Into The Shadows — Game Session — 006

Game summary for October 29, 2019, Into The Shadows campaign, Shadowrun 5th Edition, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: Ballyhoo (Human Augmenter played by Andrew Renfrow), Clutch (Human Transport Rigger played by Peyton Harmon), Hollywood (Human Combat Medic played by Chris Harmon), and Octane (Elf Razor played by Casey Scruggs). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

The team watched their van for a short time and no one showed up looking for them.  They climbed into Clutch’s other vehicle and found a place to lie low and sleep a bit.  When they got up, they decided to meet with Agent Dietrich and hear him.  They went to the Fort Lewis zoo and realized it had good security staffed by the UCAS military.  Hollywood and Ballyhoo donned civilian clothes, and Ballyhoo used a Mask spell on himself.  The two went in unarmed and locked the commlink up in a locker at the zoo and took the key with them.

The group met up with Seth Dietrich near the basilisk exhibit, but something was wrong.  He seemed scared and was acting strange.  Talking with him, he claimed to be someone named Jake Armitage, even though they had seen photos of Agent Dietrich.  He asked them what year it was and acted as if he thought it was 2050.  Seth/Jake continued to act strangely when suddenly a bullet tore through his throat, killing him!  The bullet also shattered the glass of the basilisk exhibit, and the creatures broke free!

Ballyhoo began searching the man’s body while Hollywood tried to make it look like he was performing first aid and then signaling that the patient didn’t make it.  Meanwhile, the basilisks tore into a zoo patron and began eating him.  Ballyhoo and Hollywood took another commlink and numerous credsticks off the body before trying to get back to the lockers; however, an MP told them to evacuate the zoo.  They filed out with the mob and met up with Clutch and Octane. 

The group checked the credsticks and discovered 100,000 nuyen!  The commlink was locked, and they decided not to mess with it without someone better skilled in the Matrix present.  They decided to call Tauren from one of the commlinks they had previously used to call him.  When they turned it on, they found a vidmail from a woman named Karen King from Ares Macrotechnology, Seattle office.  She offered 225,000 nuyen for the commlink!  The group then called Tauren and ended up speaking with Eliza Bloom, a representative of Project Freedom.  She offered 80,000 nuyen for the commlink.  While talking to her, the commlink rang again, and an Asian man offered 200,000 nuyen for the commlink.  Minutes later, the commlink rang again, and chrome-eyed shadowrunner calling himself Zane offered 400,000 nuyen on behalf of his undisclosed employer. 

Unsure what to do, the group turned off the commlink and began to discuss their options and future. 

Carnival of Dread — Halloween Hootenanny XIV

Game summary for October 26, 2019, Carnival of Dread campaign, Dread Roleplaying Game, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: Dale “Rusty” Gribble (Human played by Taylor Averdick), Johnny Rogers (Human played by Casey Scruggs as secondary), Mary Foster (Human played by Colby Westerfield), Princess Ashton (Human played by Kaliegh Averdick), Salem Jenkins (Human played by Andrew Renfrow), and Taylor Fox (Human played by Casey Scruggs). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

A group of classmates decided to visit Merry Island amusement park before it shut down for good.  The park is located on an island only reachable by ferry.  The group were going on the next to last day of park operations would spend the night and leave the next day. 

The classmates boarded the ferry for Merry Island early in the morning and spoke a bit with Shannon the ferry operator.  They arrived on the misty island and headed straight toward Merry Manor to check in.  They put their stuff in the penthouse suite and went to meet with Herman Merryweather in the Towering Terror.  On the ride they saw a strange mine flooding with black fluid, and Salem thought she saw her friend who went missing 8 years ago, Janie Prescott. 

The group met with Mr. Merryweather and learned they are among the last groups to come to the park and that he is giving away $40,000 to whoever can get the eight Pieces of Eight coins scattered around the park, many of which could be found by solving riddles given by the animatronics.  He showed them a safe opened by inserting the coins and also produced one coin from behind Taylor’s ear and gave it to him.  They then went to ride the Captain’s Wheel (a Ferris wheel) stylized like a large ship’s wheel.

