Anybody can nominate books for the Dragon Awards, but the nomination period cuts off tomorrow. If you read a book that came out during the eligible period, and you thought it was awesome* now is your chance to plug it.
The Dragon Award is open to everybody. It doesn’t cost anything to participate.
When I GM a role playing game campaign, I always type up a recap the next day to send to the players. This is because I’m a sucker for character driven subplots and it helps me remember everything as we go along.
You guys have enjoyed these in the past (stick Drowning Empire into the search bar and get ready for a novel sized Legend of the Five Rings campaign). And recently I’ve been posting the test game recaps for Gritty Cop Show, but that’s business, so I figured what the heck, I might as well post the ones that we do for fun too.
We started a new campaign last Saturday. This time we are using the Infinity Role Playing Game from Modiphius. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this setting, picture180 years in the future, mankind has colonized a bunch of solar systems and broken into several competing different factions. Since I wrote this as a recap for the players I don’t bother to explain every little thing, but you’ll get the idea.
Our laborious random character creation came up with:
Deputy Inspector Cortez (played by Tony) an O-12 Bureau Toth Agent originally from Acontecimento… On his way to Paradiso to serve a warrant on a corporation that is suspected of having stolen alien technology. He was super good at hacking, smarts, persuasion, and lying (as everybody discovered later).
Cortez is a tall, distinguished, gentleman in his late 40s, with a big scar on his face from when he got betrayed and shot in the head by his partner 7 years ago.
Renzo Piera (played by Devon) a Mercenary Bounty Hunter, originally from Paradiso. Renzo was fired and kicked out of the Authorized Bounty Hunters, and he’s made a pile of enemies. Unemployed, he’s on his way back to his home world for a fresh start.
Renzo is 30, of Italian ancestry, with full sleeve tats and a goatee, and wears old PanO armor, usually hidden because he likes to keep it low key until its time to take down his targets… Or he did, until he got fired.
Two Vi (played by Dave) a Nomad Hacker who is secretly an intelligence operative for the Black Hand. He’s being sent to Paradiso because he ended up being hunted by the last folks he spied on (and we’ve not worked out who that is yet).
Two is a 26, and his family were Vietnamese refugees from Corregidor. He’s a small, unassuming man, who walks with a limp because an accident crushed one of his legs.
Subo “Jimmy” Moto (played by Pat) who is a Yu Jing engineer, who has spent the last several years on Bourak doing terraforming jobs until he got fired. He’s currently working for peanuts in the engine room of a crappy freighter on the way to Paradiso, working for a PanO crew that hates his guts.
Jimmy did his mandatory enlistment in the Yu Jing navy, but was happy to leave home because some bad experiences as a kid has left him convinced that the State Empire does some really shifty things to its people. He’s pretty sure his mother’s death wasn’t an accident, but rather due to her finding out the party was experimenting with personality tampering in his hometown (which is a primarily a Mongolian settlement).
Ammar ibn Khalif ibn Salah al-Din (played by Alan) who is a rich Haqqislam businessman and totally not a Hassisan professional killer. He is on his way to Paradiso for a new assignment.
Ammar is 33, and 7 of those years were spent working undercover infiltrating the Yu Jing Celestial Guard. Unfortunately for Ammar, his backup personality was accidentally downloaded into another body, and somewhere out there that Ammar isn’t happy about it
Riku Khanna (played by Jeremy) who is from an unaligned orbital around Earth. He became special forces and wound up working for the Caledonians during the NeoColonial Wars, during which he rescued a fair Caledonian damsel named Red, and they pretty much adopted him. He’s the Japanese guy in kilt with a claymore.
Unfortunately Riku got killed, but using the personality and memories recorded on his cube, he was brought back in a Siren model Lhost body. The war is over, he’s done being a soldier, and is taking a trip to beautiful Paradiso.
The group starts out on the freighter Fortitude as it’s transiting the wormhole from the Human Edge system. These guys have gotten to know each other over the last few weeks (there’s not much else to do on the Fortitude).
Unfortunately the start date of this campaign is 60 NC, the day that mankind made first contact with another spacefaring alien species… And they said hello by blowing up everything and invading the hell out of Paradiso.
So as the Fortitude released from the Circular, they immediately came under attack. Our poor passengers didn’t know what was going on, and nobody ever tells poor Jimmy down in the engine room what is going on. They just start getting bounced around as the Fortitude makes evasive maneuvers, but after Two Vi hacks into the bridge to see what’s going on, they discover they’re being shot at by space aliens.
