Talk Shit, Roll Crits was the name of this game. The Bloodletters were back and they came with
both all four barrels loaded!
Since we have video and I’m pressed for time, this AP report is mostly a recap of the action.
We converted to v8 and summarized the rules changes as “Canter floats off on golden cloud” and “If you think about shooting me, you die instantly”. Some pretty cool moves.
In all seriousness, our characters changed a bit and we split up the our gangs (based on having previously spent advances to increase their quality) so we have two gangs: The Fine Thugs and Oskarr’s Weirdos.
Also, we picked our crew’s Hunting Grounds (Sales Territory for Hawkers) as parts of Crows Foot and our favored operation type is (of course): Show of Force! This gave us some advantages as we prepared for the score!
Finishing up from last session (Hour 1)
We had a few downtime actions (and activities) that we didn’t quite fit into last session (or that we forgot to roll) so we put those all in here:
- Arcy started (and completed) a Long Term Project to start a drug distribution network with the Lampblacks.
- Arcy intimidated the Irruvian Bluecoat Aya Nahjan to prevent her from going to the Bluecoats with this information since when she went to her people it didn’t work out at all [Reduce Heat, Devils bargain to make an enemy out of Aya]
- Canter visited Revka, the opera costume designer from imperial city that he brought to Doksvol. At some point when Canter was being dressed he saw a roll of wallpaper and said “that, I want that on me!” [Indulge Vice]
- We collected one coin from our tattoo parlor [Vice Den]. Next time we’ll have the Lampblacks peddling for us as well!
- While Arcy and Canter were fronting to the Irruvians, Oskarr slipped Roric’s artifact into the chair backing that he was sitting in. His timing was poor though, and by the time he had a chance to do it, he was alone with an Irruvian who wanted to kill him and a Crow who just didn’t give a shit [Devil’s Bargain: Zamira Ankhayat sensed the presence of the artifact, though she took no action]. Oskarra, standing a top the Crows tower, exposed to the elements, summoned lighting from outside an formed it into a claw that lifted the Irruvian up with and dropped his corpse in front of the Crow that stayed to watch to leave a message. [Warded use to power Tempest].
- Canter and Lyssa were indisposed when the lightning rocked the building, but Canter assured her that was just how magical he was.
- Oskarr indulged his vice buy burying himself to study vampirism. Fucking wierdo [Indulge Vice].
Planning our Next Score (Hour 2)
We debated doing a job for Elstera but decided that was too soon. Let’s do some of our own footwork and come to her after we’ve proven ourselves to be people she doesn’t want to go to war with.
So, the next step, always the next step, was identifying our foes and crushing them. And it this case it was the Billhooks! And since we already knew the gang was divided we decided to push on that divide by punishing one side (simply because we thought they were weak) and offering up both leadership of the gang and selling our product to the other.
We reached out to Rolan Wott, our friendly magistrate who is on the take, to get some dirt on Erin or Corran. Rolan (my new 2nd favorite NPC) is a smarmy fellow delighted with his interactions with the underworld. After a game of cat and mouse with Arcy he provided her with with the actual Proxy that Tarvul (Erin’s brother and the crew leader, locked up in Ironhook) had his advocate write up, which legally granted all of his property to his son Coran as well as paid for a legal assassination of Erin! [Acquire Asset, Critical!]
He also told us not only where all the Billhooks territory is but also where Erin’s private home in Silkshore is! [Gather Information, Critical]. Arcy loves this guy!
All this information at our disposal we decided the best way to show Erin that we were dangerous and that we can profit her would be to kill her nephew Coran, wreck the butcher shop, and then make her an offer.
Our engagement roll put us in a controlled position when the action starts!
Fish Market Day: Attack on the Butcher Shop (Hour 3)
As we brought the gondola up to the dock near the butcher shop, Cyclops crouched down to scout the approach but then looked back at us and smiled. He straightened his posture, not concerned about revealing his weapons or armor and told us all “It’s fish market day!”
What we found when we got up top was that there were two giant wagons in front of the shop that gave us all the cover we needed to run the gang right in front of the shop, but still give Canter time to walk in on his own and do what Canter does.
Feathering his collars, Canter walked in “all casual like” and asked Coran (who was working the counter) “What’s good here? You got a good sandwich I can get?” In the back, three of the Billhooks were carrying a giant block of ice into the back with heavy hooks.
Coran jammed the cleaver into the butcher’s block and his hand started to go below the counter “Don’t I? Don’t I know you?”
“You know what? I think I figured it out. I’m going to get the crab cake sandwich… and put some fucking sauce on it” And that’s when Coran pulled out the Blunderbuss but not before lightning fast Canter could whip out his pistols unload on Coran and then leap behind the counter. He executed Coran but was blasted point blank with his Blunderbuss. Canter rolled with it though and took most of the blast off his armor [Desperate Skirmish. Partial Success. Armor and resistance roll dropped it to Level 3 harm to Level 1]
Above, Oskarr stood on the building and barfed up the ectoplasm of a Deathseeker crow that we flashed back to him consuming before the battle and so the bells did not ring!
