Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rifts Redux - Part II


So in Part I the helicopter the protagonists were in was forced to land due to D-Bee's attacking.

The helicopter has landed in an expansive, flat plain with grass reaching up to five feet high. It's been a dry winter up till now, and nothing has come by to tram down the grass. A small area surround the helicopter has been flattened by the force of the blades and civilians wanting to put distance between themselves and the carnage inside.

Veras, Carter, and Maxwell take in their surroundings. Carter, in his SAMAS suit flies up 50 feet to get a better vantage point of the land. He begins using his infrared and night vision bionic eye to check for any life forms or movement in the immediate area. Maxwell has his coalition armor on, and has his rifle shouldered, but remains alert.

Carter sees something in the distance, but can't make it out right away. He switches from infrared to night vision, and then seems something poking up out of the grass, about a quarter of a mile away. He zooms in, and sees a grotesque sight. Paralyzed with horror, he continues to hover, transfixed. What he sees is a group of about 10 humanoid sized creatures, with stubby hand appendages, loping along slowly but determinedly for the helicopter.

The creatures have the appearance of an armadillo walking upright, moving much faster than their size and girth would suggest. Carter takes aim with his pulse rifle and fires a few shots, while communiting with the crew on the helicopter by radio to get prepared to leave. After running out of energy in the pulse rifle, he switches to the rail gun which is permanently attached to the SAMAS.

"What is it? How many of them?" asks Maxwell on the radio.

"Hell if I know! Some armadillo skunk ape for all I know! I got one, but there's at least ten more."

"Can you see them on infrared?"

Carter switches to infrared. Click. "No." He switches back to nightvision. Click. Maxwell raises his rifle and prepares to take shots as soon as they clear the grass line. Veras, trying to get to higher ground, runs over to the helicopter and begins climbing a ladder to the top.

Carter shouts over his loudspeaker built into the SAMAS, "Get to the chopper!" He then gets on the radio. "There's too many. I don't think they can fly. Get up to 30 feet or so, and then gun 'em. Maxwell and Veras get on board, and shortly afterwards, Carter lands and runs in as well.

Just after the helicopter takes off a few feet, everyone looking north can see the creatures in the plain below. The creatures stop, apparently stymied, as several members of the crew and passengers as well slump down, looking pale and weakened. Veras looks weak as well, and has to grab onto the doorway handles to keep her balance.


We stopped there for the night. I asked what people thought about it so far. They said it was going well, and were getting acquainted or reaquainted with the combat and skill system of RIFTS. We'll probably play again after the new year, unless we play New Year's Eve.

On Christmas Day, we often play board games, so I expect to play Apples to Apples, Ticket to Ride, Cribbage, and Dominoes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rifts Redux - Part I

Okay, we finally got around to playing! Real life seemed to get in the way, but after planning to run a game for three months, we finally got around to it.

My wife who normally games with us has had some difficulties, since our toddler seems to stay up later and she doesn't have much time. So, she isn't playing in this game which has me a little saddened, but life goes on.

So, I had a few ideas when we got started, and I had a wrong assumption, which made me have to reevaluate things. But first, and overview of the characters:

Maxwell is a CS Scout, which is essentially a Coalition version of the wilderness scout. Considering that this is the first time we've actually planned a campaign instead of a one shot, it's not fair to say he always plays Coalition, but I'll say it anyways. In a way, the game and setting kind of assumes Coalition involvement. So, it's okay.

Carter is a headhunter, which is essentially a mercenary. One of the things we found interesting after we started was that he starts with several e-clips, which is a great advantage in-game. He has some additional equipment which I’ll get into later.

Veras, aka Striker, is a city rat. This is where we get in an assumption on my part. I could have sworn she was a hacker, because she was talking about hackers starting with a laptop and desktop computer. However, she was only talking about what hackers start with, not that she was a hacker. Anyways, she’s more a thief/thug type.
So, we started with the three protagonists on their way to Saint Didacus. I decided in my world that North Americans had a great animosity towards Mexico and foreign countries. The only languages they tend to use are English and Latin. Therefore, more cities and landmarks have been translated into English or Latin. Therefore, San Diego, translates into the original Latin as Saint Didacus from Chi-town.

Maxwell is on a mission to locate General Anthony Gerald who is performing covert operations and has been out of radio communication for almost a week. It’s suspected that he has been attacked. Maxwell is supposed to provide support for General Gerald is required. Maxwell is to do this mission covertly and is to use an alias and was given about half a years wages in black market credits to establish a false persona.

Carter has heard that there are lucrative mercenary opportunities in the area. His mercenary company has loaned him a SAMAS suit and told him to go look for them. They have gotten him passage on a civilian transport to the area as an additional guard. Reduced travel fee and if they see combat he’ll get free travel and a hazard bonus.

Veras was recruited by an unknown agent for an infiltration and sabotage mission in the Saint Didacus area, and she has booked transport as well.

On the transport, which is a modified Westland Merlin HM 1 MK IV helicopter, are a variety of people including the PCs. Most are successful businessmen, who probably work either directly or indirectly with the Black Market. It’s been changed into a civilian transport with ample room. Only a few people are obviously armed.

One oddity is that there are several cats, perhaps a dozen on board, which seem to all belong to a tall, slender women sitting cross-legged in the corner of the main cabin.

Veras, the only one not being on active, or inactive, guard duty decided to watch the cats. As she was watching, one of the cats moved into a darker corner, and seemed to disappear. Looking closely, however, she could see a rough outline of where it was. As she watched, it changed shape from a small house cat to a larger cat, about the size of an ocelot. Then it prowled forward to a sleeping man, and leapt at his neck.

Before anyone could react, it had bitten into his neck and clawed at his chest. Just after that, one of the other cats suddenly changed into a 5’ tall, winged creature with a large prehensile tail and hideous face ran at another man and used it’s claws in a backhand manner to slice his chest open.

Maxwell and Carter opened fire on the larger creature, while trying to keep their eyes on the other creature. It seemed to relish the screams and terror of the man it had attacked, and was beginning to bite his face.

A few well placed shots by Carter with his pulse rifle took down the gargoyle type creature, and then the ocelot creature changed into a similar gargoyle type form. It began attacking Maxwell, who parried the blows with his gun. Veras made a few shots, but the pulse rifle seemed to have the best effect.

During the fight, the pilot began emergency landing procedures, as the firefight inside the helicopter could have caused a severe problem while in flight. Before landing however, the other creature had been killed.

Carter then points his gun at the cat lady and says, “How many more of them are there?”
She is obviously terrified, and is holding one of the cats to her chest and sobbing. “I don’t know what your talking about! How would I know!”

Veras began examining one, and declared it to be an Infiltrator, a creature common to the chi-town burbs. They take on the form of a common household animal, and then attack, trying to cause as much terror as possible, and that is what they feed on. Usually, it’s a suicide attempt because they can’t keep their urges under control long enough to attack and get away unscathed. However, they still cause several problems as they are quite prolific. “How many cats did you bring with you?”

“Eight…Fluffy? Mr. Wiskers?” As she begins calling out names, meows are heard from across the cabin, and cats begin to approach her and surround her.
By this time, the helicopter has landed, and the crew is checking for damage on both the interior and exterior.

Part II to follow!