Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Lonely Hope--Scene 15. Final

Scarlet Vampire

A Lonely Hope

Scene 15

Blaine had pulled the car to the edge of the back alley, and Hanson and Dona quickly made their way to him. As they got closer, Hanson headed to the driver’s seat and Blaine, reluctantly, moved over. Dona hopped got into the back.

“Where are we going?” She asked.

“The Prince is bringing in everyone, wants to settle this once and for all. I know Marko has been questioned, and the Prince is pissed. Not sure if Gypsy has tracked down Adrian yet or not. “

“Adrian? What does he have to do with this?”

Hanson sighed, forgetting how out the loop with everything Dona was. She turned around to face her, and noticed the cops were gone. It was time they got out too.

She threw the car into gear and took off down the road, starting to fill Dona in what had been going down. Blaine kept interrupting with his own color commentary, and the explanations quickly descended into an argument. An argument that was only ended when the read wind shield suddenly exploded!

There were cars behind them, rapidly gaining. They must have discovered the missing Dona sooner than Hanson had anticipated. The Camry whined and skidded as Hanson threw it into a turn and slammed the accelerator.

“Jesus, you’re going to get us killed. Let’s just pull over and let them come to us. We can take a bunch of mortals,” Blaine said, confidently holding Hanson’s shotgun.

“I’m not worried about them. Cora was there. She’s what I’m worried about.”

“Cora?” Blaine looked back, an awareness of his own mortality creeping into his dead heart.

Hanson sped on through the rain soaked night.

Obviously, Scarlet Heroes, being a fantasy based game, doesn’t include rules for car chases. So, I turn to Vampire. I’ve used the “vanilla” rules before, but this time I’m going to try the one from the Storytellers Handbook. Basically, Hanson will begin with a set number of successes—let’s say 3. She needs to accumulate 10 total successes in order to get away from her pursuers. Each round will be a contest of Dexterity + Drive against a difficulty of 6, due to the rain. If she gets 10 total, she wins. If Cora and the others ever match her total, a Fight breaks out.

Everyone is driving comparable cars, so there is no significant difference in vehicles. I’ll use Cora’s die pool for the pursuers, which is 7, which nicely fits the Physical Threat. But, all the cars are limited to 6, as none of them are designed for this type of driving. To keep things interesting, there will be a 1 in 10 chance every round of the police becoming aware of the chase, and intervening to put a stop to it.

Round 1. Hanson: 3 Cora: 0.
Hanson [6] 2,6,4,6,8,5. 3 Successes
Cora [6] 6,1,7,6,4,2. 2 Successes
Police (1 in 10) 10

Round 2. Hanson: 5 Cora: 2.
Hanson [6] 2,1,1,3,7,1. Botch.
Cora [6] 3,1,9,7,3,3. 1 Success.
Police (1 in 10) 8

Hanson has botched her roll, losing all her accumulated successes. As such, Cora has caught up with her, and a Fight is about to begin.

She spun the wheel, and pushed the car hard. Harder than it was designed to. Behind her the others struggled to keep up, but their bullets kept flying. The trunk was a mess of holes, and she had lost her side mirrors a mile or so back. But still Hanson kept pushing the car, hoping to reach a place of refuge. Somewhere they could hide, or meetup with others, or at least be so crowded that Cora and her crew would have to back off.

They were coming out the warehouse area, and Hanson could see the lights of the highway up ahead. She hoped there would be just enough cover there. But there was to be no such luck—a stray bullet had gotten lucky and shredded her rear tire. The combination of blown out tire, the rain soaked streets, and the dangerous speeds was too much for the Camry, and it skidded and flipped, crashing into the remains of a diner.

Even vampires can only take so much, and they were all stunned and knocked around by the crash. It took a few, precious moments for them to all come too, and crawl out of the wreckage. Moments they did not have. Before them, the pursuers had lined their cars in a semi-circle, their headlights illuminating the Camry like a star on opening night. Walking into the circle of light was Cora.

“Hanson! You owe me some new knees. I think I’ll take yours.” As she spoke, her fingers grew into claws.

Cora is the most dangerous foe Hanson has ever fought, but this time she has allies, even if none of them are terribly useful in a fight. Dona is already made, but Blaine so far has been undefined. Time to rectify that. He’s already pretty well established (high social, crap investigator, probably not much in a fight), so I’ll just make him as a standard neonate.

Hanson (sheet), Blaine and Dona (sheet) are going to work together to try and take down Cora (sheet). Hanson has her shotgun (difficulty 5, Damage 6), Blaine is carrying her Glock (difficulty 7, Damage 2), while Dona still has her club (difficulty 4, Damage Strength +1). Cora will use her Claws (difficulty 6, Damage Strength +2), which cause Aggravated damage. Only vampires with Fortitude can soak such damage, and no one but Cora has that Discipline. The claws are also one of the few weapons that can permanently kill a vampire.

