going through all their papers. Everything from security logs to 20 year old inventory counts. They knew something was coming down, but the clearly didn’t know what. I did, though. I just had to find it before they did.

I made my way through the office, flitting from shadow to shadow, always keeping myself just out of sight. Most of the documents had been staged in a large conference room. Seemed like various teams were going through them in some sort of assigned order. They would take their folders and boxes to one of the other offices for their work, which mean that there was no one permanently in the conference room. Once the room had cleared, I could start going through what was there, see if I could find what I needed.

I was so enthralled by the work, that I didn’t hear her coming. I didn’t even hear her until she let out her gasp of shock. Or maybe horror? You know the effect our appearance has on mortals.

In order to pass the second challenge, Terry needs to successfully use his Obfuscate 2 power, Vanish. This allows him to disappear from someones sight for one round and, if successful on an opposed role, have the target forget he was ever there. It does, however, require him to spend a Willpower point. The role for this Charisma + Stealth and it is opposed by the targets Intelligence + Alertness. I assume the mortal is a “random office worker” so her totals won’t be significant. I set her die pool to 3--either an average Intelligence of 2 and a very low Alertness, or slightly above average Intelligence and no Alertness.

Terry: Charisma+Stealth [5] 1,2,1,6,5 No Successes.
Worker: Intelligence + Alertness [4] 8,7,5 for 2 Successes.

With no successes, Terry fails the role. He does manage to “vanish” for a brief moment, but she remembers he was there. More importantly, with the failure of this challenge, he must now face a Fight.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: GOD FUCKING DAMNIT! Can ONE of my characters get through a scene without having to have their assess kicked?!?! Sigh. Maybe I should have just stuck with the single challenge...

Now, I need to figure out what kind of fight he’s going to faced with. The Physical Threat is a 4, which means the “typical” fight will be slightly above him. I turn to Scarlet Heroes to get some inspiration for the combatants and get a 1, which is “1d6 vermin.” This is pretty much a minimal difficulty, so I decide they’re a group of office workers—none of them have anything resembling “skill” at fighting, and all have average Physical Attributes, so 2 in Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina. There numbers are equal to the Threat, so there’s 4 of them.

I focused on her, and tried the little trick you taught me. Poof, I vanished from her sight. Or, I guess, more accurately, she just didn’t notice I was there and I could get out to the hallway. But she didn’t forget I had been there, like she was supposed to. The moment the shock wore off, she started screaming.

Now, what I should have done is hid. Hide under a desk, in a closet. Just find somewhere dark and quiet and let all this blow over. Actually, what I should have done was gotten out of there, but the screaming. The screaming got to me. It’s been a long time since someone got a really good look and really saw me. And the sheer horror in that voice. It got to me. It shouldn’t have, but it did. There was something in that voice, the same thing I see everything I look in the mirror.

I don’t look in the mirror anymore.

There I was, as dumbstruck as she was. I almost didn’t hear them coming till it was too late. A bunch of guys—two from what I figured was the break room, and two from somewhere else. They all came running when they heard her scream, and when they saw me, well, I guess some primal part of the brains of these accountants and clerks clicked on. There was a woman, one of “theirs” screaming, and here was a monster.

They didn’t even ask to see my ID.

No one has any weapons. This is just an all out brawl. Since the men came from different areas, I assume only two of them will be able t get in on the first two rounds of combat. In round 3, they’ll all be involved. Since this is melee, no Initiative is rolled. The difficulty to do damage is targets Stamina + 3, so 5 all around.

Round 1. Terry spends blood to increase his Stamina, increasing it by 1 to 3 (and the difficulty to hurt him to 6). Hopefully this extra bit of soak will make the difference. The two men from the break room will charge in. Terry will attack the first one, and just take the seconds attack, hoping to be able to soak whatever damage gets through. No one has a weapon, so it’s just fists—everyone is rolling against a difficulty of 6 and a damage that is only equal to their Strength.

Dexterity + Brawl [2] 3,10 for 1 Successes
Breakroom 1
Dexterity + Brawl [2] 1,7 for no Successes. Terry beats him by 1.
Damage [3] (difficulty 5) 2,3,4 +1 for 1 Success. As a mortal, the target can no soak this damage.

Breakroom 2
Dexterity + Brawl [2] 9,2 for 1 Successes. As this is unopposed, he hits Terry.
Damage [3] 3, 5, 5 for no Successes

Round 2. Terry spends one blood point to increase with Strength by 1 to 3. Same combat actions as last time.
Dexterity + Brawl [2] 4,5 for no Successes.
Breakroom 1
Dexterity + Brawl [2] 8,6 for 2 Successes.
Damage [4] 2,2,2,9 for 1 Success
Soak [3] (dif 7) 7,5,4 Terry Soaks the damage.

