Saturday, December 13, 2014

Why is Ireland such a hotspot for supernatural activity, anyways?

My players have been asking this question for a while now. Ireland in 1641 doesn't appear to have any real reasons to have such an influx of demons, neutral spirits, and other supernatural creatures. Now, I actually have an explanation for this.


Yes, you heard that right, Angels. More specifically, Metos, but it ties into all of them.

The campaign world exists in a multiverse where a predatory corruption bounces from universe to universe, attempting to transform each of them into some version of hell. Hell, for campaign purposes, is a universe that has fallen to demonic corruption and now threatens Earth. The two universes (Hell and the one the players are trying to save) are intersected somehow, allowing travel between them.

Travel from Hell to Earth and back is difficult. The majority of demons are incapable of traveling to Earth without risking a permanent demise, although especially wise/old/strong specimens have learned to project avatars of themselves to Earth to reduce the risk of their excursions. Losing an Avatar might be painful, but it doesn't cause any permanent damage at least.

Angels are also from another universe, one that managed to stave off the corruption and achieve a horribly high level of Ultra-tech. Using this technology to transform themselves into terrifyingly powerful androids- and later, pure machines- they took the fight to Hell.

Needless to say, the various religions of the world have no clue about this.

The Angels are limited in number. The vast energy required to create just one could kill stars and blacken solar systems of light. Only five are active on Earth. Metos, the strongest, is fully capable of destroying entire planets, but that only serves to temporarily stem the tides of Hell.

The Angels don't have the means to create more of themselves to the same degree of power that they already possess. Hell is always expanding, always creating more troops, many of which are truly expendable.

It's a real Zerg Vs. Protoss with humans caught in the middle situation. (Disclaimer: I'm a massive Starcraft fan).

Metos is the most powerful Angel, the one capable of crushing planets and killing stars. It's his presence in Ireland, in a state of rest over a particularly powerful ley line that is the origin of the numerous incursions into Hell. His presence has weakened the barrier between the universes, allowing more free travel between the two.

This isn't completely unique to Metos either- most of the angels are strong enough that they similarly start to strain the underpinnings of reality that make it harder for things to cross between dimensions.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sometimes the worst enemy of a group of PCs is real life.

Agency 17 is over for now. A combination of grad school, work hours changing, going full time and life emergencies caused too much scheduling headaches to continue trying to gather everybody together every week.

Maybe it will return if things settle down, but these things tend to not happen.

In other news, I lost the files for three of my PC's character sheets for the Monster Hunters game I'm running IRL. Thankfully, I'd printed off sheets for everyone a week prior, so I can recreate them without too much fuss.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

NPC List for Demon Hunting in the 1640's

This is hopefully going to turn into a record of NPCs for my Monster Hunting campaign. This list has been cross-posted at


 Galway, Ireland

Murchad Ua Brian:
Son and Regent of Earl Rory Ua Brian, Murchad is the highest ranking noble currently within the city of Galway. Murchad is a military man, commonly cited as one of the best soldiers in the entire nation. He remains a bachelor despite the consternation of the Catholic Contingent within Ireland. Aware of the supernatural, Murchad is a Dhamphir bastard who is not his father's trueborn son- a fact that he jealously hides at almost any cost.
  • One of the strongest fighters in Ireland
  • Capable administrator and leader
  • Cold, calculating and analytical
  • In Game Event: Was captured by Bishop Saul O'Hara and had his vampiric lineage revealed, causing widespread rumors and distrust in his capabilities to rule.
Rory Ua Brian:
The Earl of Galway, Rory is a strong Catholic supporter who is currently in Dublin attempting to deal with the problems presented by Protestant settlers. There's a high likelihood he may end up very high in the command structure of any army that attempts to revolt against English rule. Rory is aware of his son's supernatural nature and has raised him as his own anyways.
  • Benevolent
  • Failing heart
  • Effective politician and orator
Lars the Undertaker:
Lars has been the undertaker of Galway for longer than anyone can remember. All estimates are that he's well over 80 years old and he shows no signs of slowing down.
  • Is horribly deluded about the nature of undead
  • May be unaging/immortal
  • Isn't lying when he says nothing undead/spiritual has risen out of his graveyard
  • Gives one of the PCs access to bodyparts and bodies upon request.
James Corwin
Local monster hunter. Corwin stands to inherit a barony in England upon the death of his father, who is currently convalescing in the countryside. Corwin is an avid hunter of the the supernatural, even spending a ridiculous amount of money on a prototype breach loading rifle. Corwin aggressively buys and sells 'Indentured Servants' (effectively slaves), having a special fondness for Lycanthropes.
  • Protestant and wealthy
  • Is frequently contracted by Iscariot for jobs
  • Sends his Lycanthrope manservants out to hunt monsters without regard for their safety
  • Jealous of other monster hunting groups, especially Magnus von Tyrsson (A player character)
  • Is best friends with Asmund, a Norse Mummy.
  • Tried to shoot Sir Sinclar (Another Player Character) while he was in the middle of a duel.
Father James Michaels
The local head of Iscariot for Galway, Father Michaels is known to be on the outs with the Catholic church in general- except for his strange capabilities when facing supernatural threats. Fond of drink, women and gambling, Michaels usually delegates his sermons to a deacon, and frequently misses mass.
  • Ridiculously lucky
  • Very good at seeing the big picture
  • Good with money despite his debauchery
  • Has fathered 10+ children
  • Been on more than a few monster hunts that went Sideways
  • Genre-savvy
Mother Rebecca
Mother Rebecca is the librarian of the Iscariot Library within Galway, a good resource for information on the supernatural.
  • Never helps anyone find books in the restricted section of the library (which composes 95% of the library)
  • Is most likely an Angel
  • Dislikes Magnus
  • On surprisingly good terms with Father Michaels.
  • Unemotional and efficient
Warden Nolan
The head jailor for the Iscariot prison within Galway, The Warden has worked tirelessly for forty years to ensure that the prison remains secure and that no potential escapes succeed. Nolan wields his power with an iron fist over his domain, being fully willing to clash with Iscariot if their wishes run counter to his goal of keeping his prisoners contained.
  • Was once human, and has been warped by the ceremony that created him as Warden.
  • Very Single-minded and unwavering to his mission
  • Not a strong believer in rehabilitation
Ultana "Twit" Mercer
A rival to Siobhan's (A PC) design on James Corwin, Twit is a local Irish/English noblewoman who has wealthy parents in both countries.
  • Amoral, devious and sadistic
  • Totally willing to resort to hired thugs
  • Genuinely likes James Corwin
  • Totally in the dark on the supernatural.
James Corwin's best friend and confidant. Asmund is about six hundred years old, being born right at the end of the Viking Age. Asmund is a formidable warrior, helped along by the fact that he is in truth a Draugr, returned from the grave to exact revenge on the man who originally killed him almost six hundred years ago.
  • Apolitical, lives on the fringes of society and remains uninvolved whenever possible
  • Frequently hunts with James Corwin
  • Does a good job of blending into society so as to avoid suspicion
  • Not adverse to murder or other crimes, but doesn't have any particular compulsions to commit crimes
  • His soul is linked to his axe, which he always carries with him.
  • Numerous supernatural capabilities- increased strength, durability, weight and so on.
[Bishop Saul O'Hara]
Current religious head of Galway. Was part of a conspiracy with Barrister Selmy. See full submission for details.

Barrister Jarlath Selmy
A Barrister who moved to Galway a few years ago, Selmy is in fact a demon who has set into motion a plan to take over Ireland and eventually invade Scotland and England at the head of an undead/demonic horde.

Harvey Macfinn.
A well respected hunter originally from Scotland. Harvey is generally serious and reserved, not getting to know others easily. This is due to his curse as a Loup-garou, the most deadly extant form of lycanthropy that exists. Every full moon Harvey turns into an unstoppable killing machine- a curse that he desperately hopes to have broken at some point.
  • Believes he is responsible for the death of his family during one of his transformations
  • Moved to Ireland to escape people who were getting close to learning his secret
  • Hunts monsters whenever he can to help attone for his actions.
  • Extremely capable archer

The village of Letterfrack


Father Smith
The local priest. Devout, pious, and utterly unsuited to any kind of leadership or command role outside of church affairs. Cowardly.

Blacksmith John Smith
Local blacksmith, Catholic Englishman who moved to Ireland to escape debts. Husband of June, father of Henry, Hugo and George.
  • Strong sense of duty to his community
  • Prior military duty
  • Strong but starting to decline in agility as he grows older
  • All three of his sons are capable fighters, although green and a little overconfident.
Gael Oak
Herbalist and midwife. Friends with Niamh, wife of Muiread (Player Character Alchemist).
  • Questionable knowledge about fairies
  • Decent cures and tonics
  • Local busy-body, gossip and snoop
  • Has a very public affair with a married man


Dracula (Yes, that Dracula):

Supposedly killed by Magnus, in truth he still lives. Dracula is widely rumored to be the originator of all vampires, as well as the strongest specimen alive. Due to rumors of his death being greatly exaggerated, Dracula is currently laying low and forming plans while he's likely to be uninterrupted. In his absence a power vacuum has developed, which threatens to cause war among the ancient vampires. Those in the know fear such a war could cause a great deal of collateral damage.

Abaseth the Tailor:

A [Bone Stitcher] who has been summoned to Ireland by Barrister Selmy, Abaseth currently goes along with the Barrister's plan because it is convenient. Once working with the Barrister is no longer convenient, Abaseth intends to use his body for multiple experiments he has in mind.

Zepar the Seducer:

An incubus whose affections strike women barren. Zepar is jovial and friendly, with a bad habit of seducing Catholic Irishwomen because he finds it amusing.
  • Supernatural good looks and charisma
  • Subtle mind control powers
  • Skilled combatant
  • Most other denizens of Hell consider him childish and insignifcant
  • Not actually evil, despite his nature
  • Seeks a way to escape the curse of deviltry
  • Son of a powerful Archdaemon
  • In-Game Event: Tried to kill Siobhan, got captured, interrogated and had his corporeal shell killed by the Party.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Busy in meatspace

Life's been fairly hectic the last few months. Job training has consumed a large portion of my free time, and although I've been able to continue Agency 17, there have been weeks without sessions.

