Well we finally got a game in with my character as the focus because I have the Tough and Targeted thing. Somebody unnamed took a contract out on me because of who I am and all the drug shit I have disrupted and other possible reasons. So I was walking down to the creek to shoot some feral hogs with my AK-97 and smartgun interface jacked in because there are crazies even in my neighborhood, when someone tried to do a driveby on my character. I got initiative because of how jacked my enhancements are and managed to get a shot on target for the heaviest armed mook in the car for enough damage to hinder his ability to aim. Then the mooks in the car got a couple of shots against me and managed to get a little damage in, then the driver decides to use the better part of valor and vacate the area before I can get another shot off. The guy I shot then tries to get a grenade on me, but I manage to catch it and throw it back into the car just as the delay goes off. Everyone in the car dies, and there is a big hole in both the roof and floor from the explosion. Basically the inside of the car looks like chunky salsa, none of their equipment can be salvaged.
I can get some usable parts off the remains of the car, but not enough to make another car yet. I didn’t get down to the creek because I had to go get fixed up from getting shot, so no feral hogs for the freezer today. And there’s another 6th World equivalent of YouTube video showing how badass my character is, adding to my reputation: “Driveby shooting, target catches grenade and throws it back in car”.
I had to use 2 points of Edge (basically Luck you can bank on), but I managed to only get a few scratches out of the encounter as far as Damage is concerned, a night’s sleep and my character will be 100%.
And this was where we had to call it a night as the GM had a Jewish holiday to observe at 1800
Well, I didn’t do anything but that was a good thing, because I was there for extraction in case things went sideways. The run was to kidnap the CEO of a tabloid-like media provider from a party to get a sex tape that was being used to blackmail somebody and make sure it no longer existed on their servers. We got him by misdirecting his bodyguards and drugging him to reveal his passwords, then using his commlink to purge the files from the servers and get the job done. I just had to sit there quietly, waiting for my cue that didn’t come, the phrase “pink mohawk” over the commlink. That was my cue to blow up anybody not our target or on our team and cause as much chaos and destruction as possible to cover our extraction from the scene. But the techs and mage did their jobs to perfection, so I didn’t need to do my job at all.
After the game ended, I caught the end of the Cup race in MI, (congrats again to Kevin Harvick), then caught yet another NHRA race from Indy. Then I did some emails, and then I finished this post.
So busy day with much social interaction and much internal combustion, and then this.
Which on the face of it is kinda out of phase with how we have set up our society which is 100% consistent with my life. Most people are getting up when I’m going to bed and are getting off work as I’m getting up, and get stuff done during the week while I get stuff done offline on the weekends.
I finally got to the Lowe’s to get the blades for my cordless reciprocating saw that I’m not allowed to call a Sawzall™ because it’s not made by the people who own the Sawzall™ trademark. I got a package of 5 for an unreasonable amount of money, plus some heavy-duty wood screws for $0.32 each that I had to get because they were the only ones long enough to penetrate the second two by four after going through the first. But I still need to drill a pilot hole through the first one.
Tonight I will use the saw blades to cut the wood to make the jig to do the thing to the car. I will try to be quiet as I do it, but I have to do it when I’m awake. I can’t do it while I’m sleeping, obviously.
And we finally got done with the run wiping out a drug running gang in Arlington in Shadowrun, saved 5 people from the gang’s sex slave dungeons including 4 women kidnapped from Mexico, and destroyed their base of operations as well as took about 100K nuyen wholesale value of illegal drugs off the market in that area. I found a fully functional AK 97 in their arsenal along with tons of 39 round magazines to fit. I picked that because I lack light select-fire weapons in my arsenal, having been dependent on either shotguns or grenade launchers with much lower rates of fire of much more deadly projectiles, which while it is more effective against individuals or small groups limits my effectiveness against large groups.
