Thursday, May 1, 2008

LWaSH session 3: Actual play at last!

Lost Worlds and Secret Histories

Abraham Hale Marko Kraljevic Myrna Robin Stormchaser Herr Wolf Arthur Chamberlain

Okay, as of last Tuesday, we are finally playing Spirit of the Century at last! We finished up character creation (man, the process of choosing stunts is fraught with dilemmas), and then had a good couple hours of actual play. We didn't really get a lot story progress done--really, I'd just call that session a prologue--but we're all getting acquainted with the mechanics of the game, and there was some really fun roleplay and aspect use going on.

Anyway, I'm going to type up the events of the session here. This is primarily for reference purposes, so I can't promise it'll be entertaining.

Lost Worlds and Secret Histories
Summer, 1937 - London, England

Myrna--international socialite, intrepid reporter, and member in good standing of the monster-fighting Van Helsing Society--gets a phone call from her friend and sometime informant Agatha Worbley, a rich old widow with a passion for gossip and a scatterbrained manner that may or may not be a facade. Agatha reports that Sir Felix Swillby-Hinderlap-Swillby--a minor baronet and amateur anthropologist of their mutual acquaintance--was robbed the night before.

Myrna, knowing that Sir Felix is a person of some minor interest to the Van Helsing Society, contacts a couple other Society members: Marko Kraljevic, the giant Serbian folk hero, and Arthur Chamberlain, the Vatican-trained artifact thief. Together, they drop by Sir Felix's burglarized apartment, and discover that the crime scene is still secured by the police, and that Sir Felix himself is now giving his statement at the police station after a short hospital stay. Myrna charms the police officer guarding the door--leaving him seriously smitten with her--and gives him a calling card to deliver to Sir Felix.

Myrna returns to her London residence to make some calls and chase down more information on Sir Felix, Arthur stays behind to watch the crime scene, and Marko returns to the Van Helsing Society's London headquarters. There he finds the cultist-fighting gunslinger Abraham Hale, recently returned from Africa, thoroughly enjoying a whiskey, and very much looking forward to returning to his home in Arizona. Herr Wolf--the mysterious mystic who was once Adolf Hitler--is just returning to the London clubhouse after a trip to the Louvre, and seethes with jealousy towards the French artists because of his own failure in art. The brilliant young pilot Robin Stormchaser is also at the clubhouse, having a smoke atop the observatory as usual.

Hale has brought back an obscene--and apparently indestructible--monkey idol from his trip to Africa, and is asking Marko about a way to dispose of the thing. Wolf, still in a foul mood, interrupts and informs them that the idol obviously has the power to summon the great apes of Africa to fulfill a single request of the wielder, and denigrates both the workmanship of the idol and Marko's intelligence. This, in turn, provokes Marko's anger, but Abraham defuses the situation.

Marko then seeks out Robin to deliver a gift from Myrna--a package of French cigarettes--and also tells her about the situation with Sir Felix. Robin, certain that Arthur can't possibly manage his surveillance assignment alone, decides to head over to the flat to help him out (or show him up). When she comes downstairs, however, Wolf recognizes the national origin of Robin's cigarettes, and--in a fury of anti-French sentiment--shouts at her and tries to take them away. She's far too quick for him, however.

Unswayed in her resolve to go help Arthur out, Robin continues on her way to the crime scene, allowing Abraham--rather drunk, by now--to escort her through the London night.

Meanwhile, Arthur has decided to disguise himself as a police officer and infiltrate Sir Felix's flat. He manages to trick the officer at the door, and has a look around inside, finding that the front door was battered in, both a cashbox and a roll-top desk were broken into, and Sir Felix's many exotic souvenirs seem to be untouched.

Just then, Robin and Abraham show up. Abraham, too intoxicated to fully understand the situation, is simply starts shouting for Arthur. This immediately draws the attention of the cops inside the flat, and forces Arthur to hide to avoid scrutiny. One police officer tells Abraham to go home, and might be on the verge of trying to take him in, when Marko and Wolf show up. Wolf shakes hands with the officer, and discovers that he's a Freemason. Wolf, himself an Inducted Illuminatus, uses this to manipulate the cop into allowing him a look inside the flat, while Marko babysits Abraham and Robin.

the mysterious photographInside, Arthur approaches Wolf, and points out his findings. Wolf has a closer look at the desk, and discovers two interesting things: a small, disk-shaped metal canister, and a photograph of a great stone in a desert, encircled by lightning. Taking these objects--entirely with the consent of the Freemason police officer--the Society members headed back to their headquarters.

...And that's where we left it! Typed up, it really looks like a hell of a lot of stuff happened, but really, things were going pretty slowly. I had to stop and check the game book more often than I'd like, and there was much looking for places to roll dice or store poker chips (our "fate point" tokens). Next time, we'll hopefully have our shit a little more sorted out. Also, I hope to get to use SotC's conflict rules, whether it's for physical combat or some social conflict. Also, now that everyone's finally got their character sorted out, I can enter them into the custom character sheets I made! I'll probably show those off here soon.

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