Snuffed - A Morbid Hack

  • 87 Replies
  • 26307 Views
*

Spwack

  • 138
Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2015, 03:35:40 AM »
Awesome! Looks great already. I've noticed a few things that I'll jot down here, but don't bother changing them till I've got the lot ready.
- Exponential Horror text is copied, remove from Mob Rules
- Add more/better names
- Change stats to something that makes sense, add advancements after
- Special relating to irritating people so much they give creep? Perhaps
- Add 'curious inclination' to third group in look
- Add 'Slimy, yet satisfying (+Disgusting)' to flaw list
- Change core manifestation from (Dead, Cold, Lost) to (Disparate, Distracted, Delicious)

I actually don't mind the picture, and I love the Skinjacker. Thanks for formatting this for me btw, looks great.

Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2015, 06:16:18 PM »
Done and done. Updated the old version on my drive so it should work fine. I think.

*

Spwack

  • 138
Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2015, 08:25:43 PM »
Ok, the Swarm Special and sizes is awesome. Is each size advancement 1 extra body? I assume so, but it might need to be written somewhere.

Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2015, 02:09:21 AM »
The size advancements are 2 per stage - so a player would need to fill 4 boxes to hit Medium, then another 2 to hit Large, then 2 more to hit Huge.

Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #34 on: January 01, 2016, 07:22:31 AM »
Back from the dead for 2016!

About to play a one-shot of Snuffed with my group this coming Monday, finally, now that we've wrapped up our Tremulous campaign (insofar as much as that's possible). I'll update the per-skin files later on, but this is the roster I'll be running for the game. One notable change is the Gloom - now, rather than 'theatrical', which felt a bit pidgeonhole-y, I've gone for an emotional balancing act that alters how the skin plays depending on what happens. Melancholy makes the Gloom more effective at non-violent and emotional moves, whareas Mania turns the Gloom into a powerful, but simple, blunt instrument.

Check it out, yo.

Notes on the session, including my scenario, will be forthcoming shortly.

*

Spwack

  • 138
Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #35 on: January 01, 2016, 10:17:10 AM »
Looking awesome already. I love how flavorful the Mood is on the Gloom. Should "Tears of the Clown" allow you to roll Mood with Spirited as well as "Feel Nothing"?

Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2016, 05:15:40 PM »
So, it happened. We ran a one-shot of Snuffed and lo, it was...interesting.

I only had a single session, as we had some campaigns planned with Dungeon World's Class Warfare system the next week, so this was more of a 'get back into the habit' session with a nice fire-and-forget situation. The group, assembled from around the world, or as it turned out, mostly England, except one player in South America, had been assembled by a representative from a cosmic otherworldly being trying to prevent, or perhaps enact, some terrible omen of horror. Unfortunately, that wasn't intentional. I just hadn't been able to come up with a solid plot, and had to wing it.

As it turned out, this made very little difference, once the players got to work dismantling everything in pretty short order.

Aaaaanyway, we began with some nice, cheezy corporate America Muzak on the player, setting the tone as the group found themselves in an office space designed by MC Escher without all those tedious distractions like gravity or physics. Presently, a large goat-headed demon in a rather tasteful blue suit and a Bluetooth headset introduced himself as 'Gz-Fl-Hep' (this, on his name badge, was more of a bizarre Prince-esque rune) and began by letting each of the characters introduce themselves. This as where I have to give the players credit, as they immediately broke the system with aplomb:

Martin Clunes: The Ripper

A werewolf whose murderous alter-ego basically jumped into his unwitting host at night and went around murdering people with sharp claws and deadpan insults in equal measure. His did his killing with his Claws (2 Harm, Messy, Animal), but was otherwise just insanely tough to kill, which was rather useful for Martin's non-murderous side.

Immediately, we'd hit upon something the playbook had missed - what about monsters that lead double-lives, or were more physical than ghostly? Thankfully, it just took a bit of MC caveat to get around that, as we determined that Martin would black out and turn up wherever the player needed him as part of their Manifest move. Simple.

