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Author Topic: [Inspectres] Fighting Slime (or, Winging InSpectres, Part 3)  (Read 1893 times)
GreatWolf
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« on: April 27, 2004, 12:03:50 PM »

And the carnage continues.  That’s right!  Time for another update on Winger Paranormal Investigations.  (The previous actual play threads are here and here.)

Somehow, our group seems to have established that the GM of the group has to write the actual play report.  Or, if nothing else, Ralph browbeat me into it.  All I can say is that I’m going to hold this over his head when he starts running Robots & Rapiers for us.   <grin>

Anyways, on to the report…

It seems as though we are developing a bi-weekly pattern here.  Two Saturdays ago, I was too tired to GM effectively, so we ended up playing some other games instead.  But this Saturday I was ready.  Good thing, too.

We started out with discussion about what to do with the eight remaining Franchise Dice that had been earned from the previous mission.  In the final analysis, although the players came up with a couple of devices (a Ghostbusters Proton Pack purchased on eBay, and one Monster Juicer), none of the Dice were spent.  So they were kept to be applied towards the Franchise Dice goal of this job.  According to the edition of the rules that I have, this is legit, although I’m not sure that I liked it.  More later.

We also decided to table the issue of whether or not Todd would mutate into a weird agent or not.  Obviously, it is ultimately Ralph’s decision, and I don’t want to take that away from him, but I thought that group input would be helpful.

With those preliminaries out of the way, we started up the game.

HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED

Once again, Todd’s mother called to nag about the credit card bill.  She was not to be put off this time, so Todd managed to get her to go down to FBI headquarters to meet for lunch there with himself and Special Agent Maulder.  For some reason, she bought it, but only barely.

This would turn out to be significant later.

Jo was busy messing with the new Monster Juicer.  While supposedly this juicer would turn any monster into a satisfying and nutritious beverage, it works with regular food as well.  So, Jo was making fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Seth:  So, did Jo take off the rinds before putting in the oranges?

Crystal:  adopting a quizzical look  You’re supposed to take off the rinds?

Dexter passed on the lumpy orange juice, while Todd choked some down.  And, when the client arrived, there was juice awaiting her, too.

(You know, I just realized that, with the exception of our nemesis Special Agent Maulder, all the clients have been women.  I wonder why that is…)

So the client arrived.  It was obvious that she had a poor command of English, because, as soon as Todd greeted her, she started babbling in an unknown language.

It is at this point that the evening took a sharp turn to the left for me.

You see, I was planning on the “unknown language” being Spanish, which would lead to some humorous moments as the PCs bungled their way through trying to understand her.  This would then lead to the description of the slime monster in the basement of the hospital.  I would then throw Bangs that were more horror-related, trying to make this into “the worst job that we ever had”.  I even had dreams of incorporating Maulder’s original investigation (the Johnson kidnapping) and all sorts of things.

But Keith screwed it all up.

Of course, I say this in jest.  However, Keith’s next action set the tone for the entire session.

He sticks up his pencil (the sign for a Confessional) and notes that Dexter realizes that the client is speaking in Klingon.

I didn’t follow the No Myth discussions, but I do know that nothing is true until it has been said.  I didn’t say that the client was speaking in Spanish, so she wasn’t.  Now, she was speaking in Klingon.

So, now what?

Well, obviously, she was a native Spanish-speaker, but she decided to use Klingon to bridge the language barrier with her fellow geeks.  Okay, I’ll take that curve ball and run with it (to horribly mangle a couple of metaphors).

So, Dexter pulls up a Klingon-English translator online, which enables him to communicate with the client.  Meanwhile, Todd and Jo can’t follow the conversation, but this doesn’t last long.

So the client talks about the slime monster in the basement of the hospital where she works.  She has even brought a sample in a test tube.  Todd takes the test tube, opens the stopper, and starts sniffing at it.  He rolls his Academics.  He rolls a 2.  Comedy ensues.

