Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Simple Plan, Scene 4

A Simple Plan

Scene 4

Do you have any idea how many “O’leary’s” there are in the greater New Canaan metropolitan area? Five. Five damn places called “O’leary’s” or some variation. So, first I had to figure out which one my “date” would be at come midnight. I felt pretty safe ignoring the seafood restaurant and the “family grill.” It took a while, but I eventually found the one that would be open late, and sounded like a nice, hole in the wall dump. Just the kind of place “Mike” would have liked.

I got there about 11, and tried to keep an eye on the place. Though, to be honest, I didn’t know what I was looking for.  I guess I thought it’d be a stereotypical “tough guy” bar, but there seemed to be a decent mix of people. Professionals still wearing their button-down shirts, college kids, and fans of one team or another--just folks out for a drink.

Not something I ever did, when I was alive. Not that I was against drinking. Guess I just didn’t have a group of friends to go out drinking with. I wonder how things would have turned out if I had.

Anyway, I sat there for about an hour and a half, watching the crowd come and go. I had no idea who I was looking for, so around 12:30 I picked the phone and typed in “hey.” Took about 10 minutes before I got a reply.


“out back”


“I’m out back.”


Damn, where they being stubborn or stupid? I needed to get whoever this was out of that bar, somewhere I could see them, somewhere I could talk to them without too much attention. I threw on my jacket and hat, covering myself as best I could and went to the rear of the bar.

“I Need your help with something. Can you come out here?”

“ur fuckin w me

5 mins”

Five minutes was more than enough time for me to find a nice dark shadow and disappear.

The prompt for this scene is

Intimidate or put social pressure on an associate of the foe.

Terry is in a position to, hopefully, surprise and intimidate this associate. But, at this point, we don’t know this person is! So, let’s find out.

First, I’m just going to assume that the associate is a mortal—the main threat of this story, after all, is a mortal, and so having a vampire or a werewolf show up would just be odd. Though, let’s say there’s a 1 in 10 chance that the associate is the something odd. 9. Mortal they are.

Now, I use some of the tables from my
random vampire to get some details.

Gender: 7 Female
Age: 3 Mid-Twenties
Culture: 1 Born in America
Ethnicity: 2 East Asian

Then I turn to the UNE for a rough concept: Conformist and scheming servant. Everyone, Everywhere gives me a name of Leah Tran.

Finally, I use the CRGE to answer some rough questions, going with “To Knowledge.”

Are (er, were) Jayden and Leah a couple? 9 No, but…she did have feelings for him.

Does she know Jayden is dead? 4 No, and Unexpectedly…Upstaged. I take this to mean that there’s someone else following her. Montrell knows that Jayden is dead, and was going to break it to Leah. But, when she said that they had plans tonight, decided to have someone follow her, in hopes of figuring out who killed him. Probably he suspects Terry, but he wants to confirm it.

Is Leah involved with Montrell’s schemes? 83 Yes, and…She’s a paralegal at McGuire Woods, and one of Montrell’s people there. Most of the lawyers just view it as another case.

As for the guy following her, I’ll say he’s just a hired gun, doesn’t really know much. He’s tougher than Terry (who isn’t?) with a base of 4 for his combat dice pools. We’ll call him Steve.  Of course, his orders are NOT to engage with Terry, but merely to confirm who it is that speaks with Leah.

NOTE: when first playing this, it immediately turned into a brutal fight scene with Steve. But that took the focus away from Leah, and the challenge of the scene is Social, not Physical. So I took a mulligan and went back to when Leah came out of the bar, turning Steve from an assassin there to kill Terry, to a spy there to confirm information. Yeah, I probably should have played it out, or probably not admitted that I "cheated," but there you go.

She came out into the alley, still dressed in her off-brand business casual. She had been here a while, based on the slight stumble in her step that wasn’t just the heels. But she was young, and warm against the cold night air, and breathing, and alive. She was every woman I had known or worked with, whom I could never bring myself to speak to. Whom I was never able to know, or touch, and now never would again.

“Jayden? Where the fuck are you?”

Her voice helped me focus. Jayden. Good, that was something.

I stepped out of my shadow, keeping my head low and my hood on tight. “I need to talk to you about Jayden.”

Leah may have no idea what is really going on, or what Terry is, but she is a smart and resourceful woman, and this will not be a push over scene. I actually go ahead and make her a full sheet, even though I don’t bother with her freebie points. If she shows up again, I’ll assign her freebies then.

