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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Highlights of the one-shot with Unknown Armies: 2012

So, this week was time for my RPGs of the 90ies. The group picked UA, and everybody had fun (me including, because they didn't turn it into a comedy of absurd failures this time. Talking with the main perpetrator helped).
Highlights of the session:
A WoWmancer calls for the group's help. "The Shaman in WoW told me you three can help me!"
They're not buying it, so he spends 5 minor charges - well, 30 hours of WoW are nothing to him - and shows them how he can get a menu that doesn't exist, asking a question that's not allowed by the game. His friend, the (kendo-obssessed) Otaku, falls the Unnatural check and starts staring blankly.
"Jimmy can do what???"
When they reach his time limit, though, he asks them to do what they think is best, and starts playing. It's time for his raid.
The cop shoots his laptop.
He fails the Self check, of course, and stares blankly at the ruined machine for about half an hour. Slapping him didn't help.
Also, missing a raid is violating Taboo for him. Ooops! Well, the PCs didn't know what an Adept is, so they were completely clueless IC and OOC.

Same kendo-obsessed otaku with a katana jumps up to the window of the first floor, pulls himself up and tries peeking inside. Someone inside wraps a cord around his neck, and pulls him up. Then he throws him on the nearby table, and puts something against his ribs. Iron.
(What the players don't know: it's an avatar of He Who Fights With Monsters. And he's waiting in the home of The Slut's avatar to assassinate her, as he sees her as dangerous for her dabbling into demon summoning. Well, he was right, she had managed to send Shatterer against a personal enemy, an WoWmancer who wanted to free some people from her influence!)
"What are you doing?"
"I'm practicing parcour?"
"Parcour, running, leaping, climbing obstacles."
"Why the hell?"
"I want to be a ninja!"
That, the avatar can understand.
"Do you know what a ninja is, boy?"
"Yessir! It's a killer!"
Ooops. You don't say that to an avatar of He Who Fights With Monsters! So far, he wasn't treating this as a fight... because there's been no opposition.
"So, you want to be a killer, boy?"
"Yessir! I hope to be a good one some day..."
OOOPS. The cord around his neck tightens, and he's thrown against the wall. He slams his back, and the man puts a gun in his mouth.
"Whaddoyaknow about killing, boy? Want me to show you?"
In answer, the otaku kicks him in the nuts, and he doubles up. Then the PC pulls out his katana.
I was expecting him to cut off his hand, or otherwise disarm him. But no. He cuts, and it's to the bone... of his left hand.
The Avatar gets angry. And he shifts to improve his attack.
This, in itself, provokes an Unnatural check. And he fails.
"Fight, Flight, or Freeze?"
OOOPS times 3.
He cuts the avatar again. Single-mindedly (if the avatar of He Who Fights With Monsters is anything, it's single-minded...), his opponent doesn't care. Instead, he shoots him.
And he deals maximum damage for his gun, collapsing a lung immediately. Fight is over.
"Tell me who sent you", the gun points at his head. "And I'm just gonna shoot you down. Or, I can shoot you there".
The gun goes down, pointing under his belt.
"Fuck you!"
The avatar makes good on his promise, then runs.

Moments later...
Outside, he runs into the other two PCs that the WoWmancer had summoned to help him survive the onslaught of The Slut. The cop tries to arrest him, while he's pretending to be a victim. She doesn't buy it.
Due to having a Gun-Bunny skill, he pulls his gun fast enough to point it at her head, before she squeezes the trigger.
Then the Catholic exorcist PC pulls her gun. The guy tries to repeat with his other hand, but loses the opposed roll this time.
"I'm shooting".
The Exorcist rolls 01. I blink, and describe his instant death.
Conveniently, she passes both the Violence and the Self checks. So, when the actual cop approaches her with "are you all right", she can answer with a firm "I'm fine".
After the session, I realised that the Exorcist has killed He Who Fights With Monsters... and is very much a monster himself.
You can call that applied exorcism!

Later, but at the same time...
Meanwhile, the WoWmancer is looking for a new laptop, after the cop had shot the previous one. One of the Slut's sycophants ambushes him and tries shooting him down...and manages to shoot himself in the leg. The WoWmancer, having no charges for having missed his guild's raid, runs away with a laptop. He then promptly finds a hole and starts playing.

Even later...
The PCs went to a hiding place for a couple of days, helping the WoWmancer to hide himself. They intended to talk to her to get her off the guy.
Before they can talk to her, however, the Slut solved their issues by rolling a critical failure while trying to send another Shatterer after Jimmy. Instead, it comes after her.
A single roll later, she's out, shredded by broken glass. It finishes her off.
I roll against her hardened Self notches. There was nobody she felt close to.
Hence, her death breaks the spiral of murders a Shatterer represents. I find that a worthy death.

Of course, like most UA one-shots, I had to explain to the players what has been going on. They very much approved.