The destruction of the base was really fun as the crater from the explosion was almost exactly equal to the remaining debris from the office building they had taken over as a base, leading to a nearly level empty space left behind. Not real safe to walk on, but throw some dirt and sod over it and it will be fine. And serve as kind of a testimony to the gang, “When all is said and done, you added nothing to the community”. The other houses we blew up were simple wood-frame buildings that left relatively little rubble as they didn’t require enough explosive to leave a crater to flatten them. Their rubble was widely scattered by the small amount of explosive required to knock them down, leaving only a concrete pad foundation and the remains of the roof. I only assisted in this part of the run, as my character’s experience planing explosives was nearly a century in the past. But watching those buildings disappear from the landscape was a joy, even if it was mostly a shared imaginary feat.
And I need to go cut that wood for the jig now.
We here in The Beautiful Suburbs of Hell are now under a “shelter in place” order. That means all the things I was going to do this week are now illegal. I had an appointment with the Lab Rat Keeper, I needed to get my toes done, my neck is a bundle of knots that kneed untying, and all of those are now illegal because of the restrictions on activities because of COVID19. All barbershops, nail salons, and massage parlors have been closed. With fast food being closed except for delivery and to-go that eliminates just about everything I have to do this week, because they have also banned trips to a doctor that aren’t “urgent need”.
On the good side the RPG group has been “remotely meeting” for a while now. The service we use to meet with is having technical problems as basically everyone is trying to use it at the same time, so we had all kinds of audio problems, and by all kinds I mean of the list of issues they show on the logout screen, we had each one at some point during the game. But we managed to get a good game session in before the person with the most brain problems had to check out and take her meds. I managed to take out several bad guys without injuring any non-combatants. The last stronghold is taking longer because there are more people and this is the first place that had more than one non-combatant to look out for. I’m finally getting some use from all of that training in urban warfare from over 45 years ago. This is just like some of the classroom training we got way back in the 1970s. Not entirely like it, because in the training sessions we didn’t have to worry about not damaging the drugs, in fact it was exactly the opposite. Because it was the ’70s, and Nixon. You really had to have been there… I’m not getting any bad flashbacks, because we basically were just pretending about the urban warfare back then. So no dead people or anything like that to haunt my nightmares. Most of the stuff we did in that class we did after school and on weekends.
But getting back to the game, we were trying to shut down a drug gang in what used to be Arlington, hitting places where they sell drugs and prostitutes to disrupt their operation and stop them from sending money back to their big bosses in what used to be Mexico and Central America. So we have been tracking down all their drug distribution centers and whorehouses and destroying them, stealing the drugs and setting the prostitutes free. I think the reason we are getting paid for this is this puts a crimp in the cash flow for a megacorp. Not a serious interruption, but a noticeable interruption. Because we keep finding large stashes of drugs and large amounts of cash, and our Mr. Johnson never mentioned turning either one over to the client, the only thing I can think of why we are doing this is 1) we are trying to get the megacorp out of local organized crime or 2) the GM has a power fantasy about disrupting drugs and prostitution, or some from column A and some from column B. But anyway this last building is a little tricky because of the non-combatants, and one member of the group thinking my character is going to let any of the worse drugs back out on the streets.🤣
Game night is looking to be another disaster thanks to the medical non-care system.
The GM has been without meds since Tuesday because his insurance provider hasn’t approved his refill, so unless he gets his meds today he’s not going to be in condition to manage the game tonight. Fun, but that’s America these days, good medical care for those rich enough to afford it, and crap for middle class and below. And what makes it worse is we can see what we are missing out on because we have TV shows and movies that show rich people getting medical care, while we make do with OTC shit and herbal medicine that isn’t outlawed, or even that is but not heavily enforced. Seriously folks, this is stupid and needs to get fixed. M4A doesn’t come anywhere near what we need, the best we can say about it is “It’s better than what we have” which is basically nothing.
And we just got the notification while I was composing the above paragraph that the GM’s meds didn’t get approved either at all or in time to be effective for the game tonight. So our hostess doesn’t get to show off her mad cooking skillz, I don’t get to get out of the house and interact with other people, Mrs. the Poet doesn’t get a night off from cooking (she got one yesterday because I bought dinner), and our GM also doesn’t get to show off the devious plot he has set up for us to fail against. All because the US healthcare system basically sucks donkey dicks.