The bit of slime shoots up his nose and lodges in his sinuses.  Quickly, he shoves one long gremlinized finger up his nose after it.  He rolls Athletics and gets a 6!  So, Ralph dictates that, due to the rooting around, the slime creatures merges with his brain, forming a symbiote.  Now, suddenly, he can understand what the client is saying.  Now, he can sense the presence of the rest of the slime monster.  He feels drawn to it.  He needs to return to it.

Meanwhile, Jo is still lost.  Then, when Todd starts speaking in Klingon, she becomes persuaded that the juicer can give people the ability to speak in different languages.  This makes her angry, because it is obviously not working for her.  I mean, she drank the juice and nothing happened.  But somehow it worked for Todd.  She storms off to call tech support.

So, the client leaves, confident that the slime monster will be exterminated.  Meanwhile, Todd has gotten all weird and is doing the whole “gliding along the floor” walk that possessed people always seem to do.  He wants to go to the hospital.  So he and Dexter head out (but not before Dexter puts on his fake Vulcan ears and his plastic Ghostbuster Proton Pack).  Jo stays behind; she’s on the phone with tech support.

Tech support is no help, because it’s tech support.  (Keith works in a call center, so we had a lot of fun with this part.)  So, Jo goes berserk.  She hurls the phone towards the door and starts screaming and throwing stuff into the juicer.  Eggs, still in the carton.  Milk.  Other fruit.  Random things lying around.  She is yelling and screaming at the top of her lungs.

Ralph calls for a confessional.  “And that’s when Todd’s mom and Special Agent Maulder entered the office.”

We even determined that the cordless phone that Jo hurled hit Special Agent Maulder in the arm.  The same arm, in fact, that was hit by the lawn dart last time.

Things were off to a smashing start.

So, here we are again, with everything ready to go “foom”.  Todd is possessed by an alien slime creature, Dexter is trying to make sure that he doesn’t do anything too dumb, and the biggest “diplomatic” crisis that the franchise has faced so far is being handled by a berzerking ex-wrestler with a “Permanent PMS” descriptor.

Things continued to come apart (in a good way).  Apparently the slime monster had possessed other people at the hospital, and so Todd (and Dexter) were able to gain admittance into the sub-basement where the monster (named something like Lord Glorbalofax) had made its lair.  Of course, it was at this point that Todd snaps back to his normal state.

Things back at the office weren’t much better.  Jo was still persuaded that the juicer could make a concoction that would enable the drinker to understand all languages.  Of course, what made it better was that a successful Tech roll by Jo actually did create a concoction that enabled the drinker to understand any language…except Klingon.  Jo ended up drinking some of the gunk that she had made and started babbling in different languages.  So Special Agent Maulder pulled his gun and tried to confiscate the juicer.  Of course, his one arm is in a sling, so he had to dial his cell phone with his chin to call for backup.  Of course, Jo refuses to give up the juicer, saying that she has to get permission from her boss.  So she calls his cell phone.
Did I mention that Todd and Dexter were in the grip of the slime monster when she called?

Of course, right as Todd answers the phone (“Winger Paranormal Investigations.  How may I help you?), Maulder shot the phone out of Jo’s hand.  This only made her more annoyed.

Dexter opened fire on the slime monster with his Proton Pack, wounding the monster but, more importantly, frightening it with his fake Vulcan ears.  Unfortunately, as he took aim again, the batteries discharged, draining into the gun and blasting out a chunk of the roof.

Then Todd had an idea.  Quickly he called Jo.

Jo is still at gunpoint, but she answers the phone anyways.  Todd says, “Hey, we need you down here right now.  And bring the juicer!”

At this point, four FBI agents in hazmat suits enter the office.  They have come to confiscate the juicer.