Breakroom 2
Dexterity + Brawl [2] 6,3 for 1 Successes
Damage [3] 3,4,1 for No Successes

Round 3. In this round, the remaining two office workers (Worker1 and Worker2) enter the fray. If they were smart, they would just dogpile Terry, but I figure Terry has enough sense to keep bouncing between them, and stay moving. And no one involved in this really knows what a fight entails, they’re just reacting out of instinct. Terry will spend a blood point on Dexterity, hoping to break the stalemate.

Dexterity + Brawl [3] 8,1,5 for no Successes.
Dexterity + Brawl [2] 9,3 for 1 Success.
Damage [3] 8,2,7 for 2 Success.
Soak [3] (dif 6) 7,6,7 for 3 Successes.

Dexterity + Brawl [2] 1,9 for no Successes

Dexterity + Brawl [2] 5,6 for 1 Successes
Damage [3] (dif 7)4,10,7 for 2 Successes
Soak [3] 1,7,9 for 1 Successes. Terry takes 1 level of damage, and is reduced to Bruised.

Dexterity + Brawl [2] 6,8 for 2 Successes
Damage [4] 2,7,6,10 for 3 Successes
Soak [3] (dif 8) 8,8,6 for 2 Successes. Terry takes 2 levels of damage, and is reduced to Injured, taking a -2 to all future rolls.

With the -2, Terry has little hope of surviving this encounter. He could spend Willpower to power through the damage and ignore the penalties, but he’s not someone who’s been in a fight before. I figure he’s going to attempt a desperate move to escape—he’ll try using Vanish again.  If he pulls this off, he just might make it out here intact. First, though, he has to go first.

First, everyone needs to roll for Initiative, which is Wits+Alertness against a difficulty of 4. I roll the workers as a single group, and give them three dice.  Terry should have 4, but his wound penalties drops him to 2.

Terry [2] 4,7 for 2 successes.
Workers [3] 10,8,1 for 1 Success. Terry goes first.

Terry needs to roll his Charisma + Stealth to activate Vanish. He normally has 5 dice for this, but being Injured gives him a -2 penalty, reducing him to 3. He can’t even think about using Willpower on this roll, since the power requires Willpower, and you can only spend Willpower once per turn. For the workers, they’ll roll as a group.

Charisma + Stealth -3 [2] 2,10 for 1 Success.
Intelligence + Alertness [4] 1,9,9,1 for No Successes.

Authors Note: Thank GOD!

They charged me. I’d like to say I gave as good as I got, but that’s a damn lie. There was just more of them than me. 6, 7. Maybe 8, I couldn’t really keep track. They were on me like a wave, punching, kicking, grabbing and pinning me.
I’ve never been in a fight before. Not a real one, at least. Closest I ever came was a semesters worth of Judo at college, to meet my Phys. Ed requirement. And nothing they taught in that class, or what they show in movies, was anything like it.

It was a mess, just a mass of people of striking and grabbing. I think someone bit me—hope he enjoyed that taste. But it was ugly, and brutal, and everything hurt. Every finger digging into my skin, every foot thrown awkwardly at my legs—everything hurt, and everything was a mess, and I just knew I had to get out.

I managed to crawl out of the pile, and with a few jabs bought myself a moment of peace. A moment was all I needed, and this time, I was able to pull the little trick off. They were lost, confused, trying to figure out what happened. Not only was I gone, but they didn't even remember me being there.  

I had made enough of a mess of things, so I got out of there as fast as I could

Terry has failed in his first scene, and is forced to flee. Due to his failure, Montrell gains 1 Victory Point, and, since this was an Investigation Scene, gets to roll against the current count (of 1). He gets an 8, so has to settle for his single VP. Where does Terry go next? A Rest scene might actually be in order, but I think he’s going to push himself. I decide to go with another Investigation scene and get:

Stake out an Actor or Location. Whether or not you win the check, your opponent gains a Victory point due to delay.

Ok, so, Terry isn’t going to go far. He knows after his little stunt SOMEONE is going to come check it out. He wants to know who and, maybe, why they come. He’s going to hang back at the quarry and see what he can see.

Also, his being spotted has consequences. He adds 1 to the City’s Heat total, bringing it up to 3. I figure all the PC’s in this Chronicle share Heat, as it affects everyone in town, and Hanson had already managed to get it up to 2. 3 isn’t too bad, but if it stats inching above 7, there’s going to be problems.

See you all next time!

Victory Points
Investigation & Action Scene Count
Willpower (6)
Blood Pool (12)
Health (7)
Scene Number
Infiltrate a Location

Rules and Mechanics
Not familiar with Vampire? Check out the Primer
Story StructureScarlet Vampire a variation of Scarlet Heroes

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