Also, the difficulty to damage a target is based on their Stamina + 3. So, to hurt Hanson, with a Stamina of 3, is a difficulty of 6. To hurt Cora (who has a Stamina of 4 and a Fortitude of 5), it’s 12. Which means that the attacker needs at least 3 Successes against 10, as she gets to ignore the first 2 levels from any attack.

Also, vampires can soak damage. The difficulty varies based on the source. For melee combat, it’s “Successes to Hit +5.” For Ranged combat, it’s “Damage Value of the Weapon + 3.” I’ll give the exact difficulty when it comes up.

The fight begins.

Hanson and Blaine stood by the wrecked car, readying their weapons. Cora only had eyes for Hanson. Dona tried to make herself small and forgettable in the shadows of the car.

There was a moment as they all looked at one another. The mortals stayed back, knowing that whatever was about to happen was beyond them. Cora’s eyes narrowed, slightly. Hanson and Blaine shared a look, then both rushed off in two separate directions, firing at the enraged Gangrel, as Cora charged.

Round 1. Blaine, Hanson, and Cora all spend blood to activate their Celerity. Dona spends blood to increase her Strength. Blaine and Hanson are firing at Cora, while Cora is attempting to move in to attack. Dona is attempting to activate her Obfuscate, and will wait a chance to strike while invisible.

1st Action
Hanson, Blaine and Cora spend their first action moving. While they both have Celerity, Cora is faster than Hanson. This moving back will buy Hanson one round before Cora is on her.
2nd Action
Hanson and Blaine fire, Cora continues to close the distance.

Dexterity + Firearms [7] 2,8,10,2,3,4,7 3 Successes. Cora is not dodging.
Damage [6] 1,3,9,6,9,1 +3 for her successes to hit. For a total of 1 level of damage. As Cora has a difficulty of 12 to damage, she takes no damage.

Blaine [5] 1,5,8,10,10 for 2 Successes
Damage [2] 3,2 +2 leaves him with 2 successes. Still not enough to affect the Gangrel.

Round 2. Again, everyone who can uses blood to power Celerity (after this, Hanson has only 2 blood points remaining). Dona spends blood to increase her Strength. Blaine will fire twice at Cora, Hanson will shoot, and then use the shotgun as a club when Cora moves in. Cora will move, and be in melee range on her second action. Dona is still waiting.

1st Action
Blaine [5] 1,7,6,8,6 for 1 Success
Damage [2] 10,4 +1 for two successes. Not enough.

Hanson [7] 10,10,2,10,5,5,8 for 6 Successes
Damage [6] 8,2,1,4,7,3 +6 for 5 Successes
Soak (difficulty of 9) [9] 10,10,1,3,10,9,4,1,1 for 1 Success. She ignores the first 2, and soaks one, but still takes 2 levels of damage. She is reduced to Hurt and is at -1 to all future rolls save Soak.

2nd Action
Blaine [5] 7,5,2,8,5 for 2 Successes
Damage [2] 8,10 +2 for 3 Successes. Cora has to soak 1 level of damage.
Soak (difficulty of 5) [9] 4,4,8,4,3,5,3,8,3 for 3 Successes. Cora soaks the damage.

Hanson and Cora are now in melee. Hanson is using the shotgun as a club (Dif 4, Damage Str + 1), while Cora uses her claws (Dif 6, Damage Str +2). Hanson will spend a Willpower point for an automatic success. Cora spends a Willpower to avoid Wound Penalties.

Hanson [6] 9,3,5,4,1,6 +1 for 4 Successes.
Cora [9] 9,8,9,4,1,1,9,7,4 for 3 Successes. Hanson wins with 1.
Damage [6] 6,10,6,4,10,10 +1 for 4 Successes. Cora has to soak 2.
Soak [9] (difficulty 6) 6,3,7,4,3,10,10,4,10. Cora soaks all the damage.

Round 3. Blaine will fire twice. This would normally be risky as hell, but with his heightened senses (from Auspex), I let him try it at a +1 difficulty (raising his difficulty to hit from 7 to 8). Hanson and Cora will fight in melee. On Action 2, I decide the running fight will bring them close enough that Dona will be able to try a sneak attack on Cora. Everyone who can spends blood to activate Celerity. Dona spends blood to increase her Strength. Hanson will spend a Willpower point for an automatic success on her first attack (1 remaining), while Cora spends one to ignore wound penalties (2 remaining)

After this round, Hanson has only 1 bloodpoint left, and cannot spend it, lest she fall into Torpor.

1st Action
Blaine [5] 10,8,6,9,7 for 3 Successes
Damage [2] 3,7 +3 for 3 Successes.
Soak (difficulty of 5) [9] 8,7,4,10,2,1,9,4,8 for 4 Successes. Cora takes no damage.

