[Sorcerer Blood Simple] Abattoir Blues 2

21 October, 2008

Whoa, we met tonight for the second session of our Sorcerer game, and man did a lot happen. I should say that we played in a pub in Edinburgh, and that’s a first for me. It worked surprisingly well – we had a nice booth all the way back at the pub, the music wasn’t loud, and there were generally very few other people in that part of the pub anyway.

The first “real” session of play is a tough task for the GM. (I consider prep and character generation as part of play as well, I talking about when we actually start playing out the Kickers) Everything is ready to go and this session is really about getting the whole thing rolling. I think we managed to do that splendidly for Pooka’s and Malcolm’s characters, but it was harder going with Myles’s screenwriter, whose main motivation, according to Myles himself when Malc asked him directly, was self preservation. I might not have pushed hard enough on this one, and maybe I didn’t realise how easily Myles could slide off on his Kicker. That said, Myles was trying to play a more quiet and toned down Kicker compared to the other ones. It was a deliberate choice to have a calmer story line, but I don’t think we managed quite to kick it into motion.

I had 14 prepared Bangs and I used five of them in play. It’s obvious to me that storylines where the player is actively pursuing stuff, Bangs evolve by themselves. All in all we kept dice rolling to only significant situations, and we had a short but hectic conflict with four participants as the final scene for the evening.

So many things happended, I might already have forgotten some of them, so help me out guys if I missed important stuff. Let’s begin with Myles’s character Brent Brown, blacklisted screenwriter. His Kicker was coming home and finding an untitled anonymous screenplay on his desk, with a note asking him to put his name on it. The script is a pretty accurate a badly disguised re-telling of the period at Paramount Pictures while Brent worked there, including when he hired somebody to kill the starlite Deborah. Brent gets to work and rewrites most of the script, changes direct references, gives it an upbeat ending and sends it off to another production company and burns the original copy. Brent later got Johnny “The Eyes” to find out who sent the script and only managed to find out it was sent from someone at Paramount. Brent was also visited by to FBI agents investigating Deborah’s “disappearance”, one of which were agent Woodrow, who I got from Malcolm’s character sheet. Mr Johnson, head of Paramount, visited Brent in person and asked for the screenplay or at least find out who sent it.
I don’t think much more happened to Brent to be honest. The Bangs I used where
* FBI agents (from Chicago field office, maybe one of them is Clayton Woodrow) show Brant a photo of Deborah, the girl he had killed.
*Mr Johnson IN PERSON visits, clearly shaken, asking for the screenplay.

Walter Root, Malcolm’s character, started his day with finding six male, naked and gutted bodies hanging from meat hooks in the Schelling Bros Abattoir. And then Joshua Schelling, the boss himself, arrived. This was actually proposed by Malcolm, which was a very nice touch, and we had a great great scene where these two characters struggled with each other and themselves what to do, changing their minds again and again. In the middle of it all a photographer from Chicago Tribune arrives at takes a flash photo of the scene and was allowed to leave the scene in his car. Walter sort of convinces Schelling to get rid of the bodies while he himself takes of to meat with his scumbag, the mysterious Conductor, to arrange for the Chicago Tribune photographer to “disappear”. Malcolm failed his Humanity roll for that. Returning to the abattoir he learns that Schelling has instead drunk enough bourbon to pass out on his desk. The bodies are still hanging from the hooks and the first workings are arriving shortly. Here Walter decides to shred the six bodies in the big meat grinder and Malcolm earn another Humanity roll, which he makes this time. (We later learn that Schelling actually tried contacting a dirty cop – Luntz – apparebtly to take care of it all. This was a magnificent complication.)
Walter ends his fantastic day getting beat up by two Italian mobsters after a union meeting at a bar. This was the final conflict scene where Pooka’s cop was also involved because he was after the two mobsters. I used the following Bangs for Walter:
* Wayne, photographer from Chicago Tribune has been tipped off to come to the abattoir.
* Workers union rep asks for access to abattoir outside opening hours.

Phew. Leon Luntz, played by Pooka, arrives at work and finds his partner killed, executed, in front of the police station. Luntz promptly leaves the scene and goes on a desperate hunt for information among his contacts and informants. It turns out that it’s been a while since he has done any real police work. Pooka made up some great NPCs on the fly, whom Luntz threatened and intmidated without much result. Luntz also has a brief encounter in a men’s room with James Sawyer, Internal Affairs, who offers him to spill the beans on his partner Bill to go free himself. Luntz’s answer is to slam Sawyer against the wall. Thereafter he calls his Scumbag Carl “Cutter” and asks him to “take care” of agent Sawyer, which I interpreted as “kill” and which earned Pooka a Humanity check – which he failed. All three player characters are now down to 3 Humanity.
Luntz eventually gets the message that Schelling was looking for him, too late of course. Last scene outside the bar where the union meeting is held, Luntz is shadowing the Italians (working for the “Torino Boys”) and leaps into action when the two gorillas start beating Walter Root up. I think we had a five round conflict where I had a chance to present the different aspect of that system to the players. Luntz takes a flesh wound himself when shot by one of the mobsters, but shoots one of them and manages to incapacitate the other. In the aftermath Walter manages to crawl away with one of the mobsters’ guns. The one that was fired at Luntz. The only bang I used for Luntz was:
* Offered by agent Sawyer to rat on Bill, and his own case will ‘disappear’.

I think I’ve recapped the bulk of the action. It was a pretty good session, the only thing I was dissatisfied with was not being able to kick Myles’s character into more problems and forcing harder decisions.

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