(Jim), Chaucer (Joe), Illiam (Alan), Neverest (Paul), Squatch (Darren)
were charged with traveling to Bardercenterville to pick up a replacement piece of the filtration system for our water. We were given a bunch of trade goods (of which Apples seemed to be the most popular trade good) and a list of things we might want to get while out, plus a cart and a Rakox to pull it.
trip there is not bad. The only thing that comes at us is a flying eyeball (“Obb”) which we bother enough that it eventually flies away. Camping goes okay; nothing attacks us. A Bar-Lep (venus-flytrap lilypad) tried to lure us into it’s corrosive embrace. We searched a ruin which had some bigass rats, which were promptly fried by fire-breathing Illiam. Next day we hit town and find out the protocols. From there we get into the inner trade area called Tradeton. By now we are becoming aware that people are spying on us. How? Because people seem to know what we’re looking for or know the town we come from without us telling them. Naturally this makes us paranoid.
we hit on are a few different potential ways of getting what we want. The one that sounds the most reasonable to us involves us acting as protection for a dignitary of the city as he travels south to an encampment where apparently he wants to negotiate with them about something they took during a raid earlier.
only troublesome thing we come across on the journey is an machine. It resembles a food truck we had encountered in a town, but this one is (spoiler) an military personnel carrier with an A.I. Piloting it. It rolls up and says to state new operating parameters. Being simple folk we just shrug and look at each other. It singles out Digger who doesn’t know what to tell it. Squatch says, noticing the big open bed, maybe it can give us a ride? It does. We get a ride straight to the encampment and it lets us out. There are scary, potentially deadly, flying machines around. We go into he building and meet with the other guys.
have more numbers (We are the 5 of us, one city official, and two guards; They have 8 guards and 4 officials and a chief). Our guy and their guy get into an argument. Things start to calm down when Illiam asks that they calm down, but then out of nowhere, our official whips out a pistol using quickdraw and blasts the head of their guy clean off, just vaporizing his noggin. As everyone stands there stunned, he raises the gun and takes his own skull. Seems he’d had a daughter that was killed by their raiders not long ago. He convinced the town to send him there on a mission of recovery only this was his real objective (as shown by the fact that the only thing in his bag was a chest with a suicide note in it).
try not to start anything, but half of their guys move in for attack. Squatch goes non-lethal. Illiam can’t set them ablaze because it’s all to integrated with us. We beat up enough guys that they stop and we agree to part ways with them, no foul. When asked why they don’t just try to get along with the city they reply, “It’s what we do.”
bring back that gun and get a ride back to the city. We exchanged the gun for the part we need, trade a bunch of other crap, pick up some things like a medikit and some other medical supplies, and a solar cell recharger. We had one more fight with a free-range appliance. Once defeated we get a blaster rifle off of it. We’ve got one piece of legit nasty tech.
a few fights, lots of negotiating, some searching of ruins, and all-in-all a pretty good balance.
(Paul), Illiam (Alan), Digger (Jim), Squatch (Darren)
Our mission, as sent out in the previous email from Jeff, was to travel to PROOF, a distant town that was populated by people who had once been from our town and which recently stopped sending replies.
We manage to avoid another man-eating lilly pad. We stop off at the town we'd visited last game, to pay our apple debt. We did a small amount of trading. We consider hiring people to come with us as hirelings, but ultimately decide against it due to cost.
Some of the things we encounter on the road include...
A creature "swimming" beneath the ground, tremors-style, that we manage to stay still long enough to avoid.
A tribe of fungal people who were friendly.
A bear creature that we defeated. It gave off radiation that caused Illiam to lose a couple CON and gave Squatch another mutation (toughening his hide).
Nine tiny flying humanoids with spears and force fields attack us! This one really sucked. Everything we did bounced off of them for quite a while before a forecefield finally fell, showing us they were ablative. Illiam and Squatch both went down during the fight but were brought back up by Neverest. The Rakoxen (Ray Cox) took down a few which helped quite a bit, but succumbed to his own injuries. Neverest kept dropping smoke bombs into the fray to cause some interference.
We have the opportunity to make contact with some of the people who were at last game's Mexican-standoff-turned-murder-suicide and we do, hoping to do some trade. We succeed to some degree, in that nobody kills anybody else. Instead we broker a deal for a new pack animal and make our way on further.
We do some scavenging. We end up in an office building, doing a floor-by-floor search. We find the deceased former residents (who bottled up the 2nd floor stairwell with stuff), and not far from them is a blob of something that comes right at us! Turns out it's a glob of nano machines that perform repairs on things. They start by repairing the wall hole they came through and then wash over Illiam, incorporating a stapler into his arm, a video phone into his chest, and a desk drawer into his leg! While we like the improvements, he does not. The rest of us avoid it and retreat. Illiam figures it already messed him up so that will give him time to look around and he finds a few things.
