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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default The Market Rates You Dead

    It's been a long time in coming, but here it is. A journal chronicling the adventures of a rag-tag group of misfits who were sent out to mess with canon, abuse meta-physics and generally be a fly in bad guy's ears. We're talking about the Insurance Adjusters of the Addleton Inter-galactic Insurance Agency.

    For a low, low price of [insert exorbitant amount here] you can take out an AIIA insurance policy. This policy doesn't provide cash benefits to your surviving family members should an accident befall you. This is insurance. Should an accident befall you, one of our highly-trained Adjusters will be right out to mess with the time-stream and fix/undo the damage. You'll never have to worry about dieing young ever again!

    But before we get into the tales of the AIIA, we need to look at the three sessions that gave rise to the concept, because the AIIA campaign grew out of the wacky highjinks of two poorly run newbie GM sessions. What started as a rocky experience gave rise to a lot of great times. So grab some popcorn, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

    Spoiler: Mission 0:
    Show

    This session doesn't directly connect to anything else, but it is the foundation of the later campaign. A newbie GM asked me and another player to try out a modified version of the Freeform / Universal system. It was originally supposed to be just a short fetch quest: journey across the city, make a few checks, get an overdue library book and return it to the library. Sufficient to say, things did not go as planned and not in a good way.

    The party consisted of two PCs: Ray, a layabout fisherman who had a modified fishing rod for combat, and Lisa, a mage who ran the town library. I played Lisa.

    I don't remember too much about this mission except that it spun out of control very quickly. I was the only one with RP experience and it showed. Ray's Player latched onto a crazy idea that the book was actually a treasure map. The GM liked the idea and ad-libbed some pirates into the scene. There was a lot of fighting, the strange appearance of a monster sea serpent (which Ray was able to befriend because fisherman) and it became as convoluted as the Spider-Man Clone Saga.

    This session was foreshadowing in a sense. The random absurdity of the overall situation took its toll on Lisa's sanity. At the end of the session she snapped and went homicidal. All she wanted was to reclaim an overdue library book. Instead she got werewolf pirates.


    Relevant Out of Context Quotes: Quotes 1, Quotes 2, Quotes 3,

    Spoiler: Mission 0A
    Show

    After a few months, the GM asked us to try again. We switched systems, although I don't remember which one we used. We rebooted the universe into a generic fantasy session, kept the character names but tweaked their skills and personalities. Ray became a nobleman who used a rapier, I think. I rolled the previous session into Lisa's backstory and established that she had become quite proficient at finding ingenious ways to kill people. She became an assassin on the employ of the king.

    The session opened with Ray ransoming a noblewoman. Lisa was hidden in the shadows with instructions to kill the kidnappers. Ray botched the ransom and things devolved into a Scooby-Doo chase before resolving in a hostage standoff. Lisa used a wind enchantment to turn a ruby into a makeshift bullet and the kidnapper was force-fed his ransom demands at high velocity.

    The rescued noblewoman promptly fell in love with Ray and wouldn't believe that he didn't share her love.

    A BBEG was introduced. Ray and Lisa were tasked with finding a way to kill him since the guy was effectively immortal. Lisa studied the enchantments and short-circuited the entire adventure when she realized that the BBEG wasn't protected against poison. It seemed like a silly oversight, but she took advantage of it and killed him.

    At the end of the session, it was joked that Ray and Lisa were the same Ray and Lisa as the first session. They were just inter-dimensional, time-traveling buddy cops. That joke planted the seed for the big campaign.


    Relevant Out of Context Quotes: Quotes 1

    Spoiler: Mission 1
    Show

    With this session, the game world/setting was completely fleshed out. The joke from last session about Ray and Lisa being time-traveling buddy-cops was fleshed out and made canon. It was established that the two were 'Insurance Adjusters' in the employ of the Addleton Intergalactic Insurance Agency (AIIA). John Addleton was the first in the multiverse to invent inter-dimensional time-travel. Since he could hop to any point in time on any world, John set up an insurance agency that sold protection policies. If something untoward happened to you, like getting killed, and you had an AIIA policy, then an Insurance Adjuster would be dispatched to undo or prevent your death.

    This was a shakedown mission, so it wasn't anything too complex. Mostly we were testing how well a mish-mash of technology and magic and settings would work. We were dispatched to a steampunk universe to prevent the death of a wealthy man's son. He was kidnapped, killed, our job was to prevent it.

    The overall session was like a buddy-cop action movie. Ray, if you hadn't figured it out by now, was pure comic relief-- save for one moment at the end when he got his hands on the kidnapper and went absolutely nuclear on the guy's face. We learned then that you never threaten children when Ray is around. He was the party face. Lisa, on the other hand, was a straight-up combat build. Her job was to kill things so dead that they stopped being a problem. She liked her job. She was good at it.