It kills my motivation to write when we go almost a month without playing.

So here's a wrap-up on my recent gaming going-ons:

Agency 17:

  • Recruited two new players. Both are located in the UK/Scotland, meaning they're playing at like 3-4AM.
  • Have had only 3 sessions since the last blog post. Real life events really ground the momentum of it to a halt.
  • On the fence about continuing the session reports.

New Orleans Monster Hunters

  • Virgil's player from Agency 17 is running a 400 point MH campaign set in New Orleans
  • I'm playing Earl, a reformed demon under the watch of a Morgan-like (Dresdenverse) figure who will lop off his head if he transgresses and starts killing innocents.
  • I was allowed to muck around with the demon template's power offerings with more or less free reign, which ended up with Earl having a human alternate form, intangibility and invisibility all as alternate abilities. These allow Earl a great deal of utility.
  • I've also taken a flat 5-damage no wounding corrosion innate attack that follows up on Earl's claws to help shred DR, signature gear to get his hands on a Very Fine (Accurate) Barrett M82A1, and Targeted Attack for Neck (with claws) and Skull (with rifles).

1640s Monster Hunters

  • 400 point MH campaign set in 1640s Ireland during the English Civil War and the Irish Rebellion of 1641.
  • IRL group with six players.
  • Currently the campaign I'm most jazzed about- my IRL friends are playing and I would really like the campaign to be successful.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Parry Missile Weapons as a Technique

For the new Demon Hunters campaign I'll be running, a player with Enhanced Time Sense has expressed interest in being able to parry musket shots with a rapier, using parry Missile Weapons (PMW).

Considering he has dodge twelve, getting an equivalent parry score verses a musket would require Parry Missile Weapons 28 (28/2-2=12). Remember, parrying a bullet is a -5 penalty to parry, and parry is Skill/2+3 for Skill/2-2 when trying to parry a bullet.

Getting a skill to 28 is prohibitively expensive, on the order of 76 points for a DX 10 character, a price that barely drops with increased DX or levels of Enhanced Parry/Combat Reflexes.

So I propose making PMW a technique:
Parry Missile Weapons

      Default: Cannot be used at unimproved default,  Unarmed or Melee Weapon Skill -5
      Prerequisites: Unarmed or Melee Weapon Skill
, cannot exceed prerequisite skill +4.
This Technique allows a character to parry thrown or missile weapons with a ready melee weapon. If you are wearing wristbands or gloves with DR 2+ or have at least this much natural DR, you can also parry with your hands. Your Parry Score is (Technique Skill/2+3), rounded down- based on this technique, not the underlying combat skill that this defaults to.

Modifiers: +4 vs large thrown weapons (axes, spears), +2 to parry small thrown weapons (knives, shuriken), no modifier to parry arrows, -2 to parry smaller low-tech missiles (crossbow bolts, sling stones, blowpipe dates). Enhanced Time Sense and other appropriate advantages (e.g., Precognition) allow you to parry bullets at -5.

With this technique, a fighter with ETS can pay ten points to be able to parry bullets at a -3 to parry. Those without ETS will still enjoy much better parries against large thrown weapons (parry +4), arrows (parry +2), and smaller low-tech missiles (no modifier to parry).

For many characters with decent statistics, dodge will likely remain a better defensive option, and this technique really only benefits characters with high skill with their weapon to begin with- although stacking it with Combat Reflexes and Enhanced Parry certainly makes it even more powerful.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Demons in 1640's Ireland: The Stitched

First and foremost: My thanks to Scrasamax who is a creative force to be reckoned with for his creation, the Bone Stitcher, which will be serving as one of the major demonic villains in the MH campaign I'll be starting within a month or two.

The essence of the Bone Stitcher is that is vivisects people and then uses stolen blood and muscle fibers to improve people, finishing up its macabre surgery by covering the recipient's bones in some kind of dark encasing material. This covering makes attacking the Vitals and Brain close to impossible. The recipient is permanently scarred in a hideous manner, but enjoys increased strength, durability and agility.

Of course, it can't give the really fancy and powerful stuff to all recipients of its ministrations, so the usual 'vanilla' variety is detailed below.

The Stitched:

ST: 16
DX: 11
IQ: 10
HT: 13

HP: 21
FP: 13

Basic Speed: 6 Move: 6 Per: 10 Will: 10
thr: 1d+1, sw: 2d2+2

DR 2
Injury Tolerance (Unbreakable Bones, No Brain, No Vitals)

Appearance: Hideous
Social Stigma: Monster

Skills: Brawling-15, Broadsword-14, Crossbow-15, Polearm-14

Notes: With HP 21, DR 2 and their specific form of Injury Tolerances, the Stitched tend not to suffer crippled limbs- taking 14 damage to lose an extremity. I suspect they'll be great meatshields and frontline troops. Their crossbows are obviously a shoot once and then discard for the rest of the battle weapon- but hitting that 2d+1 to 2d+3 shot (for an +4 ST crossbow at ST 20) is going to hurt, greatly.

I don't think my players will like it when the Stitchers get access to halbreds. 3d+2 impaling damage is nothing to sneeze at, and 4d cut is almost as bad.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Busy Week

So, the bad news first: Johnny's player can't continue to play in Agency 17 due to real life scheduling and general craziness. I may be looking for (a) replacement player(s) to fill the void we've developed.

The good news: My IRL gaming group of Tuesday nights is wrapping up a Mistborn campaign and I'll be taking the reigns on a Monster Hunters campaign set in 1640's Ireland. Yes, this is a lower tech level than normal Monster Hunters, yes, people will be making fun of the Protestants, and I think it will turn out to be a great time.

I have one session of Agency 17 stuff to get written up, and my prep work on the MH campaign continues.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Action Report: The Stolen Line of Credit (Now with 300% more Action Report!)

I apologize for the unreasonably long delay between posts- I've recently changed careers and that's thrown my writing time under the bus. This post is going to cover some planning, about 4 sessions worth of in-game events.

Last Session, the Agents learned from Operational Support (Ozzy) that Agency 17 funds have been siphoned off an put into what looks like an illicit side business.

The line of credit- specifically a credit card issued to Agents to allow them to get supplies carte blanche- was issued to a team of Agents operating within Europe. It went missing roughly a year prior, meaning that the PCs weren't part of the Agency when this happened, clearing them of being involved.

The Team that Lost the Card:
  • William Robert "Tex" Jackson- Imposter extraordinaire
  • Martha "Scopes" Franklin- Sniper
  • Juan Carlos "JC" Verdes- Heavy Weapons
  • Anthony "Buzz" Cortelli- Comms
  • Joshua "Colonel" Starke- Tactics and leader
This team is much closer to militant than the players, who are slightly closer to spooks. The players are much more capable at being subtle, while Starke's group is Agency 17's muscle.

Former Members and Allies:
  • Rashad has worked both with and most recently against Starke's group. Rashad took the entire squad out of fieldwork for seven months, something they definitely hold a grudge over.
  • Ashley "Kitty" Vereen- Previously was the team's face. Presumed dead after an intense firefight in Sudan. Actually had grown tired of Agency 17 and offered her services to the State Security Agency of South Africa.
  • Logan has helped look through intelligence gathered by the team
  • Ian "Saliva" Cromartie- Demolitions expert and the man originally responsible for siphoning off Agency 17 funds. Now freelances with American PMCs.

The Agents

Virgil Cooke: A former CIA agent, Virgil is a master of acting a part and working the social aspects of covert ops. You probably should avoid windows if he wants you dead.
Jack Herman: Former SAS, Jack is the group's heavy muscle and military man. If the group needs his talents, it's inevitably because something went FUBAR and they need saving.
Nima Caspi: A former IDF combat medic, Nima is perfectly at home driving like a complete maniac and patching up complete maniacs who have taken a bullet or two.
Johnny Trang: Johnny Trang was too cool for LAPD officer school, so they put him into undercover work. Johnny Trang is perfectly at home infiltrating illegal racing rings or snooping on bad guys.
Tobias Stöhner: Gray hat hacker and electronics whiz, Tobias makes computer security experts at the Pentagon break out into a cold sweat when he infiltrates their systems.

As play starts, the Agents sit around for a few hours waiting for Ozzy to try and contact Starke's team. Kyle arrives, immediately questioning the other Agents as to whether they were involved in the car chase and firefight he's heard about on the news. The Agents sugarcoat it by saying that they were trying to secure some shady firearms and the deal went bad. Kyle doesn't push the issue.

Kyle has bad news, however. Agency 17 is moving Tobias to Switzerland where he can assist another team that's ran into cryptography issues. The Agents are suspicious about this, but players don't inquire much on the issue- I've informed them that this is purely to move Tobias away from the action while his player is unable to play due to real life constraints and has nothing to do with the massive conspiracy.

The Agents open the beers provided by Kyle and wait for Ozzy's info. It's brought up that tracking down financial shenanigans is likely Egeman's way of putting the team on ice for a while to ensure they can't meddle as Agency 17 tries to track down Logan.

What follows is the team learning all about Starke's team and the various events surrounding their operations.

The news doesn't paint them in a positive light- the entire team spent seven months out of commission due to some kind of SNAFU in a chemical plant that more or may not have involved Rashad. The crew lost a member in a firefight in Africa, and another left Agency 17 entirely

The Agents head to Rhode Island to question a moving company that charged the company credit card. The employees are helpful, if stupid, and point to a location in upstate New York- the boonies. It seems a woman had them move a large number of watertight heavy cases to a farm of some kind. The Agents pick up immediately on the fact that the entire transaction is suspicious, and they suspect weapons trafficking.

They head to the farm, opting to park the car at the end of the very long dirt driveway and approach on foot. They decide to go for a very long and slow approach. Virgil, Jack and Nima assume overwatch positions in the woods while Kyle and Johnny creep closer.

Virgil spots a sniper spotter team in the loft of the barn. A woman walks across from the farmhouse to the barn, and is confronted by Johnny. She tells Johnny and Kyle to get lost, and draws a gun on them when Johnny isn't encouraged to leave.

Kyle shoots her in the gut with his oversized revolver as Virgil takes out the sniper in spectacular fashion. A man busts out of the barn with a shotgun, only to take a 3-round burst from Jack which kills him immediately.