So the headline is wrong because in the time it took to compose this post what had been future tense became past tense. It’s not a potential disaster it is a disaster that exists. Game is officially ruined by not taking place, unlike last week when we lost a player to bad infrastructure.
The weird part was before I even got to the place we gamed in, as I was walking from the bus stop to the house. I tweeked my left knee a bit when I got off the bus because of no sidewalks and uneven terrain. Nothing unusual about that, but as I was walking to the house and limping a bit, a car pulled over and a hand full of wadded bills was shoved into my hand, $3 in ones to be precise. This isn’t the first time people have tried to give me money as I was trying to get someplace, and it’s not even the largest amount, but this was the first drive-by shoving of money in my hand and leaving quickly that I have experienced. The working hypothesis was since I have my winter
furbeard fully grown in I resemble a homeless person, or the popular stereotype of same even though I was wearing my police style outer shell from Alert Shirt that I use as an outer layer when things are cold and/or wet. Another weird thing is they had the money in fist out the window as they approached, like they were just waiting for someone to give money to. Basically they rolled up with a fist full of money, I said they didn’t need to do that, they said to have a good day and left. Not the first time people have tried to give me money as I walked to or from a bus stop, but the usual MO is to pull into a driveway or parking lot and get out of the vehicle to get me to take their money.
Then we had dinner of Teriyaki salmon filets with vegetable fried rice and some kind of seasoned baked potatoes that were good even if I couldn’t identify the exact cooking procedure. After we finished eating we tried to establish contact with the rest of the group so that we could finish the run before we lost our sniper/street samurai for 3 months until the end of May as he does his cast thing at Scarborough Faire, but the most important player, the one whose character has the explosives skill group, was out of communications contact. She lives in a Very Rural Area outside Houston and her Internet and phone are cell-based and somewhat intermittent, as in “not reliable and frequently blocked in bad weather”. After not being able to contact her via any means at our disposal and our hostess getting tired because of her meds and not getting enough mental stimulation to overcome the meds we ended the session early and I went home. We had planned on ending around 2230 or so, but circumstances dictated we shut down a little after 2100.
I got to blow a lot of shit and people up for the greater good. The group is trying to disrupt gang operations in the lawless zone formerly known as Arlington TX. The initial targets are drug distribution houses and warehouses near what used to be Six Flags. Some of the drugs are legal drugs diverted to the black market and still have shrinkwrapped seals with the pharmaceutical company names on them, those we take and sell back to legitimate vendors for medicinal purposes, some are herbs that have medicinal uses but need to be checked by a professional for strength and purity and we have a connection for that, and some are just for fun but have serious side effects like when you die you come back as a movie-type zombie. Those we destroy.
And The Old Man, the character I play that’s based on what I would be in Shadowrun, has zero inhibitions against killing drug runners. As in dropping multiple frag grenades into a room of gang members and doing damage between overkill and chunky salsa (damage levels in Shadowrun, overkill is damage in a single shot or impact between 2 and 3 multiples of body, chunky salsa is between 3 and 4 multiples of body, red mist is 5 or more multiples of body) and hitting a single NPC gang member with red mist, dropping a frag grenade between his feet that would blow up on impact. The Old Man likes drugs even less than Yr Fthfl Svnt author, and this is just a taste of how his character keeps the peace between the gangs near his home and enforces the DMZ.
The canon is that since my character can’t stay dead and even if I get redmisted I come back together, when I get killed I come back and kill you in front of your homies and tell them to act nice and not get on my bad side. Even with a charisma stat of 1 that makes an impression on people, trolls, and orcs. Less so on elves, but anything less than a dragon respects my reputation, even if I’m a mythical character to some people in the Shadowrun universe. I let a lot of stuff get by near my house, but drugs are my flashpoint. Also in canon is every time I die I get a little bit more insane, and I have died many times in and out of game. So I’m not quite Joker level yet, but Thanos is a pussycat in comparison.
