Saturday, November 24, 2018

Quick On Their Feet

Ran another session of Night's Black Agents / Dracula Dossier tonight.


This session started with a PC in the trunk of a car with a vampire. The PC was in the trunk of the car, because this particular vampire had created a telepathic link with the PC a few sessions back, and could mesmerize her for a moment or two at sunset. So, trunk of the car seemed the best place for her as the other PCs drove around near that time, so the Vamp couldn't see through her eyes and know where they were. What no one was counting on was that the Vampire could not just communicate and spy on, but could actually manifest next to the PC if the PC didn't actively try to resist her. Oops.

So a big chunk of the session involved the PCs suddenly having a fight with a vampire at a random street corner in London. They were unprepared for this, but did a decent job of thinking on their feet. They opened up a fire hydrant, and were happy to discover that did indeed count as running water. They escaped by carjacking some poor sap who was stuck at the same intersection as them. Quick thinkers, but not terribly heroic.

Police were quick to respond to the scene; confirming for the players that indeed Edom (the British vampiric intelligence agency, or maybe counter-vampire agency) was still watching them closely, and the Heat Level in London is too high for the PCs to operate safely.  When the PC hacker tried to hack the London surveillance network, a thing he'd accomplished twice before without trouble, he was suddenly met with stiff resistance from some government-issue white hat that was waiting for him to intrude again. They managed to get away again, but they now know they've been made, and no longer have the upper hand on the digital front.

They are leaving two active Vampires (no less than Mina Harker and Jack the Ripper) behind in London, but being international super-spies, the PCs are never more than a montage away from a new Operation. They have put a bunch of extra photos and strings on the Adversary Map (known affectionately by the players as "the Murder-Board"), so when things cool down and they can return, they will get a large Operational Pool bonus for targeting any of these Vamps or elements of Edom that they have identified in the past few sessions.

For now, they're laying low on the continent, and next session will be moving against the German biker gang that they suspect is working for a nosferatu rival of Dracula. The enemy of our enemy... is still a vampire, and needs to be staked, after all.

As GM, I am just a tiny bit worried about the players hitting the wall back in London. It made sense that this would be a very difficult area to make progress, given the high degree of government surveillance in that city, and it being one of the HQs for Edom, and the complicated nature of the "relationship" between Edom/Harker/Dracula in this particular. The PCs had early-on identified that Romania is "end-game" territory best saved till they have spent lots of XP and learned all they could about the best ways to hunt Vampires. London falls into the same "save this high-level stuff for later" territory, but they didn't figure that out until the second time things went pear-shaped.

Thankfully, NBA and the Dracula Dossier give the PCs a ton of leads to pursue all across the globe, so they decided to just head back to the continent and follow up more productively on some targets they earned intel on back in the early days of the campaign. These are lower-level targets who are more exposed than the NPCs realize, so they won't see the PCs coming. It should provide a good chance for a relatively easy victory that will bolster the PCs spirits, and lead them toward juicier targets further up the villain's org chart.