Monday, 8 April 2013

Shadowrun: Operatic Wrestling - XX/XX/2012

Believe it or not, it’s this point where the campaign jumped the shark so hard it looped around and became awesome again. At least for us anyway.

With Killbo in uniform and able to pass amongst the guards relatively freely, he was sent out of the warehouse. Sticking to what semblance of a plan they had he immediately made a bee-line for the car.

This was where we hit our first snag.

The head of security, let’s just call him Victor to keep it simple, had actually displayed competence. The second something suspicious had happened, namely the death of a cornerstone of their security, he’d suspected us. Deploying his goons across the facility, he’d sent a detachment specifically to the car park. Trying to reach our equipment he’d found them surrounding our car on the lookout for us. Thankfully they’d apparently not been told to be too alert as they were playing cards. Convincing them to deal him in to their game, Killbo tried to win to get rid of them, failed, and then had to go get lunch for them along with one other guard. The second they were out of sight he knocked the guard unconscious and hid him out of sight.

Waiting for the rest to get bored and go looking to see what was taking their food so long, Killbo eventually got inside the car. Checking the ammunition and about to grab their guns, the group suddenly had a better idea. Patching into the guard’s communications he announced “Boss! They’re in the car-park raiding their vehicle!”

Less than a minute later Victor and a good thirty guards burst into the parking lot, thirsty for blood. Screaming out for revenge, they stormed into the car-park looking for anyone in sight, right into the sights of the broadly grinning Killbo sitting behind the howitzer. Yes, they actually got to use it. Holding down the firing stud, with the mecha on the hood violently pelvic thrusting to every shot, Killbo unleashed hell upon everything in front of him. Half the parking lot promptly disappeared in a multitude of bright flashes as tarmac and human body parts rained down around us.

This killed everything. Everything, that is, except for Victor. It turns out the GM had decided to give him edge, which he promptly burned to survive the attack unscathed.

Strolling out of the flames, ripping off the remains of his shirt, Victor began marching towards the car cracking his knuckles. With the fucking Terminator advancing upon it, the car then apparently decided to commit suicide rather than face him. Exploding (yet somehow not destroying any of our valuables) its ejector seat catapulting Killbo and his two axes into the sky. Ripping off his own shirt he landed in a quickly growing ocean of engine oil spreading from the car and challenged Victor in song. As the melodic voice convinced Victor to enter a duel with the dwarf, we promptly entered Shadowrun: The Musical!

With more guards providing backup, that is background choruses, the two began oil wrestling while performing an operatic duel. Bellowing yells of insults put into songs sounded from around the hillsides of Norway, as a superhuman security chief suplexed a dwarf who promptly backflipped over his head and clotheslined the man. Best of all? Half the songs were acted out by the players involved. This is one of the few times I genuinely wished I’d recorded the session as no amount of descriptions will do this fight justice. It’s the only time you’ll see two men yelling Monkey Island insults to the themes of the best German operatic plays while violently kicking the living shit out of one another.

The eventual end of this fight was that it was not going well for Killbo. Despite using both his knowledge skills of oil wrestling championships and the best of Nordic ballads to his advantage, he was being beaten down. Kicked violently across from one end of the parking lot to the other, the dwarf was on the verge of collapse. Bloody, heavily bruised and only a point from falling unconscious he picked up both axes and faced Victor, standing his ground. Sprinting across the burning tarmac, Victor performed a flying kick to finish the fight once and for all.

The ending lasted all of three seconds.

Holding both weapon up, Killbo burned edge and blocked the strike, catapulting Victor across the parking lot and into a parked vehicle. Clearly hitting something vital as it went up in a mushroom cloud which took out most of the nearby, still singing, guards along with their leader. The last we saw of Victor was him flying upwards, being consumed by nuclear fire, saluting Killbo.

There have been fever dreams which made more sense than what took place during that session.

