Saturday, December 16, 2023

Assault on Blackrock Manor and Baron Mordrek's Vault

I made a couple more adventures for Hero Quest.

click to download

They're both written with new characters in mind especially the first one, so if you've already played through the main quest or any expansions you may wanna add in a few dread warriors and mummies.

click to download

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Enterprise Justice Solutions #15: He Who Lives by the Deathgun...

click to zoom

This week's crew:
Letter of the Law (impossibly wealthy masked vigilante, owns the team's HQ)
Deathgun (supersoldier from a future dystopia) 
Mr. Fox (superspy from a more distant future in which humans are extinct)

NPC Allies:
Singularity (the first and only true general AI)
Tara Byte (the world's greatest computer scientist and Singularity's mother)

Mr. Fox and Deathgun had just learned that PenalCorp's warden was another clone of Dr. Sarah Tonin, and were in serious trouble by the time their most hated ally, Letter of the Law, showed up to the scene in his L-icopter.

Deathgun moves the boat closer to the cellhouse where Singularity had located Tara Byte's cell, thinking this would be an easier extraction point. The guard in the nearby tower immediately starts spraying the boat with machine gun fire, heavily damaging it.

On the other side of the island, Mr. Fox was trying to reach the cellhouse on foot, while zigging and zagging to avoid being shot by guards in two more towers. He somehow made it up the hill and around the corner without dying, though he did lose some fur when a bullet grazed his tail. Letter of the Law flew straight past the towers, drawing fire but no hits, to land on the roof of the cellhouse.

The fishing boat Deathgun was piloting fared less well. Approaching shore under heavy fire, it exploded as Deathgun leapt from the bow, propelled to shore by the explosion in an epic splash page-worthy scene. Hell, maybe even a two-page spread.

At this point the End of Round token came up, and Artillery was activated. Artillery is a giant combat robot (the one pictured near the bottom of the conspiracy board) that, when destroyed, rebuilds itself stronger than it was. The team has already destroyed it once.

Deathgun tries shooting it, but his gun does little damage against the robot's thick armor. He switches to a harpoon from the fishing boat, hoping to leverage his Superstrength to do more damage. He scores a pretty substantial hit, but Artillery releases tear gas, temporarily disabling the future warrior. It then deployed a trio of combat drones, released from a compartment in its back, before trying to catch Deathgun in an electrified net of steel cables.

Meanwhile, Mr. Fox made contact with Singularity, who has just figured out to reactivate the drones that tried to kill Mr. Fox last session. These drones were sent to engage the ones controlled by Artillery, while Singularity accessed the electronic lock system and cleared a path to Tara Byte's cell block on the top floor.

On the verge of death and unable to breathe, Deathgun tries to escape the tear gas and fight, but Artillery finishes him off with its flamethrower. Leaving the charred skeleton where it lay, the robot sprinted up the hill and leapt to the roof of the 4-story cellhouse, where Letter of the Law was still trying to get in through a maintenance door. He put his tools away and drew his twin laser tonfas.

A squad of armed guards entered the cellhouse with Mr. Fox halfway up the stairwell. Taking fire, Fox asked Singularity to release all the prisoners on the lower levels, and the guards were overrun before they got to do much else.

On the roof, Artillery fired a rocket propelled grenade at Letter, but missed. Letter struck at a key point on the already-damaged robot, which collapsed into a sparking heap.

After a fairly awkward introduction, Mr. Fox convinces Tara Byte to follow him up to the roof, where Letter is still beating on the broken robot, screaming "I! HATE! YOU! DAD!". Apparently he's got some things he needs to work through. Leaving the ashy remains of their fallen companion behind, Mr. Fox, Letter, and Tara Byte escaped the island and the ensuing prison riot in the L-icopter. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Enterprise Justice Solutions #14

click to embiggen

This session's crew:
Mr. Fox (a superspy from a distant future in which humans are extinct)
Deathgun (a supersoldier from a different future in which A.I. has enslaved humanity)
Zachary Tooth (a size-changing test pilot who hates Chance Ryder for fucking up his family fortune)

I'm skipping a play report for #13 because the first half of the session was planning a prison break and the second half was "acquiring" a fishing boat. The less said about how that part went down the better honestly.

