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[ETU] Session 3 "Scavenger Hunt", "Greek Tragedy", played 28 June 2020

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  • [ETU] Session 3 "Scavenger Hunt", "Greek Tragedy", played 28 June 2020

    I'm almost done with the write-up for this session. Apologies in advance - it is LONG. Only two players could participate, Kristina the timid red-headed music major, and Jake the baseball-playing business major. These are the two guys I met on "Meet-up" when I moved to Denver two and a half years ago, the three of us have been the core of a long Dungeon Crawl Classics campaign (which Kristina's player DM'd) before a brief foray into Stars Without Number and now Savage Worlds/East Texas University.

    This four hour session was entirely role-playing, no combat. Conversation takes longer to write-up than "Ralph stabbed the demon through the heart, killing it".

    My assessment is, with only two players to discuss/decide ideas, we moved through a LOT of material. I mean, seriously, a LOT. The strength of the ETU milieu is, that it is easy to write out missing players. Studying for an Exam, Drama practice, Helping a Roommate do something, a date, etc. Kristina and Jake's players even helped me do it, hehe (oops, I meant to group text!). If we got as far as the combat in the gymnasium with Margaret and the shades, reducing the number from 6 to 2 would have worked fine. Or two of Margaret's friends (even though she is a weird loner, "outsider" hindrance) could show up to help vs the shades.

    Thoughts after last session:
    The needler should have used the Defense action to make it +4 harder to hit.
    Every time Jake ran his subsequent attack should have been at -2

    Ah well, live and learn, and let the players relish their victory.

    I'm trying to drop little hints and bit parts in as I go to introduce further adventures. In case I run the plot point adventures with Bug Boy, the Ghost in the Theatre, Class Ring, the Football Player with the protein shake, the Needler's greenhouse, the Nazi Mummy … I like a bit of foreshadowing! Running three adventures at the same time, blended together, is fun though they should have had nightmares from the Roost that first night. Plenty of time for that. Now they know her last name (Nina Castle).
    Last edited by Eric; 06-30-2020, 09:22 PM.

  • #2
    The morning after the events at the Roost, the group of five ETU freshmen met up for breakfast at the Student Center and drove to the Pinebox Police Department downtown. Though the incidents fell under the purview of the State Police, they used to Pinebox office on occasion for interviews and the like. The relationship was cool at times but generally both the Sheriff’s Department and the State Police respected the boundaries.

    Upon entering the brick building, they saw the heavy-set blond engineer, Michael Landry, exiting. He amicably nodded their way, though probably did not recognize them. Once inside, they met the friendly pair of custodians, who more formally introduced themselves, Anthony Miller and Charlie Taylor, and thanked the students once again for freeing them from the Engineering and Environmental Control Room in the basement of the Roost. To the extent that they could, they had expressed the students’ heroic role in the situation last evening, to the panel assembled in the conference room; moreover, they told the students how the pair could be reached in campus if they needed help with anything. In effect they related the building, room, and time period where custodians convened on campus to receive daily assignments.

    They students entered a conference room as directed and found Sheriff Butch Anderson and an African American Detective (Blaine Bishop) seated on either side of ETU President James Nelson. Professor Glen McClanahan, “GlenMac”, was present but not seated. A stenographer was also seated, off to the side. The Sheriff requested they sit, and the interview commenced. The group was made aware that the pair of ETU security guards (Thomas Baker and Finley Carter) had also been interviewed earlier, and the students gave a rundown of events that squared fairly with those described by the guards and the custodians.

    A few points were made clear. First, the panel regarded the student’s actions as brave and decisive, and likely saved lives – miraculously no injuries were reported by the students nor faculty. James Washington was commended for quick thinking, as he and three other freshman athletes broke into a storage room on the main (bleacher) level, and found an empty CO2 cannister, used to carbonate sodas at events, and used its four foot length as a makeshift battering ram, literally busting off one of the exterior door handles from inside, to find it chained from the outside.

    These students used their large stature and commanding presence to aid an orderly egress without pushing nor panic by the couple of hundred (soaking wet) freshmen. Naturally the students were not to be held responsible for these damages.

    Another point was made – Dick Longh’s decision to activate the fire alarm was inspired, though there were no flames present. The fact that the exit doors had been locked shut posed a serious emergency.

