Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mark of the Beast

Revelation 13:16-17

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

The Number of the Beast is 666 - William Blake
The Number of the Beast is 666 - William Blake

I am moving forward with my End of Days Mutant Future campaign idea.  I hope to start playing sometime in the next few weeks.

The eastern seaboard of the US and the islands of Japan were largely spared from the horrors visited on the rest of the world, and a dark mockery of civilization remains centered on these two areas.  The beast from the sea rules in Tokyo and the beast from the earth rules in New York City.  Within the confines of these two kingdoms the mutagenic dust from the Wormwood meteorite has no effect (suppressed by the powerful telepathic abilities possessed by both beasts).  All mutations within these kingdoms are caused by the beasts instead.  The kingdom of the beast from the earth (hereafter just "the beast") will serve as an evil empire backdrop in my campaign, with the PCs being from a nearby area.

The beast can speak like a dragon; charming or destroying those who hear it and bringing inanimate objects to life simply by uttering words in a terrible voice.

The beast has animated a huge idol of a dragon that the populace worships (and which destroys any who disobey the beast).  All members of the beast's kingdom must bear the mark of the beast (666) on their right hand or their forehead.  The mark causes 1-2 mental mutations and also allows line of sight telepathic communication between those with the mark.  Speaking out loud for anyone except the priesthood is a sin against the beast punishable by death. All communication must be done telepathically through the mark.

 The mark of the beast is normally invisible, but it glows brightly if a mental mutation is used or if the beast has taken direct control of the mark's bearer.  The beast can use its dragon voice once through the mouth of a controlled person (destroying the person utterly in the process).

The beast has created a priesthood which bestows the mark at birth. All aspects of society are tightly controlled by the priesthood, which rigidly enforces the beast's constantly changing laws. The priesthood is selected by the beast from the populace; priests and priestesses are usually selected at puberty.  The initiation ceremony is painful and sometimes fatal; it causes 1-2 physical mutations and 1 mental mutation.  These mutations are viewed as the blessing of the beast (even non-beneficial mutations).  Once initiated into the priesthood all ties with former family are expected to be cut, and the priests live only to carry out the wishes of the beast and to be initiated into mystery after mystery of the beast.  The priesthood has an intricate hierarchy with each level requiring a new initiation into a deeper understanding of the beast.  The beast loves to give conflicting directives to the different levels of initiates, adding to the confusion and terror the priesthood causes.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The End is Near

I am thinking about starting up a new Mutant Future game in the near future. My D&D 4e campaign has been on hiatus since the birth of my son Leo last November and I have been growing less and less inclined to start it back up again. Today some Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door bearing the inspiration I needed, a new direction for a post-apocalyptic campaign. The May 1, 2015 edition of "The Watchtower - Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom" has a killer cover image depicting a few bedraggled survivors making their way across a rubble strewn area while the city burns behind them. Brilliant beams from heaven pierce the thick cloud of black smoke overhead.  The cover asks the question, "Is the end near?

The answer in my game is yes.  I will set my game in the very near future, with the apocalypse loosely as described in the Book of Revelation.  The game will take place after much of the earth is destroyed and while demonic entities rule most of the survivors, before the final battle at Armageddon.     Mutations will be a result of a comet called Wormwood that impacts the earth, poisoning water worldwide with alien mutagenic compounds.

 Some cherry picked descriptions of the apocalypse lifted straight from the Wikipedia Book of Revelation entry including the verse notations):