So Jo picks up the juicer and starts leaving.  The agents try to stop her, but she beats them senseless with the juicer.  (We agreed that she was whirling the juicer by its electrical cord and using it like that martial arts weapon which is essentially a weight at the end of a rope.)  Then, yelling at Maulder to follow her, she heads for the hospital.  Of course, he follows.

She pulls up to the emergency room entrance, reasoning that this is an emergency.  As she dashes in, she sees a large hole blown in the middle of the floor.  Conveniently, there is also a spool of extension cord nearby, the kind that is mounted on wheels to be rolled around. (the result of a good roll by Jo).  So she plugs in the juicer and slides it down the hole.

Then, when she sees Maulder burst in the door after her, she rappels down the extension cord into the dark.

Todd picks up the juicer and bellows into the darkness.  He is challenging Lord Glorbalofax to the traditional duel of their race:  who can fit into the smallest space.  He puts the juicer down and pushes his foot into the juicer.  “Hah!  I can fit my entire foot into this juicer.”

Contact roll.  A 6.

There is a slight breeze.  Soon it turns into a wind and then a gale.  Then, with a sound like a freight train, Glorbalofax hurls himself into the juicer.  The stuffing went on and on and on as he packed himself tightly into the juicer.

Then Todd picked up the juicer, closed the lid, and pushed the switch.

But nothing happened!

Behind them stood Special Agent Maulder, gun drawn.  He had unplugged the extension cord!

But Todd had another plan.  Calmly, quietly, he handed over the juicer, which Maulder then took out to his car.  Then, as he was driving away, Ralph noted that Todd had unlatched the lid…and turned the power switch on.  And the extension cord was still connected to the juicer.  So, after watching the cord unwind for a couple of seconds, Todd plugged it in.

Inside Maulder’s car, there was an explosion of juiced monster.

Suavely, Todd whipped out an invoice and laid it on the counter in the emergency room.  “Another job well done.  Let’s go, gang.”

As they left, they passed the cursing Maulder, who was covered in goo.  In an act of supreme contempt, Jo tossed him a towel as they passed.

ISSUES TO CONSIDER

Again, things went quite well.  I asked if folks were wanting to begin to wind down this game and move on to another, but the general consensus was to keep going.  It’s all good with me; I’ve been laughing so hard sometimes that I can’t talk.

However, there were a couple of minor issues that came out of this week’s session.

Being Cool

At the end of the session, we were discussing weird agents and Cool.  I explained that normals can only earn Cool by getting a low roll of 6 on a Stress check.  Ralph noted that this meant that I should be hitting them with more 1-die stress checks to give the opportunity for them to pick up Cool.  He is right, and I’m going to try to do this more often.  I am also concerned, however, that this could potentially nickel-and-dime them with dinky Stress hits.  This might be a feature, and not a bug, though, so we’ll see.

Hoarding Franchise Dice

Technically speaking, this job was 28 Franchise Dice.  However, I arbitrarily bumped it to 32 during the session.  This was because the job was ending too quickly.  Generally, I’ve found that the group hits its target at about the same time as events had hit their climax.  In this case, though, we hit 28 dice pretty much at the point where Todd and Dexter were heading into the subbasement.  This was because of the 8 Franchise Dice that they had saved from before.

I wasn’t really happy with my solution (if the job is 28 dice, then it should be for 28 dice), and I think that I might propose an outlawing of saving Franchise Dice for future jobs.  Any thoughts from the other Inspectres players out there?

Over all, I’d say that this was another successful session.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
GreatWolf
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designer of Dirty Secrets


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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2004, 12:42:16 PM »

Forgot to mention one thing.

The ridiculous trend of my players rolling 5s and 6s on one die continues.

Unless they are rolling for Stress, of course....  So maybe it cuts both ways.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
TonyLB
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2004, 01:50:43 PM »

Out of interest, why did you feel the desire to make the woman's native language spanish after she'd started gabbling in Klingon?
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GreatWolf
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designer of Dirty Secrets


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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2004, 02:11:49 PM »

Two reasons:

The first was because it was what I had originally intended, and I sometimes react to curve balls slowly.