The Agents swarm the scene, securing the woman and the spotter who is still alive. Lindsey, the woman they shot, is in rough shape, saved only by the shoddy bulletproof vest she was wearing and Nima's supreme skill at patching up bullet holes. The spotter can't stop retching, and is obviously very traumatized at seeing his friend's head explode thanks to Virgil.

Kyle and Jack confirm the farmhouse is clear while tossing the place for intel. Johnny quickly finds the cases the moving company transported- they're full of assault rifles and a bunch of M79 grenade launchers.

A car drives up the driveway to the farm. The Agents immediately scramble to hide their presence. Some men with pistols get out of the car and search the area. Upon finding Lindsey's blood on the ground, they pile back into the car and leave.

The Agents decide to confiscate the weapons.

What follows is a long standoff between the Agents and the three cars worth of men who show up armed and ready for a fight. Johnny unwisely tries to pose as US Marshalls- a choice of agency I felt was stretching the lie very thin. 

Things degrade once a boss of some kind shows up, leading to a very one-sided firefight. Jack ends up spraying down at least eight people by scything through their legs with rifle bullets, the other Agents also taking shots and downing enemies. The players suffer no injuries and quickly subdue or kill every assailant.

The Agents realize law enforcement is on their way. The grab the boss and Lindsey, and get make a break out of the area.

They make for a safehouse Ozzy had stashed away and get ready to interrogate their captives.

The man they grabbed is named Richard. He turns out to be the local head of the Grandsons of Liberty chapter, and is only middle management. This disappoints the agents, who were under the impression that he was higher up the food chain.

It quickly becomes clear that claiming to be US Marshals was a poor decision as the Grandsons have been colluding with a corrupt Marshal- Butch Harris. Harris bankrolled Lindsey's transaction with the moving company, and was also responsible for keeping law enforcement pressure off the Grandsons.

The Agents convince Richard to give up his phone passcode so they have a number with which to call Butch.

What follows is a long conversation about how to handle the captives, how to handle Butch, and how to secure the missing credit card. It's eventually decided that Butch is too well connected with law enforcement to try and lure him out at the current time- the Agents do not want Butch claiming that they've created a hostage situation, bringing the FBI's HRT down on their heads.

The group contacts Ozzy and asks him to see if Agency 17 can leverage Butch into not working with the Grandsons.

Jack's phone rings. It's their mysterious informant who has been feeding them information since just after the incident over the Mediterranean Sea. They want to meet the Agents, in person, because they're in imminent danger...


  • Player talk one session ended up going into mounting a Punt Gun on the back of a van for use dissuading pursuit.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Action Report: 404 Witty Title Not Found

The Agents

Tobias Stöhner: Gray hat hacker and electronics whiz, Tobias makes computer security experts at the Pentagon break out into a cold sweat when he infiltrates their systems.
Virgil Cooke: A former CIA agent, Virgil is a master of acting a part and working the social aspects of covert ops. You probably should avoid windows if he wants you dead.
Jack Herman: Former SAS, Jack is the group's heavy muscle and military man. If the group needs his talents, it's inevitably because something went FUBAR and they need saving.
Nima Caspi: A former IDF combat medic, Nima is perfectly at home driving like a complete maniac and patching up complete maniacs who have taken a bullet or two.
Johnny Trang: Johnny Trang was too cool for LAPD officer school, so they put him into undercover work. Johnny Trang is perfectly at home infiltrating illegal racing rings or snooping on bad guys.

We had everyone but Tobias' player again. I'm likely going to be devising something for Tobias to do that will keep him engaged long term.

Holed in up an abandoned EB Games, the Agents were very aware that they were being watched, having spotted the sniper set up in the building opposite their location.

Jack and Virgil sprung into action, heading out of the fire exit into the alley behind the building. The lookout posted there was taking a leak at the exact wrong moment (hello critical failure on a natural 18) and quickly when down when Jack scored a crit (6 vs skill 16) with his knife to the man's neck artery.

The other Agents quickly steal glances at the surrounding area, spotting two more men obviously watching the store.

With the alley lookout taken out silently, Virgil and Jack manage to flank the other two men on lookout.

The Agents coordinate their fire. Nima and Logan both open fire on the sniper right as Virgil and Jack take out the lookouts.

Jack storms into the building the sniper is in, taking out a man wielding a shotgun in the stairwell on the way up.

Virgil goes up the back staircase. They surprise the sniper inside, taking him captive.

The team goes to their vehicles, about to leave when two vans approach very rapidly.

Nima immediately escapes with Tobias and Logan, leaving Jack, Johnny and Virgil to cover their escape.

Despite having superior acceleration to the vans, Johnny isn't able to lose them with pedal to the metal. The first van slams into the back of their car, doing relatively little damage.

Jack leans out the window to line up a shot.

The leading van opens its side door and a man hangs out the side, blazing away at the Agents. Virgil scrambles to get his rifle from the trunk of the car from inside the passenger cabin- not a fun time.

The man hanging from the side of the van manages to clip Jack's right arm with an AP round from an AK-47, immediately crippling it. A few seconds later, rifle in hand, Virgil obliterates the man's head, causing his lifeless body to flop onto the pavement, only to be run over by the second van.

Johnny does some aggressive driving to try and get Virgil and Jack better shots on the lead van, by braking hard and allowing the lead pursuing van to pass them, which he pulls off excellently.

The vans move to try and box Johnny in. His attempt at a PIT Maneuver doesn't go as planned, although it does cause the van to slow down enough that it falls behind its partner.

Its partner rams into the back of the Agents' car, again more or less ineffectively. The door of this van opens as well, and a second man hangs from the side of the van, gun at the ready.

Virgil headshots the van driver, almost causing the pursuing vans to collide as the dead driver causes the van in the lead to swerve violently across the road.

The van still with a live driver gives up the pursuit.

 The Agents crash at a motel to collect themselves and talk with Logan. Monson clubbed him over the head and then questioned him closely about Egeman's involvement in Agency 17. Besides Monson's betrayal, Logan appears to have escaped Agency 17.

The captured sniper is not particularly helpful, although he does inform the agents that a huge Italian fellow called in a favor from a local mob boss for goons, and gives them information on where to find them.

The decision is made to meet with Ozzy to at least maintain the appearance of working with Agency 17. The Agents regret having to abandon Logan so soon after getting him out of the frying pan, but he takes this in stride, commenting that he'll be contacting Rashad for a new bodyguard- preferably a professional.

Virgil almost suggests Wade, which isn't a terrible idea, although I was leaning towards introducing Xavier as Logan's new protector.

Ozzy meets the team at the old theatre where they first met Logan. His request for their services turns out to be because an Agency 17 line of credit- specifically, a credit card given to a team for purchasing supplies on the Agency's dime- has been used for a great deal of things that Ozzy finds suspicious.

The Agents listen closely and then request to talk to the team that originally had the card.


  • I had a whole encounter planned with Mr. Monson, but the Agents' decision to escape a potential firefight lead to me scrapping it. Virgil's player got to hear some of my plans for the fight and his reaction was "Nope nope nope. Not interested in fighting that."
  • Logan's not in a good place. Nima's aware of some stuff she hasn't had an opportunity to share with the other Agents just yet involving the possibility that he's been abusing prescription pain meds...
  • I'm hoping to work things so that the Agents can follow the New York leads and still help Ozzy out. I'm going for a layered plot approach, or putting more irons in the fire, as it were.
  • The mooks all rolled TERRIBLY this session, except for the one shot that hit Jack. This included two crit-fails, as well as really poor damage rolls on the vehicle slams.
  • A ST 18 individual can wear an assault vest with trauma plates, a ballistic helmet + visor, riot gear for the arms and legs, and boots, while carrying a SPAS-12 one-handed with a large entry shield in the other hand and still not be encumbered. (A small taste of Mr. Monson.)
  • Jack passed his HT check after the car chase, meaning nothing wrong with his arm once it heals.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Following up on a comment from Douglas Cole- Ballistic Leggings

Quite a while ago, Douglas Cole commented, wondering if ballistic leggings actually see any use.

Preparing for my Agents' fight that's to come in the next session, I decided to dig a litte.

Slate reported that James Holmes, the perpetrator of the Aurora movie theater shooting wore a fairly full set of body armor during the attack, including "ballistic leggings, a throat protector, a groin protector, and tactical gloves". Beyond that, google is a wasteland of advertisements for 'tactical' gear.

I think the jury is still out on whether they see any use within military organizations or not. I'll probably end up running with riot gear for the attackers.

That said, if anybody wants to shed light on the topic, I'm not the only one who would find it interesting to know!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Action Report: Pariah Dog

The Agents

Tobias Stöhner: Gray hat hacker and electronics whiz, Tobias makes computer security experts at the Pentagon break out into a cold sweat when he infiltrates their systems.
Virgil Cooke: A former CIA agent, Virgil is a master of acting a part and working the social aspects of covert ops. You probably should avoid windows if he wants you dead.
Jack Herman: Former SAS, Jack is the group's heavy muscle and military man. If the group needs his talents, it's inevitably because something went FUBAR and they need saving.
Nima Caspi: A former IDF combat medic, Nima is perfectly at home driving like a complete maniac and patching up complete maniacs who have taken a bullet or two.
Johnny Trang: Johnny Trang was too cool for LAPD officer school, so they put him into undercover work. Johnny Trang is perfectly at home infiltrating illegal racing rings or snooping on bad guys.

Tobias' player was absent again. Still unsure about his continued participation, but we'll see how that goes.

Virgil is held by some very pissed off police officers and hospital security. His Secret Service badge passes intense scrutiny, and Johnny's prior bribe of the local security detail buy them a good word. When it's discovered that the 'nurse' wasn't an actual employee, they grudgingly allow Virgil to leave.

The other Agents return to the safehouse. They trawl the web, coming across some schematics for the safe they pulled from the Copperhead warehouse, although their initial attempts to defeat the lock fail.

Virgil later cracks it open upon his return, as he actually has lockpicking.

The safe contains a lot of first-hand evidence that incriminates three US Senators in cooperating with the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico. The Sinaloa feeds information to the DEA that allows them to target the Los Zetas, the DEA avoids the Sinaloa, and the congressmen and certain individuals within the DEA get a cut.