  • Hail and fire, mingled with blood, are thrown to the earth burning up a third of the trees and green grass. (8:6–7)
  •  Something that resembles a great mountain, burning with fire, falls from the sky and lands in the ocean. It kills a third of the sea creatures and destroys a third of the ships at sea. (8:8–9)
  •  A great star, named Wormwood, falls from heaven and poisons a third of the rivers and springs of water. (8:10–11)
  •  A third of the sun, the moon, and the stars are darkened creating complete darkness for a third of the day and the night. (8:12–13)
  • A "star" falls from the sky (9:1).This "star" is given "the key to the bottomless pit" (9:1). The "star" then opens the bottomless pit. When this happens, "smoke [rises] from [the Abyss] like smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky [are] darkened by the smoke from the Abyss" (9:2).  From out of the smoke, locusts who are "given power like that of scorpions of the earth" (9:3), who are commanded not to harm anyone or anything except for people who were not given the "seal of God" on their foreheads (from chapter 7) (9:4). The "locusts" are described as having a human appearance (faces and hair) but with lion's teeth, and wearing "breastplates of iron"; the sound of their wings resembles "the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle" (9:7–9).
  • The four angels bound to the great river Euphrates are released to prepare two hundred million horsemen. These armies kill a third of mankind by plagues of fire, smoke, and brimstone. (9:13–21)
  • A great, fiery red, seven-headed dragon drags a third of the stars of heaven with his tail, and throws them to the earth. (12:3–4). 
  • A seven-headed leopard-like beast emerges from the sea, having one mortally wounded head that is then healed. The Dragon grants him power and authority for forty-two months. (13:1–5)
  • Another beast appears, but from the earth, having two horns like a lamb and speaking like a dragon. He directs people to make an image of the beast, breathing life into it, and forcing all people to bear "the mark of the Beast" 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

15 Robot Features - Alphabetical

15 Robot Features - Alphabetical

Advanced Alien Alloy: An extremely rare material was used to fabricate the outer layers of the robot.  +2 to Constitution, +2 Bonus to AC, ½ damage from cold or heat.
Level 2: Firmware upgrade takes advantage of the alloy’s unique properties to extrude spikes when a current is applied.  All melee attacks add +4d6 spike damage to their normal damage.
Level 3: An expensive radiation curing process allows the metal to become flexible, adding +2 to Dexterity (double normal GP cost to level up this feature to this level).

Blades:  +2 to Strength.  Pop-out blades can be hidden in the durndest places (to be determined by the player).  Roll 1d6:
1: two melee attacks for 2d8 damage
2-4: two melee attacks for 2d10 damage
5: two melee attacks for 2d12 damage
6: four melee attacks for 2d6 damage
Level 2: The blades are energized, doing double damage.
Level 3: Blades can be launched as a ranged attack with a range of 50’.  

Catbot: +1 to Strength and Dexterity.  Inspired by the old Terran wild cats, this sleek body modification doubles movement rate and enables pounces of up to 100’.  Three melee attacks (claw/claw/bite) for 2d4/2d4/2d10 damage.  When pouncing, a single melee attack is allowed for 6d10 damage.
Level 2:  An add-on vocal modulator recreates the famous lion’s roar in the form of a sonic attack.  50’ cone range, Willpower attack – 3d6 damage and temporary deafness for 1d4 rounds.  If this attack does more than 12 damage it knocks the target to the ground.

Chains: The robots torso is wrapped in motorized chains that can be used to assist in locomotion, in defense or as a choking attack.  Movement rate is increased by 50%, +2 bonus to AC, and a Dexterity attack with range of 15’ can be made to to do 3d6 constricting damage and hold the target motionless.  Held targets automatically take 3d6 damage each round and up to three targets can be held at once.  A held target can attempt a Strength attack to break free instead of performing any other actions on its turn.
Level 2: Hardware Upgrade: +1 to Strength, +1 to Dexterity, constricting damage is now 4d6 each round.

Dozer: +2 to Strength.  Scoop attachments and hydraulic lifters enable the Dozer to lift and move up to 2000 pounds.  
Level 2: Software update allows the scoop to be used defensively.  +2 bonus to AC.

Elegant: +2 to Dexterity and Charisma.  Sleek lines and graceful movements make onlookers forget that the possessor of this feature is a robot.  
Level 2: Ballet Flurry: Three graceful Dexterity attacks per round for 2d12 damage.

Multi-Purpose Bot:  +1 to Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence.  Featuring multiple arms and tentacles, fine manipulators and heavy graspers, wheels and legs, this model can be programmed out of the factory for hundreds of different jobs.  The Multi-Purpose Bot should receive a bonus determined by the GM when attempting tasks that can normally only be performed by a trained professional (open heart surgery, for example).  

