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Author Topic: [Trollbabe - Vampires] End of adventure number 1 - L1000NG  (Read 3906 times)
Paganini
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Posts: 1049


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« on: September 01, 2004, 10:12:26 PM »

Alternatively known as "Darkbabe" and "Nightbabe."

Here's the transcript from the game, formatted up in a nice readable (I hope) stream. This is the first adventure, which took us 8 IRC sessions to complete. I'm posting it cos - even thought it's long - I'm hoping people will actually read it. *THIS* is what you can do with Trollbabe when you get rid of the trolls. And the babes. (Now, what was that you said about heathens Ron? Well?)

So, other than the obvious coolness that follows, what I've learned from running this first Darkbabe adventure is that Trollbabe is very much a drama resolution game. You really really don't call for conflicts to "find out what happens." You have to make all that stuff up, and, in that sense, Trollbabe makes you work very hard. All the players have to be on top of their creative input, making sure that the game keeps going. Conflicts are specifically used only when actuall characters are in opposition. That was something I sort of vaguely understood from past experiences, but didn't really fully grok until this game.

* Darkbabe - first adventure*

A tall woman with a painted harlequin grin lounges against the side of "The Bone Gnashers," eyeing Amanda speculatively as she heads past. A small girl sits at the clownish woman's feet, playing with a handfull of jet-black marbles. The rain has stopped, but fog now lays heavy over Metro City, rain slick pavement and dark bricks shining slightly under the difused moonlight. The dark streets glow like the view through a sniperscope in Amanda's eyes, the warmth of cars and brigher warmthe of bodies shining through the walls, the air rich with fluttering scents.

"The Bone Gnashers" is a music bar, not the kind of place Amanda usually goes near, but avoiding this street would add time to her trip home, and tonight she's in a hurry. She idly wonders what the little girl is doing out so late but continues to hurry pass, the tempting scent of the blood from the hospital drifing out of the case like the scent of a hot pie. She almost doesn't notice the long black car that glides up from behind her. But she definitely notices the two guys in black suits and dark glasses who slide out.

"Give us the stuff," says the first suit, approaching, but not getting too close.

Amanda pushes the dark glasses (the streetlights are SO bright) down the end of her short nose to look over them "I BEG your pardon...."

"Come on, hand it over," says suit number two. He's shorter and stockier than the first suit. "We want the *stuff!*"
He puts a hand under his jacket.

With blinding speed, Amanda scoops up a scalpel from her little black bag and hurls it at the guy reaching for his (maybe) gun. He howls as the scalpel pins his hand to his jacket. His buddy looks at him, the over at Amanda. He pulls out his own gun and moves toward her.

Amanda's hand blurs through the air but the gunman manages to bring his gun around just enough for her blow to knock if from his hands. She swings her bag at the guy as hard as she can, right in the face. He jumps back with blood gushing down his face, yelling about a broken nose.

The other guy has worked his hand free. "Let's get out of here," he yells. They both hightail it back to their car. The one with the injured hand yells back at Amanda. "It's not yours! We'll get it sooner or later!"

* * *

Sherwood heads away from the club swishing his cape at his boots. It was a long evening, but vampires don't get drunk. Unfortunately. He's passing another one of his haunts, the "Fife and Dram" when Mindy comes running out and grabs his arm.

"Hey Sherwood, Sherwood, wait!"

She shoves a couple of minidiscs at him.

"Make sure Tyler gets these, will you? Please, it's important!"

Sherwood makes a face.

"What's up?"

"These, uh... these discs. They belong to Tyler, but I think someone is trying to steal them. They're rare or something, I think they're worth money!"

Suddenly her face changes.

"Oh no! Him!"

She drops the disks and takes off up the street.

Sherwood sees a short asian guy moving towards them. He has a cane in one hand, but it's not touching the ground, and the guy seems to hunch along like a stalking cat.

Sherwood scoops up the discs.

The asian steps up to Sherwood and bows.

"I see you have disks. I expected a woman, but is OK."

Sherwood gives the man a colourless stare.

The asian bows again.

"Please excuse. You give discs now, I have money in car."

"Hm. Why don't I follow you there."

"Very good. This way please."

The asian turns and walks into a side alley. Probably where he came from. That would explain his rapid appearance.

"You come now. All the money in car. The boss happy to pay for disks."

* * *

The crowd outside River Park theatre is sparse. Few people have discovered the beauty and skill of Lolly Mason who is performing a nightly run of Clive Stenudd's play "Noir City" there this week. Rating only a small 4th page review, the show will probably close down soon, unless it gets some financial help.

Ben walks up to the usher, and hands him the ticket he purchased weeks ago. The usher bows slightyly. "Thank you for your patronage sir, this way to your seat." He leads Ben to the Grand Circle Box. The chairs are red plush, free standing and comfy. A black marble table with carved gargoyles for feet sits close by with Ben's (second) favorite drink already poured and at hand. "If you need anything, as always, you have but to ask." The usher bows again, and goes about his business.

As usual, Ben immediatly gets up and restlessly prowls around. In a nearby box, a well-dressed eldery gentleman is talking to the matron seated by his side.

"Did you hear, my dear? The times reporter found dead in his home yesterday morning? Such a shame. I was looking forward to his piece on the Symphony concert. I daresay he'd have been here tonight as well."

As he looks around, Ben also notices a scruffy-looking bald man gesturing wildly near the backstage door. One of the ushers takes him firmly in hand and escorts him away.

Ben asks: "Pardon me, good sir, but did you say Alex Henderson was dead?"

The old gentleman eyes Ben up and down for a minute. Apparently he decides he likes what he sees. He thrusts out a hand.

"Josh Harris," he identifies himself. "Don't see too many young folks at shows like these any more. A darn shame if you ask me. Yeah, Al Henderson is dead. Suicide the say, but I got a freind in the Department recokons maybe it was murder."

"Murder?" Ben gestures to the surroundings with a small smile. "Isn't that a bit dramatic?"

Josh looks slightly put out. "Well, maybe so. But my freind's been on the force for 14 years. I trust what he tells me. To tell you the truth, though, I can't think why anyone would want old Al dead. Used to have a drink with him after a show I did. Fine chap."

"Forgive me, I seem to have forgotten myself" Ben turns and bows slightly towards the Matron. "My name is Ben"
At that moment, the lights dim and blink, signalling that the show is about to start.

"Ah, you will have to pardon me once more. Perhaps after the show."

"Well, nice meeting you Mr. Ben." says Josh. "Maybe we can talk after the show. River Park theatre has a fine saloon, if I do say so."

Ben settles into his seat as the curtain rises for the first act. Lolly doesn't come on stage until the third scene.
But as the leading actor utters his first lines, a young stage hand charges onto the stage yelling at the top of his lungs.

"Fire! Fire in the dressing rooms! Help! The theatre is on fire!"

Ben sees Josh and his wife stumbling to their feet, while down below what people there are mill around in their seats.
The ushers hurry in to try and calm things down, but there's definitely smoke in the air. Ben gets up, and calmly begins walking backstage

There is a LOT of smoke backstage, and a few stage hands running around wildly but not exhibiting much purpose.

Ben glides through the smoke like a wraith, ignoring the hysterical stage hands. He follows the "Dressing Room" signs downstairs into the thickest of the smoke, his enhanced vision making it easy to avoid obstacles. The fire seems to be spreading, but it definitely originates in the dressing room area. Ben carefully avoids it, and is soon standing outside a door marked "Lolly Mason" in large peeling letters.

