West Sunbury Us Deep

[ADMIN] First Meeting and Framework
Fits and Starts

Thanks for joining me on the call today.  I look forward to starting the game soon.  I am continuing to flesh out the area and lay groundwork for you to run in.  I have also uploaded a character sheet.  If you use Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can fill out this sheet electronically.  Beware, it's very robust and has a butt-ton of fields for you to enter.  You don't have to use it, but it's my favorite sheet to use for my characters.

Discord Channel is Live
Establishing Comms

Thanks to Skruffiweezil for taking the initiative to set up a Discord server and handing it over to play.

Today we discussed some basic rules, GM hacks, and things left unsaid.  We also established server roles in Discord and tested out some channel features.  Two links are pinned to the top of the general text channel.

Most of the GM hacks and basic rules we discussed are on the relevant wiki page Caveat Spatium Portalis but I did also go over the Ranged Combat Rules available in Rifter 11.  These rules are optional and you are welcome to select Ranged Combat Rogue, Ranged Combat Infantry, Ranged Combat Special Forces, or Ranged Combat Sniper if it corresponds to your Hand to Hand Skill level.  If you spend one skill slot, you may take any Ranged Combat Skill that you like regardless of what Hand to Hand Combat skill you took.  I will post these rules as soon as I can figure out how to get a digital PDF of those pages from Rifter 11.

S1E1: Point of Origin
Holy shit, our first real play session!

Game opens with some discussion on how the world came to be and some minor character descriptions.  Then, with some fanfare, our story is birthed into the wild untamed lands of Rifts Earth.

February 3rd, 108PA (03feb2426 AD), Borough of West Sunbury. A winter rain is falling, drenching the drowning flora and fauna and making a muddy mess of the streets and byways between the aging buildings. It is cold, grey, and overcast. A chill air seems to descend with the rain as four town militiamen, in their own way, deal with the effects of the frigid wetness.

Fairuza, a very tall human cyborg, stands resolute against the dreariness of the weather.  The sloppy wet mess of this winter is a far cry from the blistering white hell of the winters in her homeland.  Standing under the awning at the front of the store, she could almost feel like it was Spring.  Ever since tripping through the rift that dropped her here, the people of the town had been leery, but the mayor was also a cyborg and a lady with a past that led her to become so much machine.  That was enough to get her shelter and some looking after.  The townsfolk have a hard time finding a way to communicate with her, but being of small words in a small town, they surprisingly made do.

Arius breathed uneasily in his furs and armor.  His home was in the wild, not among the concrete jungle no matter how small.  Still, living within the boundaries of the Borough of West Sunbury, he felt a kinship with the townsfolk like one might feel a kinship with a local sports team.  One shows up to the games every once in a while because its a distraction and they have cheap hot dogs.  In this case, the place needs protecting and they have cheap hot dogs.  Besides, the mayor appointed him patrol lead for his team, and someone has to lead these noobs through the woods.

Mafortion watched with fascination as Yukky, Crunchy, and Salty eyed each other and him and feebly tried to make conversation.  Candy Crush had welcomed him into town about 9 days ago and offered him a position in the militia protecting this settlement.  That was a full 9 days after he was born, so things were looking up.  There was a sort of fog in his head right now as he took in everything going on around him.  It seemed like people came and went and had all sorts of things to do and kept on about how there were dangerous things out in the world.  He was so excited he could barely contain himself let alone his form.

Jacen rubbed the implants protruding through his hideous head.  The Mayor is an idiot.  Who draws straws, slaps four strangers together with barely two rifles between them, puts them in a truck, and says "go keep the city safe, heroes!"?  If there was to be any shred of a hope in Hades of survival, he was going to need to be on toes gathering information and making sure these guys knew what they were doing.  Breaking the ice with Robovixen over there didn't go so well at first, but they made a connection.  That's good.  Ordinary Guy and Castaway over here at least spoke English, so that was a plus.  Luckily, things were kinda quiet so maybe they won't get killed on their first patrol.


The four stood standing at the corner of 308 and State just outside Thompson’s Market. It’s about midday, and the beginning of the patrol starts in about ten minutes. They passed time with idle conversation just waiting for the other patrol team to report back so they could take the one of two up-armored SUVs and the patrol can start.