Then the bridge gets lanced through by a particle beam weapon, the crew gets vaporized and sucked into space(except for Jimmy, who is still down in the engine room wondering why every warning light has just gone off) and the Fortitude is flying out of control.
While Renzo and Cortez head for the bridge, an alien craft sticks onto the Fortitude, and blasts their way into the cargo hold. Moments later, the boarding party begins cutting their way into the passenger compartment. Ammar and Riku ain’t down with that, and they start shooting the weird, skinny, spindly things that start climbing through the hole in zero G. (Shasvassti but our characters don’t know that yet) Two Vi almost gets sucked into space. Ammar yanks a conduit out of the hull, sticks the wall, and fries the invaders. Then they head for the bridge.
At the bridge, everything is coated in a fine mist of dead crew. Cortez injures his hand as they repair the breach. Renzo takes the helm… And they promptly discover that an approximately frigate sized alien ship is heading their way. Cortez hacks the system to find that they do have one distraction beacon for self defense, and he launches it. The aliens immediately vaporize it with a gun that could cut the Fortitude in half. They aim the Fortitude for Paradiso while Jimmy gives them everything he can get from the engine. That’s not enough, so Jimmy starts dumping all the cargo to lose mass and hopefully provide distractions, which does buy them some time as the aliens start blasting that stuff instead.
From the bridge they can see that humanity has been taken by surprise, and they are getting their asses kicked. PanO and Yu Jing warships are getting smoked. Nobody is going to help them.
Knowing there is no way they can ditch the frigate, they decide to head to the life boat, but to remotely steer the Fortitude so that it stays between them and the pursuing aliens. This is a good plan, as it allows them to eject and fall toward Paradiso before the aliens see them. However, before the left, Jimmy set the reactor to go critical. And as they fall away, they watch the frigate latch onto the Fortitude so they can board it… And then there’s a big explosion.
As they drop through the atmosphere in their cramped tiny escape pod, they check the datasphere to discover that the aliens appeared in the last half an hour, and they’ve established a beach head on the planet. All around them are other trails of fire coming through the sky, and most of those ain’t human. They’re alien landing pods. It’s an invasion.
They’re headed toward the east coast of the continent of Norstralia. (Renzo is from the western frontier side, but he’s been here before). Jimmy is piloting the drop pod (it really isn’t very steerable) and what he took to be a nice green landing field, actually turned out to be the jungle canopy with the land about 200 yards below that. It hurts.
Riku has lots of survival training, so he finds a cave like depression for the group to take cover in. This is good, because an alien drop ship breaks through the canopy a moment later. Unfortunately there’s a Paradisan tiger equivalent hiding in the cave, but a good animal handling roll convinces it to run away instead of attacking. When the alien drop ship spots the running tiger, they blast it with a massive plasma bolt, just to be sure. Satisfied there’s nothing else alive there, they fly on.
For the next few hours the players hide and check in with their factions. Most of them get nothing but chaos. Everything is falling apart due to the invasion. However they are only five clicks of thick steaming jungle from the city of Ravensbrucke (it was what the Fortitude had set course for before everything went terribly wrong).
Cortez’s O-12 people are panicking and hiding during the bombardment, but his original target (the Magna Obra research facility) is in Ravensbrucke, so he pushes for everyone to go there. When Ammar checks in with his Hashishan handler, he’s told that since he’s the only nearby asset, they’ve also been keeping an eye on that research facility (there is really bad blood between the Hashishans and a terrorist group called Equinox (which is secretly bankrolled by Magna Obra) it’s a long, but cool story, but basically Hashishans go out of their way to kill Equinox). They would like to see this alien tech that’s being studied there illegally revealed to the world (to embarrass Magna Obra).
Sure, there’s an alien invasion going on, but politics don’t stop for that!
Everybody on the north side of the city is dead or evacuated. The PanO defenders have fallen back to the south bank of the river, where they are getting slaughtered, but holding to let the civilians escape to the west. So after some wrangling, and job offers, the group is united with a purpose. Get to the facility. Recover a thing known as the “black box”. Then get it west to the Capitol of Silvania (which currently isn’t under attack). Oh, and don’t get killed by aliens on the way.
Some of our guys are pretty stealthy. Others are not. While going through the terribly thick jungle, Cortez and Renzo get spotted by a lone alien that got cut off from his squad. It shoots at them, misses, but then Ammar drills it through the brain and kills it.
