Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Shadowrun: 05/06/2013 - Shooting Zombies To Thrill

So. Here we are. The end of the saga. It was one hell of a ride playing through this campaign, through every moment of pure unadulterated madness, moments of genius and botchamania. It somehow managed to almost outdo our last campaign and oddly enough we managed to end on an even more ludicrous high note.

Bear in mind last time ended with operatic wrestling, an army of Red Samurai and a mini-nuclear explosion.

Following off where we were last time, the shadowrunners prepare to come up with a brilliant idea to save everyone in the next 24 hours. We needed to escape alive, preferably with as many scientists as we could. The likes of Ergu could probably make it out alive personally, but we specifically needed to leave with Hoda and get Beaumont out alive. The terrorists specifically wanted him dead for genetic testing of the unpleasant kind.

Going out to the door, while still invisible thankfully, Killbo opened it a crack and looked outside. Through the glass doors at the entrance the signs of battle could be seen with a number of vehicles involved. More interestingly however was a very thin red smear leading to the bottom floor plant room. Yes, for some reason the plant room, as in power plant, was on the bottom floor in the main foyer.  Clearly someone done goofed when they were drawing up designs for this place.

Investigating, Killbo sneaked out and headed over to where the plant room was before pushing his way inside. With the lights out and the only source emanating from the door, Killbo sneaked forwards and was surprised to see a gun pushed in his face. It turned out it was Nifty, bleeding profusely from a wound in his side and badly burned in a number of places. 
Apparently it was he who we had seen taking the Leap of Faith into Hedges, trying to fulfill his contract to murder the man. It also turned out he didn't know he was a drake, and had been ambushed by Poultry upon attempting his murder. Getting out his med-kit, Killbo began healing the orc as they got up to date on events. Naturally the conversation began with this:
“Can anyone see us?”
“Well, we are invisible.”
“That’s a point, who am I talking to here?”

Among other things we learned that the mercenaries were putting up one hell of a fight outside, but Poultry was going to take them down. Either by sabotage from within or the more traditional way. With Venne inbound in an attack gunship with the cavalry, this made taking him out (along with hopefully a few terrorist) our No. 1 priority. After Leona and Amoral joined them, we eventually came up with some semblance of a plan. Amoral needed his hacking equipment so he and Killbo would race upstairs to retrieve it while invisible. Leona would keep with Nifty to make sure he stayed alive while the orc provided cover and recon from a sniping position.

The invisible duo raced upstairs to get to Amoral’s room, occasionally slowing to sneak past the odd terrorist, they eventually reached Amoral’s room. As they entered, they were unfortunately faced with one terrorist who turned in their direction wondering why the door had just swung open. Forgetting they were invisible, the duo quickly reacted to kill him as fast as possible. Killbo pulled out a Black Scorpion, suppressed thankfully, and promptly shot the man in the face. Through some superhuman effort the man failed to die and had his com-link open. Scrabbling madly to stop the guard’s grunts of pain from being heard, Amoral used a sprite to shut it down. The man was quickly finished off but was too late from his initial grunts of death from being heard, and for two coming to respond from the bottom floor.

To stop them heading up, Amoral utilised his “Rating 6 Really, Really Freaky Porn” and the man’s repeated announcements of fuck as he was shot, and puts it in a loop. Then promptly hacked into the life-monitor in his equipment, and made it look like he has a frenetic heart rate. Our privacy ensured for at least a minute or so, we grabbed as many of the drones as possible and ordered them to head out the window and meet us outside. On the way out, Killbo promptly set up a tripwired grenade to give the person who came to check up on them a nasty surprise.

Heading back down stairs, we eventually made it out of the door after dodging around the terrorists a bit. Outside, we found the grounds to the building in a state of complete anarchy. A good six or so trucks were firing upon the mercenary’s compound, each fitted with heavy machine-guns. Furthermore there seemed to be a blockade at the gates were several burning vehicles had been rammed in place and others were behind them with guns.

Despite having crap trucks (technicals) every single one of the terrorists’ vehicles had high tech sensor equipment which could detect any movement. This meant a huge amount of the grounds were effectively an instant kill zone we could not approach. Going with an alternate route, Killbo and Amoral headed down the back road away from them and leading into a separate car park. While there were a couple of technicals there, the terrorists in them were lax in keeping an eye on things. The plan now was to have Nifty kill the people in one technical, Amoral’s drones kill the other two, then have Killbo use the technical’s machinegun to mow down the ones at the back of the compound; opening up the way for us to get inside and taking the heat off of some of the mercenaries’ guns.

