The ongoing A|State campaign. These are variously my notes and write-ups, sometimes in my barely coherent note form. Have fun!
Game 1: The Consequences of Debt (game found on the Contested Grounds Studios website)
The Players are now newly appointed Hohler gang members of the notorious Four Fingers crew, having completed the worrying Mr. Broadbarn?s task.
They have spent the last couple of weeks collecting debts and roughing up the odd shop keeper at the behest of their new employer. Maybe a bit degrading in some peoples eyes, but the respect earned by being part of the Hohlers is worth it; it?s a huge leap up from their previous life of robbing people in back alleys.
This was all going swimmingly until one of Broadbarn?s personal thugs comes knocking at the PC?s nominated leader?s door. He finds out that there has been a murder, one of Broadbarn?s more important heavies: Frederick Mortague. It?s the PC?s job to go find out who did it and get some good old fashioned retribution.
This takes them to Bankside, where they meet the colourful locals and ask some pertinent questions. Eventually they will be aided by a helpful (and oddly convenient) street urchin who informs them he was killed by the local outfit, Braun and Weiss? 3rd Syndicate roughs.
After a quick walk the PCs visit Braun and Weiss at their fine establishment in Ashfell, a sooty little burgh nearby. They discover that the urchin?s information was (at least partially) true; Mortague did owe a substantial sum to Braun and Weiss.
The Players continue to investigate Mr. Mortague?s apartment where they discover that word has spread of the recently departed resident and is occupied by a gang of pubescent thugs enjoying the finer things in life.
After ?convincing? the youths to depart or cooperate they discover evidence of a girlfriend in a lithograph and an address book, some of the few things left un-looted.
Upon finding Juliette she is shocked and informs the PCs that Fred was not going to let the collectors tell him when to pay up, he was going to go show them what a Hohler enforcer is made of.
The players then go to visit the 3rd Syndicate debt collector to see if Fred got to him or vies a versa. Finding him still alive and very much kicking, the players get into a little vengeful altercation.
Finally, the victorious players return to Broadbarn to receive their payment.
3rd syndicate retaliations
Kidnapped a Hohler kid (October)
He about 13, blond, under all the dirt. Nice kid but will kill quite merrily. Broadbarn has a soft spot for him (or at least as soft as a crazed sociopath can be).
Knock at a player?s door in the middle of the night, wakes them up. One of Broadbarns thugs.
Bb wants PCs to go rescue October. 3rd syndicate retaliation to their recent murder. As its their fault and are relatively unknown he figured its their job.
Doesn?t know where he?s being held but know he was nabbed from Folly Hills Central.
Assumes he?s being held in Ashfall, or at least that?s where he would go looking.
- If PCs go to see Braun and Weiss their will say it is simply a business transaction. They killed one of theirs, now one of yours must follow suit. The deptor is collecting, and making some nice coin out of him. Be happy this is all even now, no need to get further out of hand, forget about the kid, learn your lesson. Be happy we didn?t find you first.
- October went missing from a public loo in central station. A Jake that lives there knows. Pungent Pete. Unknown age, stinks, long hair, dirty blazer and shorts. Pock marked legs. Stinks. Smeared with faeces.
- Pete lives in a loo cubicle. Uses a screwdriver to open and close the door from the outside. Inside it is full of stuff. Lithographs, walletrs, cups, blankets. And he apparently also uses it as a toilet.
- He is a little bit mad. Wants PCs to get a gang to stop stealing from him. He knows where they hand out. Abandoned house a few streets away.
- Alternatively they can beat the information out of him.
- If they are very nice they may have a long-time friend.
Pete found a card after those ?rough men with stun-guns? came and got him. In his cubicle. Plain off-white plaster card with a stylised skull. The card has the address of the printers on the back in pale grey letters. W.E. & Sons. In
PCs cannot just walk in.
Need backing. BB can get them in, but it will cost them. They must pay to get themselves spruced up clean. He will make the required calls. Absolutely no weapons. He will contact them in a few hours telling them he has got them jobs with a restaurant owner that owes him money, the Satayed Hound. That should get them in. need to get work cards.
Will get de-loused on the way in. Are any of them bleeding?
W.E & Sons is easy to find. Off a main street. Very quiet. If they are not dressed correctly, a provost will be very curious as to why they are asking and not at work. Small shop, packed with printing devices and examples of their work.
