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Friday, 24 May 2013

FWTD: Drugs and friendships: Campaign session 2

So, we introduced a new player – and he picked an Orphan. In typical style (typical for my campaigns, that is…), the Freak’s player let him decide how they’ve met.
“I chased you from our territory before, because you were doing stuff some children are too young to see!”
Ooookay. Typical for my campaigns, as I said. We’ll see whether these two are ever going to work towards the same goal. People don’t understand that this is a blessing to a GM. Whatever I’ve got pre-prepared, someone is bound to deem interesting and explore… there’s no wasted prep on the Way of the Lazy GM!

When you’re an Orphan, you’ve got to walk your territory around the Orphanage. After all, someone dangerous to the young’uns can be lurking nearby…
So Dimitri was walking around the place, when he saw a family. By their clothes – best described as impractical formalware – he concluded they were a family, here to gaze at how bad people have it in the inner cities. And maybe to get some hookers and blow, and a tiny rock of God Killer…
Whatever else they had wanted, they had already acquired ample material for the “how bad they’ve got it” part. Someone had bitten them in the asses – quite figuratively.
So he followed, and found out some stray dogs/Maulers that had gone wild. It was unclear what or who they were eating…
He gave them a wide berth, and hid among buildings. Soon enough, he believed they had lost him. It even went peacefully for a while.
That is, it went so, until he appeared on a corner. But instead of cornerpunks, there were some guys that were quite obviously pushers. He considered chasing them away – they sure were trespassing, not to mention holding some street person down for injecting a shot  – but there were 6 of them, and he suspected they might have some guns.
So he turned again and ran. As he went, he passed an older guy with somewhat Asian appearance  a decorated walking cane who was out for a walk.
“Where to, young man?”
“There be pushers, man. Don’t go there.”
The man sized him up. “Aren’t you Orphans supposed to take care of this?”
The Orphan showed him the finger. “You go deal with this if you want, old man!”
I’m not sure whether he heard the man mumbling “maybe I shall”.
So he started making the rounds and warning all the kids to go home or to the Orphanage. “Streets are unsafe, guys! Get home, beasts and pushers around!” He actually managed to get a decent number of kids hiding.
After that he bothered to go to the Orphanage, and told them about the pushers. So a combat party went to restore the order. Dimitri insisted on taking a dozen people at minimum with him, but other Orphans told him a few would be enough to send a warning. After all, the Drug Lords don't fight the big gangs.
What they did find, however, was a gunman with unmoving eyes and a bloody machete-wielding pusher. He had seen them both earlier, and the eyes of the guy weren’t focused on the sky. The bloody hole under his chin kinda explained it.
And there was also another severed hand with a pistol. Not to mention, lots and lots of blood.
What they did notice was that someone had gone away, but not before stepping in blood. The weird part was, he – or she – was also leaving some round traces, marks about 1,5 cm in diameter. Whatever it was, it was bloodied as well.
He concluded that this is either the butt of a Humankalorie’s long weapon, or the cane. Both were possible in theory. So he set to look for a Humankalory, because everybody knows Eccentrics are harmless.
They managed to track a hum to a pile of garbage, where the man had cleaned his shoes and Olanidad weapon. So they started to ask questions to the locals.
Nobody had seen gang members. But one of the street winos, after some skillful interrogation, revealed old Lao has passed earlier, seemingly unagitated.
It was then that they decided it was the old man after all. There aren’t many Humankalories in Orphan territory, and certainly not as many as to remain unnoticed. Although all they had been able to gather was that the man was a regular, walking his dog around until the dog died a couple years ago. He still tended to go around almost always at the same time, taking his walk.
Obviously an Eccentric, too - he had nursed a tree to health after some homeless guys had chopped off a part of it during a winter. (The players didn't ask why they had stopped chopping it).
So they waited for him the next day on his usual way. Our Orphan was leading a small party when they found the man, his engraved cane glistening in an uncharacteristically bright day.
"Who are you?"
"My name is Bao He-Chuan" (reads like huh-tshuan-OOC note).
"What are you?"
"Me? Just an old man living out his last years!"
"What happened yesterday?"
"Lots of things. I had a walk, met a youngster without manners...", he started to enumerate, looking at the young Orphan intently.
"You know what I mean. Who killed those pushers?"
"Their bad karma did. No wonder, since they were living a life of sin, and making it heavier by everyday... so the Wheel of Dharma turned."
"And how did the wheel kill them?"
"With a sword."
"But who was holding that sword?"
"What does it matter? Karma always gets to people, no matter who delivers it. No doubt, had they kept acting like this longer, they'd reincarnate in the pits of Hell, to be tortured by demons for thousands of years."
The Orphan looked at him in doubt.
"Are you from some kind of sect?"
"Tell that to the Lumens", the man advised him. "I've been ordained as a monk in a fully legitimate, world-wide religion!"
"Which one?"
"Why, Buddhism, young man. You sure you don't want to think about life being a suffering? I could tell you how to escape this suffering... and I don't mean dying, but reaching enlightenment!"