Mr Hugs: The Vessel

Imagine Ted if he was a psychopathic killer who talked with the kind of six-packs-a-day American accent that would make Nick Nolte say 'shit, that dude's got a fucked-up voice', was a toy from the 60's pulled from production because of his asbestos stuffing, but was emptied by his owner and stuffed with cotton wool and torn scraps of an occult tome (I didn't even try to ask). He was besties with the Gloom, Queenie, and normally did his killing with Smothering (1 Harm) or his knife (Sharp Edges - 2 Harm, Messy).

This was part 1 of a pre-planned double-act by two of the players. It was a really interesting dichotomy that played really well, with minimal tinkering on my part.

Queenie: The Gloom

Queenie is 9 and a half. She's been 9 and a half for about 600 years, since her daddy beat her very badly and she MADE HIM BURN so the people got cross and said she was a VERY BAD GIRL WHO NEEDED TO BE HURT so they took her to a hospital where some very, very bad things happened. While she isn't precisely violent by nature, she likes playing with other children, often mirroring their own appearances, and playing with Mr Hugs. Rather sweet, when she's not making people do terrible things.

Queenie was part 2 of the double-act. To be fair, I really enjoyed that these guys got to create a bond before the session started, so we could have some natural dialogue and co-operation as the game progressed.

Felix: The Skinjacker

A self-confessed addict who hit it a little too hard one night, but found a new kick in jacking unwitting mortals and riding them into the ground. Happy-go-lucky, verging on sociopathic, with absolutely no problems with killing random strangers. One might suggest this is the same kind of character this particular player always rolls, but that would be mean. And very, very accurate.

Nice and simple with this one. The Skinjacker actually shone out quite nicely in the hands of a player who was good at improv and steering scenes as they came about.

And finally...

No Rats: The Swarm

Imagine a tiny mechanical mouse. Like a wind-up toy you'd get in a Happy Meal. Now imagine a dozen of them, all with tiny razor-sharp teeth, coming down on you from head height. Burrowing into your eyes. Your mouth. Devouring you entirely. Yep.

I'm still not sure if this player was fucking with me specifically or if they went out of their way to stress-test the playbook, as they focused entirely on making the biggest, nastiest blunt instrument of a character as possible (Huge, , refusing to speak in anything but chittering, and killing/destroying absolutely anything in its way. This very nearly included one of the other players. Besides this, it raised a lot of questions about certain functions with the Swarm's size, abilities and some of the wording, all of which are going to undergo a very serious overhaul.

Setting Up

With introductions out of the way, their host explained the situation as it stood. A company known as 'Synergine Inc.' was celebrating a Christmas party that night, as part of the wrapping up of a very big ongoing project. Hep ('cause I'm Hep to what you guys are about!) was looking for us to locate one of the Synergine CEOs, get the Skinjacker into their head, then ensure that nobody else left the building alive. Nice and simple.

Alas, this was about the first, and only, time that I realized that I really should be noting some of this down as I, well, made it up. I planned to drop some seeds for the cast to discover that the CEOs were, in fact, not real, and inform Hep that this was the case, at which point the mission would shift to Plan B - break into the offices some other way and find what Synergine's been translating. The minute things began to derail, I lost track of where I was trying to lead the group and it rapidly descended into chaos, but that comes later.

Everything began with the players making their Manifest Moves. Queenie and No Rats made theirs, arriving where they wanted. Mr Hugs was with Queenie, as she and Mr Hugs' Owner, Tilly, were already in place. However, Tilly was in Want (Mr Hugs whiffed his beginning of session roll) and was there so he could help get Tilly's big sister away from her jerk of a boyfriend and back home with her. Felix and Martin got partial hits, so Martin showed up outside, needing to bluff his way in, and Felix wound up in the body of one of the caterers of a vegan burger van, "Gutz" called Louis.

A quick break here, as I explained the basics of the playing card system. Value determined their rank or importance, the suit determined their basic personality. The Skinjacker, on a partial hit, picks from one of three cards played face-down. If he picked a face card, he'd have been Hugo, the boss, but as it was a mid-value card (5 of Hearts) he just got +1 to his Spirited stat whilst inside Louis, but still caught crap from Hugo.

