Sunday, July 22, 2018

Deindustrial Future, Session 3

Our Story So Far

After the eventful night, our heroes decided to set off back to town in the morning in order to do some research on the copper fragment, the German manuscript, and Joe's property. Since he had things to do in town, Joe offered to give them a ride, which the characters gratefully accepted since Caleb is not a strong walker and Billy was still suffering from the stabbing he received in the saloon fight. The ride into town was uneventful.

Deciding to split up, Caleb decided to look into the manuscript at the library while Billy and Clem went to the local blacksmith to see if he might have any ideas on the copper fragment. The librarian, Charles, offered a letter of introduction to a woman named Ursula who he thought might be able to read the manuscript, as she came from Germany when she was a young woman. This turned out to be the case, and she discussed the nature of the manuscript with Caleb: it is a book involved with summoning particular spirits.

Meanwhile, Billy spoke with the blacksmith. It turned out, conveniently, that his hobbies included chemistry and metallurgy, so he was able to give an analysis of the metal fragment and indicated that it was nearly pure copper. Unable to find out much more, Billy and Clementine decided to check in with Joe, to make sure that he was OK.

As they approached the general store where Joe had said he was going to be for much of the day, they realized that there were three men, one at each end of the block and one leaning against a post across the street from the general store. As Clementine approached the doors of their destination, a fourth man stepped in front of her and barred her entry. Clementine tried to ask why he was in her way, but the man only told her to get out of town and that she wasn't welcome. Around this time, Billy noticed that the man at the far end of the block had disappeared, and the other two were walking toward the pair.

Clem, realizing that she wasn't going to get much further, attempted to shove the swinging door into Gordo, the man blocking her, and knocked him a bit back into the general store. He pulled out his gun and took a shot at her, but missed. Billy turned to face the two other men. Suddenly, a shot rang out from a building in the next block and one of the men fell down, shot in the back by a mysterious benefactor. Billy swung his staff at the other man, knocking the pistol out of his hand and pretty seriously injuring his arm.

Deciding that Gordo had upped the stakes, Clem drew her own pistol and planted three bullets in his chest, running inside to make sure he stayed down. When she went in, she managed to avoid being hit by another gunman inside, Alfie. After making sure that his opponent was running away, Billy decided to follow Clementine inside. As he did, he noticed a mystery man, hopefully their mysterious benefactor who stopped one of the attackers, approaching from a hotel in the next block.

Once inside, Billy chased down Alfie, but decided to charge him directly. Alfie put a couple of rounds into Billy's chest, knocking him out. Meanwhile, Clem and the mysterious stranger flanked Alfie and took him with only one more shot fired. Tying up the two prisoners, Gordo and Alfie, they took care of Billy and found Joe and the general store's owner hiding behind some shelves. They were discussing what to do and how to send for the town's Marshal, Marnie, when I started getting exhausted from the heat and decided that I needed to end the session. The mysterious stranger vanished in the confusion. Billy was taken to the town's doctor and given some healing elixir. Experience points were portioned out.

On the whole, I was happy with this session, though I am not sure how the players felt about it - they seemed happy enough. I was happy that we got to see how missile combat works in GURPS, and I offered an important tactical tip to Billy's player: don't get in front of a gun. Billy was fine and behind cover, and even had a good path to flank Alfie, but his player decided to run six yards straight into Alfie's gun's sights - a full move with no attack allowed that turn. That led to his character going into negative HP, in part because he was still injured from the knife wound of a couple of days (game time) ago. I suspect that this was left over from the player's extensive history of playing Hero System, which is perhaps a bit more forgiving of such heroic, direct charges.

I've talked the players into letting me run a Top Secret game as well, so that's what we'll be playing next.

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