Upon inspection, this alien is really different looking than the boarding party, being more of a seven foot tall, red ape looking thing, in heavy armor, and carrying a plasma weapon that a good tech roll warns them is booby trapped. (it’s a Morat, but again, the characters don’t have a name for that yet) So if they mess with it, they’ll get blown up. They also try to hack the alien’s communications network, only to discover that whatever lives in that network is POWERFUL AND SCARY. (and very much not to be messed with, because it will melt your friggin’ brain, so it’s a good thing the guys didn’t try to push through that firewall). And yes, I described it as an “evolved intelligence” which caused all the players familiar with the game to groan.
So then the PCs decided to booby trap the dead alien, and just to be spiteful Riku caught one of the local six legged armadillos, and duct taped the alien’s tracker to it, and then set it free. Chase that down, jerks. About fifteen minutes of jungle marching later, there’s a giant explosion behind them as something disturbed their booby trap.
The north side of Ravensbrucke has been hit hard. Everything is in ruins. It was kind of a gothic themed city, so it looks a bit like Germany at the end of WW2. Everyone has either died or fled. If there are wounded, the aliens have either capped them on the spot, or carried them off to who knows where. It’s a real mess. Moving cautiously the group manages to avoid any more alien patrols. Most of them seem to be focused on the fighting toward the south.
They reach the Magna Obra facility to discover that one side of it appears to have been hit by a bomb. This place was supposed to have a good security force and combat robots, but they’ve already been wrecked. They set up five hundred yards away, and our hackers easily break into the damaged system to take control of the remaining security cameras.
They discover that that there is an APC with advanced memetic camouflage parked by the front doors, being guarded by two humans in armor. They’re all unmarked. On the inside cameras, they find four more guys in a kill team, shooting any survivors they come across. Then the four move up to a vault door and set breaching charges on it.
Since these strangers are looting the place and shooting scientists, it is decided that these are bad guys (probably Equinox cleaning up loose ends as they steal the super valuable alien tech they aren’t supposed to have). So Ammar sets up his sniper rifle, and blows one of the two guards away. Unfortunately the other one gets winged, but manages to take cover.
The ones inside breach the vault (with a very loud explosion that attracts the attention of the alien invaders, the clock is now ticking).
Unfortunately for our heroes, the wounded terrorist who took cover, gets back into the APC, and activates the Heavy Machine Gun turret on the roof. And he begins spraying bullets everywhere.
Some of our guys get injured, but their armor saves their lives. Luckily the machinegunner rolled a complication, so he had to stop for a round to clear a malfunction. They try to hack the APC’s system, they can’t break through the firewall remotely. But Jimmy manages to crawl under the APC unseen, cuts through the armor, and hacks directly into the command system.
So when the machinegun gets reloaded, Jimmy is now in charge…
Meanwhile in the building, Riku uses his Spec Ops jump jet skill to jump into the fourth floor, where he gets into a gun fight with some of the terrorists. This one particular dude shot Riku, then got shot back, then got shot in the back by Renzo’s hand cannon. But he was still up. Until Jimmy shredded the fourth floor with the HMG and turned a couple Equinox men into hamburger.
Ammar used his super climb ability to get to the fourth floor, where he flung one of the terrorists out the window to his death. He also put the Magna Obra files downloading onto the Mayanet (it’s the internet of the future!) to accomplish his goal of embarrassing the mortal enemies of the Hashassin Society.
Two Vi hacked the hatch and opened the APC, but the dude inside tried to shoot him. But then Renzo blew his brains out. The last guy came running out with the black box in a pack, but Cortez lied super well and persuaded him to surrender. Cortez grabbed the box and the prisoner and took him to the APC.
But all that noise has attracted the attention of the aliens. And one of their TAGs (called a Caskuda) combat drops onto the Magna Obra campus. Ammar and Riku have to interrupt their looting to run for their lives. Riku almost doesn’t make it up the ramp in time.
Then we had us a car chase… Or an APC being chased by a giant running super mech cockroach monster chase, at least.
Jimmy drives and Renzo mans the turret. Riku tries to use his bomb expertise to rig up a device from the breaching charges Equinox had left, only he flubs it and the cabin fills with smoke. Renzo got lucky with the turret, and manages to injure one of the Caskuda’s legs, taking it from speed 3 to speed 2, so they’re now evenly matched.
Two Vi hacks the city’s transportation network and finds the best route to get them away. He found a drainage system that will take them below the river, and best part, their APC will fit, but the Caskuda won’t. All Jimmy needs to do is stay ahead of the Caskuda for five rounds.