    Highlights from this mission include Ray trying to distract the kidnapper, and everyone else, by having a 'potty emergency' complete with 'potty dance' in the middle of a crowded vestibule. Ray getting a rhino drunk to sabotage an act and stage a rescue and Lisa out-badassing the circus performers and mowing down a room full of zombies. (The Big Bag turned out to be a necromancer.)

    After some circus hijinks and liberal abuse of the surrounding environment to imprison the necromancer, we proved that the idea was viable. We'd had a successful session. While things were still rather bare-bones and minimal, we'd shown that the group could work. Things would only improve from here.


    Relevant Out of Context Quotes: Quotes 1, Quotes 2
    Last edited by D.KnightSpider; 2018-02-26 at 11:00 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Spoiler: Mission 2 AKA Operation: Endangered Fruit-skin
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    This mission introduced pony elements to the campaign for reasons that will become evident later. According to our briefing, at a spring festival Shining Armor met his demise by slipping on a banana peel and falling down a flight of stairs. All the initial evidence indicated that his death was due to a Discord prank gone wrong. Lisa and Ray were dispatched to change history and prevent Shining Armor's death.

    We popped back a few hours before Shining Armor's death. Upon arrival in the pony-verse, we were confronted with several problems. The first being that the pony-verse doesn't allow non-ponies to exist within it. Ray and Lisa were immediately ponified and this caused them no end of trouble. Ray got a yellow body with a black mane. Lisa was red mane on pink body. As a joke the GM gave her a guillotine Cutie Mark.

    The other problem that confronted the team was that you couldn't directly, physically kill anything. The universe literally would not allow for such action and something would always, always happen to prevent a murder from taking place. This neutered Lisa's effectiveness. She was not amused.

    Initial recon didn't turn up any leads and our investigations of the scene of the impending crime revealed no banana-peel. The stage and stairs were free of slippery fruit skins. We made contact with Shining Armor and Cadance. They weren't amused with the situation but saw no reason to cancel the festival. After all, they were paying us for protection so what was there to worry about?

    We kept checking the stairs and investigating the surrounding ponies. Still no banana peel. Discord was around and causing minor chaos but didn't seem to be an active threat. We tried to follow up on the angle that Discord might have been the cause of it. Ray got the job of dealing with Discord while Lisa tried talking the situation through with Twilight.

    Discord was indignant that someone would try to frame him for Shining Armor's death in such a boring manner. If he was going to kill Shining Armor, and he most definitely wasn't, then he'd do in a more befitting manner. Ray paid special attention to the way that Discord's magic worked.

    We met up, compared notes and that led into Ray's Eureka moment: teleportation. What if someone teleported a banana peel underneath Shining Armor's hoof when he was ascending the staircase? It would get around the 'No Kill' rule, cause Shining Armor's death and frame Discord all in one go. We were out of time so we had to run with his hunch.

    Working with Twilight, we set up a bounce-back teleportation shield around the stage and staircase.

    Sure enough, mid-ceremony there was a magical backlash. A dark gray pony with wild rose-colored mane wound up with banana-peel on her face as her teleportation spell backfired and her slippery murder weapon was rejected and marked 'Return to Sender'. Ray's guess had been spot-on.

    We gave chase to the pony, learning that her name was Nightshade Bloom along the way. Nightshade tried to evade our pursuit by eviscerating the side of a skyscraper and dropping rubble between us. Lisa broke off the chase to avoid being pancake'd while Ray tried to dive through the rubble. A few failed checks later and Ray was literally killed by falling rocks. It was a painful moment as we experienced our first PC death of the campaign. Lisa was none too happy about Ray's passing given that she'd known him her entire life and there were some romantic sparks between the two of them.

    To his credit, Ray's player took the death in stride and laughed it off. I learned later that it was planned, to an extent, because the player had an idea revolving around resurrection that he wanted to explore.

    Lisa managed to track down Nightshade. She didn't have the time or inclination to figure out any way around the 'Thou-Shalt-Not-Kill' rule and settled for beating Nightshade to within an inch of her life. Nightshade was hauled back to Cadance and Shining Armor for incarceration/punishment. Accounts were settled and the mission closed out.

    Lisa retrieved Ray's pony body and warped back to the Agency, where they prepared to do some MAD SCIENCE on his corpse.


    Relevant Out of Context Quotes: Here
    Last edited by D.KnightSpider; 2018-02-27 at 10:52 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: The Market Rates You Dead

    That's certainly a unique campaign premise.