    Additionally, the custodians had described how the four students had broken into the control room and freed them. Though one guard was indecisive and sided with his superior, Tyson August, the other had helped acquire August’s key ring, unlock the wheel, and allow the fire suppression system to receive water flow.

    Finally, the fire alarm was not physically connected to the sprinkler system, and only extreme heat would cause sprinklers in proximity to the heat to spray water. Though they were investigating the numerous strange marks of the wall, early evidence pointed to some sort of substance similar to magnesium which would slowly ignite when exposed to air.

    Kristina Bradley provided web access to the videos she had uploaded, and Detective Bishop asked that she take them down or at least require authentication for access from the public, as they were evidence supporting an investigation. She agreed and Sheriff Anderson provided a folder with photographs of a large Irish Wolfhound, possibly crossed with a Wolf, they had found outside the visitor’s locker room where the Needler had been dispatched by Jake Dormer with a red fire-axe. The injuries and positioning corresponded, though the dog did not seem to possess the quills manifesting in Kristina’s photos nor video, though the water spray had compromised the lens of her cellphone camera.

    The interview was drawing to close. President Nelson, who contribution thus far had been limited to quietly murmuring interjections such as “heroic”, “so brave”, and “quite creative”, placed his hands upon the table and said, “GlenMac, these students have been quite and ordeal. Can I rely upon you to speak with their advisors for a small bit of … consideration, these first weeks? To let them, say, slide slowly into the pool instead of diving in headfirst?” Professor McClanahan nodded, and assured the President that indeed, that would be the case. With that, each student was given business cards by the Sheriff, ETU President, and Detective. Kristina and Dexter Riley provided GlenMac their phone numbers, the rest deferred.

    Back at her quad at the luxurious Halloway Suites Dormitory, Kristina loaded a video of last week’s service at her church back home in Austin. When the choir began to sing “Blessed be the tie that binds, our hearts in Christian love”, the Ghost of Sarah McGee appeared, seemingly enraptured by the song. Smiling broadly, the spirit swayed and mouthed the words; evidently the song was at one time one of her favorites. Kristina replayed the song for her, with a similar effect, and when the Pastor began reading from the Book of Psalms, Sarah faded away, still smiling.

    At the state-of-the-art weight room at the Manuel Travis Athletics Dormitory, Jake worked with free weights and engaged a few students urging him to go to a free show at one of the houses on Fraternity Row, Rho Beta Omicron. A country performer and local celebrity, Billy Garrett, was going to play a set, just five bucks to get in. Garrett had a couple of songs that were getting airtime, he had been to Nashville – twice, and was being courted by at least two reputable agents/labels. Even more, he was known for his easy-going attitude and habit of sitting with fans for a beer and a chat after his shows at small rockabilly venues. This party was an unofficial pre-rush rush event, to show off what this Fraternity had to offer … Garrett was the brother of one of the Frat members that had graduated the previous year.

    James had a meeting with his advisor, his Kinesiology course load was, in the advisor’s opinion, too heavy for a freshman football player, and hoped James would swap in an easier class.

    Dexter discovered a bundle of old exams in the library, and thought they would make good study guides, if he could find a few in his discipline, Astrophysics.

    Dick took off for the Martha Patterson Language Arts Center, as tryouts were being held for parts in the upcoming fall production of Tennessee William’s The Glass Menagerie.

    One of Kristina’s quad-mates, Evelyn Henderson, had just pulled fresh-baked banana bread out of the oven (the quad had more than a kitchenette, less than a kitchen), offering it with country butter once it cooled. Even her quad-mate Skye Ryan poked her head out of her room, pulled away from video-gaming by the smell, “What is that SMELL? I’ve only had Monster Drinks the past TWO DAYS!”. Kristina’s phone rang, an unknown Texas number, so she ignored it. When it rang a minute later, a young woman’s voice said, “Hello? Kristina?” The caller identified herself as Margaret Winters, a Junior at ETU, and that GlenMac had provided her with Kristina’s phone number. She needed her to round up the rest of her “friends from last night at the Roost” and meet her right away at the Sam Houston Gymnasium “You know, next to the Aquatics Center”. It was a matter of utmost importance, for “creative” and “resourceful” allies that could “think on their feet”. Kristina agreed, taking her hot banana bread wrapped in tinfoil. She meant to text her four friends but managed somehow to only send a message to Jake.


