Friday, July 24, 2015

I Killed a PC in the First Session

Last Saturday I started a new campaign centered around Prohibition Mobsters trying to make it big in 1920's NYC. Here's how it went.

  • Four PCs- Sam (Played by the same guy who played Virgil in Agency 17), Bruno, Roseanna ("Red"), and Vinnie
  • 150pt total
  • Red and Vinnie are both playing minors (16 or 17 years old)
The PCs are called into a speakeasy by their local Capo, Jack Bennedetto. Jack works for the Barberini family, and so do the PCs. Jack's learned that the Baker Gang, a smalltime outfit working out of Newark is sending a shipment of booze South around Manhattan to try and avoid having another shipment hijacked going through the heart on NYC.

This, of course, means the players should have an easy time hijacking the very same shipment.

The players pump Jack for details. The Bakers are politically insignificant. They only manufacture booze, they sell to other outfits who ultimately distribute the product. Most families buy from them only when shit hits the fan and their normal supply routes have been compromised.

Sam sets out to get in contact with his brother-in-law, Teddy, an excellent wheelman. He then does some digging, meeting a soldier of the Vespucci family. The Vespuccis have been keenly aware of the trouble that the Baker Gang is having- their last three shipments from them have all been hijacked.

Sam is not pleased to learn it seems to be his nemesis, Jack "Three Finger" Moran who is involved. Moran is Irish, territorial, and feisty. Sam sets up some smoke and mirrors, hoping to convince Moran's gang that the next Baker shipment is going by boat.

Meanwhile, the others decide to scope out Newark. Locating a diner owned as a front by a member of the local criminal elite, they manage to fast-talk their way into getting Bruno a job at a 'rubbing alcohol' plant.

Bruno attempts to so some reconnaissance  while Red and Vinnie are stationed outside, but Bruno is an amateur actor at best, and he arouses suspicion. He's confronted by some armed thugs in the parking lot outside, and is convinced to go back inside.

Bruno is questioned by the boss of the factory, but doesn't break under interrogation. They're convinced he's a cop.

Meanwhile, Vinnie tries to sneak into the factory, even getting into a supply closet via a window, but without any firearms, and outnumbered, he wisely stays out of sight.

Bruno eventually makes a move, attempting to get his armed guard in a headlock. The guard takes aim, just to get socked in the chest. Firing his shotgun twice at Bruno, the guard misses due to the bulk and shock penalties.

Bruno misses on his next attack as the guard dodges and retreats. The guard opens fire again, and Bruno fails his dodge, taking seven shotgun pellets. Bruno is hit in the torso, groin (twice), right arm (twice), the leg, and his hand, for a total of 26 damage, as well as a crippled arm and hand.

Bruno does make his HT checks, but the players taps out knowing that continuing the fight is pointless. More members of the factory are moving in, some drawing firearms.

The session ends with Bruno's body being loaded into the same truck the players think they have to hijack.

Important Lessons:
  • Bruno didn't go for an all-out attack while trying to grapple the guard
  • Retreating out of close combat to avoid bulk penalties is powerful
  • Bruno never should have gone back inside the factory. Range penalties work in your favor when you're running away from people with guns.
  • A lot of the PCs invested a great deal in melee brawling skills, a poor decision considering they're operating in the era of the Tommy Gun
  • Acting at default, Fast-talk at 12 and Streetwise 11 aren't going to cut it if you're trying to infiltrate an enemy outfit.

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