    I'm surprised that you you were able to visit Equestria at all. If the world actively prevents murder, you'd think that insurance representatives would be outright banned, along with lawyers, politicians, and used car(t?) salesmen.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: The Market Rates You Dead

    Flim and Flam prove that Equestria has nothing against con artists. ;)

    Spoiler: Mission 3 AKA Operation: Memory Wipe
    Show
    The session opened at the R&D division of the Addleton Intergalactic Insurance Agency. Their head scientist, known only as 'R', was hard at work reviving Ray. Or trying to. It turned out that Ray was beyond saving. So R did the next best thing. R created a Clone Of Ray, named, creatively enough, Corey. Corey was equipped with a Bionic Commando-esque Bionic Arm. He was also given Ray's memories-- the hitch was that Ray was fairly lax about backing up his memories so the mind-scan given to Corey was several years out of date.

    In case you haven't noticed, Ray's player likes to be comic relief. He'll take the most outlandish concepts and make them work. The idea behind this one was that Corey would constantly be getting into trouble because he couldn't remember what was what. The execution of this concept was... less than stellar. The player was unable to separate the two mindsets and having a PC who is perpetually behind everything can get very tiring very quickly. The memory issue was eventually undone and hand waved away.

    We were given our next mission to an outpost in the Mass Effect universe. Which was a bit of wasted potential as we didn't run into any canon characters but no great loss for me since I wasn't overly familiar with that franchise. We were given the name of our contact, Jason Reeve, and told that the entire outpost was going to explode in a few days. Initial reports indicated that Jason, himself, was responsible for sabotaging the core and destroying the outpost. We were supposed to find out what actually happened and determine if this was some sort of fraud ploy.

    Lisa and Corey jumped to the outpost and met up with Jason Reeve. Jason was a councilman who turned out to be less than normal, acting erratically and most definitely paranoid. He was jumping at shadows and extremely suspicious of us. We were unable to get into his good graces and promptly thrown out on the street.

    Investigating Jason's recent life revealed that his paranoia and erratic behavior began a week ago after surviving a car bombing. We began looking into the car bombing as well as trying to determine why anyone would want Jason dead. After all, it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you.

    Our seek 'n find eventually revealed that Jason was a strong believer in the paranormal and that he was convinced there were alien life forms out there of which the galaxy was unaware. He dedicated a lot of time and resources to finding these alien life forms. At first, we assumed that we were dealing with a Reaper sub-plot but that didn't fit his inane ramblings.

    We broke into the apartment of Jason's driver and began searching the place. We turned up evidence that Jason was right. His driver's body had been hijacked by an alien Men In Black-style. We took him out but the damage was done. There was a psychic link connecting the aliens. They knew that they had been discovered and launched their assault early. The entire city turned into a war-zone.

    Corey and Lisa split up. Lisa went to try and kill the alien general (kill the head and the snake dies) while Corey went to keep Jason from blowing up the colony. This was where Corey really hit his combat stride. Between his bionic arm and new build, Corey was able to leap-frog across the city taking out dragons and aliens with ease. He reached Jason and subdued him.

    Lisa had her hands full. She was one regular old human against a horde of aliens. Complicating matters, and making it weird, was that the Iron Monger from Iron Man showed up on the battlefield defending the alien leader. After going a few rounds, Lisa stole an RPG Launcher from an alien, slid around to the back of the Iron Monger and fired an RPG point-blank down the back of the Iron Monger's collar. The resulting explosion destroyed the Iron Monger but also caused Lisa to perform the 'Sawing A Woman in Two' magic trick without the magic or the illusion. She was down for the count and bleeding out.

    This was where two other PCs entered the scene: Holly, an anthropomorphic cat from the Star Fox universe, and Hawthorne, a generic DnD cleric. Holly as doubled up and played by Corey's player. Hawthorne was played by a new player who didn't take to the experience. (This was justified as Lisa taking out an insurance policy on herself, therefore the Agency was obligated to send relief lest Lisa die.)

    The two crashed the party. Holly, piloting an airship, started lighting up the sky, blowing aliens up left and right. She got into an argument with Corey when it was revealed that Ray had dated her once upon a time. Corey, of course, didn't remember any of it and that ticked off the feline something fierce. Hawthorne patched up Lisa and prevented her from dying.

    Corey and Holly stormed across the city and confronted the general. Together, they managed to put him down when Holly shot him from across a plaza and reduced his head to a fine mist. They then found the machine maintaining the aliens psychic link and shut it down. The aliens weren't able to function without their hive mind and couldn't handle their newfound independence. They were easy pickings and the regular authorities managed to mop them up.

    The irony that Lisa nearly died so soon after Ray's passing was noticed by everyone. They picked her up and took her back to the Agency where it was her turn to undergo reconstructive surgery. With her new enhancements, Lisa was able to give new meaning to the term 'Kick Chick'.