Anyway, we finished the first house and had blown the front door of the second house when fatigue and muscle pain overtook a couple of players after 6 hours of fighting the technology that almost allows us to play in spite of being in several locations as much as 400 miles apart (but all still in TX, this is a big state) so we will finish this Run before we lose a player for 3 months for his annual side gig as a rogue for Scarborough Faire. End score for me was 4 dead drug runners ranging from overkill to redmist, and one other for the rest of the party, but in fairness everyone else set the targets up and all I did was knock them down.
There is a standing joke that the most difficult part of running an adult RPG group is getting everyone there at the same time a.k.a. scheduling. And we have one member of the group participating in a 3 day Magic the Gathering tournament who just happens to be the GM who’s running things… So no game today. Actually we would be playing this evening because one of the other members has a Sunday morning shift for some reason (he works for a bank?) and another member uses the morning and early afternoon to be with their Significant Other.
This is the game that my character is an AU version of myself, or as close as the game mechanics will let me, because some of the stuff I have done IRL would break the game mechanics. The specific instance I’m referring to is when I got hit with the truck. Now there is the possibility my character could survive that, but the player’s guide puts it outside human limits, not just by a little but a lot given the speed the truck was going when I was hit. I would have to be something with the Body stat of a Dragon but looked like a Human, and I’m not sure that exists in game. Or it could be that I have Natural Armor of some kind in the game. See my backstory page (link at top of this page).
Since we weren’t going to be playing I decided that maybe this would be a good day to go back to church since they don’t start until 1300, but when I got out of bed that idea was quickly vetoed by sharp pains in the bottoms of my feet, as I evidently Did Something my feet didn’t like. I have no idea what that might have been, but I have no doubts I Did It, because the evidence is there. It must have been something I did before I put my shoes on, which means it could have been almost anything. Or it could be just accumulated wear and tear coming back to bite me. See the previous paragraph for an example of “wear and tear” I have accumulated. And speaking of painful feet mine are getting cold and I need to lie down and get my feet under a blanket, so I think I should do that now.7
That’s not an emotional evaluation, it’s a description of the state of my laptop since Saturday night. Since I was a Windows help desk operator for about a year before I got killed and another 4 months actively after my demise, I thought I would just boot into safe mode and fix whatever SNAFU had locked up my computer at the windows splash screen and get things back in operation. Unfortunately that didn’t work as the three methods for putting my laptop running Win10 into safe mode suggested by the manufacturer all did the same thing: Diddly.
So I kept looking up methods to unlock Win10 on my phone because I couldn’t look them up on my locked-up computer. Near as I can figure out two or more background programs got themselves into a race situation sometime between the splash screen (which was an NZ beach this time, very nice to look at for a few seconds but annoying for
three days part of one day, a night, all day the next day, another night, and part of the next day) and pulling up the login screen. The thing that makes me think it was a race was trying to see what was running in background by doing the classic End Program move also known as the Three Finger Salute (Ctrl-Alt-Del) caused the login screen to appear. Yay!
I had over 400 new e-mails in 5 folders, including 2 time-sensitive work e-mails that luckily enough I answered in time. Not by much, but in time.
I just got caught up a few minutes before opening the Edit Post page here at WoaB the Blog. But I wasn’t staring at the Comatose Computer the entire time. Mrs. the Poet managed to drop in for a few minutes between visiting her relatives in Upstate NY and babysitting the grandson in the western half of the Metromess so we finally ate the beans and rice I made before her flight home was cancelled by rain parking over LGA for 18 hours, starting just before her flight was supposed to board, until early the next morning. And we had a RPG session playing Shadowrun scheduled for Sunday afternoon and I didn’t have to swim there this time, unlike the previous time when we had wind and rain of biblical proportions and half-trees were floating down the streets while floodwaters assaulted my knees but did not breach the perimeter at the top of my calves while I sought refuge on higher ground. And only a tiny part of that statement was hyperbole, see the post from June where I described the tiny tornado I got caught in that was the center of the downburst passing directly over me. Anyway, the team is under a curse from an artifact with a protective spirit that has to be exorcised every full moon at a cost of 10000 NuYen or my character gets killed repeatedly because my inability to stay dead makes the spirit extremely angry at me specifically for things above and beyond the initial curse. So the current run arc is us trying to get the artifact back to where it’s supposed to be so that some other schmucks can try to steal it and get cursed. Our curse will go away when the artifact is returned. To do this we need to enter two different countries, the first where the artifact is now, and the second where the artifact is supposed to be (not where we stole it from).
