Friday, February 21, 2014


Back in the Badlands again! The good news is we have officially crossed the border out of the Humanist Alliance with no further incidents. The bad news is that it looks like we've made ourselves some new enemies, or reengaged with some old ones. At least this time, they're mostly intact.

[In the aftermath of my latest story...]
Brock: "So, Lyta has performed a tremendous feat of acrobatics. How much money should I add to our bank account?"

[In the previous day's rover attack, our guide Elroy Krog was badly wounded.]
Zac: "Is he conscious?"
Georges the GM: "He comes in and out of consciousness."
Zac: "So he's useless to us."

[Of course, there's always the apprentice guide, Miranda.]
Georges the GM: "What is Miranda doing at this stage?"
Julie: "Moping?"

[Fennec goes to talk to Miranda.]
Fennec: "Hey, kid, how you doin'?"
Brock: (as Fennec, suggestively) "Wanna see the inside of my van?"

[We realize the apprentice guide may be less useful than we thought.]
Fennec: "How long you been doing this scouting stuff?"
Miranda: "I don't do this scouting stuff. I'm learning to do this scouting stuff."

[The tables are turned!]
Miranda: "How did you get into doing this?"
Fennec: "That an interesting story. [beat] No, no it's not."

[Zac suspects Miranda may be a contact he was told about, but doesn't want to bring it up in front of the other players, so that he too can have some secrets.]
Brock: "On a scale of 1 to 10, where do you think our secret falls?"
Zac: "Which secret?"
Brock: "The one you don't know."

[Georges the GM is trying to keep Zac's secret as well.]
Georges the GM: "I think it's really funny that Fennec thinks this person is... the person she thinks it might be."

[Miranda asks about life in the Badlands.]
Miranda: "People can just go around shooting people and having duels and rovers like the ones who attacked us..."
Brock: "The answer to your question is yes."

[More about the Badlands.]
Miranda: "Sounds unfair."
Fennec: "Well, that's one thing I can guarantee: the Badlands are unfair."

[Talking about the Humanist Alliance.]
Fennec: "Everyone's got a purpose. Everyone's a cog in the great machine."
Miranda: "...Or something like that."
Fennec: "I'm sure they have a nicer way of saying it in the Alliance."

[Meanwhile, Torgath goes off to see Elroy Krog.]
Ariel: "How wounded is he?"
Georges the GM: "Roll first aid."
Ariel: *rolls 5*
Georges the GM: "Badly wounded!"

[Torgath's opening line of the conversation.]
Torgath: "Hi. Um... you're not doing too well. Apparently."
Brock: "So much for your bedside manner."

[Figuring out how we might proceed if Elroy can't guide us.]
Torgath: "Do you have maps?"
Elroy Krog: "I have maps, for all the good it'll do ya."

[Torgath mentions that he might scout if Elroy can't. Elroy is skeptical, based on what he's seen of Torgath so far.]
Elroy Krog: "You have any kinda training, boy?"
Torgath: "Training? Yes, I have training. ...What kind of training?"

[Elroy's guide to psychoanalysis 101.]
Elroy Krog: "Something awful happened to ya, that made you wanna stop living your life and start reading about someone else's."
Torgath: "Uh... yeah."

[Elroy is trying to convince Torgath to stop reading and start living his life. Torgath isn't quite getting the message.]
Torgath: "So, what you're saying is if someone writes a book about me, I'll know myself?"

[Reflecting on the conversation so far.]
Ariel: "I think Georges is getting me back for Riley -- he's breaking my brain."

[Discussing the difference in our scouting technique to Elroy's.]
Brock: "Since we don't know what the dirt here is supposed to taste like, we'll have to rely on our ability to read maps."

[Somewhat later, Lukas has a strategic discussion with Benelice.]
Benelice: "You are nominally the client -- how do you want to proceed?"
Lukas: "Dump the wounded and press on."
Benelice: "...You would make an interesting general."

[We press forward.]
Ariel: "Is there any special technique to this?"
Brock: "Be vewy, vewy quiet..."

[After a while, Torgath is fairly certain we've crossed out of the Humanist Alliance.]
Julie: "So, there's no sign we left the Humanist Alliance?"
Brock: "'You are now leaving civilization. Uncontrolled chaos next 2000 km.'"

[Torgath returns to Elroy Krog's bedside to let him know we're out of the HA.]
Torgath: "How do you get the mud aftertaste out of your mouth?"
Brock: (as Elroy Krog) "Whiskey."