    Relevant Out Of Context Quotes: Here and Here.
    Last edited by D.KnightSpider; 2018-03-06 at 10:13 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Spoiler: Mission 4 AKA Operation: A Paradox Upon Thee!
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    This... this is where things started getting fun-- in a good way.

    At this point, Gumdrop entered the game. This mission was specifically set up to introduce Gumdrop to the cast and give him a reason to join the Agency. Gumdrop is a OoTS Flumph, gourmet chef and all around good guy. Gumdrop's initial schtick was unfamiliarity with human customs and traditions which resulted in some rather interesting takes on our situation.

    Following her bisection, Lisa was turned into a cyborg in the same vein as Ray. Her lower half was replaced with robot legs that were intended to be super-strong and resilient. It took a little while for Lisa to catch her combat stride, but when she became quite effective.

    Ray and Lisa were dispatched to a village of Flumphs to protect them from an extinction event. At first, it looked like they were going to be turned into Flumphs for the duration of the mission. Then, R found a way around the forced conversion and we were allowed to keep our human forms upon entry to the Flumph Zone.

    The client in question was a Flumph named 'Goody Goody Gumdrop' who went by the name of '3G'. He seemed like a decent sort. Unfortunately, 3G's brother wasn't of the decent sort. Two-Shoes Gumdrop was an enforcer for the mob and the mob wasn't too keen on Insurance Adjusters poking around the area. Two-Shoes showed up to gun us down but wound up on the receiving end of a piercing super-kick. This gave 3G a lot of incentive to leave town in a hurry.

    Of course, we still had a job to do. We began poking around the town and checking into the impending extinction event. Our only lead was the rash of Flumph disappearances, but we couldn't turn up any clues. We were completely stumped. There wasn't any scientific research, ancient ruin or forbidden temples anywhere near the area. No evil cults. Nothing. Even the mob connection went nowhere. So we began probing for biological agents and pending epidemics. That's when we hit pay-dirt... and alien goo.

    It turned out that one of the Flumphs wasn't a Flumph. It was a Thing-- the alien life form from the horror movie. We cornered it, only for the wretched thing to manifest the Venom Symbiote from Spider-Man. A brief battle ensued but the slippery thing escaped. Now that we knew what we were up against, we were able to work backward to the Thing's original arrival. If we could prevent that, then the entire mess would be averted. The Thing arrived via meteor several weeks back.

    This left us with the problem of how you killed something that was effectively immortal. The answer we arrived at was 'nuclear bomb'. Hey, if it worked in Aliens then it should work on the Thing. All we needed was a nuke. And I had a plan for that.

    (Around this time the concept of Corey was done away with. An amnesiac PC was causing a lot of friction and frustration and so Ray's memories returned in full.)

    At the time, I had just finished reading a Star Trek book about Captain Kirk attempting to prevent a nuclear war on an alien planet. At one point in the plot, the nukes were launched, armed and ready to detonate. We could hop over to that dimension and 'borrow' one-- since one less nuke wasn't going to make that much difference in the scheme of things.

    We popped over to the Enterprise, beamed down to a nuke, teleported ourselves and the nuke back to the Flumph-verse on a course and trajectory to intercept the original Thing!Venom meteor. At that point, the GM and I pulled a fast one on Ray as Lisa was revealed to be Thing!Venom. While Ray and 3G tried to prevent Thing!Venom from disabling the nuke, enough of Lisa' mind survived inside Thing!Venom for her to corrupt the beast from the inside. (Mixing Venom with the Thing was actually fairly clever of the GM as it insured that if one of us was absorbed by the Thing we'd still be able to contribute to the final battle.)

    After a climactic battle, the nuke hits the meteor which causes a thousand paradoxes in an instant. Since the meteor never impacted Flumph-villed, the Flumphs never faced an extinction event, which meant that Ray and Lisa were never dispatched to fix the problem, Lisa never died and Ray never actually survived his trip through a nuclear black hole. And since we didn't actually do any of the plot, we were shortchanged rewards and pay for the experience.

    Sometimes, being a multi-dimensional insurance agent really stank.


    Relevant Out of Context Quotes: Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here
    Last edited by D.KnightSpider; 2018-03-22 at 09:00 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    And this is the point where everyone's favorite pun-slinging Equine joined the team: The Masked Matter-Horn.

    Spoiler: Mission 5 AKA Operation Bond (Glue) Girl
    Show

    Now that Gumdrop had been recruited, the team really wanted some ranged support. But the fourth player we'd recruited for that role backed out at the last moment; so I threw together a PC in a few seconds and 'bam', we were in business.

