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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by RagingBluMunky View Post
    Well I'm glad you like them! I can probably come up with a few more if you're sure you don't mind.

    As for the journal itself, I feel like you're starting to hit your stride. As I've never written one of these myself I can't give any direct advice, I would recommend checking out the All Guardsmen Party, written by Shoggy, on this site, for some examples of well written fight scenes.
    I think I prefer this journal's visceral play-by-play of each battle to the frequently glossed-over snark of the All Guardsman party.

    I'm trying to remember what the Brimstone mech reminds me of with its shotguns and jumpjets, because it's giving me a REALLY strong mental image.
    Last edited by Hawkstar; 2016-12-11 at 12:09 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Interlude 2:

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    The PCs exited the hangar only to find Dashing waiting for them again, her hair dyed purple this time, smiling and wiggling a tiny credit chit in front of them.

    Dashing: "Thought I'd find you here. Got a call from Butterfly a few minutes ago. I just wanted to say thanks, you've earned this."

    She tossed the chit to Blossom appreciatively.

    Dashing: "Don't spend it all in one place! Oh, and, uh, Reveler's holding a party tonight, just so you know. You're all invited." She looked pointedly at Hellfire, before adding "...Even you, new guy." She took a moment to look him up and down, before nodding with approval.

    Hellfire: "...Well, are we going, or are we just gonna sit here?"

    (OOC Note: "Well, I know a plot hook when I see one.")

    The other pilot began walking away with a faint chuckle.

    Dashing: "I'll see you all later."

    ---

    (Musical Suggestion)

    Anyone who'd been to one of Reveler's parties could tell you that they were rarely subdued affairs. No one really knew how she was always able to reserve a multipurpose room on short notice, nor how she managed to move everything in and out in the space of a day, tops. Reveler was a curious sort of famous, a girl everyone knew, but almost no one knew; indeed, she was like a celebrity among celebrities in that regard.

    The room was already filled with people, mostly Freeport personnel but also several pilots, as well as an open bar and an energetic young woman in a tuxedo attending to the guests, slipping (and in one case, cartwheeling) through the crowd with sinuous ease. The inaudible din of a dozen conversations nearly drowned out the speech of anyone in particular...but wasn't so loud as to overwhelm the music blasting from three stacked amplifiers in one of the corners.

    Unsure where to start, the three wandered over in the direction of the bar, where two particular figures caught their eyes, visibly out of place but for wildly different reasons. The bartender was a young woman - very young, a preteen at oldest, with waist-length gray hair and a blank, jaded expression.

    (Hellfire's player: "Yeah, there's no way she's actually as young as she looks.")

    The other person of interest was a man sitting at the bar with a glass of Champagne and a bemused look in his eye. Sporting a scarred face, blonde scruff, and an honest-to-goodness captain's coat, he looked the part of every stereotypical smuggler out there. Perhaps more importantly, he wasn't a Concord Member, and he definitely wasn't staff. How did he get in..?

    They casually sidled up to the bar, and might have sought the bartender's attention if she hadn't already noticed their presence.

    Bartender: "Can I get you something."

    Her voice was strangely dead, devoid of intonation or any other indicator of a question beyond the phrasing, and it didn't help that her face was as still as the grave through the whole process, with only the bare minimum of lip motion made.

    Hellfire: "I'd like a virgin old timer."

    Bartender: (Pouring fizzy soda) "Very well."

    Trigger: "I'll have the rum you left out of his."

    Bartender: (Pauses, then pours the rum) "...Very well."

    Blossom: "Today we fought a swarm of drones practicing Satanic rituals. I need whiskey."

    Bartender: (Long pause) "...We have high-quality Bourbon under the counter. I was instructed to save it for an emergency." (Reaches down, then pours a glass.)

    ???: "You were holding out on me after all? Your poker face is exquisite, I must say."

    Blossom: "I'm sorry, who are you?"

    The man raised an eyebrow and opened his mouth to say something, only to be interrupted by the Bartender. "A Stray", she deadpanned, "who has yet to be ejected."

    Stray: "That's Captain Stray to you!", he replied with mock indignance, even as the bartender only rolled her eyes in response. "And to you three, for that matter."

    Hellfire: "Well, nice to meet you. I'm Stan."

    Stray: "A pleasure, Siegneur Whatshisnam-"

    Hellfire: "It's Nunyabe-Zwax. Stan Nunyabe-Zwax."

    Stray: "Please, you can't force that sort of snideness. Being mysterious is all well and good, but it doesn't work when you rub your own secrets right in front of me."

    Trigger: "...So how'd you get here, anyway? Freeport's supposed to be a secure location."

    Stray: "Slipped into a cargo crate, then wriggled my way through the air vents while avoiding the lasers. Minus the extravagant lies, I told the guards I'd left my wallet behind and they let me pass."

    (OOC: "You know he's just going to keep mocking you, right?" "Yeah.")

    The PCs excused themselves soon enough, realizing that they'd wasted far too much time on that silly man. For just a little bit, they split up to mingle.

    ---

    Blossom soon found herself watching the overly-energetic waitress from earlier, still expertly sliding through the crowd. She wasn't quite sure how she hadn't noticed before, but this girl was surely the infamous Penelope "Reveler" Stone. She didn't know her personally, but she knew her by reputation: Energetic, goofy, and always partying, whether the people around her were or not. Really, the impressive reflexes and trademark ginger curls should have been a dead giveaway.

    She was clearly too busy to talk to, not that it seemed to dissuade the man attempting to flirt with her - Sue "Sickman" Jones, a pilot and a minor celebrity on the dark corners of the internet devoted to a subculture of 'crackers' and other malcontents. A pallid and strangely oblivious fellow, he lacked Reveler's grace and in truth the only thing he was accomplishing through his embarrassing pursuit was bumping into other guests and generally being a nuisance.

    Blossom: "You're Sickman, right?"

    Sickman: (Quickly turning around in surprise) "Uh, yeah." (Looking at Blossom and smiling) "Yeah I am."

    Blossom: (Doing her best impression of someone being flirty) "I've heard you're a pretty good hacker. Do you have any tips for someone just starting out?"

    Sickman: (Definitely drunk, openly leering) "Well, one of the most important things is working with an operator who can spot you. Using an EWS properly can take pre-preci-useful time in a fight, so an operator who knows what they're doing can really help. There's this guy named Torre, and he's got all the- all these neat tricks he won't share...

    Blossom: (Gesturing to her still-full glass of whiskey) "Okay, well, I'm going to get another drink. I'll be back in a minute!"

    Sickman: (Obliviously) "Alright!"

    She did not return. She hadn't intended to, regardless, but Blossom saw something she had to check up on: At one of the far tables, the Sing siblings were sitting together. She'd briefly seen Alexander "Prince" Sing drinking at The Rogue's Gallery the week before, but she'd never encountered Jennifer "Princess" Sing in person.

    Princess was just sitting there reading, visibly annoyed at the room's noise, and yet not getting up to leave. With long, dark hair, hazel eyes, a mousy face with thin lips and a pointed nose, all rounded out with a very calm and quiet demeanor, it was sort of hard to believe that the twenty-something girl could be one of the most widely-feared people in The Layers. But there she was, reading at a party, sitting next to her brother.

    Actually, where did the brother go? Blossom quickly looked around the room, only to spot him approaching Trigger from behind, a hand outstretched...

    ---


    Trigger left the bar to find Dashing waving at him from one of the faraway tables. Smiling at the sight of a friend, he approached to find Dashing sitting with a smiling dark-skinned girl he didn't recognize.

    Dashing: "Hey, Trigger, sup? Glad to see you could make it." (aside) "Butterfly, this is Trigger."

    Butterfly: (Barely above a whisper) "...hello."

    Dashing: "She's shy. It's okay, Butters, he's a decent guy. Rei's biased."