While Louis curbed his disgust as Tofu burgers, dreaming of thick, juicy steaks and buttery potatoes, Martin rolled with someone assuming he was the bartender, got inside and began drinking pints of conspicuously high-quality whiskey. His innate Physical Harm resistance meant I couldn't even make him roll anything - he just slammed a bottle of 14-year-old single malt without blinking an eye as he read through a conspicuously ominous health and safety waiver for the party. Interestingly, the company forbid anyone to consume meat on the premises, hence the vegan burgers.

In the vents, No Rats suddenly appeared and set about ensuring that, without a shadow of a doubt, that No Rats were all that were in the vents. This joke ran throughout the entire session.

Inside a janitor's closet, Queenie was let out by Tilly and Mr Hugs, with Queenie mirroring Tilly's appearance as part of her Gloom Special move that let her copy another person's appearance if they'd studied them for long enough (I let that slide, what with Mr Hugs being her toy at the time) as a tag while Manifesting. They immediately set about their tasks, with Tilly & Hugs looking for ways to seal the building off, whilst Queenie ran off to find someone and hatch her side of the plan.

As Felix (in Louis) set up the stand in the hall, he floated the idea that, maybe, they should see if anyone had any dietary requirements. He didn't want to poison a CEO or anything. Despite Hugo's inclination to just serve the food then demolish the open bar, he conceded accidentally killing someone wouldn't look good, letting Felix free to explore the building in search of important people.

In the break room, with Martin, I introduced another character, Maisie (Queen of Spades - High Ranking, Charming, Inquisitive) who was head of the Translation Department, who explained the plans for the evening - people were getting bussed in, there was a Chill Out Area where people could rest if they partied a little too hard, and they weren't sure if any of the CEOs were going to turn up. As it turned out, nobody had ever met face-to-face with them, or even seen a picture. There were offices on the top floor, sure, but nobody had even been up there that she knew of. After a little awkward drunken flirting, she excused herself and Martin got back to pounding some of the most expensive liquor known to mankind as he set up the bar.

Tilly and Mr Hugs decided that the safest way to get around the building without getting spotted would be to get around in the TV-Show-Size air vents, so they got in. Unfortunately, No Rats was in there with them, and they had the +Delicious Grudge against Mr Hugs, so his player attacked them the moment they got in the vent. This didn't go down well, but I had to go with it, as this was entirely within character. Mr Hugs elected to take 2 Harm in order to deflect any from coming to Tilly, but wound up with a big hole torn in his guts and a very shaken-up little girl to deal with. Thankfully, once they got out the other end, they found themselves in front of the Fire Alarm control box. Mr Hugs made a fair attempt at prying the box open, but it took Tilly swinging him like a club a few times before the box cracked open, whereupon Tilly soaked the thing with her juicebox. It wasn't until then that they noticed the weird black box that had been stuck inside there, with some sort of antenna on it, but this didn't interest either of them that much. What did was that the alarms failing had, funnily enough, unlocked all the fire doors as a safety precaution. Whoops.

Queenie ran into a rather rude janitor (let's call him Bob, as I can't remember him) who was drawn as an 8 of Clubs, surly and aggressive. Despairing that a kid had snuck in, he was horrified once Queenie explained that her mother had dumped her here for her 'no good white collar sumbitch' father to take care of, who she strongly hinted was one of the CEOs. At that, he radioed someone on his walkie-talkie and ushered her to where Maisie was getting her pre-drinks in before the rest of the party-goers turned up. Panicking ever so slightly at the news of someone's illegitimate child being dumped at a christmas party, it didn't help that Felix chose this moment to show up asking even more questions about the CEOs. Half drunk and out of ideas, she asked Felix to watch Queenie until she could find some people from HR to sort all this out, then ran off to make some calls.

This, of course, was all the time they needed to start hatching a horrible, terrible plan.

Back in the vents, No Rats decided to have a bit of explore. So they went up, through the vents, into the penthouse offices by burrowing through an ajoining wall. Interestingly, the whole floor was sealed off from the rest of the building apart from via the central elevator. Inside, the pristine offices were set up with tons of interesting data for the players to start picking apart.

No Rats decided that it was hungry.

There went a good 50% of my plot hooks.

Bugger.

