Yesterday I went to a local gaming convention with a couple of friends. I had promised someone I would GM some at the convention and so I did. Of course I totally messed up and came more or less unprepared. I had first planned to GM Joy&Sorrow from One Shots but then I asked around on the UA Mailinglist and the people there suggested Jailbreak ….
Well I got to the convention right before I had scheduled my game of course, entering your game on their website wasn’t enough for them to put it up on the list of available games at the con, I should have known. So I post-poned a few hours.
What surprised me a lot was that there was another UA game going on at the con. Everything else was mostly Fantasy games and a couple of science fiction games. All in all the Karlsruhe conventions are not very large so I was not really sure I would get any players.
But when we came back from dinner 5 people had put their name up for the game. Another one came by asking wether I had open slots and two of my friends then decided to join in too. So I had eight players for the 9 available ones in Jailbreak. I only had to give a short rules intro because everyone had played UA before.
I gave them the ‘Intro’ and then a very short description of each character. Then they could choose. Being all rather grown-up helped avoid conflicts and I believe in the end most everyone turned out happy with their role. Left over was Donna in the end. Strangely enough a girl played the ‘Alpha male’ and a guy played the female lawyer. Ella was played by a girl. Uder was played by the GM of the previous UA round which was quite cool because I think he is a little complex to play and it helps to know UA a bit when playing him.
I will give some notes on how the game went below. I cannot quite tell a chronological order because so many things went on at the same time.
>>>> Spoilers to follow <<<<
Everything started out pretty quiet. But then the cons started looking around the house and found several of Uder’s creations. Funkily I managed to keep them away from the cellar forever until very late in the game Ella told one of the players that the thing was harmless.
Very interesting was also that the hostages never really made an attempt to flee or fight the cons. All I did was have Donna get scared of Uder because he was an adept of course and she could somehow see – I decided – that he had done something to Ella. She then identified Uder with the Guru and kept telling the others that ‘he belonged to them’ which made the Uder player rather nervous and was later in the game enough to draw him into a fight.
Sadly the officer was handcuffed until nearly the end since noone made an attempt to free him.
The ‘quiet one’ (forgot name) discovered the doll in the bedroom and brought it down together with one of the other cons. At this and some other points the quetsions who was where in the house came up and only in the end did I notice that despite the map I had a wrong conception of how it was all laid out which gave rise to some confusion.
After seeing the doll the cons started to question Uder and he explained he was a toymaker. So then they wanted to know how this toy worked …. he could not quite explain it and I relieved him by sending in the cops. Everyone raced upstairs and they took Ella hostage and made Uder greet the cops. Worked quite well for them but it was nice to look at the player’s faces while I drew out the cops’ visit. They were really holding their breath – rarely have had such quiet players!
Right after Donna made her attempt to flee but came back in bruised and hurt from the hail. Ella tried to take care of her but Donna was very scared of her and Uder and tried to hide behind Janet who did her role really well, especially her last sentence (yep she survived, oh didn’t I mention the death rate yet?): “Well you know I’ll help you!”
There was a lot of talking and yelling and running around the house. They made Uder tell them what was downstairs and he said his workbench. So they grabbed some candles and wanted to go downstairs and that was when I let Bors drop his chest. Of course Alpha and Quiet One went upstairs to look and they opened despite loud protests from Uder (which started a fight downstairs) the box and out came Bors. I had ruled that in order to control Bors, Uder had to see him and role his Mechanomancy. At least while involved in a fight and all (the ruling worked out quite well I think). So Uder of course noticed that Bors was coming and he frantically screamed commandos upstairs.
At that point everyone except Donna was involved in the fight. The Dog was biting Icepick – who had kept up his hardass-tour nicely – and Icepick tried to stun the dog (only four rounds later he first hit him and was really pissed at the little effect). Uder was trying to defend against someone. Miss Lawyer tried to get back to her pepperspray of which she had been separated. Ella was looking for weapons in the kitchen. The Puerto Rican was also looking for weapons and trying to keep Janet from her pepper spray.
Upstairs Alpha was trying to shoot at Bors and when he noticed that that did not hurt Bors a lot, he and the Quiet one decided to run away.
Then I did the most evil thing: in the middle of all this fighting, Bors came downstairs, Ella saw him and then I gave her the revelation and she took the meat hammer and attacked Uder. He was in shock at his wife now also attacking him. I just cannot remember all the stuff that happened. Finally Ella stopped attacking Uder and yelling: “How could you have done this to me!” So then Uder commanded Bors (successfully) to attack everyone that had attacked Ella before. That was when Bors first landed a successful hit. As he does firearms damage that one hurt. This decided the fight into a flight for about most of the players. Alpha who had also been hit by Ella – which was a deep blow to his ego! – was already running for his live.
At the garage the Puerto Rican killed Bors with the Axe in a dramatic fight which nearly killed Alpha too! Inside though Icepick tried to throw a cell-phone at Ella pretending with “Believe me!” it was a grenade. Which did not much interest her at that point. Uder had failed a stress check at seeing that Ella – who was now hurt – was one of his creations, so now he was cowering helplessly on the floor. The handy-grenade did not work, so Icepick decided to drop the hard-ass tour and finally RUN like hell. On the veranda he met some others who had decided to leave the fight (the lawyer and donna).
At that point inside there were only Ella and Uder how was slowly recovering from shock. Outside the players were debating how the hell to get away from these freaks. They opened the garage only to see the small VW-Käfer (really small car) in which they would not all fit, then they found out there was gas in the tank but the car would not drive. It gave them a fit. The quiet one took on last look at Bors but when he looked into his eyes he realized what kind of things this Bors was or rather what he was not and he freaked. He took the left arm of Bors as a weapon and ran into the house where he attacked Ella who had just reconciled with Uder. Ella took the Meat Hammer and hammered it with one stroke (lucky attack 01) into his throat. Hearing his death scream made the Puerto Rican come in who had just moments before destroyed Tristan. He saw the dead body of the other con and attacked Ella. Ella took the arm of Bors and hit the Puerto Rican just once and pieces of brain were decoratin the living room. Icepick and Alpha who had followed in at the screams saw this and while Alpha decided to restore his ego by attacking Ella who subsequently killed him (she was on a real spree, I think I should have given her some violence or self check) with the arm. Icepick was saved by the officer who drew him away from the scene.
The surviving players outside: Donna, her lawyer, the officer and icepick took the hood of the car, the gas they put in some kind of bottle or whatever, and protected by the hood they went out into the storm. Icepick had already decided to go back to prison. I think he even hired Janet.
Ella and Uder had decided to get Ella repaired move to a different town and there Uder wanted to try and turn himself into a clockwork too.
So there it is. The end. Very chaotic in parts I had fun, the players said they had fun. A lot of dead players too.
Another interesting bit is: after the game the players discussed their roles and what I had not noticed they had. Icepick came across as a real hardass, while the Quiet One came across rather creepy. The lawyer was great, just as in the book. Donna rather like a freak. Everyone was really puzzled and later scared about Ella. The Alpha Male did what he was supposed to …. so they played the roles which was soo cool. And most even used their ‘special skills’ at least once. Ella and Alpha really disliked each other.
So this is enough I think. If anyone played in the game and wants to comment or correct some …. there are probably some wrong things in the story, I have never before handled a group of 8 players ….