Monday, October 23, 2017

A Lonely Hope Scene 1

Scarlet Vampire

A Lonely Hope

Following the events of the Prologue, Hanson is attempting to shadow the stranger. To accomplish this, I use the mechanics from Vampire.

Shadowing someone requires two separate rolls. The first is to Track the target, and the second is to remain Unseen. Tracking involves a Perception+Investigation (Hanson has 6 dice for this roll) against a difficulty of 5 (the streets are practically empty around here). Remaining unseen is a Dexterity+Stealth (also 6 dice) against a difficulty of 8. The same empty streets make remaining unnoticed very difficult.
Shadowing: Rolling 6 dice, Hanson gets 6,2,4,1,5,7, she gets three successes against a difficulty of 5. But, the 1 costs her a success, leaving her with just two. Still more than enough to keep the target in site.
Unseen: Rolling 6 dice, Hanson gets 1,10,1,7,1,3. She gets one success against a difficulty of 8. But, the three 1’s means that she not only fails this roll, but actually botches.

Normally, it would be up to the Storyteller (or GM Emulator) for what happens next, but the Scarlet Rules clearly state that on a failure, she must face a fight.

Careful to avoid the police, Hanson crossed the street away from the church, and made a long circle to catch up with the man. It was a risk, but she couldn't be seen walking out the back of the church while a half-dozen cops rushed in the front. She walked north, then west for two blocks, then turned south again. She was worried she might have missed him, but she caught a glimpse just as he crossed the street and turned west. She hurried down to line up with him, planning on crossing the street he was on, to give herself a bit more concealment. As she came to the corner of the building, though, she almost froze. The man was standing there, looking back. Shit, she thought, and forced herself to keep moving. To keep crossing the street as if nothing was wrong. You die on the lie she thought to herself, keeping her head down and deliberately not looking at the man.

It seemed she was fine, though. He had only stopped to light a cigarette, and he continued walking without a second look at her. She tailed him another block or two, before she saw him walk behind a row of shops. She stood on the street, wondering what to do. There'd be no way to conceal that she was following him if she went back there, but there was no way she could cover all the ways out. Fuck it, she thought. I'm already dead. What's the worst that can happen?

She quickly crossed the street and went behind the shops. She had gotten about two or three stores down when she heard the distinctive click of a hammer being pulled back on an automatic.

Hanson has failed to follow her target, and now she has to fight him. I skip the initiative phase, and head right into combat. I still don’t know who exactly this fellow is, but I set his “combat ability” to 7, based on the story’s default Physical Threat. I’m not sure if he’s trying to actually kill Hanson, or just get away. Being unsure, I ask Mythic.

Is he trying to kill Hanson? [50/50 odds for 50% chance] 97 ABSOLUTELY NOT.

This guy is tough, but not a killer. He just wants to get away.

Hanson spends a blood point and activates her Celerity, which grants her an extra action this turn. The shooter gets to go first, as he has the drop on her. Hanson will attempt to dodge.

Action 1
The shooter needs to roll Dexterity+Firearms against a difficulty of 3 (point blank range) and has 7 dice and rolls 9,9,2,3,1,8,8. Even with the 1, he still gets four successes.
Hanson is trying to dodge. She needs to roll Dexterity+Dodge (4 dice) against a difficulty of 4 (they’re in a crowded back alley and cover is relatively close by). She rolls 4,2,7,7, for 3 successes.
Her Dodge successes are subtracted from the shooters, but he still hits with one success. The weapon has a base damage of 2, plus 1 for his successes, for 3 dice. The difficulty is Hanson’s Stamina (3)+3, or 6. He rolls and gets 8,9,6, for 3 successes. Hanson then needs to roll Soak. Her Stamina is 3, and the difficulty is the weapon base (2)+3, or 5. She rolls 9,1,7. The 1 cancels out a success, and she only soaks one. She takes 2 damage.