    We opened up with 'R' explaining that someone else was monkeying about with time, space and the multiverse and that was bad for business. In response, R was putting together a task force to address the issue. Ray and Lisa would be spearhead the mission, Gumdrop would play the role of a healer and a new member would provide ranged and tactical support: the Masked Matter-Horn.

    Yes, that one. (I said I threw the PC together in a few seconds.)

    We were also outfitted with a mobile command center disguised as a Dodge Van. The van came equipped with an AI, named Sprocket, and a load of Transformers Tech that gave us a nifty amount of firepower and a Hulkbuster mode. The Van was linked to Lisa's biomatrix and considered hers because... she paid for most of it.

    Once we'd all been drafted for the job, we were dispatched to the source of a latest temporal anomaly: the world of James Bond. Bond had gone mission/been captured and as a paying client, it was our job to rescue him.

    We dropped down in the middle of a high-tech heist and set about cleaning house. Throughout the entire battle, the team was engaging in casual danger dialogue about the odds of Bond seducing one of the team. Gumdrop was confused about the whole thing. Matter-horn was indignant that Bond might not have equine tastes and Lisa was amused by Ray's attempts to stir the pot.

    The fight spilled over into a roadway chase that left all but one of the robbers incapacitated. Some intimidation on said robber and forensic work on the surviving wreckage gave us the name and location of an illegal arms dealer, Gregor, who had ties to the same group, presumably, holding Bond. We loaded up and staged an attack on Gregor's facility.

    With a balanced team, combat went much more smoothly as we were able to find and fill our niches. This was when everyone really started coming into their own combat-wise.

    We located Gregor's mainframe and cross-referenced the information. We learned that Gregor had a deal to sell nuclear material to Shock Jock, a lackey of the big bad. This gave rise to an 'infiltrate and assassinate' plan. Ray and Lisa took out Gregor. Ray assumed Gregor's identity (no one on the team felt bad about his death given he also engaged in human smuggling) while Lisa took on the role of his secretary.

    Of course, Shock Jock doesn't trust us, the deal goes bad and yet another car chase ensues. During the scuffle and chase, Lisa was thrown from the van and captured by Shock Jock. This was all part of the plan, because, by now, the dice were hot on our side and we were actually employing strategy.

    Lisa was taken back to Generic Evil Castle Lair #7. Meanwhile, Ray, Matter-Horn and Gumdrop prepared for a full assault on the base. They loaded up on ammunition and prepared to put Sprocket through his paces. They also set up a makeshift ramp to get them over the Castle Walls and sent a demand that Shock Jock surrender. Shock Jock refused.

    Then, came go time.

    Lisa killed her guards and made for her escape. She located where Bond was and set off to rescue him. Meanwhile, Gumdrop jammed their radios rendering them unable to communicate, the team launched the Van over the castle walls and started annihilating everything in their path.

    Lisa blazed a trail of destruction to Bond, grabbed him and ejected the two of them through an upper-story window. Matter-horn created an ice ramp for the two to slide down into the Van and Ray drove the Van like a champ. Bond was poisoned and unconscious, leaving Gumdrop with his hands full stabilizing him.

    The Big Bad sent Generic Doomsday Weapon #9 after us, which was an ion/particle cannon of some sort. After playing Dodge the Death Ray for a few moments, Ray the PC remembers that we have a chunk of nuclear material sitting in the back seat. We charge the cannon and Ray uses his bionic arm to slam-dunk the nuclear material into the jaws of the particle accelerator.

    We get the heck out of there as the entire place erupts in a universe-shattering kaboom. Bond is dropped off at MI6 and we're cleared to return to the Agency.

    Strangely, we never found any trace of the Entity messing with the multiverse. It was almost as if the entire mission was a shakedown run to get the team working together.


    Relevant Quotes: Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: The Market Rates You Dead

    These campaign logs are awesome and hilarious, and the no-context quote lists just make it even better. I wish my gaming group could produce one-liners like that even halfway as consistently.

    Keep up the great work.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Spoiler: Mission 6: Power Pony Up!
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    An intermission session played out before the next mission: Matter-horn had a date with Ray while Gumdrop and Lisa discussed her future plans to emulate Darth Vader (Quiet, you peeps from Celestia's Finest.). Then, it was time to get to the next mission. Things between Matter-horn and Ray were moving a bit too quickly for anyone's liking so when R came by with the next mission, we locked, loaded and jumped without asking for details. This came back to bite us in the flank... literally... as the entire group was ponified once again.

    If you're wondering why we kept getting ponified, then congratulations. You're miles ahead of the party in terms of figuring out the plot.