Multi-Section Design:  The body of the robot can come apart into several independent sections.  The hands and head are detachable and can fly using embedded micro-repulsor beams.  Each has audio and video inputs and can be remotely controlled to a range of 1000’.  A detached hand can manipulate objects weighing up to 15 pounds.  The head has two tentacles that dangle from it which are used to connect the head to the body, and which also serve as manipulators when the head is detached.  These tentacles can lift up to 30 pounds.  The main positronic brain of the robot is located in the torso.  It is capable of processing input from both hands and the head while simultaneously directing the movement of the main body.  
Level 2:  This feature grants the ability to make attacks with both hands simultaneously at no penalty.

Peacemakers: +1 to Dexterity. Wrist mounted energy blasters, Peacemakers are widely used throughout the galaxy because of their reputation for reliability in extreme conditions.  Two ranged attacks for 5d6 damage each.  The Peacemaker Energy Cell is the industry standard and has a lifetime guarantee (each cell good for 100 years of continuous firing).
Level 2: Software Hack: Overriding the factory safety settings ramps up the damage to 10d6 each.  On any attack roll of a natural 1, the Peacemaker overheats causing 10d6 damage to its wielder.
Level 3: Peacemaker Bomb Hack: As a last resort the Peacemaker Energy Cell can be tampered with in a specific way to create a time bomb with up to a 24 hour delay.  The energy cell explodes in a small nuclear reaction, completely destroying organic life forms within 1d6 x 100’ of the blast and doing significant structural damage as well.  The explosion will blind anyone looking directly at it without eye protection.

Reflective Armor:  +1 to Dexterity.  This military upgrade is an integrated automated reflector system that sends incoming fire back to its source.  It only works on energy and explosive weapons (projectile weapons receive +2 to each damage die) but it allows the robot to make a simultaneous ranged attack against the first opponent to attack it during each round.  If this simultaneous attack hits, it reflects the opponent’s attack and does ½ the regular damage of the reflected attack to the opponent.

Rocket Eyes:  The eyes of the robot can detach and fly up to 100 MPH propelled by miniature rockets.  They can be controlled independently and transmit visual data back to the robot with a communication range of 2 miles and 2 hours energy charge.
Level 2: +2 to Dexterity.  This hardware upgrade and firmware update outfits each eye with a laser attack.  Each eye can make a ranged attack independently of the other each round.  The laser has a range of 100’ and does 5d6 damage.
Level 3: Cloaking devices for the eyes enable them to turn invisible at will.  

Space Flight: This robot is capable of flight with a maximum speed in a planet’s atmosphere of 800 MPH and capable of continuous acceleration to much greater speeds in outer space.  For small scale purposes the robot’s movement rate is 240’ with poor maneuverability.  
Level 2: +1 Intelligence, +1 Dexterity.  This hardware and software update allows for much better close-quarters maneuvering.  The robot can hover in place and perform difficult aerial stunts.  A melee attack made while flying does double damage with rocket power behind it.  In addition, better navigational computation allows for inter-stellar travel in half the time it took before.

Spiderbot: Most robot making civilizations evolved variations of the spiderbot independently across the universe.  Many legged metal monsters are a familiar sight no matter where the inter-stellar traveller goes.  Grants the ability to climb at full speed up walls and across ceilings.  Extra limbs are also extremely useful in holding off attackers; this feature grants a +2 bonus to AC and +1 to Dexterity.
Level 2:  Battle Spider Modifications add a vicious bite melee attack for 3d12 damage and a custom venom: (roll 1d4)  Save vs. Poison or suffer the following effect:
1.  Paralyzed for 2d4 rounds
2.  Permanent Insanity (Intelligence and Willpower reduced to 4)
3.  False Death – the target appears dead to most medical exams but can be revived by the spiderbot for up to 2d4 days after the poisoning, at which time the target truly dies.
4.  Truth and Suggestibility Serum: The target must tell the truth, and anyone can make a Willpower attack against the target to make them carry out a verbal suggestion.  This can include suggested actions that directly harm the target.

Translator Module: +2 to Intelligence. This combines a constantly updated database of the known languages of the universe with a predictive algorithm to allow for even previously unencountered languages to be translated.  The robot can understand and speak any language.  Codes and secret messages can be translated if an intelligence attack against the intelligence of the creator of the message is successful.  