There's also a voice recording:
"We have the means to implicate them as cooperating with the Zetas Cartel."
"You don't need to know that. All that matters is that we get paid."
"I'm arranging that now."
"If you try to double-cross us, you'd better believe we will make sure that everything you touch withers and dies."
The Agents get in touch with Kyle, who stops watching the GAO Chairman's home. They decide to visit the congressional offices to get a scoop on what the dirty senators are up to.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: I didn't fully research the congressional offices and learned I played it wrong- there's three, and technically all senators share some huge office buildings, they don't have individual places like I assumed at first. None of my players caught the discrepancy, although it can be easily dealt with should they notice.)

Security at the first office is fairly lack, consisting of two security guards and an alarm system that's been stuck in an alert state for the last few weeks- silenced by an admin who got sick of hearing it go off for no reason.

The Senator's office turns out to be fairly boring- he doesn't watch porn from the office, the safe under a painting only has a financial ledger, some scotch (stolen by Kyle), and some cigars.

The Agents leave and then hit up the next congressional office. The security system here has been obviously bypassed, and they find a security guard, dead from a stab to his abdomen, as they head upstairs.

What follows is one of the worst showings by enemy NPCs ever. The operative fails all of his perception check, getting swamped by Jack, Johnny and Virgil who all manage to grapple him and take him down. They handcuff him, leaving him prone.

They toss the already tossed office, finding the senator's sensitive paperwork as well as a brick of cocaine.

Johnny goes about making the entire scene look like a robbery gone wrong, and leaves with Virgil and Kyle. Jack shoots their handcuffed prisoner with the security guard's gun and then makes a mad dash for the fire escape before the guard on the ground floor responds.

The Agents return to the safehouse and get a night's rest. Come morning, the news has already caught onto the death of a Senator and is going nuts. The rumors do mention ties to the Los Zetas Cartel, including the bloodbath that went down at the Copperhead warehouse.

Tobias has cracked into the dead Senator's files and phone, uncovering an e-mail:

"EA Confirmed. GAO and problematic senators will be framed as per plan."

Kyle suggests calling Egeman with the new discoveries. The Agents state that they've uncovered a plot for multiple innocent US Senators to take the fall for the two surviving corrupt Senators, and that they've secured the intelligence Soto had gathered.

Egeman tells them their mission is over, and that they are to report to New York to meet up with Ozzy to deliver the intel. He approves of how they've enabled the other team present to do their work.

This confuses the Agents, and Egeman reveals that cocaine stolen from the Los Zetas (way back when) has used to frame a few problematic politicians as cooperating with the Sinaloa cartel, taking heat off from the truly corrupt Senators.

In fact, the brick they recovered was part of the take they got in Mexico.

This leaves the Agents stunned. Virgil feigns approval, the only thing that stops Egeman from getting suspicious. The call ends, and there's a few tense moments as Johnny strongly considers killing Kyle.

They get away from Kyle and contact Logan with an update. Tobias begins duplicating the intel from Soto's files. Then they get a call from Nima- Natalia is at the hospital.

Fearing that Egeman has ordered Natalia, Johnny drives the team through D.C. like a man possessed. They find Natalia sitting next to Nima outside Soto's room. She's happy and chipper, and simply gives Johnny back the modified FN-Five Seven she took from him in Turkey, before skipping away.

They receive word from Logan, who wants to meet them in NYC.

The Agents drive to NYC, and then Nima and Johnny stage a race to ditch Kyle while they still can.

Logan's meeting spot is a rundown EB Games. The place is deserted, and a note on the cash register denotes that Logan is downstairs.

Upon getting downstairs, they find Logan bound and gagged to a chair, obviously having been subjected to some serious physical abuse.

Logan indicates that his Agency 17 bodyguard, Mr. Monson, has betrayed him.

Just in time for the ambush.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

My Thoughts on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

I love the idea of Standard Operating Procedures, and this thread on the SJG Forums got me thinking and talking with my players.

SOPs are particularly useful for avoiding ambiguities (did you use your silencer when you shot that man in the back of a restaurant), smoothing over boring details (yup, car's fueled up!), and it can help prevent players from having to state a million times over the things that they like to do all the time.

A good SOP:
  • Speeds play
  • Cuts down on confusion/ambiguity
  • Logically and reasonably explains a character's reaction to a certain set of circumstances
  • Has a narrow focus if not related to a skill roll
  • Possibly gives a skill bonus in a very narrow set of circumstances (+1 to avoid sticking yourself with a syringe while doing lab work, etc)
  • Has power that's reasonable for a perk
  • Helps protect from mistakes of omission (kicking down an unlocked door, forgetting to silence a gun during a stealth operation, etc)
And here are some that I've come up with:
    SOP: Get the Data
    There's no question whether you remembered to pocket a bad guy's phone or copied down his financial data.

    SOP: Check the Goods
    You always check new equipment for defects or issues before it gets used.

    SOP: Burner Phone Addict
    You always remember to change phones between missions to maintain security. 
    SOP: Silencer Use
    If you have a silencer, you're assumed to be using it when appropriate 
    SOP: OTC Medication
    You always have headache/allergy/digestive medication on hand. (Pick one) 
    SOP: Captive Care
    You never forget to feed or otherwise care for those you've taken prisoner
    SOP: Bug awareness
    You take out your phone battery before having sensitive conversations

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Action Report: Congressional Misconduct

The Agents

Tobias Stöhner: Gray hat hacker and electronics whiz, Tobias makes computer security experts at the Pentagon break out into a cold sweat when he infiltrates their systems.
Virgil Cooke: A former CIA agent, Virgil is a master of acting a part and working the social aspects of covert ops. You probably should avoid windows if he wants you dead.
Jack Herman: Former SAS, Jack is the group's heavy muscle and military man. If the group needs his talents, it's inevitably because something went FUBAR and they need saving.
Nima Caspi: A former IDF combat medic, Nima is perfectly at home driving like a complete maniac and patching up complete maniacs who have taken a bullet or two.
Johnny Trang: Johnny Trang was too cool for LAPD officer school, so they put him into undercover work. Johnny Trang is perfectly at home infiltrating illegal racing rings or snooping on bad guys.

Tobias' player was absent the last two sessions summarized here and I'm currently dubious as to his continued participation. But anyways, without further delay...

The team takes a weak or so to get to the US. Kyle spends the time getting to know the Agents, questioning them closely about their previous missions, starting with the operation in Turkey. Virgil correctly surmises that Kyle is an ex-cop of some caliber, and does his best to ensure Kyle thinks the team is competent.

The Agents carefully omit some information from Kyle:
  • They avoid disclosing their working relationships with both Rashad in Brazil and Wade in Turkey
  • The discussions with Logan centering around the possibility that a mole is operating within Agency 17 are completely avoided.
Johnny takes the time to get to know Shaka, the pilot responsible for saving their bacon back on Arthur Bingham's ship. Shaka is friendly, boisterous, and immediately takes a liking to Johnny because he understands what it's like to pilot a helicopter. When asked about the pilot sent by Agency 17 to take out, Shaka is able to fill in a few details. The pilot was trigger-happy, and a lone wolf. He enjoyed taking out targets, and was drawn to helicopters for their destructive potential. He didn't really fraternize much.

Kyle calls a briefing and is prepared with a long powerpoint filled with slides documenting official Agency 17 policies and procedures- 90% of which he clicks through rapidly, going past such gems as the 'Always pay your parking fines' policy, the fact that Virgil's cache of weapons in Maryland was against A17 policy, the sexual harassment guidelines, as well as the official guidelines for requesting gear.

Intel from Miguel- their previous contact in Mexico- indicates that a Sinaloa boss of some kind, one Alejandro Soto, is arriving in Washington DC with four goons that will serve as his bodyguards. The Agents question what their role in the mission is, and Kyle doesn't have any clear answers. It sounds like a meeting of some kind will be taking place, and likely something crawling with multiple alphabet soup agencies.

"You should embrace our position as wolves among sheep, Johnny." Kyle says. "We're the big boys in the spook world."
 Kyle reckons the mission will be easy. Stake out the airport, follow the Sinaloa Boss
 and crack beers once they know what he's up to.

The conversation turns to logistics. Johnny tries to get the gun Natalia took from him back, but Egeman deflects that line of questioning. Kyle hints that Natalia might be on the tail of Logan. The Agents compare notes in the hours they have before arriving in the Chesapeake Bay, recalling that Egeman was greeted by a man associated with Agency 17 right after the mission in Turkey, and noticing that he's not currently on the ship.

Traveling to DC goes without a hitch, and the team is provided a suburban safehouse complete with an under the floor safe loaded with four silenced pistols. Nima and Virgil go out on a 'shopping' trip, stealing multiple cars. Nima's take on the last mission when asked by Virgil is that somebody really didn't want the group talking with Arthur Bingham. Virgil takes some time to get in contact with Wade, trying to subtly suggest there's some pay involved if Wade will give Virgil some information on whoever hired him to kill Lorin.

Meanwhile, while Kyle watches the local news, Johnny and Jack talk about what Johnny learned from Shaka. They're convinced that Shaka is not involved in whatever events surrounded them being attacked by an Agency helicopter, but the other pilot is fishy to them, likely chosen because of his wanton disregard for human life.

Virgil finishes up his portion of the shopping trip by going to the most popular Quake forums online and posting carefully crafted posts designed to make Logan's hotword senses tingle. He hits up the top five forums, before rejoining Nima and getting back to the safehouse.

The plan for the airport is simple. Virgil will place a bug on Soto. Jack will watch him from inside. Nima and Johnny will both be outside posing as taxi cabs. Kyle will be nearby outside.

Soto's security team ends up driving onto the tarmac of the airport, getting swarmed by the TSA (Natural 18 crit-fail, right there). Soto's departure from airport security is delayed a few hours. Jack notices a man watching Soto, but unwisely doesn't do anything about it.

Virgil placing the bug on Soto gets immediately overshadowed when the man Jack spotted walks up to Soto and stabs him with a knife, repeatedly, including a good stab directly to the throat. Jack rushes in to try and keep Soto alive once the guy with the knife flees, applying first aid.