There's a large iron bar fastened across the door. Someone is pounding on the door from the inside, screaming and sobbing. It's probably Lolly.

Ben laughs at the simple obstacle, and grabs the iron bar to rip it off. He quickly rips his hands away, as they burn with the pain of anathema. Ben espies a sledgehammer nearby. He hefts it easily and brings it down with all his great strength on the door. Alas! The handle is old and splintered. It shatters with the force of the blow, driving a large chunk of wood into his thigh. Muttering about how they all die anyway, Ben hobbles upstairs, where he takes a side exit. Behind him, Lolly's terrorized cries become shrill shrieks of pain as the flames eat through the walls and surround her. As he limps along the alleyway outside, he lights a ciggarette.

* * *

Amanda picks up the gun and remembers her witnesses, she turns to the woman and the girl. She tosses them the gun and says "Watch who you point that at" then hurries off into the gathering fog. She hurries through the night and reaches her home, Moonliight Medical supply in the warehouse district. She trys to ignore the tempting scent of the blood inside the case and goes to her phone to call the hospital.

The night duty nurse at the hospital picks up the phone. It's a young black guy doing an internship.

"Yeah?"

This is Doctor Trevaine, I need to run down the origin of some misfiled blood samples...

"Doc, you want the guys over in storage and inventory. I can put you through to them, but I doubt there's anyone there to night." From his tone, Amanda can see that the intern is dead determined that *he* won't be the one tracking down rogue blood samples.

Amanda puts on her best "I'm not gonna take that crap from you sucker; I had twice as many decades in med school as you have brain cells" voice and tells the intern if he doesn't bring up the computer records pronto she'll have his butt busted back to school before he can say "ER."

Turns out the files are incomplete. The only fields filled out are a name "Eddy Tucker" and an address: 42 south Warricksgrove.

Amanda thanks the intern and hangs up . . . and picks up the phone book looking up that name. It's listed. She looks at the time and decides that this is an emergency enough to pull someone out of bed. She gets Eddy's answering machine. The message says:

"I'm not interested. Talk to me tomorrow if I'm still alive. I'll probably kill myself tonight, so don't get your hopes up."

Amanda's eyes widen at the strange message, she looks at the clock to see how much time there is before sunrise, then hurries to the highest room in the warehouse and cranks open the skylight, using a power she rarely makes use of she transforms into and bat and flutter off into the night.

* * *

Eddy's house is a small two-story house with dark siding. The city is still foggy as Amanda allights in front of Eddy's broken mailbox. The numeral "4" is just visible on it. The house seems to be deserted, there are no lights, no signs of movement.

Amanda trransforms back and walks up to her house her senses alive to all the sounds of the night. She reaches out with her senses. The house is definitely deserted, but there is a strange feeling hanging over it, the residue of some presence. The essence is concentrated heavily and emenates from one of the first floor rooms. She walks throught the fog around to the back of the house, she goes to the rear entrances and forces it open. The house is very dark. But Amanda can see heat coming from something laying on a table in the center of the room. It doesn't look human, and she's pretty sure it's not alive. But the strangeness she sensed is definitely centered around it.

(solarization film effect of a bright room)

Amanda approaches the prescence slowly to stand over it, she does what she always does first ,gives it a good sniff. A watcher would be shocked to see the woman in the immaculate old fashioned clothes get down on hands and knees and sniff the floor around the corpse like a hound.  She smells ash and charred meat. She realizes now that the table contains the headless charred remains of a human, still warm from whatever burned it. She checks to see if anything is left of it's personal effects. The corpse is utterly naked. However, in her investigations, Amanda discerns that it was once female.
Amanda despairs of learning anything from the cremains instead she looks around to see if she can find the answereing machine.

It's sitting right there on the counter.

But just as Amanda hits "play," she hears footsteps coming up the front steps. Amanda listens carefully senses hearing the steps like the trod of elephants... how many? She transforms back into a bat roosting silently in a hanging light

The front door opens, and a scruffy-looking bald guy comes in and flips on the light. He's got an empty plastic garbage bag in one hand, and he looks tired. Amanda concentrates on transforming but doesn't in time, Eddy pushes the door open and sees Amanda standign over the dead woman.

* * *

Ben limps back to his house on North Avenue, looking forward to a good day's sleep to heal up his leg. It's slow going to make his way across town without attracting unwated attention from gang members or helpfull pedestrians. Unfortunately, he discovers that someone has been in his basement before him. His coffin is closed, resting on the polished stone lid is a charred human head. Ben exclaims "Son of a bitch" He walks carefully up to the head, his nostrils revolting against the smell. With a small gasp he recognizes the half-burned face of Lolly Mason!

* * *

Eddy stops dead as soon as he sees Amanda.

"What are you doing?" he hollers "Get away from her!"

Amanda looks at Eddy with a penetrating stare and motions down to the creamians on the ground "looks like you've been a bad boy Eddy."

Eddy collects his scattered wits and moves into the room. "Who are you, and what are you doing in my house?" he demands. He flips on the lights.

She steps closer to him "why don't you tell me about it you'll feel better"

"Hey! What did you do with Lolly's head, you freak?!"

Amanda backs Eddy up into the wall, staring at him with slightly glowing eyes. "What have you been doing Eddy?" she hisses.

"Nothing," he gasps. "I don't know nothing."

"You're lying Eddy," Amanda tells him. I can taste it. I can hear it. I can see right through you.

Eddy is getting scared. "Okay, okay," he says. "They burned down the theatre." He starts to cry. "Lolly was in there. I tried to warn her, but they wouldn't let me in. I went and got her afterwards, brought her back here." He seems to get a little of his gumption back.

"What'd you want to take her head for, you twisted monster?"

Amanda steps in front of Eddy soothingly stroking his face...cooing to him like a mother....

Eddy calms down.

"I didn't Eddy, are you sure you didn't leave it behind? And who are 'they' Eddy?

"I don't know exactly. Lolly kicked me out just when they started coming around. Bunch of asian guys. From Japan, you know.

"And what did they want?"

Big tears start rolling down Eddy's cheeks. "I don't know exactly. They wanted Lolly's blood. But why? What for?"

Amanda slides behind him pulling him closer and whisper ing into his ear.....

"Just who was 'lolly" Eddy?"

"Lolly... my wife." He breaks down and sobs.

"And how did Lolly get involved in all this?"

"She was scared. She bit this guy, she thought she had some disease, you know? She made me take her blood to the hospital for tests. But they never came back. Some guys, they wanted me to get it for them, they said they'd give me a lot of money, but I couldn't, and I knew they were going after Lolly."

Amanda's lips almost brush his ears as her quiet voice fills his mind "now why didnt you go to the police Eddy"?

"The cops? I hate cops! Besides, what could they do to help?"

"Well Eddy I have something I want you to do for me............

"Are you crazy? Why would I help you? You TOOK LOLLY'S HEAD!"

"I didn't take her head Eddy... In fact I have no idea who did.....but perhaps between the two of us we can get vengance for her...."

Eddy shuts up. He looks mad, but he's listening.

"Now first did these japanese gentlemen leave you any way of getting in touch with  them?