Going first the still invisible Killbo sprinted towards the closest truck. Drawing both his Black Scorpions, he let loose two long bursts on the duo. Unfortunately the dwarf failed to notice he was out of range, resulting in every bullet missing and only scaring the two inside. Nifty, being considerably smarter, promptly fired once and one of the truck’s windows turned red with Amoral’s drones finishing off the other one. The occupants of the next truck were alerted to the death of their comrades, but missed Killbo despite the dwarf turning visible (Leona withdrawing her spell to deal with other problems). Firing again while sprinting he suppressed the two guards inside, preventing them jumping onto the gun. Clambering on a wall, Amoral was unable to join in and Nifty was still relocating himself to a new sniping position.

Unfortunately our assault was promptly cut short. With a bellowing cry of “Oh yeah!!” Poultry, in all his mechanical glory, punched down the back wall of a small building to Killbo’s right. Using edge (and succeeding on every dice) the dwarf's sudden, near precognitive skills allowed him to back-flip out the way, dodging one huge metal fist by the skin of his teeth. Of course, despite this, he was still going to be facing him largely alone. Just as this happened a window on the upper floors of the Memorial Centre promptly exploded outwards into flame for some reason.

Keep something in mind as you read the next paragraphs: Poultry was a boss character. He’d been designed to not only fight the entire group, Leona included, but to cause us some serious difficulty. We were also apparently not supposed to beat him, just keep him occupied until Venne showed up.

This went a little wrong.

Reacting first, Killbo dropped his two Scorpions and brought out his trusty Auto Assault 16. Holding down the trigger, the dwarf unleashed a long burst of obscenely high damage, overcoming Poultry’s assault tank level armour. The cyborg managed to botch his roll, with him taking eight damage and staggering back, bleeding from his side. Taking out his own shotgun, he tried to return fire only to glitch and jam the weapon after one shot. He switched to his Super-Warhawk, only for it to jam on him as well. Clipped by one bullet and outright dodging the other, Killbo returned fire but was unable to get through his armour as Poultry went on full defence only stunning him.
Killbo then proceeded to go Iron Man on his arse.

Readers of the campaign might remember that Killbo has an eye laser. Being as paranoid and insane an individual as he was, the GM thought that he would undoubtedly tech it out to be extremely dangerous.

Spending a turn bringing it up to full super-charge, Killbo’s eye promptly turned red and fired what appeared to be a blast from a miniature GDI ion cannon. Poultry dodged, but critically glitched so badly that the GM declared he did it in such a way he manages to take more damage than he would otherwise. The eye laser fired, disintegrating Poultry’s upper body as he flew backwards, passed through his back, hit the truck behind it (causing it to explode), going through the wall behind that and destroying several more cars. The remaining terrorists racing to the fight promptly scattered. As Killbo ejected the now burned out lens of the eye, somewhere Shoot To Thrill started playing.

Arriving seconds later, having carpet bombed the trucks into oblivion while we were busy, Venne arrived surprised to see Poultry’ melted metal body. Unfortunately Camelot’s contract is simply secure the outside so she couldn’t help us inside the place. She also went off to mercy kill Poultry, only for us to learn this was remote controlled power armour designed to look like a troll. The GM burning every bit of edge he had to warp time and space as well as screw logic.
As Killbo pillaged his corpse and Amoral regrouped with his drones, Nifty contacted us that they had picked up Beaumont. One down, we just needed Hoda now. Going in through the back access tunnel, passing by a couple of terrified terrorists who promptly surrendered (“We don’t even like working here, they pull some crazy shit!”), Amoral and Killbo went to rescue him.

Finding the dead corpse of a dwarf in a Metafirst uniform, Killbo promptly took his clothing and went for the surprisingly sane plan. Interrupting the terrorist leader mid-speech, Killbo informed him of something horrifying involving Hoda they had found in the back rooms “the sort of thing you don’t talk about on camera.” Gleefully heading off to find out exactly what “it” was, the leader left just Killbo, Hoda and two other men on stage.

Taking Hoda into a backroom, one guard was ambushed and killed by Amoral, then something surprising happened. Before Killbo could act, Hoda jumped around and snapped the other terrorist’s neck via roundhouse kick. Apparently the GM wanted that particular old Japanese man trope to come into play now. While initially incredulous that we think this is the best time to try and recruit him, we quickly explain we can fake his death. After a few seconds of how the hell that’s going to be convincing or explain the burn damage to his corpse in the foyer room the following happens:

Killbo: “OH NO, HE’S A MAGE!” 

Throwing an incendiary grenade backstage, while triggering similar explosives on the remains of the clone body, we high tailed it out of there. Jumping down the access tunnel and back outside to regroup with the others inside. Things were getting a bit complicated by this point.
Beumont and Hoda weren’t happy to see one another but managed to agree to just help get out alive. Our plan? Head to the roof and escape via helicopter, either by looting one or calling in a favour. Unfortunately while we managed to reach the elevator to the top without incident, the two scientists were horrified to learn we were heading to the top floor. Apparently no one knew what was up there and no one ever came back down alive from it.