Young man behind till, in a plain but neat suit. Writing in a book on the desk.
He will not disclose who bought the cards, unless bribed/threatened. If threatened he will alert the provosts ASAP. His record book is on the desk.
The man who brought the cards is one Camden Furlong. Lives near the Heron estate, works as a man-servant there. All pcs have is an address and a name.
If they stake out the house, he will be there during the day, works at night. Large man, looks odd in his suit. Heavily scarred face. Very odd. Goes into the Heron estate. Large walled estate.
If they break in the provosts will kill them. Plain clothed.
He will be shocked if he finds out about the cards.
He will require some severe torture or a MASSIVE (many hundreds) bribe to get the real deal (October is in the Cabaret of Horrors).
Broadbarn doesn?t really scare him much. Unless its face to face.
If they follow him at night he can be seen with heavy chums goes to Folly Hills. Seen to be kidnapping a young girl, puts her in a sack.
They take a boat to bankside, go to the old collapsed Crayker Rending work at the very northern end of bankside. Abandoned for decades, left to collapse in its own pools of toxic waste. Even hardened banksiders don?t dare go there. The abandoned brick work sheds are filled with iron girders which were used to hold up the roof, corroded vats leak varicoloured liquids and pools of strange hue lie everywhere. If they watch carefully they?ll see
Voronetz will find the PCs if all else fails. He will explain all. Last resort. Explains the two entrances. He is in the group of thugs with
Underground it is filthy, obviously some of the waste from above has leaked into it.
The trapdoor opens up into a dark passage, lit by an infrequent shaft of light coming from a crack in the ceiling or wall. Its rather dark.
Have them notice a blinking light start just as they get a little into the tunnel.
If they have not apprehended the thugs (4 of them), then they will be hunted by them. Or possibly vice-a-versa.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum
Recap on the store room: Chisels, surgical equipment (rusty and shiny sharp ones), saws, drills etc. Many are broken. There are a couple of hospital roll-beds, heavily soiled.
Strong door. Will require some serious tampering. Massive lock (keyhole).
Upon entering, after the dust has settled (most likely), they will hear the occasional cheer, from a large group of people. Echoes, hard to tell direction. Dark damp brick walls, poorly lit by electrical lighting.
Store room leads out into a corridor. Arched, looks like old sewer. Drip drip. To the right is a long corridor, badly lit, flickering? Left is a steel door, slightly ajar. Through there is where the cheering comes from. To the right are the animal holding cells. These ?things? are waiting to be used in the entertainment. Dark inside, stinks. Short corridor, large room/cages. Have mysterious noises and dark shapes in one, others are mostly empty. Maybe. Eating some unidentifiable large bit of meat. Maybe a very large dog? Very very large? Have a mutated monster in there. Dan is tied up, by a rope attached to the ceiling, tied to the bars just out of reach of the dogs. He is bleeding. The guards were going to come and cut the rope so he wings into the dogs and feeds them, they want their fun. Further along in the holding cells are a number of cages containing people. They are terrified and make a commotion when the players arrive. About 8. They were all subdued and taken here against their will. October was taken some time ago, a couple of hours maybe. Very piteous.
Out of steel door, 2 large men in expensive shirts, blazer draped on chairs they are sitting on. Playing cards, cheering. Work top with a sink, anda kettle on. There is a fridge with drinks in, and meat. It?s the staff room! Have guns in under slung holsters. Small dank room, slightly slanted floor with a drain in the middle. They will be startled when they enter, immediately stand up and get their guns out. Want to know who they are. If a fight starts they will be very aware that the gunshots echo a long way. The doors are locked; the keys are in the guards blazers. Big bunch.
Two exits from this room (other than the entrance). One on their right and one straight on. The doors are closed. Got little viewing slits in the top.
Going right leads to a viewing gallery, leads on and left, goes up a steep slope. Same dripping stone corridor, gap at about shoulder height to the left, all along corridor. Can see down into the arena. About 40 people sitting around, all very well dressed. On staggered seats. In the centre is a square pit, about 10 by 10 metres. 5 exits leading off. One into the pit, 4 at the top of the tiers. They all seem to be waiting for something, chatting quietly, laughing. Generally jovial. Dead end. These corridors have spotlights in them, it?s a light room. A man in a top hat and very showy dress suit talks into a microphone dropped from the ceiling, he is standing in a cherry-picker, effectively, operated from the end of the gallery by 2 men and some pullys and clockwork etc. could end badly. Announces the event. If the players wait around they wheel out a man on a stretcher. He?s screaming. Can see 4 or 5 armed guards in the arena area.