Unique Energy Core:  A strange energy source powers this robot.  It could be of alien or magical origin, it could be from the future... +2 to Constitution and +25% Movement Rate.  Unarmed melee attacks do 2d8 damage.
Level 2: Hardware Modification: The energy core is harnessed to provide an energy blast ranged attack that does 6d8 damage (100’ range).

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Actual Game Prep Report

There are lots of actual play reports floating around the intertubes but not a whole lot of actual game prep reporting going on.  Most DMs who blog like to present a slightly more polished product than their private notes.  The result of actual gameplay is distilled and refined and published on the blog, but the actual "product" that allowed the gameplay to happen, the DM's notes, the lifeblood of any campaign, are rarely seen.  There are of course exceptions, and I always thrill to see the idiosyncrasies of another master of the dungeon when I am lucky enough to encounter some scans of notes.

As it has been over a year since my last post, I finally had the flash of insight that I should just scan in some of my campaign notes and post them as is rather than waiting for some magical epoch when I have all this free time and I get to do a million little projects that are simmering on the back burner.  I do hope to annotate this post at a later date to explicate my often arcane scribbling.

Click on the Pic to see them in their entirety

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Odds and Ends pt.1

I am going through my big three ring binder full of crap from my Mutant Future campaign today.  I pulled out a few of the gems to share with y'all in a series of posts, hope you enjoy!

Tribe 15:  When I rebooted the campaign on the world of Celestia and included magic in the mix, the party ran across a few members of this group; a little goblin that could teleport and a giant ogre proved particularly troublesome.  Tribe 15 is named after 15 sets of paired glowing spikes designed to be inserted into the eye socket.  The spikes are octagonal in cross-section at their base, and would be totally transparent if not for the intense glowing white light they produce that makes it difficult to look at them directly.  Once both spikes from a matched set are inserted into the eye sockets of a subject, the subject loses normal sight but gains magic detection, x-ray vision, regular vision and heat vision out to a one mile range (telescopic and microscopic only for regular vision, microscopic down to 32x magnification).  The eye spikes can also be used at will to make a ranged attack within 100' for 6d6 damage (energy blast).  In addition, the subject now has a telepathic link (willing or not) with all other members of the tribe.

 Each set of paired spikes has a personality, intelligence and even a spirit bound within, and the spikes constantly attempt to assert dominance over any user.  Once per day, even when just being handled, either spike of a pair may attempt a Willpower attack (WIL 15) to dominate a target in physical contact with the spike.  The spikes were created by the techno-mage known as Mad Albert in the darklands, and basically form a self-perpetuating magic item collection team.  When members of the group fall, the remaining Tribe 15 members search for new "recruits" to stick with the free spikes.  Once dominated by the spikes, the new members meld seamlessly into Tribe 15's unending quest to scour the darklands for magic items and technology to bring to Albert.  The 15 distinct personalities of the spikes fulfill different roles in the group, from squad leaders to melee bruisers to sneaky scout types.

Tribe 15 in play:  The party was really creeped out to discover they were being tailed by a group of mixed creatures with glowing eyes.  All attempts by the party to lose or hide from the pursuers failed (1 mile range xray vision is a bitch!).  When the teleporting goblin isolated a party member and it became clear it was trying to blind the party member with glowing crystal spikes, the party REALLY started freaking out.  This was a great encounter, the powers of the spike, especially x-ray vision and telepathy within the group, really made it hard for the party to run, hide or even effectively engage their opponents.  After a tense combat that ranged up and down the sides of ruined buildings and across a large area of the dark surface, the party managed to escape with one set of these spikes in tow...

Albert's Constructs - Albert's Eyes and Killballs:  The creator of the Tribe 15 spikes also created a number of other constructs that the party heard rumors of but never encountered.  Interestingly, my 4e group HAS encountered these next two, reinforcing the link between Celestia and my 4e campaign world...

Albert's Eye (tiny construct)
MV:240' (magical flight, can hover, total maneuverability)
Attacks as 10 HD Creature
AT: 1 (50' stun ray or 10' electric shock )
DMG: stunned for 1d4 rounds / 5d6
Saves as a 20 HD Creature, no damage for effects that would do half damage with successful save

Albert's Eyes are tiny magical constructs that resemble large marbles with a glowing red "A" suspended in the middle.  They can project a 2-dimensional image on any surface out to 50', with the size of the image depending on the distance it is thrown (up to 15' wide at 50' range).  They can also project sound (of volume equivalent to a dozen people being loud) out to 50'.  Objects within 1' can be telekinetically manipulated with 15 pounds of force.

