Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Chronicles of Ceteri - A-Team - S00E12 - Given Up for Dead, Part IV


Dramatic Personae
  • Sir Al-Shams mac Lannageal aka Al MacLannageal (played by +Christian Gelacio): Man out of time. The Last Templar Knight. Warrior. Scholar. Sorcerer. Carries the Blood of Solomon and is the benighted grandchild of Brigid.
  • Annalise "Annie" M. Murphy (played by +Ann LS): Exorcist extraordinaire, sorcerer, psychic, twice cursed and twice blessed monster hunter. Ex-Gladius Dei. The Murphy. Talks to God, sometimes He talks back.
  • Dr. Francesco "Frankie" Novella (played by +Troy Loy): Doctor and accidental hero. Surgeon with a shotgun. Unflappable. Logical. Sometimes literal. No sense of humor. Always capable.
  • Nimbus (NPC Ally): Free-willed tulpa that can assume any shape living or unliving. Prefers being an orange cat with white socks or a Model-J Duesenberg. Why? Because. That's why.
  • Ronan Sloane aka The Gunslinger (NPC Ally): Dead man. Dullahan. Master sorcerer and shootist. Monster Hunter.
  • Youko Muramasa (played by +Natiel Leealexander): Master blacksmith and enchanter. Member of one of the Five Families of Kagutsuchi (descendent of the Japanese god of forges and fire).


Previously...
The PCs have decided to go see "The Mick" - a crime boss who is running a high-end gambling establishment. The Mick is rumored to be aware of the supernatural and takes chyrs (the coin of the Conclave) as well as relics, spells, etc. and offers the same to those who are "in the know."


Gambling Your Life Away
Al MacLannageal, Annie Murphy, & Dr. Frankie Novella
The Shadowed Heights
Friday, October 29th, 1999, 11:00 pm

320 Washington St, Brighton, MA 02135

Leaving Youko in a food coma back at the Heights, the rest of the PCs decide to go ahead and see the Mick and try to get Youko's sword back. Since Casanova told them it was "upper scale" Al, Frankie, and Ronan dress to the nines in swanky suits, while Annie dresses in a silver sequin "mermaid" dress and has some of the brownies put her hair up. If looks could kill she'd be a tactical nuke.

Once there, the PCs immediately start playing cards with Frankie and Al being confederates and helps to bolster Ronan's already stupidly high skill. Annie uses her Sex Appeal to distract the other players. The first round of poker results in doubling their money ($15,000 to start with) and successive rounds result in multiple royal flushes with different suits as Ronan cumulatively doubles the spending money Annie gave him over the course of a couple of hours until finally a large man with a thuggish face and close-cropped hair whispers to the dealer and offers the PCs access to "the backroom." They accept and head back there.

Once in the back, the PCs win several more hands and win more cash - but win even bigger in the form of a "Grail" (a lesser version of the real thing) and supposedly the Ring of Solomon himself. Of course, Ronan bet Annie once to get this since she gave him full leeway in betting. A little annoyed, she agreed and the pot was increased. Eventually, the thuggish man comes in, sits down, and introduces himself as Michael Parrino - the owner of the establishment. The other backroom players leave and Parrino offers the PCs their choice of cash, spells, relics, or other supernatural doohickeys in exchange for what they had just one. Al picks out a few items from a cart that's rolled in getting some lesser things along with an odd sword and Youko's weapon. The betting is pretty intense and Parrino is a great player, but he loses to Ronan even though he's trying to cheat.

All the veins in the large man's head pop-out as he gets angry, but then calmly asks how the PCs knew about this place. Annie flat out decides to tell him it was Casanova as both parties realize they've been manipulated by the incubus. Parrino into possibly killing Annie and her group (unlikely) or Annie killing Parrino (more likely). Parrino asks them to leave, but before they can Ronan steals the item allowing him to cheat (a magical bolo tie made of turquoise, silver, and shaped like a coyote head). Annie asks Parrino if he really wants to do that and after he calms down a bit both he and Annie agree to a short-term mutual non aggression pact as Annie decides to hunt down the bastard that part her and her friends in danger.


Aftermath
Having a hunch, the PCs head to Casanova's nightclub to ask him about his little "tip" and realize he's not there. After ransacking the place a bit they find his books in a secret compartment extremely well-hidden (Al-Shams magical eye for the win). Going over them, the PCs realize he's made several new succubi in the last few months and has tried to increase his capital by setting up a gambling hall and doing pornographic movies using his stable of girls. They smell a rat and decide something is up and want to go find him or at least visit his other places of "business" and safehouses.


After Action Reports/Game Notes
I was REALLY set up for the PCs to start a fight and get some combat on . . . but they didn't. Because reasons. That kind of threw me for a loop. Instead, they just used Ronan to get what they wanted since he's a card sharp and while they worked well, they may have gotten the ire of some rich folks in the process. We'll see. +Pk Levine's poker rules - "Straight to the Flush" from Pyramid #3/59: Conspiracies worked beautifully and I'd happily use them again if needed.

I'm really digging the 10- to 15-minute talk at the end of the game where the PCs discuss what they want to do next - I'm probably going to do this for all applicable teams from now on.

The PCs straight up took the Mick for a ride. Introducing this character to the campaign as a whole has been a waiting game for me and the A-Team just got luck it was them. Michael "Mick" Parrino is a criminal with a plan to take over the Boston area crime and he's doing it from the top down. Scary smart, unafraid of death, and with his fingers in all the pies he may be one of the more dangerous personages in the Ceteri campaign setting.

Natiel had to miss a game, but since I had at least 60% of the rest of the group I continued it.


Session Soundtrack
"Street Fighting Man" by the Rolling Stones (opening song)
"Queen of Hearts" by Juice Newton (gambling scene)
"Way Down We Go" by Kaleo
"Gambler" by Kenny Rogers (leaving the gambling hall)
"Renegade" by Styx (closing song with Casanova on the run)

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