Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Enemy Within – Campaign Completion!

Albrecht: That was without doubt the best campaign I’ve ever played in.
All Players: Here, here!
GM: Thank you, thank you.  The written material was…
Ichabod: …not as good as the GM who presented it.  You are the man.
GM: No, you are the man.
Ichabod: No YOU’RE the man.
GM: Yes, I suppose I am the man.
Waldemar: The way you presented all the clues, allowing us to pick up the complex plot and propelling us into the next encounter; just incredible!
Troll Slayer: I couldn’t believe who the Black Cowl turned out to be in the end.  That was a Keyser Soze moment.
GM: Well, the clues were all there, you guys just put them all together.
Albrect: Not without your expert guidance.
All Players: Who’s the best?!  Ben!  Ben!  Ben!

(wibbly wobbly wibbly wobbly)

Ichabod: Ben!  Ben!  Ben!  Will someone wake him up?
GM: Huh?  Wha... what’s happening?
Troll Slayer: You went all Walter Mitty on us for a second there.
Ichabod: I said, “Now that the Demigryph has been killed I want to go and loot the bodies”
GM: (Oh no, I’m back here again…)
GM: You want to loot the bodies?  Of the people you were defending when the Demigryph got loose?
Ichabod: Yes.  They must’ve been carrying a stackload of gems and coins.
GM: Fine.  You see a noblewoman lying on the ground.  She has a deep wound in her stomach and she’s bleeding profusely.  She calls to you pitifully as you move over and…
Ichabod: Any gems?
GM: (sigh)
GM: She has a gem encrusted necklace smeared in blood that…
Ichabod: ...will do nicely!

Ichabod continues to help the dead and dying by performing Last Rites.  The, “I touched this Last, so it’s mine by Rite” routine.

Time to start the real write up…

The Enemy Within (is actually the players themselves)Day: Who Cares?

Graf Friedrich von Kaufmann is in a state.  The garden party he planned for after his Southlands Expedition returned has been thoroughly wrecked; his prize exhibit stolen, a good portion of his guests and the Averheim nobility killed or wounded, and his rare Demigryph dead (at the hands of brave, brave Captain Bauerfast).

Step forward the party to take charge of the situation.

Troll Slayer: Are there any sandwiches left?
Waldemar: The buffet bench got kicked over, but the food is still there.
Troll Slayer: (treading over the bodies of the dead and wounded) Ooh, a spring roll!  I love these!

In an attempt to bring order to the chaos, Albrecht decides to tell the Witch Hunter, Adele Ketzenblum, about Dagoberdt not having a wizard’s licence.  Albrecht notices that Adele is happy to take the word of someone she doesn't know and strides directly to the Gold wizard.  Her manner is hostile and confrontational.
Dagoberdt's sponsor, and all round cockhead, von Tuchtenhagen, steps in to defend his man.  Graf Friedrich also gravitates towards the burgeoning fracas and soon a full blown argument has broken out.
As the nobles jostle each other, Albrecht casually unslings his bow and notches an arrow.  The Troll Slayer also moves up into a flanking position.  Bauerfast notices the actions of the 2 warriors and signals his men to encircle the group.
Despite his protestations of innocence, Dagorberdt is lead away by Bauerfast's men.  "It's the only way to keep him alive" explains Bauerfast, who hints that Adele would take him away for a summary burning this very second.  The party look crestfallen at Dagorberdt's lucky escape.

The Graf rounds on the party and requests that they find the thief and return both him and his prized statuette forthwith.  He offers the party some gold.  
Troll Slayer: How much gold?
GM: I can't remember, I don't have my notes with me.
Waldemar: You're doing the write up without your notes!?
GM: Well I wouldn't have to if I didn't keep getting constant emails saying, "Where's the write up?",  "Where's the write up."  I've had a lot on my...
Ichabod: Fuck you.  Story.
As the players realize there are no more jokes to be had in this encounter, they move off.  They are soon intercepted by Frederick Grosz.  Ichabod recognizes him as a local ne-er do well.  He tells the party that he fears for his life under the harsh regime of the Black Cowl and pays the party to escort him from the city right this instance.  The party comply.  Nothing untoward happens before, during or after this event.  It's like something else is going on, but the party know not what.  No change there then.
Jochen: Right, that smell from earlier was definitely from the tanneries.  Let's go down to the docks.
Albrecht: Hang on, did Jochen come with us?  I thought Mick was off that night?
GM: I can't remember, I...
Ichabod: ...don't have your notes with you.  Yeah great.
Waldemar: Who cares, it's all made up anyway.

