There were two races at the same time on TV today, the Cup race from Richmond, and the Indycar race from Barber Motorsports Park. There was a lot of good, close racing from both. Likewise there was a lot of driving around in circles from both. You have to take the bad with the good. I was happy to see the 48 win again in Cup, not so happy that Bowman won. Never was a big fan of Bowman. Scott Dixon I’m more ambivalent about. Good driver, but he wins too much. I know that’s the point, but I’m enjoying the parity in NASCAR too much, 9 races and 8 winners.
In the Shadowrun game we finished the rescue of the troll girl who may have been turning into a technomage, and despite our best efforts the building is still standing and mostly usable. Actually things went pear-shaped when one of the technicians with the troll girl recognized our mage, and the code phrase “pink mohawk” went out which was my cue to get active and I got my MGL12 grenade launcher in use. We needed to get through the front (and only) door and I hit the limits of the weapon on my roll and then hit the limits of the amount of damage my grenade could do, and then the door wasn’t there anymore.
Our mages did battle on the etherial plane against Bound Spirits protecting the facility, while our hackers blocked communication with the outside while making it look like everything was totally “normal”. It was a good thing that I packed a shit ton of HE grenades because the guards were wearing tank-like armor and I needed at least one and sometimes two grenades to take them out of the fight. until I got slammed by an air spirit throwing air boulders at me. Not the actual term, but I was attacked around midnight our time (1500 or so in-game) so my memory of actual terminology is a little vague. But anyway I was pounding the guards inside the building with grenade after grenade and whittling down their numbers one by one after I found out I needed to score a direct hit to cause damage even with a HE grenade set to explode on impact. Fortunately I have extremely high ranks in all kinds of firearms up to and including light field artillery so hitting my targets has become almost a given unless I roll a glitch, which is the Shadowrun version of a Natural 1 on the D20. So I was getting rid of the guards on almost every shot even with distractions like -4 on all rolls because of injury from the Air Spirit (and incidentally one of our mages cast a spell that let the rest of us do damage to the spirits, so I popped a couple of grenades at the Air Spirit so that it would leave me alone). Eventually we defeated the guards and freed the troll girl from the equipment that they were trying to figure out if she was really becoming a technomage. We looted the lab of some of the more interesting and portable equipment, took the troll girl back to our Mr. Johnson, got our money and Karma, and will not have another session until after the local Faire season is over first week of June.
And a pork-based counterpart to the FSM, the United Church of Bacon. Time for bed, this has been an exciting day.
Not that that is a bad thing, my character mostly gets involved when things get real bad. Today we were rescuing a troll teen girl who may be becoming a technomage, from a fate worse than death, with the sweet release of death at the end. My character has a sweet spot for troll girls, as there is a troll family just across the street, and his house is literally the boundary between orc and troll gangs on the northeast side of Garland. There are almost as many young orc girls at his house as troll girls, but he prefers the troll girls for some reason.
Anywho, they are still using non-invasive tests at this point, so the girl is physically unharmed but an emotional wreck who will need hundreds if not thousands of hours of therapy to recover, if we can get her out of the lab alive. At this point her well-being is dependent on our face characters having good con rolls to convince the lab techs to release the troll from her restraints and then the rest of us can get her out of the lab physically intact. As my character can’t help in those sort of roll plays, I’m literally waiting in the car armed to the teeth waiting for my call if things go Tango Uniform. As it looks so far as long as the rolls keep landing in our favor we have an even chance of rescuing this girl from vivisection.
Basically game play was about 4 or 5 dozen dice rolls with massive buffs on our side for buckets as high as 17 d6, which would be impossible if we were using actual physical dice instead of the Shadowrun dice bot available for Discord. The smallest actual rolls have been the initiative rolls that basically don’t get more than 4 or 5 d6 plus a modifier added to the sum of the dice. Lately I have a long-term spell cast on me to increase my initiative to 11+4d6, which is a raise over my standard 10+3d6 that I get from all my cybergear and brain enhancements, one of which is basically the entire Library of Congress stuffed into my brain as a easily searchable file, basically Google without the advertising, or the need for web or Matrix access. This has so far been useful exactly one time since I bought it. Anyway since we have those massive buffs to our dice pools so far our rolls have been good enough to keep us alive and me playing cards with the guardian spirit in the van instead of going pink mohawk through the lab trying to extract my team members in as few pieces as possible, preferably one piece per character. Since I have a grenade launcher, and an AK97 on my person and a Cybershot shotgun in my leg, the chances of extracting people in one piece is only as good as their ability to avoid coming between me and whatever is threatening them.