The second was actually to reinforce Keith's insertion of her speaking Klingon.  If the client could speak English, then where's the fun of trying to struggle with the translation?

Besides, even as we continued the conversation, we tried to express the content of the conversation in Klingon-y ways.  So, for instance, she never came out and said that she was scared of the slime monster.  When she had to leave, she said something about having to perform her duty.  The PCs were hired as her "mercenaries".  Stuff like that.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Bob McNamee
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2004, 04:03:39 PM »

From the Inspectres 2.01 rules I've got...

Quote
If the players want, they can end a mission prematurely, that is, without resolving the problem or gaining the requisite number of franchise dice. Ending a mission in such a manner nets the team half the dice they’ve gained up to that point.

Remember that at the end of the mission, all Franchise Dice should be placed into one of the following areas.

• Cards (to augment Academics, Athletics or Technology skill rolls)
• Bank (to augment skill rolls)
• Vacation (to restore skills that were reduced due to stress)
• Cool dice (for weird agents)

Unplaced Franchise Dice cannot be used until the end of the next mission. Until then, they’re just sitting around (on the plus side, this gives the team a little padding for their next goal).


So it sounds like you can save them.
They don't help you finish the next job faster...  they will give you a cushion of dice to use for longer vacations, or to replenish the credit cards etc. after the next job.

edited in: or I could be mistaking the intent ...the "padding for next goal' makes it ambigious.

What a great sounding game! Lots of laughs just reading it. It had to be a riot in person!
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Bob McNamee
Indie-netgaming- Out of the ordinary on-line gaming!
Valamir
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2004, 05:06:17 PM »

It was Globoblomax, LORD Globoblomax, deposed king of the Slime People in exile on Earth.  At that little piece of slime I snorted, was not just any slime, it was Ichicholmaxim, rival prince seeking dominance over earth.

So Todd Winger, skate punk stoner who just moved out of his Mom's basement is now CEO of a successful (so far) start up franchise, has one giant green, long fingered, clawed gremlin hand, and an alien slime life form living in his brain.

Dude, its most disturbing I must say.
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GreatWolf
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designer of Dirty Secrets


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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2004, 05:16:42 PM »

My apologies, Ralph.  Really, when all is said and done, only someone with a slime prince living in his brain could keep those names straight.

Hey, wait a minute......

And I agree, the transformation of Todd would be quite disturbing if it were in any other context.  Of course, in this particular context, it's just really funny.

So, you going weird?

Bob,

Yeah, we're looking at the same rules.  Personally, I'd be happy to say that unused Franchise Dice have to go into the Bank, but that Bank Dice can be spent on Vacation between adventures.

Any thoughts from the peanut gallery?  I'm not sure if this change would break anything, aside from perhaps increasing the amount of Dice needed to complete the next job...but I tend to see that as a bonus.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Lxndr
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Master of the Inkstained Robes


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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2004, 05:29:15 PM »

I agree with Bob - unused Franchise dice are just that, "unused."  They haven't been put anywhere yet.  But each mission has its own sets of Franchise dice, and you can't carry dice between missions.
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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GreatWolf
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designer of Dirty Secrets


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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2004, 08:02:13 PM »

Hey, I received word from Jared, clarifying the rule:

Quote

Unplaced Franchise Dice cannot be used toward the next goal . By "padding" I don't mean that you can apply them toward a Franchise Die Goal. Rather, they're around to replenish the team's card pools at the end of the mission ("padding" is used to mean a kind of safety net in case something bad happens during the mission and the mission is either a) ended too soon or b) ends with lots of card dice having been spent).


That makes a lot more sense.  Thanks, Jared!
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Bob McNamee
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2004, 11:40:33 AM »

Cool!

Thanks for getting that clarification!
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Bob McNamee
Indie-netgaming- Out of the ordinary on-line gaming!
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