At the wheel, they activated one of the animatronics and received a riddle.  The group decided the riddle meant they should ride to the top of the ride, so they all piled in.  One of the doors flew open, and Salem flew out and hung on until Mary was able to drag her back in.  Once back on the ground, the attendant claimed to have not seen anything.  Princess answered the riddle question and received a Piece of Eight.

Next the group went to the Merry Carnival to play sideshow games.  Princess wanted a stuffed squid, and when Dale won he got a puffer fish for her instead, which she rejected.  They activated another animatronic, played the rifle game, and discovered the answer.  With another Piece of Eight, they moved along. 

Intrigued by the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride, they went to check it out.  They set out in the submarine and were attacked by a giant squid!  At first they thought it was part of the ride, but then it ripped the submarine apart!  They tried desperately to swim to the surface as the squid grabbed several to pull them under.  They rallied together to try and rescue their friends, and suddenly they all found themselves sitting on top of the submarine intact on a rail in a fake underwater scene.  Taylor thought he saw a vision of a squid dragging Janie off into the darkness.  

Spoked, they noticed the mist getting thicker, and they went to the New Years’ Cove to get some food.  The area was mostly empty, but costumed staff began pressing in excited and counting down from ten!  Fireworks shot off, and then the staff began exploding!  Much of the class ignited in flames!  The group started rolling around trying to put themselves out.  Meanwhile, Princess saw Janie and got up to run after her.  The exploded staff had dissolved into piles of black goo. 

They followed after Princess and found her at the Magical Merry-Go-Round carousel.  She was the only one willing to ride the ride, and she seemed to have some intense personal visions.  Afterward, she spoke to the animatronic and received another Piece of Eight.  Next, they decided to go the hotel and try to nurse their wounds.  In the hotel, they found no staff and black oily footprints heading to their room.  They went in and found it empty.  They changed clothes and tore up bedsheets to wrap their burns.  On the wall outside their door they found black oil on the walls forming words like “have fun.”

As they left the hotel, they saw something out a window.  Upon investigation, they discovered the rollercoaster was moving around!  They went to investigate and found it intact and normal.  They got another riddle and rode the ride.  The Barracuda rollercoaster whipped through the loops and turns and nearly threw some of the kids out.  They noticed a young girl in the front, and unable to rescue her, she fell out to the ground.  At the end of the ride they rushed to the spot only to find a pile of black liquid.  Princess answered the riddle and got another Piece of Eight. 

As they left, the Barracuda came to life and slithered after them!  The group ran in fear, and it caught and ate Taylor!  They ran into the park and ran into the wall keeping people out of The Crossroads.  They stumbled upon Johnny and told him what was going on.  The Barracuda pursued them, and they began to see the animatronics walking around covered in black liquid and encouraging them to “have fun.”

They ran to the Lightning Rod and decided to try and get the next Piece of Eight.  Rusty refused to ride, but the rest went up.  At the top, they could see the Barracuda circling around the ride like a hungry shark.  They heard a voice calling for help on the other side of the drop, and Johnny, Princess, and Salem unbuckled and linked hands to get around the side.  They found Janie strapped in and screaming as the ride dropped.  The group was nearly thrown free.  When they got to the bottom, Janie was gone, but a Piece of Eight was in Salem’s pocket. 

The group decided to return to the 20,000 Leagues ride because they did not get a coin there.  When they got there, they discovered Taylor’s corpse had been turned into an animatronic!  Pressing the red button caused him to tell them to have fun and spew black liquid.  Princess explored on her own a moment and was nearly captured by the squid!  The group decided only by riding the ride would they get a coin, so they rode it without incident.  They went in as a group, and several distracted the squid while Princess found a treasure chest containing a Piece of Eight.

The team ran over to the Mokotan in Motion and got into the boats looking for another Piece of Eight.  The animatronic gave them a riddle.  They rode through, and a bit of debris fell onto the track blocking the way.  They cleared the way and continued through.  They realized they did not really understand the riddle, so they listened to it again and went back through the ride.  They got out and examined one of the animatronics and learned the fisherman’s bait was a crucifix, the answer to the riddle.

