Actual Play – Kill Count: 3 Vehicles, 2 Buildings, 1 Un-immortal Soul. A Good Day. (5/31/2009)

System: Demon: The Fallen

Wow, Demon rocked last night. Rocked really hard. I had such a good time playing L5R the week before that I hadn’t really be thinking about Demon. I mean, I had this plan in my head of what to do, worked out in some detail, but frankly that is just because I’m OCD. Demon wasn’t really on my brain. Add that to the fact that my Sunday was just horrible (nightmares the night before that plagued me all day, un-fun cleaning of the house and then running over a bird on the way to the game) and I really didn’t expect to get really excited about the game. Maybe, like movies that is the best way to go into a game, with low expectations. I certainly had a blast last night.

The Storyteller reminded me that on my last recap I missed a detail. The reason why Lily was avoiding her father was that he was upset that “his little boy grew up to be a big girl”. We noticed that in game but it slipped me when doing the recap.

Day 3 – Scene 2 (Carol and Lincoln)

Where we left off Lincoln and Carol were going back to Carol’s place to pick up Lily and take her to Jared’s. Men in black suits showed up out of nowhere, hot on Lily’s tail. The dodged through an ally, set up a door to explode behind them and used the “open portal” power to duck through a neighbor’s house and out the other side of the street. Quickly they caught a cab and raced off.

Day 3 – Scene 3 (Jared, later Carol and Lincoln)

Waiting for them at his apartment Jared received an unexpected knock on his door. When he opened it a robed man stood in front of him. He held a cross out like a weapon and began chanting at Jared in Latin, calling him a demon who possessed the body of a mortal, which just so happened to be true. Luckily Jared’s willpower held out just long enough to make it look, when a police officer arrived like the guy was absolutely nuts.

In the middle of all this Carol, Lily and Lincoln arrived and had to wait for the police officer (who originally was responding to an APB on Lily indicating that she had been kidnapped). Jared’s badge wsa enough to divert the officers attention up to his apartment and diffuse both situations gracefully…

Day 3 – Scene 4 (Marcel)

… Meanwhile, Marcel was anything but graceful. Knowing that Joaquin wasn’t going to listen to reason or respect anything but a strong show of force, he decided to show the gangster that he was the Alpha dog. He broke into Joaquin’s warehouse and waited for him. When the gang leader arrived and found Marcel down there he was understandably hostile. Marcel launched into him with a diatribe about how he was being played, being worked by powers greater than him, and in the end, was bait for a bigger fish. Knowing he’d need more to impress him, Alestor took his apocryphal form and scarred the piss out of him (literally). Right there he enthralled Joaquin, offered him protection from supernatural threats but demanded his service, specifically he demanded the answer to one question. Did Ivan McPhayle sell these guns to you? Alestor was not at all surprised to hear the answer was Yes.

Day 3 – Scene 5 (Jared, Carol and Lincoln)

Responding to the summons we all received earlier that day, most of our coterie headed to the SEATAC airport to find the Cryptic arriving. Getting to the gate was dicey and ended up lying to a TSA agent (Doyle) and telling him the ATF was putting a sting on his boss. Later Jared appealed to Doyle’s guilt and aspirations to enthrall him.

In the gate, Carol used her lore of patterns to determine what the cryptic would look like when she arrived. Carol saw the pilot entering the gate and so the demons waited for his arrival. Sure enough within minutes after the plane unloading the pilot, surrounded by several stewardesses exited and made his way to a Starbucks. Approaching with caution, Lincoln dawned his lamp of faith but saw that none in his immediate vicinity were supernatural. Out of the corner of his eye, was another man, a mirror image of the pilot walking with determination and carrying a silver briefcase. The chase was on!

Jared caught back up with the others trailing the man but they all agreed it was too dangerous to confront him inside the airport. Too many innocent people could die. A good thing Marcel wasn’t there. The continued to follow, biding their time till he could be confronted and opening up a grand opportunity. The demon pilot mimic caught a cab and Jared was able to utter the phrase the player had been itching for “follow that cab!”

Day 3 – Scene 5 – Fight! (The whole crew)

Lincoln called Marcel to let him know that they were chasing the Cryptic north on the 218 and needed some assistance slowing him down. Marcel took his boys Delano and Vinh and headed down to intercept. He waited near an onramp and then tore into traffic after the cab when he spotted. Marcel later reflected that he should never try to be subtle. First off it’s not his style. Second, it just never works out in the end. He should have just rammed the taxi with his SUV…, but instead he went for a more “diplomatic approach” and made the car undrivable but sending the driver’s radio into complete hysterics, creating feedback that was incredibly painful to the ear. As the driver tried to pull out of traffic to stop, his passenger was quite aware of what was going on and abruptly intensified the gravity around him thousandfold, rocketing her through the bottom of the taxi, through the freeway onramp they were on, through the roof and the floor of the van below. Leaving a smouldering hole behind her and creating one hell of a traffic accident to boot. Damn, should have never gone for subtle in the first place.

The demons leapt down below to catch the slippery cryptic, terrified of letter her contact the her allies in Seattle. A brief and brutal battle broke out, consisting largely of Marcel trying to hold on to the cryptic while Linclon incinerated everything. The host dead, the demon’s soul tried to escape but neither Marcel or Lincoln was going to have any of that. Wrestling with the ethereal mass they both tried to consume his soul. It was Carol, however, who, moved to eliminate the threat devoured him. Infused with her power, Carol’s own faith grew like a critical mass of angelic energy, and she sifted through the demon’s memories for the one she needed, the location of the Seattle Cryptics. “Mmm… that tasted g-o-o-d!”