Eddy gets out his wallet and hands Amanda a dog-eared business card. "Guy put a phone number on the back. You take it, I don't ever wanna see them again."

Amanda takes the card and brushes her hands over his eyelids. A wave of fatigue passes over Eddy but he doesn't black out, he sees the woman walk into the room and change into a bat and flutter out the window.

* * *

The asian leads Sherwood a short distance to a parked limo. He opens the back door and motions for Sherwood to get in. Sherwood can just make out a dark figure sitting deep inside the belly of the car. Meanwhile, the asian guy goes around back and opens up the trunk. Sherwood gets in the car. "Hey."

The seated figure turns on the overhead light. "Hello, young man. I am Mr. Moto. Do you have my discs?" Sherwood tosses him a disc. "Sure do. Care for a drink?"

Mr. Moto waves an elegantly manicured hand at the minibar. "Help yourself. I myself do not drink alcohol." He tucks the disc away inside his jacket. "I believe there were five discs?"

"Sure were." Sherwood makes himself a drink and hands over the other discs. "If you don't mind my asking.."

Mr. Moto cocks his head. "Yes?"

"What's with the discs?"

"As with all such things, these discs contain information. The material on these discs are particularly important to my company. You will find that Hideo has your money waiting outside."

"Mh." Sherwood gets out of the car and prepares to accost the Asian man. Hideo hands Sherwood a large attache case, just like in the movies. "Money inside," he says with a wide grin. "Thank you for do business." Sherwood opens the case, just in case (pun intended.) The case does indeed appear to be full of money.

"Welcome. Nice meeting you, too. See you around."

Sharwood turns back toward the club, thinking about what his friend's going to say.

"So sorry," says Hideo, putting a hand on his shoulder. "Mr. Moto check discs before you go."

"Sure." Sherwood sets down the case and leans on a wall nearby.

A few minutes later, the rear window rolls down and Mr. Moto sticks his head out. He does not look pleased.
"Hideo, the discs have been encrypted. I fear our young friend must remain with us, until we once again have access to the information that is rightfully ours."

* * *

Josh hands Benedict a tall cold drink, and leans back in his leather chair. "Nice of you to come by Ben," he says. "This is my favorite room up here. Smoke, drink, talk about the world, no loud metal music, or whatever they call it here." He chuckles.

"Yes, it's good to be away from the cattle for once. Have a pleasent mind to speak to. You've got good Blood, Josh, trust me."

"So, what about Al Henderson? I take it you knew him?"

"Not personally, but I was familier with his work. However, somethign you mentioned at the theatre caught my interest. I dismissed it at the time, but you claim he was murdered?"

"Well, so it seems. The papers are calling it suicide, but my freind Benny Johnson with the Precinct gave me some inside info."

"Oh? Such as?"

Joshua leans back in his chair even further. "Well, don't know as I ought to tell you, Benny speaking on confidence and all. But, don't see how it can hurt. Whole head was shot off. Real mess. Need a shotgun or something big. Can't kill yourself with a shotgun, not like that."

"I wonder, Josh, did you know Lolly personally?"

Josh eyes Benedict thoughtfully.

"Now why would you think that? And what's this about 'did?' The cops never found a body. I expect she got out soon as the place started smoking."

Ben looks Josh straight in the eye. "The fire was intentionally set. Lolly was locked into her dressing room, and could not have gotten out. Someone intentionally killed her, and I want to know who"

Josh looks shaken up by this news, but tries not to show it. "And you thought Al being murdured was melodramatic? What gives you that idea, anyway, Ben? Lolly maybe had some tough times, but nobody'd want to *kill* her."

"Tough times?"

"Sure, what with her deadbeat husband, and the show almost goin' bankrupt, and all. And, she had some kind of sickness too. Called me up in the middle of the night one time, couldn't make any sense out of it at all."

Ben's looks directly into Joshua's eyes, and grabs him cruelly by the arm, his fingernails digging into the skin. Joshua is startled, and pulls away, saying "I think you've had enough to drink. Perhaps you should go."

Ben grabs Joshua once again, this time drawing a bit of blood. "When did she call you? What sickness? What did she *say*?"

Joshua looks quite flustered. "It was... a few weeks ago. Se called up in the middle of the night. Quite terrified Maevis. Lolly was hysterical, said she'd bitten someone, or someone had bitten her, wanted me to take her to the hospital."

"Which was it? Who bit her?"

"I... I don't know. I told her to take a sleeping pill, and I'd come around in the morning to talk it over with her. Is it important?"

"She's dead Joshua. Did you come around in the morining? What did she say?"

"She said it was all taken care of, that it was probably nothing. So, I took her at her word."

"Where did she live?"

"Don't you know?" Joshua looks confused. "She had a penthouse over on Capitol street. I paid for half of it!"

"WHERE IS IT?"

"Bohm building, very top floor" Joshua looks quite scared now.

(We're missing a bit here)

"Liar!" Benedict snarls, lifting Joshua up out of his chair. He drops Joshua's arm, and slumps back down into his seat. He deliberatly snuffs out his cigar, and reaches into his coat for a cheap cigarette. "Why are you lying to me Joshua?" He says quietly.

"You'll never believe me if I tell you," Joshua says brokenly.

Ben shrugs. "I don't believe you now. What could you say to change that?"

Joshua throws up his hands. "All right, fine, you win. My friend Al was doing a story on vampires. See? You don't believe me. But they're real! At least Al was convined they were, and he had proof."

"Joshua, we're talking about Lolly. What does Alex's story have to do with it?"

"Don't you see? Lolly was a vampire! A new vampire, just bitten, or whatever the call it. According to Al, and I believed him. He was going to expose her to the world..."

* * *

Mr Moto's limo glides silently into the parking level of the Bohm Building. It has its own private parking space right near the elevator bank. Hideo bows and helps Mr Moto out, then motions for Sherwood to follow. "We will make your stay as comfortable as we can, Mr. Sherwood," he says. "Of course, if you decrypt disks, no need to stay."

"I wouldn't want to rush my departure, Mr. Moto. Your company is too precious."

"Hideo, take Mr. Sherwood to the computer center while housekeeping prepares his room. I have business to attend to." Mr. Moto enters an elevator, and the doors swish shut. Sherwood followes Hideo.

The computer center is a large, well-lit area with - surprise - lots of computers. Hideo leads Sherwood over to one particularly cluttered desk. "Anton," he says, "This is Mr. Sherwood. He has helped us recover our disks. But, the data is encrypted, and useless to us." Hideo bows to Sherwood. "Perhaps Mr. Sherwood will be able to help you extract the information." Hideo looks Sherwood straight in the eye. "I assure you, Mr. Sherwood, it would be in your best interests to help us."

Sherwood stares blankly at Hideo. "Do you have a minute, Mr. Hideo? May I call you that?"

"Please, it would be my honor. You may speak, Mr. Sherwood."

Meanwhile, Anton is looking back and forth like your both crazy. Muttering under his breath, he grabs the discs and starts feeding them into electronic slots.

Sherwood "I really, really don't know what's going on here. Seriously. I'll try to help you out because I'm a nice guy, but I swear that I'm not hiding stuff from you to taunt you. Because really, it would have gotten old by now. Thanks for listening."

Sherwood starts tapping away at a computer, trying to figure out what he can do with this stuff. He spins in his chair, still typing with one hand, to look at Anton. "Hey, you have a stick of gum? I'm Sherwood, as it happens."