As we ended the session the people doing the interacting thing had managed to get the girl out of the full-body scanner on the pretense that if she was what they were looking for their scanner would be destroyed, or she would be killed, or both with massive explosions and property damage and injury or loss of life for nearby people, like the people in the building. We still had to do the opposing rolls for the scientists when we had to pack it in, because one of the group has a Sunday evening group that he GMs.
On other stuff, I’m getting a confirmation on the quote for the quick change rear axle to confirm that the quote included the drive axles and the 1° end up axle tubes to give a tiny touch of negative camber for better tire wear when racing. If I can get a confirmation on that I’ll send over a small deposit to hold the price and guarantee my delivery. I also decided I’ll just farm out the welding on the aluminum. And I’ll talk to you later.
And we did some housekeeping and stuff in the game. I rebuilt the remains of the Ford Americar that was used in the drive-by attempt against my character in the game, the one that I returned their grenade just before it went off inside the car. I had to spend 6400 Nuyen for parts that had to be replaced because they were too damaged to repair, and it took the same amount of time as upgrading my blades skill from 6 to 7 so concurrent for my blades training. Part of the time I’m upgrading my skills with knives and swords, part of the time I’m patching bullet holes in the car and fixing things that the grenade broke, like all the glass and a few things like brake lines and fuel lines. The engine and transmission were only in need of fixing things that wear out in normal use as the grenade was HE instead of AP so only blast damage, no shrapnel.
Then the rest of the group got to have fun convincing the onboard computer to only obey my voice commands, a 5 hour hacking job. Well 5 hours in game, several minutes of dice rolling in Real Life™. But now the car will only obey me and people I tell the car to obey. The car is now a smart puppy with wheels. But I have a car that I didn’t make from junk laying around, well that doesn’t look like I made it from stuff laying around. The car was junk laying around after I blew it up with their grenade. It just doesn’t look like it anymore, after I did all that bodywork and glass replacement. Now it looks like a Ford Americar that has been taken care of. In game I still have the 2 seat buggy that I built from junk, that goes like stink and handles like it’s on rails but doesn’t have any armor to protect occupants. Or fenders either. I tried to download a picture of a similar vehicle, but the page prevented it from downloading. Anyway, think those military dunebuggies they keep trying out because they’re faster than Humvees except with street tires instead of the off-road tires, and you’ll have the buggy my character drives in-game. I would have made it the Sprint-T except in game the world didn’t have millions of LS engines laying around in junkyards like we have in this world.
Speaking of the Sprint-T I checked and the e-brake disk calipers from Speedway come loaded with their soft street compound pads, which is about what I would have installed anyway, the front calipers come from Wilwood with their B-10 compound autocross pads, so we are good to go with that. I might get a set of the same compound for the rears because they are like $70 a set and might be useful for getting balanced front and rear brakes, but I’ll have to test that to find out. I looked it up and the rear calipers take a D154 style pad set, same as a Gen 2 Camaro front, and a mainstay of IMCA Modified class dirttrack racers because it was also used on the GM Metric chassis mid-size cars.
Last week I posted a post-mortem on that week’s game session, but the GM said the celebration of the TPK against the bad guys was a little early. Because he had a family obligation due to the holiday he didn’t roll the damage from the grenade landing in the car, but he did after the celebrations with his family were over, and it turns out only the mook with the grenade launcher was killed outright by the grenade, because I had already shot him once, and the car interior bits absorbed most of the shrapnel from the grenade going off inside the car.
My character didn’t know that of course, but when the car continued to drive away he assumed the driver hadn’t been hurt that bad and shot the driver to make the car stop, and also shot the front-seat passenger to prevent him from taking control over my recently-acquired property, and used my comm-link to contact my other team members about hacking the car and driving it to my place for salvage. There was one mook left, passenger side rear seat, but he wasn’t too lively. But we got him out of the car and tied to a chair for questioning.
The mook was a member of the gang we roughed up a few months ago in game time. Because my character is a local legend for doing entire gang wipeouts and surviving runs that should have been suicide runs because he can’t die, besides being really tough, he was recognized by one of the sex slaves we rescued. She squawked to her keeper, who hadn’t been on site when we did our little bit of “urban renewal” in Arlington. This got back to the rest of the gang and they decided I needed to be dealt with. They didn’t know that the tales about how hard I was to kill were true, mostly. Most of the game session was spent in interrogating the mook and in the rolls for combat to capture the mook.
So now where we are for next session is doing a little more research on the gang, the Featherds, that according to the DM is the “pet gang” of Aztechland for operations in the area. So I potentially have an entire government ticked off at me. Or not, it’s up to the GM.
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
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.
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?