Thompson’s market is a medium-sized two-story building that’s seen a couple reconstructions over the years. Through the window, the clerk is seen busy checking out a young woman and her son. Three aisles of supplies and foodstuffs are shelved neatly and there doesn’t seem to be anyone else in the store.  A vehicle approaches from the South as a young lady and her child leave Thompson's market.  Jacen, a tallish human who was born at the top of the ugly tree and stopped to seduce every branch on the way down, calls out to the faded red pickup containing four tough-looking farmhands. It appears to be carrying supplies from one of the farms between here and Butler Prefecture.

The vehicle whirls around the corner and pulls into a parking space.  The driver gets out and tells Jacen gruffly that they came from their shift at the farm.  Arius questions the fourth field hand and takes a quick look in the back of the truck to see some tools and a couple bushels of vegetables.  Mafortion looks on in fascination as all this goes down, taking curious note of how people in this town do things.  Fairuza, also a stranger in this strange land and having worked out some rudimentary communications with the rest of the party, looks around while the last farmhand who didn't go inside is questioned and then released.

The approach of an oncoming vehicle draws Fairuza's attention and she alerts the party.  A beat up and up-armored SUV pulls out of Zanella's Feed and General Store and turns toward Thompson's.  It pulls in and out steps two white males, one Hispanic female, and a d-bee in light armor, all with thick coats, and light weapons.  One of the men scans the new patrol then the farmhands inside Thompson's Market.  He looks intently through the glass of the store for a moment before shaking his head and fetching his gear from the SUV.  Arius, struggling through the headache of being in civilization or primed to efficiency because of it, approaches the quizzical patrolman and asks him what's up.  The patrolman gives him a tired look.  "Those men, I got a funny feeling about them, but I can't be sure.  We can check them out if you want?"  Arius shook his head.  "Nah, you guys had a rough day.  Go on.  We got it from here."  The weary patrolman acknowledged and walked off with his gear to his truck.

Meanwhile, Jacen and Mafortion get the report from the patrol leader while Fairuza is distracted by a passing fascination with the pre-rifts beverage dispenser in front of the store.  After hearing about an Ork raiding party being turned back to the West and a small herd of about 6 Rhino-Buffalo passing by to the North, Jacen asks what the previous patrol had reported.  The patrol lead mentioned something about Veronica Hillard over in Dassa Combined School having trouble with her power armor but needed to go take some notes of the area on the outskirts of the Borough to the East.  Arius pulls the group together and begins to set up the patrol radio as the previous shift dispersed to their own vehicles.

To be continued…

S1E2: Chase
Warming Up a Bit

West Sunbury Us Deep S1E2  "Chase"


The Borough of West Sunbury Militia and Recce, or "BoroMiR", are tasked with keeping the area safe, and our rag-tag militia set out for their cold, wet, afternoon shift.  Jacen and Mafortion take the front seats while Fairuza and Arius take the back.


Jacen takes the wheel as everyone takes a seat in the old patrol truck.  The short ride to Wagner Mecha Services was largely silent after the decision to make it the first stop.  As the vehicle pulls up, an red-haired human female looks up but briefly from her agitated search about the front of her shop.  She is of average height and slender build and her red hair is parted down the middle as if to parenthesize a statement about her attractive face.  A hooded pullover covers her upper body, but over top her coverall pants lay an array of utility belts festooned about her hips.  She gives a perky wave to the party of BoroMiR militiamen before turning her attention back to the search.


Arius and Jacen step out and approach the bewildered but frantic mechanic while Fairuza surveys the scene.


"Good afternoon," led Arius followed by some hasty introductions.  "You look busy.  Is everything alright?"


Brienne Wagner stopped to focus on the guests at hand, but she could feel herself trying to split her attention.  "This yard is a mess.  I've got stuff to do and someone snatched parts from my yard!"  


Fairuza surveyed the area.  The ryzhevolosyy might not be the toughest of girls in the area, but she had a respectable shop.  The building was a two-story structure consisting of a large two-bay garage on the first floor with a staircase on the right hand side leading upstairs to a living quarters.  It was a mekhanik's sanctuary; enough room to live and plenty of room to work.  The bay doors lay open in spite of the cold and within could be seen all manner of tools of the trade from machinsts tools to diagnostic equipment to hand tools to power tools.  Brienne was more well-equipped than frontier bot repair stations often find themselves wishing they could be.  A pallet jack lay in the right hand bay, and looking about, Fairuza could see that most of the parts that Brienne was working on were on pallets that could be moved or even lifted to waist height.  The yard was a large concrete driveway in good repair.  Various pallets of parts and materials were stacked about.  Some were covered and some were not.  Just in front of the BoroMiR patrol truck lay a pallet with a large robot arm on it.  The arm was unfolded and a cover was discarded nearby.  Parts were missing from an open access panel.