[We are now out of the Humanist Alliance, having changed our course somewhat to avoid further pursuit.]
Georges the GM: "You guys have actually evaded your opponents."
Everyone Else: "Yay!"
Brock: "With our rudimentary evasion techniques."
Georges the GM: "The fact that you thought of it at all..."

[Given that Elroy Krog is still wounded, we decided to send him back with Miranda to one of the Protector watchtowers.]
Fennec: "Remember -- no names."
Miranda: (sarcastic) "Right. Because I'm sure your names are your real names."

[Now that we're out of the HA, there are just a few loose ends to tie up...]
Ariel: "What about our rovers?"
Brock: "We could just round them up and shoot them now."

[More discussion on what to do with the rovers.]
Ariel: "I'm perfectly willing to stab them in their sleep if Benelice wants that."
Georges the GM: "No, she doesn't. And she's somewhat alarmed you'd suggest it."

[The rovers were supposed to send a tight-beam transmission when they were finished killing the caravans, ostensibly to get out of the Humanist Alliance undetected. Of course, that means there needs to be someone on the other end of the transmission.]
Brock: "They have to be in a position to receive the signal, so they can send the Protectors back after the rovers."

[We decide to go investigate who might have been receiving the signal.]
Zac: "That sounds sorta like looking for trouble."
Brock and Georges the GM, in perfect unison: "Yes."

[We discuss the benefits and drawbacks of investigating who might be receiving the signal.]
Georges the GM: "As a GM, I'm saying this would have some interesting strategic value."

[Of course we will succeed! Why? Because!]
Lukas: "This is a tight, professional team of ass-kicking."
Georges the GM: "And Fennec."

[After Benelice has hooked up with the rest of her caravan, Lukas informs her of our plans.]
Lukas: "I'm gonna take the trucks to the intended point of delivery and kill anyone who's there."
Benelice: "I appreciate your need for closure."

[We start heading west, to the site of the receiving end of the transmission.]
Georges the GM: "You can find a small homestead along the way, if you want to..."
Zac: "Raid it?"

[More of the same.]
Brock: "We look like rovers now."
Zac: "We functionally are rovers now."

[At the receiving point, we find a Chatterbox Gear, facing south.]
Lukas: "So here's the plan: you're gonna sneak up to the Gear with our bottle and attach it to the back."

[Zac is a little concerned about the idea of sneaking up on a Gear.]
Brock: "Gears are not good at fighting infantry."
Georges the GM: "They're not. Well, they are, in the sense of slaughtering them..."

[Brock sums up our tactical position.]
Brock: "We're behind it, which is obviously better than being in front of it."

[Of course, taking down the Gear isn't enough. We want to be able to question the pilot. The question is, how to get him out without him slaughtering us? We run through a number of ideas.]
Ariel: "Can we insert chemicals into the cockpit?"
Georges the GM: "It has hostile environment protection."
Zac: "What does that mean?"
Georges the GM: "It means it goes 'pssss' when it shuts."

[A few of the less serious options.]
Ariel: "I still say Bugs Bunny in a dress is the way to go."

[In preparation for the op.]
Lukas: "You're going up with no cover and no plan B."
Lyta: "...Great."
George the GM: "If you don't succeed in crippling the Gear, we're looking at a TPK. No pressure."

[Zac is cautious about this plan.]
Zac: "When people throw around terms like TPK, you want to be careful."
Ariel: "Oh, I'll survive."
Brock: "I think we all know who's best situated to survive."

[There's sadly little room for leeway on this one.]
Brock: "The way we'll know if he noticed is when he gets up and starts shooting us."

[A new wrinkle in the plan occurs to us.]
Zac: "What are the chances he could just jam the detonation frequency?"
Georges the GM: "...Quite good."

[We finally iron out all the details.]
Brock: "I like this plan!"
Georges the GM: "You're excited to be part of it?"
Brock: "I'm excited to be at a distance from it."

[It's taken about 30-45 minutes of planning to get to this point.]
Ariel: "So, after all that planning, it's done quickly and easily, right?"

[Fennec and Lyta sneak up to the Gear, and Lyta hoists Fennec into position to place the explosive bottle.]
Georges the GM: "Roll demolitions."
Brock: "Roll good. Don't suck."

[Step two: Fennec disables the enhanced sensor suite on the Gear.]
Brock: "Did I mention it's up to you to take him out if he gets out of his Gear?"
Julie: "If it comes to hand-to-hand fighting, I will pwn him."