    • #3
      Kristina met Jake at the Gymnasium, and as Margaret had described, they saw a sign, “Closed for Repair” but it was unlocked. They entered and saw painting supplies, the gymnasium floor, and a “Goth” looking female student standing in its center. “I’m Margaret – just the – two of you?”, she said, and proceeded to tell them … “I can just be straight with you, right?” … that there was a weakening between this world and another - “Yes, Kristina, like Stranger Things” – and she had seen a hideous Demon on the other side attempting to burst through. “Like Venom from Spider-man, but with hooves and spikes and no eyes, just a series of warty bumps, and a forked tail.”

      “I’m doing my best to keep the tear hidden, but I can’t do it forever – I need some items to use to sew the rip up for good, and I can’t go get them!” The group agreed there was a lot at stake and wrote down the items Margaret needed for her ritual: “Five pieces of blue chalk – any shade of blue, thirteen strands of tiger fur, and the drinking vessel of a god! And please hurry!” The students saw the ritual, strange symbols on a sheet of paper, in her hand as she urged them to the task at hand.

      The chalk seemed to be the easiest item to acquire, quickly. They considered the art department, but decided chalk wasn’t a medium in most artwork. They knew certain buildings still had old-style chalkboards – the Roost certainly did – but they had only seen sticks of white chalk on the ledges. Googling for a toy store in Pinebox didn’t provide any useful results, but Kristina suggested that most supermarkets had part of an aisle dedicated to toys – dice, games, and the like – while Jake recalled that at Charltonnes’ Supermarket buying from jerky, a little boy with his mom were just ahead of him in line at the cashier and had sidewalk chalk among their items.

      (2:00 PM) Driving to the market and buying five packs of chalk, each four sticks, blue, red, yellow and green. Cost five dollars and ten minutes of time.

      (2:30 PM) Kristina and Jake drove towards one of the pawn shops in Pinebox, eponymously named Pinebox Pawn. As they crossed the street, they spied a gorgeous, late-model Porsche sportscar with the vanity plate, “AQUAMAN”. Their keen eye recognized the front end had been recently repaired, as the paint was just a tiny bit “off”, and there was a piece of sports striping missing. “Like her? She’s a beaut, eh?” asked a tall, Hispanic looking college student with an ETU T-shirt. The students agreed, and asked about the body damage. “Well, I was a little careless and scraped a guardrail, and needed it fixed quick ‘cause my dad’s coming into town this week”. “But, ya gotta let the horses free now and then, amiright?” he asked Jake, sensing a kindred spirit. He also recommended McMurry’s garage.

      “Well, anyway, we’re having a party at my frat house tonight, Billy Garrett is stopping by for a set, Rho Beta Omicron. Stop by, let me tell you about the frat and all, enjoy some music, and all that, okay? The swimmer, Brent Rodriguez asked. They agreed.

      Kristina and Jake entered the pawn shop, beneath a sign reading “We Have What Your Heart Desires”. A wizened elf of a man, Forrester Harris, introduced himself, welcomed them, and asked their reason for stopping by. The shop had a few firearms and some exotic knives, but more bits and bobs – jewelry, glass orbs, candlesticks, and other decorative items. “Perhaps a gold fountain pen, a pocket watch, some rare sheet music?” he queried.

      “We’re looking for an item made of tiger fur. Or a stuffed head of a tiger, if you have one”.

      Forrester frowned. “I have a paw from a bear, but … no tiger fur”, he admitted. When asked where they might find some, he told them that their very own college was soon hosting an exhibit of African and Asian Predators, on loan from a museum in Dallas/Fort Worth.

      “How about the cup of a god?” they asked. He had no such item, but did have a collection of crystal and metal, gem-inlaid goblets, which would be impressive at a LARP or a Ren-Fest, but seemed more Holy Grail than Deity-owned.

      “Sheet music?” inquired Kristina. “Of course, my dear. Hmmm I take you for … woodwind. Flautist? No, no. Too common. I think … Oboe?” She admitted she loved the Oboe but Bassoon was her favorite instrument. “A moment…” he murmured, shuffling papers and pulling out some sheet music. “Penned by a master, not photocopied and bound in a book of Intermediate lessons!” It was a solo she had heard of, but was not too familiar. She looked at the front page and was told the price was $28. “I may come back and buy this”, she stated, “But at present we are pressed for time”. They bid Forrester a good afternoon and exited the shop.

