Monday, 13 January 2014

Rippers: Chapters 1 to 3

We held a second Rippers session in November or December, and managed to fit in another couple of sessions around the New Year period. James turned up for session two (Chapter 1), but unfortunately couldn't make it to either of the subsequent games. Undaunted, Pratchett and Baker pressed on against the forces of darkness.
  • +Annette plays Gregory Pratchett, an alienist with a gift for physically battling the forces of darkness. His encounter with a werewolf led to the Rippers showing an interest in his talents.
  • +Michael plays William Baker, a Professor of Archaeology who uses knowledge as a weapon. On his expeditions across Europe he began uncovering signs of the occult. In Eastern Europe, one of his parties was all but wiped out by a vampire. He was kicked out of Cambridge for publicly airing his views on the supernatural, losing his tenure and his marriage. The Rippers recruited him shortly afterwards.
  • James plays Douglas, a mysterious cloaked gadgeteer with a modified crossbow.

Chapter 1

Pratchett and Baker were placed under the administration of the bureaucratic Tristifer Shackleworth, and teamed up with the mysterious Douglas. Given the option of searching for the missing mummy-filled crates from Canary Wharf or checking out reports of grave-robbing at a small church in Southwark, they chose the church. They determined that something had been burrowing into the graves, which had subsequently collapsed. Entering the catacombs below the church, they discovered a nest of Ghouls! While fighting them off, Baker was severely injured. The group was forced to retreat before completing a thorough search, and the elderly Father Robertson agreed to keep the catacombs firmly shut just in case.

Chapter 2

Two weeks later, Baker was fully recovered. He and Pratchett were assigned to help guard the British Museum the following evening. The Rippers were providing additional security to an exhibit of Mesopotamian grave artefacts, posing as Scotland Yard detectives. Until then, the pair had free reign to undertake their own investigations. Douglas was in the middle of another assignment and would not be joining them.

Father Robertson visited Pratchett and reported that he had heard noises from the crypts. The pair go back to Southwark and slay a final Ghoul that had sated its hunger on the bodies of its fallen comrades. Unfortunately, one of the Ripper irregulars they brought as backup falls in combat.

After returning to the city, the pair investigate the missing Mummy-laden crates from Canary Wharf. The crates came in on the Azimuth, a cargo ship registered to Leek Imports, owned by industrialist Conrad Leek. They deduce the likely location of the Mummy crates and raid a warehouse the following morning. It's empty save for the remnants of some crates, and four unopened ones that contain activated Mummies. They slew two in their boxes before the other pair burst out. The Mummies are defeated, but one of the Ripper irregulars falls in combat.

Chapter 3

After finishing off the Mummies, the group were forced to flee as the police approached.

That night, the pair help guard the unusual Mesopotamian burial exhibition at the British Museum, under the direction of senior Ripper John Stebbins. The exhibit was an unusual form of mummification, with obvious Egyptian influences. A gang of Mummies attacked one of the rear entrances, and it took the combined force of seven Rippers and a game security guard to stop their advance.

Alas, the assault had drawn their attention away from the exhibition room. As they returned, they witnessed a cat burglar climbing a rope to the skylight, with one of the canopic jars! Their attempts to foil the burglar's escape were in vain.

I really started to feel the swinginess of Savage Worlds combat in these games - a lot of misses followed by one explosive, decisive hit. The extra-resilient Mummies (even Servitors have a high Parry and exceptional Toughness) probably don't help, so I will be sure to introduce more enemy variety in the ensuing sessions. I do feel for Professor Baker, as he's not really much chop in a fight.

We have another session scheduled in the next couple of days. I still need to sit down and work out some more factional details and potential looming threats, but I've been going over things in my head so it should just be a matter of making some notes and pulling the threads to see what happens.

>>> Chapter 4

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