Action 2

Hanson’s Celerity gives her an additional action this Turn. As she’s now safely behind cover, she will draw her weapon and return fire. I decide that drawing is a negligible action, for this battle.  Her Dexterity+Firearms dice pool is 7, but this is reduced by 1 due to the damage she took (currently “Hurt”). Her difficulty though is much higher. She’s no longer in “point blank range,” so she uses the standard difficulty of her weapon, or 7. In addition, the Shooter is “mostly behind corner of building” (he was hiding when she came in) which adds 3 to  the difficulty. She is rolling against a difficulty of 10 and rolls 7,4,4,7,7,5.

She returns fire, but fails to hit her target

As soon as she heard the hammer click, Hanson dove away from the weapon, hoping not to give him a chance. Despite her speed, the bullet still grazed her side, searing her with its heat. She didn’t giver herself time to think about that. Instead, she pulled herself up along a wall and fired a quick shot where she knew the man had been. The dull thunk of masonry smashing let her know the shot had gone wide.

Initiative (Wits+Alertness)
Hanson [2 dice]: 10,4, two successes
Shooter [8 dice (based on Mental Threat]: 4,7,6,9,7,5,4,3, seven successes.

Hanson spends blood for Celerity and a Willpower point to resist the Wound Penalties.

Action 1
Shooter gets to go first. He splits his actions to shoot and move down the alleyway to more cover.
Shooting (7 dice total, down to 4 as he is dividing his actions). Difficulty is 10, as Hanson is behind cover. He rolls 2,4,10,5 for one success. Hanson wasn’t Dodging this turn (instead relying on the cover to protect her), and so he rolls three dice for damage. Luck smiles on Hanson, as he only rolls 1,2,3—technically a botch, but since you cannot botch a damage roll, it is merely a failure.
Even still, that shot came too close to Hanson. All the stress and pressure puts her at risk of Frenzy. She needs to roll her Self-Control [3 dice] against a difficulty of 7. Normally this would be a 5, but her Brujah flaw is to have all such difficulties increased by 2. She rolls and gets 7,9,9—three successes, she easily remains in control.
Still, though, she has no interest in a running gun battle when the police are so close. She drops the gun and rushes at the Shooter as her 1st action. 

Action 2
For the 2nd, she will attempt to throw him into a wall.
This requires a Dexterity+Brawl roll [6 dice] against a difficulty of 7. Normally, this would be an opposed roll, but the Shooter has already acted this turn and cannot defend himself.  
She rolls 1,9,10,6,4,9. Even with the 1, she still scores two successes. Her damage is based on her Strength [4] plus successes [2] for a total of 6 against a difficulty of opponents Stamina (I’m not sure, but I know he’s tough. I say 4) + 3, or 7. She rolls 8,7,5,9,7,3 for four successes. Her Potence Discipline adds 1 to this, bringing it up to 5.
The Shooter now needs to soak. Normally, mortals can’t soak at all in 1st Edition. I know this guy isn’t a vampire, but is he something else? I turn to Mythic and ask

Is the Shooter a mortal [50/50 odds—50%]? 22—YES.

As a mortal, he can’t soak, and takes all 5 levels of damage. In addition, since Hanson did the “throw” maneuver, he is stunned for one round. He can recover, but only by spending Willpower. He’s badly hurt, and may give up here, so I again turn to Mythic.
Does the Shooter give up [50/50 odds—50%]? 14-YES.
End of Fight. Hanson has spent 2 Blood Points and 1 Willpower point. She has also taken 2 levels of damage and remains at Hurt.

Hanson ducked behind as another bullet flew her way, crashing into the masonry next to her. She heard the man’s heavy footsteps as he ran quickly further down the alley. That was the second time her shot at her, and she was ready to tear him to pieces. She forced the thought of dancing in his entrails from her mind, and glanced out to see where he had gone. This running gun battle wasn’t doing her any favors, and the cops were far too close for her comfort. She needed to end this. Now. And if this asshole was hoping a gun would stop her, he was in for a rude surprise.

