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[PTA] Keruton Pilot

Started by Lisa Padol, September 26, 2005, 12:39:34 PM

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Lisa Padol


PTA Write Up: Magical Undying Demon Hunter Keruton

Background: In 1991, I started running a campaign I dubbed "CthulhuPunk". It ran for a while, maybe 8 years? Maybe 10? Then, I ran the sequel campaign, "CthulhuPunk: Twenty Years After", aka Plus 20, aka +20. This ran for something like 5 years, and wrapped in July 2005. Yes, I'm still running for players who want it, and yes, I may jump again and restart, but I wanted something different, maybe anime flavor.

Avram had an idea we all liked. We had established that the world of Cthulhupunk had an anime show based on the adventures of his PC, Harry Kelton. The show was called Magical Undying Demon Hunter Keruton, or Keruton, for short.

We have a rich background to draw on, but we aren't bound by any of it. Not only can we contradict what was established as "fact" in the "real world" of the campaign, but doing so is part of the fun.

The Pitch

This took about 2 hours, even with a Producer and 3 players, even with 2 of the players starting out with a character concept. I wonder if convention generation is generally faster, and if so, if that is because of the 4 hour slots, i.e., there's a subconscious focus as no one wants to spend too much convention time on any one thing.

We decided that Avram would play Keruton and Josh would play anime version of Firemaker, his PC from Cthulhupunk. Betk decided to play a sidhe child, and that, in the world of Keruton, sidhe chose both their court, Seelie or Unseelie, and their gender upon reaching more or less puberty. The group would travel, fighting demons, so personal sets should not be fixed locations.

Our Characters


Edge: Norgroid
Edge: Demon Hunter
Contact: Kanji Adamasu, female hacker

[Kanji is based on Quincy Stafford, aka Quincy Adams, a hacker who worked for Harry Kelton. Avram and I agreed that he'd be furious about being turned into a woman for the show. He's misogynistic.]

Personal Set: Flashback to dream set. The Royal Pant appears in Keruton's dreams with a saxaphone and cryptic advice.

Issue: He can't remember his past

Arc: 21213
Leftover fan mail: 3


Edge: Shaman
Edge: Spy
Contact: Coyote / Kyoto
Personal Set: Lighting a cigarette dramatically
Issue: Temptation: Play practical jokes
Arc: 23211
Leftover Fan Mail: 2


Edge: Sidhe
Edge: Magic
Contact: Daemon Merchant Ken-u-ra-ku

[Based on Kenerake, a daemon I took from NightLife in the original campaign. He and Harry Kelton are enemies, though they occasionally make common cause against mutual foes. We figured Mist probably didn't know this, and that some later episode should have Firemaker seeing Mist meeting Kenuraku and saying to himself, "Keruton's not going to like this." Kenuraku, like Kenerake, can possess people, so he probably doesn't look the same twice. Oh yes, daemons and sidhe don't generally like each other. In the original game, they were at Cold War with each other. In Plus 20, a truce had been worked out.]

Personal Set: Reaching up sleeve
Issue: Choice of Identity (Court, Gender)
Arc: 12132
Leftover Fan Mail: 2

The Pilot

We figure the theme music is basic anime theme music, though someone started humming, "Throws a desk / Any size," to the tune of the Spiderman theme. This was a reference to Farad al-Hakima, a Norgroid, who has been known to hurl furniture when displeased.

Opening Scene: Tako Maki Man

Man selling octopus: Tako Maki! Get your tako maki!

A small child buys a tako maki ball. He takes it down a dark alley. A shadow appears over him. He drops the ball in fright.

Keruton: Run home to your parents, boy.

The boy runs. Keruton takes the tako maki and heads for the tako maki man.

Man selling octopus: Tako Maki! Get your tako maki!

Keruton confronted him, revealing that he knew the tako maki
contained demons. He, Firemaker, and Mist battled the tako maki
demons. The tako maki man turned into a huge demon, but was

Opening credits roll.

Due to rules confusion, Producer makes a quick, but incorrect,
decision that players can gang up on the Producer for card flips when
their characters act together. In fact, all players flip separately,
and all should have a different goal. The goal should be issue
related, rather than results oriented.

The Job

Keruton and his friends went back to their hotel room to find a crime
lord and his thugs waiting. Here, we decided two things.

1. The crime lord would hire them to take down a rival who was a
demon. The twist would be that he was also a demon. This might have
been overplanning on our part, but we all liked this plot.

