NEWS

Magic/Alchemist Terrorist Plot Line

  • 7 Replies
  • 505 Views

Kato

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 44
« on: <10-02-19/0758:14> »
Hey gang. Looking to see if anyone has any tips on playing a terrorist plot line? My characters have been immersing themselves in my version of Tir Na Nog and I've been trying to figure out an opening plot line while I work on the bigger one that is coming up. I decided to let the players have time to explore Dublin to establish that "new town" feeling. Tonight the players will be made aware that it is the first night of a week long music and arts festival and the opening act is supposed to be a spectacular with a relatively well known elven folk singer kicking off the opening ceremony.

During this opening ceremony, a terrorist attack will occur. I haven't flushed out the details of the terrorist group or their causes yet, only that at the attack at the fair they will be wearing long black robes with face masks. Since a lot of people who attend this festival dressed up in costumes, the group won't immediately arouse suspicion, most will just think they are a part of some act. The group has placed numerous alchemical preparations around the area near the stage and they are set to go off once the singer says a word in her song. Once she sings the word, the various alchemical spells will release, including Mob Control and Mob Mind and other mood altering spells, which will turn the crowd into a ravenous mob that being tearing each other apart for no reason. There will also be fireball spells and such for effect. All of the alchemical items will appear as decorations that are part of the fair.

Looking to see how to push it further. Figuring a hunter/killer style mission...PC's have to find the group and bring them to justice. Or maybe they aren't caught right now and appear again later.

Tecumseh

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 3836
« Reply #1 on: <10-02-19/1231:01> »
Sounds fun!

Are you looking for input about what happens at the festival or what happens after?

During the festival, one of your biggest challenges might be the passage of time. You probably don't want to break into Combat Turns and Initiative Passes or things will crawl to a halt. So I'd recommend keeping things narrative, but letting the players roll when it comes to dodging explosions, avoiding the murderous mob, etc.

I'd also disarm the players in advance, under the guise of festival security, or at least limit them to easily-concealed weapons. I wouldn't be afraid to chase the characters to safety, and the pick up the investigation afterward. I presume someone will hire them to find the group and bring them to justice. Maybe even competing Johnsons, or a bounty? Law enforcement wants them brought in for questioning and public trials; street justice wants them strung up from the nearest bridge. Maybe the players have to decide whether it's worth the time and effort to bring the perpetrators in alive (especially if the terrorists are magically active) or if it's safer and easier to geek them and hand over the corpses (along with enough evidence to prove that these are the guilty parties, rather than strangers off the street).

Shinobi Killfist

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2399
« Reply #2 on: <10-02-19/1301:30> »
Couple points.


Preparations  dont go off due to words. Command trigger is a mental command. Still they can wait for the moment and quickly trigger them all since jts  simple actions. Time delay might work if its a really strict schedule for songs.

Id also physically hide them on top of disguising them. In the astral theyd be immediately visible. And many mages enjoy concerts in the astral.

Im assuming SR5 and with that the quality in forbidden arcana alchemical bomb maker couple make the areas of these spells absurdly huge.

Kato

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 44
« Reply #3 on: <10-02-19/1718:14> »
Nice, thanks! I'm going to hide the devices under decorative skulls that have light spells on them for festival illumination. Players will have to make saves against four types of spells or wind up in the riot too. Bad guys will make a theatrical entrance on stage and activate more devices with fireball spells. Bad guys have had a lot of time to prep...so the booms and confusion is well plan ed and big.

Kirklins

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 53
« Reply #4 on: <10-03-19/2133:44> »
So the hard part is often "why should my players be doing this?" Especially when a terrorist attack is going to bring a /lot/ of hunters.

My suggestion in your case is figure out how your players become the scapegoats. Yes, it's trite and shopworn but that's because it works. Just make it something that makes it obvious to THEM once the bombs go off that they're who will get blamed, give them a handful of clues to the real perpetuators (easily done while setting them up to be framed), and let the run roll.
GM in training
for a long, long time now

Michael Chandra

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 9163
  • Question-slicing ninja
« Reply #5 on: <10-04-19/0306:04> »
Team gets impacted by spells / was present. Team is rounded up along others. Their obvious illegal nature gets the cops to single them out and give them a choice: Bring them the real terrorists, or take the fall as patsies, because the cops need someone to blame.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

GuardDuty

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 94
« Reply #6 on: <10-04-19/0451:17> »
A bit of background:  The Tir TRC are already heavy hitters for a police force, regularly sporting automatic and heavy weapons.  However, Tir na nOg has real heavy-hitting, anti-terrorist guys, probably the scariest in the world, developed over years and years of turmoil in Ulster.  They're an elite unit of the TRC.  The definition of ice cold, unlike other peace-keeping forces they even carry out assassinations.  Physad initiates with access to all the highest level magical enhancements, unique hardware, deltaware, and unlimited powers of search, seizure, and arrest.  This is exactly the kind of thing they might be investigating. 

Also, in Tir na nOg mere membership in a group on the prohibited organization list (read: anyone labeled a terrorist) is a crime with a minimum of 2 years maximum security jail time, with no upper limit.  They also have pretty strict laws on weapons and such compared to UCAS.

Final bit of background: the Path of the Wheel magical tradition is a big part of Tir society.  There's all manner of symbolism for each path (cardinal directions, colors, seasons, holidays, icons) that have meaning, if you choose to work it in.  A week long festival could easily be tied to these, I imagine, or the reason someone would target it.

Hopefully that can be some kind of help, either with fleshing out who might be investigating, or the stakes if the runners want to play hardball with the cops.  Where does the adventure go?  Maybe it's a race to get to the offenders before the TRC does (perhaps a contact has been implicated?).  Or maybe one of the Danaan families (O'Neills, MacGuiness, etc.) has previously had secret dealings with the group and needs them taken care of so it's not made public knowledge.  Perhaps its a case of mistaken identity, and the runners have to catch the real culprits before the TRC geeks them instead.
« Last Edit: <10-04-19/0454:05> by GuardDuty »

Kato

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 44
« Reply #7 on: <10-06-19/0727:04> »
Thanks for the help everyone. It actually went off pretty well, I think. They all had to roll to not be affected by the alchemical effects, of which only one player made all of his rolls. The others suffered a combination of Mass Chaos, Foreboding, Control Mod, etc. Just a bunch of stuff to make a normal crowd go nuts and attack each other or no reason. Our 10 foot tall, four armed troll wound up giving the hippie dude next to him a concussion and the elf gunslinger adept wound up nearly being tackled by a group of nice old ladies.  The finally shook off the spells and then three people in black cloaks walks out on the stage and dramatically triggers the next stage of the attack, which consisted of fireballs, napalm, etc. Bad guys exit stage left and the players failed their rolls to fight their way through the crowd in time to apprehend them. The scenario ended with them sticking around and patching people up. As of this point in the game, no one had come forward to claim credit for the attacks and it is all under investigation. I'm going to leave it up in the air while they go on another run then maybe pick it up when they come back.