So yesterday we played some more Savage Worlds. It was the zombie outbreak on a cruise ship. We had played several sessions about this before. It took a while to get back into the groove. This group seems to enjoy role playing as much as socializing.
We had the entire group yesterday. The party figured that they did not trust anyone who was an NPC. I am not sure where this notion came from. They keep expecting Kirkman, the head of security to actually do something other than just get them into trouble. The party gets into an encounter, the NPC’s melt into the background, and the party gets to act. This is pretty much the standard in most RPG’s. Now does this party accept this? No. They want help. They want the paramilitary dudes to help, well they did, to some extent.
As I am writing this blog, I have dogs laying on a blanket to my left, and Big Trouble in Little China playing on the monitor to my right. Now Big Trouble is one of my favorite movies. It is awesome. Every time Brian tells me that his company is sending him to San Francisco, I imagine that Brian is Jack Burton, driving the Pork Chop Express. Now Brian returns from the Bay area and won’t tell us any great tales, but I know deep down, that he was fighting Lo Pan, Thunder, Rain and Lightening. Stop that. Just stop that. I digressed a lot in yesterday’s post, and it took a long time to write. I have minis to paint, and Shari wants to play the bunny lady in Zombicide, and there are lots of new zombie minis to paint. I don’t have time to digress and ramble on.
So what happened yesterday.
Montage, my new favorite word for blogging. Veni Vidi Velcro. We came, we saw, we stuck around. OK, maybe a little more detail is in order.
The party picked up where they left off. They had just left the bridge that they destroyed. Well, one of the paramilitary people tried to throw a grenade as he was chomped by a cannibal. He dropped the grenade, and it blew up, taking the explosives that he was holding, which completely destroyed the bridge. Luckily, the party got out alive.
Kirkman led them back to the security suite, because that is where the cameras all feed back to. If the party can get to the the security suite, they have a secured door, food, water, surveillance footage of the entire boat, and a complete medical kit. That is why Kirkman set up the interim infirmary in the security room.
So the party gets to the security room without much to do. Sue, Mike, Brian, and others keep trying to derail the adventure. They approach the security room, it is at the end of a hall. Kirkman opens the door, and finds that something bad happened in the room while they were gone. Apparently, housing sick people in a makeshift infirmary in the security room was not a good idea. The room was full of dozens of newly created cannibals. Kirkman did the only thing that a well developed NPC could do… he retreated through the party, intending to stay alive.
The door opened inward. Shari and Collin were in the lead. Everyone else followed Kirkman. Shari and Collin decided to be big damn heroes. They blocked the doorway, trying to get it to swing back closed. It didn’t work so well, the cannibals swarmed out and a fight ensued.
Things happened pretty quick, the cannibals managed to bite Collin, and Collin was not able to chip all of the wounds.
Now Brian, channeling his inner Jack Burton decided that he needed to break into a room in the hallway. He had a fire ax. He hit the door handle and sheared off the handle. He thought that he could unlock it at that point. I explained that the door wouldn’t open. Now Brian had the typical Jack Burton bullshit meter going, where he didn’t believe the Chinese magic BS that was going on around him. Always trying to find a rational explanation as to what was really going on, since the reality he was facing didn’t jibe with the reality he thought should exist.
I spent quite a bit if time explaining to the party that this was a linear adventure. It wasn’t a sandbox, so if they wanted to go off the plot, that caused significant problems. In past episodes of this adventure, I simply gave them something so foul and bad when they went off the yellow brick road of the adventure, that I hoped that it would dissuade them from running off script. Now nobody in the party was accepting this type of approach, so I just told Brian, nope, the door doesn’t open. Now in reality, I could have opened up the door, and hit them with a couple hundred zombies. Maybe I could have given them Lo Pan. That might have been fun, fighting an ancient Chinese person with a demon trapped within… Who should have green eyes in the party? Maybe Jesus, Brian’s character… OK, instead of an ancient Chinese person with a demon, it could be an ancient Mestizo with a demon trapped within, looking for a Mexican man with green eyes… Ah screw that, a Mexican man with brown eyes.
Anyhow, I explained several times to the party that this linear adventure didn’t allow for a huge amount of sideshow. It was not really a train, with rails that they had to follow, but the general plot of the adventure was to follow the pages, starting with page 1, and sequentially moving through the book. Sue had a lot of problems with that. She kept wagging her finger at me. For what it is worth, Sue, wagging your finger at the DM isn’t going to get you anywhere. Really.
