Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Lonely Hope--Scene 11

Scarlet Vampire

A Lonely Hope

Scene 11

Hanson has failed to intimidate Marko, Adrian’s inside man. Instead, she needs to head to Adrian’s haven, a converted monastery, and recover the tapes that are the key to his blackmail.

Hanson sat in her Camry, watching the old monastery. Trying to think of how to get in, and how to find the tapes. Her thoughts, though, kept going back to Marko.

Why the tapes? Assuming Adrian was even halfway competent, he of course had duplicates. Maybe he wanted to verify exactly what they said. Maybe there’s more Kindred trapped in the web, and he wants the leverage for himself. And if that’s the case, should she give them to him? She wasn’t sure. It probably depended on what was on the tapes, and how many people were affected.

Not that it really mattered. Until she had the tapes, this was all theoretical. And finding the tapes was going to be an issue all its own.

Hanson is surveilling the monastery, and I need to determine what she’s seeing. For this, I turn to Mythic. As I haven’t been tracking the Chaos Factor for Mythic, I decide to set it at 5, for average odds.

Is the building in good shape? 50/50, 50%-- 24. Yes. The building is well maintained and restored.
Are there a lot of people there? Unlikely, 35%-- 98. Exceptional No. In fact, the place seems abandoned.
Does it seem well secured? Very Likely, 85%-- 76. Yes. It’s appears to be locked up pretty tight.
Is there anything unusual happening? Given the place is empty, I say Very Unlikely, 25%--49. No.

The monastery seems to be empty—no cars nearby, no signs of movement, no lights on except for the obvious security ones. It was obviously well maintained and protected, but the lack of anyone, even a lone ghoul or security disturbs Hanson. Is it a trap? Has Adrian moved his haven? Would the tapes still be there? Like it or not, she has to go in to get them.

Hanson approaches the monastery carefully, but I don’t roll for this, as I know that there is no one currently present. She chooses one of the side doors, though the security is still tight. She’ll need to make a Security roll to get inside. I set the difficulty to 8 to reflect the higher quality of locks and the like compared to standard ones.

Dexterity + Security [6] 1,3,4,3,10,10 for 1 Success.  Not great, but she’s in.

She starts heading towards the main living area of the monastery. While the tapes could be stashed anywhere in the labyrinthine building, long experience has taught Hanson that people, even vampires, tend to be conservative, and like to keep things that matter to them somewhere they can easily keep an eye on them.

There’s two other remaining questions before we get to Hanson’s search of the place. First, are the tapes still present in the building? Initially I had assumed so, but with no one here, the might have been moved elsewhere. Not knowing any better, I set the odds to 50/50 and get 38, for a Yes.

Secondly, there’s an additional part of the prompt from Scarlet Heroes. On an odd result, she is supposed to face a Fight. I decide to go with a timer instead. She needs to accumulate 10 Successes against a difficulty of 8. Each Action allows her one roll, but there is an increasing chance that someone will show up, thus provoking a violent confrontation. 1 in 10 for the first action, 2 in 10 for the second, and so on.

Action 1
Hanson begins by searching what she believes to be Adrian’s haven—a secured and locked internal room, but one with plenty of comforts.

Perception + Investigate [6] 3,6,10,3,7,2 1 Success
Encounter (1 in 10) 4

Action 2
Next, she moves to the general living quarters, where the kitchens and sitting room lie. Places where Adrian would host close guests.

Perception + Investigate [6] 7,3,10,1,2,1 a Botch. Not only does she gain no Successes, she loses what she had so far accumulated.
Encounter (2 in 10) 7

Action 3
She then moves to the “servant” areas, the side kitchen and private bed rooms he allows his ghouls to keep some small comforts.

Perception + Investigate [6] 1,6,5,2,5,4 another Botch. No successes gained.
Encounter (3 in 10) 1

Someone else has entered the building, and they are ready to fight and throw down with Hanson. Since she Botched the last roll, I just decide that she won’t be aware of them coming in—no time to hide or plan an ambush or the like.

Now the question is “who is coming in?”
I don’t have a particular thought at this point, so I turn to Scarlet Heroes and get 1d4 + Threat Soldiers. I roll a 1, and so it’s 3 of them (the Physical Threat is 2). Translating between the two systems isn’t exact, so I assume they’re decently trained in a fight. Good Physical stats (3 each) and a 2 in all relevant combat skills.

I then turn to Mythic to answer some questions about them.
Are they with Adrian? 50/50 50%--11 Yes.
Are they normal humans? 50/50 50%--39 Yes.

Actually, that’s all I need. Hanson managed to trip an alarm, and they came as soon as they could.

Hanson had patiently but quickly gone over the house as thoroughly as she could. Closets, drawers, between mattresses, inside the flour and coffee in the kitchen. She had unscrewed each light switch and air vent, checked floors and the drop ceilings. Wherever the tapes were, she knew they weren’t in “living” area of this place. She had just finished screwing a vent cover back in place, and was thinking of trying to find the cult center of this place, most likely still where the Chapel was, when the sound of footsteps on carpet drew her attention to the hallway.

Two men suddenly burst into the room, guns drawn. As soon as they saw her, the opened fire.

For the higher grade of random thugs. 
Due to Hanson’s earlier Botch, the gunmen have Initiative.  She still can, however, spend blood. Which she will.

