Thursday, February 8, 2018

Session 0 for A Simple Plan

Last time, we created the character of Terry. Now it’s time to figure out what the world has in store for our poor Nosferatu. For this, I’m going to bring in some additional tools, specifically the Storytellers Handbook.
First, I roll for Theme and get a 6, for Pursuit. Rolling on the subtables, I get an 8—“A new witch-hunter has come to town and has managed to find out something about the character.” Huh, guess Terry’s going to have to come to grips with his nature real fast then, won’t he?

I also wanted to make Backgrounds more of an element in the story. Rolling on those tables, I get a 9, for Resources. Rolling on the subtable, I get a 6, which leads to “Unless the character takes prompt action, she will likely suffer a great loss of Resources.” Maybe the hunter is doing the old “follow the money” play book?
I think I have a pretty good setup for a story, but I roll on Scarlet anyways, just to get some inspiration. I roll a 2 and get
An Antagonist seeks to steal something precious to a Target

I’m not sure how that fits with the Witch Hunter element, but let’s see what else we can get.

Next, I need to determine what the various Threat values are (basic explanation here, and here). There are three types of Threat I need to worry about (Physical, Social, and Mental) which will determine the comparative difficulty for each sort of challenge that Terry might face. They are determined with a roll of d10 divided by 2. Also, the combined Threat is the maximum Experience that Terry can gain from the adventure. Failure nets him half.

Physical 4, Social 3, Mental 3.

So, Physical 4 means than the average Physical threat is going to slightly better than Terry. To be fair, it’d be difficult to be worse. Terry, despite being a vampire, is no physical powerhouse, so he’s looking at either similarly untrained vampires, barely trained ghouls, or decently trained mortals. The Social and Mental challenges are comparable to him, and he’s pretty darn good.

So, let’s detail the Hunter a little bit. To flesh him out (and MORE random rolls) I turn to the supplement Hunters Hunted. First question I need to answer is Why? What is the Hunters motive? 1) Revenge, 2) Hate, 3) Duty, 4) Control, 5) Power, 6) Curiosity, 7) Fun, 8) Insanity. I get a 5 for Power—not sure if he wants to control Terry directly to further his own ends, or if getting Terry is an end in itself—maybe he wants his blood or the like.

Next is How? What are the Hunters Methods? 1) Scientific, 2) Religious, 3) Occult, 4) Detective, 5) Manipulative, 6) Firepower. I get a 5 for Manipulative.

Now, I turn to the UNE to get the final details and get Destitute Politician who wishes to explain music, publicize stories, and damage poverty.

So, a destitute politician who is out to manipulate Terry for the sake of power. After thinking on this for a bit, I come up with the following:

Montrell Sampson was one of the few politicians that believe their own hype. He used to be a rising star in the New Canaan Democratic party, and everyone expected him to become Mayor one day. After that—Governor, Senator, hell, at least a Representative. But he also cared, deeply, about the people of the city, and truly believed he could make their lives better. He threw everything he had into the New Canaan Initiative—a multi part proposal to increase education, job training, and reform. He called in every favor, and burned every bridge getting it passed.

It failed, miserably. In a matter of months, he went from “rising star” to “has been.” He had pissed off every powerful donor in the city, and his career was over. It was made quite clear to him than when his seat on the council came up, neither the party nor the donors would be there for him. He was trapped, and alone, and there was no way out for him.

Well, there was one. You don’t rise as high as he did without hearing rumors, and getting at least some sense of who was really in charge. None of them had sought him out, but he knew enough. Enough to ask questions, to test the answers, and to try to find a way to turn things to his advantage. If the vampires wouldn’t work with him, then they would work for him. They would provide him the leverage he needed to keep his seat and get his career back on track. For the good of the people, of course.

After weeks of searching, he’s finally tracked one down. A former lawyer who developed a “mysterious” ailment. Most say it’s just psychosomatic, a bad case of agoraphobia. But Montrell knows, and he knows exactly where to push to get Terrance to go where he wants…

As a manipulative guy, though, he needs to have some minions. I give him two—Randall Jones and Jayden Stewart. Both are old friends of Montrell’s from back in the day. Randall is a former police officer and Jayden is, well, he was just a guy from around the neighborhood who was always good with helping people solve their problems.

Ok, so, the first phase of the story I figure will be Terry following the “bread crumbs” that Montrell leaves for him while he inadvertently does Montrell’s bidding. It’ll take him a bit to figure out what’s going on, let along figuring out who is behind it all. I figure that Montrell is using him to get access to something significant, some information that will, he thinks, give him power and sway over the vampires in town. Perhaps a disk with the location of various havens?

In any case, I roll up for the first scene prompt and get:

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

Given that this strikes me as one of those “on the surface brilliant ideas that will inevitably turn to tragedy for everyone involved” I decide to call this story A Simple Plan. See you guys soon for the Prologue!

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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