    ???: "This seat taken?"

    All eyes shifted to the new speaker, an Albino girl in a suit jacket and skirt that Trigger recognized all too well.

    Butterfly: (Slightly louder than before) "Oh, hello Rei. I didn't know you were coming."

    Dashing: (A little embarrassed) "Uh, hi Loony. Didn't see you there."

    Trigger: "Maybe I should..."

    Lunatic Eye: (Glaring daggers at Trigger briefly, before softening) "No, stay. We can call a truce tonight." (Back to Dashing) "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you."

    Dashing: "It's okay. Actually, do you two mind if Butters and I step out to chat privately? I'll only be a minute."

    She was already standing up as she said it, and so was Butterfly; if anything, she looked eager to leave the party. Probably too many people for her taste. They didn't wait for an answer before starting to walk away, though Dashing turned back for some parting words.

    Dashing: "...Please don't kill each other."

    Lunatic Eye: "We won't. I gave my word."

    A long moment passed silently between the two, now alone at the table.

    Trigger: "I'm sorry about your brother."

    Lunatic Eye: (visibly sneering) "No you're not."

    Another long moment.

    Lunatic Eye: "I-I actually wanted to talk. We worked well together in the Avici Facility; that sort of combat rhythm is hard to find just anywhere."

    Trigger: "Well, I'll drink to that."

    Lunatic Eye: "Advantages of an open bar. It's too bad. I think we could have been friends under different circumstances."

    Trigger: "Yeah... maybe under other circumstances."

    Lunatic Eye: (Staring a moment, then standing up) "...Thi-this was a mistake. I should go."

    Trigger watched her leave, right up until she disappeared into the crowd. Were those...tears? Weird. He didn't have a long time to think about that, as someone tapped his shoulder - he turned around to find Prince standing behind him.

    Prince: "Hey, got a minute? I owe you an apology. I shouldn't have glared at you like that last week, it was unprofessional of me."

    Blossom: "You were glaring at us?"

    Prince startled; he hadn't spotted her approach.

    Prince: "Uh, yeah? I, um, didn't realize you guys didn't notice. Could have saved myself some awkwardness if I'd known that." (Fumbling for words, feeling flanked by the two PCs) "Look...Grieg and I went to school together. We were friends, kind of. I realize he wasn't the best guy, but...it's hard to look at it that way when you've known each other since you were kids, you know?"

    Trigger: "He killed my father. Leveled a building on top of him."

    Prince: "...That's rough. I'm sorry, war can be brutal. But I suppose you know that. I saw you talking to Rei a minute ago; I really hope she's okay. She took it hard."

    Blossom: "It's always sad when war takes someone you care about. Pilots like us, we just sort of have to deal with it. It's war, after all. And it's not going away."

    Prince: "Yeah. We'll go crazy if we try to avenge everyone. Good night, you two. I should go find my sister before she throws down with Prodigy in public again..."

    Almost as quickly as Prince turned his back, Blossom and Trigger found themselves face-to-face with Reveler. There was no denying how fast that girl was - and how stealthy.

    Reveler: "Hey there, whatcha doin'? You two seem pretty morose for being at a party! Anyway, I just came to tell you that you should go talk to Arlan in the back room. Gotta go!"

    She was gone almost as quickly as she appeared, her message delivered. Trigger and Blossom looked at each other a moment, silently agreeing that the party's host was definitely more than she seemed.

    ---

    Hellfire watched Prince and Princess from a distance with some curiosity; the two were both very highly-ranked pilots, and it was strange to see the famous Sing Siblings just lounging about at a party. He continued to watch as Prince seemed to spot something out of the corner of his eye, put his drink down, and walked off. Princess noted her brother's absence, but then shrugged and returned to her book...at least until someone else sat down: Someone that Hellfire recognized.

    He knew her face from many an advertisement: Prodigy was a pilot with fair skin, blue eyes, and shoulder-length blonde hair, wearing a long leather jacket over a tailored dress and a miniskirt. Prodigy was famous, as much as Princess was. Maybe moreso; Princess was known for her cold, brutal efficiency, but Prodigy was downright flashy. A real crowd-pleaser; even off the battlefield, she couldn't resist exaggerated motions and mannerisms as she threw an arm around a clearly-not-okay-with-this Princess.

    Hellfire couldn't help but listen in on their conversation as Princess frowned, put her book down, and threw Prodigy's arm off of her shoulder, all while Prodigy grinned like a loon.

    Princess: "...tired of doing this, you know."

    Prodigy: "What, get tired of me already?"

    Princess: "I've known you for years, and I deeply regret doing so."

    Prodigy: "You wound me!"

    Princess: (Picking book back up) "Well, I'm not in the mood to deal with your crap today. If you want to start another fight, just do it already, or else leave me alone."

    Prodigy: "...So that's how it is, huh?"

    The next bit of conversation was too muffled for Hellfire to hear, but Princess looked vaguely scandalized for a moment before suddenly gaining a mischeivous smirk...and Prodigy's face turned to outright anger.

    Princess: (Still smirking) "You know, we could partner up again. Just like old times. I've been waiting for you to knock off Burnout for a year, do that and we can go after Narcissus together."

    Prodigy: (Barely containing anger) "You know why I won't do that."

    Princess: (Returning to her book) "I do."

    Prodigy: "...I don't know why Mom likes you so much."

    She stormed off in a huff, leaving Princess alone again. Hellfire, still far too curious for his own good, decided to follow her.

    (Trigger and Blossom's Players: "So, is there popcorn? We need popcorn.")

    Hellfire followed Prodigy out of the room and down the hallway, turning left only to find himself face-to-face with her, leaning against the wall, trying to light a synthop pipe. Prodigy looked him over once with a frown.

    Prodigy: "S'there a reason you're following me?"

    Hellfire: "Uh, I was actually hoping to introduce myself, I'm a newer pilot -"

    Prodigy: "As if that isn't obvious. Who are you?"

    Hellfire: "Er, Hellfire. Stan, properly, but-"

    Prodigy: "That's great, kid. You sound like a man after my own heart."

    (OOC Note: She's not significantly older than him, just being condescending. He actually lucked out and got the best possible reaction roll; she'd probably have been a whole lot less friendly to almost anyone else under similar conditions.)

    (Me: "Your keen social senses tell you that she's being polite but trying to get rid of you."
    Hellfire's Player: "...I know. I have ears.")


    Hellfire: "Well, actually it was sort of my understanding that you were sort of the one to talk to about mobile combat and incendiary weapons. I was thinking of upgrading my shotguns with specialized incendiary..." *talks shop for a bit*

    Prodigy listened politely, not exactly interested but willing to tolerate a stranger's presence just a little longer. Talking shop was a welcome distraction. She knew that field well, and it was better than dealing with some hanger-on's awkward introductions.

    Hellfire: "...and I was wondering if you had any tips?"

    Prodigy: "Don't set yourself on fire, and don't forget to have options in a fight. I'll be watching, Stan." She puffed once on her pipe. "Try talking to me again when you have a few more missions under your belt. Too many of you green pilots die within a month to bother getting to know you."

    She coughed once and walked off, leaving Hellfire alone in the hallway. Or so he thought.

    Reveler: "She's cute, isn't she? Shame about the attitude. Nevermind, that's not important. There's someone you should talk to in the back room, back at the party. Trust me on this one."

    Hellfire turned around just in time to spot the terrifyingly fast redhead winking at him as she ran back down the hall.

    ---

    (Musical Suggestion)

    The three found themselves in the back room, beats from the party's speakers still reverberating through the wall behind them. It was darker and much quieter here, almost dead-feeling after the sensory overload from the lights and music in the other room. The figure at the other side of the table was appallingly shady with his black cloak and eerie bronze mask, sitting in a dimly-lit room.