Hanson [6] 7,8,9,2,4,9 +1 for 6 Successes
Cora [9] 7,7,5,8,4,1,7,1,2 for 2 Successes. Hanson wins with 4.
Damage [9] 4,5,10,3,7,5,4,7,2 +1 for 2 Successes. Not enough to damage Cora.

2nd Action
Blaine [5] 5,7,9,2,6 for 1 Success
Damage [2] 9,3 +1 for 1 successes Not enough to damage Cora

Hanson [6] 3,8,7,6,2,9 for 4 Successes
Cora [9] 1,9,9,7,1,3,1,7,5 for 1 Success. Hanson hits with 3.
Damage [8] 9,5,3,5,5,1,7,1 +1 for No Successes.

Dona [2] 10,3 for 1 Success
Damage [7] 9,4,6,1,8,1,1, for no Successes. (you can’t botch a damage roll, only fail)

Dona leapt from the shadows of the car, and swung the broken chair leg at Cora’s head. Making contact, the thing shattered into a dozen pieces, and the battle paused, as everyone stood and stared at her.

With a break in the action, Hanson slid back the forearm of her busted-up shotgun, ejecting a shell. Glancing at the chamber, she quietly cursed to herself. She stood, pale and cold in the rain and the harsh lights of the pursuers cars. She was still, unblinking, and near death.  She had spent every part of herself getting them this far. But, it seemed, no further.

“I want you to know, Cora. That this was never personal.”

“You made it personal. That stunt at the clinic? Not the kind of thing you just forgive and forget.”

“Well, then. For old times sake.” Barely moving, she squeezed the trigger and set a burst of flames and lead at Cora’s legs.

Round 4. Blaine and Cora spend blood to activate Celerity. Cora spends Willpower to ignore the wound penalties. Hanson spends her final Willpower point to give her an automatic success on her attack on Cora, which will be at 6 (instead of 4), due to the damage her weapon has taken. Dona will get out the way.

Hanson [7]
10,10,9,9,8,1,7 +1 for 6 Successes
Damage [6] 2,10,10,2,8,5, +6 for 8 Successes. Cora ignores 2 and has to soak 6.
Soak [9] 7,3,6,1,4,7,3,2,5 for No Successes (technically a botch, making one of the damage levels Aggravated). This drops her below Incapacitated and into Torpor.

Dona looked on in horror as the shotgun blast tore through Cora’s midsection. Bits of intestines and blood and bone exploded out of her, and she collapsed onto the pavement. The mortals made as if to move, but Blaine was there, waving his gun around, and they decided that it wasn’t their fight anymore.

Starving, drained, and exhausted, Hanson collapsed against her wrecked Camry. Gina is going to be so pissed, she thought, as she slowly slid to the wet ground. She sat there, starting at Cora’s body. She wasn’t dead, not really. She’d be back soon. Unless she finished her off. But there had been enough death so far in Adrian’s little game.

“Meagan? Meagan!” a voice pierced through her thoughts, bringing her back. Dad?

Blaine stood over her, as did Dona. Annoying looks of concern clouded their features. The helped her up, and she slumped against them for support.

“We need to get out of here before the cops show. There’s a payphone up the way. I can get someone to come get us.”

“Yeah, ok. Can I have my gun back?” Hanson asked, dreamily.

Blaine handed it to her, “Sure. Not much use against Cora, I’m afraid. What should we do with her? We can’t just leave her here.”

“When we get to the Prince, he can send someone to take care of it. Put her on ice until she gets better. Oh, hey, Blaine.”


She extended her hand to him “You know, you’re not quite the asshole everyone says you are.”

He took it. “And you’re not the cold bitch everyone says you are.”

With the other hand, she pointed the Glock at his knee and fired.

“But don’t call me Meagan.”

Hanson has won the final scene (with a little bit of help, to be fair). As such, she is entitled to the full XP reward for the story, based on the threat (Physical 2, Social 5, Mental 3) for a total of 10.

All in all, I think the experiment of using Scarlet Heroes to tell a Vampire story worked pretty well. I definitely need to refine how I use the Threat Mechanics, and making Hanson randomly stacked the odds against her. But, the story worked for me, as up until the very last die roll, I had no idea how things would work out, and even in Hanson would survive.

Thank you to everyone who came on this journey with me. Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

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
Eliminate Outside Actor
Work with Allied Actor to get a Clue.
Plunder resources necessary to the foe’s plan.
Guide Target out of Foes reach

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


  1. This was an amazing read! Thanks!

  2. This was not only a great read, it was really inspiring and instructive for me. Thanks! I'm off to do similar things now with Scarlet Heroes and Ars Magica :-)


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