The other exit leads down a gentle slope. Screaming is heard. To a dark room with chains on the wall, large door to your left, like a garage door. Lead to the arena. If they get here before the stretcher is wheeled out, it is here with 3 men. 2 heavies and a ?doctor?.
Stairs going up from here, spiral steel. Exit to the arena, obviously.
The stairs lead up to a pretty door. Opens into a well adorned corridor, very nice, red carpets, wallpaper etc. dead end, 3 doors on each side. Metal doors. Same for the other opposite corridor.
Events!: Spread these out as needed amongst the private rooms
Fat man smoking, wearing an apron, leaning by an open door, young man inside split from crotch to oesophagus and spread eagle on a table, lots of tools lying around, a bloody, rusty saw is laying on the ground next to the table. Under apron wears a nice suit. Wears a brooch of a lizard. Engages PCs without fear. Panics when he sees they have no brooches.
One room, man sitting on a chair, dressed like fatty, staring at a woman tied to a similar chair. Just sitting, staring. When/if PCs move away they hear screaming. Man is standing over her toppled body, head caved in with the sledgehammer he is wielding now.
Another room, man tied to wall, stripped naked. Attached by leather straps to wall. His head is lolling from side to side. He?s making an odd squeaking sound. Notice his through is very neatly been cut and stitched up. Scrawny woman bent over a work bench examining tools. Brandishes a scalpel and starts to work. The man squeaks more in his silent scream.
Another room has a small man in his apron. He is hitting a heavily built man around the face, quite hard, screaming at him. All the while, big guy is strapped to a chair. It has apparently been going on for some time, as the big guy is quite a mess and barely conscious.
October is in the northern private chambers. He is tied to a steel table, with raised edges and a plug hole, stripped to the waist. A gaunt man is meticulously drawing on him. October is swearing the man, the man is ignoring him. Hesabout 13, blond, under all the dirt. Nice kid but will kill quite merrily. Broadbarn has a soft spot for him (or at least as soft as a crazed sociopath can be). He will want a gun or a knife. He?s an angry little fellow.
Westerly rooms: Heron?s social room.
The audience will retire to this well equipped smoking room. Lots of luxurious chairs, a bar etc. All wearing broaches. If players aren?t wearing them, there will be terrible trouble. Many well-to-do men and women. Corporate types. Heron is in one corner. A woman shadowed by 4 massive men. She is dressed in a massively expensive looking dress, she is dark haired, thin, tall and beautiful. She is laughing and talking with the others. Chat to them maybe, all high powered types. Slightly suspicious of the commoners.
East passage: To the Heron Estate.
This is a dark passage. It leads to the Heron Estate. It would be a bad idea to go this way.
They will be chased a small way, have maybe a gunfight in the ruins outside, or in the sewers, or (eep) Heron Estate.
Broadbarn will be furious. Quietly so. He will cup the back of the boys head on seeing him, tell him he?s a stupid twat for getting caught, hit him slightly harder than appropriate. Reward players with ?100 each. Needs to think on this? Wasn?t a coincidence. Maybe mention Braun and Weiss.
It was a reasonably nice day in Folly Hills when the body was found. One of the local councillors, pierced on a fish hook in the middle of his office, one finger removed
from each hand. The next day came two more bodies, two more local dignitaries murdered in their homes, the local provost captain and the owner of the biggest grocery store in the area, again a finger cut off on each hand. The provosts suspect Broadbarn, his signature is all over it, at least that is how it looks on the surface.
There should be a strong reason for the PCs to be dragged into this, as Broadbarn is a big fish in the local area. Perhaps one of the murdered men was a friend of the PCs, or they are friendly with the local provosts, or maybe they just have an overwhelming need to help and a grudge with Mr Broadbarn? For whatever reason the PCs get involved in investigating this spate of killings, getting to the bottom of them and finding out what has happened. First stop would be Broadbarn, you would think, but he has been missing for the last few days...
