Seattle Side Mission 01: Rat Race – Part 3

Written by: Marius           Played on: 10 Oct 2011
PREVIOUS: Side Mission 01 – Rat Race – Part 2
NEXT: Mission 04 – Convoy Ops

“John Archer here folks, Shadow Team is now over Germany. The building they are landing on is the old East Germany Russian Consolate office, which was renovated into a shopping mall in the 20th century… which was about the last time anyone shopped here.”

The party’s task in Germany was to find a hacker who had the necessary decryption capabilities to unlock the data on their chip. The data was the final piece of the race that they had to return to the start point to complete the race.

“Petra Maple here, Shadow Team makes some phone calls, and begins intimidating, bribing, begging, and threatening people to get info. It looks like the Fembots have engaged the help of some local thugs to beat up the Dream Team. And they are about to in turn get jumped by the Shadow Team. The Dwarf is prepairing some type of spell… it looks like another energy ball, it strikes the Fembots in the back, that must have been 9 meters wide. This Small dwarf packs BIG magic. OH and they are reeling from the power! The elf Marius follows up with stun blasts to the back, amazingly his target remains.. Annnd here comes the BEAR! Chekov closes distance, this is shaping up to be some  ‘friendly interferance’.

The Fembots turn around and draw weapons… Tazers! All three take big hits, and Marius is DOWN.  Bear makes another hit, and now the homeless are charging. Chekov, in bear form, manages to knock the pipe out of the hand of one homeless. One of the ladies tosses a grenade, that lands in the group of homeless between the ladies and the Shadow team. Was that a poor toss, or are the Fembots trying to make a wall of bodies as a defense? A smoke grenade goes off, covering the escape of the Shadow Team. Tacticaly done.”

“Jonathan Archer here and we are back. Still with me is Petra Maple. As we return to Shadow team, we see they too have reached the hackers domicile. He quickly decripts the data chip, and they move on. Not bad, the shadow team is now in second! They have been given instructions for international air travel. Looks like they are hailing a cab… this time of day, we will check back with them in about 50 minutes… Lets take a look at our other teams”

20 minutes later

“WOW, record time! They have reached the hanger. What the hell is he doing… He, the Dwarf named Bear is stabbing at one of the tires on the other plane… Looks like this will take a while. Meanwhile, lets check in on our Fembots team, John…”

“Petra, we are back on the Shadow plane and it looks like the team is giving themselves medical attention. Lets move on down the line and check in with the Lumberjack Team. They are determined not to get dead last, they have been battling hard with the Apocalypse Riders, who stole their locker contents back in Russia…”

“Ok Petra, several hours have past since we checked in with Shadow Team, they have landed at Sacramento International Airport. Inside the car garage is a Macleren F1 supercar. The team speeds up the freeway out of the CAS and into the Elven homeland… They are about 45 minutes behind Augmented Reality… I don’t see how they can make this up, we know from years past that their driver is almost unbeatable…”

The final stretch of the trip I really wanted to hammer in that they were dealing with people with very deep pockets looking for a truly exciting spectator sport. I think that worked with the cars. 

What did not work was the ‘epic showdown’ on the highway between them and the next leading team on the race home. I think I was mostly just running out of steam by this point. It turned out alright, but not the best or most exciting confrontation.

“Finally, as the Shadow Team tears through Oregon, they meet the competition. After a quick scuffled on the freeway, the other McLaren looses traction and spins off the road.”

“Despite a boarder crossing delay, the team is making great time. They are pulling into the warehouse now, have any teams made it into the warehouse first? We will find out after these brief commercial advertisements”

An agonizing 3.5 minutes later… 

The team had to wait a few minutes while I tallied up scores to determine the winner. It felt like a long few minutes for them I’m sure.

At the beginning of the session, I explained the rules for the game, so that the players had an idea of what was going on behind the scenes in advance. During all the travel scenes, where they were making their survival, navigation, etc. rolls, I was keeping track of successes and failures which generated points or penalties towards the team’s overall score. If they took specific actions that increased their speed or hindered their progress, they similarly received or lost points.

Ahead of time, I determined the same scores for all of the other twelve teams. If the players took action to hinder another team, then I inserted a penalty to that team’s score and adjusted the table going forward accordingly. This gave me a working table that let me determine who the players might run into at any given scene by comparing team scores.

I also used the final score results of the table to determine which team was in first place and which team was the first place losers…

“The Shadow Team McLaren pulls into the garage… Just in time to see last years winners exiting their mud covered car. Failure… Petra, failure. This represents another failed year for many of the teams. Still, an impressive showing for Shadow Team. Augmented Reality has dominated this race for the last 5 years, with several of our other teams being past winners or at least multi-race veterans, for one of only 4 first time teams to finish in second is very impressive, the nearest new team placed in 7th. The biggest upset is veteran team Apocalypse Riders coming in 11th out of 12 teams. One of the final new teams the Lumberjacks taking last position. They did ok, reaching a highest position of 8th coming into the drop zone… Well, until next year, this has been Jonathan Archer.”

“And I’m Petra Maple, and we will see you next year.”

On the whole, I think this session was the first real “loss” the players have taken. Certainly there have been missions they’ve been screwed over by their Johnson’s or runs that could have gone better than they did, but they always had some measure of success in completing a job. To their credit, they took it like champs.

PREVIOUS: Side Mission 01 – Rat Race – Part 2
NEXT: Mission 04 – Convoy Ops

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