Melanie Franconi (Kathy Bauer) - Cat Burglar/Thief
Wendy Saltman (Angela Marsh) - Courier/Street Thief
Sandra Mitchell (Ellie Bauer) - Librarian/Magical Dabbler
Lucas Wells (Mark Williams) - Businessman/Realm Runner
Andrew Quilling/Andar (Peter Johnson) - Transformed (Living Land) Athlete
April 3rd, 2017
The players create their characters for the Torg Eternity roleplaying game. The players begin with an introduction to the world of the Torg Eternity Roleplaying Game, learn some of the basic mechanics of the game, proceed through the introduction to the game world and the basic Glossary, and partake in several samples of combat that teach them the basic mechanics of the system. And how deadly the combat system is.
April 3rd, 2017
The place: Core Earth. The continent of North America. The country of the United States, the state of New York, the city of New York and its immediate environs. The time: the early spring (April 3rd) of the year 2017 AD. The player characters are Melanie Franconi (Kathy), Wendy Saltman (Angela), Sandra Mitchell (Ellie), Lucas Wells (Mark) and Andrew Quilling (Peter). It is a mundane day of the week, but things are about to change in so many ways – and not for the better.
The adventure begins in the city of New York and its environs, on a day like any other. Melanie Franconi (aka “the Black Cat”), a thief and cat burglar of no small reputation is breaking into the fashionable Westchester home of Marne Kirby, as she’s seeking to steal a collection of rubies in possession of the well-to-do suburbanite. Her search for the jewels proceeds well, and then disaster strikes. A security cop spies her, and stops her, questioning her, but then realizing what she’s doing. She leaps through one of the rear house open windows, and the security cop chases her out into the home’s large back garden. The two are taken by surprise to see a massive, oddly coloured, storm with terrible lightning raging around them. Before they can react at all, they are knocked to the ground by a wave of energy that sweeps around them.
In downtown New York, Wendy Saltman, a courier, is going about her business, and has just finished a delivery to the Mann & Carson Insurance offices. Stepping back out into the street, she heads to her vehicle, a dark brown Mazda 3 hatchback. She runs into a young girl, and sees that the girl is with a group of school children on a field trip. She apologizes to the girl, who tells her her name is Janet, and then meets the teacher, Mr. (Steven) Hardiman, who apologizes for Janet, and tells the courier that the field trip to the Marshall Museum is just wrapping up before lunch. The teacher is worried about the storm that is threatening, and Wendy sees the vicious lightning erupting from it all around her. Several of the students scream, and the teacher grabs onto Wendy’s arm as what appears to be a massive bridge of vegetation descends from the heavens. Wendy offers up a prayer, as it seems to be descending into Citi Field - where the New York Mets are opening their season! There is a massive rumble and everyone is thrown to the ground and then a wave of energy passes through Wendy and those around her. Three tremendous bolts of lightning from the storm strike the ground in the area, and Wendy is dazzled and blinded for a moment.
Librarian Sandra Mitchell finishes up her work at the New York Public Library, even as cracks of thunder can be heard in the building and the lights flicker several times. Emerging onto the street, she bumps into someone and realizes that it is her neighbour, Wayne Derson [whom she doesn’t know has a crush on her]. They apologize, and both are scared by the ferocity of the storm raging around them. Wayne says he’s never seen a storm like it, but Sandra isn’t convinced there’s something special about it, other than the sheer violence of it. Wayne asks if he can escort her home, but she says she’ll be all right. At that moment, what feels like an earthquake strikes the area, and three bolts of lightning strike the top of the Library, causing some stonework to fall. As an energy wave of some sort passes through the area, Sandra frantically attempts to dodge the falling debris.
Businessman Lucas Wells is returning to New York from a trip to Boston, flying first class. The aircraft touches down in New York’s main airport, amidst one of the most vicious storms that Lucas has ever seen. He could swear that there are red bolts of lightning striking outside the aircraft’s windows and debarkation proceeds normally. As he peers through the sheets of rain at the air terminal windows, he and the rest of the passengers are horrified to see what appears to be a massive “bridge” of some sort descend from the heavens into the heart of New York. There is a massive earthquake moments later that causes the terminal to shake violently. A wave of energy passes through the area, and all the lights go out and the sound of the air circulation system cuts off. Panic erupts in the airport.
At Citi Field in New York the baseball game between the NY Mets and the Cincinnati Reds is about to start. The new baseball season is upon us! Reds’ right fielder Andrew Quilling sits in the dugout with his teammates as the Reds lead-off hitter strides out to the plate after the national anthem, and the pitcher for the Mets readies to throw the first pitch. The crack of thunder and the bolts of lightning that streak across the sky makes Andrew wonder why they’d play baseball in this weather. As the first pitch hurtles towards the plate, a massive peal of thunder sounds, causing the baseball stadium to shudder, and then a massive bridge of living vegetation mixed with bones descends from the heavens, crashing straight into Citi Field. The impact causes a massive earthquake, and as the players from both teams try to get off the field, a riot erupts in the stands as an energy wave passes through the stadium. Andrew is horrified to see that there are…creatures…descending the vegetation bridge, creatures that look like lizard-men!