As with earlier social scenes in this series, Terry is going to need to overcome three distinct challenges to get everything he wants. Unlike the other ones, he won’t need to get 10 total successes. Instead, I decide that each one will be an opposed roll between him and Leah. I’ll be counting up total successes, and determining how well he does based on what the results are. 5+ Will mean total success, and him moving on to the files (or Montrell). 3+ will mean that he can proceed without issue. 1+ means he can proceed, but gave Leah some key information. A failure is a failure. But a botch, well, he'll probably get shot by Steve or something.

They’ll both be rolling against a difficult of 6.

First, he’s going to try to Fast Talk her-just relying on surprise and uncertainty to blabber at her and get her talking.

Terry: Manipulation + Subterfuge [6] 4,2,7,7,1,8 for two successes.
Leah: Wits + Streetwise [5] 8,5,3,5,2 for one successes. Terry beats her by one.

As he has the edge on her, he’s going to move onto Interrogation, and try to get her to cough up some real information.

Terry: Manipulation + Intimidation [5] 9,9,4,10,3 for three successes
Leah: Manipulation + Wits [5] 3,3,10,1,4 for no successes. Terry beats her by three, and has a total of four successes.

Finally, he’s going to try and convince her that he’s the good guy here, and that she should volunteer anything that he’s missing. This is a Credibility roll.

Terry: Charisma + Leadership [4] 7,8,10,8 for four successes.
Leah: Intelligence + Subterfuge [5] 7,10,2,8,6 for four successes, for a tie. But, he still managed to get four total successes thanks to the previous rolls, and that’s pretty good.

“I may have been played for a fool, once, Leah. But I’m not the bad guy here. Surely you see it. Help me take these bastards down.”

“You lure me out here, ambush me in an alley, pretending to be Hayden? Yeah, you keep telling yourself you’re not the bad guy, asshole. Hide your face all you want. As soon as you’re gone, I’m calling the cops, calling Jayden, his friends. Everyone. So, you better be willing to kill me. Because I’m going to remember you.”

I turned my back to her, with a sigh, and said “No. You won’t.”

Terry is going to try to Vanish, and hopefully this time it’ll work. The only catch is that he is unaware of Steve watching them. He has to beat whoever has the best Intelligence + Alertness pool. Leah has a 4 die pool for this.

Does Steve have better than a 4 in his pool? 33. No.

Ok, we’ll use Leah then.

Terry: Charisma + Stealth [5] 6,9,2,2,7 for three successes.
Leah: Intelligence + Alertness [4] 9,2,10,1 for one successes. Terry beats her by two, and he fades from her memory.

As I walked away, I saw her eyes glaze over momentarily, and her vision slide over me, unseeing. I hid myself away near a dumpster, watching her. She was lost, confused. She had come out here to meet someone, didn’t she? She looked at her phone, then around. Not scared. Not yet. No one else was here, nothing seemed wrong with her. But it was Friday night, and she had been drinking, and mortals are notorious for coming up with excuses for things that they don’t want to deal with. Soon, she was back inside. No doubt having another drink, another smoke, another hour lost but not missed. Would her friends notice how long she was gone? Would they care? Or would they do casually ignore it. Even in this jaded age, there are things best not to think too hard about.

I let her go from my mind as easily as I had left hers. I had other things to worry about.

Terry has successfully completed the challenge for this scene, and thus gains 1 Victory Point. As this was a Conflict scene, Montrell loses one as well.  I’m not exactly sure what information Leah was able to provide for Terry—most likely it refers to her work with the law firm and what they know and all that. More importantly, whatever she told him will lead to the next scene. I decide to go with an Investigation scene and I get:

Hunt up an Actor whom you have reason to suspect can give you a Clue.

I figure this will be one of the partners. In fact, probably the partner who was Montrell’s guy at the firm. After Terry’s break in at Vulcan, he took an unscheduled vacation. Terry is going to both need to find him and get him to talk. But, that’s a challenge for next time!

Victory Points
Investigation & Action Scene Count
Willpower (6)
Blood Pool (12)
Health (7)
Scene Number
Infiltrate a Location
Stake a Location
Face the foes best warrior
Regain resources
Intimidate associate of foe
Hunt up and Actor

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

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