Kyle and Johnny give chase in their car. Johnny is by far the better driver compared to the attacker, who tries a little too hard to push the motorcycle he's on to perform. After getting onto the freeway their target loses control when he drifts over some rumble strips attempting to pass a semi on the right.

Kyle handcuffs him and throws him in the back of the cab.

Soto is taken in TSA care, while the team meets back at the safehouse. Virgil has received information from Wade, basically detailing that Wade was hired by a rival arms dealer cartel to take out Lorin so that they could then start supplying the PKK- a niche they've been starting to fill since the team left Turkey.

Johnny and Jack begin interrogating the guy who attacked Soto.
"Tick tock." Is all Kyle says.
"What's the hurry? Alejandro is probably dead."
"I have a meet and greet with a hooker in an hour and this interrogation will kill the mood." Kyle says. "I need time for my manhood to recover."
 The man has a few Zetas tattoos, and resists all attempts to pry information out of him. (Critical success!) The team resorts to going through his phone, discovering Alejandro's true reason for visiting the United States- he's here to inform on certain members of Congress for taking money from the cartels in return for ensuring DEA cooperation in certain areas of enforcement.

Virgil does some detective work, quickly finding that Soto is indeed alive and at a nearby hospital. Thanks to some forged identification made by Tobias, he's able to convince the local cops watching over Soto that he's also been attached to babysitting duty.

A few days pass before Soto wakes up. Virgil grabs his cache of gear from Maryland, Kyle watches a lot of TV, Nima does some more shopping, picking up a crash kit and guns, while Johnny and Jack trade off watching Soto.

Soto cannot speak, a result of being stabbed in the throat. Writing on a pad of paper, Soto indicates that all of his evidence is in a briefcase- which has gone missing.

Meanwhile, Jack, who hasn't replaced his phone recently, is contacted by someone with eerie knowledge of their operations via text:



 Jack sends back some (really well done by the player, to the extent he got an extra point at the end of the session for it) coded messages intended to discern if this person is Logan attempting to initiate contact, but it isn't the case.

Logan does get in touch with Virgil, sending only a terse message that he's under observation and will be in touch with the group soon.

This is followed by Johnny and Jack doing some detective work at the airport. Using fake credentials and a cop's savoir-faire, Johnny manages to get access to security tapes, while Jack looks at the lost and found luggage. They determine that somebody found Soto's briefcase, took the contents, and replaced them with women's underwear. Johnny gets the footage. They discover that the person responsible for the switch got buzzed into secure areas using a TSA badge issued to an officer who hadn't turned up to work for a few days.

They decide to give the TSA Agent a visit. While Jack slips around the back of the house, Johnny knocks. Hearing movement inside, but with nobody answering the door, a firefight ensues when Jack sees two men inside preparing an ambush.

The fight is fast, and ends very poorly for the two men inside. Jack shoots one through the kitchen window, causing the second man to retreat into the house.

There's a gunshot from inside. Johnny rushes in and kills the second man as he's turning around for the TSA Agent he just executed.

Jack and Johnny attempt to clean the crime scene as well as make it look like a robbery gone wrong. They don't have time to search for clues considering the police response, but they nab one of the intruder's cellphones before leaving.

It pays off. Shortly after it receives texts asking for the status of the TSA agent. Tobias is able to track down its location- an old warehouse, previously contracted by the Smithsonian before too many items started 'falling off trucks'.

Virgil stays behind in the hospital to ensure Soto isn't assassinated. Kyle follows up on leads showing that Soto was trying to contact someone in the Government Accountability Office.

Jack, Johnny and Nima head for the warehouse. A guy exits the side right as Jack is nearby, and Jack gets him in a chokehold. One unconscious guard later, Jack and Johnny slip inside while Nima waits with the car.

The warehouse is empty, except for an office on the second story where five men are lounging around, being racist about Latin Americans. They're a local gang, contracted by the Zetas to do some grunt work.

Jack and Johnny take up positions near the doors. They locate themselves so when the men leave the office they'll have the door between them and their targets.

Nima honks her car horn outside a few times, to convince the men that the Zetas are outside looking to make the exchange.

What follows is Johnny quietly convincing the man they left up on the catwalk to cause no trouble, handcuffing him and leaving him in the office. Jack opens fire on the lead man, dropping him. Confusion reigns amongst the crew, and only one manages to escape Jack and Johnny inside, at which point Nima rams him with her car.

Yelling at injured and scared local gangsters gets results, and the Agents promptly find the firesafe the gang leader stored the documents from Soto's briefcase in. The Agents leave just before the real Zeta cartel members show up- they doubt any of the local gang will survive the wrath of the most notoriously bloodthirsty drug cartel.

Virgil manages to stay on task during the long and boring hours waiting. Being very crafty (Hello Craftiness Talent 4), trying to impersonate a nurse (even with skill 14 in acting and disguise) around Virgil is a bad idea, as a would-be assassin learns when Virigl interrupts her attempts to switch out Soto's IV for something a little more... deadly.

There's an extended struggle as Virgil and the assassin vie for control of the syringe she pulls out of her pocket. Virgil eventually gets her into an arm lock, forces her to the ground, and finishes her off with a telegraphed all-out attack (determined) punch to the face.

Both Virgil and the assassin are detained by hospital staff until the police arrives. That's where we ended for the evening.

  • Kyle mentions that Interpol agents rarely make the grade when it comes to Agency 17 standards. The last one to qualify as a candidate- Agent Larson- died in Turkey during the investigation into Lorin's gun running operation due to a fragmentation grenade.
  • All my players think the mysterious texts are coming from a male. I've decided to make the character female purely to play on their expectations.
  •  Virgil didn't have the brawling skill up until this point.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Agents of Agency 17: Nima Caspi

Nima was originally intended to fill in some gaps within the party that existed while Alex was still around providing thieving opportunities and before Johnny showed up as a potential wheel man. Most importantly, nobody in the group had put more than one or two points into first aid, and none of them had surgery. Along with that, nobody in the group had driving capabilities up to high-speed car chases.

Using Kromm's excellent specialty packages, Nima was created with the following four: Field Medicine, Tactical Driving, Fixer, and Infantry Training, working off the concept that she was a former IDF Combat Medic.

Her standout skills are First Aid 18, Driving (Automobile) and Smuggling both at 16, and Guns (Rifle) and Merchant both at 15. With surgery 14 she could also work professionally as a surgeon, thanks to bonuses for routine tasks, good equipment, and the other benefits one enjoys working in a hospital.

Nima's primary weaknesses are hand-to-hand combat (13 in Judo and Brawling) and she's only effective socially when attempting to acquire gear. She also entirely lacks technical skills not covered by Soldier, which I should probably raise as it covers a great deal of things she would be proficient at.

On the personality side of things, Nima does enjoy being around people and helping them, a large part of why her medical skills are as honed as they are. That said, she drives like a fucking maniac, gleefully attempting maneuvers behind the wheel that others would refuse to attempt.

Besides the usual advantage package that everybody who gets into combat loves (combat reflexes and fit), Nima's rocking Daredevil and Danger Sense. Daredevil is a great choice for someone who takes grossly unreasonable risks, and Danger Sense is the perfect thing for someone driving your vehicle when IEDs and land mines are a potential threat.

Overall, Nima has done a great job of supporting the group while not overshadowing anyone else (except maybe Johnny's driving).

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Action Report: Backstabbed

The Agents

Tobias Stöhner: Gray hat hacker and electronics whiz, Tobias makes computer security experts at the Pentagon break out into a cold sweat when he infiltrates their systems.
Virgil Cooke: A former CIA agent, Virgil is a master of acting a part and working the social aspects of covert ops. You probably should avoid windows if he wants you dead.
Jack Herman: Former SAS, Jack is the group's heavy muscle and military man. If the group needs his talents, it's inevitably because something went FUBAR and they need saving.
Nima Caspi: A former IDF combat medic, Nima is perfectly at home driving like a complete maniac and patching up complete maniacs who have taken a bullet or two.
Johnny Trang: Johnny Trang was too cool for LAPD officer school, so they put him into undercover work. Johnny Trang is perfectly at home infiltrating illegal racing rings or snooping on bad guys.

The Agents boarded the ship without issue, and promptly set up shop. Everyone got to work schmoozing with the staff, their neighbors, the security personnel, as well as looking for Vivian.

Tobias quickly got to work taking over the WiFi on the ship, introducing some advanced traffic shaping to ensure he got crisp reaction times while attempting to work- also booting off everyone torrenting at the same time.

Johnny used his cover as an Interpol Agent to get on the goodside of ship security. Meanwhile, Jack rubbed shoulders with a man presumably from HMRC- The British equivalent of the IRS- named Harley Gunroy. The two have a pleasant conversation, during which Harley lets slip that there Belarus goons on deck four, a fact he learned by bribing the ship staff. Harley and Jack are joined by Harley's wife, Jane, after which they part ways after agreeing to have dinner a in a day or two.

Having located the security office thanks to Johnny's snooping, Tobias and Virgil set up a small scale pyrotechnics display out of the contents of a janitor's closet, smoking security out of the office so Virgil can slip in and plant bugs on their systems for Tobias to use. It goes off without a hitch.

Despite the Agents' best efforts, Vivian is nowhere to be found.

Early the next morning, Johnny comes across two men kicking in a door. He interferes, starting a fairly nasty gunfight. Johnny's first salvo of shots takes out the larger of the two men. He and the remaining foe trade ineffective fire for a few rounds before a man emerges from the room that was being broken into with a knife.

The guy shooting at Johnny hears him coming and blasts at the guy with the knife, seriously injuring him. Johnny takes the opportunity to shoot him dead.

The wounded guy the goons were attempting to reach by breaking down the door turns out to be Interpol- investigating Italian Mafia connections to the drug trade. The agent is gravely wounded, and only survives due to Nima's supreme capabilities as a combat medic.

By this time the other Agents have been roused, and Tobias has already used their new surveillance capabilities to ensure the others' movements aren't recorded. Jack, Nima and Johnny toss the room that was being broken into, and Johnny catches a whiff of cocaine, which is leaking from a crate hit during the gunfight. The Agents load the dead men onto a luggage dolly and conceal it with a tarp, while Nima and Jack get the interpol agent to a room.

