The Crew and the Quarantine: Again? , A parallel story. in Gamemasters Corner, Adventures & Plots
SanChristo Feb 21 2019, 14:48 Group: Heroes, Level 11 Quote Post
Hey folks,
Last night, my new crew of players played for the fourth consecutive week on Table Top Simulator. It's totally great. Rather than building a new campaign from the ground up, I've placed the characters in the same timeline as my previous crew, and even though it's nearly impossible for any players from either crew to meet any players from the other, it's been fun keeping the timeline straight. Here's the Original Campaign.

And here's the new one.


Setting: Asheville circa 2050 AD


Turns out, the future was surprisingly predictable. It’s much like the present—only worse in about every way imaginable. The effects of global warming continue to escalate; the national debt continues to expand; income inequality, racial tensions, class warfare, the prevalence of guns, political polarization, on and on and on, it’s all gotten worse.

But the really bad news is that there’s no good news. Our social and technological development seems to have stalled out in the 2020’s and maybe even regressed in some ways. We don’t have flying cars, and we haven’t cured cancer.

Cast: A small indie film crew trying to relaunch the cult classic Highlander franchise.

Delilah Broadstroke
– Director & Thief – Delilah's been making movies since she was a kid. She dropped out of high school and began thieving in order to fund her first film, which did well enough for her to fund another, which did well enough for her to fund another. She's never achieved major commercial success but makes just enough money on each of her futuristic, humanistic films to make one more. Her latest endeavor is a re-envisioning of the cult classic Highlander—this time casting a Muslim-American woman who's from the Highlands of North Carolina. Delilah's also a raging alcoholic. More on that another time.

Zayaan Hassan
– Actress & Action Star: Zayaan Hassan had some early success as a child actress on a dumb TV sitcom. Now, she's trying to shed her image of the cute little neighbor and establish herself as an action star in Delilah Broadstroke's remake of Highlander.

Domingo Dos Santos
– Actor, Stunt Man – Domingo Dos Santos went from high school to the army and from the army to doing stunt work. He's been cast as the villain in Broadstroke's remake of the cult classic Highlander film, which will be his first actual acting role. He's got a lot of nicknames: Dom, Dos, Deuce. He likes them all. More importantly, he likes being a part of something. When in character, he's terrifying. Out of character, he's a gentle giant.

Isaac Faraday
– Key Grip, Gaffer, Editor – Ike's somewhere on the spectrum. If not for his persistence presence, the rest of the crew may well think he doesn't much like any of them. Just the same, he quietly shows up to work, drives the truck, handles much of the practical effects, lighting, and sound during production, and helps with the editing in post. He's been with Delilah Broadstroke for years, and he almost seems excited about the Highlander remake they're working on.

Valentina Zabra
– Best Boy & Mechanic – Val is in some way's the crew's foundation. Things would fall apart if she weren't around. So would the people. She's the best girl, a mechanic, a medic, and has been known to delve into practical effects. Val's kind-spirit and can-do attitude pull the crew through bad times.

Escher Riot
– Reporter – Escher aspires to be a great writer like his grandfather Ashe; however, he has thus far been stuck writing puff pieces for the Mt. X-plicit's entertainment section. He's riding with the crew to do a story on their remake of the cult classic film Highlander. Escher's a chain smoker prone to coughing fits. He's not much of a fighter, though he does carry a small pistol that he's never used to scare of would-be muggers.
SanChristo Feb 21 2019, 14:49 Group: Heroes, Level 11 Quote Post
FIRST SESSION - mostly teaching everyone the game mechanics.

It’s New Year’s Eve, 2049. In searching online for possible filming locations, Ike found a few spots north of Asheville that were abandoned, a ware house, a clinic, an office. They have no power, no clear owner, just dilapidated buildings, and they’re all on the same basic acreage. Delilah and her Crew decide to check out the warehouse first, hoping for a spot to film the movie’s climactic battle. They take Delilah’s Mustang, and Ike’s production van. When they arrive, they discover that the warehouse is full of recently used storage containers, and in a back room, behind a locked door, they find a set of crates filled with tech well-beyond what is currently available—specifically, batteries with extremely high wattage and voltage, super-conductive wiring, electro-magnets, and super-fast computer processors and circuit boards. While examining the contents, the Crew hears noises outside of the room and discovers several wolves have entered the warehouse and are sniffing around. The Crew attempts to sneak out the back with several of the boxes but are ambushed by the wolves. The Crew is, for the most part, unarmed. However, the two leads have prop swords and axes that they use to defend themselves. In their battle with the wolves, the Crew can tell that these are no ordinary wolves; they seem to possess much higher intelligence. The Crew makes it out alive but with serious injuries and decide to head to the nearby abandoned clinic to search for medical supplies.
SanChristo Feb 21 2019, 14:50 Group: Heroes, Level 11 Quote Post
SECOND SESSION - Essentially a lengthy dungeon crawler.