    ???: "Please, sit. There is much to discuss."

    The figure's speech was undeniably masculine, but it sounded like it was coming through a voice synthesizer. Could he be any more pointlessly mysterious?

    Blossom: "Right, well, this is clearly suspicious. Can't guide people to a secret meeting yourself?"

    ???: "Miss Stone set up this meeting because she thought it important that you meet me. Her instincts are...impeccable, and I have learned not to ignore her requests, no matter how odd."

    Hellfire: "Who even are you?"

    Arlan: "My name is Arlan Santos, pilot of The Bronze Crusader. I understand that you have recently taken and completed a DIS contract. For this reason, I am happy to see you, but would advise against taking such contracts in the future."

    Blossom: "...Why?"

    Arlan: "What do you know of the Human PLUS project? Nothing, I expect. Very well."

    The man unclasped his cloak and put it aside, revealing that the bronze mask he wore was not a mask, but merely the only visible part of his body. Clad head-to-toe in bronze far too tight to be armor, Arlan stared through empty eyes back at the three of them.

    Arlan: "I was...a failure of the process. There is little remaining of my body aside from a few vital organs and shreds of connective tissue. But I no longer feel anything at all, like floating in emptiness."

    Trigger: (stunned) "Robot guy, there are...so many rude questions I want to ask but won't because I don't want to be rude."

    Arlan: "You may as well. I am accustomed to them."

    Trigger: "You can't feel anything? Not even, like...wanga-wanga?" (gestures lewdly)

    Hellfire visibly edged away from Trigger, as if pretending not to know him, and Blossom only buried her face in her hands.

    (OOC Note: The players in question had much the same reaction, in-between gales of disbelieving laughter and sheer fremdschämen.)

    Blossom: (trying to salvage the situation) "That aside, what exactly do you mean by a failure? What is supposed to happen? And what IS the human plus program?"

    Arlan: "DIS has a philosophy, of a sort. They believe that humanity is a canvas and that steel is a paint, that it is a necessary step to...upgrade, as it were. The PLUS process is mature and they apply it widely, to subjects both consenting and...unconsenting. Some individuals take well to the process, and demonstrate superhuman abilities as a result. Others are failures, terribly stunted or physically-destroyed as I was. Most PLUS subjects experience improved functionality in some regard, but almost always with some trade-off. Did you order a drink tonight?"

    Hellfire: "I knew it."

    Arlan: "Yes, Madeline Stone is a Human PLUS escapee, as I am. Do you know that she is the older sister? Her senses are superior to any normal human's, but she stopped growing before adolescence, and many of her facial muscles are paralyzed permanently. The Stone sisters have suffered more from DIS' predations than most, I dare say. She was fortunate to escape. Most damaged to the degree that Madeline was are...repurposed."

    Trigger: "Repurposed?"

    Arlan: "AUS drones are manufactured using select slices of human brain tissue, so that they may act intelligently in the absence of outside orders. As you observed earlier today."

    Blossom: "Then...Loner."

    Arlan: "Yes, he has already been removed from Concord's rankings. No doubt DIS has already reported his death, regardless of the state he was found in. If he is fortunate, it will have been the truth."

    Blossom: "Why are you telling us all of this?"

    Arlan: (Donning cloak and pulling up hood) "Because Reveler believes you will use this information wisely, and I trust her judgment. I believe that the time has come for me to leave, but I will keep in contact." (Rises and bows) "Walk with Arah, friends, and be wary."


    Arlan left out the back door, leaving our heroes richer in knowledge...and in danger. They enjoyed the party a bit longer before retiring. They never did get to have a proper conversation with Reveler.
    Last edited by BladeofObliviom; 2017-06-06 at 03:50 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Interlude 2 is up! This one was a doozy to write. Lots of material, and it was meandering/unfocused so I actually altered the order of events to make it more readable narratively. (At the actual table, the conversation with Arlan was actually one of the first things to happen after visiting the bar, but I decided ending with SRS PLOT would be better and let the split-up funtime happen beforehand. Also, the conversation between Trigger and Lunatic Eye was really glossed-over at the table, so it was expanded into a real conversation after talking to the player.)

    And of course, because I'm being honest, several bits of dialogue were touched up here and there. As usual, a lot of dialogue is what I intended to say rather than necessarily what I actually said. So sue me. This one is dialogue-heavy.

    Quote Originally Posted by RagingBluMunky View Post
    As for the journal itself, I feel like you're starting to hit your stride. As I've never written one of these myself I can't give any direct advice, I would recommend checking out the All Guardsmen Party, written by Shoggy, on this site, for some examples of well written fight scenes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkstar View Post
    I think I prefer this journal's visceral play-by-play of each battle to the frequently glossed-over snark of the All Guardsman party.

    I'm trying to remember what the Brimstone mech reminds me of with its shotguns and jumpjets, because it's giving me a REALLY strong mental image.
    I'll probably take a look at the All-Guardsmen party at some point. I prefer the visceral style myself, as long as the fighting is interesting: If an encounter plays out the same way as the last two, or if the play-by-play would be long/boring, I tend to summarize, of course.

    I'm not sure exactly what Brimstone could be reminding you of. I'm sure there's something similar in media somewhere, but I'm drawing a blank on what it could be.


    EDIT: Forgot about one of the musical suggestions, and fixed an omitted word in the process. One thing these could definitely benefit from? An editing run, if I were less sick of looking at them by the time I was done.
    Last edited by BladeofObliviom; 2016-12-12 at 04:04 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    I'm enjoying this so far, the intrigue out of combat is pretty nicely done, kudos on touching up table-talk into something so enjoyable to read.

    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    I'm not sure exactly what Brimstone could be reminding you of. I'm sure there's something similar in media somewhere, but I'm drawing a blank on what it could be.
    Hazarding a guess based on just the name: Battletech has the Hellbringer/Loki, a fairly iconic jumpjet riding mecha with various configurations of cannon-arms that is loosely based on the Warhammer aka Macross' Destroid Tomahawk.
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Interlude 2:

    Trigger: (stunned) "Robot guy, there are...so many rude questions I want to ask but won't because I don't want to be rude."

    Arlan: "You may as well. I am accustomed to them."

    Trigger: "You can't feel anything? Not even, like...wanga-wanga?" (gestures lewdly)
    In the list of other embarassing things Trigger asked that Blade forgot was

    A) do you still have a face or are you just a floating robot brain in a jar?

    (Followed by Hellfire's player saying "They stole my face!")

    And

    B) "You can't feel pain? That must be pretty useful." (This led to the 'Wanga Wanga' comment, since they were talking about feeling and nerve endings)

    Also, I am so proud of myself. I haven't slipped up and called Blade his real name ONCE.
    Last edited by TriggerGunther; 2016-12-12 at 10:10 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norren View Post
    Hazarding a guess based on just the name: Battletech has the Hellbringer/Loki, a fairly iconic jumpjet riding mecha with various configurations of cannon-arms that is loosely based on the Warhammer aka Macross' Destroid Tomahawk.
    I would have guessed the Summoner/Thor, it was the one with Jump Jets and a couple variants based around cannons.
    Last edited by Kane0; 2016-12-12 at 09:04 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    I just realized I never mentioned anywhere that Trigger looks exactly like Irvine from Zoids: Chaotic Century/Guardian Force/Legacy/Jashin Fukkatsu! Geno Breaker Hen/the Miriad of other products he's in. Except wearing the Stealth Suit Mk II from Fallout: New Vegas.

    You know, in case any one was wondering that.

