Ghost/Echo in Dublin

edited July 2012 in Actual Play

we had a run through of this last night and as per instructions here is the report. PCs were:
Coil - techie/hacker
Demon - hvy weapons
Hull - second in command
Grip - mystic/psi
Vixen - stone cold killer

We started in medias res with the crew pinned down by fire from the Wraiths - sliver lines of spinning bullets - below the Watchtower while trying to get in. Since our line-up didn't include the commander we decided that "the lieutenant" was lying face-down on the other side of the wall they were cowering behind, the first victim of the ambush. Coil attempted to locate the Wraiths with some tracking gear - they were emerging from the Undercross and he was in danger of drawing attention to himself.

Armed with this targeting information Demon attempted to lay down some fire on the Wraiths and managed to rneutralise them but the crew took some fire too and he was superficially wounded. Meanwhile Coil took a solid hit and almost blacked out has his suit system injected him with emergency painkillers. Vixen had managed open the Watchtower's locked door but had alerted Venom, the building's security system AI. The Watchtower was a 1km high super-skyscraper that contained, at the top, an isolated terminal with vital data on the ghost world. Physical access to this terminal and downloading of data was what the crew had come to loot. Grip channeled the ghost field to heal Demon but alerted some Wraith Dogs. He quickly channeled again to create a mist around the crew to shield them from the Dogs, for now... Coil was lugging a chest wound that would continue to give him troubles.

Hull got Coil inside the Watchtower and Vixen had tapped into the building network and managed to disable the security systems on their current floor but knew that Venom had dispatched Kilo to deal with them. Kilo was some form of security bot and they could hear it smashing through the partially destroyed floors immediately above them, known as the Ruins. Quickly Hull tried to find a suitable
spot for an ambush and Vixen checked through his kit bag for an appropriate munition load to take down Kilo. Demon got into position and Grip prepared to try and channel the field to blind kilos sensors as he entered the room. Unfortunately the ambush was only partially successful as kilo smashed his way through the ceiling from an unexpected angle. To make matters worse Vixen had messed up his weapon selection and Kilo was immune to his attempted attacks. Grip did blind the bot though and Demon still had a clear shot. Demon's shaped charge rockets partially disabled Kilo but not before it had blindly sprayed death at Vixen who was now down and critical lights for him lit up in everyone's displays. Hull went in close to finish off Kilo with a shock-stick before Vixen expired. This struggle resulted in Kilo collapsed lifeless with Hull trapped beneath him. Vixen was revived but carried a risk of collapsing and lost the use of his badly broken left arm. They had secured the lobby and the main lift. Coil, Hull and Vixen were all quite badly wounded at this point and there was some discussion of bugging out but an express lift to the top was decided on.

Coil hooked into the building systems and tried to fool Grand Central, the operations program, into sending them an express lift without tipping off Venom. He succeeded in getting the lift but need to continue negotiating with Grand Central to ensure Venom was not alerted. Eventually Venom was distracted by another lift heading down into the lower levels and Grand Central neutralised. The lift opened on the 1099th floor, the crew sought the isolated physical terminal known as Echo park with access to vital data on the resources hidden in the ghost world. The security system known as Vipers deployed on this level was easily bypassed. Grip sensed the general direction towards Echo park and they made their way through office areas and into the executive suites however the Wraith Dogs were once again sniffing about this disturbance. Coil tried to send out some sensor probe scouts but they were neutralised by some building defence system and floor went into lockdown with mood lighting and sirens sounding. Grip reached again into the data-streams and strongly located a glowing golden heart on the floor. He could move while focusing on the source and directed them to a normal looking door. Coil attempted to detect what was on the other side by running an optical fibre camera through a crack around the door but on closer examination it was completely sealed and in fact a very secure door that potentially had some form of local defense system. Given this challenge he tried to electronically pick it and succeeded in getting it partially open but was fried by a high voltage surge. Coil lay on the floor, Demon forced the door and within Hull occupied the isolated data-terminal. At some cost Coil was resuscitated by over-dosing him on combat drugs. He would die within hours without serious medical attention - the danger "Coil dies" now lay on the table in front of us. Coil jacked in, located the data and initiated the download but triggered the Hawks defense system as clouds of nano-bots flooded the room from the air-conditioning vents. The data was downloading slowly, Coil had blacked out in the chair, the nano-bots started to attack crew's suits and Demon tried to use an EMP-blast grenade to fry them. This worked but everyone's suit was also shorting out and had danger of breaches. The Echo park system took a major hit too and this should have stopped the download but Grip succeeded in entering the data-flows and temporarily isolating part of the system from shut-down. Coil was out so Hull plugged in with his hand-comp to secure the last of the data before Grip's protective field collapsed. He made it! Then Grip smoothly transitioned them out of the Ghost-world... job done.

Approx 2.5 hours of play. Thank-you John Harper!

Introduced 2 new players to story-games (veteran RPGers though). One just kept saying "this is brilliant" repeatedly. I had fun. I did lots of rolls with 2 dangers which is cruel but fun in terms of setting up challenges.
Lists of names etc completely rocked and this and AW mean that I cannot ever again consider running a game without them.
Biggest issue: Tendency to create dangers that were simply the opposite of goals eg I pull through pain/I am incapacitated - how can both of these come true? (eg on a 6, 1 result). Need to avoid this trap.

Overall felt that AW moves' questions are a better support for fiction generation than this danger/goal method.
However it was a big plus to get playing immediately ie with no character generation. Possibly I should have done more in terms of flash-backs etc to set context/characters but that would have eaten into our time and the group is fairly action-y so would have to be dragged a bit into that.



  • That. Was. Effing. Awesome.
  • edited July 2012
    Seriously cool. I love how you used the names. Thanks for posting!
  • I was one of the players in this (Coil). It worked pretty well, especially since we started playing within about five minutes of being told about it. I do like the 'pick a name from the list' aspect, the names helped to set the atmosphere really well.

    Like Rob said the main thing we would need to work on is making sure the Goals and the Dangers are not mutually exclusive since they can both happen. Next time I think we'd do better on this since it took us a while to even realise we were even doing it. So next time good dangers for a combat might be 'you get injured' or 'you expend your main weaponry' instead of 'they get away' when the goal was 'take them out'.

    The system impact I found most interesting was after the 'Coil dies' danger was on the table I became a lot less useful. I could still try to do things but I could never afford to assign a high roll to the Goal and just take the consequences of the Danger. Of course if it was really critical and I wanted to die a heroic death I did have the option...
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