The Crew arrives at the clinic and discover that a tall barbwire fence surrounds the building; however, a fallen tree gives them easy access. Based on Ike’s research, the clinic should be abandoned and powerless, but even though the lights are all out, the Crew can hear the steady hum of electricity and the movement of bodies. The facility is definitely in use.

The Crew finds a mainframe in the center of the buildings foyer and are able to turn the lights on and access a few working security cameras. They also find blueprints for the simple building, which has only five major rooms—the foyer they’re in, a supply room, a pre-op room, operating room, and post-op room. There are also numerous refences to “transfusions.”

The Crew heads towards the supply room and encounter a primitive robot—more clockwork than terminator. The robot ignores them and walks right past them. The Crew gets to the supply room and find three med-packs—again, way beyond what’s currently available, they heal injuries in amazing time. They then try to hack one of the robots but fail, awakening the robot’s self-defense measures. The robot is ungainly and primitive; the Crew easily dispatches it, but they’re aware that the building is now treating them as a threat. More robots are headed their way. Now that the robot is disable, Ike is able to hack it and reprogram it, while Val is able to repair the damage they did to it, thus creating Jeeves, their new robo-butler.

They search the post-op room and discover it’s filled with people and animals that are all unconscious. Connected to the room, they also find a garage with a hummer parked inside. They opt to leave the hummer and continue searching the other rooms. While searching the other rooms, they’re suddenly attacked by a trench-coated assassin with a skull for a head. Sort of. After a massive battle in which many of The Crew are wounded, they manage to thwart their attacker and discover he’s simply wearing a high-tech mask. They strip him of his weapons and armor (a couple pistols, a katana, a padded trench-coat, and the skull mask). They also ended up taking his hand, as they need it to open a biometric lock on the door to the operating room. Inside, they find a drowsy wolf, unlike the ones that attacked them. A normal wolf, without the heightened intelligence. They discover in the operating room a computer interface and a device that looks something like cerebro from the X-Men. In exploring the computer interface they discover that it’s a transfusion machine that can essentially copy a person’s memory, personality, intelligence, etc, and then imprint it onto another creature. Thus, they realize the wolves that attacked them were basically human minds copied onto wolf bodies. They decide to try the machine on themselves and Dom and Escher duplicate their consciousness onto a bear and wolf respectively. As they’re finishing up, they hear a helicopter inbound and decide to escape to their own vehicles (not the Hummer), but first they pull a hard drive from the central mainframe.
SanChristo Feb 21 2019, 14:50 Group: Heroes, Level 11 Quote Post
THIRD SESSION - a lot of quality time was spent with players discussing strategy.

The Crew heads to their vehicle and tries to escape, pursued by what looks like a Blackhawk helicopter. Delilah takes Dom, Escher, and Zayaan in her Mustang while Ike takes Val, the bear, and the wolf in the production van. They leave Jeeves behind as a robo-double agent. Val attempts to distract the helicopter by tossing out one of the crates they collected but first emptying it of the high-tech equipment they stole and instead filling it with production equipment. They then split up at the first intersection with plans to meet at the AB-Tech campus. The helicopter falls for the clever ruse; however, a motorcycle with a side car chases down Delilah’s car. A pretty bad ass car chase and battle ensure, and Dom is very injured, but ultimately Delilah’s team prevails and heads to their rendezvous point.
SanChristo Feb 21 2019, 14:51 Group: Heroes, Level 11 Quote Post
FOURTH SESSION

Cut to Ike and Val escaping in the production van with the wolf and bear. They’re able to drive to a part of the road that’s covered in trees and use their technical knowhow and the high-tech equipment they stole to build a totally bad ass directional EMP cannon, which they then use to bring down the helicopter. Another skull-headed assassin survives the crash and manages to use a magnetic grappling gun to get on the roof of the van. Simultaneously, Ike gets two pings as his phone detects two broadcasting blue tooth devices. Ike tries to throw the assassin by slamming on the brakes, but the assassin also has magnetic boots and manages to throw open the back of the van.

Cut to Dom. He’s groggy, and his memory is pretty scattered; however, he has distinct images of being hurt by a skull-headed assassin. He opens his eyes to see one of them throwing open the back doors of the van. Wait. This isn’t Dom-Dom. It’s Dom-Wolf, and he snaps at the assassin. Val strikes at the assassin, and Ike guns it to try to outrun him. Unfortunately, the assassin again uses his mag-grappling gun to get inside the van, but—fortunately—Val, the wolf, and bear quickly dispatch him and loot his body. Val tries on the skull mask and discovers that it’s not just a singular mask but includes an internal Head-Up Display which various menu options including the ability to change the exterior of the mask. Upon reasonably close inspection, a person could tell that the mask is, in fact, a mask. But from a distance or from only a glance, the mask could work as a pretty credible disguise.