Anyhow, Kirkman bravely suggests that everyone should get back to the theater, where they had the safety briefing at the beginning of the cruise. After some discussion about linear adventures, and how this particular module started on Page 1, and continued sequentially, the party agreed to follow Kirkman, even though to date, he wasn’t worth the value of a runny dog shit. Actually, this specific issue of discussing linear adventures came up so often during this session that I am now deciding to call it “X1”, as a placeholder for the variable with a plot line attached. So instead of writing out “Sue had a problem with the linear adventure, and we spent several minutes with Rob explaining that the adventure was linear, and …” I am going to simply say “Sue X1” or “Eric X1” This should clean up this blog, and probably reduce the post length by 10 or 12 pages in length.
Now an intrepid reader would likely say, maybe, Rob, you shouldn’t waste our time with your ramblings. Especially your inane hatred of all things Jar Jar. Now, this may be a good point, but there are several problems with the argument. First, it is my blog, so I will write what I want to. Second, Jar Jar is pure fucking evil.
Now, some people might link my rantings about Jar Jar to other people who are unable to watch Wesley Crusher on a Star Trek movie or show without going into cardiac arrest. I can tell you honestly that Wesley Crusher was played by a pretty cool dude. His part was written for him. Wil did the best that he could with the influence of Gene Roddenberry, who had exactly three more cogent ideas than George Lucas ever had.
I mean who the fuck would come up with this type of shit, then subject us to three movies? After long consideration, I believe that Jar Jar was the miscue in the fleecing of the public on the Star Wars Episode 1, 2 and 3 movies. Con men need a miscue to keep your attention while they pick your pocket. Jar Jar was how George Lucas kept our attention focused on something awful so that we didn’t realize how fucking bad the storyline that he write for the three movies in the series.
It was really pure genius on George’s part. Our hatred of Jar Jar allows us to not fully remember how utterly bad the movies were. We desperately wanted to like these Star Warts movies. We grew up watching Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbaka. As adults, we desperately wanted to expand on the joy we had as children.
So we all showed up to the Phantom Menace wishing, hoping, desperately wanting something as cool as watching Luke Skywalker whine incessantly about his Uncle Owen making him stay another season, instead of becoming a tool of the Empire. OK, maybe that wasn’t the best example.
Phantom Menace opens up, and we all got excited. The thrill of the opening music, and this guy…
and there were other actors, but wow. awesome stuff. Anyhow, things are going well, action happens, we are all trying to figure out why the trade federation wants to gas the Jedi knights instead of spacing them… I mean, after all, it costs money to create kill gas, as opposed to giving them no atmosphere and 0 degrees Kelvin to exist in.
Then Jar Jar. I mean, is that where George lost his focus, did he simply know that from that point on, he had run out of good ideas. I mean in Return of the Jedi, he didn’t run out of ideas until 2/3 of the way into the movie. So George drops in Jar Jar, Gungins and other shit. I believe that this was the sleight of hand moment. This was the moment where the movie became so unbelievably shitty that we no longer questioned stuff. This was the moment where they started flashing subliminal messages to the viewers. “Buy More Popcorn – you won’t miss any of the plot, because there is none”, “Buy two of each of the 3,000 new action figures we are making bank on – You need one to play with, and one to store for future investment”, “Jar Jar is not a bad character, he was just the best that George could come up with” and other stuff like that. We were numbed into idiocy, and were not able to react with bullshit like midichlorians. The introduction of Jar Jar also allowed us to not car one shit as to whether any of the characters lived or died. Unfortunately for the plot, only Qui Gon Jinn died.
I mean the movie was so bad that afterwards, we could not believe that we actually sat through it. It was one of those things where you sit back and think about it, and say to your self “It couldn’t have been that bad. I need to go see it in the theater again, because nothing could have been that bad.” Then, later you say “That movie couldn’t have sucked so bad. I paid to see it twice in the theater. I need to buy the DVD to watch it again, because it couldn’t have been that bad”, so you buy the DVD. Then the DVD with extra shit on it comes out. Then the DVD with the gold box label with extra scenes and interviews with the cast members is released. You purchase that one because you want a record where each cast member apologizes to you personally for the shit that they bestowed on you. Then Blue Ray comes out. Meanwhile, you already went to see movie 1, 4, 5 and 6, since they are now coming out with movie 2, you need to do the whole thing over again with movie 2.
As Admiral Akbar said…
I see what you did there. You got me rambling on about Star Warts again. Damn it, I was trying to keep this blog post tight.
