SHC GM-free session 6: Take two pills and keep driving!

We go back to Dan, to see how he and his two gun-thugs, ahem, physical-type comrades, are doing.

As an explanation of why we aren’t linking to the After-Scene of Session 4, I wanted to go back and check what actually happens after the large-scale gun battle. This led to a number of scenes; in fact a full session was signaled. So I put it on hold, went to Hitch’s scene to see how that gelled, and have now come back to Dan Cliff and Sandi to deal with the full detail.

Scene: An urban street, not far from the gun battle

Dan’s still sheltering at the entrance to the mall, or whatever it was that the last gunman came shooting out of. Cliff returns from his brief chase after the final three, clutching his side where his nice new Security Vest has been punctured. Sandi comes around from the other side of the building at speed, her Glocks fanning across in arcs. She slides in beside Dan: her face is flushed and there are bullet-tears in her coat.

“It appears some healing is called for, or am I misreading it?”

“No, that’s about the size of it, I stopped about three bursts what with one thing and another.”

“And I totally got tagged just before I jumped the mage.”

“Right, just keep still for a moment.”

Dan calls on the healing powers of God Almighty and the pair feel much better.

“Not much I can do about the clothes and vest though, I’m not going to be a convincing security detail any more.”

“Not unless you can disguise it. Sandi, do you… by the way, what’s that stick?”

“It’s from when I jumped that mage.”

“You jumped a mage? Oh right, you did say that. And?”

“No more mage. I took him down and stole his stuff. I was AWESOME!”

“Maybe you should have looked for his phone to tell us what his contacts are and what the next move will be. Still, it could be a chance for me to practice my search skills.”

“I thought we were booking, like, you know, the PD would be all over the scene.”

“I heard a lot of loud-hailers the way I was running before, they probably have all the east cordoned off.”

“So let’s make a move.”

“Roger that, Dan, let’s head back to my SUV and see if we can get clear. We need to push on to the objective.”


Characters: Dan, Cliff, Sandi

NPCs: various members of the public, law enforcement

Threads: the three big ones (end blockade, deal with summoner, deal with Ralph Hagen), plus Dan’s private ‘oppress energy’ thread.

Chaos 5 (new session)

Chaos check 2: Interrupt. Focus 86, NPC Negative.

Meaning 45/66 celebrate fears.

Panic forces the Chicago PD into crowd control mode. PCs are able to regroup, heal, quietly return to the SUV and move on.

But before that, some character history has me checking the dynamics. Dan is a highly qualified mental health professional… who often strikes the wrong chord dealing with Sandi.

The ‘friendly’ relationship reveals Dan: promise skills; Sandi: celebrate the last action; and Cliff: aid superiors. So it looks as though my concern about Sandi becoming distressed over the slaughter she just wreaked is misplaced! After all in the interval between seasons 3 and 4 Sandi handed out unknown amounts of mayhem. Dan is thinking about upskilling; but Cliff is all about the mission and wants to do the job the Academy expects of him.

Healing: Cliff is fairly hard hit and Dan uses a Cure Critical for 35 restored, and Sandi is hurt: Dan uses a Cure Serious, fully healing her.

Chaos drops to 4.

Scene: the SUV

“I’m heading north-east. If I pull over into the orange line’s footprint I should be able to slip through the cordon, if there is one.”

“Just before you do, Cliff, I think it’s time for something Mary helped me prepare. Keep driving, just swallow these.”


“Yes, just take two, tell me if your brain starts to feel, mm, warm. These will shield you against mind control.”


“Right, yes they don’t taste good, but that means you really need it.”


NPCs: any bystanders and nearby drivers

Chaos check 2, Interrupt. Focus 53 close a thread. Meaning 71/30 Trick possessions.

The obvious thread to close is Dan’s open ‘oppress energy’ thread. Testing this with some questions I find it relates to psionic/mental energy.

Using the Location Crafter for a detailed descriptor I roll 75/21 and 4/29: Neatly disagreeable; and Fight pain.