Ike realizes that the Bluetooth signal is coming from the animals. They have implants that broadcast their vision to nearby devices. A quick note on the animals: The bear and wolf have all of Escher and Dom’s memories, ideologies, and personality traits. However, they have a programmed awareness that they are not Escher and Dom. Moreover, they lack most living creatures deep-seeded desire to survive. That idea might sound troubling, but they’re also programmed to not be bothered by the fact that they’re programmed.

Onto AB-Tech. The Crew regroups, rendezvouses with two of Val’s professors (Dante and Anaya), and get medical help from the school nurse, who’s able to patch them up completely. The Crew finds various places to crash for the night while Dante and Anaya pore over the tech.

The next day is New Year’s Day, and campus is generally empty. The Crew is completely healed (amazing what a good night’s sleep does for you) and the professors have information for them: the hard drive seems to essentially have limitless storage based on fractals, and it contains memory files for a whole host of people—including Escher and Dom. The fractal drive also has rough schematics for the transfusion machine.

Then Zayaan’s phone rings—the 2050 equivalent of a facetime call. She answers it and finds herself face to face with a young man she doesn’t recognize. The Crew crowds around and no one notices anything particularly odd except for Val, who realizes that as realistic as the young man looks, he’s actually CGI with a synthesized voice—that is to say, they’re not talking to a real person. The person demands that the Crew returns all of the equipment that they stole. The Crew asks how, and the person tells them to simply put everything in the crates they stole and leave it in the parking lot. The Crew realizes that means the person knows where they are. They agree to the demands and hang up.

Discussion ensues. Zayaan kinda wants to join the bad guys. Escher wants to blow them up. Delilah wants to put a tracker in the crate to figure out their base of operations. Ultimately, Zayaan is outvoted and Val’s attempt to build a bomb fails, so they put a tracker in the crate along with some of the stuff they stole and put it outside.

Several things happen in quick succession. Escher receives an angry message from his editor firing him and telling him that he’ll never work again. Ike gets a report from Jeeves (back at the clinic) that alarms are going off and Project Lasso has been enacted. While checking their phones, Escher and Ike catch news reports that the entire city of Asheville has been quarantined due to an alleged viral outbreak. Then their phones die, and the rest of the Crew realizes their phones have simultaneously cut off as well.

Another helicopter arrives and three figures emerge: a dread-locked black man, mohawked Japanese guy, and punk rock lady of mixed ethnicities.

CLIFFHANGER END OF ACT 1.
TO BE CONTINUED.
uncle_jimbo Feb 23 2019, 02:15 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
Author (SanChristo @ Feb 22 2019, 01:50)
In exploring the computer interface they discover that it’s a transfusion machine that can essentially copy a person’s memory, personality, intelligence, etc, and then imprint it onto another creature. Thus, they realize the wolves that attacked them were basically human minds copied onto wolf bodies. They decide to try the machine on themselves and Dom and Escher duplicate their consciousness onto a bear and wolf respectively.

This is great. WIth suitable guidelines, it could reuse stats that might otherwise come up once or not at all, and benefit gameplay as well, as mentioned later.
DrShocter Feb 23 2019, 02:40 Group: Heroes, Level 8 Quote Post
I love these, glad to see you are back at it with a new crew. I second Jimbo’s comment, and I’ll add that an incongruous combination is always entertaining. I’m positive the player of Dom-Dom/Dom-Wolf knows this well.
SanChristo Feb 23 2019, 10:08 Group: Heroes, Level 11 Quote Post
Author (uncle_jimbo @ Feb 23 2019, 02:15)
This is great. WIth suitable guidelines, it could reuse stats that might otherwise come up once or not at all, and benefit gameplay as well, as mentioned later.

Jimbo, can you elaborate on that? What sort of stats are you thinking of?
SanChristo Feb 23 2019, 10:11 Group: Heroes, Level 11 Quote Post
Author (DrShocter @ Feb 23 2019, 02:40)
I love these, glad to see you are back at it with a new crew. I second Jimbo’s comment, and I’ll add that an incongruous combination is always entertaining. I’m positive the player of Dom-Dom/Dom-Wolf knows this well.

What sort of incongruous combination are you thinking of, Doc? An angry four-star general in a child's body? That sort of thing?

I'm definitely going to being pulling from Whedon's show "Dollhouse" in the future.

uncle_jimbo Feb 23 2019, 19:15 Group: Grid Cop, 5éme Corbin Quote Post
Author (SanChristo @ Feb 23 2019, 21:08)
Jimbo, can you elaborate on that? What sort of stats are you thinking of?

I was thinking of bears and wolves, though Dollhouse certainly raises questions.

This post has been edited by uncle_jimbo on Feb 23 2019, 19:24
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