Monday, October 27, 2014

Jenkins' Story - Epilogue

Viper was tired. She had spent the last week or so looking for clues to Jenkins' murder, but it felt like walking in circles. Some piece of the puzzle was missing, or someone wasn't talking the truth. She'd spend the next days getting in touch with her gang but today all she wanted was some sleep.

[After the failed investigation, I decided to play an adaptation of the Confrontation scenario with Viper being attacked in her apartment by the guy that killed Jenkins.]

As she filled a glass of water, Viper heard some scraping metal sounds. She put the glass down, prepared her pistol and looked at the door: someone was indeed fiddling with the locks.

[Right before the killer entered the apartment, I made a Rep unopposed challenge. If she succeeded, she would be suspicious and grab her weapon. Otherwise, she would be unarmed for the In Sight test.]

Viper took cover behind a table as the door opened. The same man who fought her and Jenkins appeared and fired a pistol. The shots buzzed past her head. She fired back and the man dropped to the floor. However, she was not sure if he was hit, and how badly.

[Both characters took the In Sight test. The killer fired first and scored an Obviously Dead result, luckily avoided by Viper's star power. She then fired, knocking the killer down.]

Not willing to take chances, Viper vaulted over the table and fired again, hitting the man in the chest. He groaned and dropped his pistol, lying with open arms on the floor.

[Viper won the initiative and fired again, scoring an Out of Fight result. That was enough to finish this fight.]

Viper could hear police sirens in the distance. Quickly, she searched the man's pockets. He did not have any ID card, but she recognized a name in his com-link call logs: Jean Sellers -- the waitress she questioned at the City Hall district.

[I decided to use the "Who Did It?" rules from New Hope City PI to find a connection between the murder and one of the persons of interest that showed up during the case.]

This was all very confusing to Viper. Jean didn't seem to have reasons (or resources) to hire a killer to take care of Jenkins. Anyway, those questions would have to wait. She left her apartment and slipped into the dark streets of Lower Polariston, before the police arrived.

This is the end of the Jenkins' Story campaign. The "Who Did It?" rules gave me another hook for a new adventure but, for now, I intend to let Viper rest. Maybe later I will start "Stories of Hope: Viper" or something like that.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Jenkins' Story - Finale?

This is the conclusion of Viper's investigation on Jenkin's death.

Day 7:
Viper questioned a computer technician about Jenkins. He admitted buying some holovids but gave no useful information. She came back to Jenkins' former boss but had no success either.

Day 8:
Viper continued to follow some clues but found nothing. Whoever killed Jenkins had covered their tracks or left the city by now. She couldn't help feeling that something was not right; nothing she uncovered even explained why Jenkins was killed. "You have been causing problems to the wrong people..." she remembered the strong guy who knocked her out and possibly killed him.

I was not able to gather the eight clues that were needed to solve the case. Still, it was interesting (and challenging) to build the story around the investigation rolls. In this case I played it in a rather abstract way, using the tables to set up the NPCs and encounters. I could have set up a board and played a Chillin' encounter to meet each of them, instead. This investigation might have gone in different directions, as I met other characters (from the Possible Enemy Forces deployed on the table.)

One big hindrance to this investigation was the fact that Viper is a ganger, and thus belongs to the lowest social circle in New Hope City. This put her at a disadvantage every time she would question someone, because of the way Questioning rolls work. A detective would be in a better position for this task, as expected.

This is one of the types of investigation covered in New Hope City PI. It also includes ideas and tools to play vigilantes, who bring justice to criminals in their own terms, and something like the replicant hunters from Blade Runner.

Anyway, this is almost the end of the Jenkin's Story campaign... look for an epilogue soon.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Shadow of Mordor

The reason this blog has not been updated for a while is this:

For the past two weeks, most (if not all) my hobby time was poured into Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. When it was released, I dismissed it as another Assassin's Creed or Batman game, only using some of Tolkien's source material. Following some very positive comments by friends, I decided to try it and the game is really good.