      (3:00 PM) Kristina and Jake drove over to the second pawn shop in downtown Pinebox, “Fork-It-Up!”. Upon entry it was evident the two shops provided for a much different clientele. Many firearms were displayed in glass cases, as were shiny hunting-style serrated knives. Camping gear lined many of the walls, and there were areas dedicated to stereo equipment and other electronics such as metal detectors. Straps, pitons, ropes, clamps, clasps and other climbing gear was on display, along with camping gear (coolers, tents, tarps, mess kits, camp stoves), sporting goods (aluminum bats, baseball gloves, lots of archery gear – both for hunting and sport), and much more. The shop was busy, and noisy, too.

      The students were greeted by one of the employees, as they looked through the camping gear for a thermos or travel cup with a “god’s name” like Thor or Jupiter. Jake noted, as one of the employees reached high on the wall for a composite bow with slots for arrows and his T-shirt sleeve shifted, a tattoo of a stylized eagle with a swastika on its chest.

      The store did a brisk business, and the cashier told them conversationally that if they wanted extra credit for initiative, they could hire a guide for a canoe trip into the big thicket to take pictures of big feral hogs, rare plant life, snakes, crocs, and the eighteen or so different eco-systems the area supported, “Stuff you wouldn’t see on a nature walk”. The employees and customers seemed to have an “outdoor” vibe that Jake also possessed.

      Sadly, the shop didn’t contain anything made from a tiger nor the drinking vessel of a god, so they hopped back into Jake’s truck, Lucille, and headed towards campus, more specifically, the Bob Reynolds Agricultural center. While Jake drove, Kristina tried some internet searches and amusingly the Cup of a God included some “athletic cup” ads. But they sought a drinking vessel.

      Kristina called Margaret, who seemed harried and curt, trying to keep the Demon from noticing, and rending, the tear and forcing its way through the veil. She had attempted most of the obvious search engine queries but had to cut her research short in order to focus on the ritual of illusion in which she was currently engaged. She told them ritual components generally were not listed as riddles nor subterfuge, but in a straightforward manner. “GlenMac recommended you; he would not have done so if you weren’t extraordinarily bright and resourceful. I have faith in you! Please hurry!”, she remarked and ended the call.

      Kristina also called GlenMac, hoping he would answer a call on a Saturday afternoon. He did, and their discussion was punctuated by a dog named Argyle barking in the background. He asked if they considered one of the big horns the Vikings drank from in Valhalla, as a drinking vessel didn’t necessarily have to be a cup nor goblet. Maybe a beer stein? The students started talking about Greek and Norse gods, and trophies, as some teams drank from them after a championship win (champagne?), when GlenMac interjected, “Of course! The ETU Swim Team! The Poseidon’s Cup! State champions last season, they keep the trophy for a year and take turns keeping it for display and pictures and bragging rights – they claim they are GODS OF THE SEA!”. The trophy was a compelling factor for recruiting students to ETU or to one of the fraternities that possessed it, albeit temporarily. Though GlenMac didn’t know who had the trophy at this moment, Kristina and Jake knew one good possibility – Brent Rodriguez and the Rho Beta Omicron house!

      But first, they had to find some fur from a tiger …


      • #4
        (4:00 PM) They entered the Bob Reynolds Agricultural Center and studied the roster on the wall in a flat, glass case. Zoology was on the second floor, but there were many other life sciences represented – study of insects, rodents, reptiles, plant species, veterinary studies, and more. Dr Martinson was listed as the Zoology chair. Inside the spacious entry area was a sign on an easel, reading “Exhibit Coming Soon! Predators of Africa and Asia!”, and blue painter’s tape demarcated spots on the floor to be in use for the display.

        They found the building to be laid out in a big “X”, one of the wings on the seconds floor clearly marked Zoology. Where the wings met was a student area with a few benches, lavatories, and snack machines. They saw a few students and faculty on this floor, and as they walked down the corridor, they heard an animated discussion coming from a room beyond an open doorway, concerning the topics of insect studies and grants/funding. Across the hall from the open door, which was identified as belonging to Dr Martinson, were a pair of storage rooms, “A” and “B”, each locked but with a small rectangular inset window, the kind with a lattice of wire mesh embedded within the tempered glass.