Cut to the docks where a ghostly figures approaches a small boy...
Ghost: Oooooo, helllloooo theerree.  I'm loooookin' feeerr an NPC called...
Urchin: ...yeah, it's me.  And drop the accent, I'm not a player.
Ghost: I try and be method, I find it really helps me get into a role.
Urchin: Trust me, round here you don't need any of that shit.
Ghost: I've just come from a Cthulhu campaign and everyone thought my ghostly performance of a long dead...
Urchin: ...look that's great and everything, but this campaign is different.  First of all you don't need a name.  Or a description.  What's that?  Your NPC pack?
Ghost: It has my backstory in it.  My character had a special connection with one of the players, Ichabod, when she was alive.  I've come back to...
Urchin: (rriiiiiipppp) You don't need any of that.
Ghost: Hey!
Urchin: (tear) (shred) And you won't need anything that says 'plot', trust me.
Ghost: You wait till the GM hears about this.
Urchin: HA!  Good luck with that.
At that moment the party arrive on the docks.  They're looking for the tanneries.
Ghost: This is it!  This is my scene.  Do you have your prop!?
Urchin: Yes. But we won't...
Ghost: Shhhh, they're coming.  Get into position.
Ichabod: Is it this one?  How many are there?
GM: The stench is present along all the docks, but a passerby directs you to the tanneries up ahead.
Ghost: Iccchhhaaaabooood... Icchhhhaaabbooooddd...
Urchin: (under his breath) ffs
Ichabod: ?
GM: You turn around and can't see anyone, but a small urchin sitting on the dock.  He has something in his lap.
Ichabod: The tanneries are just up ahead yeah?
GM: ... errr, yes, but the ghostly voice...
Ichabod: Onward!
The party walk up the dockside.
Ghost: WTF!?
Urchin: Told you.
Ghost: I came all the way from my Cthulhu campaign for THIS!?
Urchin: Hey relax.  It's a really easy gig.  I never bother learning my lines.  No point.
Ghost: But... but... what about the story!?  The Enemy Within!?
Urchin: Think of it like this: "The Enemy Within - Where Roleplaying Comes To Die".
The party find two tanneries where the stench is really quite bad.  The gates are locked.
Jochen: This smells like the place.
Waldemar: Shall we just pitch over the fence?  Looks pretty high.
GM: (please do that, please do that)
Albrecht: There must be a better way in?  I'm looking around.
GM: (damn)  Well, I suppose you do notice a large sluice drain that points out to the river.  It's low tide.
Albrecht: Gentlemen, we have our way in.
The party soon make their way into the drain.  Wisely, they let Albrecht go first as the most stealthy of the group.  However, they forget that his ghost like steps do not mask the thunderously clumsy footfalls of the rest of the party who insist on following close behind.  The Skaven up ahead have ample time to prepare and make ready their ambush.
The Skaven give the players a hard time, firing spells and bolts down the cramped pipeway.  The Troll Slayer is particularly badly injured.
Troll Slayer: I see you remembered that part, but not how much gold we're owed.  Thanks.
The players doggedly proceed up the tunnel despite their injuries.  Not because the townsfolk expect it and not because they’re being paid.  No, they proceed like heroes.  Because the only thing a hero wants at the end of an adventure is… the character advance.

Waldemar: What are you going to spend your advance on Tom?
Troll Slayer: I’m going to change careers, got all my Troll Slayer advances now.
Waldemar: Ahh, become a Giant Slayer!
Troll Slayer: What?  No.  I want to be a Scribe.
Albrecht: How does that make any sense?
Troll Slayer: I killed that ogre right at the start of the campaign.  I feel I’ve explored the Slayer path quite well already.  I could write about my adventures.
GM: So now you’re going to become a Scroll Slayer?
All Players: (Collective groan)
Ichabod: You promised you wouldn’t repeat that joke in the write up!
GM: Come on, it was comedy gold!  I couldn’t deprive my readers of that little gem.
Albrecht: Your readers being us and 2 other randoms on the internet, including the famous literary critic, Anonymous18?
GM: Exactly!  I’m famous.
Ichabod: Why can’t you write these as they were meant to be written, i.e. you just making them up.

Albrect: I’m going to go for Layabout career.  Then I don’t have to pay as much attention during the game and can mainly concentrate on playing Candy Crush on my phone.
Ichabod: How’s that different from what you do now!?
Waldemar: I’ve gone one better.  I’m going to change careers and become an NPC.  That way I don’t even have to turn up.  The GM runs my character and I can just read the write ups whilst doing something more interesting with my time.
Albrecht: What are you spending your advance on Darren?
Ichabod: The only advance I care about is advancing out of this fucking campaign.

The party finally battle their way past the rabid Skaven, kill the leader and watch helplessly as the third Skaven, the sorcerer, teleports away to safety. As the party search the area, they find a collection of bodies.  Thirteen to be precise.  Although one is still standing.

GM: You recognize the small form of Ute standing raggedly before you.  Her chest shows the same gaping wound of the other twelve bodies, where her heart has been ripped out.  Her dead eyes stare mournfully into yours and she slowly raises a hand towards you in desperate longing.

Stepping forward, Ichabod raises his club and staves her head in.  Ute's corpse falls instantly to his feet, this time truly dead.  The others respectfully pause for a moment as Ichabod's previous love lies before him in a wretched heap.  There are no words.  Except from Ichabod, lamenting his lost love.

Ichabod: How much XP do I get for her?

Waldemar finds an iron brazier containing the charred remains of thirteen hearts.  He knows that thirteen is a sacred number to Skaven.  The party also find part of the missing gold plaque that was stolen and... ooh, what's this?  Must be important as it has it's own Clue Card.  A corrupted Bell Clapper.  What could this be for?

Here ends Book 1.

Ichabod: FUCK YEAH!  I'm outta here.  See you later super losers!

(Probaby not) to be continued...

1 comment:

  1. Great write up. Easily our finest hour! Roll on book 2 your not getting out of it that easy.