    Because we'd left so hurriedly, no one realized that we'd be ponies when we arrived. This sparked a bit of IC confusion and frustration.
    Fortunately, we weren't dumped in Equestria again. The GM decided that it would be funny to kick the team to the Power Ponies' world, and thus began a long mission of gags and musical adaptation. This culminated in a rather epic moment when the party pulled a fast one on Ray. Everyone acted as though he had become a pony mare instead of a pony stallion. The poor guy believed it for a few minutes.

    We began recon and hooked up with the Masked Matter-horn's friendly neighborhood reporter/informant (every good Silver Age hero has one). The contact, Becky Bale, immediately became smitten and spent every scene hitting on Gumdrop. Did I mention that Gumdrop was engaged? Because he was engaged. That made things awkward. We found out about a five-alarm fire across town. The team sprang into action to establish a name for ourselves and do some do-gooding-- or practice kicking down doors in Lisa's case. Or bucking down doors. Since she was no longer bipedal.

    Becky grabbed some pictures of our daring do while we put out the fire with some assistance from Iron Mare. In this dimension, it turned out that Iron Mare wasn't Tony Stark but Pepper Potts. Then it got weirder. It was the same Pepper Potts from the MCU. Apparently, Pepper was originally a pony who fell through a crack in space-time and fell for Tony Stark. Now, she bounced back and forth between dimensions on a whim. It was inter-species romance all over the place.

    After a bit more detective work, we found out that Pepper Potts wasn't just here on vacation. She was tracking an elusive criminal from the MCU-realm known as the Living Laser. The Living Laser's schtick is that he's a laser who's living. He can turn into a beam of light and cut through anything. This, naturally, makes him somewhat hard to stop. Fortunately, the Living Laser has a fatal weakness to mirrors and so we decided to set up a mirror-trap, lure him out and snag him with the power of Disco.

    No, I'm not making that up.

    During our prep time, we had a bit of soap opera as Fashion Statement and Lisa broke the news that Lisa once had a crush on Ray. Ray was oblivious to her feelings this entire time. In the midst of this unresolved sexual tension, Gumdrop had enough of the therapy session and locked himself in the kitchen. Ray was very pointed that no one should go in there lest they lose their eyeballs.

    Becky Bale gave us a tip on a guy who knew where the Living Laser was. It was a straightforward jaunt from thereon out as everyone rolled really, really well. We found the snitch and kidnapped him. He initially refused to talk, so Gumdrop maced him. Repeatedly. Until he broke down and spilled the beans. Nobody could believe that our na´ve little squid had this sort of evil within him, but we couldn't argue with the results. (This, coincidently, was why Ray told us not to enter the kitchen. Gumdrop was cooking Mace.) Fortunately, it turned out to be a small misunderstanding. Gumdrop, being a squid unfamiliar with the ways of the multiverse, didn't realize how painful Mace to the face was. He felt really bad about it afterward.

    Nevertheless, we had our information. The group raided the Living Laser's hide-out, drew him out into the open and then trapped him in an oversized, inside-out mirror-ball. The fight went so smoothly and followed the plan so precisely that it was almost anti-climactic. Nevertheless, with the Living Laser contained, our job was done. Gumdrop managed to talk things out with Becky Bale. They parted on amiable terms and the team loaded up in the van, Sprocket.

    Sprocket tried to jump us to the Agency, and we immediately realized that there was a slight problem.

    We weren't in Kansas any more.


    Out of Context Quotes: Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Spoiler: Mission 7: Alien Carnage -- Part 1
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    Instead of warping home post-Power Pony excursion, the party wound up in some sort of downtown, metropolis area. It didn't take long to discover that the inter-dimensional jump-drive had been sabotaged. Not only had it deposited us upon some random world (thankfully, the safety features were left intact and prevented us from experiencing the joys of explosive decompression by warping us into deep space) but it was no longer functional. We wouldn't be going home any time soon.

    We were stranded on a strange world, shrouded in fog, without any kind of support structure. Worse yet, screams were coming from the fog. A quick investigation revealed that a group of civilians were fleeing from what we assumed were zombies. Cue heroic intervention. Cue shocking revelation that the zombies weren't actually zombies but Chrysalid hosts. No sooner had we decapitated one than did a host of Chrysalids pop out of the zombies chest-burster style. After a bit of a fight, we cleared them out and rescued the city.

    Ray was quick to inform us that we'd been dumped on an X-COM world and needed to beware of psychics and aliens.

    We were left with a bit of a quandary, however. Without a support structure or working Jump/Warp Drive, we were, literally, murder-hobos. We set up shop at an abandoned warehouse, carved out some territory and spent a few days gaining food and shelter. Ray and Lisa became adept at dumpster-diving and Ray took to the lifestyle a little too well. He announced his intention to retire from the life of an adventurer and take up being a professional bum. Matter-horn and Gumdrop were left moping around the base since they stood out like sore thumb. Apparently, their Image Inducers didn't work in the X-COM world.