Jacen could hear the mixed emotions in Brienne's voice.  "We can try to help you.  Do you have cameras in the area?"


Brienne nodded.  "There's one.  It just barely covers the more important side of the yard.  Help me move this robot arm inside and I'll let you at the terminal."


The terminal screen came to life, but the screen was an illegible mess of static and strange lines.  Brienne frowned and touched the side of the monitor.  With a few seconds of concentrated thought, the machine went dark, rebooted, then activated normally.  After a few clicks and button presses, Brienne found the video and Jacen, Fairuza, and Arius settled in for a movie.  The recording showed a band of six small, green creatures skulking about a ruined residence next door.  The two-legged creatures then scampered across the street and into the yard, uncovering pallets of materials as they went and stealing parts from underneath.


Jacen turned a blank face to Fairuza and Arius.  "You guys ever see these things?"  Fairuza spoke the Russian word for them.  "Goblin."  "Oh, you have those, too, where you're from?" remarked Jacen.


Arius felt upbeat at the chance to track down some thieves.  No one knew these woods better than him and Old Man Boyers.  Arius made his way out to the yard to start looking for clues and tracks.  They didn't make it easy.  Whatever those things were, they tried to mask their trail and the cold drizzle made tracks difficult to find.  Then after widening the search a bit, he found a lead and called back to Jacen to report it.  Dassa McKinney Combined School was the hub of all education for kids in the area.  With Moniteau High School in shambles and as rumor would have it, haunted, Dassa became the K-through-12 for the whole Borough and surrounding area.  School is in session today, and these whatchamicallit's are heading right for it.


Mafortion looked up from his power nap.  Crunchy was already back in the truck, Salty was hollering about going to hunt goblins, and Yukky was moving with a purpose not before seen in him.  Mafortion smiled and settled in for the ride to the fight.


Jacen moved like a man possessed, barely pausing long enough for the rest of his team to get into the truck before slamming the transmission into gear and taking off down the unkempt roads toward Dassa McKinney Combined School.  The team didn't complain much on the way given the threat.  The BoroMiR were not much, but they protected what they had with everything they had.


Except luck.  A period of upheaval, the ruins of a once-isolated world comprised of many civilizations, the coming of the Rifts and the horrors they let loose upon the world, a 300-year dark age of technology, and the resurgence of mankind from a time of great suffering weighed not at all on the physics of winter and high-speed driving.


The road to Dassa has always had a dip followed by a sharp blind turn in it about a quarter mile from the school.  It's a treacherous place that has claimed several lives throughout history, and this time was no different.  Jacen braced and compensated as the truck began to fishtail coming out of the turn, but then gunned the engine again as the school came into view.  A pothole surrounded by a thin layer of dark ice sent the truck for another ride, but Jacen recovered the vehicle again and continued on the way.  Lady luck threw her hands up on the third warning.  Jacen had just hit the brakes for a power slide into the parking lot when all four wheels hit a large icy spot on the road.  A split second later, the now sharply turned wheels caught traction again and lurched the truck to the left while the back end tried to keep going.  It was too much.  The vehicle spun around.  One front wheel caught a rock in the drainage ditch and the truck went tumbling pell-mell until it smashed into a brick and block sign marking the entrance to Dassa's parking lot.


Mafortion clapped with delight.  "That was fun, guys!  …Guys?"  He looked about the vehicle.  Ugly was making cooties with the airbag, a very odd thing to be doing at a time like this.  Crunchy's neck was probably not supposed to be bending that way or bleeding from her ears..  Yukky was awake but saying something about his ribs, probably because there was a very large bruise over half his torso.  He wasn't sure how he knew what to do, but he did.  "I will aid you," he said, as he reached hands out to his wounded companions.  As his hand touched their bodies, Mafortion opened his thoughts and reached out with his mind to explore the wounds in his allies.  Slowly, the cuts began to stich themselves.  Blood vessels, broken but now reassured under Mafortion's mind's eye, began to seek out themselves and knit together again.  When Yukky was well again, Mafortion turned his attention to Crunchy.  Her cybernetic arms felt like cold steel walls to his psychic will, but all the rest of her was a squishy meat-sack, badly damaged.  At first, he could feel her essence fading, but after a few moments of redoubled effort, Mafortion made whole Crunchy's broken shell.