Intelligence:  While not "intelligent" in the true sense, Albert created sophisticated magical artificial intelligences into each eye.  Separate combat avoidance and movement centers allow the eye to fly unharmed while directing other constructs with the impressive battle algorithm that Albert created to enable the eyes to be tiny commanders of his battle machines.  Scouting and tracking modules enable an eye to perform nearly any task Albert needs done in the darklands.

Senses: detect all lifeforms within 50'; telescopic and microscopic regular and heat vision out to three miles; x ray vision to 1000'; hearing augmented to incredible levels with sophisticated magical intelligence filtering out background noise to allow targeted listening of human speech or equivalent at ranges of 1d4 miles (roll once per use, terrain and other conditions result in the variation).

In addition, Albert's Eyes act as a direct conduit for Albert.  Linked to him at creation, he can see and hear through them at any range.  Albert can take direct control of an eye, and by extension, any other constructs that the eye is currently controlling.  It is rumored that Albert can also cast magic through an eye that he has direct control over, but this has not been verified.

Killball (medium construct)
HP: 100
Movement: 180' (magical flight, good maneuverability)
Attacks (as 10 HD creature): 3 x longsword AND battleaxe / 3 x machine gun (see below)
Damage: longsword: 2d8+3 / battleaxe: 2d8+4 / machine gun: 2d10 +6

A Killball's HP are divided into half, with 50 HP belonging to a spinning metal ball with three swords for tripod extremities and 50 HP belonging to a metal ball with a battleaxe and heavy machine gun.  Once at least 50 HP damage is taken, roll randomly to see which half is destroyed.  The killball then loses the attacks of that half (either three longsword attacks or the battle axe / heavy machine gun combo).  The two halves of the killball are connected with an invisible magical "tether" that can stretch up to 10', allowing the two halves to potentially engage in melee with two different targets.

The Killball receives +3 bonuses to attack rolls made with the longswords+3, +4 bonus for the battleaxe+4, and +2 bonus for the magical heavy machine gun+2.  These items can be recovered from a downed Killball.  The heavy machine gun has 120 rounds in a belt (40 rounds of continuous fire at 3 shots per round).

Killballs come equipped with a very limited set of pre-programmed actions, including guarding a defined area against intruders, pursuing a target, attacking a target and taking evasive maneuvers.  When within 50' of an Albert's Eye, however, a killball can make use of the eye's combat brain and becomes a very cunning foe.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The End (for now)

After a glorious run of either 54 or 55 sessions (I found a scrap of paper that would appear to be the experience awards for a forgotten "true" first session which would make the numbering I have used all along on this blog off by one) I have decided to cancel my biweekly Mutant Future game.

This is not the end of this blog; I actually hope to resume my 2e Tuesday posts in the near future and I have a TON of material that I generated for the game that I can post now as well!

Incidentally, this also marks the official end of my developing a supplement compatible with Mutant Future that I had hoped to self publish someday.  I had fun making a "fantasy genre" character creation bolt-on for Mutant Future, but it really just whet my appetite to make my own complete game (which I am doing).  Honestly, the play test that I conducted (14 sessions with all new characters rolled up using the Fantasy Quirks rules playing side by side with the surviving Mutant Future characters) was a success.  The new characters with fantasy quirks held their own with but did not overshadow the old characters with mutations.  The magic system worked pretty well in my opinion, and that is considerably more than I say about any published edition of D&D to date.

 I am going to leave the free text version of Fantasy Quirks up forever, all the OGL crap is filled in and correct and the entire thing is open game content.  I was actually quite pleased with the devilish pacts (one way to gain magical powers in Fantasy Quirks is to make a pact with a specific devil, based on "real life" devils drawn from the Goetia - I presented a version of this adapted to D&D on my other blog).  I feel good about adding some more open game content into the great Internet soup.  I hope that somebody will find something of use in it.