[Fennec attempts to disable the sensor suite.]
Georges the GM: "Roll tinker."
Zac: *rolls 9*
Brock: "You have not disappointed me."

[After disabling the sensor suite, Lyta and Fennec sneak away to cover.]
Julie: "We wait for him to get out and then we clobber him. Non-lethally."

[We're waiting for quite some time.]
Brock: "Do you guys see any footprints around the Gear? Is it empty?"

[We're waiting... and we're waiting...]
Georges the GM: "At 10 minutes, the hatch opens."
Brock: "Patience is rewarded!"

[The pilot gets out of the hatch and almost immediately notices the wine bottle. Which might not look quite as menacing as other things, admittedly.]
Brock: "It looks very much like a bomb... with a wine bottle attached to it."

[As the pilot gets out of the hatch...]
Ariel: "I shoot him. And I've been aiming forever!"

[Torgath shoots the pilot with a sfika dart and we zip-tie him.]
Georges the GM: "Have you seen all the YouTube videos of how to get out of zip-ties?"
Ariel: "Luckily YouTube isn't very accessible in the Badlands."

[Fennec gets into the Gear.]
Zac: "Can I fire up the detection suite and see what's in the area?"
Julie: "The detection suite you just crippled?"
Zac: "...That can be fixed."

[The Chatterbox has a truly excellent sensor suite and ECM/ECCM suite.]
Zac: "So I'm like a kid in a candy store that has candy I didn't even know existed?"

[More of the same.]
Georges the GM: "This is amazing!"
Zac: "And we just snuck up on it and stuck a bomb to it?"
Georges the GM: "Sobering, isn't it?"

[Lukas wakes the pilot for his interrogation.]
Lukas: "Wakey, wakey. Sprechen sie Anglic?"

[All our interrogations seem to start this way.]
Pilot: "What are you gonna do to me?"
Lukas: "That all depends on what you tell me and how easy it is."

[Lukas allows the pilot to come to his own conclusions.]
Pilot: "I guess you're rovers."
Lukas: "...Yeah."

[The pilot is playing a mean game of 'I know nothing.']
Lukas: "I think you're sitting here waiting for a tight-beam transmission from rovers."
Pilot: "Um... okay?"

[The interrogation continues.]
Lukas: "If you don't tell me what I want to know, I'm gonna bury your head in the sand and steal your Gear."
Ariel: "I thought we were gonna do that anyway."

[And yet more.]
Brock: "I wave Fennec over with the Gear. Put a little pressure on him."
Zac: "You mean literal pressure?"

[Fennec begins to squish the pilot with the Gear's foot.]
Georges the GM: "He's looking freaked out."
Julie: "I trust Lukas not to squish him."

[Torgath offers an alternative.]
Torgath: "I could probably get them to let you off with me just severing all your tendons with this knife."
Pilot: (panicked) "Oh, my God!"

[As the pilot reaches his most panicked, his demeanour abruptly shifts. He goes totally emotionless, slips out from under the Gear's foot, and starts climbing up the legs.]
Zac: "I did specify that I sealed the hatch, so there's a limited number of things that can go wrong now."

[We manage to take down the newly-more-powerful pilot using the expedient of shooting off his lower leg.]
Fennec: "You seen something like this before?"
Lyta: "...Sorta."
Fennec: "Well, that's as definitive an answer as ever I get."

[The pilot goes into an induced coma. We search the body.]
Torgath/Ariel: "It's like Ennik's camp tattoo... I say in Koreshi."
Georges the GM: "Yeah, I think Koreshi sounds pretty good."

[Fennec has just heard the rest of the PCs speak in Koreshi for the first time.]
Georges the GM: "It's either a made-up language, Sand Rider, or something from Earth. And the only comforting thing in that is that it might be a made-up language."

[Fennec calls out the PCs on speaking in Koreshi.]
Fennec: "You wanna repeat that in Anglic?"
Lukas: "Well, we were discussing what to do for your birthday..."

[Fennec goes off to scout for a while and realizes there's a signal coming from the pilot's body.]
Georges the GM: "Are you going to inform everyone else of what you've discovered?"
Zac: "I'd forgotten I had agency in this case."

[Fennec informs us of what she's found right before we kill the pilot. We decide not to kill the pilot, at least not for now.]
Brock: "We wait till Fennec gets here."
Georges the GM: "Fennec gets there."

[We want to try to find the source of the signal.]
Ariel: "Why not kill him and open him up?"
Brock: "We'll open him up and then kill him."

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.