Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Saturday Morning Warfare (On Wednesdays!): Week Three, "Daemon Sockin'!"

In 2012, I took my first steps into the world of pen and paper role-playing-games. Which wasn't really pen and paper, but rather, Skype and a PDF. But whatever. This is the story of those games. Some of the character names have been lost to time and Skype kerfuffle, so I've done my best to replace them. I've also tried to make the Skype format into a more readable experience.  As with previous weeks, I removed some extraneous ("Is it my turn?" kind of chatter, while trying to leave the more "unique" and/or in-character remarks.)

Here is where the madness emerged in full. Things were never quite the same after this session, and the tone of all future games with this group was set. I'm…Look. I'm sorry in advance, okay? We were (and are) That Group. This session also includes my proudest moment in role-playing games, the chainsword-toss. Proudest. Moment. 

Cast of Characters:
Nick: The GM, and the one of us with the most experience playing RPGs. 
Greg: Me, as Commissar Gaius Galt, a political officer in charge of keeping troops from running away.
Jackson: A friend of mine, as Horton the machine-gunner.
JJ: Another friend of mine, as Sergeant Powell.
Zach: Yet another friend of mine as Dunner the Vehicle Operator.
Elisha: A friend of Nick's, as Titus and/or 80085, a mechanical priest. 
Matt: A friend of mine, as Dobro the ratling sniper. 

The Group: Making Warhammer 40K jokes and discussing the origins of the game STALKER, which is based on the movie STALKER, which is based on the short story collection "Roadside Picnic" by the Arkady brothers. Also some talk about Dr. Who and Kurt Vonnegut. 

Nick (GM): Since last time, you've been fighting through the rubble and have reinforced another Guard position. The Commissar got his arm lopped off by a sword-happy Elfdar. You're being sent to take out a position of mortars to the north. Now, there are three ways of approaching this. You could either be a part of the assault force, provide cover from some rooftops, or send a bit of the Squad to do both.

The Group: Some discussion of the best tactical way to do this. It's agreed that Dobro (Matt) and Horton (Jackson) will take the roofs to cover the rest of us. This seems relatively sound at the time. 
Nick (GM): The tank drives through the intersection, the Catachan soldiers prowling through the buildings to the side. Meanwhile, the three weapons teams run across the rooftop, trying to be as stealthy as possible. The tank rounds the corner, and screams are heard from somewhere in the distance…somewhere close.

Zach (Dunner): "OH, HOLY EMPEROR... Did anyone else hear that?"

Elisha (Titus): Negative. Beep boop.

Greg (Gaius): "Calm down trooper. It's probably just cultists screaming from the pain of their HERESY!"

Zach (Dunner): Is... Is heresy that painful?

Greg (Gaius): "Yes! Heresy eats your soul and spits it out at the feet of the Chaos gods!"

Elisha (Titus): "I feed on their pain. It makes me feel... happy. Beep boop."

Elisha (Titus): "Oh, the screams, Shall we investigate? Beep boop?

Zach (Dunner): "S-s-should we?"

Greg (Gaius): "Sergeant, it's your turn to give the orders. Oh, and tech-priest? Just because you are protected by the Mechanicus doesn't mean I won't execute you for heresy."

Nick (GM): The sounds grow louder as the tank rumbles forward. The troops along the sides begin to murmur among themselves. One more turn, and you face a Chaos strongpoint.

Elisha (Titus): "I don't know what you're talking about, Commissar. I would never perform any act of heresy willingly. Beep boop."

Greg (Gaius): "Good… Now, get ready for combat! The Emperor protects!"

Zach (Dunner): "FOR THE EMPRAH!"

Elisha (Titus): "So who do we get to kill first? Can I kill the building? I so very much want to kill the building. Beep boop."

Nick (GM): Meanwhile, the heavy weapons teams reach the top of one of the buildings surrounding the courtyard. "Tiayme fohr doinh tha jaab" one of the Catachans says, loading the Lascannon.

Elisha (Titus): "I yearn to hear the cries of a meatbag, or really anything squishy. Somebody fire! Beep boop!"

Jackson (Horton): I set up my heavy stubber on the edge of a roof. What looks like the most dangerous thing for the people on the ground?

Nick (GM): Horton, you see a summoning circle on the ground in the shape of a circle with an arrow sticking out. Robed cultists surround it, sprinkling incense on around, lighting ceremonial candles, chanting in an odd tongue. "Slaanesh ia ia noriabi fuku shinita lesta veritas!"

The Group: Variations on attacking the loathsome heretics. Horton (Jackson) fires the heavy machine gun, Dobro (Matt) fires his sniper rifle, and so on.


Nick (GM): Horton, you fire, the rounds hitting the ground. You failed to do anything but garner their attention.

Elisha (Titus): "What was that? There was barely any suffering. Give me more suffering! beep boop"

Greg (Gaius): I charge forward, flailing my chainsword with my remaining arm. "I WANT MY ARM BACK! I WANT MY FETHING ARM BACK! FOR THE EMPEROR! THEY'RE TRYING TO SUMMON A DAEMON OF SLAANESH!"

Nick (GM): Dobro, the sniper round hits a cultist dead in the jaw, the laser shot flash-melting his face, his eyes popping out of his skull like popcorn. His head explodes like a hand grenade shortly after, shrapnel flying into his comrades.