Anton fixes Sherwood with a balefull stare. "Do I look like a vending machine? I'm trying to work here, jackass. This is some serious heavy stuff on these disks. If Mr. Hideo wants you to sit by and watch, well, that's his business, but I don't need help from some worthless club slummer."

(Sherwood notices, in fact, that Hideo has moved off, after a whispered conversation with what appears to be a security guard. He decides to try passwords at random while checking his email.)

"Sort of. I mean, I don't know of any Atari-brand vending machines and probably wouldn't eat anything that came out of one..."

Anton flops his jaw a few times, then shrugs. "OK turkey, it's on now! You think you can do better than a degree from MiT, be my guest!"

Sherwood is reading on his ENN daily update that Bobby Fischer has just been apprehended in a Tokyo airport when the computer makes a beep and starts spitting out a stream of images and text. Looks like medical data of some sort. Sherwood clicks through the images curiously. "Hm. This looks sorta familiar. Hey, Mr. 1337, you know what any of this means?"

Anton isn't even paying attention, he's yelling into the telephone. "Tell Mr. Moto! Yeah, we got it, that sumbich he picked up off the street had the password all along!"

Sherwood decides he might want to inform Hideo that he's making some headway here.

* * *

The Bohm building's lobby is big and palm-spotted. The receptionist is a bored looking middle-aged asian woman watching some sort of reality show on a video screen behind her desk. No one else seems to be around. But then, it is kind of late.

Benedict walks up to the receptionist and says: "I'm here to meet Ms. Mason. She's expecting me"

The receptionist looks at you and says something in Mongolian.

Ben speaks a little bit louder and slower. "MS....MASON"

The receptionist bangs on her keyboard Then she points at the elevators and says something else. "Top floor. You go. She no let you in, though. She dead. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" The receptionist cackles with macabre glee.

Benedict ignores the last comment, and walks towards the elevators

The Bohm Building is tall. It takes a while to get to the top, even with the smooth speed of the modern elevators. Ben slams his fist into the wood paneling, hard. It cracks beneath his white knuckles, but even that is not enough to spend his rage. He opens his mouth to scream his rage and frustration, and with a *ding*, the elevator stops at the top floor. There's a small foyer outside the elevator, with a single door across the way. There are two security guards flanking it.

"This area is restricted," says one.

Benedict stifles his scream behind a yawn, and strolls out of the elevator.

"Sorry sir, but you'll have to go back downstairs."

"Yeah, Yeah, Jason told me it was okay to come up and take a look"

The two cops exchange looks. "Who?"

Benedict sighs. "My agent. I'm sure it just slipped his mind. I'm looking to buy the penthouse."

"This penthouse is locked down for evidence in a possible criminal investigation, sir. It's not on the market. I'm afraid you'll have to leave."

Benedict sighs again, and digs out his wallet. "Like I said, Jason told me it was fine. So, you guys don't worry." He peels out two $100 bills and hands one each to the guards. They lick their lips and look at each other. Benedict peels of another $200. "How much worry will it take?" Finally, he pulls out his last hundred and hands it to them. "This is all I got. You'll have to split this one. Go buy a couple of beers, or something."

"Yes sir. Thank you very much," says one guard, as they head past Ben into the elevator at high speed.

Ben walks into the apartment, nostalgia hitting him like a wave. Well, not exactly. He's never been here, but Lolly's stuff is everywhere, and he can't help remembering the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the painting hanging in the hall... Shaking off lingering memories, Ben begins an organized, methodical search.

* * *

The bat flutters back in throught the skylight and changes back into  Amanda Trevaine. She cranks shut the skylight and strides through the halls of Midnignt medical supply deep in thought. The message light is flashing on Amanda's answering machine. It's new since she went to Eddy's. She goes over to the machine and listens to the message. A smooth Japanese voice issues forth when she hits the button.

"Miss Tremain, I hope you hear this message soon. I am Mr. Moto. You have something that is very valuable to me, Miss Tremain. I do not know why you might want this... substance, although I have made certain guesses. I would very much like to speak with you about this. You see, I know what you have done, if not why. Perhaps some arrangement can be made." Amanda's jaw drops revealing her still extended fangs, 'how the hell did they get this number"? She gives an exasperated vampire like hiss, and decides to brazen out the issue, she pulles the business card out of her pocket and calls the nuumber on the back. I occurs to her that they must have contacts at the hospital too, maybe they traced her throught them and don't know her secret.

"Welcome to the Bohm HK limited Phone System," a cheery voice says. "If you know your party's extension, you may dial it now. If you would like a menue listing, please press the *star* key. Or, please stay on the line to speak with theoperator on duty. Thank you for calling Bohm HK, limited."

She gives another hiss 'damn menus!" and tries to listen for Mr. Moto.

A few seconds later, the same smooth Japanese voice is speaking in her ear. "This is Mr. Moto. I'm glad you called, Amanda."

Amanda affects a cheery equally vacuaous voice "greeting this is Midnight medical supply and services, did you wish to enqure about our catalog"

Mr. Moto chuckles appreciatively. "Yes indeed, a *particular* item from your catalogue. Unique, in fact." His voice is suddenly hard and cold. "You have Lolly's blood, Amanda. I want it."

"I believe you are inquiring about a sample recently acqured for testing? I'm afraid that all we have are thje samples codes to preserve privacy, can you verify the sample numbers?"

"The testing has already been completed. My technicians are analysing the results now. My concern is with the original material. It is dangerous and must be destroyed. Bring it to me. I can promiss your safety, and a not insubstantial reward." His voice seems to smile a bit. "I have certain... resources."

"Indeed, well we do have  special delivery service, for an extra charge of course, what is your adress and when may you be reached?"

There is silence on the end of the line for a bit. "Perhaps neutral ground would be best. Lolly Mason's penthouse at 4 AM. That gives you one hour. I assume you know where it is?"

Amanda smiles sweetly just enought to show the tips of her fangs "that isn't in our records ,sir I'll take it down now...."

"The Bohm building on Capitol street. The penthouse is on the top floor. I look forward to seeing you." The connection severs with a click.

Amanda snarls loudly iris breifly shifting though a range of colors before a flurry of activit begins, she starts doing some tests of her own a montage of microsopes centriiguges and other medical stuff. It culminates in her dipping her finger in the blood and taking one little taste swirling it around in her mouth like a sommellier...

The door of Midnight Medical opens and a black, sports car with heavily tinted windows glides out. As it drives down the street the streetlight catch the vanity plates "NITEBBE." Amanda stashes most of the blood in a locker and walks away with one test tube dropping the key into her clevage. She parks in an alleyway near the Bohm building. Out of the glove compartment she takes a DVD and locks te car. She turns into a bat and flutter up to the Penthouse the camera turns into the fals-colore sniperscope view of a vampire at night as she crouches on the roof, all the sounds inside resouding in echoing Dolby.

Amanda flaps down to the roof of the Bohm Building, resuming her usual form. It's dark there, the foggy city spread out below her, a distant web of shadows, streetlights shining up vaguely through the haze. She clamber silently down from the roof onto the balcony looking into the room.

