Sixth session of our Gamma Terra game today.
"Fatbox" (John M) - demo/EOD
"Hillbilly" (me) - medical specialist
"Momma's Boy" (Tom P) - computer programmer
"Princess" (Andy D) - cryptographer/sniper
Present but NPC'ed:
"Love Handles" (Vic L) - demo/EOD
"Short Bus" (Mike D) - computer programmer
"Caveman" (Jon L) - demo/EOD
"Barbie" (Mike H) - demo/EOD (MIA)
We started out in the crow's tower, where we left off last session. I had Hillbilly spit off the top, because he does that kind of kind, and then we headed down and slept in Softie, our warbot. In the morning we headed out across the water, aiming for a glittering . . . something . . . on the islands. After a while, thought, Softie stopped.
We'd found, basically, the edge of her electric fence. We'd hit her operational zone limits and couldn't contravene them. We ended up taking her along the edge until we reached land, and debarked.
We left Softie submerged and waiting, with orders to move for self-defense but stay in the area until we returned.
We hiked overland, heavily burdened by food and gear. We passed some locals - barnacle-faced humans who didn't speak any of our civilized tongues - English, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, or Vietnamese. Hillbilly mocked Princess for learning a useless language like Japanese. They had freaky barnacles on their faces and heads, and some had little eel-like creatures in tube-worm like growths. Yeah, the radiation here is bad.
We kept going, and passed one of the "glass lakes." Hillbilly skipped a stone on it and it hit without a sound and just zipped out of sight. World record, suggested Princess?
We moved across pontoon bridges and passed through ruins of Toledo into Boomtown. We had to stop overnight in a desert area, and dug some sleeping holes. In the morning, we set off.
There, we met Ajax, the local sheriff. We couldn't talk to him (or his mutated deputies) but a winged one-eyed green thing called Eeyoh could telepathically translate for us.
The deal was, no ranged weapons in Boomtown. We dickered a bit but we wanted in, so we disassembled our guns and kept the bolts and firing pins. The rest went into a big secure vault.
Into the town we went. Eeyoh gave us the 20-domar-a-day tour. Turns out he's got short-term memory issues, so he can't really remember things at all past a few days. So he's a useful guide who can't spy on us too-too well. Or he can, but he's got to report in immediately.
First things first, we needed to find a place to stay.
So we went to the saloon and drank instead.
Drinks were 1 domar (turns out the couple hundred we had were worth almost 3000) except for a 3-domar hallucinogen made from weird lake fish. Fatbox drank that - and clearly, it affected his combat skills.
As we sat, drinking and spending money on drinks for people in return for rumors, we got hassled. Four men walked up to us, armored and toting weapons (two shortswords, one mace, one car-battery topped maul) and said, "You seem to have a lot of domars. We'll be taking some of them."
Hillbilly: "F*** off."
They started to get ready to fight. So I said, "Do you want to fight here, or out in the street?"
"Here is good." They clearly wanted a crowd to watch. So they started to back off and give us room to get up and get ready for a good old four-on-four duel.
Hillbilly doesn't come from a "duel" culture.
As soon as they started to back up, I tossed my drink in the nearest guy's face and went straight into a two-armed tackle right off my bar stool. He wasn't that ready to fight - boom, I crushed into him and started to run him backward before he could really take a fighting stance with his sword ready. Fight's on!
We basically paired off, although that wouldn't last. Another guy with a shortsword took on Momma's Boy, who threw a bar stool at him (he ducked, and it missed, and hit some poor schlep.)
The guy with the mace moved in on Fatbox, who got out his axe.
The guy with the maul turned on Princess, who quickly got out his electro-whip and tagged him in the face, but mis-timed the shock effect and didn't zap him.
My fight was mercifully brief. In about three seconds, I drove him backward, reaped his leg, and bounced him off the floor. Then I put him in a choke hold with both hands from mount and inside of two seconds did some serious damage to his throat. He passed out. I grabbed his blade and stood up and turned to face the fray.
In the meantime, Momma's Boy and his opponent traded swipes - machete vs. shortsword. Momma's Boy took a cut but it couldn't penetrate his heavy armor (8d on the torso) and then he grabbed at his foe's wrist and clamped down on it. They'd go back and forth in close trying to cut each other, and Momma's Boy tried to cut off his arm at least once, punch him in the face with the handle, and then finally cut at his leg. The last cut worked.
Fatbox tried to cut down his foe with the axe but had back luck - his foe was good, and dodged or parried everything that came his way. In return Fatbox took a hard smash to the left leg, then took at least two other bell-ringing head hits. He was wobbly but kept fighting, trying to check his foe with his axe handle (parried, easily), cut him (again, parried), and slam (again, parried). He finally faded a little and got push-kicked but was able to slice his foe a little parrying him. But he wasn't able to keep going, slid down the bar, semi-conscious and out of the fight.
Princess was dismayed by his whip failure and grappled his much stronger opponent. His foe dropped the now-useless maul. Princess took an elbow to the face but kept coming, and struck his foe back at least once before getting out his knife. He got punched in the chest - he tried to parry but accidentally flipped his knife a few meters behind him. His foe didn't expect heavy chest armor and didn't hurt him, and instead hurt his own hand. Princess tried to take him down but his foe dodged back and ripped free of the grapple. Princess used Intimidation on his opponent but he didn't want to back down. But slipped down to his knees a second later - again, lots of mis-steps in their fight.