Day 3 – Scene 6 (Jared and Marcel)

Jared and Marcel had a standoff. Marcel told Jared he found the connection, how the gangs got the guns and was going to go talk to that connection. Talk with extreme prejudice. Jared, believed there was another way however. A solution that involved following the law. In the end though, Marcel’s plan was the only one that would offer answers fast enough. Dirty, but effective.

The pair stood outside McPhayle’s just after it had closed for the night and watched as the last customer, a young ganger in an a hoodie gave Marcel a knowing nod, indicating the incendiary bomb was planted in the shop. The kid quickly bolted leaving the two alone. In the angelic forms Alestor looked to Procel and asked if he was ready to go in, then he hit the detonator and blew the holy hell out of the inside of Ivan’s shop. Moments later ammunition, grenades and anything flammable was going off inside like a carnival of explosions. Both demons, armed to the teeth with guns kicked down the back door to take Ivan down!

Only… they didn’t expect Ivan to be facing them, in a cooled and protected room, calm as can be, pointing a grenade launcher at them. A less than friendly conversation ensued as we realized a few things. A) Ivan is not just tough as nails, but he’s got an Earthbound demon riding him, making him that much more dangerous. B) We figured out the plan, to make the Gang’s fight each other until there is nothing left and then pick up the scraps. Not what either of us expected. Satisfied and terrified we retreated. As we did, Ivan fired, first a tear gas canister and then a claymore. Luckily Procel had the sense to scat early, and Alestor strode out, wreathed in flames but unhurt in epic action hero fashion.

Day 3 – Scene 7 (Carol and Lincoln)

Carol and Lincoln headed over to the house of star, to pick her up before the Dominicans got to her. We’ll the sort-of made it. When they arrived her old boy friend, who just couldn’t accept that she had moved away from Texas to Washington and was now a lesbian. He was sure that because he loved her, she would love him back. He was a sad little man. Then Lincoln and Carol showed him just how little he was, revealing their angelic forms and commanding him to leave her alone. Out of know where however, the shotgun he carried was bumped… and went off… twice! Uh-huh.

Bloody but standing, the demons escorted Star back to Jared’s place where we all gathered. Medical supplies and a Tivo were coincidentally found and Jarrod patched up our injured companions. The girls were saved, the gang war is at least slowed down some, and the Cryptic was killed. Not bad for a few days work.

Note: Medical Kits and a Tivo coincidentally appearing. Men in Black suits showing up out of nowhere. Cops showing up with an APB on Lily. And one that I was trying to put my finger on in game but just hit me, a shotgun that “accidentally” went off twice and fired right into two people… Yes, boys and girls, we’ve got mages on our hands. A new mage, unaware of her powers, the Technocracy wanting to round her up, and my guess is one of the Dominicans trying to “clean up” a mess but shooting it with a shotgun.

What rocked:

The cryptic was terrifying. We totally weren’t killing it because we thought we were better or because we were just. We were freaking animals trapped in a corner and striking out. We had no idea how powerful it would be, or how easily it could convey what it knew to the other members of its faction in Seattle. So basically we threw everything at it. And we killed it very dead. And we became worse people because of it. Cool.

At the end of the blowing up of McPhayle’s shop Marcel and Jared were separated for a bit. Marcel looked back at the wreckage and rubbed his chin “Well, that was a success” at the same time Jared was scuttling down an ally “Wow, that was a total failure”. It was some nice symmetry.

Marcel and Jarod faced off in a good way. We had a contested roll to see which one of us would call the shots. Either way however, the other was going to come along to make sure things got done (or in Jared’s case that certain things didn’t get done). Seeing that Jared wouldn’t eat another angel’s soul was good foreshadowing for a future conflict between them over murder.

Marcel is becoming more and more the person I want him to be, a very rough cut. Unlike his creations he’s brutal and efficient, but everything he does is for a purpose that he understands very clearly. Right now I consider him a hero, but it would only take an innocent person getting in the way of his plans for him to become a villain. He straddles that line very closely.

There was some amazing irony that Marcel and Jared walked away from about a billion explosions without a scratch and Carol and Lincoln both came back bleeding to death from a shotgun. Not saying their wounds were trivial, very important in fact to saving Star and winning over the Midwesterner. Just ironic.

We had some very cool cinematic moments like Lincoln putting on his shades just before blowing the holy hell out of the van, and Alestor walking out of the fire. Yeah, narrating those scenes is somewhat self congratulatory, but its good fun that everyone can enjoy.

Carol suffered temporarily from megalomania after eating the Cryptic’s soul. How cool is that. Very happy that didn’t happen to Marcel before facing Ivan. As we definitely wouldn’t have gotten out of there as easily.

The conversion of Doyle was quite cool, if only because it was so unexpected. The storyteller’s portrayal of his particular perversions was quite hilarious.

Dude, we ditched the Technocracy. How awesome is that?

Marcel finally got a thrall, albeit one that totally hates him. That should be fun to play up. If he can enthrall the other gang leaders he might be able to force a truce through sheer power of will. Hmm… it will probably be trickier than that.

“Follow that cab!” – Jared. Cool.

Did you see the title of this post? We destroyed all kinds. Yay for collateral damage.

What could have been improved

We need to remember to keep track of our nature during game as it is the only way to get back willpower. The system seems to be very tight on ways to replenish willpower and faith. I think that is intentional as the game wants players to be hungry for these resources, but it also means we need to really keep tabs on it during the game. It’s also going to be hard for my character (an architect) to reasonably be creating multiple lasting creations every session. Thus willpower will be in short supply for me.