2. There would be a conflict with the crimelord and his thugs before
he offered the job. I think we were misunderstanding a few things

A. Not every scene needs a conflict.

B. Not all conflicts are physical fights. Indeed, most should not be.

C. Not all physical fights need to be conflicts, though we did want
to know who had whom at a disadvantage.

D. No player team ups.

E. Stakes should be related to issues whenever possible, even if a
conflict involves a physical fight.

F. PTA's conflict resolution is emphatically not task resolution.

In any case, the PCs won the conflict. The crime lord, Sato Ichiro,
now at a disadvantage, introduced himself and his job. The PCs agreed
to take it, though Firemaker asked for more money, and got it. Hm,
that could have been handled as a conflict.


The PCs went to the library to do research on the demon that was
supposedly Sato Ichiro's rival, Satome Honzo. We flipped to see who'd
find out what, and, IIRC, as Beth drew the most successes, Mist
learned the most, including that the demon who was Satome Honzo had a
powerful henchdemon. This was intended as foreshadowing of Sato
Ichiro's role.

That Night: Dream, Fight

Either Avram or I set a scene with Keruton dreaming. The Royal Pant
appeared. I let Avram determine what the Pant said, which was a
mistake. That's not actually what the rules say, and it made the
dream more disjointed than intriguing. Also, it was a case of the
same player asking and answering the question, which is generally a
bad idea. No conflict here, I think.

The next scene was a demon attack on the characters in their hotel
room. The fight went onto the roof, and was basically the same as the
other fights.


We decided that Satome Honzo was in the back room of a casino. The
PCs walked into the back room, and the fight began. Three things of

1. Avram specified that Satome Honzo had some kind of whirlable axe.
Keruton claimed this after killing him.

2. When it was my turn to set the scene, I had Kenuraku show up and
trade an item to Mist. I don't recall what it was, or even if we
defined it before it was used. Kenuraku warned Mist against Keruton.

3. There was a lot of noise out there, foreshadowing Sato Ichiro's

The Twist

This was Sato Ichiro's entrance, after Satome Honzo was dead. He
revealed himself as Satome Honzo's hench demon, who had rebelled.
During the fight, we decided (where "we" may well have been Avram
narrating. I forget) that Sato Ichiro could not be harmed by any
ordinary weapon, perhaps only by a demonic weapon. Fortunately,
Keruton had taken Satome Honzo's axe, which was just the thing to
kill Sato Ichiro. The fight ended with Sato Ichiro dead.

In the alley

I forget whether this was an official scene I narrated, a GM's
perogative cut, or my contribution to the closing credits.

Kenuraku: That's torn it.

Voice from the shadows: It was bound to happen, Kenuraku.

Closing Credits

Avram: Firemaker walks by a pile of money. Then, it's a smaller pile.

Josh: No. As Firemaker walks through, each slot machine he passes
comes up with a jackpot.

Avram: That's better!

Mist walks by mirrors, each of which shows a different, slightly
older person.

Keruton walks by, spinning and stopping the axe.

Pattern in closing: Each doing the same thing.

Next Week

Avram: Keruton: Do not be absurd. You are already dead!

[Avram suggested this could be a fake out, not a lead in to a fight,
as Kelton is known to have at least one undead girlfriend, Yukio.]

Beth: Cat eared Mist leaning over a pile of sparkles, adding / taking
away. It's unclear what s/he's doing.

Josh: A foot grinding out a cigarette, and Firemaker's voice saying,
"Keruton. It's time we finished this."

[Josh noted that this could be a fake out, Keruton and Firemaker
about to play pool or a computer game or something.]

Lisa: An arab gets off a plane, walks, and says, "Good evening. I am

[Farad al Hakima was the Norgroid author of the Necronomicon and
responsible for a plague that killed about 80% of the world's
population to save the rest. Before he started this plague, there was
a miniseries made about the Norgroids, called Council Wars, back
during the original campaign. Farad was a villain and, as Josh
decided, whenever he appeared, something resembling Darth Vader's
theme (but not close enough to get sued) played. The "real" Farad had
no objections to any of this.]

[Farad was the grandfather of Jacob, Matt Stevens' PC in the original
campaign. We agreed that, if Matt wants to, it would be really cool
if he played Jacob in Keruton, possibly starting out as Farad's
henchman and changing sides. We shall see.]

Out of context quotes

Or so my notes say: "No one could without the Wild Hunt!"

I've no idea what the context was.