    I might just be rambling so I get up to ten posts and finally post links and stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    I would have guessed the Summoner/Thor, it was the one with Jump Jets and a couple variants based around cannons.
    Actually, I was thinking the Assault from HAWKEN but with flak cannons instead of a machinegun and rocket. A light, fast mech, instead of a bulky and ponderous one.
    Quote Originally Posted by TriggerGunther View Post
    I just realized I never mentioned anywhere that Trigger looks exactly like Irvine from Zoids: Chaotic Century/Guardian Force/Legacy/Jashin Fukkatsu! Geno Breaker Hen/the Miriad of other products he's in. Except wearing the Stealth Suit Mk II from Fallout: New Vegas.

    You know, in case any one was wondering that.

    I might just be rambling so I get up to ten posts and finally post links and stuff.
    Post the best out-of-context quotes in the relevant thread on these boards! Blade's posted a few.
    Last edited by Hawkstar; 2016-12-12 at 10:22 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Spoiler: Interlude, Blossom Solo (2)
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    Recipients: Moon_Oracle@concord.net, Bellatrix_BeiFong@concord.net
    Sender: blossom_ab@concord.net
    Subject: A small favor?
    Text: Dearest sister and brother,

    I sincerely hope the two of you are doing well. I have just completed my second mission at Concord and may have earned my way into the top 50! However, it was unfortunately at the cost of a pilot named loner’s life and/or wellbeing. He was dragged into the underbelly of the Avici facility by “malfunctioning” satanic battlebots. I suppose I too would have met a similar fate if I were not well-trained and lucky. That being said, I have become very suspicious of DIS and their recent actions and I plan to investigate further. I can only imagine that KindRed’s recent acquisition of Isley pharmaceuticals is related.

    Now comes my request, if either of you come across any potentially related information, please do contact me. Also, please avoid dealing with DIS too much. I would hate for my family to be used as science experiments. I will continue to investigate, but I doubt this issue is worth reporting to father in this stage of inquiry.

    I will continually hope for your wellbeing and success.

    Your dearest little sister,
    Asami


    Recipients: blossom_ab@concord.net
    Sender: Moon_Oracle@concord.net
    Subject: Re: A small favor?
    Text: It is always a pleasure to hear from you, Asami.

    I can check with my contacts on this matter. If I learn anything likely to be of use to you, I will be sure to let you know.

    Take heed: DIS' web of secrets is one that the Bei Fong family has yet to fully unravel, for generations of effort. This is a dangerous game, and some things are better left buried; if you probe too deeply, nothing I can do will protect you from the gauntlet's grasp.

    Sincerely,
    Lykon Bei Fong


    Recipients: blossom_ab@concord.net
    Sender: Bellatrix_BeiFong@concord.net
    Subject: Re: A small favor?
    Text: Dear Sister,

    Congratulations upon your induction into Concord's official top pilots list. Please do not allow this to dull your senses: It only becomes more dangerous from this point.

    DIS has long been a subject of concern for the Bei Fong Family, as you know, given their historical competition - and sometimes outright warfare - in our mutual home of Sung City. I am afraid I can be of little assistance in dealing with politics, however, and for that I apologize.

    I can tell you that AUS-series drones are well-known for their erratic tendencies[1] when released from remote control modules: They are manufactured with select slices of human brain tissue, and are fully capable of continuing to act without a source of new orders[2]. They have been known to act in strange, alarmingly human ways when they are unaware of outside observation: One Thaddeus Smith attempted to assemble an ethnography before his disappearance[3]. AUS-series drones have never been recorded kidnapping a human before, however[4]. This reported activity is unusual.

    Regardless, I wish you well, sister. I agree that excessive dealings with DIS are a health hazard and should be avoided except out of necessity.

    Regards,
    Bella

    Citations:
    [1]: See any one of the thousands of accounts of the Skyefall incident five years ago.
    [2]: According to AUS-series Operation Manual, page 10.
    [3]: Most copies of his work have unfortunately gone missing. I had the chance to browse one at the Sung City Public Library, but sadly I was unable to acquire a copy myself before it disappeared from the shelves.
    [4]: My own notes from studying Thaddeus Smith's ethnography.


    Recipients: Moon_Oracle@concord.net, Bellatrix_BeiFong@concord.net
    Sender: blossom_ab@concord.net
    Subject: Re: Re: A small favor?
    Text: Thank you both for your help. I wonder if I should start by speaking with Corvos? In any case, I plan to move ahead with my investigations. Both of you, please, keep safe.

    Best regards,
    Asami


    Recipients: blossom_ab@concord.net
    Sender: Moon_Oracle@concord.net
    Subject: Re: Re: Re: A small favor?
    Text: I've taken the liberty of forwarding your initial message to Corvos. He's been distant lately, I'm afraid, but he'll see it sooner or later.

    Sincerely,
    Lykon Bei Fong
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    We played a session yesterday (as originally planned), and for once everybody could make it! Well, aside from Buddy's player, obviously, but he doesn't count.

    Journal Entry is still in the shop, but a few things I learned:

    - Dynamic, complicated combat encounters can be entertaining! They also eat up time like nobody's business because there's so much more to keep track of.
    - Running an enemy like a B-list Slasher villain is entertaining for the GM. I can't speak for the PCs though...
    - PCs don't feel guilty slaughtering faceless mooks...but do if said faceless mooks happen to be slave-soldiers. *shrug*
    - Giving the submersible enemy a grappling hook on the water level was definitely mean of me.

    EDIT:

    - Hellfire and Thunder make for a badass tag team. Now that Lightning is equipped with a Jump Pack, they're both mobile enough to close gaps very quickly, and since Hellfire's Sneak Attack perk requires a flanker, having an ally who wants to be in melee anyway is a huge boon to his damage output.
    - Blossom is the least mobile member of the party. This usually isn't a big deal due to her enormous range, versatility, and high toughness, but since this mission had some more complex architecture it was a minor hindrance. It would probably have been a huge PITA for her player if I hadn't cut the Pillar Climb encounter for time.


    Spoiler: Responses to things
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norren View Post
    I'm enjoying this so far, the intrigue out of combat is pretty nicely done, kudos on touching up table-talk into something so enjoyable to read.
    I do always appreciate more compliments.

    Quote Originally Posted by TriggerGunther View Post
    In the list of other embarassing things Trigger asked that Blade forgot was

    A) do you still have a face or are you just a floating robot brain in a jar?

    (Followed by Hellfire's player saying "They stole my face!")

    And

    B) "You can't feel pain? That must be pretty useful." (This led to the 'Wanga Wanga' comment, since they were talking about feeling and nerve endings)
    I did lose those lines! Ah well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkstar View Post
    Actually, I was thinking the Assault from HAWKEN but with flak cannons instead of a machinegun and rocket. A light, fast mech, instead of a bulky and ponderous one.
    Hellfire is light and fast! Though not quite as light and fast as Lightning. Which is pretty light, and pretty fast. Hence the name.
    Last edited by BladeofObliviom; 2016-12-14 at 10:22 AM.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Mission 3: Summer Camp Counseling?

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    Spoiler: Briefing
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    Poseidon's Smile: 18cr
    Employer: Viridian Epoch Energy Council
    Theatre of Operations: South Sea Oil Rig Construction Site
    Enemy Forces: Unknown KROSSCorp forces, Automated Defenses
    Conditions for Success: Successfully sabotage KROSSCorp Oil Rig construction.
    Briefing:
    This is Director Mona Samaela, a representative of the Viridian Epoch Energy Council. It has come to our attention that KROSSCorp is constructing an Oil Platform just off of the coast, and we would like to see this effort fail to bear fruit. Sabotage the platform's construction, and destroy whatever you can. Make this as expensive a failure as possible.

    KROSSCorp no doubt anticipates potential sabotage and will have made an effort to protect their investment; expect KROSSCorp gunboats, automated defenses, MTs, and whatever else they can smuggle out to sea.

    We await results.


    (Musical Suggestion)

    This was new ground for the PCs: Their first real raid. Sure, they'd done assaults before, but they'd never needed to be dropped in hanging 30 feet down from a chopper over open water into enemy territory.