As they smash their way through wrecked cars and trees, the monster is staying up with them. Unfortunately they have to drive below a bridge that has an alien patrol on it, and three of them do a rocket combat jump down onto the roof of the APC. Two make their rolls. The other lands right in front of the APC. SPLAT. Dead ape. (It was a Rodok, but our characters don’t know that yet)
Renzo spins the turret and knocks another off. It smashes into a burning car. But the last makes its acrobatics roll and hangs on.
Since Two Vi was already hacked into the city’s transpo system, he found an abandoned bus, took control of it remotely, and tried to drive it into the Caskuda. Only it super jumped and managed to dodge the bus.
Since the interior of the APC is a jostling, smoky mess, Ammar uses that opportunity to stab their prisoner in the neck. I should have accentuated to you guys earlier, Haqqislam REALLY HATE Equinox. (Equinox basically did an evil science experiment that fried the brains of a few thousand innocent colonists on their way to Bourak from Earth). Nobody catches him doing this, so in the confusion it’s chalked up to a “stray bullet”.
Riku has his improvised bomb ready, so they open the back hatch. He tosses the bomb in the street, but the Rodok on the roof uses that opportunity to stick his combi rifle in to wildly spray the passenger compartment. Jimmy gets hit in the back, but manages not to lose control (which would’ve been hilarious).
The bomb lands in the street, and the Caskuda unwittingly steps right on it. BLAM! Now its other leg is injured. It is hobbling along at speed 1, so Jimmy has a good lead as they reach the drainage tunnel.
Renzo swings the turret again, and this time the Rodok gets clipped, flies off, and smashes violently against the concrete wall of the tunnel. Renzo then lays on the HMG, shooting the Caskuda as it begins ripping into the tunnel behind them.
Only the injured Caskuda doesn’t see the hacked bus that Two-Vi has turned and brought back around. It smashes into the back of the Caskuda and explodes. They lose sight of the monster in a giant fireball as they speed down the tunnel.
They come across more refugees hiding beneath the river—and in between stealing the armor off their mysteriously dead Equinox terrorist—Two Vi vectored in some more remote vehicles to pick them up.
On the south side of Ravensbrucke, the scene is complete chaos. They come out among a giant traffic jam, swarming with tens of thousands of Paradisans trying to escape. The only real way out of the city is the Gernot Multi-Way, which is a giant elevated freeway/train tunnel, that is above of the overgrown jungle floor. But it is being thronged by people.
Less than a kilometer away the PanO military is holding, but they are getting their asses kicked by the aliens. They’re dying in large numbers, but they refuse to retreat. They’re going to hold as long as they can to let the civilians escape.
At this point our guys are basically stuck in a traffic jam. Ammar takes a call from his superior (a Major Hamdi) who is happy that the Black Box was recovered and the Magna Obra files were dumped. Everybody is too busy trying to survive an alien invasion, but this is a good thing. Since the O-12 operative has it, now they owe the Society a favor…
Except while everyone else is distracted, Deputy Inspector Cortez wanders off amongst the refugees to “take a call”… And as soon as he is out of sight, he finds a motorcycle, hacks it, gets on, and drives away…
Because this whole time we’ve had something special planned for Cortez… He isn’t what he seems. I worked this out with the player earlier, because Tony is moving to Texas, so he was only going to be in this one session, so he wanted to leave the rest of the group something special to remember him by. 😀
And nothing is quite as memorable as BETRAYAL!
Earlier, when the group was hiding in the jungle and Cortez was trying to get the others to help him raid the Magna Obra facility, he agreed to pay Renzo the bounty hunter by giving him his criminal file (so Renzo could figure out who the nemesis he’d been given at character creation was). So Renzo is manning the turret still when he gets this file from Cortez, because a deal is a deal, and he wonders… gee… That’s odd timing.
Then as Cortez drives away on his stolen motorcycle with their precious alien artifact that they just told the Hashishan society and O-12 that they’d recovered safely, he hacks into the APC’s power core and makes it overload.
Back in the APC, Jimmy and Two Vi both get warnings that everything is red lining, and they’ve got about two minutes and thirty seconds before their APC explodes while surrounded by hundreds of panicked refugees… (and I begin a countdown, obviously) Jimmy tries to shut it down, but it is already critical. Two Vi loses the face to face hacking roll (and since he has the trait paranoid, is really pissed that this was done by Cortez). Riku tries to scare people away, but there is no way the mob will clear out in time.
So Jimmy decides to go balls to the wall. He puts the hammer down, lays on the horn, and drives straight for the river, his only hope is to get their overheating power core submerged before it goes off to protect the civilians. Everybody else jumps off. Good luck, Jimmy!
