Actual Play – Polly Wanna Cracker (6/18/2010)

GM: Shaun Hayworth
Players: Sean, Travis, Fattig, Kristin and Rich
System: Dresden Files

We added Rich, in the form of our sold out warden to our motley bunch. It’s an interesting juxtaposition for me having another spellcaster in the group in that I believe it’ll cause Saul’s role to become more defined by who he is than by his power (as the warden is a more capable caster) or his connections (as the warden is also works for the mob). I think Luca (Rich’s character) will be a warning for Saul of what he could become if he doesn’t get out.

So yeah… the story. It was very Compelling!

There was just too much wrong with the situation. The money was gone, Old man Cupola wasn’t himself, the broken pieces of the idol afterward looked wrong. So Polly called in the big guns. Luca, ex-warden of the White Council. The job was simple: Get the idol back.

At the same time Sven was getting a call from Monoc telling him that research on the idol has revealed that it was something that shouldn’t be in the hands of the White Court. The idol should either be destroyed or put in the hands of the White Council.

And… Donnie was being told by an old acquaintance who knew he was back in town that a few other old acquaintances (the kind that want to dismember him) would be informed of Donnie’s presence unless Donnie helped this old friend out of a pinch and rounded up a big stack of cash for him.

When giants collide

There were really two stories going on in this game. Donnie’s search for money and Saul, Jameson and Luca’s three way contest over the idol. Let’s start with the magic bits.

Luca wants the Statue and knows Saul had it. Luca scares the crap out of Saul by his very presence (he killed Saul’s uncle mind you). Saul buckles immediately and tells Luca that Jameson has it. Luca wants the statue and arguments between all three of them break out. Finally it comes down to this. Jameson’s sister Isabella has it and we don’t know how to get it back.

Enter Saul, the guy who knows a guy. He told Jameson that he’d like to talk to Isabella and ask her for the idol. Go ahead commence with the laughing, but guess what. My little momma’s boy thaumaturgist can pack a punch! Enough so that by the end of the fight she was trying tear my head off but eventually relented (after threats of a Warden, the Mob, my own power, and Monoc corporation destroying the Anders family finally made an impression). Woot! Idol found.

In other parts of the City, Donnie and Sven were chasing he money. Saul mentioned that in a panic he dropped the $300k in front of Duke’s casino last night and ran. This seemed like a good fit for Donnie’s problem, so they tracked the money down to the boardwalk where they picked up Shaniqua Lafarve, pimping her new fur coat and bling. It was a somewhat crazy, but they convinced her to go back to the bank and get whatever was left of the money back…

The same bank where the Renfields smashed into Jameson’s card and tried to kill all of us (Oh… these by the way were the same Renfields that tried to run down Saul and Luca earlier that day). A big fight went down… one where Luca threw a moving truck in front of the road to block the cops from.

We trashed their asses, but not without Saul using the idol to bludgeon one of them and shattering it, thereby releasing the disease spirit caged with in.

Endgame

Everyone held off the cops as long as they could while Saul created a ward around the expanding spirit of disease, trapping its energies in the earth below. This was the first major mojo that Saul had worked and it was pretty tense. Cops were advancing, Shaniqua was screaming and the people nearby were turning into a panicked mob.

Fallout

The spell completed and maintained the spirit but not without some casualties. Donnie never made it to withdraw the money and Saul was arrested. Luca, Sven and Jameson pulled various cool cards to either escape or talk their way out of imprisonment. Probabably for the best, given what they’d done.

What rocked

Taking on a White Court vamp and winning in a social contest was awesome. Felt bad it took up so much of the game time but it was a great conflict.

The three way conflict of interests between Jameson, Luca and Saul was golden. Each of us pushing for something we only hypothetically could get our hands on.

The compels (as usual) were a great way to get the ball rolling.

I’m going to take a new Aspect for Saul, something along the lines of “I ripped off the kings of greed”. I’m excited about that one.

The showdown at the end was great AND it left us with some questions unanswered? Why are renfields involved? Was the Black Court down at the boardwalk the original buyer? Have we made more enemies that we don’t even know about? Some good hooks for the future.

What could have been improved

I don’t think the original intention was to have two storylines (the money and the idol). I felt bad as it didn’t seem like Sven and Donnie had as much of the action chasing down a bag of cash. In the end we all got in the fight, but I still felt bad eating up a bunch of the time.

Jameson made an argument that the only reason Saul was working for the mob was because he had a hard on for Polly, which didn’t sit right with me. I took the aspect with the idea that somehow (in an unspecified way) Saul had gotten mixed up with the mob and didn’t know how to get out. Yes, he’s got a crush on Polly, but that isn’t why he’s working for them. Polly just knows she can use her feminine whiles to push Saul that much further, but it’s not the thing she really holds over him. If Saul is just working for the mob because he can’t control his libido, then he isn’t the character I wanted to make. I’ll have to think on what exactly they do have on him to keep him doing work for them.