Fairuza sat in a darkness growing colder.  Impossibly far away yet so clearly, she could hear the voices of her predki calling out to her.  At first it was one voice, then a few, then louder, then many, until she was awash in a din of related voices, all clamoring to tell her of all the gossip of the afterlife.  The dark void in which she found herself gave way to a dim, grey landscape reminiscent of a sort of hodgepodge between the Russia she once knew and the place that took her in.  She turned around to face behind herself and there was nothing but the talking she heard became louder and more discordant with every second.  Turning back, a woman stood where there was no one before.   She was taller than Fairuza, beautiful but somewhat translucent.  All the voices seemed to come from her and seemed desperately trying to get a message across.  Just when Fairuza could no longer bear it, they stopped, and the woman, without moving her lips, said only one thing.  "I got ya, buddy."


"What…?" said Fairuza, confused, before being plunged back into darkness, but this time with a warm glow.  Moments later, she awoke, rested and unharmed, but fighting mad.


Arius cursed under his breath.  The truck is ruined two steps into the patrol and the questions are going to come down to the team leader.  Hell of a way to start the day.


Jacen shook hid thoughts back into order and regained his composure.  The truck is mangled, but that’s a small price to pay to protect the school.  “It’s ok, all your parts still work.  Get moving,” he told himself.  In a flash, he was out of the truck and sprinting to the school.  The halls were silent as he sprinted to the far back corner of the building.  Rushing past the office and several classrooms, Jacen hastily scanned the rooms for signs of life.  Everything seemed normal and some kids were still in class.  “See?  It’s all good,” came a voice from within.  He rounded a corner to a fourth grade Geography and Wilderness classroom and burst through the door.


“Where the hell is he going?!” Arius shouted as Jacen left the vehicle.  Fairuza was after him in her best power-walk, still shaken from her near-death experience, but invoking all her Soldati training.  Jacen may be fast, but he was obviously going somewhere and was going to get an earful when he got there. 


“Where the hell is she going?!”  Arius remarked defeatedly.  Mafortion looked at Arius without a word.  “Right.  After them.”  The two disembarked the wreck and set out after their comrades.


Veronica Hillard had no idea where her love of maps and Geography came from, but there she was, awash in the contours and lines that represented every slope and flat, every river and lake, and it was all wrong.  These maps were once the way it was, but a 300-year dark age of no infrastructure and dimensional upheaval meant that nothing was what it seemed anymore.  Sure, the general idea of Route 308 still ran to Butler, and that would be fine if the old Viaduct area wasn’t flooded out, or if the big bridge wasn’t washed out.  Chicora?  What’s left of it is rebuilt up the hills to the Northeast.  Slippery Rock?  Ruins.  Route 8?  Now has a small ley line nexus over top of the Branchton Road intersection.  Boyers?  What Boyers?  


Veronica had made Cartography into her life work.  Strewn and posted about the room were maps of anywhere she could get her hands on.  Some were old, of the Earth that was.  Some were new.  Some were corrections.  Most were hand drawn and carefully meticulous.  Like the one she was working on when a familiar face burst into the room.


“Jacen!  Hera’s tits, you scared the shit out of me!”, Veronica started, rising from her seat.  Jacen quickly scanned the room before his eyes came to rest on Veronica.  “Are you alright?  Where is your power armor?” insisted Jacen.


“I’m fine.  It’s over at Brienne’s. I heard a strange noise last night and when I went out to look I found there were parts missing from my suit and it was dead.  I dropped it off this morning.  What’s going on?” asked Veronica, her dark hair was pulled back into a pony-tail and it danced about her neck as she moved and spoke.


“Goblins hit Brienne’s and stole a bunch of parts.  Stay safe, we think they may have come this way.”  Jacen left the words hang as he turned to go just in time to see a seething Fairuza enter the doorway.  Jacen made to move past her, but the tall woman seized Jacen by the shoulder with a firm cybernetically-enhanced grip.


“If you ever drive like that again—“ Jacen cut Fairuza short.  “—there will be a reason.” And with that, Jacen broke free of Fairuza’s grip and sprinted back toward the truck.  Halfway down the hall, Mafortion and Arius turned about as Jacen sped past them.  The team caught up with him seconds later just outside the front door, and all watched in disbelief as a pack of Goblin Scavengers were busy field stripping the wreckage of the BoroMiR patrol vehicle.

S1E3: Blooding
“Uzi does it...”

West Sunbury Us Deep S1E3 “Blooding”


Jacen, Mafortion, Fairuza, and Arius pour out the front door of Dassa McKinney Combined School just in time to encounter a pack of Goblins going over the wreckage of the BoroMiR patrol vehicle for parts.  In a flash, battle starts.


