Monday, December 3, 2007

Ivar and the Titan-Spawn Mafia, part 1

My Scion campaign is set in Seattle. All the crime in the city is controlled by a mafioso named Mr Caponeson. He's a Muspel Giant, way bigger than anything my PCs could hope to deal with right now. But he has lieutenants.

In one session, the PCs were keepin' me on my toes, and I had to improvise. Caponeson was in his Relic Limo, and wouldn't deign to address the PCs directly. So I had to improvise a lieutenant who could act as intermediary. I made up a Russian Giant named Ivar.

There's a chain of seafood restaurants in Seattle named Ivar's. The reference wasn't intentional, but my players hit on it instantly. Since the Caponeson syndicate runs so much of Seattle's downtown distract, I couldn't really say "no". If the Giant didn't start the business, he'd no doubt claimed it as his own.

In my improvisations, I give him a thick Russian accent and a lot of bravado. He's mouthin' off, and my PCs know that his nearby Boss could dust them all. But Sarah steps up to the plate anyway. She identifies her character as Ashilda Helsdottir, and implies Caponeson is in danger of estranging a powerful ally (her mother, the Goddess Hel) if he lets Ivar keep giving her lip. She makes a killer Manipulation + Presence roll to back it up.

So, Caponeson makes Ivar apologize. He says that Ashilda can't have Ivar's life, but she can have a reasonable measure of his blood, taken in the method (and from the body part) of her choosing. She hands Ivar her Relic knife and demands one of his fingers. Since it'd never come up in-game before, I think Sarah had actually forgotten that her dagger was cursed to greatly wound anyone who used it (other than herself). I applaud. Sarah gets one of those "oh yeah" looks as I narrate what follows.

Ivar grabs the knife quickly, thinking he'll just drop some Legend to Self-heal and show her it didn't hurt him. He attempts to cut his finger, but the knife slips and slices his hand. Then he drops it, impaling his foot. He tries to pick it up, and bumbles further. He loses the tip of his nose in the process. Now ashen white, he finally succeeds in brutally hacking his finger off. Shaking, he hands her the cursed knife and a good deal of his flesh.

This makes Ivar look like a fool in front of his boss and half a dozen coworkers. Caponeson makes him walk home. Voila! Instant recurring villain! He's got a back story, a business portfolio, and a reason to hate PCs from here on out.

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