Broadbarn and the Hohlers have nothing to do with
these killings at all. Daylight are trying to drive Broadbarn underground so that Braun and Weiss will have an opportunity to strike, plus simultaneously eliminating Broadbarns friends. In any event, using Broadbarn as cover was a foolhardy
plan, and the increased provost presence in the area has caused Broadbarn to go underground for a few days. If Broadbarn can be cleared of these crimes he will be more hospitable towards the PCs than usual. More importantly for Kerwyn, though, is finding out who has placed all this unnecessary attention his way.
Broadbarn turns up at a PCs apartment. He is with his herd of yes-men as always. It is late. He seems irate. He tells his men to guard the hallway. Explains about the murders, the provosts and going underground. Fix it!
All the people murdered either owed him a favour in high places or money.
Juliette killed them. She is a daylight assassin. Wears a wig, she is bald.
Stats, Skills and Equipment
AGL: 75 AWR: 80
DEX: 70 INT: 50
HLT: 40 PER: 35
STR: 45 WIL: 60
Long arms (?) 70
Criminal Culture 65
First Aid 60
Unarmed Combat 65
Grappling hook (small)
Lotech first aid kit
Small sparklock pepperbox
Locate crime scenes. Not accessible maybe. If they are wearing full armour, the provosts may well shoot them.
Maybe heard this from provosts.
Hear tell of or see
Height/Build: 5? 8?/Svelte
Eye/Hair Colour: Green/ Shaven/variable
She is Juliette. In a wig
After players poke around for a while, ask questions etc. She will try to kill them.
Mugging went wrong! Will ask them for their valuables but still try to kill them. Notice a figure watching them. Runs down an alley when seen, uses grappling hook to escape. See shape disappear over the roof tops. No way to follow.
Muggers only know it was a woman who hired them. Won?t be too eager to die.
Ooooh? maybe Heron?
Let them stew for a while.
Maybe go to Braun and Weiss?
What about Pungent Pete? He?s heard nothing, but he will keep an eye out. What can they tell him?
WHAT THE PCS NEED TO DO: find Juliette?s apartment, it has pictures and time tables of the murdered people, plus that they were related to Broadbarn, and why. It?s enough to clear Broadbarn.
Players in Broadbarn?s bar, sitting near the window, watching the world go by and considering the loss of your good friend.. It is rather more sombre than usual; everyone is concerned about Broadbarn?s absence. The usual well dressed heavies of Broadbarn?s enforcers are here, with a small number of roughs, the players.
Mid-20?s man in bar, dressed quite shabbily. Have them notice him when a large man shouts at him ?Watch it!? as he bumps into him, apologising profusely. Wearing workers clothes.
He is very nervous and clutching at his jacket like a newborn baby.
Height/Build: 5?9? Skinny
Eye/Hair Colour: Blue/Brown
Affiliations: Owes money to Braun and Weiss
He has a bomb. He has been blackmailed by Braun and Weiss to blow up Broadbarn?s bar, with him in it. He owes them a lot of money. Borrowed it to pay his bills. Owes them ?200, which he will never have a chance to pay back. He has been out of work because the lost a finger in the little factory he was working in, meaning he cannot do his job. Has been hiding the fact from his family.
If the players go up to him have a brawl happen outside. It?s Dave! Two Hohler thugs are beating him up for some reason. Players are called out, out ranked and bossed around. Beat him up he has been
The two thugs go back to the bar after watching and laughing a bit.
As the thugs go back into the bar, laughing, the twitchy guy bumps into them as he is scampering out. They grab at him and all they get is his coat, the man runs a little further and stumbles over (from momentum), it is rigged with explosives. Players notice first. The man running out turns and shouts to them ?No, wait!?. Then it explodes.
Players are far enough away to be ok, just a bit of shrapnel. The front of the bar is blown out, the windows burst. The guy is knocked to the ground, barely conscious but he looks ok. HAVE OCTOBER COME OUT, SLIGHTLY SMOKING, AND DRAG HIM IN. LET HIM DO MOST OF THE EVILNESS. RICHARD HAS A BANDAGED HAND.
Let the players talk to Richard first, he is delirious and sorry. They will capture Richard, take him in. The bar is a wreck, many deaths, the bar is a mess. They won?t get much out of him, other than he is sorry, and that he had too. Let them do what they want to him. He was sent to kill Broadbarn. Is not aware he is in hiding. Cannot tell them who sent him. When they search him he has a wallet with a lithograph of a beautiful woman with long hair, and a letter from McGuffin Tanneries Co. firing him. An address in Ashfell.