The penthouse is darkened, but Amanda can see shadowy palms in the light of the moon and stars and general glow of the night city. The place seems deserted so far. Maybe she managed to get here before Mr. Moto, although that seems unlikely.A barbequeue grill sits nearby on the balcony, along with some plastic deck chairs and a metal table. She opens the glass doors and steps inside missiing nothing even in the deepest shadow. Inside the penthouse, in spite of the darkness, Amanda takes in the lushness of the furnishings. Everything is very clean, though, unlived-in looking. Like a furniture add from a Sears catalogue. She listens intently as her dress sweeps the thick carpet she follows a trail of scent into Lolly's rooom.

As she passes the front hallway, she hears voices outside. Sounds like she's not the only one interested in Lolly's apartments. From what she can tell, a couple of rentacops are refusing entrance to someone. She listens to the conversation taking a hiding place behind a pillar.

"Like I said, Jason told me it was fine. So, you guys don't worry." The same voice again. "How much worry will it take? This is all I got. You'll have to split this one. Go buy a couple of beers, or something."

"Yes sir. Thank you very much."

The door cracks open, spilling a triangle of golden light into the dark interior of the penthouse. A dark figure comes through it and moves past Amanda's hiding place, deeper into the apartment. Silently she turns into a bat fluttering up to a hiding place in the rafters. The figure seems to take no notice of Amanda, and begins a thorough search of the penthouse.

* * *

Mr. Moto sits across his desk from Sherwood. He no longer looks friendly. Hideo is no longer around; an aide called him off a few minutes ago to deal with some problem on the roof. Still, two heavy-duty asian security flacks are standing on either side of Mr. Moto's office door. "I am no longer ammused, Mr. Sherwood," he says.

"Gee, that makes two of us. So what's up?"

"I am delaying an important meeting to have this conversation with you. I hope this conveys to you the seriousness with which I value the data."

"I'm making you miss tee time? Darn."

"The discs!" Mr. Moto hisses. "I grow tired of your little games. I know what they contain; it is not encrypted videos of Hollywood celebrity indescretion."

"Maybe you want to get my dick friend on the phone, or something, because I don't know what the hell you're talking about."

Mr. Moto gets to his feet. "The discs contain information vital to our endeavors here. Information that concerns the safety of the entire human race! Medical test data. You are standing in the way of the safety of my kind, Mr. Sherwood. I do not say *our* kind, because I am begining to suspect that you are not the innocent interloper you seem. I want Lolly Mason's test data. Give it to me. Or die..."

"You think I'm not the bloody innocent interloper I claim to be? We'll see about that." Sherwood spits drops of blood into Moto's eyes.

Moto wipes the blood out of his eyes, unfazed. "I'm unconvinced. If you're able to do that, then I'm sure you can just as easily spit trust or lies at me as it pleases you. Monster."

Sherwood doodles an odd pattern in the blood spattered on the desk. The blood turns to fire...and the fire begins to spread up Moto's chest. His face is getting warm. "Moto, I don't want to kill you, I really don't."

Moto pinches some sand out of the miniature Zen garden on his desk, and scatters it over the flaming glyph. The flames slowly die away, and he does not look amused. "I think the time for taking your seriously is over, Mr. Sherwood." He motions to the guards. "Take him away. Learn all you can from him."

* * *

The former penthouse of Lolly Mason is a dark place. Amanda Trevain, shaped like a bat, flips her wings slightly and wonders who the dark shape is who has just talked his way past the rentacops outside. She wonders even more as he begins to methodically search the place.

(Sniperscope view of Ben searching the room...)

A dark halo surrounds Ben as Amanda realizes he is a vampire too.....!

Ben starts in Lolly's bedroom, checking the bedside table first. There's one of those digital clocks on the table, flashing "12:00" The little drawers under the table are both empty. The bed doesn't really look like the kind of thing that Ben would expect from Lolly either. It's got a couple of flat pillows, and one of those thin hotel type bedspreads on it. Benedict starts tearing it apart.

(Sniperscope veiw of amanda flitting from hiding place to hiding place following Benedict...)

As he tugs the beadspread off, a cloud of dust churns up, sparkling a bit in the dimness. If Ben had to guess, he'd say this bed is totally unused. Ben looks around the penthouse for a desk or work area and finds an old oak desk, roll-top with intricate gothic carvings, off to one side of the main room. It has a computer on it, powered down, and some stage magazines, as well as typical desktop utensils... pencils, paper, a stapler, and so on. A couple of loose pages from a script are folded up and stuffed into one of the cubby-holes. Ben turns the computer on, and as it is warming up, he picks up the pages and glances over them. The script is from an old show, one Ben saw Lolly perform. One of the pages has a telephone number scralwed on it in red ink. It's Al's. Ben sighs and turns back to the computer It finishes booting up with a beep. Lolly doesn't seem to have been to interested in security, because it logs itself on. "Welcome to Lindows" it says.

Amanda hovers behind Benedict looking at the computer over his shoulder.....

Down the hallway (behind and to the left) the door to the penthouse opens. A triangle of gold light knifes across the room, outlining a black man-shaped shadow. "Shit" Benedict mutters. He turns off the moniter, and looks for a place to hide.

"Ah, Amanda," says Mr. Moto, as he walks into the room, flanked by two crossbow weilding Mongolians. "I'm so pleased you waited. Who is your freind?"

* * *

Tyler shoves Sherwood up against the wall and plants one palm on either side of his head. "Where are my discs, man?" he says. Not shouting, but really tense.

"Are you in the habit of selling info to scary Japanese men? Because some of those scared them out of me."

Tyler puts his hands down and backs up. His tenseness rapidly transforms into something much more raw - complete terror. "Oh no man, not them, you didn't give the discs to them. This is bad, man." He stares at Sherwood. "Why did Mindy trust you? You were supposed to give them to me!' Tyler looks around like he's getting ready to run. "I gotta find Mindy. We gotta..."

"Shit, dude, calm down. What's up? I know where Mindy is. Explain along the way."

An expression of relief drops over Tyler's face. "Oh man, she's safe? You know where she is? They got Alex, you know," he adds. "Blasted the poor guy all..." he chokes. "All over his room. Man. I don't want to end up like that." He grabs Sherwood's arm. "Come on, let's get outta here."

"Right."

Sherwood casually touches Tyler's arm as they walk, picking up Mindy's scent. The psychic fragrance leads them to a club that they know Mindy to frequent - one which both the young man and the yhoung vampire have been thrown out of very recently. There isn't even a chance the bouncer's going to let them in.

"Shit."

As Sherwood contemplates the obstacle before him, a strangled shriek comes from the alley behind the club. Something comes flying out of the alley and lands on the pavement with a wet thump not too far from Sherwood. It's an arm.

"Shit damn."

Sherwood runs down the alley, dragging Tyler. In the alley, Hideo is standing over Mindy, who is on her knees, rocking back and forth and screaming wildly. Hideo has a japanese sword in his hand. He smiles politely as Sherwood comes skidding up. "Mr. Sherwood," he says amiably.

"Hideo."

"I warned you. This is what happens when one steals from Mr. Moto."

* * *

Mr. Moto regards Amanda and Ben as his two men train crossbows on them. His face is expressionless. Ben says "I'm sorry, I don't think we'ver been introduced. But this happens to be a private apartment"

Amanda flutter down from tehe ceiling and changes back to normal form....

"Yes," says Mr. Moto, raising an ammused eyebrow. "MY private apartment."

"Oh? I was under the impression it was owned by a Miss Lolly Mason"

"Ah, yes, Amanda, that form suits you so much better. What a becoming young monster you are. One could almost mistake you for a human."