So this session began with Zachary turning on the news to see a high-speed nautical chase underway, with several police boats in pursuit of a fishing boat that looked exactly like the Orca from Jaws. 

The helicopter-borne news camera zoomed in on one of the suspects and pointed out that he appeared to be wearing a quite elaborate fursuit. Zachary didn't know who Mr. Fox was, but he did have reason to suspect that Fox was somehow involved with Dr. Sarah Tonin, an underling of Chance Ryder. His interest piqued, Tooth jumped into his helicopter (he's still rich, just not RICH rich anymore) and headed toward the harbor.

Meanwhile, rather than engage the police in a firefight, Fox and Deathgun decided to try to lie their way out of it. They allowed themselves to be boarded and told the cops that they were ATF agents tracking down a source of powerful and highly illegal energy weapons. When there turned out to be a laser pistol (Mr. Fox's) hidden below decks (where Mr. Fox had hidden it), the cops let the pair go but confiscated the weapon itself.

Once the cops had dispersed, Zachary Tooth approached in his helicopter, set it to hover a good distance above the fishing boat, and jumped down onto the deck. He grew to twice his size as he fell and landed ready to fight. Once Deathgun and Fox explained that they don't work with Sarah Tonin and in fact have been actively fucking up her operations (and those of her many clones), Tooth decided to help them with the prison break instead.

They approached PenalCorp Island from the direction of open ocean. The boat's CB radio crackled to life, warning them that they would be fired upon if they did not reverse course. The team claimed they had a life threatening medical emergency on board, and the only hospital they had any chance of getting the patient to in time was the prison hospital on the island. 

After a brief pause they were instructed to approach shore and drop anchor. There was a squad of armed guards covering them from the beach as a pair of drones carrying a stretcher picked up the "patient" (Mr. Fox, with a shrunken Zachary Tooth hiding in his clothes).

Fox ran off when the nurses started trying to take off his "fursuit" and realized there was nothing wrong with him. The guards on the beach tried to arrest Deathgun, who of course opened fire. Several airborne combat drones were launched to pursue Mr. Fox. Zachary, pretty much left to his own devices in the confusion, emerged from the pile of Mr. Fox's clothes with a thumbdrive which contained a copy of Singularity, the first true generalized A.I., on whose behalf the team was here trying to free his mother/creator Tara Byte.

Tooth quickly uploaded Singularity at the nearest terminal and the boy quickly spread throughout the island-wide network, deactivating combat drones and searching through records to find Tara's cell. He discovered that the prisoners were being shuffled around in a way consistent with some biological experiment, and revealed that the warden was none other than Dr. Sarah Tonin. (well one of her anyway)

To be continued…

Monday, November 27, 2023

Hero Quest 1

There were three kinds of games I got into as a youngin that were adjacent to traditional TRPGs before I ever heard of D&D. CYOA books and the slightly more advanced (as in they had game stats) Lone Wolf Series. Interactive Fiction games like Zork and the other text-based adventures produced by Infocom in the 70s and 80s. And a board game called Hero Quest.

If you aren’t familiar, this guy will tell you all about why it's great:

This is the recent cash-in Hasbro used to launch their own crowdfunding system:

And a couple bootlegs people made:



There’s also dozens of crafters on etsy selling custom and replacement components of the game, from the board, cards and funky dice to the furniture and minis. So really there’s no great reason to keep giving Hasbro your money over this.

(i have the reboot version because i am a hypocrite and a fraud).

Anyway, someone built an in-browser map editor for Hero Quest and I’ve been making quests for it. There’s also no reason you couldn’t use this adventure with DCC or some other version of D&D.

click me for the pdf

If you’re already into HQ you might have noticed that I’m using terminology from the reboot (abomination instead of fimir) and the map tileset from the original game. Congratulations, have a cookie.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Angel Tears

A couple links first: some kind of opossum with bolts in his neck or something has launched a kickstarter for a Troika! supplement called Spectacle. It's a pastiche of cosmic superhero fiction with art reminiscent of Jack Kirby. It's basically an alternate setting for Longshot City, though I don't think it was written with that as an explicit goal. So if you're here it might be relevant to your interests.

Bolt-Neck Opossum is also launching a game jam on to get people writing material for Spectacle and Longshot City. I hope it gets weird fast.