Virgil sloshes bleach everywhere, to give the appearance of a cleaning job gone wrong, improvising another incendiary device to set off once everyone else is clear.

The rest of the day is relatively uneventful as the Agents go back to fruitlessly searching for Vivian. The Interpol Agent is barely stable, and nobody in the group is comfortable explaining to the medical facilities on board how they found a gunshot victim.

Late that night, someone starts jamming all radio signals on the ship, hard. The noise is loud, obvious, and it even intrudes on the team's radio communications. While Tobias tries to track down the jammer, the team almost entirely ditches their headsets due to the feedback.

At this point, Virgil is creeped up on by Vivian, who was alerted to their presence by the queries launched by Tobias against the passenger manifest. She believes the Agents are on board to assassinate her for her association with Arthur Bingham- much like how she believes they got George Hardings killed.

After a short discussion, Vivian makes it clear that the team is going to be picked up by another ship and taken to a location to discuss things with her organization. Amazingly, the team agrees to the meet, despite the possibility that it's a trap.

Jack calls Logan to let him know about the meeting.

Vivian arranges everything, bribing the staff on the bottom decks to allow everyone close enough to the water line to comfortably change ships. The wounded Interpol Agent is brought along because he can't survive without Nima's vigilance.

They're immediately shown to a room where there's a conference table and they're seated across from Arthur Bingham.

Arthur informs them that he was NSA, that the team lost him his job, and that he believes that they got George Hardings killed- if they didn't pull the trigger themselves. He states that they're working for the wrong side, that he can see how the killings in France (courtesy of Natalia) are interrelated to events in Turkey, going so far as to state that he can see the FNORDS.

Arthur has clearly become a little unhinged in the months since he last met the Agents. The conversation is strained, ending up with Arthur storming out of the room. The Agents briefly talk about what to do while searching the room for bugs or cameras, finding a few.

It's at that time that four men with submachine guns come to escort them under decks. The team prepares to attack them- just in time for a massive explosion to rock the ship.

In the chaos, the team strikes out and takes out the men who were supposed to be escorting them, quickly taking over their weapons.

Turns out a helicopter attacked their ship with a rocket. It sprays the Agents with minigun fire, only hitting Nima with shrapnel. It moves closer, about to launch another attack on the team when it is strafed by another helicopter, and crashes.

What then ensues is a mad dash as the Agents attempt to prevent Vivian and Arthur Bingham from evacuating the ship as an aerial battle starts between yet a third helicopter that has appeared.

The Agents fail to stop the evacuation chopper from lifting off, although Virgil and Tobias both scored hits on the pilot and Bingham, respectively. The second chopper to appear wins the aerial battle and hails them on the radio- he's their ride home, sent by Agency 17.

The Agents quickly search the ship, stealing any information they think might be useful, as well as making sure the wounded Interpol Agent is evacuated on the chopper.

Upon returning again to The Salvation, the team is greeted by Egeman who apologizes for the fact that Agency 17 has been compromised. He promises that the leaked has been contained, and takes the chance to introduce them to their new handler, Kyle.

What Went Down:

Upon learning that the Agents were going to be in contact with the group that's actively backing Arthur Bingham (thanks to Jack's call to Logan), Egeman ordered an attack helicopter to take out Vivian, Arthur and the Agents in one attack.

Distrustful of Egeman, Logan caught wind of this plan and ordered another Agency 17 helicopter out to save his team's bacon. Logan's copter took out Egeman's, as well as the helicopter sent by Arthur and Vivian's agency to guard their evacuation.

Logan is now on the run, knowing full well that Egeman will have him tortured and killed for preventing the death of the Agents.

Kyle, meanwhile, is not as he appears. Rough, blunt and rude, it all hides a very strong critical thinker and tactician. Kyle has not really drank the kool-aid, although I'm sure my players will assume he's under Egeman's thumb.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dissecting a Problematic PC/Player Issue: Tobias

So, I'll start with Tobias' character sheet.

Note: Due to how the character sheet program renders, two of his Electronics Repair skills aren't showing their specialties- Electronic Warfare, Computers,  and Sensors.

For a 300 point character, Tobias has a decent chunk (123 points) slotted into skills. This is great, however I'm sure all of you noticed that he has five different types of Electronics Operation somewhere between skill level 14 and 17. This goes along with also have almost every specialty of Electronics Repair as well. That's 11 skills, 35 points, all with significant overlap. Even with the harsh default of -4 between specialties, Tobias would be rolling at IQ (13) for most Electronics Operation checks (before familiarity penalties and similar circumstantial factors that are largely mitigated by being Cross-Trained).

So there's some hyper specialization going on, and it gets worse when you consider his computer skills. Between Computer Operation, Programming, Cryptography, and Mathematics, he's got another 24 points spent.

59 points in Tech related skills, over half of his budget. Now don't get me wrong, this is a very kick-ass suite of skills for a character, but it has issues:
  • With Cyrptography 17, there's almost nothing Tobias can't crack given enough time. Babysitting a laptop for three weeks while it chugs through encryption keys isn't glamorous or fun. A lot of the information gained isn't immediately relevant or is attainable through social prowess.
  • Tobias' other capabilities with technology are also frightening, approaching skill levels nobody else will conceivably hit as a complete package, ever.
  • That said, with few exceptions, most places don't have tech people savvy enough to deal with a character like Tobias. His real problem is gaining physical access to most machines- past that having him roll is almost a waste of time.
  • Opposed rolls would be great- except I can't justify too many people being as exceptionally skilled as Tobias is at such a small segment of skills.
  • Things become very binary- either he breaks into a system or doesn't. The information is immediately relevant or not- and if it is immediately relevant it's like the players acquired it too easily.
  • An unimaginative player might have difficulty knowing how best to use the character
A character like this is awesome, but only in the hands of a player who brings the right cards to the table:
  • A team player who is okay working out of the lime light in a supportive role
  • It's well suited for someone who frequently has issues playing due to scheduling conflicts. It's very easy to hand-wave their PCs actions compared to somebody, say, trying to schmooze with an oil executive.
  • Even with the above point in mind, this skillset requires a lot of awareness of what is going on.
  • Being able to improvise and think of tactics to achieve a goal is definitely a must.
  • It's well suited to a player who wants to be good at something who doesn't feel compelled to constantly roll dice
This really first came to my attention when Tobias' player was blatantly rolling just too well to actually be rolling. Too many crits, not enough failures, even on tasks rolled at default or against relatively low skill levels in the 10-12 range.

I've spoken with him and offered him the chance to respec things around to something that might fit his preferred play style better, although it would not be campaign ending to lose a player given that the other three are excellent in all regards.

I'm interested in feedback, as I'm definitely not doing a full analysis, mostly focusing on the character's primary niche.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Action Report: Not a Vacation, Damnit

The Agents

Tobias Stöhner: Gray hat hacker and electronics whiz, Tobias makes computer security experts at the Pentagon break out into a cold sweat when he infiltrates their systems.
Virgil Cooke: A former CIA agent, Virgil is a master of acting a part and working the social aspects of covert ops. You probably should avoid windows if he wants you dead.
Jack Herman: Former SAS, Jack is the group's heavy muscle and military man. If the group needs his talents, it's inevitably because something went FUBAR and they need saving.
Nima Caspi: A former IDF combat medic, Nima is perfectly at home driving like a complete maniac and patching up complete maniacs who have taken a bullet or two.
Johnny Trang: Johnny Trang was too cool for LAPD officer school, so they put him into undercover work. Johnny Trang is perfectly at home infiltrating illegal racing rings or snooping on bad guys.

RCP Members:

David Franklin Myers: Assassinated by Jack at Dodgers Stadium. Agency 17 asset.
Danny Jenkins: Captured by Agency 17 and is now enjoying enhanced interrogation techniques at the hands of Egeman Atalar. Was giving information to the CIA.
(Hopefully that helps keep you guys straight who is who).

The Agents were given two weeks to themselves for R&R, even with Logan's suggestion that they use that time to follow leads, research loose ends, and generally try and get a picture of what's going on around them.

The American news media went absolutely nuts over the shooting at Dodger Stadium. We're talking something along the lines of Current Affairs (Headline News) +5 here to see if random Joe Schmoe has heard about it. Thankfully, Agency 17 already had a contingency in mind, leaking a doctored security camera tape to the media while ensuring the real footage was lost.

The rest of the coordinated killings done by the Agents against RCP staff get reported for a week before all mention of them in the press stops- suddenly. News outlets drop the subject, articles that previously spoke about it online throw 404 HTML errors, and print publications refuse to acknowledge or speak about the issue.

Their operation in Brazil isn't mentioned at all in the media circles they follow.

The Agents' break ended up lasting a month. During this time Virgil spends his time in Berlin and Switzerland. Johnny's time was spent in Spain, drinking and hitting on the local women. Jack also lounges around for a month, except he decided to take in the French Mediterranean coast. Tobias spends his time trolling the internet for fun. Nima disappears, returning once the break is over wearing a race car driver fire suit.

Called to Italy to meet with Logan, all of the Agents walked into the room refreshed and ready to go.

A stark contrast to Logan, who was obviously sleep deprived. Mr. Monson, Logan's bodyguard is present, looming and threatening as always.

The Agent's next mission is to protect a woman named Vivian Mercer, who is traveling to the US via a cruise ship. Vivian is believed to be a target of the FSB due to her unique situation- her father was ex-KGB, she currently works within the American Embassy in London, and she may have had a romantic 'entanglement' with Arthur Bingham.

The conversation turns to equipment. It's decided that Nima can likely smuggle silenced pistols on board, but not much else. Tonfas and garrotes make the list, as does a signal booster for the team's radio communication headsets. Additionally, Logan has gotten them VIP passes to ensure that Vivian can't evade them by entering invitation-only clubs or areas of the ship.

Virgil raises an important question during the briefing, asking why Agency 17 is moving forward with the operation given their overall lack of concrete intelligence to work with.