I am still DMing my other game and playing in my friend Carter's awesome campaign.  And like I said, I'm not giving up on this blog.

Carry on!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dance Party! (session 54 recap)

Last Sunday's Mutant Future / Fantasy Quirks session at my place unfolded like an 80's movie.  There has been a big social event on the horizon for several sessions now, the annual Spring Stomp dance held in the Sottles (south hills) of post-apocalyptic Eugene, OR.  The citizens of Spanky Butt and the matriarchal Sottle clans come together in a massive grange each spring to feast, drink and dance the night away, culminating in a Line Dance Faceoff between the Sottle folk and the townfolk.  James Bomb, international man of mystery, ladies man and the self proclaimed "face man" of the party, had been invited to the dance as the date of Elise Baumgartner, the beautiful young daughter of a progressive and wealthy Spanky Butt family.

As I have been terribly remiss in posting on this blog, some key bits of back story must be filled in here.  As mentioned in my Force Cage Death Match post, the Sottle women chew a strange black berry that stains their lips dark red, keeps their teeth white, their breath minty... and allows a rage filled demon known as a Blarg Beast to possess them should they lose their cool.  The Sottle menfolk are kept in a drugged stupor by the hurkool leaf they chew, which makes them move terribly slowly but also allows them to become hulk-like combatants if pressed.  The Sottle women seem to be in league with a secret faction of the Knights of Genetic Purity known as the Men of Santo (their symbol, as revealed by a tattoo discovered on the chest of one of Chaplain Squaldorf's slain deacons, may be recognizable to you:

The party has seriously messed with the biofuel production which is apparently the primary result of the labor of the massive herds of drugged menfolk, first stealing several 50 gallon fuel drums after a refinery and storage facility was left unguarded in the wake of Hag the Beastmaster (a party member created using my Fantasy Quirks supplement to Mutant Future) sacrificing an entire Sottle enclave to an unknown demonic entity in exchange for great personal power, then blowing up a storage depot with six completely filled 300 gallon tanks waiting to be helicoptered off by members of the Knights of Genetic Purity directed by the Men of Santo (this last bit of information was revealed by a captured KoGP mechanic who was interrogated at length following the destruction of the fuel depot).

Hag the Beastmaster also was responsible for destroying a section of the fortified wall which surrounds Spanky Butt town and blowing up portions of the Brown family residence, a very wealthy and xenophobic/anti-mutant Spanky Butt family.  So in short, the party in general and Hag in particular were in bad standing with both the Sottle folk and the townfolk.

But on the other hand, the party had also just managed to finally destroy Julius Corple and the ziggurat of doom (definitely a subject for another post), so they were also local heroes to some.  People either loved 'em or hated 'em.  One of the younger members of the Brown family, a lad whose name escapes me at the moment, has developed a bit of a schoolboy crush on Kazumi, the halfling samurai who has been serving as James Bomb's bodyguard.  The night before the dance, this boy took a considerable risk by sneaking out and warning Kazumi that he had overheard his father planning to kidnap any party members that attended the dance.  The dance is supposed to be neutral ground, and Mr. Bomb had been assured by his hosts, the Baumgartners, that nothing untoward would happen on the festival day.

So, forewarned is four-armed, as they say in the Mutant Future..  some party members scouted out the location of the dance during the night and discovered some trap doors leading below ground, and the Hag's beast (which is now intelligent and possessing a photographic memory because it was fed several "soul cubes", sugar cubes containing a captured human spirit...) was able to identify the scent trails leading into the trapdoors as being members of the Brown family.

Beyonce Chai parachuted down onto the roof of the grange from her giant eagle mount and set up position with her sniper rifle, while the other party members either waited out in the brush or arrived in the parade convey that left from the town, firing guns into the air the entire way (as is apparently the tradition at this sort of thing).

Three separate assassination attempts were foiled by the careful planning and reconaissance of the party; first, a party member cloaked in shadow (Brent's new character, whose name I also cannot remember without my notes in front of me; he was rolled up at the start of the session after Braziere the half-orc died rapidly last time fighting some advanced terminator bots buck naked for some reason) observing the dance hall from a vantage point inside, saw a number of young toughs associated with the Brown family excuse themselves from the feast and venture outside to the bathrooms en masse.  Beyonce used her remote controlled dragon fly robot's camera to observe what they did; they snuck out into the brush and visited a previously undiscovered trap door, and met a knight of genetic purity there who handed off several small bundles to the scoundrels.  These bundles were pocketed and the posse returned to the dance.