Matt (Dobro): Spitting on the ground I say, "Headshot!"

Elisha (Titus): "Now THAT is how you deal with an unruly squishy. Take note. Beep boop"

Nick (GM): The Catachan's weapons fire. A score of the cultists get hit, their bodies melting from the force of the shots melting the cultist's uniforms. Shotgun shells rip them apart, gore and blood coating the ground. The lascannon fire, missing, reduces concrete into liquid.

Nick (GM): The cultists raise their guns, firing into the Catachans. A few fall over, dead. Shots bounce off of the tank. One catches Powell in the chest, his flak armor absorbing the shot.

Elisha (Titus): "Powell, what do you drink after a particularly rousing destruction? beep boop"

JJ (Powell): "I have always been fond of a drink of amasec."

Matt (Dobro): "I wonder what is taking the other squad so long to move in. Makes me think they're incompetent. I'm going to smoke a lho-stick. I hope that blasted Commissar runs in and gets his blasted head ripped off"


Nick (GM): The gunner looks down on Dunner, and then shakes his head. "Fething heretic", before firing the Heavy Bolter into the crowd, reducing several of them into cultist puree.

Zach (Dunner): "I-I SWEAR, I SERVE THE EMPEROR!" *shakes in fear*

JJ (Powell): I switch to chainsword and order the men to charge to the summoning circle "CHARGE MEN, CHARGE! UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE PUREED AND KILLED! NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER!"

Nick (GM): Powell, you charge into the circle, killing one cultist. The rest of the squad wait, nervous. The second group of cultist fire their autoguns, four of the members of your squad falling down, dead.

Greg (Gaius): Bellowing in rage, I throw my chainsword at the summoning cultists. "GIVE MY ARM BACK YOU HERETICAL SERVITORS! GIVE IT BACK!"

Nick (GM): The chainsword flies across the courtyard, hitting a cultist dead in the chest, its motor activating by the wind pressure. The cultist's chest is shredded by the chainsword. 

Nick (GM): Greg, you had to roll over a 90 to succeed. You rolled a 92. 

Elisha (Titus): "YES! GRIND HIM, GRIND HIM TO BITS! beep boop"


Matt (Dobro): "Maybe that Commissar isn't such a waste after all"

Elisha (Titus): (And thus, the sniper learned the meaning of heresy and friendship.)

JJ (Powell): "And he did that with JUST one hand, you cultist freaks!'

Jackson (Horton): I fire at the summoning cultists, spreading fire between them as much as possible.

Nick (GM): The shots rain upon the pavement, managing to hit a singular cultist, his armor deflecting it. The summoners finish their chant, the air rippling around them. "IA, IA, CUSTODES SECRETORUM!" The monster emerges from the portal, screaming loud enough to make the head of a psyker explode...a mile away.

JJ (Powell): "Ah, feth."

Greg (Gaius): "Brace for Daemons! STEEL YOUR SOULS AGAINST HERESY! Slaaneshi daemons are bewitching!"

Matt (Dobro): *puts out lho-stick* *lights another lho-stick*

Nick (GM): The daemon sweeps its sword across the ground, slicing the Sergeant in half. It licks its lips in enjoyment.


Matt (Dobro): "I could have lived my whole life without seeing something as disgusting as that"

Elisha (Titus): I fire at the daemon's crotch. 

Nick (GM): The shot hits the daemon in the groin. You hear hissing steam, and the daemon begins

The Group: No one is okay with this. We are horrified. There is laughter. It is nervous. 

Elisha (Titus): "Well this is a most reprehensible turn of events... At least he's enjoying it? Beep boop?"

Greg (Gaius): I stare in horror. "What...Dear Emperor, what is going on?"

JJ (Powell): *From beyond the grave* "WHY????!!!!"

Elisha (Titus): (When did this turn into bad fanfic?)

Nick (GM): The Catachans pour fire on to the beast, slowing its approach towards you down somewhat. The cultists begin cutting themselves and doing other, less savory activities this author can't describe for fear of the RPG Commission breathing down his neck. (Running a Squat army).

Elisha (Titus): (Like... discussing lawn mowing techniques?)


Greg (Gaius): "It's the heretical power of CHAOS!"


Nick (GM): The autocannon rounds hits the Daemon in the head. The falls over, large portion of the appendage removed. It has been vanquished.

Greg (Gaius): "Thank the Emperor! He is our shield and our protector! Now, where's my FETHING ARM!"

Elisha (Titus): "That was it? Why, that wasn't even that fun. I didn't feel anything. Beep... boop. Nothing will be the same after that. Boop... beep..."

Greg (Gaius): "Believe me, cogboy, if you been grabbed by that thing, you would have felt quite a bit."

Nick (GM): Alright, the remaining cultists are mopped up with minimal effort. With the mortars removed, backup will come much easier.

The Group: Discussion of what JJ's new character should be. RIP Sgt. Powell. JJ decides on a Stormtrooper. Someone reads a…thing…they wrote. It is a thing that cannot be summed up by mere words. Everyone is still a bit shellshocked by the daemon. It's universally agreed that Nick made a mistake with that characterization and that we will never speak of it again. Except I just did.