We started this session with Ada getting a message from Professor Alex Meyer asking for her help. It turns out that over the last ten days, seven students have disappeared. After a little bit of questioning, the group finds out that all of the missing students were med students, and that they disappeared after leaving the anatomy lab in the evening.
So with Katarina’s persuasion, they get to look around the anatomy lab making sure that none of the missing student’s bodies are in the cadaver coolers. A quick look around the lab reveals that it is too regularly and thoroughly cleaned to provide much in the way of clues. Ada does check the drain in the center of the tiled floor remembering the egg whose contents escaped down the drain in the chemistry lab.
They next trace the route that they think the students are taking out of the lab, and realize that instead of walking along the paved sidewalk, they have been cutting across the lawn between some bushes taking a short cut to their dorms. Following this path about forty yards from the lab, they find a place that looks like there was a struggle, some drops of blood, and some very large shoe prints. Deciding the best way to figure out what is going on, the group decides to stake out the place over night and see if they catch the culprit. So Ada spends about twenty minutes adding night vision to Greyson’s binoculars, and then she and Greyson go to the city records department to look up the plans for the sewage and utility lines in that area of the campus.
Meanwhile Katarina goes for a hair appointment while Stefanie heads out to keep an eye on the Church of the Body and Blood of Our Lord. While Stefanie is on her way there, she catches sight of a man who looks exactly like Carmine Salvatore1 wearing shabby worn out clothing turn down an alley on foot and disappear into the crowd. When they all gather back together, Stefanie tells Katarina this, and they all rush over to the alley they saw him disappear down. After asking some of the shop keepers whose shops face the alley if they have seen the man, they do find one store owner who happened to notice him walking down the alley way, but didn’t know who he was or recognize him as a regular. They give him a card and tell him they will make it worth his while if he lets them know if he sees the man again.
At this point more confused than ever, and penciling in an appointment to check the Salvatore crypt the next day, they head back to Tulane University to see if they can find out what is happening to the students. Ada checks the sight of the building that was on the plans she and Greyson found, and finds a depression with a thin layer of dirt and grass covering what was probably once a concrete foundation. They all hide in various places near the spot that they identified. Around midnight a student comes walking along the path from the anatomy lab and they see this twelve-foot figure stand up and clobber her. At this point Greyson opens fire striking the creature but not significantly hurting it. It looking around approaches Adelaide who is closest and swings at her missing. Stefanie then shoots at the creature striking Adelaide instead. Katarina then shoots at the creature also missing it and grazing Adelaide2. Ada shoots at but misses it with her blaster pistol, and Greyson manages to shot it shaking it again. Adelaide claws at the creature but fails to hurt it, and Grayson opens fire on it again without hurting it either. It swings a mighty fist but only barely grazes Adelaide, and Ada who has approached the fight and the rest of the group has her blaster pistol malfunction3.
At this point the group was starting to get nervous when Greyson let off a final burst from his tommy gun catching the creature in the head and dropping it4. As they get a closer look at the creature they realize that it was pieced together from a number of different people and in some cases animals, and it was still twitching even after its head was just about removed by the gun shot. The body they realize was crafted by a surgeon with neat, precise stitches. They then hear a rustle in the bushes and catch sight of a bowling ball sized creature scuttle away. They quickly realize that it is a human head surgically attached to two hands, and it is using the fingers of the hand to scurry away. Greyson opens fire on it missing and they all give chase. They manage to keep it in sight and watch it scurry down a drain under a facilities building and out of sight. They quickly move around and pick the padlock on the chain holding the door closed and go inside where they find large sacks of fertilizer and weed killer, lawnmowers and a pallet lift. After some poking around they find a trap door leading to a sub level and prepare to descend. And that is where we ended it for the night.
This was the night of notes, I gave out three notes and they know the implications of two of them. The third will bite them later, though I do need to remember to let Adelaide know that she lost a point of dominion. There were two player critical failures and the party did more damage to themselves than my monster did. I did not expect them to switch focus so quickly and drop almost everything from the last session and switch to this session. I am also not sure where the sighting of the dead Carmine Salvatore walking is going to lead (yes it was inspired by my reading of the previews of the Yellow King RPG this week from the kickstarter here that uses the GUMSHOE system and my memories of the King in Yellow cycle that I had previously read).
I had in part intended the Patchwork man to get away after the first confrontation, but since he wasn’t getting hurt, I didn’t think he would just flee, and so a lucky pair of rolls took ended up taking him out in one shot, so I had to improvise the trail so that they could figure out what was going on.
- This is Katarina’s dead father and her player never remembers his name. ↩
- This was the night of innocent bystanders getting shot. First with a critical failure by Stefanie and then Katarina’s player also triggered the rule with a regular roll of one on the skill die, then spent a benny and did it again. ↩
- I was rather disappointed with the critical failure on Ada’s blaster pistol. I didn’t get to see it blow up and cause massive damage when the critical failure was rolled to fire her gun right after she moved near everyone else. ↩
- Greyson’s player did thirty points of damage with one bullet, and then when he rolled the hit location, ended up with an eleven indicating the head was struck. I have been allowing the players to roll damage location if they need to hit a specific location to take the creature down to see if they randomly hit it or not. I just don’t give them the damage bonus for targeting the head if it was dumb luck that hit it. Also, Patchwork men are brutal, I couldn’t roll for crap, so it didn’t manage to do much, but other than the one repeated explosion, the player’s couldn’t do anything more than shake it even with Jokers. ↩