    After a bit, FS and Gumdrop got fed up waiting around. They disguised themselves and set off to make some real money. FS parlayed her fashion sensibilities into a designing job that paid rather well. (After nearly giving away the disguise because she didn't have hands with which to sign the contract) This, naturally, split the party down the center. Ray and Lisa were left with a warehouse while FS and Gumdrop had much better accommodations upstate.

    Ray and Lisa kept plugging away at fixing the Jump/Warp Drive but were stymied. It turns out that most junkyards and dumpsters don't contain precision dimensional-hopping instruments or parts. After a bit, a UFO appeared overhead. Lisa saw this as an opportunity to acquire some high-technological Stocking Stuffers and proposed a raid on the alien ship.

    While Ray and Lisa were off storming the unidentified flying object, Fashion and Gumdrop were drawn into battle when an unidentified flying object exploded against the wall of their apartment. Debris went flying everywhere. After digging themselves out of the crumbling wall, Fashion and Gumdrop found themselves face-to-face with an X-COM squad-- who promptly hit them with Tasers, believing them to be alien life forms. They weren't entirely wrong.

    Ray and Lisa cleared out the UFO. Gumdrop and Fashion Statement woke up in X-COM Alien Containment. Ray and Lisa found out that because they were equipped with cybernetics, the rules of X-COM wouldn't allow them to psychically control the UFO. Gumdrop and Fashion found out that a killer Flumph had invaded X-COM's world. Ray and Lisa wrecked the ship and sent it on a crash-course with Los Angelus. Fashion and Gumdrop found out that they were scheduled for dissection.

    You could say we were having a bad day.

    Ray and Lisa as they disagreed about what to do. Lisa wanted to trip the UFO's self-destruct mechanism to create a black hole and warp out of the impending nuclear explosion. Ray wanted to hot-wire the engines so that the UFO flew into space and exploded. The argument turned into PvP as Ray and Lisa engaged in a fight to the death. Lisa's plan would wipe Los Angelus off the map. Ray's plan would assure his and Lisa's death. Neither side found the alternative acceptable.

    Eventually, Ray grabbed Lisa with his bionic arm and yanked her in close. He shoved an armed grenade into her face and blew them both to kingdom come. He detonated the engines, sending the UFO down into the sea instead of a heavily populated area. Half the party was dead due to irreconcilable differences and OoC, we were both satisfied with the end result.

    Gumdrop and Fashion Statement, meanwhile, were in trouble. At the last moment, however, Fashion Statement realized that, as the Masked Matter-Horn, her powers weren't psychic-based but genetics-based. Ergo, X-COM couldn't dampen them. She unleashed a lightning/snowstorm that shattered their containment pods and set them free. The two ran rampant across the base until they hijacked and sealed themselves inside the kitchen. There, Gumdrop worked his mojo and flooded the base with culinary delights. His cooking skills won over the soldiers and they threatened to mutiny unless Gumdrop was installed as the new head cook. It was every bit as surreal as it sounds.



    Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Elbeyon's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Market Rates You Dead

    Wow! That cliff hanger is something awesome. Gumdrop and Fashion statement sure are making the most of the current events. Cybernetics causing the ufo to reject Ray and Lisa gave me a good chuckle. It's good to know that the OoC between the two controlling players was done with good will.

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    D.KnightSpider's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Market Rates You Dead

    One month later, the story comes to an end!

    Spoiler: Mission 7/8: Operation Alien Carnage Part 2 & Mister Universe Competition
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    With Gumdrop hired by X-COM, the question arose of how Fashion Statement was going to pay for her room and board. After a bit of squabbling, it was decided that she could try her hoof at interrogation. This was fortuituous since Gumdrop's wayward brother had been captured by X-COM.

    We were also introduced to everyone's favorite smack-talking idiot dinosaur, Drex. Ray's player has a habit of creating bonkers, off-the-wall concepts and playing them unyieldingly straight. He did the same thing when creating Ray's replacement character. He created a hyper-intelligent raptor that had an overly literal mind. Drex' backstory was that he was genetically engineered dinosaur just lounging around in his habitat when a random time/space portal opened and dumped Drex in the X-COM kitchen. (I told you the concept was bonkers.)

    While Fashion Statement went to talk to Two-Shoes, Gumdrop and Drex, along with the rest of X-COM, went to secure the time-traveling, universe jumping van from the team's hobo-pad. Things didn't go as smoothly as planned. X-COM triggered the van's security features. Sprocket, the van's AI, went nuts and attempted to annihilate everyone. One very long drawn out battle ensued, during which we learned that the Van had a Hulkbuster mode, but the team eventually brought the van to heel. Gumdrop took ownership of Sprocket and brought him back to the base for repairs.

