Actual Play – SWAT on the Loose! (4/3/2009)

System: Demon: The Fallen

Demon last night was fun, very fun for me. Our GM has opted to stage the game so that we each have three scenes per session to either advance our own goals and/or address the hooks that he’s given us. This format works very well for me, it allows the characters to bounce off each other organically rather than be clumped up even when their goals are very different. As he’s put it Demon is a social game and our characters but their supernatural nature need to develop a network of thralls to support us. Those networks are pretty varied, as we’ve have already found out.

We opened with a recap of last session, and I was surprised at just how much we had gotten done in the previous game.

Day 1 – Scene 1

Lincoln Kinkaid was approached in his flat by a trio of earth loving hippies who’s d’Artagnan was missing. The most ardent of their tree saving group Galadriel had apparently cut off access to an old grown named “Henry” that the eco-preservers had been squatting in to protect from being cut down. Somewhat reluctantly Lincoln agreed to go check it out and see if she was safe up in Henry.

Meanwhile, in his shop Marcel got a call from V (for Vasquez, the code his brothers in Arms use to protect their identity). A Russian Vasquez was on the phone and told him that the 51st street Bangers, a Chicano gang that they supplied ordinance for, was moving to another vendor. Concerned for the organization Marcel hung up determined to get his business back and find out who was undercutting him. As the camera zoomed out we could see that Marcus was working on some kind of futuristic wheelchair in his shop.

At nearly the same time agent Johnson reported into regional director Jared Sorenson’s (did the player mean to name him after the author of Lacuna?) that a number of guns were picked up from the local games. The disturbing thing was that they were high powered military grade assault rifles, way out of the league for most gangs. He assigned two agents to the case and started heading up the investigation himself.

Carol, who wasn’t given a plot hook on day one (don’t worry she got one on day two) checked in on her Coven leader.

Howards, (who also got his hook on day two), went to the park and possessed a flock of pigeons and go to personally experience the joy of defecating all over the place.

Day 1 – Scene 2

Lincoln geared up and headed just out of town to the lumber site. A number of somewhat amused lumberjacks along with some very agitated suits were all at the site, staring up at a monster of a tree, apparently Henry. Lincoln talked to one of the directors and told him that he was going to climb the tree and make sure the girl was safe. Less concerned about her safety than he was about just cutting the damn thing down, the suit muttered in agreement.

Lincoln climbed up top and found, barley hanging from one foot the unconscious body of Galadriel. He hoisted her back into the multi-layer forth that they had erected and saw that she was shot and bleeding to death. With no particular medical skills to save her Lincoln opted for a more direct approach to treatment. He revealed his angelic form, full of golden radiance and told her that is she believed in him, he could save her. Convinced that he was an the Celtic nature deity Cernunnos, Galadriel put her faith in Lincoln, sealed a pact and with that he was able to heal her wounds and grant her the legal acumen and the monkey-wrench skills she would need to fight the lumber companies. Oh… and eagle wings to boot.

Sending her down to deal with the suits, Lincoln inspected the attack on her. In his glorious form he was able to detect the crossbow bolt which passed through her and into Henry. From there he traced the trajectory back to the rooftop of a nearby sky rise. Spreading his angelic wings, Lincoln flew to the rooftop and found Galadriel’s attackers still there. They tried to “open fire” but it’s very dangerous to do anything involving heat in the presence of a devil. Amplifying the heat of the blasting powder he turned one of the submachine guns into a pile of molten slag. A brief fight ensued. One of the attackers was killed by friendly fire from his ally, who then fled. With a melted gun and a corpse at his feet, Lincoln returned to his human shell, pulled out a badge and talked his way past the building security.

Meanwhile Marcel went down to the 51st and had a talk with Joaquin about business. After a little sales pitch, Marcel was able to talk his way into seeing the military grade ordinance the gang had acquired at rock bottom prices… All of it SWAT gear; assault rifles, riot suits, badges, flash bangs, you name it. This looked bad… and it looked like a set up.

Jared was disassembling the gun that was picked up and got some serial numbers off the internal components. He ran the numbers and found out they were supposed to be delivered to Seattle SWAT, and by all accounts had made it. Clearly something shady was going down in the precinct.