Dimitri wasn't interested. Instead, he looked at him suspiciously and took a decision.
"If the Drug Lords come for you, the Orphans are not going to fight them to protect you".
"The Wheel of Dharma turns for everyone, me included."
One of the younger Orphans looked at him askance, but said nothing in front of outsiders. He later gave him a hard time in front of the leader the Orphans had elected for the day, though.
"What has got into you, man? First you seem afraid of some pusher shit! Then you tell the old guy he's on his own. What next, are we going to turn on our backs and let the pusher gangs walk over us to avoid a war?"
The leader decided ultimately that this was a cautious course of action. But he also - privately - decided he's overly cautious, and didn't really think highly of him. Which he made clear to some of the elder Orphans in private conversations.
Yeah, his reputation got a hit there...

Next day...
Shots have been heard. Then an explosion. The Orphans waited, then sent a team to investigate it.
They found an old man who had been shot multiple times. There was also a dead dagger team.
One of them wore the characteristic stab wound under the chin and in the brain. This one haven't managed to even pull his gun.
Another had had his jugular severed, and was stabbed under the armpit.
Another had been stabbed through the body, and had his wrist cut off. He had lost control of the motorcycle and crashed, they concluded - the motorcycle had catched fire.
The old man has been shot repeatedly. He had let the sword drop next to the cane, and strewn himself on the ground. Bao's face was as calm now as it had been earlier.
They took all the guns and spare clips, along with the portable equipment that wasn't attached to the motorcycles. The Orphan who had confronted the PC only took the sword and the cane, cleaned it up and sheathed it.
He didn't know how to use it, but then, everything can be learned.
And now I wonder what the National Guard would say about the shooting reports. 
What I'm sure is, Dimitri didn't really make new friends, nor commanded respect. And he didn't help make the world a better place.
So, not much XP would be forthcoming. Too bad for him, but nothing I can do about it.

Meanwhile, in Freaks territory...
The Freak lady was walking around when she met 6 guys. They were obviously Hummingbirds, the boombox kinda gave them away...
Of the 6 Hummingbirds, 1 was huge and muscular (muscle implants, anyone?), 2 were thin girls, the rest were relatively normal-looking guys (one of them is a transsexual, actually, but she didn’t have away to tell).
So, our heroine approached them and joined in the dancing. The big guy lifted her and waved her in the air before putting her down. That was his way to dance, obviously.
They said to be looking for a show, so she invited them to have fun in her place. They went, and she began her speech.

