Tuesday, July 20, 2010

M.A/C.C - Beta Test - Session 5

The 5th session of the M.A/C.C beta test happened last night, and seemed to be a good one for all involved. A bit heavy on RP and personal stuff, not that that is a bad thing, but they still managed to get a lot of information and move things along to the next stage of their plan. Due to the constant group shifting and such, I'm going to break the session down into relevant points instead of trying to do it by the flow of what happened when. First however...

The Cast
Tully Mayhew/Argus - Tully is a gunsmith of moderate reknown, working in a shop that was bought out by someone with a much better head for business. As a child Tully came to the realization that his family wasn't his own, the investigation into his real family brought him into contact with the Gideons who opened his eyes to some of what is really going on. Tully now works to prove that the Supers are running everything for their own ends, using people as sheep to keep them in power.

Max Putherford/Dioxin - A chemist working for the Powered Police Department, Max came into contact with the Gideons after a super hero accidentally killed his kid sister. A member of the Gideons was near by and protected Max from the brain scrambling that happens to clean up the messes caused by the supers on occasion. He now plays a dangerous game, working within the PPD by day while working from the outside at night to try and reveal what is behind the curtain.

Mark Dashel/Paladin - Mark was an orphan trying to get by on the streets when he met her, Miriam Dashel, a kindly older lady who needed help. When Miriam found out the young man who had been helping her with bringing groceries home, and had protected her from muggers, was living on the streets she took him in and gave him a family. The quiet life didn't suit him for long, and Mark talked some friends into trying to help people as costumed heroes. Their first experiment went horribly wrong and the two friends were killed, when the police claimed the two dead teens were in jail for being powered super villains, Mark lost it and went out to get some revenge. Instead he ran into a member of the Gideons and has been preparing since for the day he can expose the secret.

Percival McMann/Gadget - Another person with parents who disappeared under strange circumstances, Percy is a bit of a gadget freak and computer whiz. Also recruited into the Gideons, Percy isn't as sure about what is going on aside from that there is 'something' going on. He is also the most cautious of the group currently.

Max Winesten/Heimdel - A firefighter for the city, when Max was young his class took a fieldtrip that they never came back from. Luck put the Gideons in contact with him before the PPD got him to change his memories of what exactly has happened. Max is devoted to the sword, and intent to use it for the good of those around him. (Player still deciding on a last name)

The Session

Personal Time
The game started off going over some personal time each other the characters had over the next couple of weeks (while Heimdal healed from getting shot the session previous). Heimdal continued going out at night secretly, continued having his pain killer addiction, and continued trying  to hide it from everyone around him. Argus had several nights out with his girlfriend Diane, where he was subjected to more of her randomness as she re-arranged her house regularly, and even moved completely once. Still, she's interesting and a good cook. Bonus points since Argus seems to like her. Dioxin continued work in his labs (both at base and at the PPD) as well as his sickeningly sweet/cute relationship with his girlfriend Emily. Paladin spent most of the time in a rage over the praise the PPD commander who had ordered troops to shoot civilians was getting. The public at large of course didn't know he had done so, but it was still infuriating to Paladin who only didn't go off because of Argus' intervention. Finally, there is Gadget who spent his time actually doing investigative work on things, and didn't take much private time for himself.

The Info Crunch
With Gadget spending so much time looking for information, I gave the group an Investigation roll to try and put it all together. They smoked the roll, and I fed them tons of information. The Salvatore family is the oldest crime family in the dome. Perhaps as old as the dome itself. Rumor has it that the leader has never died, putting him at over 100 years old right now. Plausible but not likely. They have official and unofficial businesses all over (including a list of the where/when) and a penchant for keeping their mid to high level people from getting busted. Tony Mercer, the guy who the PCs got arrested recently, actually being the highest ranked member to be caught red handed.

The Problem? The group got almost too much information. Enough to know that randomly kicking in doors would be a wild goose chase. They needed answers, and Paladin knows someone who might be able to help...

The Interrogation of Kenny G
Yep, Kenny G, amazing what comes out of your mouth when you need to name a random NPC. Kenny G is a "Person in the Know", he's not affiliated with the Salvatores, in fact he runs part of the rougher section of town, but he has a knack for learning things. The last time Paladin went to talk to Kenny G (when he was Nomad) he mishandled the situation and was shot twice. This time, he's brought friends and they're ready to play hardball. Abducting Kenny G on his way home from his club, Paladin and Argus treat him to a round of Bad Cop/Worst Cop. Kenny G is a business man though, and he knows when he's in over his head so he gives them what he wants to know.

He points out that the Salvatores are paid up with the right people, mid to high ranks with the PD and the PPD. They use those connections to find out when they're going to be hit, and then move their stuff accordingly. They've also been grabbing scientists from several walks of life for some reason of late. Kenny also gives them the next person up the chain, a man named Adam Morelli, he also spills that he gets a lot of his information from someone named 'Rain'. Paladin recognizes Rain from his street days, an enigmatic figure that played around in the club scene. Kenny confirms that that is the guy.