But before we do that we have to make a run that will get us access to transportation to the two locations which is where we are now. We have been tracking a Magic Raccoon that likes to steal Shinies, and has stolen an invention from a snack food company that Doesn’t Work Right and could possibly Destroy All Life On Earth (again) if a baked good is placed inside. And it isn’t Bigger Than a Breadbox, or Smaller Than a Breadbox, it is the exact same size as a breadbox, and I’m the only one in the group who knows how big a breadbox is… Yay I’m an antique! Anywho, we have the Thing That Could Destroy Life On Earth with a dead fish inside courtesy the Bandit (the in-game name for the Magic Raccoon) and we are going to return it to the company that invented it so
they can fix it so it will make them metric buttloads of money we can destroy it in Mount Doom and they will give us access to a company plane that will allow us to travel without having to go through Customs so we can bring in our usual assortment of murder devices. And that was where the session ended after we fought a non-lethal battle with a 30 pound Magic Raccoon with spells and opposable thumbs and short, sharp, claws that like to rip through SynthSkin covering my character’s prosthetic arm. Fortunately it’s somewhat self-repairing in spite of being the wrong color, so I will be at 100% come next session.
With this group we spend more time planning than doing, but because we spend so much time planning there usually isn’t much that needs to be done. Last night’s Shadowrun session was a good example of that. We were going up against a force 12 spirit that cursed us for moving a magical artifact a few runs back, and has caused loss of life (mine) or destruction of materiel (everybody else) for the party, so it had to be destroyed because it was created as a guardian for that magical artifact and can’t be negotiated out of doing what it was created for. So the potions we got from the previous run were not “Curse-be-gone” but actually a way of merging the astral and physical planes for a short period so that we could pull the spirit physically into our reality where we could shoot it.
The way that worked was to find a confined space with walls and sturdy doors that would confine the spirit within the area of effect of the spell released when the vial containing the potion was smashed on the floor. Otherwise the spirit could just wander away and we couldn’t hurt it, but it could still hurt us. So I moved the vehicles out of the garage under the house and we set up our ambush there, the garage having walls of reinforced concrete several feet thick and a bunker-strong outer door and inner door to prevent unsavory people from getting into the house through the garage, which would make it good enough to confine most embodied spirits who were below god-level strong. So after selecting ammunition that would do great damage to the spirit but not have a large enough area of effect (for fragmentation ammo, I had to just use slugs for both the grenade launcher and the Cybershot because other ammunition had too large a blast radius to use in the garage) we activated the potion to trap the curse spirit in the garage. And in less than a full round of initiative the curse spirit was no more. Seriously, I was fourth in initiative and I never got a chance to fire a round because of how well we selected ammo and weapons, that and a little dice karma wiped a force 12 spirit in less than one initiative pass.
Now we have to return the Pink Purse Poodle to the rich bitch we swiped her from a few runs ago. I’m trying to get the party to use the animal rescue in the back to get her to come to us and retrieve her dog. The tentative plan is to have the party member with the highest charisma stat “working” for the animal rescue when Ms. Rich Bitch comes to get her dog from the rescue, because I have the charisma needed to seduce orc and troll women, but that’s about as far as I can push it. Even in the 6th world, healing powers and plastic surgery can only do so much when you lead with your face into deadly situations. The plan so far is after the ransom is confirmed Ms. Rich Bitch gets a call the next morning saying her dog was identified as hers during a routine scan for ID chips, and she could either get it herself or send a pre-identified minion to pick it up. The alternative would be to use the regular employee and just tell them the story we want them to know so there is no need for anyone on our side of the transaction to be untruthful.
So that was my night last night, how was yours?