Surely, there is free-flowing combat and exploration like the other mentioned games. However, the world behaves dynamically, changing based on (some of) your actions. One way this happens is through the "nemesis" system. If you get killed by an orc, he raises in power. Go after him for revenge and he mocks and taunts you for your previous defeat. On the other hand, some orcs you kill come back, with scars and new abilities based on how you dispatched them.

The orcs also practice their violence-based politics and you can interfere in those: jump into a duel between two orc captains, prevent them from recruiting more orcs and so on. Leave them alone and some will rise in power and defeat their rivals.

Anyway, I completed the main storyline during the weekend, and while I will probably explore the game a bit more, blog activity should also resume soon.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Jenkins' Story - Part 7

Here is the report of the next two days in Viper's investigation...

Day 5:
Having found out that Jenkins' list was related to some smuggling scheme, Viper decided to do some research on shipping records and news related to smuggling in the City Hall. However, she spent the whole morning going through files and public records and found nothing. [I rolled a 1 on the "advance the investigation" table, so I must find another object. I rolled the City Hall district for its location, so I came up with this interpretation... anyway, I failed the roll to find the object.]

Viper then decided to go back to Terry Gardner's office and ask him about smuggling deals with Jenkins. However, since her previous invasion and failed attempt at tailing him, the man had added her to the office security's "black list," so she was not even allowed to enter the building. [I rolled a 6 on the "advance the investigation" table: find a person. I rolled an engineer but since I had rolled that profession before, it would be the same person. However, because of my previously failed attempt at tailing him, he would refuse my re-questioning... so this was a failure.]

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Five Core: Get to the van!

Today I played a game using Five Core and the Heroes and Horrors supplement. Three survivors (one of them a Hero) must get to a van across the table, to escape a town infested with zombies. Here are the survivors, from left to right: Ben (no skills / armed with a rifle), Roland (hero / skills: infiltrator, overwatch / armed with a rifle), and James (no skills / armed with baseball bat.)

And this is the starting board: I placed the survivors near the left edge and spread five zombies across the board.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Jenkins' Story - Part 6

After a long break, here is the continuation of Viper's investigation.

Day 4:
Having no other leads, Viper decided to continue looking for people in the list of names she found previously. She located a Christine Steele, working at a small legal / accountancy office in the Financial district. [I rolled another person of interest: Accountant, female, Rep 3 / Fit 3 / Pep 2 / Sav 1, carrying a BA Pistol.]

Viper went to the office in the most sober clothes she had, and a thin briefcase. She told the receptionist she had been called for a meeting with some lawyer and was told to wait. When the receptionist was busy with a call, she slipped into the office area and found Christine's desk. She was talking with some tech support guy and did not seem happy. When she noticed Viper staring at her, she asked "huh? Who are you? And who let you in here?", at the same time looking around. The tech support guy just looked puzzled. This was Viper's cue to step closer and intimidate the accountant into answering her questions.

As it turns out, Christine had bought some smuggled goods from Jenkins, "but none of the really illegal stuff." She didn't even know what else Jenkins dealt in, but she had seen some bad-looking types at his place once. [This time, I got two more successes than the person of interest, allowing me to get some answers and solve a clue.]

[I decided to try to solve another clue and rolled a 1. Adding 3 due to the clues already solved, this resulted on a "find object" encounter. I thought it would be nice to try to recover some sample of what Jenkins smuggled, so I decided the encounter would happen during the evening, rolling a casino in the Pub & Rec district.]

Christine said she had met Jenkins on at the Centauri casino in the Pub & Rec district. Viper decided to check the place at night, to look for some information and maybe find out what else Jenkins was smuggling. The place was run-down, and security was kept by a couple of nasty Zhu-Zhus. She spent a couple hours looking for clues but didn't find anything. [Unfortunately, I failed the roll to find the object.]

To be continued...