Where was I? Oh yeah, everyone got back to the theater. There are about 250 people in the theater, and Kirkman wants everyone to listen to him. Kirkman eventually gets everyone’s attention, and explains in a not so subtle way that they are all fucked. Thank you for not wasting food at the all you can eat buffet, but you are fucked. Thankfully, we have Blackwater incorporated here to help us keep the bad guys from overtaking us. By the way, we all need to find any survivors and bring them back to the theater, where we can hole up until we are rescued.
OK, his monologue was longer than that, and he didn’t mention Blackwater, but that is essentially who is helping out. A soulless group of individuals with military skills who have no problem sinking a boat full of living people on it. Sounds about right for Blackwater and what they did in Iraq. At least in this case, the bad guy military operatives were paid for by Mr. Forthington, instead of by the US Taxpayers.
Where was I… I almost got sucked into a discourse about the 2nd Gulf War, and how the Bush / Cheney administration tried to hide the overall cost and impact of Americans overseas for their wars by sending over limited military forces, and suckered the American population by hiding the costs of support contracts and non military personnel working in traditional roles that the Military would have done, reducing the overall total number of troops in country… Damn it. Why do you keep trying to get me to monologue?
Anyhow, Kirkman pairs up the party, and they are to go out and try to help bring back survivors. The first group to go out is Eric and Brian, Jesus and the Father. They go out into the ship, and eventually come across a cabin room with the door partially open, and from within, they hear sobbing, and moaning. Opening the door, they find a cute 8-year old girl sobbing, and something banging on the bathroom door that is moaning from behind it.
Now, for Eric’s benefit, I decided to post a picture of Honey Boo Boo as the eight year old girl.
I figured that this would help his psyche given how the mini-adventure ends up.
The girl has a bite on her arm. Eric goes to the girl and talks comfortably to her. There is a great deal of banter back and forth about priests, children, etc. Eric adamantly states that he is not that type of priest… We do find out what kind of priest he really is in a few moments.
Noticing the bite mark, he takes off his belt and applies a tourniquet to her arm. Now, Eric didn’t specify if he applied it above, or below the wound, but I figured that he would apply it between the wound and her body. She goes from sobbing to screaming. The tourniquet hurts, a lot. It pinches the skin, and also creates a lot of pain in the muscles, nerves, and creates a throbbing pulse above the tourniquet.
Realizing that there is a monster behind the bathroom door, and how the bathroom doors are pretty flimsy on ships, Eric and Brian decide to leave. The young girl, I will call her Meghan, as any good NPC needs a name to add some compassion for her character, is screaming and struggling.
Eric has a bright idea. He says “I am going to hit her on the head to knock her out”. We discuss this, about how he knows just how to hit a person on the head without doing permanent irreparable damage to her brain. Eric has an inspiration… He will choke her out. Making her pass out from lack of oxegen will be good, or so he thinks.
We have a discussion about how he would know how to make a person pass out without killing them, and he says that his military experience would have let him know how to do this.
Now Brian and I were both in the military. I was in the Army. Brian was in the Navy. Neither of us was trained how to choke out a child , let alone how to choke out a child without crushing their windpipe or snapping their neck, but Eric is convinced he can do this. The problem is that he chokes her out, and roll high enough on his damage role that it snaps her neck. She goes from struggling and gasping to “snap” then she becomes a rag doll. Dead.
Eric is not happy about this. His character has a particular advantage or disadvantage that he will always go to the help of children, now he has started down a slippery slope to evil.
Brian, not to be outdone, takes his fire ax, and caves in her skull. Now Brian / Jesus wants to make sure that she doesn’t come back as a cannibal. This does nothing to help Eric’s perspective on the issue.
I would like to be able to report that the rest of the players at the table were somber and felt bad for Eric’s character. Maybe even they would offer consoling words after Eric murdered an eight year old girl in cold blood. I can’t report that. It didn’t happen that way.
The group comes back to the theater, reporting that they found no survivors.
The next group to go out is Mike and Sue. Sue is still her original nurse character. Mike is on character 3, maybe character number 7. I am not sure. He is now a Mucha Lucha Mexican wrestler.
They headed out looking for survivors, and on the way, they found another cabin with the door partially open. They looked in, and observed an elderly man standing in a suit weeping over an elderly woman who was tied to a bed. Now we don’t judge here, and the plotline does not describe how the elderly woman ended up tied up in the bed by an elderly man. Marriages are funny things, and sometimes people find interesting ways to keep the spark in the marriage.
