Actual Play: The Good Shepherds – Session 6 – Do Ghosts Feel Fear?

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We play on Sunday evenings, which meant that our last game of 2016 was scheduled on Christmas Day, and our first game of 2017 was scheduled on New Years Day.  We all had stuff to do on Christmas, but by the evening of January 1st we were all ready to play again.

It took us a bit to remember what happened last time, but eventually we recalled the “Unquiet Dead” result on the entanglement table and away we went.  We decided that this was the ghost of one of the Fog Hounds we killed back in Session 4, out for revenge.  It tried creeping up on Echoes, but Echoes got a 6 on his roll (I forget exactly what), and managed to get the better of it.  He unloaded his Electroplasmic rounds into it, but only managed to drive the ghost off (reduced effect).

He went and grabbed Sola, who was more than happy to go re-kill some ghosts, and the two of us went and tracked it down.  A lucky series of 6s later, and Sola has trapped the thing with her Lightning Hook, and personally destroys it with her supply of Electroplasm.  All in all a good time for her.

We move on to discussing this week’s score.  We debate a bit, but the one thing on our claim map that looks neat for smugglers like us is the “Ancient Gate”.  However, we haven’t laid any ground work to get that out of order, and it is like four claims away on the map, so we instead go for the next claim on the way there, which is turf.  Since we have to take said turf from someone, we either have to go to war with our existing enemies, or make a new one but probably not go to war with them right away.

Eventually we settle on the canal dockers, it is turf that makes logical sense for us given our business, and they are neutral to us so we are unlikely to end up at war with them.  We discuss our options, we go in and steal the deed, we negotiate with the owner and kick them out legally, or we kick them out by force of arms.  I jokingly suggest we sick ghosts on them, mainly it is because arcane stuff is what Sola gets exp for.  The others like that plan, so we are going to sick ghosts as a distraction, while we sneak in the back.

Now, Sola doesn’t have ritual or compel, so she can’t quite control ghosts super well, but she can agitate them a bit, and so that is what she does. The engagement roll is a 6, so the environmental conditions are right for her to stir up trouble.  I describe her sitting outside the building in question, drawing arcane circles in her notebook, as she reaches out and starts causing problems in the ghost field.  She has to fill up a small clock, and her first roll reduces things to risky, but makes progress, so the ghosts are noticing her as well.  Her next roll fills the clock with a 6, so she gets the job done and slinks away to meet up with the rest.

Nymn melts the hinges off the back door, and gets great effect, so everyone is busy dealing with the ghosts.  We go find the boss of these guys, who tries pulling a gun on us.  Echoes tries to command him to drop it, but botches the roll, and so gets shot for his effort.  Sola tries to zap the gun out of his hands (with help from some drugs from Nymn), and does succeed, but the man’s spasms from the shock cause her to get shot right before he does.  She is at one stress away from the cap at this point, and so I figure it’d be faster just to take the trauma and be done with it so I resist.  I don’t roll a 6, and so I check “Vicious” off and down she goes for our first Trauma of the game.

Echoes and Nymn now have the Dockers boss at their mercy and so they make him call off his boys, and sign over the deed to us.  This, of course, isn’t exactly legally binding, but it’ll work for now.  They let him go, and we’ll hold onto this turf until he manages to convince the Bluecoats to evict us.  We might be able to find a corrupt notary who will take our side before then, we’ll see.

We manage to scrounge up some coin from our new holdings, but we end up taking very little heat, all things considered.  Our entanglement is Unquiet Dead, AGAIN, so we decide the ghosts we stirred up don’t exactly settle down very easily.  We take our downtime first, Sola recovers from her injury, trains her playbook, and, most importantly, finishes off the long term project Loki started about planting a spy in Lord Scurlock’s manor. We dub this guy Fredenand, and decide the last step Sola takes is to Attune with him to keep this guy from pinging as suspicious on any weird Vampire shit Scurlock might use on him.

The other two vice, recover, and train. After all that is done, we still have a little bit of time, so Sola and Echoes go to deal with the ghosts on their turf. Sola just got ‘vicious’, which I mostly plan on roleplaying involving ghosts, so her plan is just to destroy them all. It’s another clock, but as a whisperer she has several fine tools at her disposal, so she’s knocking half of it out in one go. Things start out risky, and her first roll is a 5. She’s making progress, but those ghosts are backed into a corner and are lashing out as a result, making things desperate. I suggest that Sola doesn’t believe that ghosts actually have emotions, but is enjoying their imitation of fear, and goes to finish them off.

I roll a 4, which means I do it, but take a severe consequence. Possession and an Injury are both suggested, and the GM lets me pick. I say that a ghost tries to possess her, but she takes out a knife and stabs herself to shock it out of her system before finishing the ghost off. That’s a level 3 harm, and we’ve already done downtime, so Sola would have no chance to recover before the next op. The GM throws me a bone, and says Sarge can have recovered from his injury by now, so I’ll just rotate back to my original character next week. It was a Sola heavy session, so it’ll be nice to put her back on the shelf for a bit.

Sola levels up her playbook with the exp she got this week, taking a veteran ability of the Cutter’s “Battleborn”. I picked that to represent her being a bit tougher than most Whisperers due to her time in the military. The crew itself also leveled up, and we ended up taking one of our two veteran abilities on the Breaker’s “War Dogs”. We’re likely gonna end up at war again with SOMEONE here soon enough, so it is good to be prepared for that, and losing a downtime action sucks. The Shepherds are pretty Breakerish anyway, so it is a good fit. I’m ready to play Sarge again starting next week!

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