Of course, since they didn’t turn out to the boombox and kept dancing during her speech, she got a -10 modifier. (And she didn’t beat the TN 40 only due to roling 9 or below). 
She got their attention, but didn’t manage to persuade them seeing angels… Well, they started looking for angels behind each other’s backs, but that was the idea of one of the thin girls who talked-like-this-and-didn't-seem-to-know-what-pausing-in-place-means. She also claimed that an angel has entered the butt of one of the guys (you guessed wrong – not the trans-sexual, she was mocking him because she considered him too shy), leading to strong protests from his side.
The Freak used this for a new round of talking. They were now joking among themselves, though, so she failed again to make them see what she said.
They decided it wasn’t such a great show as the one they’ve seen, so they asked for one of the sex shows. And well, that’s not hard to find in Freak territory. She had some skills of that, herself, and there was one of her acquintances-rivals-friends performers nearby as well… (yeah, their relationship ain’t exactly clear even to themselves).
They appreciated this show much better.
After that, one of her pulled her to the side, and asked whether she can help them meet Habey Cox.
“What for?”
“Got a message to deliver – personally! And well, he's got all those people keepin' him, he's like... I dunno. We don't do this stuff. Whatever.”
"What kind of message?", she inquired.
"It's for him..."
"Well, yeah, you want me to get you to meet him, you need to make me believe it's important."
"Fine, but it's a secret, alright? We've got trouble taking on the Skin Borgs. Many of them have got these new skins, you know... high-end. So we have a harder and harder time keeping up with them. It's no longer fun fighting, it feels like fighting for your lives."
In short, she decided it's important enough to bother. Some pleading on her side, and they managed to get an audience - after Habey is over with his afternoon sex session. Took him half an hour more.
"So, what's the big deal?", the man who created the Freaks asked. He looked at them. "Who would you be?"
Turned out, 3 of them were representatives of one or another of the club owners...including the fast-talking girl and the huge guy. Another two were popular DJs. And another was "just a guy, my friends heard of this and said I need to come here and listen to the conversations".
Long story short, they explained to Habey (with our Freak "translating" when the girl was talking too fast) that some people needed help with the Skin Borgs. He even opened a bottle of a honey-based drink... which actually tasted like spinach.
What they didn't tell was that the Humankalories were they preferred allies.. except they had confronted the Drug Lords recently, and were having clashes with pusher gangs.
I wonder what they would think about it.
Perhaps understandably, Habey wasn't really hot on the idea of asking Freaks to participate. But he turned to the Freak that dropped this hot potato in his lap, that is the PC,  and asked her.
"Whaddoyathink?"
"I think they're having problems with Skin Borgs, or these guys wouldn't be here.", she shrugged.
She has no idea how right she is.
"Can you get some people and go see for yourself? I want a Freak to tell me how bad the fighting is going. And I'd prefer you to have people from other gangs, but you can take Freaks if you prefer."
"I can do that, sure!"
She started a rumour that she's looking for someone who wants to have a fight. And she recruited a couple aggressive Freaks, with the implanted spikes. At least one of them applies Drake Pain Poison on them, too... not that she knows. Yet.
And so it ended this time. She called her Runner friend and reminded him she might need a guy who knows his knives.
I admit, I still haven't decided whether he should have earned the "hunted by Colin" disadvantage, but meh. I don't need to decide it for this session. Even Colins - especially Colins - take some time to communicate who might be a threat. And the Colins might as well suspect he's dead. After all, it was a good strike, and he's obviously a Street Person. Bloodloss and infections have taken more than one victim.
OTOH, they don't know where he lives, nor his name. So he's got some protection from anonimity. And that probably means I shouldn't apply the disadvantage, as they can't give his name to other Colins. Now the 3 that were there might try to kill him if opportunity presents itself, but that's it. What I do want to know is, what are they planning to do with a Colin strain that's obviously propagating - or why would they be capturing people alive?
I think the answer is nothing. Which is actually quite interesting as a development, and might bite them in the asses later on.

Phew, it did take me a while to describe this! Actually, the next session starts in much less than 24 hrs!
Ah well. I expect to get a Risen as well now... the other player that is planning to join loves her some vampires. Actually, she ran a V:tM session before she had been a player in a session (I was her first GM). And we're also joining another PC.