Downstairs, some of the party-goers were beginning to arrive. 90's Disco music was pounding throughout the building. Felix was prepping some salsa for the burgers. Martin was steadfastly refusing to serve anything other than neat whiskey and pints of bitter. Queeie was wandering around, enjoying herself. Tilly and Mr Hugs were looking for Tilly's big sister. No Rats was happily chewing through pages of my hard work.

Time to get this party started.

More to come...

Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2016, 05:33:18 AM »
Party Time

Time had now advanced sufficiently for the party events to start triggering properly. There were a good few dozen employees in attendance, the music, a horribly cheesy 90's party mix was being blasted out by DJ Smash (9 of Diamonds - he's just here because this crap pays well), and things were starting to grind into action.

At about this time, I received a note from Felix's player:

"We are adding a special ingredient to the salsa. Rat poison!"

Oh Jesus.

Across the room, Martin was reluctantly dealing with a few customers, including Joel, the archivist. Through some stilted and indirect conversation, with Martin maintaining a withering barrage of put-downs and stalwartly refusing to mix a cocktail to save his life, some more threads were dropped about what precisely Synergine was up to. Something was being translated in little pieces, before being recompiled into some kind of software or algorythm, and Joel was feeling so empty and useless now, he uttered the immediately regrettable words "I wish I was dead". Feeling like his use had come to an end, and hoping to do this walking tragedy a favour, Martin promptly lured Joel away to the disabled toilets, wolfed out and tore him apart before stealing some clean clothes and returning to his bartending duties.

First kill of the session, and it's a character I'd hoped would at least survive the scene, as I planned for them to do one important thing before they became a viable target. On balance, having an NPC express depression to the one character designed to kill absolutely goddamn everything was my own stupid fault. Oh well.

At about the same time, Queenie ran into Bob the janitor again and used her Signature move to implant the suggestion into his mind that he needed to seal the fire doors. Funnily enough, this turned out to be exactly what he needed to do, as Bob immediately began barking into his walkie-talkie that they needed to reseal the exits, apart from the one they planned to use 'when the time comes'. Making her escape quickly, Queenie made her way towards all the lights and music once again.

Side note: It was about at this point that I really should have cottoned on to the fact that the party were just focusing on finding a CEO. My idea of one not showing up was, therefore, going to cause some problems with their plans, and if I didn't expressly do something to highlight this, we were going to start freewheeling pretty soon. I didn't, so it did. Go me.

Returning to the party, Felix loaded up a burger with hot n' deadly salsa and sent it over to the DJ, who ate it with drunken relish, as Queenie, now making herself at home, tried to make the DJ thrash around enough to do some damage to himself. She whiffed it, so all she managed to do was make DJ Smash throw some eye-popping shapes as he put Scatman on the turntable. Horrible. In the background, more partygoers were drinking at the bar and chowing down on ironically lethal vegan food,

Up in the top floor, having gorged himself on some delicious plot, No Rats decided to have a bit of an explore, found the elevator shaft and immediately detected a vast, ancient, hungry presence stirring beneath the building. Which he promptly ignored and instead bit through the elevator cables, cutting off access to the offices entirely. I resisted the urge to ask if the player was actively trying to sabotage the game and just went with it. Fine. The failsafe 'just kill everyone' objective was still my backup plan.

With the exits being sealed, Mr Hugs and Tilly were now free to focus on their main objective of breaking up Tilly's big sister from her dick of a boyfriend and, you know, not getting horribly killed in the process by all the other terrible things happening. As La Macerena came on (one of the players put on a half-hour loop of the song, so I went with the idea that DJ Smash was now incapacitated, leaving the last track on repeat, as he ran to the toilets), Mr Hugs tried to find the big sis, but came up empty handed. To him, it was a room full of people in rows doing an identical dance. How was he supposed to pick someone out of that kind of line up?

Taking advantge of the situation, Queenie got up on the decks and began to play her own tunes. The sight of a 9 year old jumping up on the DJ booth at a corporate Christmas party didn't seem to faze anyone all that much, not least because she started dropping some actual tunes for a change, unleashing the barnstorming anthem that is MC Hammer's 'Can't Touch This', then used her ghostly mojo to get the crowd violently jumping around and battering each-other to the music.