As Jimmy Moto is speeding toward the river, hoping those bumps he is feeling aren’t refugees, Cortez decides to be even more of a dick, and LOCKS THE DOORS! 😀 So as Jimmy goes to open the door to bail out, and he can’t!
Two Vi spends his last Infinity point and all their remaining momentum to out hack Cortez and wins. The door lock pops up right before Jimmy goes in the river. He flops out (and this was not a pretty acrobatics roll) takes a bunch of wounds, but staggers back up and runs for his life. The APC sinks to the bottom before it detonates. And then Jimmy made a willpower roll just because COOL GUYS DO NOT LOOK AT EXPLOSIONS AS THEY WALK AWAY!
So now our PCs are on foot, in a war zone, amongst thousands of refugees, as the city’s defenses crumble to a massive alien invasion, betrayed by someone they thought was an O-12 cop, and deprived of the super important alien technology they just told two of the most dangerous entities in the galaxy they had safely in their possession. All they need to do now is figure out who Cortez really is, steal the black box back, and not get killed in the invasion. Piece of cake.
So all in all, I’d say that went splendidly.
And let’s be honest, since I GM mostly to have an excuse to paint more minis, by Sunday night I’d already kitbashed a mini for the characters. I’m going to try and get these painted before the next session.
When I found out that LibertyCon raised $1,300 for this game, my first thought was “Oh crap, I guess I can’t phone it in! I’m going to have to actually do a good job!”
If you want to know what Gritty Cop Show the Game is all about, click that link above and there’s links to the previous test games. Basically it is an RPG system I came up with in the style of TV cop shows and crime dramas. The players are running characters who are basically TV cops, and all the skills, advantages, and disadvantages are based on tropes from various movies and TV shows.
This time I stole the plot from Beverly Hills Cop 2. Yes, 1 is the better movie, but 2 had a more easily stealable plot. Like last time I changed a few names and moved it to New York again, mostly to keep the players from catching on too fast which movie they were in. (Plus, I’ve got an NYPD hat from doing a book signing there, only I forgot my hat!)
Our LIbertyCon crew was:
Maureen, playing California surfer girl Detective Charity McGowan, who had the perks Nerd Stuff, Arson Murder and Jaywalking, and the disadvantage Trouble Magnet.
Conrad, playing country boy Detective Billy Jones, who had Crime Scene Savant, Best Served Cold, and Anger Issues.
Their partnership perk was Odd Couple, in that one of them was an action cop and the other was the brains.
Angus, playing Detective Joseph Francis Xavier Dunbar, who had Brute Squad, Plausible Deniability, and was a Knuckle Dragger.
Scott D, as Kojack Colombo Koslowsky (his Dad really loved cop shows) who had Cut the Red Wire, Crime Scene Savant, and the disadvantage Doughnut Run.
Together they were Closers, meaning they got extra bonus evidence points at the end.
Jim was Lt. Cosmo Ivanov, who had Ice Water Veins, Gunslinger, and Good is Not Nice.
Scott A was Detective Steve McCandles, who had Gunslinger, Not Dirty But A Little Crooked, and Trouble Magnet.
That partnership was our Cowboy Cops.
When it came time for them to pick what kind of unit Major Crimes was, they decided to pick Cruel and Unusual Punishment, which meant they got a crap sack unit with a jerk of a boss. So I brought Captain Nails back to yell at everyone. (ONE MORE STUNT LIKE THAT AND I’LL HAVE YOUR BADGE!) We decided this must have happened before Nails’ Russian mail order bride poisoned his coffee with antifreeze.
This time I remember exactly how it went down because McGowan took five pages of notes! (reminder to self, I’ve got to mail those back to her).
We started at noon on Tuesday June 24th, when Major Crimes needed to respond to the robbery of Adrianna’s jewelry store. Our intrepid investigators started out by piecing together what had happened. And if you remember the movie, Brigette Nielsen and crew totally wrecked the place while doing a 2 minute countdown. (and to my great dismay, one of the players immediately realized which movie it was as soon as I described how they’d even shot the chandelier until it had fallen out of the ceiling, but luckily he didn’t tell the others)
So the detectives start questioning witnesses, looking for clues, and they try to decipher the coded message the robbers left there in an envelope with a big red A on it (no luck yet)
Now the thing to remember about Gritty Cop Show is that I came up with an escalating stress mechanic for it. So you want to do lots of rolls to try and find clues to get evidence points, or successfully interrogate people, but each time you roll a 1, you get a point of stress. And once you’ve got stress, whenever you do anything from then on you roll a D20, and if you roll your stress or lower, you get a complication. And that’s where stuff gets really fun. (the players have to figure out what their complication is, not the GM, which leads to everything getting all convoluted and messed up in proper TV cop style)
So the cops are started to get a little stressed. This was a high profile robbery, and Captain Nails is already screaming at them about how the mayor wants this solved ASAP.