With all of the Pieces of Eight, the group returned to the Towering Terror and Merryweather’s hidden office.  It was unoccupied, but the safe was there.  They inserted all the coins and got the $40,000!  Now, they just needed to escape the island. 

The classmates went back to The Crossroads and found a door behind a billboard.  Princess picked the lock, and the team went into the dark cavern of the underground rollercoaster.  They followed some strange lights and delved down to a pool of oily black liquid.  It began humming and called out to both Princess and Salem specifically and imparted to the group it was a kind of wishing well needing only the sacrifice of something valuable.  Salem was about to jump into the pool when Herman Merryweather arrived!  They talked to him and realized to their horror he had sacrificed Janie Prescott to the pool years ago and caused all this mess.  Salem dove in to sacrifice herself for the group, but the pool rejected her nobleness and spit her out.  The group fled as the pool rose up into a humanoid form and gave chase.  The Barracuda came writhing down the corridor from the other direction, trapping them between them!  They shoved Merryweather forward, and the Barracuda ate him.  Princess had a vision of Janie and learned more about the pool.  She realized it was a demon that people had sacrificed to for centuries.  It would grant wishes, but it would only accept selfish sacrifices.  Princess shoved Salem into the creature’s clutches to save her own life!  The pool flowed back down the hill, and the Barracuda collapsed.  Princess then wished that Taylor, Salem, and Janie could come back to them.  The rest of the group was delighted as the three rose up out of the oil seemingly restored to life!  As they walked away, only Princess noticed their eyes momentarily turn black and wicked smirks cross their faces before returning to normal…

Into The Shadows — Game Session — 005

Game summary for October 22, 2019, Into The Shadows campaign, Shadowrun 5th Edition, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: Ballyhoo (Human Augmenter played by Andrew Renfrow), Clutch (Human Transport Rigger played by Peyton Harmon), and Hollywood (Human Combat Medic played by Chris Harmon). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

As Hollywood hung up the commlink with Tauren, it began to ring.  They noted the number but did not answer.  Instead, they used one of Clutch’s burner commlinks and called.  After a brief exchange, the person on the other end claimed to be Agent Seth Dietrich.  He told them of the extreme danger they are in and that he is willing to buy the commlink back for 100,000 nuyen.  He said to meet him at the zoo in Fort Lewis at 15:00 by the basilisk exhibit and bring the commlink. 

The group debated for several minutes when the front door of Clutch’s place crashed in, and a heavily-cybered Italian man with gold-plated cyber arms came striding in smirking and saying, “Knock, knock!”  Two goons carrying SMGs came in with him.  The man rushed Ballyhoo, just narrowly missing him with a right hook driven with piston-like force by his robotic arms.  Ballyhoo countered with an acid stream spell that devastated the man with its burning power.  Meanwhile, the goons inside opened fire on Clutch while goons outside hurled Molotov cocktails at the windows.  Some of the bullets flattened against Clutch’s body armor, bruising him badly, but several rounds punched through and sprayed blood across the room.  Terribly injured, he scrabbled toward his van while firing his pistol at his assailants. 

Hollywood drew forth his Savalette Guardian pistol, flipped it to burst fire and opened up on their attackers.  The gold-armed man, injured by bullets and magic, fled back through the front door.  Hollywood pumped rounds into the goons, and Ballyhoo blasted a ragged hole right through one of them with a nasty spell.  Clutch opened fire with the van’s assault rifle, but his aim was compromised by his profuse injuries.  Hollywood and Ballyhoo dove into the van, and Clutch ran through his garage door and out onto the street.  One of the goons ran after and unloaded the rest of his magazine at them. 

The team sped off into the night, and Hollywood and Ballyhoo used magic and first aid to patch up Clutch the best they could.  Clutch did some Matrix searching and identified the cybered man as Caesar “Chrome” Ciarniello, a known Mafioso.  Hollywood called Fast Freddy and woke him up to ask more about Caesar.  They learned he is the son of Vince “Numbers” Ciarniello, Don of the Ciarniello crime family!  When Freddy learned they had just severely injured Caesar he yelled at Hollywood for calling him and hung up the link. 