Another side note: During setup, I allowed each of the players to choose one of their two signature moves, for the sake of seeing how each player would make use of them. In Queenie's case, this lead to heavy reliance on Harmony Of Souls, which allowed her Connect move to make people do whatever she wanted. It worked, but it highlighted that perhaps those moves should come at more of a cost.

Fluffing the roll, Queenie got the crowd riled up, but the chaos quickly upturned the DJ desk, trapping her underneath it. Seizing the opportunity to kick some ass, Martin used his Threshing Machine move to Traumatise the entire crowd for 1 Harm, as he Van-Damme-d his way through the crowd and srescued Queenie from the debris. Despite beating the tar out of several patrons, Martin still got some credit for saving a poor little girl, and the party went (mostly) back to normal.

As a quick aside, I narrated DJ Smash, now coughing up blood, stumbling to the bathrooms only to discover the butchered remains of Joel, then faceplanting into the gore, stone dead. Chalk up kill number 2 to Felix, then.

For the sake of flavour, I gave each player the card of the npc they'd killed. As the night went on, this started to get a bit out of hand.

With the chaos of Hammertime now behind us, Tilly found her sister and, with Mr Hugs acting as bait, lured out Michael, the sister's boyfriend, out somewhere quiet...

More to come.

*

Spwack

  • 138
Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2016, 02:03:48 AM »
Looking forward to part three. I didn't really expect the Swarm to be used quite so soon, if ever. However, from my point of view, any character can be played chaotic stupid if you really put some effort into it. Just because it's easier to play a swarm that way, doesn't mean you have to, if you know what I mean. Is there anything in particular that was total BS, and needs fixing right away?

Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2016, 05:14:35 AM »
I don't think anything was particularly broken, there was just a lot of clarification that needed to be put in, and maybe a little nerfing to prevent the playbook having a single OP build over all others. It may be that burning units of your Swarm might be a more robust mechanic for some of the moves, as with +3 Sly, the Swarm was pretty much annihilating everything it touched. I think it didn't help that the player in question is the kind of guy who enjoys building OP characters.

Blarg.

*

Spwack

  • 138
Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2016, 07:47:10 PM »
Know that feel bro. My best player plays well, but he also plays to win. My one caveat is that the Gremlin origin should poke through a little, so when you lose bodies, they're either dead, or distracted so utterly by the task that you can't get them to move on. MCs choice, but change whatever needs changing. I might run a playtest as well sometime.

Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2016, 09:14:23 AM »
Party Crashers

Time to take stock.

Through player action, I'd lost two of my key plot threads: the offices and Louis. Through my own ineptitude, I'd forgotten about Maisie, almost entirely lost track of several countdown timers and I'd basically decided that even if it was a crash landing, I'd still try and aim for a proper resolution.

My plan had been for the project to have been a ritual offering to an 'orrible beastie below the building, with the office party being used as a way of gathering sacrifices and tying up any loose ends with the whole translation business. The problem was, this ritual would have enslaved the beastie to Synergine, which would have been a problem for all concerned. Hep and his boss wanted the summoning to go wrong, so the beast would be free to wreak havoc, which required the players to glean some specific knowledge of what the ritual did so they could sabotage it, this being their optimal win state. If they just kill everyone, beastie awakens, but isnt freed, partial win. Ritual gets said properly, beastie gets bound to Synergine, party loses.

All of these were still possible, but now that some of the leads had been burned, I had to improvise.

In short, it was all going a bit wrong.


Tilly, in a remarkable spot of cold-blooded premeditation, plotted the perfect way for Michael, a musclebound gym bunny, to get taken out of the picture. Tilly approached her sister, asking for help getting Mr Hugs down from on top of a vending machine, too high for her, so the boyfriend got roped in.

While Mr Hugs prepared to ambush his quarry, a bunch of drunk, rowdy workers from a business down the road decided to crash the party. About 20 louts, headed up by their boss, John Colby (King of Diamonds), began drinking the bar dry, much to the utter indifference of Martin. Felix, however, saw John, with his penchant for vice and his crew of goons, too much to resist. Skinjacking was easy enough, but on the partial hit, he became aware that if he left, Felix's old host, Louis, would totally freak out about poisoning a load of people for no reason. Felix didn't give a crap, so he hopped into John Colby and Louis freaked right out.