Adam Morelli
Assigning Paladin and Heimdal to find Rain, Argus and Dioxin go looking into Adam Morelli. They find out he is a family man, wealthy but not super wealthy, and owns several restaurants that he cares for around his 'extra curricular' activities. Argus and Dioxin go to the fanciest of the restaurants and even meet the man. They talk shop, ask how long he's been in the business, and in general get a sense for the man. He doesn't come across as slimy, but also not as someone to trust farther than you can throw. He's charismatic, but cold. Argus almost seems to like the man. They decide he's worth looking into more, and pumping for information. They'll just need to spend more time preparing for him than Kenny G.

Finding Rain (Part 1)
With a bit of luck, Diane (Argus' girlfriend) has heard of Rain, she even seems to know and like the guy. She mentions there are five clubs that Rain likes to frequent, and so Heimdal and Paladin head out for those clubs. They both decide to go to the same club, the place is doing a super hero theme that night and the two buy generic costumes before going. Heimdal moves through the crowd, he's a bit of a party-goer and even if raves aren't fully his thing he can fit in. Finding a cute girl who is dressed like Ember (of course) he asks about Rain. The response is quick, "yeah, that girl is awesome. Don't think she's here tonight though". From there, things go down hill. The offer for drugs is declined until he notices the pain killers lying in the bowl. He takes some, and enjoys the night dancing with several girls and ending up in someone else's home the next morning.

Paladin has a bit of a worse experience, freezing up in the club he still manages to draw some attention. His flustering convinces the girl he's with that he needs to calm down and relax, she frenches him and it's too late by the time he feels the little pills go down. He doesn't remember much of the next night, only that he's covered in glitter and in someone else's home the next morning.

Both Paladin and Heimdal's return to base is more amusing in an embarrassing sort of way than anything. Aside from the fact that Rain has been referred to as a guy and a girl, they have nothing on the person. Dioxin, Argus, and Gadget seem a bit perturbed that both Paladin and Heimdal seemed to just go off mission, take drugs, and enjoy the night but no one is saying it right now...

Finding Rain (Part 2)
With the failure the prior night, Gadget decides to take matters into his own hands. He researches the clubs, gets himself appropriate attire, tells Argus and Dioxin what he is doing and heads off. He picks the wrong club at first, but his looks and the fact he is trying to participate quickly gets him a crowd of people. One of them, a nice gay man, even knows Rain (as a guy) and believes Rain is in one of the other clubs. He agrees to point Rain out if Gadget can get him into the other club. Gadget agrees, and they're off.

In the other club, Gadget ditches his date once Rain is pointed out (he does it politely). He can't tell if Rain is a guy or a girl, there are attractive features for each gender and the person seems to know how to play up their androgyny.  He watches as Rain takes a handful of pills, notes that of all the people in Rain's "court" Rain is the only one still sober. Gadget makes his approach and says he needs information, the kind of info that you don't discuss in public. Rain nods, and gives a time and location to meet. Two days from now, middle of a bridge that crosses a river. Come alone, or Rain will scram and not be seen again. Gadget agrees and leaves the club.

The Meeting
With a bit of planning, and going over what is known, the group decides to hold off on scouting Morelli in order to focus on what they can get out of Rain. Argus borrows a rifle from his shop, and finds a vantage point to give Gadget cover from. The rest of the team is in a car, out of sight and a couple of blocks away just in case. Gadget shows up on time to the meeting, Rain is already there.

Gadget offers cash or information and lists off what he wants to know. Rain asks if he wants to trade now. Gadget says he can get the payment soon, within an hour. They arrange to meet again in three hours, in a diner down the street. When they get there, Gadget pays his half up front, the information on the recent 'Zombie' outbreak. Proof that the PPD shot people during the incident, as well as samples from several of the dead that will show that it wasn't just gas that was spreading the infection.

Rain pays her (and it is more clearly a she this time) half. The man they're looking for, with all the answers for what they want out of the Salvatores is a William Rinaldi. He's only two steps removed from Salvatore himself, and in charge of almost all the special projects. He'll know where the items they want are moved, and what they are trying to do with them. Only problem is, his tower is a small fortress so getting him out is going to be hard.

Rain also says that the Salvatores have been quiet lately, the arson was a surprise, but they're still recovering and licking wounds after the Omega fiasco exploded in their face. Still, there is one thing. A girl, high class, modern nobility. Skin is pale, she doesn't get much sun. Her hair is dyed a dark purple. Dresses to show she's rich and has a nice body, but also kind of slumming it. Leather corsets and pants, great ass on the girl, but she's cold. She gives Rain the creeps, and she gives the people around her them too. She looks at people like they're specimens to be sized up. She's up to something, and she has the Salvatores eating out of the palm of her hand.

The Wrap
The session ended shortly after that. The PCs are planning on how to take Morelli and get information from them. They're planning on paying Rain the second half of the info, since her/his/its info seems to be good. Besides, worst case scenario is someone buys the atmospheric data and it gets spread out a bit. People did seem to have fun though.

I liked the session, people laughed, people growled, people played their characters and it is showing. There are rifts forming in the team, people are starting to distrust the others around them as the flaws start to show and pressure is put on the cracks that have formed. It'll be interesting to see if the team pulls together or completely splits apart.

System wise, I found a few more areas that need clarity. Particularly in the interrogation rules, and a better example of cooperative interrogation. Not that there were problems, but a small bit of confusion that can easily be whisked away if written right.

Bottom line though? People had fun, therefore good game.

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