The conversation then takes a turn towards the serious. Agency 17's interest in Vivian could be one of a few things, or even a blend of different motivations:
  • She could be targeted by a group Agency 17 is currently opposed to
  • She could be a target for recruitment by Agency 17 and the Agents are the vetting team
  • Surveillance of her activities to gather information
  • Determining how much Arthur Bingham told her during their past relationship
One of the Agents then point out that Natalia seems to have ended her killing spree across Western Europe about the same time that Danny Jenkins- the captured CIA informant- should be waking up from his medically induced coma. Logan asks Mr. Monson to leave the room, and plays some music on repeat to prevent the bodyguard from eavesdropping.

Logan spent the month that the Agents were on breaking looking into RCP, coming to the conclusion that David Franklin Myers, who was shot by Jack at Dodger's Stadium, was an asset for Agency 17. This statement prompts a flurry of questions from the Agents concerning the electronics that were going into the drilling site as well as whether lines are being crossed within Agency 17.

Logan denies the electronics equipment being A17 issue, instead revealing that Jenkins was cooperating with the CIA, thereby getting too close to Myers who was collaborating with Agency 17. Logan also assures Virgil that the team sent in to toss the RCP office in Brazil wasn't CIA.

Jack asks if killing RCP was intended to camouflage the real target.

"It was likely a move to ensure that anyone David told died along with him." Logan says. "It is one of the two things that concern me. The first is the possibility that our organization has been or will be compromised."
He continues. "The second is what if this was someone shouting fire in a crowded theater, and we killed four American citizens as a response."
 Virgil immediately brings up the moral quandary surrounding bringing a man like Egeman Atalar into the organization.

At this point someone brings up how strange it is that they'd have a mission involving another individual connected with both the Russian mob and British Diplomats, leading the team to crack open the information they stole from Arthur Bingham's laptop.

(Two of my Agents have Intelligence Analysis- Virgil at a 13, Johnny at a 12. Logan's also scary good at it given his activities coordinating field teams during the Cold War.)

What they find looking through the data is startling. Arthur Bingham cast a very wide net when compiling information to plug into his conspiracy theories, and it's clear a lot of the activity attributed by him to Agency 17 wasn't done by Agency 17 at all.

All of the events seem ideologically motivated, purposed towards entrenching the power and wealth of an oligarchy, while destabilizing the world however possible.

 The Agents are now convinced there's another organization at work, one much like Agency 17. They discuss bringing this information to their superiors within Agency 17, before deciding to do the current mission to see where that leads them...

Four days later and the Agents establish themselves on a massive cruise ship, about to begin the search for Vivian Mercer.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Action Report: Extrajudicial Killings

The Agents

Tobias Stöhner: Gray hat hacker and electronics whiz, Tobias makes computer security experts at the Pentagon break out into a cold sweat when he infiltrates their systems.
Virgil Cooke: A former CIA agent, Virgil is a master of acting a part and working the social aspects of covert ops. You probably should avoid windows if he wants you dead.
Jack Herman: Former SAS, Jack is the group's heavy muscle and military man. If the group needs his talents, it's inevitably because something went FUBAR and they need saving.
Nima Caspi: A former IDF combat medic, Nima is perfectly at home driving like a complete maniac and patching up complete maniacs who have taken a bullet or two.
Johnny Trang: Johnny Trang was too cool for LAPD officer school, so they put him into undercover work. Johnny Trang is perfectly at home infiltrating illegal racing rings or snooping on bad guys.

The Agents leave the RCP office where they had the firefight with the intruders. Touching base with Logan, they're directed to fly to Los Angeles, as the information they've uncovered has identified the command structure within RCP that they want removed.

Johnny and Virgil pose as airline pilots deadheading to skip paying for the flight. Nima spends her trip in a murderous rage next to someone who is hogging the armrest. Jack spends the flight being his lecherous self while Tobias continues to work on the files obtained.

Jack is nowhere to be seen for about fifteen minutes after the plane lands. Once he reappears someone points out he's got his shirt on backwards.

Ultimately meeting in an extremely icky motel room, Logan begins to brief them on the next mission, as well as introducing them to Agency 17's Operational Support Specialist in the United States, Ozzy. Ozzy was the guy who took the truck full of drugs when the Agents were stealing from the Los Zetas cartel in Mexico. Ozzy speaks with a Southern twang, and much like Rashad, is a consummate professional.

Logan lays out their targets:
  1. David Franklin Myers, VP of Operations for RCP and Connie's boss. Attending a Dodger's game at Dodger Stadium.
  2. Ny Nguyen, CTO of RCP. Visiting a robotics company to discuss a possible deal.
  3. Ashley Connor, Human Resources. Attending a conference at a ritzy hotel called The Squire. Morbidly obese.
  4. Randal McAvoy, Co-founder of RCP. Participating in a charity golf tournament.
  5. Danny Jenkins, believed to have ties to the US intelligence community. Driving a car in a rally taking place just North of the Los Angeles city borders.
Nima is immediately told that she will be tasked with ensuring wrecking Danny Jenkins during the race.

The Agents discuss which Agent will go after which target. Tobias is immediately selected to go after Ny Nguyen, with the hope that he will be able to abuse the robotics to accomplish the assassination.

Jack is sent to go after David Franklin Myers after it's decided that infiltrating the hotel where Ashley Connor is staying might require more of a personal touch that Jack lacks. Hence, Virgil is tasked with killing Ashley Connor and Johnny is sent to get Randal McAvoy.

Ozzy sets up weapon drops for Dodger Stadium and the Squire, as well as offering Johnny the use of a stolen golf cart should he want to run McAvoy over in a convenient 'accident'. Virgil asks for and receives some GHB, a date rape drug.

The Agents get into position, hoping to time the kills so that none of the victims are aware that they're being targeted at all.

Jack acquires a 'SECURITY' jacket, the kind with the word across the back and slips into Dodger Stadium. Using his military experience, he selects an obscured firing position and sets up with a rifle.

Virgil slips into the Squire and spends most of the time at the bar. After a few questions, he ascertains that Ashley slipped away with a man attending the conference for some no-strings sex. Faking the anxiety of someone seeing his marriage break apart, Virgil convinces the hotel staff to show him the room she booked. He waits outside for her and her partner to finish.

Tobias slips into the robotics facility. He got into the building without trouble, convinced the floor supervisor that he was capable of fixing a 'broken' air conditioner, and then gained access to the their network. He then moved onto the production floor to reprogram the robots themselves as they aren't networked.

Johnny got to the country club and just barely managed to pass himself off as a rich socialite. ("New Money" was his preferred term, while I opted to describe him as a "Country Bumpkin".) Luckily the charity golf event had screens updating in real time, and Johnny made his way over to McAvoy, posing as a replacement caddy.

Virgil executes Ashley once she and her partner are done. He disappears from the hotel after making a slightly feeble attempt at moving the morbidly obese body.

Tobias manages to remove some of the safety limits on a few of the robots when the floor supervisor interrupts him. Throwing a smoke grenade to the ground, it goes off, immediately causing the fire alarm and sprinklers to go off. Tobias is forced to gun Ny Nyugen down in the chaos.

Jack takes his shot and clips David Franklin Myers in the vitals through the private booth glass, dealing in the neighborhood of 30 damage. David fails his HT checks and dies. Dodger Stadium erupts into chaos as Jack makes his mistake. Thankfully, Ozzy was ready, having an ambulance parked by the exit closest to Jack. Jack and Ozzy make their escape, heading to the rally that Nima is about to join in...

McAvoy, a rude and very angry golfer, slices a ball into the bushes and then takes the opportunity to answer the call of nature, asking Johnny to make sure no kids see his private bits. Johnny then gets a wire garotte around McAvoy's neck. After a struggle lasting at least four seconds, Johnny wins the ST contest by 8, going a far way towards removing McAvoy's head. Needless to say, Johnny finds himself drenched in blood and refuses to strip naked and streak across a charity golf tournament.

Tobias ends up driving to the Golf Course so that Johnny can jump an exterior fence and climb into the car.

Meanwhile, Nima joins into the rally, and does a great job causing mayhem, eventually catching Danny Jenkins in a multi-car pileup that she gets away from unscathed. She goes on to win the race while Ozzy and Jack conveniently arrive first to 'assist' him in the ambulance Ozzy got.
Jenkins looks incredulous. "I'm fine, it was just a scratch."
"OOPS, HE'S ACTUALLY UNCONCIOUS!" Ozzy yells, approaching Danny and 'helping' him out of the car by using some of the leftover GHB (fast-acting date rape drug) he got from his shopping trip for Virgil to knock Danny out.

 Logan buys all of the Agents dinner, and then delivers the news that they need to leave the States, pronto. He's sending them to Madrid Spain, and advises them that their next mission might involve an oil tanker. Logan suggests that the Agents begin paying attention to events happening around them, and stresses the need to be able to collect and analyze information efficiently, as Agency 17 oftentimes holds back useful information.

Points Awarded:

  • Johnny: 1 In Stealth, 1 Point to Spend Freely
    Everyone else: 2 Points to Spend Freely
  • Additionally, each agent may add 2 points to a language to reflect their time spent in Europe (Virgil is allowed more flexibility as he currently speaks 10 languages)
  • Each Agent also gets 1 point to spend on Research, Current Affairs or another suitable information gathering skill that is relevant between missions.


  • I really wish I had some workable stats for a golf cart. I guess I could research top speeds and weight for an approximation to handle colliding with one, but it's honestly good that Johnny decided to go hands on.
  • Tobias' player has been faking dice rolls since about the time Tobias got shot in Turkey. I listed out all of his 'rolls' for this session: 9, 9, 10, 6, 4, 8, 8, and either an 8 or a 7 that I'm unsure which it is. This has been consistent enough that another player confirmed it when I brought it to their attention, and really contrasts the fun to be had when things go bad.
  • It's easy to forget that Jack (Rifle 17) is just barely a worse sniper than Virgil (Rifle 18) if examining skill alone. Of course, Virgil also has Targeted Attack (Skull) so skull shots are only -3, not -7, and precision aiming. Jack however is the best rounded combatant in the group, boasting multiple overlapping combat skills over 15.
  • Johnny's colorblindness will be slowly going aware over the course of the next mission and it will be completely gone (except maybe for a quirk leftover) at the start of the one after. In fact, the HT-5 check was the best roll of Johnny's night considering he got a 7 and succeeded.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Action Report: Just Business.

