A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Well, not really.

I'm running a werewolf chronicle. We played a game in January that was a prelude. I think I posted about it, probably at length.. anyway, the mindset with it was that I had some people over, gave out pregens, and ran a werewolf game for a few hours. I wanted to see if people were interested in the system and the setting, and let people get a taste of the system before being asked to create characters. Cause "blind" character creation going into a story that I intend to run for a bit is the suck. First game went well, and we formed a plan to gather again. I gave everyone the option of creating a character from scratch, or reworking their pregen, or for the real slackers, coming up with a new name and writing it on their pregen character. Because we were now leaving behind the characters of the prelude and hopping into the characters of our main story. Which I've found works really well, by the way. Running a game somewhat like a book, where you sometimes get to see the world from the perspective of other people. Anyway, we played our first "main story" game, which went well, and then ran into some scheduling conflicts. Game 3 was going to be short on Maddie, and Game 4 was going to be short on Jerry and Andrew. So, to keep us all playing, and to keep the story moving around in our heads, I ran one-shot stories with pre-gen characters, all tied into our main story somehow. I'm loving it.

And back to where I started. Not really. Earlier today was Game 4, and since we were down Jerry and Andrew, I ran our available three players through a small story that was an offshoot of the main story.

See.. what's happening - and without going into too much detail, since some of my players might read this.. there is some bad stuff happening in werewolf world. The Pure are descending upon our fair city like a swarm of 9 foot tall, deadly locust. During Game 3, they played the part of some Ridden, or people who have been possessed and taken over by spirits. They're not "evil spirits", well, they were cockroach spirits. But their agenda involved some messiness that was pretty evil by our understanding. Anyway, it ties in because for some reason, part of this Pure invasion seems to be in some way supported by some denizens of the spirit world. In Game 4, they played wolf-blooded, people who are not werewolves, but carry some werewolf blood, and being a vital part of werewolf society. But wolf-blooded are by no means super-human. Actually they're very human, they just happen to know about the existence of werewolves. So I handed the characters out, and described how each one was in a pinch. Bill's character, an older, alcoholic detective, who I blame Frank Miller for, was on a stakeout, and watched his partner get gunned down, after some guys mistook his partner for him. Meanwhile, Maddie's character, who was an ER nurse, and who's brother was a werewolf, got a couple of phone calls, which she could not take, so she got a voicemail. Krissi's character got a phone call in the middle of the night, asking "Is this Meredith Hart?" (her character's name), to which she replied, "Yes", and the line went dead. Then someone kicked in the front door of her brownstone. Oh, and someone threw a molotov cocktail into her front window. Meanwhile back at the hospital, Maddie's character had become somewhat un-busy, and so checked her voicemail, and had an urgent message from her brother, to the effect of "Shit has hit the fan, you're in danger." She tried to call him back but just kept going straight to voicemail. Then another nurse walked by and told her that someone was looking for her at the nurses station. She peered around the corner, and seeing two people that she did not recognize, she grabbed her stuff, and left out the basement door. Back to Bill's character, having just seen three or four people, some in a car, shoot the fuck out of his partner, cranked up his car, and gunned the engine, straight at their car. Their car was sitting still, two of the gunmen had just opened the doors to get in when he hit their car doing 45mph. It threw two of them into the street, and totally made wrecks out of both vehicles. He fired at one of the people, who was fleeing, and then caught the driver, plugging him a few times, and a few more when he saw that this guy was only sortof human. It took alot of bullets to keep it down. Then, shirking his duties as an officer of the law, he followed a tip from Maddie's character, and all three of them met up at a hangout that they all knew, their characters being familiar with each other.
They compared stories, and tried to work on a strategy. Krissi's character was shoeless, having only the clothes that she's put on before escaping the apartment, and her cell phone.

They got caught in the parking garage, on their way to Maddie's character's car- by one of the weird not-really-human guys, who seemed bent on sticking a 12 inch hunting knife into one, or each of them. He chased Krissi and Maddie's characters up the three floor staircase in the parking garage, with Bill's character right on his heels. They ambushed him on the top level, and killed it, after this one also proved to be damn hard to take down.

They tried the usual haunt of their associated pack of werewolves - which Maddie's character's brother was a member - but it was quiet and dark, until they really poked around, and a car down the street cranked up and drive right for them. They got inside, just as the occupants of the vehicle gave chase, and also gave them reason to believe that they might have at least one full-on-fucking-werewolf on their heels. They made their way through and out, to a canal behind the place, where they ran, pursued, through more chain-link-guarded areas, finally coming out near the stairs to an elevated train platform. They knew there was something the size of a pony chasing them, and they had every reason to believe that it was not in fact, a pony, or anywhere near as good natured as one. When they hit the relative light of the elevated rail stairway, their pursuer turned out somehow to be a tall, wiry fellow with long gray hair, in a battered leather jacket and a pair of blue jeans. They ran up the stairs, Bill's character pausing long enough to flash his badge at a uniformed officer, and told him that they were being pursued by a dangerous suspect. Mere seconds past as they continued their flight up the (long) stairs to the platform, and the wiry fellow bound up the steps behind them, three at a time, pausing when the uniformed officer accosted him, long enough to punch the uniform's lights out, and leave him crumpled on the stairs. They could see a train on the platform, its doors open, a few early-morning workers climbing on to begin their day. Panic crept in, as the wiry fellow continued up the stairs, and Bill's character turned and fired, hitting him with a beautiful shot, which was both excellent and terrible, because it was such an excellent success, that it forced the wiry guy into a check to resist Death Rage. Which he failed.

One second later, they had a hurt and pissed off, 9 foot tall werewolf coming up the stairs toward them. People scattered, or hit the ground, and they took off to the train car. Maddie and Krissi's characters made it on, but Bill's was behind them, very nearly didn't make it before the doors shut. But they pulled him into the car as the doors closed, and the train began to move, right as a fist the size of a large frozen turkey slammed through the metal door like it was paper. As the train gained speed, the arm peeled the other door back, and a werewolf started pulling itself into the opening. They attacked it as it tried to come through, Krissi's character taking off a couple of fingers with the aforementioned 12 inch hunting knife, and Bill's handgun-toting detective blowing a large hole into the monster's face. It fell off the train, and disappeared into the blackness.

They debated options and destinations, still unsure of where to go, what was happening, or why they couldn't get ahold of Maddie's character's brother. She had the numbers for two other of the pack werewolves, and one did not answer, the other did answer, and after just a moment she realized that the person she was speaking with was not who she's expected to reach. She recalled having once met a werewolf from another pack at a bar, and went there, looking for any help they could find. After dealing with Murray, the tired bartender, still trying to clean up after closing, they found a number for this other werewolf, and called him up. He didn't seem to know anything about what was going on, and was confused as to why they were even fucking calling him. He flat out told them that this wasn't his problem, and he didn't really want it to be his problem. But he called back a moment later, and with some discussion in the background, he directed them to a safehouse. They made it to the safehouse, met with a couple of the werewolves from this pack that they didn't really know, who had them repeat their story. The werewolves told them that they'd poke around.

Still no word from the brother, or any of that pack.

And we left off there. I just have to say that I'm extremely pleased with this game, both because of the novelty of running one-shot, story-related games when we don't have our full crew, and that let them experience things from other perspectives, but also that I was able to constantly keep the pressure on them, and a lack of information going, which created an air of tension, paranoia and fear. It was great.

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