Beyonce radioed in this information to Mr. Bomb and the Hag, the only two party members who had openly attended (the Hag caused quite a stir when she showed up wearing a dress of glowing energy draped over her hunchbacked form).  They were thus not caught unawares when the Brown family henchmen tried to bump into them and brush a soaking wet handerchief across their faces.  Mr. Bomb tried to turn the tables on them and inject one of the incoming ruffians with a strong sedative he had prepared in syringes for the event, but he accidentally stabbed a comely town lass who he was dancing with at the time (damn those critical failures!).  He did, however, manage to grab one of the handkerchiefs from an attacker and save it for future analysis.  Realizing Bomb and the Hag somehow had gotten wind of the plan, the scallywags beat a retreat.  It was later revealed that the chemical covering the handkerchiefs caused anyone inhaling it to get terrible diarrhea.  The dastardly plot was to force Mr. Bomb and the Hag outside to the restrooms, where they would be jumped and drug off into the night.

The second assassination attempt was foiled by Beyonce Chai's decision to hunker down on the roof for the entire dance.  A slender person dressed in ninja garb attempted to use a grappling hook to gain access to the roof, intending to sabotage the machinery that operated the grain elevators and drop a massive platform down onto James Bomb as he participated in the one on one dance offs that took place between the lines of townfolk and Sottle folk in the Line Dance Face Off that was the culmination of the dance.  Beyonce simply lifted the grappling hook up, threw the ninja out into space and blasted him/her with her laser pistol as he fell down!  He barely survived the blasts and fall and disappeared into the night... but he/she will be heard of again, I promise Beyonce that!

The last assassination attempt was foiled by my bad luck at dice rolling.  I had devised a dice pool gambling mechanic to resolve the individual dance showdowns that were the centerpiece of the dance, and James Bomb got lucky when I used my nightly d30 roll on a high bet by his adversary in the dance off, one Georg of the Hilldancer Clan (a group of Sottle men who apparently were not kept drugged by the womenfolk, and who wore distinctive kilts - the dance was the first the players had seen of this faction).  I rolled something terrible, and James ended up winning both that showdown, and eventually, the title of Spring Stomp Champion!

Only fit men and women participate in the individual dance face offs, because the combined mental energy of the two lines of line dancers and the live band actually causes 5d8 damage to be dealt to the loser of each faceoff.  Mr. Bomb knew this risk, but had plenty of HP to deal with the eventuality of a defeat if it came to that... but what he did not know was that old man Brown, that fascist mutant hater, was actually a mutant of considerable power in his own right, and was planning on sending a mind bolt to strike him dead at the exact moment the collective crowd energy dealt him damage if he lost the danceoff.  Alas, the dice did not fall well for me, and all three assassination plots came to naught.

The Hag did, however, detect Mr. Brown's mental mutations through the use of her Detect Magic ability (I had to answer the question right off the bat when I started using my Fantasy Quirks supplement if Detect Magic could detect mutations... as I have explained the power source of both mutations and magic as coming from what I call the shadow world, I reasoned that Detect Magic would work, but would only reveal a very faint trace of magical energy in the presence of mutations; the Hag used her d30 roll to detect the mutations and rolled a 28, so she lucked out and got some powerful leverage against old man Brown...) and ended up blackmailing him with this potentially damning revelation to get him to stop his continual attacks against the party.

All in all, it was a great session!  Oops, I just realized that I missed the part where some party members killed a few guards that were posted at the trapdoor where the Brown family thugs got the drugged handkerchiefs from, with Bozko the shape shifting plant flying in his iron man suit 2.0 (the glargore version recently constructed by the mice in mech suits) to dispose of the bodies far away.  Everyone was too chicken-shit to venture down into the trapdoor, because Hag's beast had smelled a hideous spider-mutant-monstrosity down the hole, and the party had heard that the Brown family kept a mutated spider in their dungeons to use as an interrogator   Maybe next time...


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