The crew get suspicious when they find out that even though this place had millions of dollars worth of jewelry, the security was pretty lax. Plus the bad guys seemed to know the layout super well. So they decide to check out who owns the place, thinking that they might be involved, or maybe it’s an insurance scam (which makes them way sharper than the Beverly Hills PD in the movie).
A little bit of research tells them that the owner of the store is a local businessman named Maxwell Dent (and of course when they Google him, the picture is him golfing with the mayor). However when they look into him, they find out that another detective has also been checking into Dent. So they call Lt. Andrew Bogart in Robbery Homicide to find out why (I had to change Bogemill to Bogart because Bogemill was just too distinctive). Only they can’t reach him.
Then later they get a call that Lt. Bogart is in the hospital in critical condition due to a shooting.
So some of our cops rush to the hospital, the rest rush to that new crime scene. The detective in charge of that case is Lt. Bolgeo (and anybody who has been to LibertyCon will know why). Our players piece together that Bogart stopped to help someone broken down on the side of the road, got shot by a drive by, and then got shot by whoever he was trying to help. (and of course, he was found dramatically in the lawn sprinklers). They also find another letter with a B on it with another code.
Bogart has a rep as a good cop, but is a bit of a loose cannon. Some of our cops go to his house (and break in, just like the movie!). They discover that he’s been running an off the books investigation into Maxwell Dent, has an ad for a place called Club 385, and some good rolls notice that he’s got an odd red mud all over his jogging shoes that doesn’t match anything around where he lives.
Dunbar and Koslowsly decide to stake out Dent’s penthouse, but they bribe the doorman into telling them that he’s not home.
At this point McCandles, who isn’t dirty, but a little crooked, decides that the best way to break these codes is to leak them to the nerd community. He rolls a complication doing this, so even though the nerds figure it out eventually, this means that it also leaks to the press (who immediately call them the Alphabet Bandits) which causes Captain Nails to freak out, and he chews everyone’s ass.
It wouldn’t be a proper Gritty Cop show if there wasn’t a visit to a strip club, so late that night our people head over to Club 385. Of course, unlike Eddie Murphy, none of our people took Fast Talker, so they end up getting in through various ways. Charity just flirts her way through, but unfortunately for Jones, his redneck personality and anger management issues clashes with the bouncer, and we have our first fight. Jones ends up headbutting the poor sap and he walks right in.
It was funny, because later when Dunbar and Koslowsky show up, the poor bouncer has a bunch of tissues stuck up his bloody nose, and he just waves them in.
Half our team are made as cops, while the other 3 manage to actually look inconspicuous. The ones who are made get met by the manager, Chip Cain, a scuzzy little weasel of a man. (because of time, I removed the whole gun club angle, and just had the bad guys be employees of the fancy strip club). Cain denies knowing Bogart. When McCandles and Ivanov ask to see the security video to see if Bogart has been to the club, a complication means that they totally screw up the system and accidentally delete the footage.
Meanwhile, back in the club, the players note that Maxwell Dent is in the VIP lounge area (along with all the New York Yankees and other various sportsball players and rappers). So they try to discretely keep an eye on him. Unfortunately some of our guys are not subtle. As in, our cowboy cops manage to both complications, and they decided that meant they really screwed up. So one of them accidentally bumped into a waitress, who dropped and shattered the bottle of Pappy Van Winkle that she was bringing to Nick Searcy’s table (yes, he was in town filming a movie, I don’t know why, but that’s the only guy I know who drinks Pappy Van Winkle so it’s what I thought of at the time).
Knocking out a bouncer is one thing, but breaking a movie star’s bottle of Pappy was too much, and three of our cops got thrown out of the club.
However, the other three were able to stay discreet (McGowan by drinking half a dozen jello shots), and they’re able to see Dent have a meeting with a tall blonde woman who matches the description of one of the robbers. Koslowsky tails her outside, gets the license plate off her red BMW convertible, and they get an ID for Karla Fry.
I also made Karla Fry ex-Army with a dishonorable discharge, and she’s now a fitness model and MMA fighter. Why? Because I really wanted Red Sonya to kick the crap out of one of these guys at the finale. (and she would!)