Amanda smiles with unfelt satisfaction as she regards the group

Mr. Moto gestures towards the couch. "Shall we sit down? I won't be so rude as to suggest turning up the lights..." He sits easily, but his Mongolian thugs stand ready at attention.

"It wouldn't bother me," says Amanda. "In any event we already have something to discuss...."

"Now," says Mr. Moto. "I will be perfectly frank. I do not have Lolly's blood. I do not have Lolly's test data. I want them." He looks at Amanda.

Ben just stands there, happy to be ignored, for the moment.

"You have Lolly's blood. I do not know how or why. But I want it. What do you want in return?"

"Yes I do have lolly's blood." Amanda reaches into her clevage and slides out the test tube.

Mr. Moto stares. "Aaaah. At last." He makes a small gesture to Mongolian #1.

"Here is a sample of what I have," Amanda says.  "For a fee I can direct you to whrre the rest of it is."

Mr. Moto smiles benignly. "Whatever you wish. I assure you, our funds are more than adequate."

"Or If you have CONSIDERABLY more money to spend, I can give you something much more substantial than a blood sample."

Mongolian #1 takes the sample and leaves the room.

Mr. Moto turns to Benedict "I'm afraid I don't quite understand your involvement in this. Nor do I wish to. I am not unreasonable. I offer you an opportunity to leave. Step through the door. I promise you, we will never meet again."

"I'm afraid I can't really do that. See, I'm thinking that you two were both involved in Lolly's death. So, unless I get some answeres, no one is leaving this room alive." Ben turns to Amanda. "Or in your case, dead."

Amanda laughs "I assure you I had nothing to do with lolly's death, in fact I want to mke it possible fr lolly to live again!

Mr. Moto sighs. "As you wish. I hope you do not regret your choice. Now, Miss Tremayne, what do you propose?"

Amanda reaches into her clevage again removing a CD ,she walks over to the computer and turns it on putting it in. A window comes up showing a time lapse movie of red amoeba like shapes stalking and absorbing human blood. "This is a time lapse film of the vampire blood being fed, if it isn' it goes into an inert state vampiric cells will reproduce given a proper matrix, pariticularly a matrix of human blood. Under the proper conditions an entire vampire can be resurrected from it's living cellular remnants. THAT is what I offer you , not just a blood sample but an actualy unliving vampire!"

Mr. Moto's face looks slack. It's the first time any of you has seen his polished veneer of control silp away.

Amandas eyes glitter as the vampire cells stalk and eat the human blood over and over and over.

Ben coughs "'Scuse me, but what exactly do you want with Lolly's blood?"

Mr. Moto gives Benedict a long look. "My job," he says at last, "is to destroy your kind. My family, my clan, have devoted themselves to the preservation of humanity for the last eleven-hundred years." He gets to his feet, fists clenched.

Amanda laughs 'Oh I have a feeling he want to play Paul Revere, alerting humanity to the vampire menace, or somethin like that isn't it?

(Benedict:) "Ah. Did you kill Lolly and Alex?"

"This..." he spits the word "woman has offered me a key, far beyond what I had hoped."

(Amanda:) "I havent killed anybody, by a number of misadventures I have her blood."

Mr. Moto's eyes narrow. "And a threat. The danger has always been great... but this... facing an ulimited horde of cloned undead terrors." Mr. Moto actually backs a step away from the small group.

Amanda's eyes narrow. "Yes Moto and I have evidence vampires have been around AT LEAST 6000 years,humanity seems to be managing pretty well with us around. Come now, it isn't like baking cookies.."

Mr. Moto continues. "Yes, we killed Lolly! Yes, we killed the reporter! He gave us an opportunity... at last to capture a living vampire for study. Not since 1911 have we been able to do such a thing." we dont want unlimited hordes! they could never find enough to feed

"Ah. Thank you for your honesty" Ben's eyes darken, then flash red. Suddenly, he is on the other side of the room, his hand on the Mongolions back. There is a sudden flash, and a pulse of power travels from Bens shoulder to his palm. The Mongolian howls and drops his crossbow, which goes off, sending a bolt smashing through the computer screen with an explosion of glass and sparks. Ben tosses the Mongolian aside. The thug flops like a quivering rag doll, retching gagging. He doesn't seem to be able to breathe, and blood is pooring from his eyes nose and mouth.

* * *

Mindy stares up at Sherwood, blood pouring from her side. She reaches her remaining arm up towards him. "Help me..." Sherwood rips a sleeve off his shirt and ties it over the stump, hoping to stop the bleeding. "We've got you get you to a hospital."

"So sorry," says Hideo. "That will not be possible."  He raises his katana to middle guard and eyes Sherwood speculatively.

"What does she have to do with this, octopus? I thought your quarrel was with ME."

Hideo nudges Mindy with his foot. "She is... how to put it... a link in the chain. The disks passed through her hands on their way to you. Therefore, her hands will suffer."

Sherwood picks up the severed arm. "Fine. She's suffered. That's enough of that." He spins the arm around like a nunchaku and whips Hideo in the eyes with it.

Hideo reacts to this by flicking around his katana, so the arm's elbow is neatly separated by it. Sherwood is left with only the hand end; the upper arm tumbles into a heap of trash.

Mindy moans and closes her eyes at seeing her former member suffer such grisly discombobulation.

Sherwood tries to circle around Hideo and possibly trip him, but the man is far too well-trained; our hero is left scratched up in a most impressive manner. Until Sherwood does something to change the topography of the situation, Hideo and his sword are in an unassailable position.

"Man, this is totally not cool, Hideo." Sherwood bites his tongue and spits out a bloody mist, which expands to fill the alley. He tries to find a weapon while Hideo's attention is engaged.

Hideo starts back, flinging up an arm to dash the burning mist from his eyes. Sherwood feels around inside a nearby trash bin and pulls out...

....a crowbar. Precisely the sort of weapon someone would want when faced with a carefully sharpened, brittle piece of steel! Lucky Sherwood.

Sherwood dashes for the entrance to the alleyway, dodging around Hideo as he fights off the red mist. Shreyas gives Hideo a healthy whack with the crowbar as he goes by, and Hideo yells.

Leaving Mindy screaming in the alley, Sherwood sprints out into the open. Behind him, Hideo unleashes an enraged bellow. Mindy's screams suddenly stop.

* * *

Mr. Moto backs away from Benedict as his remaining Mongolian guard drops to the floor.  "Very impressive," he says. "But you will find I am not without experienceu in these matters.

Ben says "I have one more question, Moto, and then I will cease to be a problem for you"

Mr. Moto reaches inside his black suit jacket and pulls out a small iron cross. "Ask what you wish, my undead freind."

Ben arches an eyebrow. "Put that away, Moto, and tell me who you work for"

"It is a family organization. You would not recognize the name of my immediate superior. Or rather, you would recognize it, but it would mean nothing to you. It is Moto, also." Mr. Moto is slowly maneuvering himself towards the door.

"I see. tell me, do you recognize the markings on this?" Ben pulls out the rune-etched stake that killed his master.

Moto stares at the stake, thunderstruck, eyes jumping back and forth between it, and the identical markings on his iron cross. "Where... where did you get that?!"