Below, Arcy and the gang charged into into the building destroying literally everything in their path. Breaking the window frame, trashing the wagons that were making the deliver, and tossing vials of fire oil into the corners of the building. Arcy went in with a sledge hammer, Cyclops with an axe, and together they knocked over the counter with all the eels on it. We trashed the place and the two Billhooks who were in the front! The giant block of ice got water underneath it and began to slide to the back [Controlled Wreck. Critical!]
From the back a Billhook came charging out to gut Canter like a fish and nearly did, if not for Canter putting his final two shots in his chest [Desperate Skirmish. Devil’s Bargain to have all his other guns wet and unusable after this shot. Partial Success] and Arcy spinning him around so she took the hook to her ribs instead [Protect action. Prowess to resist down to 2-Harm. Armor to reduce to 1-Harm. Battleborn to reduce to 0-Harm].
In the melee, Oskarr walked up to the dead Coran and looking right at Canter as he was fighting and wrenched Coran’s soul out of his body. Canter berated him for not helping in the fight at all, and then saw the deformed soul get pulled into the jar! [Desperate Attune. Full success!] “Easy to do now that I killed him already!”
Service to Setarra (Hour 4)
In our final hour (and change) we finished off the Billhooks, but not as you imagine we might. Arcy felt the surge of Setarra’s power running through her and decided this was the time to let it in. The fight was in a butcher shop with hooks hanging from the ceiling and drains in the floor that funneled down to the canals below.
Rather than just decimate them, the Bloodletters stopped, dropped their weapons, took off their armor and changed at these armed Billhooks, taking pistol fire and batting away blades. As we got our hands on the terrified gang, we hoisted them up onto the hanging hooks and bled them for Setarra. [Desperate Skirmish. Critical! Devil’s Bargain to take the 4th tick on “Corrupted by Demon Blood”]
Quote: “You’re going to be able to defeat them and then do what you do unto them.”
You should watch this scene. It’s pretty awesome.
Bringing Erin into the Syndicate
The next day Arcy, Canter, Oksarr, and Cyclops all had a meeting with Erin, where we discussed her possible futures, and the one she wanted was the one where she paid up to us (instead of the Crows), peddled our product, and took over her gang. It’s also the one where we held onto the papers that said everything went to her dead nephew and that sent an assassin after her. [Controlled Command. Full Success. Devil’s Bargain that she’d have a seat at the table!]
“Here’s to a bright future then. We have a bit of a tradition here with the Hooks”. We drank her whiskey, ate the rare meat she offered, ripping it apart with our hands. Canter enjoyed the meat and drink but then said “You know, we’ve got a tradition too!” And next thing we knew we were all showing her our tattoos (we had a flashback to Arcy getting a Leviathan Tatoo on her shoulder from Tris on the docks), and then Oskarr pulled out his own tattoo kit and attuned to the blood to color and image of a Billhook going through a Skull.
Just as he attuned to splay the ink over her skin the lights crackled and as the color surged onto her flesh, Arcy’s eyes flashed a shimmering black just for a moment.
It was so good to play again with these peeps. I loved it. And the final version is great. Yes to Warded + Tempest! Yes to Not to Be Trifled With!
Our strategy actually made sense. We found a way to put pressure on a gang that they could either work with us and profit or be decimated. I loved that we had something to back our threats up with besides just more violence.
Rolan Wott. I love this criminal dilettante so much!
I’ve been wondering for a long time what happens to Arcy when she finally takes that last tick on her clock. I guess I’m still wondering what will happen but I’m glad I finally did it. Drive your characters like they are stolen cars! Arcy isn’t the “good” character or the protector but hopefully I can keep her has someone that can be empathized with. Excited to see.
Fucking burying himself alive for two days. Lightning claws. Eating Deathseeker Crows whole. Oskarr is great!
I think this was the first time all three of them really agreed on a plan that wasn’t just murder everyone. Give them an offer and make it a good one!
Excited to see what happens with the Irruvians and Elstera.
Great getting Marlane in the scene (may be the last time) but I still want to do more with her and see where she and Arcy stand.
Canter’s nonchalant walk into the butcher shop and order a sandwich. That was picture perfect!
So many crits. Our digital dice were on fire!
This quote I saw on G+ from Benjamin herder that I just loved. “Yup. Redeemable. That’s a word I’d use for Arcy #tentacles”
Coolest part of all which wasn’t even really “in game” was when John asked us what our symbol (the Blood Letter) means. It’s in Hadrathi and colloquially means “unstoppable” but literally means “The Eternal Flame”. Cue Bangles music and awesome Irruvian crossovers here!
What could have been improved
I think the crew advance reward (1 coin +2/tier) may actually be too fast of advancement (Arcy just hit two lifestyle). This is some 11th hour crap for me to pull and I’m not sure if it will have any effect on the outcome, but I do feel a bit like we’ve got money coming out of our armpits right now. And we still have to do payoff! I wonder what the Billhooks were protecting in that back room!
Watching the videos I’m a spotlight hog. I talk too much. I’m going to refocus my energy on listening to others and fueling my fellow players either through out of character support or in character interaction with them.