        As they prepared to enter Dr Martinson’s office, witnessing a tall, lanky, bald but bearded man leaning back in a leather chair at a desk, a student was just leaving, the conversation ending on an upbeat, positive note. A slender, nerdy, student with a bad complexion and smudged glasses, off-balance due to a backpack that looked to be stuffed with heavy books, circled around them in a wide berth. His name was Johnny and he couldn’t tell them much about the exhibit, as his field of study was Entomology – “You know, insects?” but he did indicate the exhibit pieces were in the storage rooms awaiting the exhibit. “I saw them moving crates in, yeah yeah, a Crocodile, big snake, a Tiger and a pair of Hyenas I think and big Condor or something”. He teetered off awkwardly a few steps under his load and the professor invited them in. “I’m putting the final touches on our class syllabi, are you going to be my students?” he asked, thinking Jake looked a bit like a “Four-H” kind of guy and Kristina did appear serious and studious.

        They were curious about the exhibit, which would be in place mid-way through the second week of classes. Kristina said she was thinking about adding a Zoology major to her Music studies, and Johnny (didn’t he leave?) called from the hallway, “Do it now, most students that do that can’t make the cut”. Kristina and Jake made small talk for a few moments, as Martinson stretched back, crossing his long legs. He offered a run-down of the sciences, including Botany, which encompassed many of the greenhouses just outside the building, and tried to gauge her interest.

        After a few minutes they thanked him and left, walking down near the nexus of wings, waiting for the Professor to either leave or take a break. They considered finding the two custodians they had befriended. Knowing building lock-up was approaching (6:00 PM), they discussed hiding until security left. They thought about causing a spill or flooding a restroom and found a locked janitor’s closet that probably held cleaning supplies, gloves, a mop and bucket, and a floor-sink.

        Aside from the library, this might be the busiest “studies” building on-campus during the summer, they posited, as reptiles and butterflies and mice and plants required daily feeding, attention and care. Foot traffic would indicate custodial care every third day or so, and the floors looked very clean.

        Their patience paid off, as Dr Martinson strode to the lavatory with a copy of “Zoologist Monthly” tucked under his arm. Kristina kept watch at his office - the door closed but not locked – as Jake frantically searched for any keys. He found a ring of four in the center desk door, the third of which opened Storage Room “A”. It contained no tiger, but a bird of prey with a six-foot wingspan gave him a bit of a start. Storage room “B”, indeed, contained a tiger, a magnificent Bengal, and Jake pinched a wad of fur from its groin (so as not to ruin the fine piece), stuck it in a Ziploc baggie, and handed it to Kristina who stuffed it in her backpack’s side pocket. They heard footsteps approaching, and smelled …

        (4:20 PM) Pizza? Easing the storage room door shut, they peeked from the darkness out into the hallway and saw a Pizza Barn delivery guy, one of the employees from last night at the Roost. Heavy-set with long hair (probably balding under his bright red ballcap), he stood outside the office and called out, “Dr Martinson? Dinner!”. Kristina and Jake stepped out, shut and locked the door, and tried to convince the guy – “Horace”, his nametag read – that they would get the pizza to him (“No dice, he’s a great tipper”), that he was in a conference room (“Nope, his office room number is right here on the ticket”) and other ways to be rid of him (“Can’t just leave it, it’s against policy, you two might poison it, he’s a teacher, right? Hah hah!”). So, they left Horace standing there, via a stairway at the far end of the corridor, away from the nexus, with Dr Martinson’s keys.

        (4:30 PM) Kristina and Jake looked for a visible place to leave the keys, an old-style trash can with an ash-tray on top (smoking was not permitted), or a table with a dish, anything, but Kristina determined she could stick one key into a crack where the office number/professor names/disciplines roster’s display case was attached to the wall. It seemed the best of a set of bad choices, so they affixed the keys there and quickly left.

        Two items down, in this macabre scavenger hunt. One to go. And it might be tricky.

        They headed to the Rho Beta Omicron house. Margaret had said she had the strength to keep the seam hidden for maybe six hours. Three had passed. She had said midnight – but perhaps she was even more exhausted than she appeared.

