Taken from Judd Karlman’s writeup:
In which a child of the Goat Matron is unleashed on Coalridge, the Hive’s link into the Lampblack/Red Sashes War is delved into and Rorick’s Ghost is hunted through the under-canals and back-alleys of Crow’s Foot.
It was Maude and Skannon this time around. It is interesting to see what kind of jobs interest different combinations of scoundrels, based on their skills and inclinations.
Skannon used his downtime to heal up after getting stabbed in the Upper Deck Job and he did some spying on the Hive. He saw them loan mercs to the Lampblacks, evening out the war. It was as if the Hive want the war to go on longer. He caught site of a mysterious Dagger Island woman with a bad-ass platoon of Hive Mercenaries as her personal bodyguards.
Maude used her downtime to also heal up as she was still ghost-touched, also from the same previous job. She also took a new vice, as her obligations vice wasn’t finding traction in play. Another big deal, her Attune went to 3 in the midst of dealing with the Dimmer Sisters. I liked how Sean described it, with Maude realizing that there was more to this ghost-stuff than simply binding and banishing.
Downtime actions were limited because the Wobbegong Crew is at war with the Red Sashes after stealing turf from them.
Roric, he’s in the book and I’ve got ideas about him. John did a neat job setting up a cool web around Roric and his death. I’m excited that they are hunting down his ghost. In a way he’s the keystone to the starting situation. He was the one who kept the peace between the Lampblacks and the Red Sashes before Lyssa, his second-in-command stabbed him in the back and threw his body into the canal.
Bricks, the barber who healed up Skannon, who works under a Hive-owned brothel.
Noggs the Knife, an old ghost from under the Upper Deck, killed in a gang war 60 years ago.
Pigsfoot, the old name of Crow’s Foot, back back from the Crows were the ruling gang.
Thirsty Ghost, an old pub in Crow’s foot where Roric had a cache of weapons and clothes.
Flint, Maude’s friend, a spirit trafficker. I’m not sure why I described him as the caretaker of an alley filled with forgotten gods’ altars but I did and it has stuck. He was with Maude when she failed a succession of rolls that led to her accidentally summoning one of the Ghost Matron’s children in a church to the Forgotten Gods in Coalridge. He dragged her out of there once the demon-goat-thing made its way out of the bleeding walls.
We exchange e-mails between games. I mentioned that in the Upper Deck job they had taken the leader of the Red Sashes, Mylera Klev’s little brother and now she wants to make a deal for peace or his return or something. We were thinking that tonight was going to be the Hostage Job but that didn’t pan out with only two players at the table.
Several Lampblacks have refused to leave the little brother’s side, not wanting their gang to lose their space in that leverage.
Since Pete and Sean were going to be at the game, Sean suggested an occult job and I suggested Roric’s ghost had a bounty on it – one bounty by Lyssa and another bounty by a mystery bidder who was doubling the coin offered by Lyssa.
Skannon said, “It must be Roric’s lover…who else would be motivated to pay so much?” I did my best to keep a poker face when Pete said that.
They hunted Roric’s ghost down through Crow’s Foot while the Dimmer Sisters, the Gondoliers and some moonlighting Railjacks all hunted too. I set up a clock for each of them. Sean suggested that their clocks be less than the Wobbegong clock, since they were all higher tier gangs. Those kinds of mechanical suggestions are invaluable. The crew had an 8-part clock and the rest of the rival ghost-hunters had 6-part clocks.
Maude and Skannon left Maude’s new ghost friend, Noggs, to be eaten by a pair of Dimmer Sisters to get away from a conflict with them, a pair of young ladies in widow’s garb and black veils, floating a few feet off the ground. Maude could see that they weren’t possessed by a single ghost, but were a pair of women in a network of women, run by a council of ghosts in a complicated web.
To find Roric’s trail when it had run cold, Maude hacked the network, a Desperate roll. It was cool have that be a success and show a bit behind the scenes of the Dimmer Sisters’ operations.
We ended there, with Skannon leading them through back alleys to where Rorick, possessing an old woman, had picked up a brace of pistols and a cloak.
To be continued in a few weeks. I have family obligations next week.
I was happy to be rolling on a more chill entanglements table this week. The Bluecoats took Kyle in and questioned him, adding +1 Heat because they saw through a lie he told.
I felt like I was asking for better die rolls this week. In the last job I made a bunch of mistakes, having people roll dice like to-hit rolls, which led to unsatisfying results. The clocks were set up well for this job but the job was also just more dynamic. Hunting a ghost through the streets while other arcane powers strive to get there first is pretty cool. The fiction being flavorful led to an easier time setting up consequences.
This is the first job we’ve stopped mid-game. It felt like an easy stop-point. I remember right where they were, tracking the body Roric has possessed while the Dimmer Sisters close on in.
Sean’s Thoughts on this Game
Clearly I have impulse control issues. When a strange demon offers me candy, I say yes. I see this both in Arcy and in Maud (which I was/am attempting to play as very different people). At the core of each of them I want to play a real person, but I keep finding myself taking Faustian bargains and then wondering what the hell I was thinking. In part but what sounds like a great idea in the moment, turns out to be a terrible one.
In Arcy’s case, she’s become complicit with it, and when in doubt, escalates. She’s done some pretty grotesque things not because she had to, but because I felt like the character needed to keep one upping herself to stay relevant and hold onto her status in the crew (and to some degree at the table). I’m okay with the path Arcy went in but I’m not doing it again with Maud. She’s made some of the same mistakes but I’ve decided that she knows enough to understand they were mistakes, and the burden she’s going to bear is trying to make up for them, rather than just stacking more atrocities on top of her past. This is a bit challenging for me because I don’t want to be risk-averse myself, but the character really doesn’t want to kill one demon just by letting two more out of the bottle, so we’ll see if there is a path for her.