Mafortion was first off the line of scrimmage and with blazing speed set about clearing the some 200-foot distance between him and his quarry, “and boy are they gonna be sorry,” he thought.  A cry of alarm went up from the pack of short, green saboteurs who poked their heads up from their nefarious task.  A particularly quick Goblin drew a laser pistol and sent a searing energy bolt at Fairuza, but it went wide.


The gently falling rain somewhat muffled the sound of Fairuza’s heavy ion blaster clearing holster leather, but it did not at all mute her indignation.  The cyborg femme fatale drew the energy pistol up to sight in for point shooting and  began to move.  Her cybernetic arms aiding in keeping her weapon steady, Fairuza squeezed the trigger and a packet of charged ions slammed into the chest of one hapless Goblin.  


Snagritz nearly dropped pilezes when he saw what was happening.  Four hooman-looky creatures came out of the skool.  Dis was spozed ta be an easy snatches and grabses, but it was too open.  Teegrotz said it would be easy but he not know taciks like Snagritz.  Now Hagwortz’z chest just blew up and a quicksy hooman was coming down on themses.  


SHOOTZES THEMSES!” Teegrotz shouted, and Snagritz fumbled for his weapon as a laser blast from Jacen burned into his armor.  White hot pain engulfed Snagritz vision with the crack and a flash.  The runty Goblin ducked behind the wrecked truck and checked his pistol before peering out of the truck again.


Arius reached his spirit out to the elements around him as he strode forward toward the enemy.  A soft earth-tone glow traveled up from the ground, through his feet and legs and up over his head, followed by iron drawn from the very earth that washed over him and forged itself into a suit of mystically lightweight iron armor.  The glow faded to a rusty orange patina as the mystic body armor completed itself.  So clad, Arius strode forward like a rusty metallic avenging crusader of war… but slowly.


Two remaining Goblins opened fire, hoping to slow the advance of Mafortion’s juggernaut approach, but it was to little avail.  To their horror, the unarmored Humanoid before them shrugged off the damage as though a child had thrown a small rock particularly hard.  It was at this moment that Snagritz knew, they screwed up.


Mafortion approached his quarry with the relentless domination of a gladiator who knew his quarry was beaten, but there were several of them and he had a trick up his sleeve.  With a wet, throaty grunt, Mafortion hocked up a phlegmy ball of paralyzing bile and spat at the hopelessly unprepared Goblins.  As the spitball of cantaloupe proportions landed in their midst, it burst into a noxious cloud of poison gas.  Only two of the six Goblins managed to escape the hazy green mist, and a third within managed to fight through the effects, but the remaining three collapsed to the ground under their own weight, unable to move.


Fairuza noticed the two Goblins that dodged out from under the gas grenade that Mafortion threw at them. Still shooting on the move, she cut loose another blast of energized particles at the small green scavengers.  Her electric blast struck one Goblin high and near a weak spot in his patchwork armor, electrocuting and burning through the armor and sending it to the ground in a cooked, twitchy mess.


Teegrotz was determined that he could still win.  He leveled his laser pistol at the probably not human who just barfed on him and frantically pulled the trigger.  The seating burst of laser energy ripped into Mafortion’s chest and torso.  The BoroMiR Soldier recoiled from the attack and winced in pain but stood the attack.  Teegrotz spirit finally broke and he fumbled for a new e-clip to recharge his laser pistol.


Jacen’s mind was alight and time seemed to slow down.  The Goblin was terrified and though it reached for a reload, its hands shook as it tried to open a pouch to get a new magazine.  When it finally did get one, it was far too late.  Jacen fired his laser pistol on the run and sent a burning lance of light into the terrified Goblin’s armor.


Snagritz knew it was over but figured it wasn’t too late to run.  Holstering his pistol and grabbing a component he had taken from the truck, he turned and hoofed it as fast as his little legs would carry him.


Arius saw the flighty Goblin move and in a smooth motion produced his weapon of choice, his bow, notched an arrow and let loose a shaft.  The arrow arced in and found its mark, a meaty section of the upper leg.  The fleeing Goblin wailed aloud but kept hobbling for a faraway treeline.


Mafortion menaced the quivering Goblin who shot him.  While this hideous green thief did not flee, he froze in terror as Mafortion reached out and with inhuman strength, launched a quick slap of the Goblin’s face that crushed the right side of its skull.  Teegrotz met death before his body hit the ground.


With the battle well in hand, all that remained was the cleanup and what to do with the paralyzed yet still very much alive Goblins.


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