        (5:10 PM) Jake did a slow pass of the frat house and saw a Pinebox Sheriff’s deputy parked out front. Parking down the street and walking slowly up, they witnessed a very friendly conversation between the Deputy, two obvious frat boys (one with his hands in his pocket), and a third frat boy tapping some sort of wooden sign into the ground and using a staple gun to affix a piece of paper, in a plastic sleeve, to it. “Keep things under control, and I may not need to come out tonight, though I might just stop by to see Billy play – you charge Officers of the Peace to get in?”. The paper was clearly a permit, no doubt this house had a good relationship with the Sheriff’s office and community, and was doing things right.

        “Y’all here to see Billy? He don’t go on ‘til eight or nine or so, but come on in and see the place!” One of the brothers was the door man, and Jake gave him five bucks. “We got sodas and stuff, look for Vance Crawford – Vance is the chapter president, Hollywood looking guy, for the big tour!”. Brent Rodriguez was also at the house, as one of the cherished driveway spots contained the Porsche with the “AQUAMAN” vanity tag. “Yeah, we know Brent”, Jake offered, and the brothers laughed at the Porsche – “Vance’s daddy’s car, he wrecked it and just got it back today, daddy’s coming by sometime on business in Houston, I think, or San Antoine. He says it’s his, but everyone knows its daddy’s car”. He and one of the other guys chuckled at this open secret.

        (5:15 PM) “Hey, welcome, guys! I’m Vance”, said a good-looking classic frat guy – khaki shorts, polo shirt, expensive sunglasses, boat loafers. Most of the frat members seemed to address Jake, as if Kristina was an afterthought, but they were polite, and everyone was very friendly. This was likely due to the “not-rush rush” atmosphere of the party, though Kristina wasn’t asked to pay. Maybe Omicron’s “sister house” would have a presence later.


        • #5
          Vance gave them a tour of the well-appointed house, the outside railings were freshly painted, the furniture in good repair. “Omicron house is one of the top houses you need to consider”, he proffered, in soft-sell style. “Not only for its scholar-athletes, but for academic excellence – NEVER on academic probation, NOT EVEN ONE SINGLE TIME, and we even do a lot of community service!”. He pointed out a wall with plaques and awards, and glossy framed 8x10 photographs. They were a bit shocked to see a racing-swimsuit clad Nina, the Ghost that had burned Jake’s arm (the injury was healing very quickly, from an angry red to, at present, a painless pale pink), in a photo with a “Jack Little”, each sporting a swimming medal. “Jack Little, 1st place freestyle, 400m; Nina Castle, 2nd place medley relay”, a little card read. The students steered the conversation to the Poseidon’s Cup, which, to Vance’s consternation, was clearly missing from the assembled awards case. Amidst a stream of expletives, he apologized for its absence. “Brent KNOWS that cup is a BIG DEAL tonight!” and he excused himself, storming off, recommending they enjoy the hospitality of the house.

          Kristina wen to find a bathroom, and a handsome blonde guy who had a young, boyish face approached Jake. “Hey man, I’m Dave, Dave Dalton! Glad to meetcha!” Jake instantly felt an odd sensation, the same sensation he felt earlier at the gymnasium with Margaret Winters. Like an ice cube pressed to the nape of his neck. “You findin’ your way around okay? This is a great house, these are gonna be four great years, glad you’re stoppin’ by to learn a little about us and hear some solid rockin’ tunes! You and that little redhead an item? Like, ‘together’? “, Jake admitted he had only met her yesterday. “Solid! Dude – two things you gotta do. Dump the girl and join the frat. You would not BELIEVE the action I get! Different girl every coupla nights. See that door up the steps? THE LOVE NEST. Where all the action happens. And I record it all, because, you know, one day we’ll be old men and we can enjoy our GLORY DAYS again and again!”, he grinned. When Kristina walked up to join them, his demeanor changed a bit. “Saw ya talking to Vance Crawford, the president of this chapter? GREAT guy, Vance. Girls all love him, and guys all wanna be him. Guy KILLS me!” he chuckled. Hey, you mentioned Brent Rodriguez, right? The swimmer guy? Yah, there he is, over there, messing with the play list. Later!” he exclaimed and walked away towards the stairs to the second floor, winking one final time at Jake.