Making a half-hearted announcement that the food was off, Louis realised that maybe this was more the kind of problem you ran away from, grabbed Hugo and legged it to the van. Thankfully, due to strenuous cleaning standards, there were No Rats waiting for them inside the van. All they left behind were shoes and greasy residue. Chalk up two more deaths.

Oh, there's a death tracker, too. That comes in later.

Back indoors, Tilly looked on as Michael groped blindly for Mr Hugs. Normally a smooth customer, Mr Hugs failed to keep his cool in such close proximity to a potential victim and went off half-cocked, only dealing incidental damage to his victim. Micheal, on the other hand, not taking kindly to getting shanked by a cross between Winnie the Pooh and a Nick Cave song, smashed him into the vending machine until it broke, dealing some more harm to the poor bear.

This was the point where the Vitality system kicked in, as although Mr Hugs had taken a beating, he could no longer take any more damage unless it came as Occult or Sacred harm, which allowed for players to be a little more reckless when pursuing courses of action like this, as although they could get bashed around or slowed down, they couldn't die. Any more than usual.

Regaining control of the situation, Mr Hugs ditched the knife in favour of his primary means of murder - smothering Michael with his thick, fluffy tummy. Weak from blood loss, fear and asphyxiation, the big guy finally went down for keeps. Gaining creep from his Vessel move, Mr Hugs did some running repairs, then went to fulfil the second part of his own personal mission, to get Tilly and her sister out of the building before evetyone else gets murdered right in the face.

Back at the party, with the room full to bursting and neither hide nor hair of a CEO in sight, the rest of the crew went 'screw it' and prepared to massacre everyone. Felix used his clout to start a brawl between the gatecrashers and the partygoers, giving Martin the excuse to weight in again and kick the snot out of everyone in sight once more.  At about this time, Hep stepped in to contact everyone once again. Which is to say, I wanted one last chance to salvage the situation before we resorted to flat-out genocide.

More to come,

Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2016, 03:03:11 PM »
This Party's Dead

Taking a moment just before the bloodshed kicked off in earnest, Hep stepped in to ask what was going on- OH GOD WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING. To his alarm, the party had already killed five people, which was enough to set the underground monster to 'stirred'. Weird energies were about to be released and ideally, this would force Synergine's hand to start the ritual early. Hurriedly throwing in some exposition that I really should have just handed to the party right at the start, Hep explained that there was something very old and terrible below the building that was about to be awoken. If Synergine completed their ritual, things would, quote, 'go very badly', so they should just, er, kill everyone before that happens.

Just murder everyone. I don't know. I don't know any more.

Not really needing any more of an excuse, Martin wolfed out on the dance floor and began obliterating people in an unholy whirlwind of fuck. As is his wont.

Quickly jumping away from the horror for a moment, Mr Hugs helped Tilly and her sister find the one open way out, but had to ditch them at the last minute as a bunch of approaching footsteps suggested Synergine was about to respond to the ongoing butchery in no uncertain terms. It was a strangely touching moment - a homicidal teddy bear reuniting sister with sister, albiet via the medium of gruesome tummy-smothering murder. Bless 'em.

We returned to the main event to find No Rats joining in on the fun by bursting through the ceiling, effectively dissolving a whole bunch of people in a hail of tiny nibbling teeth and claws, cementing this whole affair into a Cabin-In-The-Woods-Level clusterfuck of supernatural oddities and carnage. As bodies dropped, Maisie's voice came on over the PA System, hurriedly reciting some bizarre series of vowel-like sounds. To Martin and No Rats, this wan't much of a concern - Felix was too busy trying to keep his shiny new body from getting ripped in half by Martin's bezerker rage, by the way - as they were happy enough to just keep killing until they ran out of targets. Mr Hugs had been abandoned and turned around, with no idea of how to get back to the rest of the team. Only Queenie had the presence of mind to try and intercept the ritual and stop things from getting any worse. For them, at least.

Cue Queenie spamming Harmony Of Souls like F5, using it as a master key to get past some surprisingly well-armed janitors because, well, a screaming, terrified girl covered in blood tends to get a pass with most people.