    Operator: "This is K.K. Sonnen. Viridian Energy has requested that you cause critical damage to KROSSCorp's oceanic extraction operation here. Enemy forces are unknown, but preliminary aerial scans suggest a number of KROSSCorp Ogre and Aranea MTs defending the facility. KROSSCorp maintains significant naval capabilities, and may have further defenses that cannot be seen from this vantage. Be aware that KROSSCorp maintains a naval fleet approximately one hour away: Evac may prove impossible should you fail to complete your task quickly. I will provide updates throughout this operation.

    Good Luck."

    The Oil Rig loomed in the distance upon a plane of blue, the foundations of its unfinished partner sitting seemingly dead in the water next to it with little more than a cargo lift connecting the two. The four Mechs were deposited safely at the far corner foundation; no need to risk getting closer to those huge anti-air guns than absolutely necessary.

    Operator: "The most ideal location to cause critical damage is the engineering control room, accessible by elevator from the top of the adjacent structure. You can access this area via the cargo lift. Once your task is complete, please disable the anti-air cannons to secure the area for evac."

    The PCs began moving single-file along the narrow walkways between the pillar foundations, when Blossom briefly caught sight of a dark shape moving through the water out of the corner of her eye. When nothing materialized, they proceeded, albeit more carefully. Halfway along the second walkway, their caution was justified: A Lacedon bursts from the water!

    (Setting note: The Lacedon Submersible Gunboat is a KROSSCorp mainstay, a mass-production unit similar in cost to a GPAC. Its ellipsoid hull is airtight when closed, but the top panels retract when it surfaces to reveal a machinegun tower and a light missile pod. It's a versatile machine, though of course limited to the water.)

    Trigger was the first to react, puncturing the ship's hull with his burst rifle though failing to sink it. What surprised everybody, however, was the steel cable that suddenly flung itself from the other side of the bridge, wrapping itself around Bergentrückung's legs and pulling the mech right off its feet! Thunder quickly came to Trigger's rescue, bringing one of his blades down upon the grappling cable and freeing his fellow pilot. Their ally safe for the moment, Blossom and Hellfire turned their weapons fully upon the gunboat and put holes through it until it was vertical in the water.

    Trigger: "The hell was that?!

    Operator: "AC White Whale identified. Be wary: Ahab is a lateral thinker and will not hesitate to use...creative tactics."

    Trigger: "What's a lateral?"

    No answer was forthcoming, but the path was clear for the moment. If White Whale was still lurking nearby, its pilot seemed to be waiting...for now. Watching the water for any further signs of movement, the PCs pressed forward.

    The Cargo Lift was a surprisingly fragile-looking thing, essentially a long belt cable with a number of metal platforms hanging from collars set into the belt's length. With nowhere to go but up, they boarded the next platform to pass up to the completed rig, weapons ready. It should have perhaps come as no surprise that, when the players were approximately halfway across the watery expanse between the two platforms, something went horribly wrong. A steel cable shot from the water once more, this time grabbing onto the lowermost platform. The entire system ground to a screeching halt, buckling under the sudden strain, once-solid ground shifting frighteningly underfoot as the hanging carriage became a precarious pendulum: Treacherous salvation from the churning sea below.

    Ahab: "I think it be time ye all walked the plank!"

    Despite the absurdity of the other pilot's speech, the threat was very real. Nearly half a dozen spiderlike Aranea MTs approached the topmost edge of the Cargo Lift; while four began ziplining down toward the squad, one stayed back...to bring its cutting torch to bear against the cable itself. Thunder grumbled to himself, sharpening his blades against each other in preparation for a confrontation, though the range was just too great to engage. Trigger took a different tack, aiming his burst rifle at Ahab's narrow cable but just unable to land a shot. For her part, Blossom took a deep breath, lined up a shot despite the still-unsteady footing, and placed a shot with her big gun right through the cutter's cockpit. Hellfire grinned in his cockpit and pointed both shotguns at the group ziplining down before blowing the foremost of the right into the water.

    Hellfire: "Nice of you all to get in line!"

    (Setting note: The Aranea General-Purpose Mobile Unit is a KROSSCorp-manufactured manned MT. It has a unique design, with a spherical central cockpit suspended by four long, flexible limbs capable of gripping onto most surfaces and even grasping objects. One of these limbs contains an all-purpose arc projector that can be used both for cutting and welding. The Aranea is lightly-armored but specially-fortified against mining explosives. While the Aranea is primarily used in a utility and labor capacity, it can easily be modified for use as a security MT by adding KROSSCorp's standard EG-X Autocannon and a rocket tube.)

    The three surviving Araneas dropped off the line to land on the platform immediately ahead of the squad's, before unleashing a hail of autocannon fire and several rockets upon them. Blossom's armor managed to withstand fist-sized balls of depleted uranium punching against it, but they cut through Brimstone and Bergentrückung's armor like tissue paper. The rockets, at least, were neatly dodged, sailing into the ocean blue behind them. Back up at the top of the line, two Ogre MTs began to descend, shredding toward the PCs with a spray of sparks and screeching metal in their wake. Almost covertly in comparison, another Aranea emerged from a port to continue the cutting work its fallen ally started.

    (Setting note: The Ogre Battlesuit is KROSSCorp's own version of the NRB Solomon. While broadly similar, the Ogre is much more agile, built more like a chimpanzee than a gorilla, and the notoriously unreliable NRB HMG has been replaced with the KC-standard EG-X Autocannon. While it lacks the Solomon's powerful CQC capabilities, the Ogre is deadly at medium range and far more mobile than its counterpart.)

    Thunder fired up his brand-new jump pack to leap across the gap between the platforms, landing with a mighty thud. In one move, he sliced the arms from one of the Araneas with his blades before kicking the now-helpless cockpit right off, pilot screaming as he sunk into the waters below. Trigger and Hellfire laid down fire support, their combined attacks shredding a second Aranea's armor and sending it too plummeting into the briny deep. Rather than attacking, Blossom focused on isolating Ahab's comm signal - before overloading it with a burst of static. The effects were immediate, as White Whale lost its grip and was briefly pulled forward before releasing its current cable to avoid being dragged into the open. The cargo lift lurched forward once more with a terrible metallic screech - and the unfortunate Aranea trying to cut the line was pulled into assembly's gearing, utterly obliterated by the crushing force.

    (Thunder and Hellfire's players: "Wow, brutal.")

    Not all was well, though: The two ziplining Ogres dropped onto the platform shared by Lightning and the last Aranea before opening fire on the blademech, Autocannon fire dealing critical damage to Lightning's head and opening gaping holes in its chassis. The Aranea's aim on the other hand was thrown wildly off by the swinging platform and the hail of bullets failed to connect with anything but thin air. Just as it was correcting its aim, the cargo lift once more ground to a screeching halt as Ahab regained his bearings and frantically grappled the next carriage. Not to be deterred by something as minor as losing his head, Thunder skewered the final Aranea before chopping it cleanly in half with his other blade. Not to be outdone, the other three pilots opened fire on the Ogres, which proved to be no more resilient to their attacks than the Solomon units at Sandalia Airfield were. The last of their enemies (minus Ahab) eliminated, the squad had a brief rest.

    Trigger: "Well, now what?"

    Ahab: "Ahar, it be just as well. I don't hafta kill ya: Just be slowin' ya down long enough for the battleships ta be gettin' here."

    Thunder: "Hold on a second and I'll go cut the line..."