          (5:30 PM) Brent was less talkative than most of the others, fiddling nervously with his phone. When they mentioned the row of photographs, he pointed out some of the lead economists and CEOs that were members of Rho Beta Omicron. They indicated Vance had showed them the pictures, and the trophy case – and where was the Poseidon’s Cup they had heard so much about, he was the captain of the swim team, right? He deflected – “Good to see Vance in such good spirits, he’s come around after Dave killed himself last year, yeah, about a year ago. Vance caught him with his girl, and … well, guilt is a bad thing and betraying a brother is ten times worse. Vance seemed to take it extra hard”. He pointed to a row of pictures, and there was a photo of the guy Jake had just spoken to. “In loving memory of our brother, David Dalton”, dated last year. Brent pointed at the other pictures – “Cancer, Car Crash, Heart attack, Skiing accident … but … suicide, and such a good young guy!”. Kristina and Jake shared a look, “ANOTHER GHOST, WHAT IS IT WITH ALL THE GHOSTS?” but pressed again about the missing Trophy. Then Jake recalled they had seen Brent walking out of Pinebox Pawn, and the Porsche’s recent body work …

          The frat guy at the door, Kenny, signed his name in ink on the back of Jakes hand and drew the three Greek letters. “That way you don’t end up paying twice, see ya later?” Evidently someone had forgotten to buy a stamp and inkpad.

          (5:45 PM) The students excused themselves, and said yes, they’d return later. Off they headed, back to Pinebox Pawn, and Forrester Harris. “Back again, my young friends?”, he inquired, eyes peering over his (antique) spectacles. “Tell me, what is it your heart desires?” They asked about the Poseidon’s Cup, and he brought it up from behind the counter. “Ah yes, quite lovely, is it not? Exquisite workmanship, I gave that nice young man more than it was worth, but he seemed to be in such a bind! We need to all be kind to one another, yes?” … “A niche piece to be sure, I think I could sell it eventually”. They expressed interest in buying the cup, but Forrester demurred, “No, no, no, he has time to buy it back. Yes, a grace period. He holds the ticket. He maintains ownership, … for now”

          6:00 PM was fast approaching. They had until 8:00 PM or so. Time was racing by. The world was at stake. They needed that trophy …
          Last edited by Eric; Yesterday, 07:39 PM.


          • #6
            Post Mortem:

            One of the two players, Jake's I think, upon meeting Dave Dalton's ghost, remarked he needed to buy the "ETU Ghost-a-Day Calendar". We laughed.

            I plan to run "The Show Must Go On" from the Degrees of Horror plot point campaign, but will change the Ghost to ... something else. I'll post it in the next thread. Too many ghosts, and I'm itchin' to start Class Ring (which has another ghost and lots of angry spirits) ...

            I'm making an effort to use the hindrances (Jake has Trouble Magnet, I was hoping a crit fail on the driving around town would lead to a run-in with Pinebox's finest). And different skill rolls, rather than Notice, Notice, Notice.

            I tried to keep the pace fast-moving, so when they were plum out of ideas (Drinking Vessel of a God?), Glenmac double-aced his Swimming check (9 on d4) and knew about the cup, from being a semi-regular at the aquatics center (I didn't update him for SWADE yet). I wanted to get close to a place for next time, to be easy to just plop in Dick or Dexter or whomever shows up.

            Forrester Harris was more fun than I thought he'd be. The Bassoon music would give Kristina a +1 to performance related rolls for 24 hours (yes, this includes her midterm and finals). If she does this too often (more than 1x/week?) the ink will start to fade ...

            "A Beautiful Smile" will have to wait until I know the new Deadlands rules ... just downloaded from the kickstarter ... maybe Sophomore year. Or I could run it as written and the "last piece of artwork" to be destroyed could be found weeks/months later (as well as the painting that sucks them into Deadlands to right a wrong), stored for display at a "Artists of Pinebox" exhibit at a fair or something.

            The two players put 2 and 2 together and know Brent hocked the cup to pay for the car repair. Keeping it mum in exchange for the ticket and promise to get it back to him quickly should work. It may be tarnished though ... heh heh.

            Making the Zoology professor take a long bathroom break was also a way to keep things moving. He would have shown them the exhibit pieces if they had asked, but all the "I may double major in Zoology" lies didn't pass muster (he rolled a 5 and a 6 vs their subterfuge). If he sees them again he'll call security to question them about the keys ... Johnny Chafe AND Horace the Pizza Barn guy can identify them.

            This is turning into a really fun campaign.