Angel Tears
Skill: 9
Stamina: 28
Initiative: 7
Armor: 2
Damage as Dream Weapon (see special).

Larissa Malone was one of hundreds to be addicted to fantomin at Dr. Sarah Tonin’s juvenile hall, and one of dozens to suffer a fatal overdose after escaping the system and becoming homeless. She is, however, the only known victim to return to the land of the living. Her ghost appears as an almost luminescently pale figure wearing an inmate uniform from SanDyne Juvenile Hall, with bloody tears streaming down her face (the hallmark of a fantomin overdose).

Angel Tears returned from the other side with innate magical abilities. She can physically step through shadows like doorways and into the minds of others (as Power—Puppeteer). If she tries and fails to possess a target, her physical form re-manifests as she is thrown from their head. She can retrieve objects from nightmares that function normally in real life, but turn to dust when she stops focusing on them.

1. To make someone pay.
2. To share a beautiful nightmare.
3. To resurrect her friend.
4. To satisfy curiosity.
5. To protect someone she cares about.
6. To convince the PCs to help her.

Dream Weapons:
1. Axe.
2. Crossbow.
3. Flamethrower (as Energy Blast—Heat).
4. Dynamite (as Explosive).
5. Shotgun.
6. Bear (as Large Beast).

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Enterprise Justice Solutions #12

click me

(this is my current Longshot City campaign—that’s what the players named their team so don’t blame me)

This session’s crew:

The Greasy Devil—host to a superstrong shapeshifting symbiote

The Letter of the Law—wealthy masked vigilante who everyone hates

Deathgun—supersoldier from a dystopian future

Mr. Fox—superspy from a more distant future where humans are extinct

The session opened with the team entering a warehouse party near the docks, looking for dealers of a dangerous new street drug called fantomin. There was a large cage onstage next to the DJ, containing one of the superpowered chimpanzees they’d freed way back in session 2. The cage must have been grounded because this one had the ability to manipulate lightning, making for a pretty impressive light show. Everyone assumes Mr. Fox is simply a furry in a very expensive costume.

Letter immediately started roughing people up in the bathrooom (none of whom knew anything), while Fox and Devil sweet-talked their way backstage. They were close to getting a dealer’s number in the green room before they started radiating cop vibes and the other two DJs starting roasting them and high fiving each other.

Meanwhile Deathgun and Letter were having a dance-off, in which Letter of the Law embarrassed himself so thoroughly that someone got a photo and he became a meme. They didn’t notice the chimpanzee busting out of its cage until it was too late. One dead bystander and one dead ape later, they decided it was time to split and head back to their headquarters beneath the Militronics building (Letter of the Law’s drone A.I. research company). When they jumped in the van, the head of security’s voice came over the radio informing Letter that the entire building was locked down and no one could access the system.

When they got back they discovered that Singularity, the first true general A.I., had invaded and taken control of the building, activating all security doors and a variety of combat drones. After a brief standoff and negotiation, they allowed one of the corrupted drones to enter their lab to analyze the impossibly complex array of dozens of hard drives they’d found in one of Dr. Sarah Tonin’s labs (she maintains several, each run by one of her clones, apparently all doing Bad Things). 

Turns out she needed all that storage space to save a copy of her consciousness, or at least the version of her that ran the lab where EJS found it. It was in a sub-basement beneath a juvenile hall where Dr. Tonin was developing fantomin and studying its effects on the kids in her care. 

Now they have to plan a prison break. While negotiating with Singularity, they agreed to free his mother, the brilliant hacker Tara Byte, who is currently locked up on PenalCorp Island. The Letter of the Law is not at all pleased about this, but with his building locked down and all his employees held hostage he doesn’t have much choice but to go along with it.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Pepe Silvia

click to embiggen

It was starting to take half a session just for people to fill each other in on what they'd missed, so I suggested to my Longshot City players they start keeping a conspiracy board to keep track of the campaign via shared whiteboard. I love it. That's logos for all the PC characters on the left (it's a drop-in drop-out style campaign, so it's usually more like 3-5 characters at a time than all 9 at once. just whoever makes it that week). EJS stands for Enterprise Justice Solutions, which is their team name. They want to make a name for themselves, so Professor Fangs had business cards and tshirts all printed out and ready to go before their first mission.

This is 10 sessions in.