Speaking of heavily armed janitors, two of them arrived in the main room and lit up Martin with, surprise, blessed bullets which dealt Arcane harm to him. However, this didn't mean all the much, as between his ungodly damage resistance, Felix skinjacking one of them and trying to shoot the other, then Martin promptly disemboweling them both, they ceased to be a problem pretty much immediately.

So there went that hard move. Bah.

The last check of the night came down to Queenie. Their player had been red hot all night, and this was no exception - one more Harmony Of Souls and the ritual was fluffed discreetly enough for nobody to realize until it was too late. The sacrifices had been made, the ritual failed. We snapped to cinematic mode.

The whole building shook, then split. Bodies, living and dead, were tossed around with dolls. A ghastly stench arose from the abyss below, followed by a wet, ululating roar. Martin hurled himself bodily through a window in self-preservation, slamming into the roof of the burger van before blacking out. Inside, torn and helpless, Mr Hugs went limp. Everyone felt a sudden yank, dislocating themselves from that time and place, returning them to where they started.

Back in the MS Escher office, Hep, now torn, bloodied and missing a horn, was bedraggled but jubilant - despite the catastrophic cockups, everything went to plan. Ish. Enough of it did to count. He didn't get killed, and that was the important thing. The beast had been set free to stomp around the countryside and eat free-range farmers. Synergine was in ruins. Everyone had indulged in their murder boners quite successfully, with Martin and No Rats sitting on so many kills that I'd given up and let them tap as much Creep as they wanted for the rest of the scene. Hep was grateful for their help - he really was, but as Synergine tied up their loose ends, so he had to do the same.

A blink of darkness, and the team found themselves weightlessly drifting in a huge, inky black void, with a dim glow of light running all around them in the distance.

Only then did they notice, it wasn't a void. It was a pupil. In an eye larger than a galaxy. Belonging to something...other.

Skip forward in time and...across in dimensions. Rescue workers retrieve a miraculously unharmed Martin Clunes, stark naked and soaked in blood, from the crater he left in the roof of the Gutz burger van. Despite his best attempts to brush it off, this might take some serious explaining. Even for a Christmas party.

A little way away, buried under a heap of rubble, an emergency worker finds the torn-up, yet somehow whole body of a teddy bear. Cute little thing, they think. Shame to throw it away...

And there we go. Done. The whole thing took almost four hours, and a lot of flew right by from my side of the table. As for player feedback, the majority of the concerns they had were mainly on balance, better wording of the rules and a bit more prep, all things I could agree with. If I'd come to the table with better notes and a more focused plot, things would have moved a lot smoother, but as it stood, it was enjoyable, with plenty of laughs, horrible gore and people being generally awful human beings. I think the system has some potential, but it definitely needs more co-ordination to run over a vanilla AW game with the playing cards added to the mix.

A rethink and maybe a redo with some randoms on Skype might be called for in a few weeks with a tweaked setup. Who knows?

*

Spwack

  • 138
Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2016, 12:10:49 PM »
Great read. I think having the backup "plot line" of 'oh just kill everybody already, I don't care', is completely acceptable in this sort of game, though it should only ever give a partial victory. A few things that might be useful for nerfing the Swarm: Reduce the number of controlled bodies, make the use of uncontrolled bodies even harder, and remember that when someone attempts to squish 'em, they squish hard and fast. From a MC standpoint, make it so there is a very distinct tactical choice between spreading out, and grouping up. Group up, and you become, as you say "the biggest, nastiest blunt instrument of a character as possible". However, if you get caught, and people start stomping, you're really in a fix. Unless you kept a few bodies spare, or have Quarantine Buster.

Unless of course, you'd already done all of that. In which case, I'll start pulling the guts out of some of these moves.

Re: Snuffed - A Morbid Hack
« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2016, 05:04:56 AM »
I was waiting to hear from you before doing anything - it's your baby, I ain't gonna mess with it until I get your ideas.

I'll be tinkering with these playbooks today, I'll see what can be done.

I think the body of work's going to be pushing a bit more of the social side of things - as most of the playbooks ended up going flat out for aggro over all others, I think I need to take a minute and think about how to make social engineering pay off a bit more. Then again, the one-shot was inevitably going to boil down that way. Bah. Testing is haaaaaaaaard.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 05:23:53 AM by Sabwones »