The elderly woman is thrashing around and snapping at the man. She isn’t moving like a wrinkled old hag. When Sue and Mike enter, the man turns around and says that his Beryl isn’t normally like this.
The man is 85, and he is failing in health. His wife wanted to go on a cruise, but he isn’t strong enough to go out and spend a lot of time out of bed. So he came along on the cruise to be with his wife as much as possible. He hasn’t been out of the cabin since they left port. She left to go play bingo, and recently returned complaining of a bit she received, and here we are.
Seriously, there is no explanation in the module of how the old frail man convinced his wife that she should be tied up in the bed. Sue promises that she will help the woman by giving her a sedagive. The old man agrees to leave to go to the theater, as long as someone comes to help his Beryl. He notes that her bite wound is weeping black ichor, and he has seen some pretty nasty wounds in his time in the war, but never anything like this.
As Sue and Mike are getting ready to escort the man back to the theater, he leans over and gives Beryl a kiss, and she bites him on the cheek.
Needless to say, Mike springs into action and dispatches the old man and the woman. Mike and Sue return to the theater saying that they found no survivors.
That left Shari and Collin. They leave and start working their way around the boat. They come across Mrs. Hartman who has a bible in hand, and is loudly quoting from Revelations.
And it performed great signs, they were the best signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people who entered the country legally, but not the illegals, for the illegals could be terrorists, and we should exclude all potential terrorists by executive order from countries that do not have Trump business interests even though it violates our most sacred texts and the guiding principals of our people.
Because of the biggly best signs it was given the best power to perform on behalf of the first biggly beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth, but only those from the seven countries who were excluded from entry to the best country by executive order. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived biggly
Thus sayeth our Lord, translated from the King Donald Bible
Shari and Collin take all of this in stride. As they continue on, they round a corner and see an elderly lady using her walker to keep a group of cannibals at bay. Shari and Collin attack. They try to save the old lady, but sadly, she is eaten by the time Shari and Collin kill off all of the cannibals. They do return triumphantly with Mrs. Hartman to the theater.
Next Kirkman decides to go to Forthington’s suite, so they can question him about what happened. The party leaves with Kirkman and the military group. On the way, the see a man come out of a room and he is covered in blood. When the party detains him, he seems sketchy. He claims he was attacked by the people in the room. A quick look into the room shows that two people were killed in there, and there are sprays of blood on the wall and ceiling. It is a gory mess.
The man seems sketchy, and he wants to go back to his room to clean up. No one seems to be able to get an answer out of him as to why he was in this room in the first place, nor does anyone seem to care that he apparently murdered two people.
Meh, the zombie apocalypse is about 6 hours old, and people are already very jaded. This is not going to end well for society.
Long story short, the party gets to Forthington’s cabin, the party breaks in, and is shot twice by Forthington before the military guys knock him out.
The military guys tie up Forthington into a chair. The party finds bottles of booze, and Brian starts making Molotov cocktails. Eric drinks the liquor, Brian makes the cocktails.
The party wakes up Forthington, and they find that Forthington is a pretty nasty cuss. He is demeaning, rather horrid, and pretty much acts as a bully. Eric gets angry at him and says, “I pull out my gun, aim it at his knee and shoot his foot.” Now, I am not an expert at anatomy, but we do have a nurse PC in the game (Sue). I don’t quite understand how you aim at his knee and shoot the foot. So I make Eric roll to hit. He ends up shooting eight bullets before he hits the called shot to the foot, which Mr. Forthington chips the wound.
I figure it is something like this:
Brian doesn’t like Forthington. He decides to take the interrogation to a new level. He pours liquor all over Forthington, and threatens to light him on fire if he doesn’t talk.
I ask Brian to make an intimidation role, which he fail, badly. I explain to Brian that in his attempt to threaten Forthington, Brian has a recurrence of the problem that he has had since adolescence, where his voice cracks, and goes high pitch, which Forthington laughs at. For the record, this is very non- Jack Burton.
Brian drops the lit candle onto Forthington.
We have some discussion about what percentage of liquor would be flamable. We agree that maybe 25 percent of the liquor in the cabinet would have a high enough proof to light on fire. I ask Brian to roll a percentile dice. 75 or higher, and the liquor catches fire. Brian rolls very high, Forthington goes up like a roman candle, taking 4 wounds, but chipping one.
The rest of the party puts out the fire, but Forthington is too hurt to offer any more help, not that he was much in the first place.
That was all for this week.