Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Ministry of Blades : The Madness of Angels, episode 3

Dr Pleasant shows his power; Prentiss is nearly brought down by a garden implement.

Played

13th January 2011.

Dramatis Personae

Lady Antonia deVore - a Heavily-armed Aristocrat *.
Captain Benson Curruthers - a Military Policeman.
Doctor Zephaniah Pleasant - a Sinister Surgeon.
Miss April Sharpe - a Self-taught Inventor.
Jack Prentiss - a Dodgy Pedestrian.
Rodney Marsh - a Partially-reformed Thief *.
Lewis - an Unsuccessful Burglar.
The Corpse of Martin Geffey.
A Young Constable.
Two Athletic Bobbies.

Plot

Prentiss was running as soon as his feet hit the path, chasing after the burglar he had seen dropping past the study window. Unfortunately, it was dark in the yard and an unseen rake nearly knocked him out. The thief took the opportunity to try and climb over the back wall, but his initial leap fell short, squandering his advantage.

Curruthers, having ascertained that the thief was being chased, headed for the front door, intending to cut the villain off at the end of the alley. Dr Pleasant and Miss Sharpe followed, leaving Lady Antonia to keep an eye on the study. That they might not pick the right end of the alley did not occur to them.

Hitting the ground on the far side of the wall, Prentiss doggedly renewed his pursuit, catching the burglar in a bear hug after he skidded in a puddle. Curruthers and his team appeared at the nearest end of the alley, having made the right decision, just as the thief broke loose, sprinting in the other direction. Pleasant reacted immediately, calling on Malphas, the Tower Builder, to intervene: a burst of blue light and an accompanying thunderclap nearly stunned the villain, but he shook it off and ran on. Curruthers calmly put a bullet in his shoulder, slowing him down enough for Prentiss to catch him again.

The team assembled and examined their captive: a shabby looking little man with oddly rodent-like features. They found themselves reminded of Marsh, although this was definitely not him. Attempting to get some information out of him, Curruthers attempted to persuade them that things would go better if he talked. All the while, Prentiss loomed over them in an intimidating manner, although this was compromised somewhat as Dr Pleasant attended to his developing black eye, muttering about tasks that were “beneath him”. Eventually, offered a deal, the criminal, Lewis, admitted to being hired by a mysterious figure. He had broken into the house to steal several specific objects and had been permitted to take anything else he wanted in order to muddy the picture.

He produced a bag from under his coat and revealed a number of odd objects: two sets of elaborate black robes, an elaborate chain of office (although not for any recognisable organisation), a private journal. He also had jewellery and other items of value. He was supposed to locate a small silver key, but had been unable to find it.

Extracting the location of the pub where Lewis had met his patron and where he was due to hand over the loot, the team headed back towards the West End. As they passed the Cathedral, they were accosted by a constable, who informed them that they’d found the body of Martin Geffey. Pleasant and April went with him while the others took Lewis on to the Ministry. The body lay in an alley near St Paul’s, at the end of an increasingly wild set of tracks, as though he had stumbled the final steps. Like the good Dean, it bore an expression of terror. Pleasant rapidly came to the conclusion he had died of a seizure, probably brought on by fear. Miss Sharpe used her Detecteronatron, to hunt for spirits, but was unsuccessful.

As the pair returned to the Ministry, they caught a glimpse of Marsh. As they attempted to hail him, they heard whistles and the pounding of heavy boots. Looking wildly around him, Marsh fled into the fog!

Notes

This was the first time I had attempted to use the chase system, widely touted as one of Savage Worlds’ more useful features. It was a little confusing at first, as the whole thing is written in terms of car chases, even though it was explicitly for foot chases as well. I found myself having to decide exactly what “Seriously Out of Control” meant for a pedestrian (stumbling) and exactly how climbing a wall might affect proceedings. I’m still not sure the system reflected Prentiss’ superior pace well enough or the effect of attacking while running, but it’s another system that will benefit from practice. Next time, there will definitely be more obstacles!

Had Marsh been present, he would have recognised Lewis as a former associate and probably have gotten more information out of him. As it was, it was largely irrelevant.

(* - player not present.)

1 comment:

  1. The chase rules work quite well, but they're one place -- the wound and damage rules are another -- where the system could do with better organisation and explanation.

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