Benedict springs towards Moto, eyes alight with infernal power. Moto swings up his cross, but Benedict thrusts it aside, lunging inside Moto's guard. Moto flails wildly, but it's no good. Benedict grabs Moto's hair and yanks his chin up. It's been a while since Benedict's fangs have felt skin, and his mouth flooded with hot blood. It's too bad that the subject isn't a little more pleasant.

Amanda breaks from her reverie "what are you doing"?

Benedict drinks for a few seconds, then pulls out, fangs dripping, lips scarlet with gore, and spits. "Foul blood that. Moto is one of us now, he'll have to hunt his own to survive."

Amanda steps between Moto and Benedict uncertain of what to do..."you know as well as I do just feeding from him won't bring him over..."

Moto is making wild noises. He hurls the iron cross away from him, staring in horror at the palm of his right hand, which is slowly blistering in a cross shape. "No!" he shouts. "Not this! No!"

Sherwood Ben smiles a bloody grin. "Aye, but that is not all I did. His blood mingled with mine." He looks down at Moto, who falls to his knees. Moto's mouth makes gnawing, biting motions, and his hands claw the air. It's obvious that the hunger is taking him. He cralws across the floor like a child too weak to stand. He buries his face in the dead Mongole's neck and begins feasting noisily.

Amands snarls and turns to Benedict  'Damn!,  don't you realize that wilth his help we could have broought Lolly back..."?

Benedict crosses to the minibar, and takes out a small bottle whiskey. "He would never have done it. Perhaps now, but never before. He hates our kind. Now, at least, he'll hate himself too." Benedict throws the bottle into the living room, shattering it and splashing whiskey around the room. "I'm leaving. I suggest you come too."

Amanda grabs Moto by the scruff of the neck...."come with me...." Moto makes reaching motions towards the mangled Mongolian, but he's too weak to resist.

Benedict walks to the balcony, and lights his zippo. "Lolly burned because of this man. He can burn too, here or in the afterworld. It makes no difference to me." Benedict lights the whiskey, takes two steps outside, and jumps off the balcony.

"More..." Moto mumbles.

The whisky lights up with a whoosh. Furniture burns pretty well, once you saturate it with alcohol.

"Listen I may be able to cure you if we act fast....!" Amanda drags Moto out of the burning room....

* * *

And the camera pans to an outside shot of the stell and glass Bohm building, flames shooting out of the top floor, burning away silently in the night sky. Down below, in the foggy streets of Metro City, Hideo cleans his sword and watches the show, smiling smugly.

END
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John Harper
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2004, 05:23:40 PM »

Thanks for posting the write-up in a nice format.

Now I'm wondering: What was it like for you to run this game? How much prep did you do? Did the players create a lot of their own conflicts? Did they ever raise the Scale? How much of the Darkbabe universe was creted by you the GM and how much came from the players? What parts of this series really jump out at you as the *coolest* in terms of the Trollbabe game system firing on all cylinders?
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Bob McNamee
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Posts: 685


« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2004, 07:32:08 AM »

I'm curious Nathan. You never called for a Conflict just to represent opposition to character actions? Then used the results to get success failure?

Or do you see it as Drama because you never have to make it a conflict unless either the GM or one of the players calls for a conflict?

Any cool reroll developments?

Cool read! I like the way you've put this together.
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Bob McNamee
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suffusionofyellow
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Posts: 18


« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2004, 11:36:31 AM »

I can answer a few of these questions. I played Benedict, by the way.
Quote from: Bob Mcnamee
You never called for a Conflict just to represent opposition to character actions? Then used the results to get success failure?

The one situation in which we did do this was determining things related to Vampire weaknesses. In order to avoid endless arguments on what Vampires are or are not actually effected by, a Conflict would be called to settle the issue. When Benedict found a door blocked by an iron bar, the Conflict was more about whether he was allergic to iron than if he could get the door open. Interestingly enough, the fact that I chose the discommode to be the allergy, even overall success in that Conlfict would still have established the weakness.
(Hmm. It just occured to me that the shard of wood in Bens leg doesn't necessarily represent a Vampire weakness to wood. We may need to sort that out.)

Quote from: John Harper
Did the players create a lot of their own conflicts?

For my part, I believe I was the one who initiated most of my conflicts. Once it was because the conversation was going a bit slow, so I felt a Social conflict would be appropriate in letting me get straight to the meat. Also, Nathan seemed content most of the time to let the players decide when something had reached Conflict level. I say 'most' because there were definatly times when he stepped in.

Quote from: John Harper
Did they ever raise the Scale? How much of the Darkbabe universe was creted by you the GM and how much came from the players?

It was decided, at the end of this adventure, to raise the scale. Motos organization is a huge one, spanning at least a millenia in age. It seemed appropriate to up the Scale.
Nathan narrated the beggining of each scene. Other than that, the creation process was pretty much even. Some examples:
The character of Josh Harris was created by Nathan, as was the dead reporter. I named the reporter Alex Henderson, and was the one who suggested that he was actually a vampire. You can notice a scene with Sherwood where Nathan actually only narrates the first half of a sentence.
So as Nathan said, it was quite a challange, since no participant could really sit back and let the story come to him.
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b_bankhead
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Posts: 259


« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2004, 01:16:40 AM »

Hello, I'm Bryan Bankhead and I play in Pag's Trollbabe Vampire variant game. I generally call my character's continuity 'Nightbabe'.  In honor of the 'babe concept ,she is Amanda Trevaine, imperious Victorian lady turned immortal vampire in the twentieth century and all around mad scientist. (and a Trollbabe 4)

Adapting Trollbabe to this purpose is simplicty itself. Magic becomes vampire powers, Fighting is the same, and I changed social to intrigue
(in honor of VtM) and I was ready to roll.

Pag has generally treated the generally accepted range of vampire stuff as a fait accompli, I mean it makes sense ,for a vampire changing into a bat and flying across town is of no more moment than a human walking isn't it? I mean everybody knows what a Vampire is about right? Do we really need a simulationist infrastructure of hundreds of pages run a freakin' vamire game? Basically Pags marching orders; it's today, its the big city. You're vampires. Go to it....

My experience with Trollbabe in the variants I have explored (also briefly in Vaxolon's Genebabe game.) Has been a big sock in the eye to the whole 'big book' rpg mentality that I have grown to hate with a passion.  I mean we are doing the whole vampire noir thang that Rein Hagen supposedly patented with a vengance and all on a dinky little 40 page rpg written for a completely different setting.

The general rule for the game is that the details of the mythose are essentially precedence base. Bring something up about vampires in the game and it's true (barring Pags virtually nonexistent objections). The comcept that different vamps may have different abilities is accepted too. You can pretty much make up any mundane details about the character, something I like, Amanda's  mad lab would take dozens of pages if we did it in say 'Ravenloft'....

Now onto some of the specific questions about the game...

Quote from: John Harper

Now I'm wondering: What was it like for you to run this game? How much prep did you do? Did the players create a lot of their own conflicts? Did they ever raise the Scale? How much of the Darkbabe universe was creted by you the GM and how much came from the players? What parts of this series really jump out at you as the *coolest* in terms of the Trollbabe game system firing on all cylinders?


While I am not gamemaster I cant imagine there is much specific prep for this game. Most of what you read in the transcripts was being made up by the charcter's. The old model of D&D style prep with everything set out in advance in the three ring binder would seem pretty much hopeless in this game. The only thing the Trollmaster (like it?) can do is set the stage, get out of the way when the players want to do something cool and make life tough for them in interesting ways.(All things Trollbabe is good at....)