Arriving with guns at the ready, we were met with pitch darkness and the foul smell of dead flesh. Corpses littering the floor, in circles of what were hopefully red paint which had been inscribed everywhere. Various talismans and icons littered the walls, all of which were painful to look at. The only light in the room came from the oricalcum statue of a raven, surrounded by the corpses of at least several dozen badly burned individuals. We’d later learn that we’d just stumbled into the level 10 blood magic lodge of the building, the kind of one Aztech loves oh so much.

Rushing through to get to the heliport, deciding to ignore the creepy statue of death, Killbo was unfortunately denied the chance to place C4 on the room to purge it. Racing up to a hatch in the far wall we headed up and out. All of us that was, save for Amoral. Deciding that “I want 100% completion!” he decided to try and steal the raven statue, causing some fun.

The second the technomancer’s fingers touched the raven’s golden wings, a few of the corpses immediately lurched upright. Screaming they hurled themselves at us. As the ones with the guns, Nifty and Killbo led a rearguard action as the group retreated out onto the helipad taking down five of the corpses. This only bought them moments as a flood proceeded to follow them. Holding them off initially, soon bullets aren’t enough to stem the tide even with Amoral’s drones reenacting the turret scene from Aliens. It wasn’t long before things were so bad we were calling Venne over com-link for a rapid evacuation from the roof.

Responding to Amoral’s cries that he wanted the cash, Leona promptly kicked him inside the room with the zombies which was now covered by a shadowfield. Within it he encountered the stuff of nightmares. Standing in the middle of a screaming hole in reality, with the room now forced halfway between the metaplanes, a gigantic raven formed of bones, blood and shadow was forcing its way into our world. Faced with something which looked like it could pimp slap Yog-Sototh, Amoral was forced to choose between taking the idol or the drone left behind as they had fled.

Outside, the group was on the verge of being overrun. Clambering over the steadily growing piles of corpses, the onslaught continued with the zombies pressing forwards. The group was brought a moment of respite when Leona unleashed massive waves of fire, bringing down a huge number before collapsing from overexertion.

From within the room, Amoral decided what he wanted. Grabbing the idol, he hurled himself outside leaving the screaming raven within. Scrabbling past the zombies he dropped the idol in the middle of the group, moaning “I want my drone.” Hearing this, and the raven’s screams within the room getting louder, Hoda paused in the middle of snapping necks and yelled “Then go get it!” He kicked Amoral inside the room again!

Thrown through the door, the technomancer crashed directly into the face of the raven, responding to its hiss with “AAAAH! Hello again!” Realising that Amoral had just been thrown in with your common or garden force 12 blood spirit intent upon the destruction of all mankind, Nifty went to rescue him. Yanking him back through the shadowfield, they were able to back off just as the raven stuck its head through into the real world. Failing a braggart test, Killbo promptly bellowed “I’ve plucked pigeons more fierce than you!” and booted the C4 he was carrying into its face, causing only moderate damage.

All seemed lost when Camelot’s VTOL gunship swung over the edge of the building and onto the roof with Venne at the helm. Unleashing streams of chaingunfire and missiles, the troll yelled at us to get on-board. Complying, the aircraft took off, speeding away as the raven broke through and took to the skies after us. Chase combat ensued.

Needing to escape it in six turns, we turned to our weapons of choice. Taking up a missile, Killbo stood out the back and opened fire with a missile launcher while Amoral manned the nearest turret remotely. Hitting it in the mouth mid-scream, the damage was enough to momentarily force it back, only for it to unleash swarms of explosive ravens inside the vehicle almost knocking people out. Many were able to cling on but Beumont is almost hurled out, forcing Killbo to drop the missile launcher and drag him back in.

Claiming to be “Aoijhouhg the god of deep darkness” the raven once more closed in for the kill. Suddenly yelling for Amoral to “take the wheel!” and control the aircraft, Venne leaped out of the pilot seat and sprinted the length of the gunship. Throwing herself out the back as the raven close in she slammed into its face and grappled with it as demon and troll fell from the skies. Despite Killbo yelling for Amoral to bank around so he could help, the shadowrunners flew as far from the scene of the battle as possible, and the mission’s end.

While there was a bit more to the session, I like to end on a high note. This was the mission's end and the conclusion to all the action. Plus, as every campaign in Shadowrun is usually just the job, this is technically the end.
As such, for those wanting to see how things wound down, the epilogue will be up in a couple of days. For those who don't, I hope you enjoyed this recap of our dice rolling disasters.

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