Dunbar and Koslowsky decide to tail Dent back to his place, and stake it out. So I switched it up from the movie version, and this time the attempted murder/drive by happens to them while they are parked there. So at like 3:00 AM these two guys unmarked gets shot like a zillion times. Neither of them gets hit, but the engine is shot to hell and the bad guys are getting away.
So in Gritty Cop Show style, Dunbar asks to commander a vehicle. So I say the only thing available is a city garbage truck. 😀 So then we had a car chase with a garbage truck chasing down the drive by shooters. Dunbar hangs out the window and shoots the passenger dead and wounds the driver. At this point they’re smashing into parked cars knocking over parking meters. Then Koslowsky gets a good driving roll, and wants to know if he can use the lifter on the front of the garbage truck to flip the bad guys’ car. HELL YEAH! GRITTY COP SHOW!
So the bad guys car gets flipped into the river. McGowan and Jones have caught up now, so they dive into the river and dramatically swim after the sinking car. They get out the driver, but a failed first aid roll on dry land and he dies.
That morning, Captain Nails is super pissed. They’ve got dead perps, an angry rich businessman wanting to know why cops are punching out his employees and smashing movie star’s fancy booze, thousands of dollars in property damage, and a wrecked squad car. (in a salute to the original source material, Dunbar and Koslowsky’s replacement car is a shitty sky blue Chevy Nova)
But McCandles leaking the codes to the internet has paid off, and someone has figured out that there is some GPS data in there, and that address is the City Deposit Bank. That’s a C! Our guys roll!
Now this next scene was nuts. Our guys try to force their way into the City Depository, but Jimmy the minimum wage gate guard is having none of that! And since he’s talking to McGowan and Jones, who are still covered in blood and smell like the East River, he thinks they are crazy people and sounds the silent alarm—which cuts short the robbers plans, forcing them to flee! So next thing they know an armored car bursts through the front gate.
Another car chase ensues! One car gets clipped. The Chevy Nova crashes into a taco truck! The armored car is just smashing into quite literally everything. Fire hydrants get knocked over and spray (sure, they don’t do that in real life, but GRITTY COP SHOW!)
Some good team work and tire shooting moments later, the armored car spins out of control, flips, and slides on its side through the front wall of a convenience store (the clerk ran for his life). Our guys drive up, lights and sirens, and they jump out FREEZE SCUMBAGS! I rolled for each of the bad guy’s stress, and two of them immediately threw their hands up and surrendered. However, the other two were all YOU’LL NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE PIGS and got it on! Gun fight ensues!
Now this next part is hilarious. Some of our cops are extremely good shooters, and they’re just dropping bad guys… Except Billy rolls a complication. So the driver, who is getting out with his hands up, yelling “I surrender!” gets shot right in the forehead. The other surrendering guy is crawling away as his buddies are getting plugged and spraying the neighborhood. And in the next round, three or four of our cops roll complications AT THE SAME TIME. That’s too glorious to miss, so the gas tank of the armored car gets hit (and bullets totally make gas tanks explode on TV). MASSIVE FIREBALL!
The 7-11 explodes. All the bad guys are blown up. Then burning money rains down from the sky.
Back at the bank, Nails is apoplectic. THE MAYOR HAS HIS ASS! HE WILL HAVE YOURS! (and because of the massive destruction, I had to move up Chip Cain getting offed as a patsy bit up to the bank robbery instead of the race track) so Chip Cain was found shot by a security guard, and of course the C letter is super easily solved, like ha ha, you’ll never figure out my brilliant scheme, hugs and kisses, Chip.
Of course, our guys are too smart (and now about half of them have figured out which movie plot this is) so they know that Maxwell Dent has set Chip up as the fall guy, and he’s going to flee with all the stolen money and then get the insurance money too. So while Nails is telling the press that the Alphabet Bandits have been stopped, our cops are going off the reservation.
Our guys break into Karla’s apartment, but she’s not there, and it looks like she’s leaving town. On her computer they find she’s going to Costa Rica. Also they discover that she’s got a bunch of betting receipts from Doniger Fields race track recently, like she’s been casing the place. IT STARTS WITH A D!
Ivanov has a couple points in Command (that’s why he’s the Lt.) and part of that is you get a couple of low stat beat cops to serve as your lackeys. The GCS random character generator gave him two female uniforms (Storm and Zealot) but Officer Zealot actually wound up with a 2 in Research which is pretty good. So she calls Ivanov to tell him that she’s been looking into Dent, and that his finances aren’t doing well, but his insurance is paid up on a few of his businesses, including the jewelry store and a race track.
And it just so happens that there is a big race today at the track! And I couldn’t remember what the race track was actually named in the movie, so I called it Doniger because I’ve been watching season 1 of the Expanse.
