Friday, July 24, 2015

Climbing on the One Shot Horse

Given my last post, I'm happy to be writing this one.  First off, I'm going to attempt to run the Marvel Heroic Annihilation event, and forgive myself if I end up having to postpone a night or two if things come up.  It's straight forward, and I know how to run the system, so I'm just going to do it.

I'd like to thank everybody that read the blog post and offered support and suggestions, or just the kick in the butt to get out there and GM again and not worry about the starts being perfectly aligned for the Most Amazing Campaign Ever.



All of that out of the way, our regular Werewolf the Forsaken game wasn't going off because 50% of our pack couldn't make it, including our Alpha.  Considering the members of the pack that would be present are much more the "support" characters of the pack, we didn't attempt to press on with pack business.  Thus, I volunteered to run a one shot.

Tangent time:  I've been trying to find an urban fantasy game that I really want to run for a while.  I wanted to like the Dresden Files RPG, but it feels oddly complicated for a Fate based game.  I didn't dislike it, I just wanted it to be different.  I started looking into new World of Darkness once I started playing Werewolf, but while I kind of like the system  (especially with the 2nd edition modifications), there are things I'm not happy with in the overall setting.  I'm not sure I can get completely comfortable with Computer God and the Mecha-Angels being the driving force behind everything.



Recently I've been looking at a lot more Apocalypse World based games, which led me to look at Monster of the Week and Urban Shadows.  Of the two, I think Monster of the Week is a bit more geared towards my sensibilities, so I printed out the play books for Monster of the Week in case I ever got a chance to give the game a run  (I've got all the play material ready for World Wide Wrestling RPG and Soth as well . . . just in case).  Since I had it ready, and it was already an "urban fantasy" night, why not give this a whirl?

Full disclaimer.  I've "read" the rules, but in that kind of fast way that you do to get a feel for them, rather the in depth way you do when you know you are about to run a game  (at least if you are like me).  I'm sure I did a few things wrong here or there, and adjudicated things the wrong way.

All of that said, it still seemed to go great.



+Kathryn Rumer, our Werewwolf GM, played the Spooky, named Faye, and +Christopher Osmundson played the Expert, named Brandon.  It turns out that Faye once attracted the attention of a monster's minion with her mental powers, and Brandon helped her out of a bind and has been attempting to help her master her powers.

The two of them went to investigate a cluster of murders in a small town in Central Illinois which appeared to be ritual killings.



Right off the bat, were hit the ground running.  Faye could see elemental spirits and demonic imps swirling around the murder site, and the imps attempted to convince her to let them "ride" her so they could help find the killer.  She didn't agree, but she did try to carry a lightning spirit in her phone, and an imp hitched a ride, thus providing her with a demonically possessed phone that texts her very evil advice and critical times.

At the second murder scene, in a farm house, the state police decided to check up on the car packed at the abandoned farm, and Faye attempted to read their minds, only to get her mind entangled with a passing school bus full of kids, and causing her to cry out and cause the cops to call for the two to come out with their hands up.  Thankfully, Brandon just happened to carry his fake FBI credentials with him, and they talked their way out of the jam.



In town, they went to investigate the lat murder scene, when a mysterious stranger left a note on their car.  Faye was smitten with the tall, dark, and handsome stranger.  While waiting for the meeting time, Faye and Brandon went to the local bar, and Faye nearly got into a fight with the mother of one of the children that had caused her telepathic distress earlier.  Thankfully she managed to alter the woman's mind to get out of the situation, and Brandon decided they should leave before they got into any more local altercations.

At the hotel, Faye and Brandon met Alders, whom Brandon could tell was "supernaturally charming."  Faye spent some quality time with Alders, and Alders "nudged" her mind to keep her from allowing Brandon to kill the perpetrator of the crimes, a vampire possessed by the spirit of an ancient wizard, who was attempting to "remake" his vampire body into a living vessel once again.  Alders wanted the amulet, if possible, and for his friend James to survive.



Brandon and Faye set their ambush, and Faye used her powers to convince Brandon not to take a "sunlight grenade" with him to the encounter to keep James safe.  When James arrived with the final victim for the last ritual, Brandon shot him in the face, but was injured by the wizard spirit's "blood magic."  Faye crept up behind James and stole the amulet away, but it was during a flash of lightning, causing Brandon to not see that the amulet had been removed.  Brandon charged James and cut his head off with a silver sword in one mighty swing.

This could have been the end of the story, but it so wasn't. Faye asked her demon phone how to save James, and it answered that it could only be done with a lot of blood.  So Faye pulled her gun on Brandon and decided to bleed out the victim onto James, so that Alders wouldn't be upset.  When Brandon didn't want to go along with this, she "compelled" him to do so.



Thankfully, Brandon managed to keep the last victim alive and stable after the blood letting so that the local ambulance could save him.  Faye and Brandon returned James and the amulet to Alders, Brandon forgot most of Faye's mental tampering, and Faye spent some more quality time with both Alders and James.

It was a whole lot of fun.  I expected it to be fun, in general, but this went really well.  I'm looking forward to running the system again, and I'm very happy that I managed to pull off another very low prep one shot again.

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