Sunday, March 1, 2015

Chapter Five: End of Days (Atomic Highway Solo Playthrough)

The following is copied directly from my GoogleDoc record of the game, including my own notes at the time of writing. I try to keep with mistakes as part of the learning process, so there are some of those as well. The notes are in blue for ease of reading. Anything I add for this blog will be in dark green. Here we go!

[This is probably a good time to say that, RPG-etically speaking, I hate my characters. (True. Story.)Clearly, I'm addicted to putting them in impossible situations and if they ever get any good gear I end up taking it away somehow. So here we have Marcus Okin, alone and with no more than his lovely pseudo-cosplay attire and his lizardy powers to steal back Winona. Yeah... I kinda don't care much about the rest. I mean, he's a Lore Keeper and had some really cool things (and food and water) but mostly he needs Winona back. Maybe I can get him some rad goggles out of this though. I somehow feel like he's going to strip down and go chameleon-style over the wall... or maybe try and sneak in on a copter or truck. Refuge might still be tough because the slums will probably have their own heirarchy with mutants at the bottom - but there's probably none like Marcus. So... maybe he can foment a revolution? That would rock.]

-Chaos Level 7 (Marcus is being sort of hunted and there are patrols, he's unarmed and alone, it's night): (3) Altered Scene.
-Chaos Question 1: "Is Marcus attacked?" [Gulp.] (50/50 because of the patrols keeping the mutant creatures at bay) (7) Exceptional Yes. [What the flip, Marcus? In for a penny... I forgot he found that vest - he's totally wearing that right now... totally not retconning anything here. Though, to be honest, he's probably got his knife or multitool too, but whatever. Maybe it fell in the snow when he jumped from the tractor.]
-Chaos Question 2: "Is it the soldiers?" (Somewhat Likely, since they're actively looking for him - for now) (78) Yes. [Okay, I can probably whoop them or something, right?]

[So now I'm thinking I might try a little brawling with a pair of them, knock them down, grab their snowmobile and make off with it... possibly in the directly of the barricade... with explosive intentions...!]

[Hmm. I'm kind of thinking now that I want to take a break from Marcus, maybe play another character for a while. His current date is, we'll say, December 26, 2028 - so I'll write up someone new to pick up on that date. Marcus entered the bunker on August 26, 2028 and Ender hit Earth that evening.]

Maybe a teenager who wasn't in a bunker, or who was forced out of his bunker spot (ticket was stolen, raided, etc.), or all his bunkermates were somehow turned against him (perhaps they mutated and tried to hunt him, forcing him to evade them and survive for months before being able to escape).

[Nevermind. Marcus will try his luck taking on a pair of soldiers. If he ends up captured, well, maybe he can find Winona.]

(Yeah, I dunno. Sometimes I lose momentum - there may have been months between some of these scenes and I think I was getting itchy for something else. My attention span is my worst enemy and, occasionally, my greatest ally. Mostly it's just annoying.)
Marcus manages to evade capture for nearly an hour but the soldiers know the land too well and are eventually able to track him. It works to his advantage though, since they follow his tracks but don't account for his speed or chameleon skin. He sets what passes for an ambush under the circumstances and, before long, a pair of them pass below his tree. One has a police baton and the other some sort of crossbow.

"Hmm. Better get Shooty first, then for for Beaty next."

Combat Summary:
Sentinel: Muscle3, Nimbleness2, Toughness3, Senses2
Athletics2, Brawl2, Melee2, Notice3, Shoot3
Light crossbow (Nimbleness, 8L, Long, Ammo12, Reload2)
Medium Blunt Bludgeon (muscle, 7N)
Armor: 2
Health: 16

Sentinel 1: crossbow - 8L (nimbleness2/shoot3), health 0/16 (KO) *forgot about armor, my bad
Sentinel 2: baton - 7N (muscle3/melee2), health16
Marcus: barehands - MN (nimbless3/brawl1), health 9/12
Marcus attempts to sneak attack S1: nimbleness3/stealth6 > 6/5/2/5 > 4 successes VS S1 senses2/notice3 > 4/4 > 1 success... Marcus stealths!
Marcus attacks S1: 4/6/3/4 > 1 Success > using 3 Fortune to gain 2 more >(4+2, 4+1+brawl1, natural 6) > 3 Successes @ 2N (MN) > 6N damage to S1!