    That was when two Lacedons surfaced...and began locking missiles. Two guided streaks of light all-too-quickly shattered against Steel Hibiscus and Bergentrückung, but miraculously the explosions did little more than scratch their paint. True to his word, Lightning fired up his jump pack and took off at full speed toward Ahab's mooring. While Trigger took a few potshots at one of the Lacedons (and put a few holes in it), Blossom tried to shut down the missile systems on the other. Unfortunately, due to snake eyes and a good roll on the gunboat crew's part, they managed to resist her influence. Hellfire pointed his weapons at the Lacedons, but realized quickly that they were well out of his range, feeling like a sitting duck. Not that it mattered; Thunder reached the mooring and cut it with a single slash.

    Thunder: "You wanna try that again?"

    Ahab didn't answer, and the Lacedons submerged once more as the Cargo Lift finally resumed its motion once more. They'd won, but this battle had cost them precious time.

    Thunder: "How much you wanna bet we'll be seeing them again?"



    No one took him up on it. They found no resistance on the deck of the Oil platform, only Servicemen and technicians fleeing on foot to the lifeboats. Hellfire lifted his guns in their direction...

    Blossom: "Wait, are we just killing people now?"

    Thunder: "What are you talking about? We've killed at least a few dozen people in the last hour! We sunk a shipful of people!"

    Blossom: "That was different, they were attacking us."

    Thunder: "No, they were defending this place. We came here."

    Hellfire: "...These ones are slaves. KROSSCorp bolsters its numbers with Janissaries. Doesn't matter if they reach the lifeboats, I doubt most of them are going back anyway."

    Ignoring the rig's crew, Blossom spent a few minutes reconfiguring the Anti-Air Cannons: Sonnen would be able to pick them up, but they'd shoot down anything else approaching. Preparing themselves for one last fight, they all piled into the cargo elevator and began their descent.



    The doors opened to a platform just above the water, with stairways and catwalks spiderwebbing up and around the lower levels of the Sea Fortress. Dozens of uniformed servicemen and six Ogre MTs manned the platform, guarding the central extraction bore...flanked by the same two Lacedons from earlier. One even still sported some of the holes Trigger put in it, with a few crewmen rushing about on deck with buckets.

    Thunder was the first into the fray, sprinting forward and sliding both blades into an Ogre's cockpit before twisting them out of the lifeless machine. Trigger put a few bullets through another Ogre, but his attempt to charge into melee was interrupted by a familiar cable. Though it grappled Bergentrückung about the legs, Trigger reacted faster this time: Only the front legs were trapped, and that was enough to avoid being pulled off of his feet. Fighting tooth and nail against the pull of the deep, Bergentrückung's teeth sank into the cable and managed to snap it before things got any worse.

    Trigger: "I feel like a goddamn summer camp counselor here..."

    Blossom took aim at the Lacedon whose crew resisted her EWS attack earlier and put a new ventilation shaft through it with her Sniper Cannon, though the stubborn thing refused to sink. Meanwhile, Hellfire dashed forward, taking advantage of Thunder's positioning, and jammed his shotgun right between an Ogre's armor plates before pulling the trigger, even while he expertly spun his other weapon around to blast a second Ogre head-on.

    With two of the original six Ogres utterly obliterated and two more seriously damaged, the retaliation was more desperate than anything: The hail of autocannon fire scored Bergentrückung across the legs, though a second spray to the torso was blocked by Trigger's shield. The other two took their shots against Lightning and Steel Hibiscus; unfortunately for them, Lightning managed to outrun the stream of fire and Steel Hibiscus' armor continued to prove impervious to their weapons. The two Lacedons sprayed the deck with machinegun fire to no effect.

    With a certain destructive glee, Thunder fired up his jump pack again to land on one of the damaged Lacedons, not only putting two deep gashes in the ship's hull, but perfectly slitting the captain's throat with the tip of his blade in the process. His rampage nearly came to a terrible end as a steel cable tried to wrap around him, but Thunder's momentum gave him just the edge he needed to slip free by mere inches before heading on to the other Gunboat. Meanwhile, Trigger charged one of the damaged Ogres and attempted to finish it off with a bite attack, only to find that he'd bitten a part of the armor too thick to penetrate properly; fortunately, the point-blank burstfire found purchase instead, followed by one of the other Ogres being utterly obliterated by Blossom's Sniper Cannon. Hellfire emptied both barrels and blew another to smithereens, leaving them with just one more Ogre, one lightly-damaged Lacedon...and Ahab. Thunder landed successfully on the second Lacedon and tore a few more openings in its hull, even as the machine held on by a thread. Taking another beautiful leap, Thunder narrowly cheated death once more as Lightning's ankle slipped free of Ahab's second grapple attempt.

    (OOC Note: Ahab missed him by 1. Twice.)

    Blossom's cannon destroyed the final Ogre with a single shot as Hellfire attempted to finish off the narrowly-surviving Lacedon...which made its armor save twice in a row before submerging.

    Ahab: "I know when I be beat. 'Til next time, Landlubbers."

    He didn't attack again, swimming off to fight another day. The PCs quickly set to making a mess, destroying anything important-looking in sight...and then slicing a few gaping holes into the extraction pipe, followed by setting the resulting oil spill on fire. The results were...catastrophic, and they fled up the elevator as quickly as possible.

    Blossom: "...I'm pretty sure were supposed to use the stairs in case of fire."

    Not that it stopped them from engaging in a little gallows humor. They arrived back at the top of the rig just in time to spot the hacked Anti-Air Cannons shooting down a pair of incoming KROSSCorp attack helicopters. They didn't have to wait long for evac, and they flew away watching their destructive handiwork.

    A job well done, given that catastrophe was the whole point.
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    I'm always a fan of Trigger's mech most in these (Partially because he's here, but mostly because the wolf mech is awesome). Unfortunately... he seems to be coming across as the team's punching bag in most of these encounters. Maybe it's because his burst cannon doesn't feel like the most glamorous of weapons compared to Hellfire's shotguns, Lightning's swords, and Blossom's sniper cannon.

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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Trigger kind of got the short end of this recap, yeah. He actually upgraded with a rocket pod between sessions, but I don't appear to have mentioned him using them at any point, which is an issue because he definitely did. I want to say he shot some Ogres with them toward the end and I misattributed the damage to his Burst Rifle?


    Regardless, you're not wrong. It doesn't really help that Bergentrückung is the most generalized mech out of the PC designs; the others are all more or less purpose-built. Lightning and Brimstone are both extremely fast, short-ranged mechs (with Lightning being a bit faster and rather more short-ranged), and Steel Hibiscus pulls double duty as an EWS debuffer and a long-range specialist. Bergentrückung's weapons are kitted for medium range, but it also has a melee weapon and a combat shield. It also doesn't help that Trigger's player has some of the worst luck with dice.
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    Mention the rocket salvos more often. They make everything more awesome. I could be charitable, though, and just think of him as the party's tank. For something with 4 legs, though, he gets knocked off them pretty frequently (Loved the part where only two got caught, though)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkstar View Post
    I'm always a fan of Trigger's mech most in these (Partially because he's here, but mostly because the wolf mech is awesome). Unfortunately... he seems to be coming across as the team's punching bag in most of these encounters. Maybe it's because his burst cannon doesn't feel like the most glamorous of weapons compared to Hellfire's shotguns, Lightning's swords, and Blossom's sniper cannon.
    The burst rifle (in addition to Bergentruckung's ATROCIOUS SPEED and thus Dodge) is EXACTLY why I'm the punching bag. It's one of the cheapest Long Range weapons in the game at 3cr, and the rest of the wolf mech was expensive enough that I chintzed out on weaponry at first... which means I don't kill things, so they manage to shoot back at me. Which means I have to spend so much more on repairs than everyone else that it's hard to upgrade.

    I did, however, finally upgrade to the MG57, the Chromestrike equivalent of Armored Core's AR1000. And it kicks all kinds of serious ***. It's a burst rifle that trades 5 range for the ability to attack twice.
    Last edited by TriggerGunther; 2016-12-15 at 01:35 PM.