Leads to a factory, small factory. At least as factories go.
Guy tells them where to find family. Low-rise apartments. Nasty, drug users etc. Crazy homeless people shout at them. Maybe mugged by a drug user covered in sores. If mark is wearing his hat, they will want it.
Family has been evicted. Sign on door ?Eviction Notice: Locks have been changed?
Small kid looking at them from across the hall. Runs into the flat when they look at him.
Small poor family, mother beaten by father. Very sad, 3 kids. Wants to help but the father won?t have it hates ?their sort?.
They know where they have gone.
Abandoned low-rise on the edge of Ashfell,
There are many rickety bridges across the holes, baskets on cranes etc. also used as lifts.
The dirty people all look at the players as they move amongst them. Mostly scrabble away. The Drowning Babies will be pissed to have them here, they don?t like heavily armed outsiders meddling in their business. They will demand a toll when they see them (they don?t guard, they are lazy and like to roam around in groups picking on drug addicts). Typical group ? 3 guys, 1 armed with a spacklock rifle, others with clubs and maybe an old rusty sparklock. If the commotion goes on for some time then other Drowning Babies will start shooting at them, maybe from across the Hole.
Let them interact with the residents. Begging for a hit, they?ll do ANYTHING mostly. Crap prostitutes.
Find a cripple cut ring, with fighters, they are the most reasonable people here (eep!). on the third sub-floor. Run by a fat balding guy, not a part of the Drowning Babies, a 3rd syndicate operative of Braun and Weiss (they control most things you can gamble on). He is the closet thing to a good business here. His name is Amber (he gets very angry about people making fun of his name). Quite a friendly fellow, a bit brisk and slimy, takes a liking to females. Has a less-emaciated-than-the-rest woman on his arm in dirty formal clothes. Smiles lopsidedly at people. Brenda.
Fourth sub-floor is mostly taken up by the Drowning Babies drug labs, worked in by the residents and a few Drowning Babies.
Find a bazaar, selling junk. Also, a place selling food, bad gone off food. People beg from the players a lot.
Wife (Call her
Her son is amongst them. Small kid, 8 years old.
She knows: 1. Her husband got fired
2. He went off to ?sort it out?, she assumes to get his job back maybe.
3. Got fired because he got his finger cut off.
4. She assumes he is in trouble, they had an income after he got fired, and assumes he was gambling again.
5. Good man, his only vice was that he gambled on cripple cut to pay the ?rent?.
She begs them for any news of her husband, he is the only mean of income they have, and the alternatives for a woman like her down here is unthinkable. Without his presence she is very vulnerable. Has survived thus far by being useful.
Amber works for Braun and Weiss on a low level. He has a crappy set up. He gives them a large percentage. Richard owed him ?300, Braun and Weiss decided to act on this and use him to kill Broadbarn in exchange for nullifying his debt.
Has to find his family and the relation to Braun and Weiss
The circus game: Unfortunately I made most of this one up on the spot. I will strive to find the notes simply to satisy me neurotic need for a complete list (grrr!)
Broadbarn is back
He has spent the afternoon in his office sorting out his affairs
October is worried, downstairs with players.
If they check out Juliettes room, it is in a motel in Folly Hills, Rampant Soldier. Booby trapped, trip wire, will blow out the room. Nothing much in here, mostly a back up plan if someone kills her. Trunk full of wigs, clothes male and female. Guns under the mattress (lots), super shotgun is there. Explosives in a box, un-constructed. Grenades, C4 etc. She was packing.
Has to retaliate because they blew up the bar.
In cars to Casino!
Is in the basement of Braun and Weiss? bar. Big shiny casino.
Who will drive?
Make one of the pcs in charge of one car ?you seem to know what your doing with that thing i.e. tinderwick). Seats 5 (players +tinderwick, hes big)
They must take different routes so as not to bring attention. Two cars (goruna). (other van has Broadbarn in, it is ambushed, so they don?t get to the casino till the end, with a daylight operative in tow, maybe. Broadbarn is pissed)
Have the car ambushed- Little fight. 6 Daylight thugs, packing 1 shotgun, others have pistols. Tinderwick kicks some arse here. They will run when they find out Broadbarn isn?t in the car.
Tinderwick is in the pcs car. Make him weird!
Let them plan what to do.
Get the most unassuming pc to go inside and scout it out.