Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Why Do You Need A Testing Facility That Far Into The Desert?

Session Four: Stop That Train!!

Available: Maurice LeBec, Sir Alistair Montgomery, Chloe M, Ares Astral, Hank Scorpio
Guest Starring: Agent Smith, Agent Johnson

The morning after the events at Carnegie Hall, the group were contacted by Atlantic Philanthropies and told to meet at a building in the city. Once there, they were met by two agents from the Department Of Investigation. Someone had stolen a piece of valuable technology and the DOI requested the assistance of AP in it's recovery. The agents were "not at liberty" to discuss the details of the stolen technology, but assured the party that it was in their best interests to help.

And so, off to San Francisco!

They knew that the stolen goods were being transported by train, and the agents had leads as to which one. They arrived at the train depot and began investigating the container storage area. Chloe had to turn on the heat to help get passed the guards at the gates, one or two decided to sneak in, and soon everyone was snooping around. Maurice found a long, office-like building toward the back of the area and ducked in, just in time to see some shady characters handing a thick envelope to a plain-clothes youth. Maurice waited for the courier to leave and managed to pickpocket the envelope, open it and return it to the young man all without being seen. Inside he found and took blue-prints for a one-man jet propulsion device, a rocket-pack!

Meanwhile, the rest of the group had managed to dramatically disable all the Mafia thugs in the depot, even finding a few more on the street behind the offices and interrogating them. Learning that the container with the stolen goods was already well on it's was to Salt Lake City, they quickly decided to give chase.

This was the point where I folded my arms and listened in amazement as the players took the initiative and began a whole scene that I never expected. My notes read "Players learn where train is and race to catch it. Once at the train...", fully expecting to just say "Ok, you arrive in sight of the train as it screams down the tracks..." Instead, the players all took it upon themselves to have an elaborate race to get to the prize first. Ares and Maurice took Gir, Ares' Martian tripod, Agents Smith and Johnson took their Custom Ride, a fully kitted out Stunt, Sir Alistair took his own Stunt gadget, a one-man clockwork helicopter, and Chloe and Hank simply relied on an excellent driving stat, nabbed the mafia car and took off while the others agreed on the "rules". The spontaneous action was hilarious, as all sorts of back-stabbing and shenanigans came to a head! Sir Alistair spent a while fiddling with his copter, thinking he could make it faster, but it would "Need More Cogs". Unfortunately, without Sir Alistairs player even seeing, Maurice's player rolled to pocket a few cogs in order to slow the contraption down. Because both rolled the same, I simply negated the effect of Sir Alistairs tinkering!!

Eventually things got back on track, so to speak. Everyone arrived at the train, though some were shakier than others. Gir put a foot through a passenger window and Ares had to reign it back from zapping the screaming "fleshbags" inside. They checked the containers attached, but the one they were after was nowhere to be found. Searching the rest of the train was fruitless. I threw in the old "Runaway Train" trope here as well to give them something to do onboard, but while they were solving that, Gir detected a cargo container in the mountains. Once the train was safe, they backtracked along the tracks to a split that lead upwards into the hills. Following it, they discovered an abandoned mining facility with several storage buildings and an unusually high number of armed thugs for such a dilapidated area.

Fighting and explosions later, Maurice had explored one empty building and a second with several large cargo containers. The rest of the party arrived in and helped search the containers until they found the one they were looking for. Cracking it open, they recovered the missing technology, as well as the young man wearing it, much to the surprise of everyone involved.

At this point, I threw in more mob thugs and a leader to give the players someone to question and learn more about who was in charge. As it was getting late, we left all the questioning for the next week, but they did they did learn that the vile Doctor Eternity was somehow connected!! Dun-dun-duuuuuuuun!!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Terribly Terrific Twos

Today celebrates the second birthday of this humble web log. Not only that, but entirely coincidentally, this very post happens to be my 200th!!

Two hundred posts in two years! That's a lot of writing! Of course, 200 also means I slowed down significantly over the past twelve months. On my first birthday, I was at around 120 posts, adding only 80 more since then. But while quantity has dropped, I feel that quality has increased! I have a touch of continuity in my posts, with nutshell reviews, RPG run-downs and hilarious life stories! Hahah! Funny stuff... It's also my second anniversary on Flickr! Sweet!

One of the really nice things about having a blog for two years is looking back on older posts. I've forgotten so many good times that I've posted about here, but re-reading them reminds me of some special moments with friends. I was almost abducted by aliens (they took Bob instead. Blast), I confessed my love for murder mysteries, I complained about not having enough hours in the day (a lot!), I've gone on a rant or two, I've talked about being with friends, and missing them, I've made mistakes, I've broken promises, I've shared victories, and failures, but most of all, regardless of what it's about, I've just been writing. And I'm grateful now that I have. Through all of these, I have many fond memories to look back on.

Here's to another fine year of posting ahead, and many more besides!

The Cool Exec With A Heart Of Steel

Just got back from Iron Man preview screening. It was fun. We all enjoyed it, and Claire managed to not fall asleep once throughout... well, except right at the start, but that's because we were in the cinema 45 minutes before the movie started to guarantee great seats.

The problem with describing why it's not better that "fun", means having to go into detail. Normally, I hate to comment on particular scenes as soon as a movie is released, and this is worse, as I saw the preview screening! However, I really want to voice my concerns about key scenes. If you've seen the movie, highlight below and read on. If not, wait until you have, then come back and check!!

Last warning, below this line goes into detail on key scenes. If you have not seen the movie and do not want to be spoiled, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER!

Everything above is a lie! Iron Man is the best movie of the year so far, and I can't imagine Hulk, Batman or anything else beating it! Everything is so perfect, so well scripted, acted, shot, realised, that even Claire was freaking out about it! Even my darling girlfriend who has yet to see the new Transformers movie due to lack of interest, walked out of the cinema gushing over how good this was! Seriously. Seriously. This can easily be the best super hero movie ever made, regardless of what you currently hold in that esteemed position. For me, it is X-Men 2. A stunning blend of action and plot, with a great cast, and unexpected character development. Great sequel that built on the original. Iron Man has all that in it's opening number! Wow! Seriously. Gushing does not describe how I feel about this movie right now! Ohh! And in case you missed it first time round, there was a bit at the very end of the credits!! Seriously. The most awesome after-credit bit I've ever seen in a movie! Geek-out heaven!! I said it would never work. I disliked it when I heard rumours. I was wrong. So very, very wrong! And now I'm throwing my friends off the scent! I'm telling them all that it was "Ok, nothing special, all the best bits in the trailer". I'm lying of course, but by the time they find out, it'll be too late!!


And no spoilers in the comments please. Be fair on the others.