This is when I got back into the fight - as Fatbox was sliding down the bar, I'd finished charging past Momma's Boy's foe and into the mace-man. All-Out Attack (Double), Telegraphic, put one arm around his neck and one around his upper left arm. A second later, a takedown put him face down and mounted. Two seconds after that, he was out, choked well into -HP.
Momma's Boy finished off his foe with that earlier leg slice - he didn't have more fight in him after that and with two of his friends down. He turned his sword down and gestured that he was done. Princess's foe gave up, too, after taking a pommel to the face. Two guys out cold (and hurt), one slashed badly in the leg, the last guy sporting a big face injury.
They gave up. We took their weapons and watched their friends drag them away. I called one over, and said, "Next you come, you come friendly."
"We have no objections."
I gave the bartender 10 domars - enough for 1 each - and told them their next drinks were on me. No hard feelings, they took their beatings like men.
We propped poor Fatbox up and Momma's Boy surreptitiously injected him with a wound-healing injector.
As night fell we went to the lodge and got two adjoining rooms in a prison-like structure. No one bothered us, though.
Next morning, we headed out, and did some rounds of stuff we'd heard about.
First stop was an armorers, where we traded into the two swords and the mace from our buddies for three medium shields.
Next, across the street we visited a scrap buyer. Turns out the guys that hassled us were "Finders." They work for the Iron Men, the founders of Boomtown. They go into a ruin called The Ziggurat and pull out scrap and artifacts. We're trying to decide if we side with the Iron Men (who founded the town, and want the local nuclear reactor) or the Triumvirate (who control the reactor, and who Ajax works for.) The main buyer was a friendly green caterpiller. We offered to sell him a watch from the collection that Fatbox looted. He offered 100, especially after Momma's Boy couldn't figure out how to wind it. We passed, but got some good information. We found out that the Iron Men claim all working artifacts, and the sentence for hiding one particular kind is death - ID cards.
We have two.
I'm sure they'd grandfather those in, right?
Momma's Boy asked him if he'd turn into a butterfly, but he didn't understand. So we left.
Next up, the general store. We sold the pig-like mutant owner the watch when he recognized what it was and offered 250, and told us he'd like more of them. We have 32 more, so we sold him the one. He gave us a 10% discount for the day so we got some tents. Apparently, we need tents. Whatever, we have tents now. We also got information on the Finders and Iron Men.
We chatted about names, too, when we introduced ourselves.
"Only the greatest slayers are given the title 'Princess.'"
"Really? In my language that word means-"
"Yes, ours too, but we only give it to the greatest slayers."
We can't tell the real reason for his nickname, can we?
After that, the "Model Home." A local Restorationist named Cleo runs a museum-like "home of the part" exhibit. Some stuff was clearly wrong, although it's mostly stuff past our own time. We chatted with her for a while. She didn't know Severen, the Bal'Kree Restorationist, but we made it clear we had some past knowledge - not the least of which is we spoke English with her.
Momma's Boy offered her a piece of "great literature" that was often found in ancient houses, hidden away for special occasions under mattresses or between gaming books - a copy of Penthouse Forum from his stash. She was, ahem, a little taken aback, but promised to put it on display in the house.
Finally we spoke to Xorn, a make of glass weapons.
Xorn, the glass weapon maker:
Turns out he makes weapons of unbreakable glass. He demonstrated by cutting my utility knife in half with the blade-weight of a glass shortsword. They also glow in the dark, drain radiation, sometimes store radiation and discharge it on a hit, and slice through anything.
Cost for a large knife? 600 domars. Ouch.
We found out, though, that he couldn't assure us these weapons would absorb, drain, and discharge radiation. For that, he needs "ice" from the center of the glass lakes. He could make more powerful weapons, cheaply. But we'd need to brave strong radiation to get the raw materials. And brave the winds that blow the unwary across the low-friction ice.
We decided to cut it there, with a lot more to do.
One of the regulars was on vacation, another was sick, but we dragged their abnormally silent characters with us this session.
Personally, I want to take some time and re-total my gear. I'd like to get down some encumbrance. We carry way too much weight. Our guns, ammo, and armor aren't light, but we're really restricting ourselves a lot.
From next session, I plan to keep Eeyoh with us 24/7, just to be sure he's not reporting in. I didn't think of that at first.
The duel was fun. Probably more for me than the others, since I didn't roll any bad rolls and I seemed to pick the best possible guy to tackle. Still, choke holds are effective if you can be sure to land it and not get attacked by your victim's friends.
So much to do - we want to figure out if the Triumvirate will give us spare batteries for Warbot aka Softie if we help them keep off the Iron Men, or if the Iron Men will do so if we aid them against the Triumvirate. We're not even trying to be sneaky - we want people to come and make us offers and woo us, so we're waving around just a few flags. Maybe we can get both sides to hire us. To quote Ellie from Borderlands 2: "After this red harvest between the two clans, you're gonna be the last man standing with a fistful of dollars! Yojimbo!"
More notes tomorrow if I think of them.