S2 attacks Marcus: muscle3/melee2 > 1/4/6/2 > 2 Successes
Marcus attempts to dodge: nimbleness3/melee3 > 1/3/6/5 > 2 successes > tie, highest skill wins... Marcus dodges!

(S1 was surprised, round begins again, starting with Marcus who has highest nimbleness)
Marcus continues to pummel S1: nimbleness3/brawl1 > 2/3/2 > 0 success!

S1 shoots at Marcus: nimbleness2/shoot3 > 6/21 > 1 success!
Marcus attempts to dodge the bolt: nimbleness3/melee3 > 3/1/2 > 1 success... tie, highest skill wins... highest attribute wins... Marcus dodges (barely), S1 now has 2 actions to reload!

S2 swings at Marcus: muscle3/melee2 > 1/1/1 > BAD THINGS HAPPEN!
GM rules the attack hits S1 for 7N, who now has a modifier to actions because of only 3 remaining hp!
Marcus tries to knock out S1 for good: nimbleness3/brawl1 > 6/2/5/5 > 2 successes!
S1 attempts to dodge: nimbleness2/brawl2 > 2/1 > S1 takes (2 successes x muscle2/Non-lethal damage)... S1 is knocked out!
S2 takes a swing at Marcus: muscle3/melee2 > 5/6/3/6/4 > 3 successes!
Marcus attempts to dodge: nimbleness3/melee3 > 5/5/5 > 3 successes... tie, highest skill... Marcus dodges!
Marcus attempts to trip S2: nimbleness3/brawl1 > 3/3/6/5 > 2 successes!
S2 tries to stay upright: nimbleness2/athletics2 > 2/6/2 > 1 success... S2 falls!

S2 stands.
Marcus grabs the crossbow from the ground.
S2 swings: muscle3/melee2 > 4/5/1 > 1 success!
Marcus attempts to dodge: nimbleness3/melee3 > 5/2/2 > 1 success... Marcus is hit (7N - 4 armor = 3N)!
Marcus loads the crossbow 1/2
S2 swings: muscle3/melee2 > 4/2/2 > 1 success!
Marcus dodges: nimbleness3/melee3 > 4/5/6/4 > 3 successes!
Marcus dodges!
Marcus loads the crossbow 2/2
S2 swings: muscle3/melee2 > 4/1 > 1 success!
Marcus dodges: nimbleness3/melee3 > 6/5/5/1 > 3 successes!
Marcus dodges!
Marcus attempts to convince S2 to surrender: understanding3/persuade3 > 5/3/4 > 2 successes > using remaining 2 Fortune for a total of 4 successes!
S2 resists: understanding2/persuade2 > 1/1
(Wow. Um... this'll be interesting.)

[So I'm thinking a critical fail during a surrender is going to earn Marcus an ally (or two), or at least a good bit of information about how to sneak in undetected and where Winona might have been taken. I'll have to think about this.]
(Okay so sometimes I do the combat ahead of time so the narrative is smoother. Sometimes.)

It's a quick fight, over in a couple minutes. The highlights include Marcus only being smacked once with a baton after tripping Beaty, and Shooty being hit by Beaty by mistake. In the end, Beaty is held at crossbow-point: "Well, punk, ya feelin' lucky?"

The weary soldier eyes Marcus coldly, then shrugs and drops his weapon. "Whatever. Shoot me - it's gotta be better 'n living like this."

"Living like what? Taking peoples' stuff and chasing them into the woods?" Marcus isn't buying it just yet, though now that he's not fighting for his life he can see both soldiers looked pretty ragged.

"Heh! You're the first person we've seen in a long time, for starters, and if you think I enjoy running in this snow more'n you, you're as crazy as you look." The soldier seems honest enough. Times were tough for everyone, if Nick and his gang from back at the vault could be trusted. Marcus took a chance, maybe his only one under the circumstances.

"Beaty," he replied, lowering the crossbow, "You and I need to have a chat."

Hmm. The plot, she thickens, eh? The scenes began short because I was still finding my footing and learning the systems. The last three or four are a little higher in the wordcount category, and that's only because the original GM did such a great job with the setting that it continued to inspire me long after the game thread ended.

With Brightest of (You can't spell "inspiration" without "Farscape"!) Greens,

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