Returning to sanity, Amoral and Venne had been looting what was left of the car and taking our guns. With fires quickly spreading to the few bits of the buildings not yet aflame they joined up with Killbo and sprinted inside a nearby repair shed. More, less operatically inclined, guards promptly arrived and began asking “What in Odin’s name had happened here?” While they were still reeling from this, and thus distracted, the team proceeded to go after their original objective: looting the labs.

With all defences now gone, somehow, our path inside was largely clear. Stealing another uniform for Amoral to pass him off as a guard, Killbo no longer being trusted to do so without singing, and sneaked towards our next target. No, not the front doors to the labs, they were going to use the cooling vents sticking up one side of the complex.

As Amoral took out several security guards manning the CCTV monitoring room with a flashbang, then locking them in a cell, they headed towards the vents. By the way I’m only mentioning the CCTV bit because they somehow ended up looting Nazi gold from in there. No I’m not kidding. With no ladder to get inside, the group followed its own unique form of logic: We can’t reach it? Have Venne throw each member at the vent and hope they can dodge the slow moving fan. Despite missing once and almost getting beheaded, the characters manage to get inside.

Clambering down, with some of them starting to suffer from the sub-zero tempratures as the advanced inside. As Killbo began barricading one exterior door, because why not, Amoral hacked the electronic lock into the actual storage facility. The bit with organs, tissue samples and such not the bit with crates full of whatever Killbo was using to blockade the group inside. After a couple of minutes effort they did indeed manage to get inside and, well, found a lot of things in jars. The big one was a man apparently unconscious with bits of circuitry sticking out of him and, not too far along from this, a 96 year old German scientist. Yes the GM used a thick German accent for him, how did you guess?

Threatening the scientist with a gun repeatedly as Amoral and Venne searched the place, Killbo did little to actually get answers. In fact he proved to be so inept that the scientist convinced him to open the way out if they let him live… and let him release a monster. That man in the tube? Turns out he was a prototype combat cyborg Zainou had on ice. Hitting a button, the scientist let him loose and he strolled in taking out Venne in one shot. As in knocked out, not dead obviously. With Amoral hiding in one corner as the android began shooting up the place, Killbo began circle strafing it with his auto assault 16. He promptly got his arse kicked, eventually only taking out the cyborg through close range grenades. Suffice to say the scientist didn’t live long after that.

With the combat done, mass pillaging followed. Everything which could be carried was looted, including the stuff which was nailed down (thank god for crowbars) and they promptly headed upstairs to try and find another way out. Instead they walked into the absolute single worst thing they’d never hope to see: A Red Samurai army with full air support storming the facility. It would later be revealed that Zainou went defunct a few days earlier than planned and, well, I’m guessing Rekraku wanted to secure their assets. Just roll with it.

Sprinting to the rooftop the trio managed to get a way out by securing a drop helicopter left on the roof. After Venne took out the pilot they promptly hijacked it, flying in the opposite direction of the very one sided battle against Renraku’s elite; stopping just long enough to pick up Amoral’s mech. One helicopter did peel away to follow us, but the GM’s lack of knowledge of the chase system and a boarding action dealt with that. Ditching the helicopter on the edge of the town, just leaving it hovering in the air, they grabbed their cars and got the hell out of dodge.

Thankfully it seemed that Renraku had been forced to make a rapid strike as no one had been left to cordon off the airport. Managing to bribe our way onto another cargo plane the shadowrunners flew out of Norway and out of the shredded remains of the plot.

So that’s our first campaign. Besides one surprisingly angry Johnson meeting with us for pay, something to do with collateral damage and lack of subtlety, our job was over. There’s little else to really say beyond “We have no idea how to do espionage” and that some elements would be returned to later on. Either for added trolling, in the case of operatic societies wanting Killbo dead for murdering a famous figure, or the scientist. We’ll be returning to our regularly scheduled campaign again soon, hopefully with a bit less singing.

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Shadowrun and all related characters and media are owned by FASA Corporation, Fantasy Productions and Catalyst Games Labs.

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