On another floor we get attacked by an acid-spitting beetle. We finally collect a bunch of stuff and go back to the ground level where our cart and mutant Donkey are and not long after that a group of mutants show up and try to rifle through our cart. There's a brief standoff where we out-intimidate them and Illiam claims ownership of the building but they insist that we can only claim the building by discussing it with a local and paying him a tithe. We consider that we don't really need the building, have time constraints, and if we want the nanomachine upstairs we'll have to pretend right now like there's nothing up there and just go.
Having moved on, ultimately we wind up at the enclave of another cryptic society... this one is a group of friendly, like-minded mutant animals who band together for protection. They seem particularly interested in Squatch and feel he would be a great member. Squatch is confused as to what his would mean, but near as he can tell he would just need to promote their ideals, befriend other mutant animal groups and help unify them. While they single squatch out because he's not human, he makes the same offer to everyone. Meanwhile he's kind enough to identify a few things for us. Membership doesn't have to be decided right now.
We continue our trek, coming across more ruins, where we do some searching and some combat... with a nightmare of a rabbit. This guy is as big as a pack animal and insists on trying to eat us, so we crush it and take its lucky rabbits feet.
(Joe), Illiam (Alan), Neverest (Paul), Squatch (Darren) and... Marks' character, whose name I don't think I heard.
This shouldn't take too long. We spent a lot of time strategizing and problem solving (I say "we" but Squatch's limited talents really didn't contribute to this part at all).
We continue our journey to our lost tribe who have been cut off. We stop off to do some scavenging in a ruins and end up going 5-on-5 with a group of other scavengers who don't want to talk. While we take a few shotgun blasts, overall we acquit ourselves pretty well, putting them down and taking their shotguns.
What we find ourselves in the midst of is a war. It seems that two warring factions (Mutant Humans and Mutant animals) have seemingly knocked over our lost village and chased many away into the structure right in the middle between the two sets of troops. Speaking to both sides we get conflicting stories about what might have happened to the rest of our people, each pointing at the other. Mark's telepathic character comes in handy during questioning in that he sees some of our people flee into the building.
It takes us a while to follow up on a few ideas, like trying to set the two sides to kill one another, and to send our only sneaky character, Chaucer, to search the ruins of the village (where he finds a clue), and our flyer, Neverest, to get up close to the building to look around at it the entrance.
These two things add together: The item found as a King James Bible with a code in it and a card as a bookmark, while the door is opened using a key card.
We manage to sneak toward the building and get halfway there before both sides notice and try to converge. We run there and get in.
On the inside it's relatively clean, modern, and air conditioned. However, we are beset by robots! One with a gun and another spitting fire! The chemical fire can only put out once it hits you by rolling on the ground and patting yourself out. The gun-bot gets pummeled and the flame-bot is shot until it explodes!
We search the rest of the first floor (skipping over individual living quarters because the doors are a pain to force and the first one hadn't been occupied in a long time, so we'll double back later). We have two more encounters. This next one is with another flame-bot and a different shooting-bot who can also use sound to induce nausea. Gun-bot gets pummeled again, while flame bot is trashed just enough to make it stop working; we might be able to salvage something later.
The other encounter, the last of the night, is when we find the med bay and the medical robot asks us a question we don't understand and decides to attack us as a result. That's bad programming! Imagine if you went to your doctor and he said, "How long have you had this,", you couldn't answer, so he took out a scalpel and tried to kill you! Anyway, med-bot does some nasty, nasty damage with his laser. Our healer keeps us afloat just barely (Squatch got knocked to zero and kept fighting before a heal, and Neverest got to negative but his class ability let me keep fighting.)
In the med bay is a woman in a sarcophagus-like apparatus.
Neverest (Paul), Digger (Jim), Chaucer (Joe), Illiam (Alan), Squatch (Darren)
We pick up inside the building we had reached last game. Outside are two warring factions of creatures. Inside are killer robots trying to take us out and sanitize the place.
We do some more clearing of the base, including multiple armed dust-bots. We encounter some Badders (mutant badgers) who had taken over an area of the base via a tunnel they'd created. We managed to negotiate a broken motorcycle away from them.
Later we find a control room but it is occupied by a robot which proceeds to kick our asses! Well, we barely survive as the last man standing managed to heal another back to consciousness and together they do the last points. Everyone lives.
The base is run by an A.I. who can tell us a few things about how the base was run, and that the lady asleep in the medical unit was put there because she survived the incursion by our ancestors into the base but had an injured spinal column. So Neverest, whose nano-particles can mend such things, goes down the med unit and knits her spine together, making us a new friend. Her name is May and she's the daughter of the Chieftain of our "lost" tribe, and as can be attested to by the A.I. she is the last survivor.
We put together a plan to leave the base despite being surrounded by what they used to call in first edition "Cryptic Alliances" (In this case the Iron Society which are the mutant humans, and the other guys who are the mutant animals). We try to negotiate with the Badders but they don't want to. So we have a skirmish with them which drives them further into their tunnels, use the mechanics bay and the aid of a repair bot to fix a damaged Van. We then try to drive out of the base and away. The bad guys take a few potshots but ultimately get left behind.
Back home we bring the stuff in (after seeking permission to bring it into the town).