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    Interlude 3: Everybody Lies

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    (Musical Suggestion)

    When they left the hangar this time, Dashing wasn't waiting for them. In fact, it was almost midnight. While day and night lost much of their meaning down in the layers, people still had to sleep eventually. Two hallways down, they encountered someone who didn't seem to respect that very much.

    Red Don: "Hey, you!"

    A slightly pudgy fellow wrapped in outdated military fatigues and wearing one too many bandoliers, Red Don had the look of a man who was certain that he would one day be a great hero, but seemed now as if he'd be more likely to get himself hurt in a fight. The fact that he freaked out and fled in the Avici Facility did little to dissuade this impression. Even now, he rushed toward the PCs in what could only be described as utter terror, before shoving a hastily-folded newspaper into Blossom's hands.

    Red Don: "I don't know what that metal freak wants with you, but next time leave me the hell out of it!"

    He left as hastily as he could, barely giving anyone a chance to get a word in edgewise. Not that anyone cared to.

    Blossom: (Unfolding paper) "Metal Freak?"

    Trigger: "Bronze face guy?"

    (OOC Note: "...You remember his name is Arlan Santos.")

    Thunder: "...Who?"

    Hellfire: "We'll introduce you."

    Blossom scanned the new edition of the Val City Herald for a long moment, eyes passing over a few headlines of interest - 'Kri City Liberation Front steals unidentified bioweapon from Applied Biodynamics Facility!'; 'CT "Black Knight" Sirius razes Isley Pharmaceutical Center in Arcadia Valley, death toll includes Arena Favorite Bleak!'; 'NRB announces plans to reopen Space Program!'. Eventually, she found what she was looking for: A hidden message, denoted by tiny inkspots under certain letters that the unsuspecting might mistake for mere misprints: "nOtSafEheRerOGuEsgAllerypRivAteboOtHa".

    Blossom: "He says it's not safe here, and to meet him at the Rogue's Gallery."

    Trigger: "Sounds important."

    Thunder: "Who?!"

    Trigger: "We'll introduce you!"

    Thunder: "...Meet you there, I guess."

    Thunder had a motorcyle, but the other three just called a taxi. Regardless, they found their way to the Rogue's Gallery and stepped inside. It was clearly a sparse night, with only the scarred, balding bartender and a few faceless patrons at one of the tables.

    Bartender: (smiling) "What can I do for you four?"

    Blossom: "Private Booth A."

    The Bartender made a shallow, slightly nervous nod, and quickly began shooing the other patrons out.

    Bartender: "Hey, I warned you all that this place was reserved at one! Get out!"

    They didn't need to be told twice, though their mirth seemed to fade at being kicked out of the establishment.

    Bartender: "...Alright, follow me."

    He pointed to a curtain at the edge of the room, though just as they started to follow, Trigger caught something interesting.

    Trigger: "Hey, you got your eye fixed up! You had a glass eye last time I saw you, now it's bionic."

    Bartender: (Nervously) "Heh, you got a good eye yourself. Yeah, some patrons chipped in to cover the cost after they saw me squinting at a label." (Pulling the curtain aside) "...I'm sorry."

    The man sitting in the private booth was decidedly NOT Arlan Santos. Fair-skinned, narrow of frame, clean-shaven, and clad in a dark trilby and trenchcoat, the man rapped his fingers upon the table.

    ???: "Please, sit down. We have much to discuss." He looked briefly over to the door as the PCs could feel a shadow looming over them. "Ah, Agent Perfect, how kind of you to join us."

    They glanced over to the doorway, reaching for their weapons, to spot a figure Blossom found all too familiar: An eight-foot tall Colossus of flesh wrapped in steel, wearing a similar dark longcoat and pointing an oversized revolver in their direction.

    Perfect: "Greetings. I would advise against that."

    ???: "Yes, 'twould be a shame if Agent Perfect here had to kill the lot of you."

    The stranger's hand hovered over an unusual firearm he'd laid upon the table, not touching the trigger. Not that he needed to; the threat was palpable.

    Trigger: "...Is that a Glock 86?"

    ???: (Smiling faintly) "Indeed it is! So few have an appreciation for the classics. Now, I believe I told you all to sit."

    Realizing they'd walked right into a trap, the PCs reluctantly sat, eyeing the quietly retreating bartender hard enough to burn holes through his apron.

    ???: "Allow me to introduce myself: I am Agent De Leon, here on behalf of Drake Imperial Sciences. It is my understanding that you have recently been in contact with PLUS Subject Number Two Fifty Seven, whom I am given to understand uses the moniker 'Arlan Santos' to hide his identity. Am I correct?"

    Blossom: "And what if you were?"

    De Leon: "There is little point in playing coy with me; my sources are very reliable. I'll get to the point: Arlan Santos is a dangerous, delusional rebel, and my superiors would very much like to recover him undamaged." He casually placed a tiny white sphere upon the table, a strange thing that a casual observer might mistake for a gumball. "This is a specialized bionic disruptor, designed to paralyze a PLUS subject when crushed against the skin...or exterior, as it were. I would have you use this device to assist in the recovery of our lost property; for your assistance in this matter, I can offer the sum of ten credits, paid upon recovery."

    (OOC note: That doesn't look like a big number, but credits are an abstraction used to buy and sell military-grade hardware. That's approximately a $1.5 million bounty.)

    (Blossom's player: "...Can we use the device on Agent Perfect?"
    Me: "...You can try, if you fancy the thought of rushing the eight-foot-tall Cyborg Secret Agent who has a gun trained on you.")


    Hellfire: (reaches for and pockets device) "...We'll consider it."


    (Musical Suggestion)


    Perfect: (suddenly looking aside) "I hear something. I'll return shortly." (exits bar)

    Blossom: (Watching Perfect leave) "...But why us?"

    De Leon: "Simple: Because Subject 257 trusts you enough to meet in person - don't deny it, you wouldn't have come if you didn't believe so - and unlike his true followers you have no stake in his infantile 'crusade'. If he is warned...it is of little concern, and we will know precisely who warned him."

    PCs: "..."

    The conversation was suddenly disrupted by the sound of wrenching metal (prompting the curtain to be pulled aside), followed by the sound of crashing glass as a gun twisted into a pretzel was thrown inward through the window, followed by an effortlessly-tossed man, who quickly crumpled against the floor in agony. A man most of the PCs recognized, in fact: Cyrus Ahu.

    Perfect: "I thought I heard a rat. Mister Bei Fong's pet, however..."

    The eight-foot-tall steel monster wasn't far behind, placing a clawed foot on Cyrus' chest and pressing hard enough that his apparent last words were little more than wheezing. Perfect's tone grew truly smug despite his facelessness as he levelled his revolver at the pilot's face.

    Perfect: "A shame. I had thought the Bei Fong Syndicate had more to offer."

    Cyrus eyes found Blossom's for just a brief moment, and for the first time since meeting him she saw fear.

    Blossom: (Improvising) "Wait, maybe he knows something! We have ways to deal with spies."

    The cyborg stared at Blossom for a long moment in apparent surprise. And then he pulled the trigger.

    Perfect: "Yes. We do."

    Agent De Leon 'tsk'ed as the scene resolved, blood already beginning to pool on the bar floor, standing casually and holstering his plasma pistol.

    De Leon: "A shame we'll have to cut this short, then. I would advise leaving before Val City Police arrive. Don't forget: Ten credits."

    Stepping over the body, Agent Perfect grunted and stared at Blossom just a little longer before following Agent De Leon out the back door. The Bartender had fled at some point, nowhere to be seen.

    Thunder: "Hell of an introduction."

    Hellfire: "Shut up."

    Trigger: "...Not sure about you guys, but I'm gonna catch a train and visit home for a few days while this blows over."