    Fashion Statement grilled Two-Shoes and found out that the squid didn't know much. After Gumdrop had disappeared from Flumph City, Two-Shoes was on the outs with the local crime syndicate. He was approached by a shadowy figure who offered him a fresh start and a new identity. The promise wasn't kept very well as Two-Shoes was set up as a hidden agent for X-ALT and given the task of killing X-COM agents. It wasn't much of a fresh start, but Two-Shoes didn't have any idea who the shadowy figure, codenamed 'Shade', was or how the figure jumped him between worlds.

    FS pried the location of a few X-ALT bases out of Two-Shoes and passed them along to the Commander. All throughout the interview, Two-Shoes was belligerent and felt no remorse for his actions. This culminated with Fashion Statement becoming the bases' morale officer when she spent five minutes tossing Two-Shoes around his containment field like nobody's business. Everyone found it very therapeutic.

    By now, everyone was exhausted, so they crashed for the night. Everyone but Drex. Apparently, genetically engineered dinosaurs don't need to sleep. Drex spent the night hours using his genius to repair the van's Jump Drive. Early the next morning, he roused Fashion and Gumdrop and the three put their heads together. While they could do a lot of good for X-COM, their ultimate loyalty was to shut down the Shade and save the multiverse. Further, all of them had a bad feeling about their relationship with X-COM command. X-COM was going to want the secrets of Agency technology and we couldn't give it to them.

    So as we went to sneak away into the multiverse, everything fell apart. Of course, X-COM was watching the van and they expected us to sneak away at the first opportunity. The team fought their way free of X-COM and jumped out of the X-COM universe. They made their way back home-- only to find that the Agency had been trashed and was in a dire state of repair. From the look of things, the Shade had visited the Agency, dropped a Berserk Hulk on the facility and ripped it apart.

    This gave rise to a Eureka Moment. If the Shade had torn apart the Agency, then that meant the Shade existed in the Agency timeline at some point in time. All we had to do was keep hopping backward in time and we could find the source of the trouble. So, we went to prepare. The team jumped around a bit to load up on supplies and allies, then jumped back along the Agency timeline to force a confrontation.

    We located the point where the Shade and the Hulk entered the timeline and set up four out assault. We visited a racetrack and got Sprocket up to speed before jumping to the point of the Agency's destruction. Just as the time/space portal opened to deposit the Berserk Hulk on the Agency, the Van sprang into existence. The Hulk took a van going 288 MPH to the face, which knocked him back through the portal and into the Shade's lair. The Hulk picked himself up, determined to rip us apart, and then took a super-strong hoof to the face as Saddle-Rager ejected from the back of the van.

    The group pinned down the Shade and the final fight ensued. We shut down Shade's illusion pretty quickly, revealing the Shade to be none other than a pony named Reality Warper. Reality Warper's Special Talent was getting involved in Crossovers (since MLP is infinitely crossover-able). But after getting involved in a Portal crossover, he snapped, use magic to freeze himself between universes and there he learned the truth of how things work. Throughout the entire fight, Reality Warper was spewing 'nonsense' about how everything wasn't real and just the product of imagination. He continually railed against 'they' and 'them' and about how 'they' would discard entire universes at a whim or once they grew bored of them. Needless to say, the fight was very meta out-of-character but in-character it sounded like RW had flipped his lid.

    Everyone got a good moment to shine during the final fight as we all broke out abilities that we'd been holding in reserve. Drex gained the ability to breath fire. Fashion Statement learned to super-charge her elemental rays and Gumdrop gained the ability to stun enemies over long distances. One frozen, flambe'd and stunning later and we beat down Reality Warper seconds before Saddle Rager prevailed over the hulk. We brought Reality Warper back to the Agency for containment and, since the multiverse was saved,n the party broke apart IC... because, OoC, real life was dictating that the group break up.

    Drex continued to travel the multiverse as an Agent. Gumdrop retired to build a restaurant and raise a family. Fashion Statement had earned enough money to continue financing the Power Ponies for a while.

    And that's the story of the Addleton Independent Insurance Agency. I hope you all had fun reading the journal. I had more than a bit of fun reliving some old memories as I put this together.


    Out of Context Quotes: Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Elbeyon's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Market Rates You Dead

    All the missions were a very enjoyable read. The game certainly went out on an inspired note. I did have fun reading the journal. Thanks for writing everything up.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Spamalot in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Market Rates You Dead

    The thought of a dinosaur fixing a Jumpdrive in a van... heh, original.
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