I've procrastinated heavily on posting this, for which I apologize. There's another session happening tonight, so more in on the way.

I did some planning before this session that never gelled into enough to post by itself. I'm including it here because someone might find it interesting.

The Factions:

Rand and Charles Petroleum (RCP):
Leader: Connie Nepala
Goal: Install a US-intelligence listening site under the guise of a drilling operation within the Amazon rainforest.
Motivation: $$$, continued existence of the business
Complication: Installing a 'drilling site' has raised the ire of locals and environmentalists alike. Threats of violence and sabotage have made RCP call in a few favors to keep the operation running smoothly. Agency 17 also wants them emasculated, and the US Intelligence Community has leverage that forced them to make the drilling operation go in the first place.

Blue Leaf Company (BLC):
Leader: 'General' Sherman
Goal: Protect RCP interests from angry natives and outside interests trying to stop the drilling operation
Motivation: Getting paid to shoot people, preferably in violation of the Geneva Conventions whenever possible.
Complication: RCP is hoping to cut their monetary losses and cover up what will be installed at the drill site by screwing over the BLC and killing their on-site members.

Niraj Hamid Rashad:
Goal: Poison the BLC barracks
Motivation: Hired by RCP. Also has issues with how BLC violates human rights.
Complication: Is frequently hired by Agency 17 due to his skills with poison.

Pro-drilling Locals:
Leader: Father Kline
Goal: Help RCP construct and run the drilling operation
Motivation: $$$
Complication: Forced conscription of local workforce to clear the road to the drill site has raised the ire of multiple prominent landowners...

Anti-drilling Locals:
Leader: Ernesto, formerly Murchad
Goal: Stop RCP
Motivation: Stopping the encroachment of industrialized society, prevent environmental damage
Complication: A particularly vocal opponent to the drilling, Murchad, has been murdered. This has many questioning if they shouldn't just give up.

US Intelligence:
Goal: Get a listening site in the Amazon
Motivation: Increase surveillance capacity in the area, have the capacity to deny that they knew about RCP's actions.

Agency 17:
Goal: Fuck with RCP and the BLC
Motivation: Revenge for previous slights.

The Agents

Tobias Stöhner: Gray hat hacker and electronics whiz, Tobias makes computer security experts at the Pentagon break out into a cold sweat when he infiltrates their systems.
Virgil Cooke: A former CIA agent, Virgil is a master of acting a part and working the social aspects of covert ops. You probably should avoid windows if he wants you dead.
Jack Herman: Former SAS, Jack is the group's heavy muscle and military man. If the group needs his talents, it's inevitably because something went FUBAR and they need saving.
Nima Caspi: A former IDF combat medic, Nima is perfectly at home driving like a complete maniac and patching up complete maniacs who have taken a bullet or two.
Johnny Trang: Johnny Trang was too cool for LAPD officer school, so they put him into undercover work. Johnny Trang is perfectly at home infiltrating illegal racing rings or snooping on bad guys.

Things started with Johnny (Alias for this mission: Bob Robertson.) preparing to get shown RCP's presence around the town of Varzedos. Virgil and Jack were doing recon during this time while Tobias did some snooping for Murchad's remains.

Earlier that night, Johnny had broken into the town hall and discovered that another government inspector was scheduled to pay the site a visit. Tentative plans between my players were made involving delaying or kidnapping this inspector to prevent their interference.

Plans that promptly ended when he arrived.

Introducing himself as Mr. Rashad to Johnny and Sherman, he claimed to be from Brazil's office of Health Management, there to inspect their facilities, focusing primarily on their food storage and preparation areas.

Rashad and Johnny tear through the entire camp with a fine tooth comb. Johnny fakes his way through the inspection, while Rashad goes through all of the food diligently. Rashad's thoroughness buys Johnny enough time to do some snooping. Sherman is annoyed greatly by this.

Rashad is polite, calm, collected and above all, professional. When pressed by Johnny how he got into his line of work, Rashad tells him simply, "I am the best at what I do, Mr. Robertson."

The search encompasses the local restaurant, the barracks, the supply depot, and the drilling supplies.

Connie makes an appearance, fondly greeting Mr. Rashad and giving Johnny the cold shoulder. Connie, Rashad and Johnny head back to Varzedos- Rashad needs to check the water supply and Johnny claims to need to see permits for the site. She shuts down any attempts by Johnny for smalltalk, making it clear that she does not like his presence on her job site.

About this time, Virgil who has followed Rashad and observed him from the jungle, spots Rashad covertly putting something into the well in the middle of town.

Tobias find's Murchad's body and his laptop inside his house. Murchad had a bunch of friends in various cutthroat groups of ill repute. He was attempting to get one of them involved in the situation surrounding RCP as a way of pressuring them to leave the area.

Johnny meets back up with Sherman to examine the future drilling site. Sherman leads him into the woods, claims that he needs to confess to something, and then draws a gun on Johnny.

The struggle for the gun goes poorly for Johnny when Jack, who had been covering him from the woods, misses his shot on Sherman. Sherman utterly fails his Fright Check (16!), throwing himself to the ground and accidentally hitting his head off a rock, knocking himself out cold.

The decision is made by Johnny and Jack to take Sherman prisoner. A search by BLC forces for their commander goes poorly, as the camouflage used by the Agents allow them to remain entirely hidden.

All of the Agents sans Tobias make their way back to the camp where Gregori and Nima have been staying. Tobias hits up the local bar.

Halfway through his glass of Everclear, the locals and BLC troops start falling sick. En masse. Tobias makes his way to the town hall where Rashad is telling Connie that the health inspection was going fine until the mass sickness hit. He storms off, and Connie politely tells Tobias to fuck off.

Tobias makes his way back to the base camp. The agents talk for a while, and Tobias decides to try and sneak into the town hall to take a peek through Connie's computer. He gets to Connie's office and gets to work.

He hears footsteps as he works. Tobias sends out an SOS over their communications before two goons kick in the door. Tonfas in hand, Tobias disarms one of the goons, only to be promptly shot in the leg.

Connie draws a gun and aims it at the wounded Tobias.

Outside, Johnny, Virgil and Jack approach the town hall. Outside, three guards are standing around, M14s in hand. The agents take time to aim before executing a simultaneous headshot, each agent taking out a goon.

The agents storm the building as Connie and her men are trying to exit. There's a brief exchange of gunfire that leads to Virgil getting a critshot to one goon's head for well over 80 damage, the other goon falling dead as Jack hits him in the unarmored groin and leg.

It's tense as the Agents prepare to try to disarm Connie when Rashad appears behind her and injects her with a syringe. She drops to the floor, out cold.

Rashad and the Agents uneasily come to the understanding that they're not working against one another. (Johnny's player gets a lesson in etiquette- when the guy who poisoned an entire mercenary company warns you that he's got sharps on him, you do NOT want to try and frisk him.)

Connie is out cold, not dead, as she owes Rashad money. Connie was attempting to cut costs by hiring Rashad, having him poison the Blue Leaf Company members, and then blaming the mass deaths on the now dead BLC members, thereby releasing RCP from responsibility for paying them.

Johnny and Tobias toss Connie's office and in the process Johnny manages to blow a fuse AND damage Connie's computer (crit fail on the search check).

The Agents and Rashad make an agreement that they won't seriously harm or kill Connie, while Rashad will allow them to question her. They use Murchad's farmhouse as the dead guy won't complain. Rashad offers to make everyone tea. Everyone refuses.

Connie promptly spills the beans. The Agents learn about RCP's corporate structure, and then step outside to leave. Rashad steps out himself, asking the Agents that they be discrete about his presence, and giving them a message to pass along to their handler. The message simply asks, "Have your bunny hops and rocket jumps improved?"

 (We had a break and the summary resumes from the next session of play.)

The Agents then interrogate Sherman, which drags out a while (real-life time). Most of his information is relatively useless, as BLC's command structure is fairly well documented online, and BLC is not the target organization the Agents are after, at all. The only useful tidbit is that BLC was pressured by an outside influence to take the contractor work without some kind of prepayment.

Nima patches up Tobias' leg, swearing the entire time.

Virgil eventually shoots him to protect the Agents' agreement with Rashad, figuring that Rashad's wrath isn't worth Sherman's possible gratitude.

Tobias and Jack make a trip out to do the demolitions work on RCP's drilling supplies. Tobias discovers a lot of listening equipment- the kind you'd normally find in a van, but souped up and disguised as components of the drilling equipment. Obviously RCP is not purely installing a drilling site here.

After a series of loud explosions, the demolitions work is done.

Virgil and Nima track down the Padre. They find him trying to run from a lynch mob and conclude that their services won't be needed.

The Agents break camp and call Logan:
"This is Logan, your handler. I'm busy making sure that the vast government conspiracies at play don't hit you with a predator drone. Please leave a message after the beep.
Three days later once they've reached civilization, Logan contacts them. They exchange information and Logan instructs them to infiltrate RCP's branch office in Brazil and then fly back to the States- they're going to have a complicated assassination mission to complete.

Surveillance of the branch office by Johnny and Virgil is interrupted when a black ops team breaks inside, shooting the guards. They wait for Jack and Nima to arrive with the rifles and vests. Johnny takes care of the guard outside, ramming him with his SUV a few times and eventually shooting him when he succeeds on two death checks at -26 HP.

Inside, Nima, Virgil and Jack hit the branch office, catching the intruders unaware as the lookout is busy getting vehicular homicided. After a short firefight that again sees Virgil scoring hits to the head, the Agents ransack the office of the materials gathered by the intruders and leave.


  • Tobias is stuck with Chronic Pain (Severe, 2 Hours, 12 or Less) [-20] from getting shot in the leg twice. He has the option to buy down the severity and the rate of appearance, which will require fifteen points total. (Ten for the first step, five for the second.)
    I honestly fudged this result- going off the dice rolls Tobias should be living with Missing Legs for [-20]. a move that would effectively end that character's career. Suffering with a 5 point disadvantage, a 15 point tax, and the effects of a 20 point disadvantage seem fair in comparison.
  • Rashad has previously worked with Logan before, and Agency 17 himself.
  • Next mission is going to involve a lot of party splitting- by design.