    Blossom: (taking the curtain down and wrapping Cyrus' head with the cloth)"...Well, come on. We can't just leave him here."

    Hellfire: "...Yeah, I am not helping you guys move a body. I need a drink."

    (Trigger and Hellfire exeunt.)

    Thunder: "You want to ship him back to Sung City? I...might know a guy."

    Blossom: "You've got a side car. We can load him up in the alley."

    Thunder nodded and left to pull his motorcycle around back, before he and Blossom could load Cyrus' corpse in the side car. Fortunately they managed to make it look almost inconspicuous; the curtain was dark enough that the blood didn't show, and he looked almost peacefully sleeping there in the side car, wrapped in a hooded cloak for warmth. Making sure one last time that no one was looking, Thunder drove out with Blossom riding behind him.

    Wracking his brain for Night Market meeting places in Val City, Thunder finally managed to track down old Slimy Steve, a graver posing as a bum. The man was shocked to see his own boss in the bag, but after some discussion they arranged to have Mr. Ahu returned home for burial.

    A shame. They may not have liked him much, but Cyrus was never really their enemy. They drove back to Freeport; it was almost three in the morning by now, and they badly needed rest after tonight.
    Last edited by BladeofObliviom; 2016-12-15 at 01:37 PM.
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  17. - Top - End - #47
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkstar View Post
    This is a fun read. I'm glad I found it before it got too big and scared me away! I hope you continue, though Buddy not being a regular will be sad.

    Also - animal-themed quad mechs are best with rockets mounted on the haunches.
    Buddy's player here! I'm hoping to participate in future meetings with Skype when I'm out of town.

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    Also, if I recall correctly, the enemies never made their armor saves against my pistol, which has AP -1.
    Last edited by Dr. LAW Mundy; 2017-01-26 at 06:49 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. LAW Mundy View Post
    Buddy's player here! I'm hoping to participate in future meetings with Skype when I'm out of town.

    Also, if I recall correctly, the enemies never made their armor saves against my pistol, which has AP -1.
    I am really hoping that, as you appear in more games, you end up being the most accomplished person on the team just by dumb luck of the dice.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    He's still higher on the Concord scoreboard than half of the core party by virtue of last-hitting like it's a MOBA.


    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by TriggerGunther View Post
    Which means I have to spend so much more on repairs than everyone else that it's hard to upgrade.
    For the record, you guys were the ones who decided to split mission rewards evenly before accounting for potentially uneven costs. I originally suggested tabulating your costs before dividing the net profit.
    Last edited by BladeofObliviom; 2016-12-16 at 02:39 AM.
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  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Chimera

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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    For the record, you guys were the ones who decided to split mission rewards evenly before accounting for potentially uneven costs. I originally suggested tabulating your costs before dividing the net profit.
    You did suggest that? Because i was about to suggest that at the next meeting.


    edit:
    ALSO, WHO WANTS A MAP?!

    Blade totally forgot to post this in the main post last I checked
    Last edited by TriggerGunther; 2016-12-16 at 12:03 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    PaladinGuy

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    Post Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Well, it's certainly interesting to see an ongoing campaign log
    with many of the players present. Rather unprecedented, honestly.
    I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist.
    I'm still looking forward to continuous updates, as well as seeing how this villain receives his retribution.
    Even if it's rather anticlimactic. I can settle.
    Thank you for reading this, and I hope you have a better day!
    Also, I have a long history of leaving hidden messages in my posts.
    Last edited by IntelectPaladin; 2016-12-16 at 11:55 AM.
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  22. - Top - End - #52
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkstar View Post
    I am really hoping that, as you appear in more games, you end up being the most accomplished person on the team just by dumb luck of the dice.
    I'm fully expecting extra bad rolls on my end in the next mission to compensate for all of the snake eyes the enemies rolled on the first mission. So many snake eyes.
    Last edited by Dr. LAW Mundy; 2017-01-26 at 06:49 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Griffon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. LAW Mundy View Post
    I'm fully expecting extra bad rolls on my end in the next mission to compensate for all of the snake eyes the enemies rolled on the first mission. So many snake eyes.
    And I hope that you roll only boxcars, and your foes roll only snake eyes. Become greatest Ranked AC pilot by luck alone.

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkstar View Post
    And I hope that you roll only boxcars, and your foes roll only snake eyes. Become greatest Ranked AC pilot by luck alone.
    Except on enemy armor saves. Roll ones all day on those

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriggerGunther View Post
    edit:
    ALSO, WHO WANTS A MAP?!

    Blade totally forgot to post this in the main post last I checked
    I didn't forget, posting it would have included an implicit promise to keep it updated with new locations. >.>

    Quote Originally Posted by IntelectPaladin View Post
    Well, it's certainly interesting to see an ongoing campaign log
    with many of the players present. Rather unprecedented, honestly.
    I wasn't expecting it either! I linked it because I figured "Hey, I'm writing about people I know, and who doesn't like reading about themselves?"

    And then a couple of them registered accounts to comment...


    Quote Originally Posted by IntelectPaladin View Post
    I'm still looking forward to continuous updates, as well as seeing how this villain receives his retribution.
    What, corporate spooks for the Hell-themed Company full of mad scientists who don't respect the bodily autonomy of others come across as antagonistic? Noooo...

    (To be fair, all of the big corporations are evil to some degree, but DIS really is a cut above in showing it off. >.>)
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  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    What, corporate spooks for the Hell-themed Company full of mad scientists who don't respect the bodily autonomy of others come across as antagonistic? Noooo...

    (To be fair, all of the big corporations are evil to some degree, but DIS really is a cut above in showing it off. >.>)
    Yeah, this is a setting where two corporations, one with Slavery, indentured servitude and Janissaries and the other being the YAKUZA/TRIAD are the LEAST evil people.

    We also have:
    - less genocidal Enclave (New Rhodes... or whats left of NORAD)
    - the company that makes terrifying bioweapons in their secret applied biodynamics corporation (CT)
    -Phyrexian/Demon/Vampire/Machine Cultists/Doom 4 UAC (DIS)
    - I have no idea what Spiral Tech is hiding but it's supposedly worse than Bei-Fong and KROSSCorp
    Last edited by TriggerGunther; 2016-12-16 at 04:22 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Default Re: Hot Mech-on-Mech Action: A Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by TriggerGunther View Post
    Yeah, this is a setting where two corporations, one with Slavery, indentured servitude and Janissaries and the other being the YAKUZA/TRIAD are the LEAST evil people.

    We also have:
    - less genocidal Enclave (New Rhodes... or whats left of NORAD)
    - the company that makes terrifying bioweapons in their secret applied biodynamics corporation (CT)
    -Phyrexian/Demon/Vampire/Machine Cultists/Doom 4 UAC (DIS)
    - I have no idea what Spiral Tech is hiding but it's supposedly worse than Bei-Fong and KROSSCorp
    Can I vote that you wreck that company before they open a hell-portal? Just for a change of pace?
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  28. - Top - End - #58
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    For the record, you guys were the ones who decided to split mission rewards evenly before accounting for potentially uneven costs. I originally suggested tabulating your costs before dividing the net profit.

    Personally, I think we should divide rewards after making all repairs.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    Can I vote that you wreck that company before they open a hell-portal? Just for a change of pace?
    I'm sure that if they open up a hell portal, one of their man and half, half machine 12.0 on the 10.0 scale of badness Human Plus subjects will clear the facility with just a chaingun and HIS HANDS.

    that's your spinal cord baby, dig it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. LAW Mundy View Post
    Personally, I think we should divide rewards after making all repairs.
    You're just saying that because you've got even less hit points than me. :P

  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriggerGunther View Post
    You're just saying that because you've got even less hit points than me. :P

    I guess you can say that. Honestly, my playstyle is meant to preserve as many hit points as possible, mainly with careful spacing and awareness of the surroundings.

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