Round 1. Hanson spends one point of Blood to activate Celerity.
Two of the gunmen can get a shot off at her, the other remains in the hallway. They’re a bit better equipped than most, carrying SIG Sauer P220’s. It does more damage than a Glock (3 dice vs 2), but has a bit more of a kick (difficulty 8 rather than 7).

Gunman1 shoots at Hanson. She will not attempt a dodge.
Dexterity + Firearms [5] 1,1,4,10,3 a Botch. The attack goes wide. In fact, I’ll say it destroyed the hidden security camera in the room. Just in case it matters.

Gunman2 shoots at Hanson. She will not attempt a dodge.
Dexterity + Firearms [5] 1,8,4,1,6 another Botch. There should be a consequence for this, but he’s about to face a pissed off vampire. That sounds like consequence enough.

Hanson charges the two gunmen, dedicating one attack to each. She uses her trust collapsible baton.
Dexterity + Melee [6] 7,3,8,10,2,5 for 3 Successes.
Damage: Strength (4) + 1 + Successes (3) for [8] against a difficulty of [6] (3+Targets Stamina). 6,5,3,10,10,5,3,9 +1 (Potence) for 5 levels of damage. As a mortal, Gunman1 cannot soak, and so he drops to Mauled and takes a -2 to all future rolls.

Dexterity + Melee [6] 2,2,6,3,6,3 for 2 Successes.
Damage [7] 7,7,4,2,7,3,3 +1 for 4 levels of damage, reducing him to Wounded and (conveniently for me) also taking a -2 on all future rolls.

Round 2. Hanson again spends blood for Celerity. No initiative is rolled, as everyone is in melee. Gunman3 can’t fire while his friends are in the midst of it. He’ll wait for a clear shot. Each Gunman has a pool of Dexterity (3) + Brawl (2) -2 for wounds, for a total of 3 dice.
Hanson [6] 2,3,6,4,6,7,4 for 3 Successes.
Gunman1 [3] 10,2,2 for 1 Success.
Damage [7] 8,4,1,4,6,8,4 +1 for 4 levels of damage. Gunman1 is unconscious if not dead.

Hanson [6] 10,1,3,9,6,9 for 3 Successes
Gunman2 [3] 4,2,3 for No Successes
Damage [8] 5,4,9,9,8,6,9,3 +1 for 6 levels of damage. Gunman2 is out.

With a clear shot, Gunman3 now fires at Hanson.
Gunman3 [5] 3,7,1,4,4 for No Successes.

These poor bastards.

With only one Gunman left, I rule that, after spending one more blood point for Celerity, Hanson easily overwhelms him.

The man turned and ran. The blind, panicked run of the prey from the predator. He gave no thought to where he would go. Just that he had to get away.

Hanson rushed behind and tackled him to the ground. His gun, his weapon which so recently was a source of strength and security, was thrown from his grasp. He feebly tried to reach out, to pick it up again. To somehow save himself from this thing.

Instead, his outstretched arm was wrenched back with impossible power and a harsh voice whispered in his ear “Let’s have a chat, you and I.”

Hanson is going to try the old Jack Bauer Interrogation.

Hanson will need to roll Manipulation + Intimidation. The difficulty is the targets Manipulation + Wits. I’m not sure what the Gunmen’s Social and Mental stats are, so I decide to set this at 5. 2 is “average” for a human, and a 3 is pretty good. 5 should work.

Manipulation + Intimidation [5] 4,4,8,5,7 She gets 3 successes.

Does the Gunman know where the tapes are? Very Unlikely 25% 98. Absolutely not.

With that, Hanson has failed the scene. She wasn’t able to find the tapes, and the interrogation was something of a Hail Mary to begin with. Dawn is approaching, and she has intention of being trapped here during the day. She leaves.  Though not before taking a bit of blood from the dead and dying—they’re not going to miss it. She leaves the last one tied up in a closet for Adrian to deal with.

She drove off, in a foul and pissed off mood. She nearly hit a half dozen cars as she tore through the early morning streets, screaming and cursing at pretty much everyone she had ever met.

She was so busy raging at the world that she nearly missed the radio. Something about a “daring pre-dawn raid,” “drug dealing cult,” and “multiple police officers wounded or killed.” Someone had finally set the cops on one of Dona’s meetings, and the mortals had been killed. Mortal police.

The Prince would have to act. Adrian had stopped fucking around

Hanson has failed the scene, which means her Victory Points remain the same, while Adrian’s go up by 1. Since it was a Conflict Scene, as opposed to an Investigation or an Action Scene, Adrian also doesn’t get to roll.  But, she’s also lost the possibility of bringing Marko in on her side. I think Hanson needs another Conflict scene—she really needs to bring Adrian’s point total down. I roll on the Scarlet Heroes chart and get a 10.

Eliminate an outside Actor brought in to aid the foe. Face a Fight instead of a check.

We’ll figure who this Actor is, and how tough a Fight is in store for Hanson, next time!

Victory Points
Investigation & Action Scene Count
Willpower-Max 6
Blood Pool-Max 11
Health-Max 7
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
Hanson hunts, feeds, and heals
Trick an Actor into revealing a Clue.
Waylaid by hostile Actor
Convince an ally of the foe to betray them
Suffer betrayal by an Actor.
Rest and Recover
Hunt down an Actor to provide a Clue
Sabotage a tool, etc., to betray the foes use
Steal foes possessions

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

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