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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

order of magnitude IV: Big Trouble In Shan Fan

So after quite a few sessions of the players running around gunning down my carefully constructed villains I start playing hardball by letting the Denarians off the reigns. They use the standard Deadlands demons as a base and adding on a few extra powers each plus many additional minions. Unfortunately things are a bit fuzzy in this area so I can't provide exact details but essentially the players make their way into the main plot. At this point several of the silver coins are in safe-keeping in the hands of the church, several are in the hands of the campaign's Big Bad and his minions. However, several are unaccounted for and the players learn the Big Bad is working to get his hands on as many as possible with the intent to forge it into a Mcguffin of Doom, essentially merging the spirits of the fallen angels in the coins into a single, uber-powered critter o' darkness.

Lasciel, Max's personal succubus, doesn't want any part of this merging so she's tentatively helping the crew (even as she works to claim max's soul for herself) and with some info from the church the posse learns that at least two of the currently unclaimed coins are far to the west, at least one is in Shan Fan. So, heading to the coast the crew have a few run ins with Guardian Angels and a few restless ghosts but not much of note.

Upon arrival in Shan Fan the PCs learn of intense in-fighting and intrigue among the gangs that rule the city, all partially under the control of a single deadly individual: The Dragon Emperor. The PCs spend some time planning, scheming and keeping an eye out for clues. However all this careful planning goes completely out the window when the Tumbler gets stolen. This leads to a wild vengeance-fueled shooting spree across Shan Fan in a quest for their steam wagon. This is cut short when they stop for drinks and they scarf down some poisoned dumplings from a double agent. They wake up, strapped to wooden wheelchairs inside a huge metal room. It's at this point it becomes clear that I'm now stealing from Big Trouble In Little China.

Shortly after they wake up an incredibly pumped-up martial artist shows up to dump them in an open pit in the center of the chamber, a huge well of twisted, tortured ghosts. After an intense fight (considering they're all completely disarmed) they toss the martial artist down the well and head off (neglecting to seal the chamber behind them. something that will become a significant issue later). They charge around through the underground facility they find themselves in, beating up martial artists and the occasional mutant and finding their equipment again. That's when they stumble their way to the silver coin and it's current host. A horribly tortured and blind man impaled on several shoots of bamboo and tied hand and foot with the coin resting against his forehead. The Dragon Emperor (wise enough not to allow the fallen angel to use him as a host) had been using the coin as a source of advice and information. The players pop a bullet in the host and take the coin but it's at this point that all the ghosts finally make their way out of the well the player's left open: pouring up through the ground and walls in vast numbers. Having no chance against this many enemies the players run for it, finally making it to the surface (they're on the island of Ghost Tears) and rushing to grab a rickety boat tied up at a makeshift harbor.

Trying to sail the boat proves hopeless as absolutely none of the PCs invested in either Boating or Swimming. They quickly are dashed against the rocks of the maze and all seems lost but they're caught in the net of a friendly Chinese fisherman who speaks not a word of english. Exhausted they fall asleep belowdecks. They wake up shortly afterwards and find the boat is moored and seems to not only be empty but much, much older and more withered than it was before (ooooooh....spooooky) and a cryptic fortune cookie left behind. They don't have time to consider this since there's the sound of explosions outside. They find themselves back in Shan Fan which is currently being shelled by the Big Bad's blimp while the Dragon Emperor's forces fight back with rockets and battle kites (think the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic).

The players are desperate to get out of town but they're still equally desperate to find the Tumbler. They rush back into town and search desperately for their wagon. Fortunately they manage to find it among the armory of the Dragon Emperor. They make some effort to rescue people as demons begin to fly down from the Big Bad's airship and slaughter the people of Shan Fan. Unfortunately this turns sour when one of their rescued refugees turns out to a Denarian in disguise who attempts to carve up the players and take their coins. They manage to drive it off and escape from the burning city, heading towards where they believe the next coin to be and approaching the campaign's climax.

Fun With Science!! (a list of Miss Hart's inventions through Mad Science and her Mcgyver Edge)
*Galvanic Umbrella (bolt)
*The Gunny-Gun (Blast)
*Reanimator Serum (Zombie)
*Healing Elixir (Heal...looks almost identical to the reanimator serum)
*Explosive Squirrel (blast with trappings to make it function as a mobile, remote detonating mine)
*Anti-Gravity Hoop Skirt (flight)
*Turbo Chargers (Speed, modified to work for the Tumbler)
*The Iron Maiden (a custom-designed Legendary Power, essentially a power suit combining several powers (armor, boost trait, Bolt) into one device, at the cost of being difficult to maintain and activate)

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