Our guys rush to the race track and enter, playing it cool and quiet. Most of them make their Undercover or Infiltration rolls and get in without being spotted, but Lt. Cosmo doesn’t, so Karla Fry spots him. She gets the drop on him and sticks a gun in his back, and tells him to keep walking. Charity is the only cop who sees this, and she breaks off to follow them.
Most of the cops rush to the money room, to find that it’s already been robbed, and the employees have been gagged and tied up. Then they realize that they are missing two of them, and rush back out.
Cosmo is in a bad spot. Crazy Karla has a gun in his spine and they are headed down the stairs to the parking lot. Charity tries to sneak up and hit Karla, but Karla spots her reflection in the window and hits Charity first. Cosmo goes for his gun, but Karla kicked him in the chest and he falls down the stairs (and I made them long stairs!)
Karla and Charity go hand to hand, but Karla is basically Rhonda Rousey and Charity’s perk is Nerd Stuff. 😀 Gun fire is exchanged and this causes everyone at the race track to panic stampede. But then Cosmo hits the bottom of the stairs, and shoots Karla. She’s wounded, and runs, vaulting over the turnstiles dramatically. But then the other cops have run out, and Koslowsky shoots her in the back. Karla goes down!
Billy manages to save her with first aid, and they question Karla in the parking lot. Allow me to quote from Maureen’s notes here… “Interrogation (slight brutality involved)” 😀
Karla tells the crew that Dent is at his stables (and of course, there is the red mud from the jogging shoes).
A note here, at the beginning of this game I had to explain that in Gritty Cop Show certain things like law, physics, and geography don’t follow reality, they follow TV reality. So yes, there are horse pastures and oil derricks in front of a dramatic sundown right outside of a New York City race track. Run with it.
For our final scene, our cops roll up hot. There are a pile of bad guys there and a massive gun fight ensues.
There were only two complications this time… Things ended rather abruptly and unfortunately for a very expensive race horse.
Maxwell Dent fled into a nearby building, so Cosmo and McCandles gave chase.
One bad guy in particular (my random name generator said his name was Ray Murphy) was a BAD ASS, and this dude had hot dice. In Gritty Cop Show gunfights are fast and super lethal. So you both roll your gun dice, and then compare the two, the winner is whoever is higher, and the damage is the difference between the two. Plus I’d given him a shotgun so he was rolling three dice.
But on the bright side, if your cop has specified that they are wearing armor, when you get hit by a pistol or shotgun, you roll a d6, and evens mean you get hit in the vest, odds you get hit in the body and you’re taking all that damage.
Luckily for the THREE cops he beat, all of them got hit in the vest. Right before Ray Murphy could finish off Charity, he got his head blown off. But with hot dice like that, you totally know there’s more Murphy Brothers out there, and now they want revenge. Because Gritty Cop Show.
Back in the nearby building that Dent fled into (apparently it was a pigeon, chain, and slowly turning fan factory), Cosmo and McCandles squared off with the boss. He gets the jump on them, but Cosmo shoves his partner off to the side just as Dent fires but then the two Cobwoy Cops used their partnership perk to shoot him like twenty times. Riddled with bullets, Jurgen Prochow fell into a big industrial fan. SPLAT.
The loot is found. Most of the bad guys are dead.
However, remember in GCS, you get evidence points for all the clues you pick up along the way, and the goal is to put any of the remaining bad guys in jail. So they tallied up all their evidence points (and got a bonus because Dunbar and Koslowsky are Closers) then rolled a D12 (representing the jury) and added the two. It’s a slam dunk. Karla Fry goes to prison for robbery and shooting Lt. Bogart.
Then our brave cops went to Ox Knuckles for a drink.
This was a fun game. Everybody had a good time. We were in the regular con game room, so we had people coming up and listening in all night, but that still worked out really well.
People have been asking me about it, and yes, I do plan on kickstarting Gritty Cop Show once we get all the bugs worked out.
Don’t nominate me for anything though. Share the love. I’ve already got mine. Go nominate some other people. 🙂
The Dragon Awards are open to everybody, It doesn’t cost anything to participate. DragonCon wants as many fans as possible involved.
Also, if you are an author, don’t be afraid to promote yourself for the Dragon. They encourage authors spreading the word and getting their fans excited. There’s none of that fake civility nonsense where only some approved writers are allowed to flog their work, and everyone else is expected to sit quietly for their turn. That’s nonsense. If you are proud of your stuff, and you’ve got fans, tell them!