Out! Out Brief Candle!
Here it is, officially, a new millennium. We're all still here. The world was not destroyed by any wrath of god(s) and somehow we've managed, so far, to avoid blowing ourselves up (miracles DO happen).
However I am very sorry to report that, despite the ongoing efforts of C.L.U.E., Cluelessness has continued to thrive. They're lurking out there… Driving to work, walking to class, shopping at the mall… they can be found anywhere, at any time. The Clueless have infested every level of society, from drunkards beating themselves to death with frozen turnips (yes, that DID happen) to the US Presidential election (a prime example of mass Cluelessness, in my humble opinion).
Sigh. Oh, well. It keeps me busy ;)
Now - on to business.
There is a quote that I think particularly appropriate for this File: "… a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard from no more. It is a tale (of) an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
See for yourself.
* * * * *
We had decided to play Shadowrun one night and so constructed some quickie characters: a Sammie and a Sniper/Hitman. The third player arrived late and was still putting together his character while the GM set up the evening's job.
The run was a tricky one - a rogue Fuchi Spec-Ops team had broken into a board meeting and was holding a large number of stockholders, execs and family members hostage in the boardroom. They were demanding 50 million nuyen in payment and a helicopter to take them out of Seattle.
The Corp decided that hiring a shadowrun team to free the hostages for one million was much more wallet-friendly. However, since the hostage takers were their own people, Fuchi wanted the whole incident kept quiet.
At this point, the third player finished his character and the other players asked him what he was. The new character introduces himself as "Death" and said he was a death mage, complete with white face paint, scythe, black robes, skeletal figure, anti-charisma and annoying laugh. The Sammie player suggested that the character be converted to a shaman because of the identification with death, but the player shook his head vehemently, countering that "Death shamans have minuses and mages get to call fire elementals." He followed this comment with Incessant High Pitched Giggling (from now on referred to as IHPG).
Stunned speechless by that logic, the players and game continued. They managed to bargain the corpers up and used some of the extra money to hire a freelance rigger with a chopper.
The plan: Have the rigger drop the Sniper on the building across the street and then drop the Sammie on the actual building housing the hostages. The Sniper would take his shot and drop the Spec-Op team leader (a troll) through the glass window of the boardroom. The Death Mage would make his way into the building while the Sammie rappelled down a rope to the boardroom window. Once the sniper had killed the leader the other two PCs would simultaneously enter the room and waste the terrorists while the Sniper provided any assistance necessary.
How this can be classified as 'keeping things quiet' is beyond me…
Regardless, the runners are placed as planned. The Mage was waiting with some lightly armed security personnel outside the boardroom, ready to break in when called. As the two other team members were setting up (the sniper on top of the other building taking aim and the Sammie rappelling down the building) the Mage got bored.
GM: All right, you've got the troll in your sights and you've his head right in the crosshairs. You-
Mage: I'm bored. I'm going to walk around. (the three others turn to stare at the mage player)
GM: (pause) Okay… where are you going?
GM: Okay, you go out on the street.
Mage: Do I see anybody?
GM: Yeah, there are a lot of people walking around. Closest to you is a middle-aged man in a corp uniform with glasses and a briefcase.
Mage: I walk up to him and tap him on the shoulder.
GM: Sure. He turns around, sees you and turns pale.
Mage: COOL! (IHPG) I say to him "I am Death, I will take you!" (IHPG)
The other two players hang their heads.
GM: Okay, he goes even paler and passes out.
Mage: COOLER! I pull out my scythe and begin laughing, pointing to others and saying "I will take you ALL!" (IHPG)
While the Mage is getting his jollies (and attracting a crowd outside the building) the Sammie hooks himself to the side of the building, pulls out a charge of C4, and attached it to the side of the building in order to blow in the boardroom window.
Sammie: Okay, I set the timer for fifteen seconds.
GM: Sure. The numbers read fifteen and begin to count down.
Sniper: What?? Do I still have the radio? Can I talk to him?
Sniper: "What do you think you're doing?"