She rushed out of her cover, letting her weapon fall to the ground, and barreled towards the man. He had a brief moment of shock just before she slammed into him like a linebacker, throwing him back into the wall. There was a satisfying sound of bones snapping as he went flying. Probably just some ribs, she thought. Probably.
He tried, vaguely, to reach for his dropped weapon, but Hanson just stepped on his wrist, and pressed down. Hard.

“How about you and I have a little chat, ok?” 

The fight over, Hanson is now attempting to Interrogate the Shooter. She wants to know why he was there, and why he called the cops. It’d also be nice to know who he is and who set this up.

Hanson needs to roll her Manipulation+Intimidation [5 dice] against a difficulty of 10 (derived from the Story’s Social Threat). She’s still Hurt, however, which reduces her by 1 to 4 dice. She elects not to spend Willpower, believing she has the man at her mercy. She rolls and gets 9,8,6,6—a solid roll, but the man refuses to talk.

“I ain’t gonna tell you shit, you fucking bitch,” the man spat at her.
“Damn,” she said. “And we were getting along so well. I wonder what else we can do on such a lovely night…” she pressed her knee deep into the man’s sternum, and heard the sound of more ribs giving way. She grabbed his left hand and held it in front of his face. He tried to pull it away, but in his state he was no match for the sheer power Hanson possessed. She started with his pinky, bending it back and snapping it till it dangled unnaturally. By the time she had made it through three of his fingers, the man had passed out in pain, and she really did believe that wasn’t going to tell her anything.

In the Scarlet rules, the goal of an Investigation scene is to gather Clues. Hanson had failed the “shadow a target” goal, but she did win the fight. The man clearly wasn’t going to tell her anything, but does he have anything else? I want to give Hanson a break here, so I choose to ask Mythic.

Does he have a Clue on him [Likely--75%] 69. YES

What’s the Clue though? Scarlet Heroes doesn’t provide any kind of description of Clues, so I turn to Covetous Poet, which does have a “Clue” chart. I roll a percentile and get an 84 for Hired Thugs.

Hanson quickly went through the man’s pockets, looking for anything of interest.  He didn’t have much—a switchblade, wallet, one full and one half-pack of Camels, a lighter, and a bunch of crumpled up receipts. The license in the wallet said his name was Jake Cawley. She glanced at him. Sure, might be a “Jake,” She thought. Inside she also found a number of bills—almost $300 dollars in crisp, new twenties. Maybe he just hit the ATM. Or, someone else did, and Jakey here got paid well to make a simple phone call.

The receipts were from a couple different places. Fast food joints and the like. But one stood out, Quick Stop Shop Convenience, for two packs of Camels. He had just been there earlier tonight. Despite the generic name, she didn’t recall seeing many around. It wasn’t much, but more than she had before. She kept the money and the one receipt, but put the rest back in his pockets. She retrieved her weapon and headed down the alley, leaving the man who had tried to kill her unconscious and alone.

Whatever happened to him next wasn’t up to her.

Now that the first scene is over, it’s time to update the table. Hanson gains 1 Victory Point and a Clue. Her Opponent rolls a d10 against the current “Investigation and Action” Scene Count (1) and gets a 7, so no Victory Point is gained. The Heat remains at 0, as the brutal beating and torture of a hired thug won’t attract any significant attention.

Finally, where do we go next? Now that she has a Clue, I want Hanson to go to an Action Scene. She’ll need to Rest sooner or later, and I want to get as many Victory Points as possible.  I roll and get “Face the foe's best warrior.” Hanson might have bitten off more than she can chew
Victory Points
Investigation & Action Scene Count
Scene Number
Tail an Actor who might have a Clue. On a check failure, face a Fight.
Failed to Tail, succeed on Fight
Face the foe's best warrior

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

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