The group speculated for a while about how they may have been compromised.  They came up with several theories but were uncertain of any single one.  They decided Clutch’s fake SIN may be compromised, so they parked his van in a parking lot, and they all shut off all their wireless gear.  They moved over to a soykaf shop to watch and see if anyone showed up at the van looking for them. 

Into The Shadows — Game Session — 004

Game summary for October 15, 2019, Into The Shadows campaign, Shadowrun 5th Edition, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: Ballyhoo (Human Augmenter played by Andrew Renfrow), Clutch (Human Transport Rigger played by Peyton Harmon), Hollywood (Human Combat Medic played by Chris Harmon), and Octane (Elf Razor played by Casey Scruggs). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

With little to do while waiting on Fast Freddy, the team decided to investigate the other commlink.  Clutch spent a few hours with it and discovered it contained a hidden operating system and files. He spent some time cracking the encryption and found several file fragments and the name of the owner, Seth Dietrich.  They reached out to a few of their contacts, met up with a couple, and did some research.  The discovered Seth is an FBI agent looking into the possible corruption of Governor Kenneth Brackhaven.  They also learned Agent Dietrich’s latest associates ended up dead in the Puget Sound.  They also learned of a possible connection between Brackhaven and the fires in the Ork Underground a few years back in something called Operation Daybreak. 

Clutch did some Matrix snooping and found an active commlink number in the contacts list and called it with a burner device.  The owner hung up.  So, he called it again from a second burner device and got hung up on again.  Then, Hollywood called the commlink from Dietrich’s link and was immediately yelled at by the owner.  After a few moments, Hollywood was able to communicate he was not Dietrich, and the conversation changed.  The person quickly became agitated and insistent the team get somewhere safe and lay low.  He wanted some time to make some calls and called back in about 45 minutes. 

The caller accidentally revealed his name to be Tauren, and he sounded desperate to buy Dietrich’s commlink.  He claimed it had some information about Brackhaven that people would kill for.  He offered to meet the team and buy the commlink, giving them some profit and taking this dangerous item off their hands. 

They did not yet negotiate a price but agreed to speak with him again at 6:45 in the morning and discuss a meeting.   

Into The Shadows — Game Session — 003

Game summary for October 1, 2019, Into The Shadows campaign, Shadowrun 5th Edition, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: Ballyhoo (Human Augmenter played by Andrew Renfrow), Chase (Troll Tank played by Kaliegh Averdick), Clutch (Human Transport Rigger played by Peyton Harmon), Hollywood (Human Combat Medic played by Chris Harmon), Octane (Elf Razor played by Casey Scruggs), and Thay (Elf Street Shaman played by Taylor Averdick). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

The team piled into Clutch’s van and sped off.  Hollywood, Thay, and Ballyhoo used a number of Heal spells to mend the various injuries suffered inside the Speakeasy bar.  They then parked down the street from the Novelty Hills Sleep and Eat and sent Thay and Chase into the establishment to rent a room.  Thay flirted with the manager on duty, a wiry dwarf named Lucas Kash.  She talked him down to a lower rate and giving them room 311.  Once in the room, Thay came out and tried her keycard in door 312 and knocked.  Lucas yelled up that she was at the wrong door, so she went back to 311.  Chase used his combat axe and tremendous strength and weight to crash through the wall into 312 wherein they found Oxycode already dead.  On the floor were two commlinks which they snatched up.  Searching the room, they discovered lots of drugs, and they took those too.  Thay then used a power outlet to start a fire in the room, and the group went downstairs and told Lucas they smelled smoke. 

The pair returned to the van, and the group drove off and contacted their Mr. Johnson.  Since they had a gunfight in the Speakeasy, they decided to meet at a Stuffer Shack several blocks away.  He paid them for the commlink and handed the other one back to them.  He suggested it might be valuable, but not to him. 

The group then decided to make some money on the stolen drugs, so they called Hollywood’s fixer, Fast Freddy.  He agreed to meet in a J-Mart parking lot.  They worked out a deal to give him 20% if he would move the product, and he accepted.  He said he would meet them back there the following night.