I’m not sure who called who first, but Marcel and Jared had it out over the phone. Both put the pieces together and everything led back to SWAT. When they got back together, Marcel and Jared headed to Freddy “Fat” Fingers, the cop who keeps Marcel informed and got a name of the SWAT Lieutenant: Vimes (nope, I didn’t miss the Discworld reference but opted not to break game to mention it). We also found out about a shooting range the SWAT guys liked to hang out at.

Day 1 – Scene 3

The evening ended in the park (yeah the same one we know another assassination attempt on Howards will be made. Marcel, Lincoln and Jared swapped stories and Lincoln agreed to go check out the shooting range. Carol and Howard were less interested but Carol did agree to go the next day as Lincoln’s assistant. Marcel and Howard talked some about Howards plan to reclaim power in his organization and about a mobile transport platform that Marcel would develop for him.

Day 2 – Scene 1

Carol got a call from her Cabal leader letting her know there was trouble in the flock. One of the women in her cabal was being stalked. Carol made a quick call to Lincoln, made sure he didn’t need her for a bit and then set out to go stalk the stalker.

Howard was informed by his sexitary (yes, a new word we made up) that there was going to be a shareholder’s meeting this morning. He hadn’t attended one in five years but in light of recent changes she thought she should let him know.

Lincoln woke up to a naked Galadriel on his floor, even in her sleep she sung his praises. Clearly the woman is a fanatically devoted to something she believes Lincoln is but having trouble dealing with the discrepancies between how he actually acts. More lucid now that she had slept, she told Lincoln that she needed to get back to Henry. Apparently the reason she was shot was because she stole some drugs (A LOT of drugs, like 500K of Crack) from some dealer named Boomer. The dope is hid inside Henry and she wants Lincolns protection while she gets it back.

Marcus took his apocalyptic form, filled with the might of heaven, and continued crafting the mobile transport platform for Howard.

Jared took a caked down to SWAT to thanks them for their hard work. The guys were a little surprised but certainly enjoyed the cake. He talked for a while with Ltd Vimes about the hardships of money being cut from their budget and seemed to befriend him. After an hour of chatting it up, when he has a sufficient read of on Vimes, he called in Marcel to push some things around at the precinct and have Vimes called off to fill out some paperwork. With the Ltd out of the way, Jared used his Lore to take the form of the Ltd and infiltrate his operation. Pretty quickly a sergeant confirmed that Vimes was orchestrating this whole snafu with the gangs and was doing it to get backing from the city. He also found out that only half of the SWAT team was in on the deal, the other half was oblivious to it. Interesting.

Day 2 – Scene 2

Carol tracked one of the stalkers back to his apartment and using the Lore of Portals entered without breaking (*smirk* gotta love demon powers). Inside was a man with a telescope aimed right at the home of her cabal member. Things got dicey. She caught him in the act… but she also broke into his home. It was a push until she just pulled out her piece and fired into the ceiling. Here shot didn’t have to be accurate to scare the crap out of him. He broke and told her that he was the girl’s father and wanted to reconnect with her. Carol gave him some sage advice about not building bridges with telescopes and left before the police arrived.

Howard attended his shareholder meeting and gave them a piece of his mind. He yelled, he ranted, and he even talked a little about his thousand years of torment but overall just made the meeting very uncomfortable for everyone. He sat through the rest of the meeting grumbling and muttering to himself.

What rocked

The scene structure worked really well for me. I enjoyed all of our plots weaving around each other without the artificial sense that we should be a “party”. We have a unifying goal (to find Lucifer just in case you forgot at home) but act primarily on our personal agendas.

We had some great conflicts both with PC and NPC interactions. The stalker, the crazy tree huggers, the Chicano gang leader and the infuriated SWAT sergeant all made for a lot of fun to interact with. The tension between Jared and Marcel is rising and Jared keeps trying to keep a cool cover and Marcel prods at him, trying to make him crack. While Marcel keeps saying that he’s going to try and win Jared over and have him break away from Law Enforcement, I think in the long run just the opposite will happen. I think at this rate, its Marcel that’s going to see that Jared really does run an honest shop and be swayed to join him.

What could have been improved

Some of the scenes dragged a bit, which was only a problem because it means that some of the players waited a really long time to act. I hope this will even out over time.

 

And now… I’m exhausted. That was the longest AP report I’ve done in a while. Duckout.