Now an interesting thing I've noticed about Trolbabe:
When you are describing your actions in a conflict swing for the lights, then if you fail you get to narrate a result that falls short but still leaves you with an advantage, for instance in the first combat with the gunman I was using a Vampiric Powers roll (Vampire Reflexes) to grab the gunman's gun and point it at him, I failed and narrated just knocking it out of his hand, a failure but still an advantage.

Another thing I like is provoking conflicts to gain relationships. When Amanda tasted Lolly's blood I got Pag to let me make a Vampower (like it?) roll and take Lolly, who  remember has been burnt to ashes, as a relationship! Of course if mad Doctor Amanda has her way we may be seeing more of her.....(can you  tell I grew up watching 'Dark Shadows'?)

Another feature I really like is the lack of the need for a 'party'. It free's the game to function when everybody can't always make it (which is to say it frees the game to function in the real world...). Of course nothing prevents characters from interacting, but I found the game only bogged down when everybody HAD to get together and all the players didn't always make it......
Another thing  want to comment on is how Pag managed to get all his vampires (who are assumed to not know each other from Adam in fact we haven't adressed the question of any larger Vampire society at all, we'll make it up when it comes up I guess) under the roof of the Boehm building all at the same time. I genuinely amazed me, (I began calling the place Vampire central station) in most games this would require the most brutal railroading , which would be impossible with this game, Pag just made us all want to go there, I mean made us REALLY WANT TO GO THERE. Fine gamemastering.

If you have a yahoo account you can see information about this and other trollbabe campaigns at the indie netgaming site under the Trollbabe folder in the file section here: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/indie-netgaming/

I can't wait to continue and would like to invite more people over to #indierpgs  at  irc.magicstar.net, Vax's Genebabe game petered out because I was the only one he could find to play (although Capes playtesting is proceeding hot and heavy and i'm participating in that too, so I hope I'll see you there.

By the way I even have a soundtrack album for my character's part of the continuity, I'll let you know if I figure out how to host it...

By the way Pag, did you save the OOC logs too? It occurs to me they might be just as informative......
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Paganini
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2004, 06:59:33 PM »

John, to take your questions in order:

Quote
Now I'm wondering: What was it like for you to run this game?


I'm enjoying it a lot. It's gotten a little bogged down in places once the threads started merging, since I had to have everyone on hand to play, but mostly it's been great.

Quote
How much prep did you do?


Depends on what you mean by "prep." I didn't do any traditional prep, really. We were kinda just chewing the fat over one night on IRC and someone said (might have been me, but I think it was Shreyas) something like "You know, Trollbabe would work really well as a vampire game.) So we went with that. I think the first session was the next night, so we played right away. After that first session I did a little actual prep - scribbled down some NPCs, motivations, got a network of connections going, but nothing real heavy. Mostly I like to let the actual play events suggest possible explanations. I take notes as we go, so that I can refer to them to maintain a certain degree of plausibility. :)

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Did the players create a lot of their own conflicts?


They're starting to. :) I've burned them a couple of times by calling for conflicts using their weakest abilities. Best example is when Lolly was trapped in the burning dressing room. IIRC, I called a pace-3 conflict there using Benedict's weakest ability... and you saw the result. That scene was the springboard for the entire rest of the game.

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Did they ever raise the Scale?


That just happened at the end of the last session. It takes quite a few IRC sessions to fill out a whole adventure, so this was the first chance they've actually had to raise the scale.

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How much of the Darkbabe universe was creted by you the GM and how much came from the players?


Hard to say. I do almost all of the scene framing, so I establish the initial atmosphere and color. But before the game we did some discussion to make sure we were all on the same page with the "Goth Kung Fu Vampires" motif. During actual play, since I don't have any pre-designated plot going on, I don't really care too much if the players add stuff in with director stance, assuming that they're not circumventing something that I think should be covered by a conflict roll. Frex, Brian narrated a lot of stuff for Amanda's scenes - all the stuff about the sniper scope view, the whole bit after she gets off the phone, with the car with the NightBabe licsense plate and stuff. :)

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What parts of this series really jump out at you as the *coolest* in terms of the Trollbabe game system firing on all cylinders?


That would definitely be the two pace-3 conflicts that we've had so far, both of which resulted in a vampire PC abandoning a vlunerable human female to her fate. We haven't had too much of the more advanced features in play (relationships and such) yet; since we've only just completed one adventure, we've kind of been in the "development" stage. Now everyone's got a few relationships on their sheets, I expect things will escalate a bit.

Bob,

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I'm curious Nathan. You never called for a Conflict just to represent opposition to character actions? Then used the results to get success failure?


I *have* done that, and it doesn't work very well. There needs to be an honest-to-goodness character (PC or NPC) to oppose whatever it is the PC is doing. The only time that using Conflicts for "non-conflict" situations works very well is when you have a situation where some feature of the geography is filling on for the opposing character. (Like, the door that was keeping Benedict from his goal of saving Lolly.)

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Any cool reroll developments?


Not anything too earthshaking yet. Like I mentioned above, a couple of failed series led to the deaths of Lolly and Mindy.

Brian,

Thanks man. I mean it. Your comments make me happy. :)

I save all logs, but OOC logs are big. It'd be kind of a chore to sift them out from all the other OOC logs in my IRC logs folder.
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John Harper
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Posts: 1054

flip you for real


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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2004, 10:42:59 PM »

Hey Pag,

When I said "prep" I meant Trollbabe-specific game prep, in the form of Stakes. Have you created Stakes in some pre-play form, or have they developed as a result of character actions and conflicts? For my Trollbabe games, I've noticed it's usually split about 50/50.

And thanks for the detailed responses.
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Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!
Paganini
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Posts: 1049


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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2004, 05:52:29 PM »

Quote from: John Harper
Hey Pag,

When I said "prep" I meant Trollbabe-specific game prep, in the form of Stakes. Have you created Stakes in some pre-play form, or have they developed as a result of character actions and conflicts? For my Trollbabe games, I've noticed it's usually split about 50/50.


Right, then. Going into the first session, I had no Stakes in mind. I had a couple of ideas for opening scenes that I thought would be "cool," based on where the characters said they were headed. Amanda's character was heading home with some blood in bags. So I had a couple of suits show up. At that point I didn't know if they were after the blood, something else, or if it was a case of mistaken identity. It could have gone any one of a bunch of different ways, with the presence of the blood bags being a nice complicator. However it turned out, though, it seemed likely that Amanda's scene would involve physical conflict.

So with Sherwood and Benedict I tried to set things up so there'd be a little variation. Benedict was on his way to a theatre, so I had someone try to burn it down. Sherwood was on his way to a club, so I had one of his club friends show up and demand help.

The apparent large scale stakes (whether or not vampires are revealed to the world) was actually taken care of by Mr. Moto before the adventure started.

After a couple of sessions, the stakes boiled down to the correct personal level to revolve around the fate of Lolly's blood (in the bags) and the accompanying test data (on the discs) along with the potential ability to alter the status quo that the blood and test data represent.

Benedict had a bit more personal connection to things as well though. It's still somewhat mysterious, but he was definitely after revenge, I think.

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And thanks for the detailed responses.


You bet! :)
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