Sammie: "Setting a charge, what does it look like?"
Sniper: "This is a hush job, remember?!"
Sammie: "Oh, yeah. I forgot. Ooops." (pause) Ummmm, I grab the explosive and throw it off the building.
Mage (in the background) "I am DEATH!" (IHPG)
Sniper: What?? Why don't you deactivate it-
GM: Too late. You grab the explosive and chuck it away from the building. A few seconds later there is a gigantic explosion beneath you."
At this the terrorists in the boardroom panic and shoot a hostage. The sniper takes his shot and blows the troll's head off. The Mage then realizes he was supposed to be doing something and runs back up into the building.
GM: You notice the helicopter is flying away.
Sammie/Sniper: (together) What?!
Mage: "I am DEATH! (IHPG)
GM: You hear over the radio "This is drek! I'm not being paid enough to have Fuchi pissed off at me."
Sammie: I'm leaving. (rolls his athletics)
GM: (winces at the number of ones) The pin you set to hold you on the side of the building is stuck.
Sammie: Crap. Umm… I take out my Ingram smartgun and go full auto on the window, then I'll break through.
GM: (noting the fact that the Sammie's gun has neither sound nor flash suppression). Okay.
After the noise fest, the Sammie breaks clean through the window, with the sniper effectively covering his entrance.
Sniper: I'm shooting the terrorists.
Sammie: I open fire on the terrorists with my Ingram.
Mage: I am DEATH! (IHPG)
GM: (dice rolling) You plug one of them. He's down. The Sammie kills his target. There are three more left. One is holding a hostage.
Mage: "I am DEATH! (IHPG)
Sammie: I'll go full auto on the guys that don't have hostages.
Mage: "I am DEATH! (IHPG)
Sniper: I'll go for the guy with the hostage.
GM: (rolling) You disable one of your targets, the other is dead. The guy with the hostage gets one between the eyes.
Sniper: Okay, I keep scanning the room for any more bad guys.
Sammie: I shoot the guy again to make sure he's dead then I begin to comfort the civilians.
Mage: "I am DEATH! (IHPG, except the giggling is much louder and extended this time)
Sammie: What else is happening?
GM: Well, there's a huge crater at the base of the building. A crowd has gathered because of that and the death mage, and your helicopter is long gone.
Mage: "I am DEATH! (IHPG)
Sammie: (grabs at head). Ah, Crap! This run is screwed! Fuchi's not going to let us live! (looks up with an evil twinkle in his eye). The terrorists did this!
The Sammie laughs maniacally and proceeds to shoot every civilian in the room except for one, which he reasons would be valuable for reward purposes. Then he declares quite lucidly, "No Witnesses." He shoots the last remaining hostage in the head. He is about to go for the death mage (after the mage has said his favourite line for the fortieth time) but the sniper takes him out.
Sniper: Crap. Oh well, I pack up my gun and walk out.
GM: OK, as you go to leave you finally notice the same surveillance camera that is on every single other downtown building.
Sniper: Well, I'm not doing anything suspicious.
GM: You see two figures peek out of the maintenance door. They say "Freeze! Lonestar!"
Sniper: Oh, drek.
The sniper was found in possession of a highly illegal rifle and cyberware enhancements. He is incarcerated and, being SINless, promptly disappears into the organ donation bank. The Sammie's body is taken apart for his 'ware.
The kicker on this whole screw-up was that the Death Mage was the only survivor, as his only response to the Fuchi interrogators was "I am DEATH! (IHPG). They determined he was no threat.
* * * * *
While reading this, did anyone else have Monty Python's The Meaning of Life come to mind, specifically the whole death sketch?
So, is there anyone out there who plans to attend Denver's GhenghisCon in February? I'm planning on going sometime over that weekend, most likely Saturday. I'll be wearing my 'Get C.L.U.E.d In!' T-shirt (hey, yes it's a shameless self-plug… so?? ;). If you spot me wandering around, stop and say Hi!
Ciao for Now,
Karen - firstname.lastname@example.org