Dan hands around pills that Mary has helped him prep. Yes, they don’t taste nice at all. But to put it succinctly, this group is vulnerable to mind control spells like dominate and confusion. It’s time to take two, and if pain persists, you are being attacked.

Chaos drops to 3.

Scene: Still the SUV, on the way to Paul’s location in Archer Ave

“Hey, I do feel something!”

“Brain heating up?”

“I guess.”

“Well that settles that question.”

“Like ha ha, so like anyway what are we doing, stopping or going?”

“I’m driving on. Clip yourself in.”

“All right! Go Cliffie! Hand me that heavy bag back there will you Dan? Let’s see how whatever it is likes some SLR love.”


NPCs: nearby drivers, L passengers and staff.

One more grid will do it. But, they are still on ‘has to be’ for encounters, and a 50% chance the opposition is maxed.

Q: Is there an encounter: 01 exceptional yes. Description: divide technology.

Q: Is this the max groups: 35 yes

Card draw (on max) 8C Two groups of 5-6 CR8. D6 roll gets a 1 and 5. Malleable human tough heroes, with martial arts and firearm and vest; and intellect devourers with psi attacks. At close range.

Combat begins


Int devourers 18

Cliff 15

Hitch (if he arrives) 14

Birkby (if he arrives) 13

Dan 8

Sandi 5

Malleables 3

Surprise round

The Psi attacks send a warning heat to brains. The characters present all autosave, leaving the intellect devourers with little power to influence the battle. They can take control of other drivers, if they realize their attacks have no chance of working.

Since Cliff is unaffected and keeps driving, the scene becomes a chase. The malleables, who look like tough lightly-armored hitmen, give chase in their own SUV.

Grid (includes the L as cover) is laid down. I make sure that there is a central spine of cards that all connect – this is the L’s cover, and also an obstacle as drivers need to make a crash maneuver to cross and use it.

Round 1

Cliff makes a Drive check, not crashing. He maneuvers slowly into the Orange Line’s shadow but cannot claim cover as he bounces off a guard kerb. Sandi makes a DC10 check to avoid losing her grip. She opens up with Cliff’s G3K, scoring an easy spray over the pursuit vehicle. The malleables all take damage, but their SUV keeps chasing. Two blaze away with handguns, and Dan is nicked by a spent slug.

Round 2

The intellect devourers rush up a ramp and over a passenger terminal, keeping up with Cliff’s speed (he drove slowly last round)! Cliff makes another attempt: terrible! The SUV spins, its front fender twisted and crumpled. Sandi, who is tethered to the SUV by the safety belt clipped through her own belt, spins wildly and has to make a crazy acrobatic stunt to balance; no shot this round. The malleables boost their SUV up to speed and crash into a barrier, their SUV going no further! No shots from them either.

Round 3

The intellect devourers have found some human transit passengers to puppet, and clamber down the L’s trestles to begin blocking the way ahead of Cliff. Who switches gears and makes a fine recovery check! Sandi makes another amazing balance check as the vehicle swings back on course. She lays more fire down on the malleables crawling out of the wreck; most are now around half hp; then swings back to get more ammo from Dan.

Round 4

The transit passengers, careless of their own safety, rush the SUV. Cliff makes an excellent escape exit, gets under the L, and away to a service alley on the far side of the possessed cordon. It brings the SUV back in line with the pursuing malleables, and Sandi sends some parting area fire back again as the team escape to keep the meet with Birkby.

Who by this time, has been joined by Hitch.

After-scene: the gang, united

“So, Homeland Security are using us as catspaws, in order to get some traction on this city’s problem.”

“Aye right, that’s about the size of it. Not our friends, but letting us play our hand.”

“God has enabled us this far, let’s press on.”

“Thing is, we’re low on, well, pretty much everything. Getting across safely has meant running into all kinds of nasty.”

“Ah, but I have a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel.”


“Paul is saying he has thought of a way to get us all in, without any smackdown.”

“Oh, right… is that why you got this cool new auto?”

“Exactly, Sandi. It’s all coming together.”

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