Back in Westchester, Melanie climbs to her feet unsteadily. She feels strange, like her body is exposed to mild electric shock. The security cop gets to his feet, and seems dazed and confused. The two are horrified as pair of shadowy figures leap over the garden’s rear wall and head towards them rapidly. Melanie is shocked to see that they are very large lizard-men, wearing some sort of bony hide armour, and carrying vicious looking spears. The security guard comes out of his daze, and charges at them, attempting to fire his pistol at them. The gun seems to be jammed, and the security guard is attacked by the two lizard-men. Uncharacteristically, Melanie leaps forward, grabbing one of the small fence posts that are lying on the ground ready to be hammered into the ground, and rushes at one of the lizard-men. She strikes him with the spear, and inflicts some damage thereby attracting his attention away from the security cop. Her “Moment of Crisis” is upon her [she becomes a Storm Knight] and using her innate defensive abilities and the element of surprise, she takes down the lizard-man she’s facing, and then manages to drive the second one off [she spent two Coup de Grace cards during the fight, and one Drama card]. The security guard[, Chip Haley,] tells her that he’s grateful to her, but she silences him, saying they need to get out of there before more of this “things” come after them. The two of them head out by the gated door leading from the rear garden; Melanie notices the gate itself and the door lock and handle are rusting, but thinks nothing of it.
Wendy Saltman’s vision clears to a scene of horror and devastation. Parts of several buildings have come crashing down, and a multitude of strange vegetation has sprung up in the area in moments. Mr. Hardiman and Janet come up to her, and say they’ve lost the other children and beg her to help them find the rest of the school kids. She is able to help them find 6 of the 12 other children, and then makes a horrifying discovery: two of the children have been killed, but not by falling debris but by what appears to be savage claw marks. She hears a hissing sound from behind her, and turning, is shocked to see what appear to be two small dinosaurs out of the past - velociraptors! Blindly reaching down, she picks up the first object she touches; it’s a hefty flagpole. In a desperate moment, where she also achieves her “Moment of Crisis”, she snaps the flagpole and tears off the flag, thus giving her a makeshift staff that will also serve as a spear in a pinch. As the first velociraptor attacks, she parries its blow and then clubs it, knocking it unconscious [she spends a Hero card to do so. The second creature gets a good shot in with its dewclaws, and she moans in pain as the creature slices her arm. She is saved as several of the children strike the raptor with pieces of rubble, and while it’s distracted she strikes it from behind, skewering it on the flagpole [she rolled an Outstanding Success] and takes the creature down. [Steven] Hardiman thanks her, and then gathering up the remaining children, Wendy and the teacher move away from the area, seeking safety and shelter.
Sandra Mitchell dodges the falling debris, just barely. As she moves off through the deserted, rubble-filled, vegetatively active “streets”, she has the feeling that she is being followed. Turning, she spots a half-dozen what appear to be people following her, but there is also a tall, lizard-man-like figure with them. Seeing they have been spotted, it orders the humans to bring her to him. She realizes that the people in question are no longer homo sapiens but have devolved into an earlier type of apeman - and they are armed with primitive clubs. She thinks one of them was once a policeman, given the torn clothes hanging from his body. She moves off into the jungle-like conditions, trying to evade them, but they somehow keep her track, and she despairs of avoiding them. As she stumbles about, she finds a couple of small spears that she has the impression must have been something else before the storm. She sneaks back the way she came in a roundabout way, and is able to attack one of them, taking it by surprise, but receives a bigger shock when Wayne Derson appears out of nowhere and takes down the second one that manages to grab her by an arm. He clubs it down with what appears to be an oaken branch. Handing her one of the primitive clubs, the two manage to bloody a couple of the creatures’ noses before managing to flee into the wild streets of New York. She goes through her “Moment of Crisis” and feels different somehow, but can’t take the time to figure out what’s happened to her. Unknown to them, the Edeinos Optant that was following them calls off the search for the woman…for now.
At the airport, Lucas Wells keeps his cool, and starts to make his way out of the airport amid the chaos that has erupted around him. He discovers that his mobile phone no longer works, and so armed with nothing but a multi-tool and flashlight, he makes his way through the airport. Concentrating on saving himself, he is momentarily distracted by the sight of two women being menaced by something…a lizard-man!?…and wades in on the creature with his fists. He makes short work of the lizard-man, triggering his “Moment of Crisis”, and agrees to escort the women out of the airport safely. Injured in the fight with the lizard-man, one of the women, Jessie [Haller], notices his predicament and tearing off one of her blouse sleeves fashions a bandage for her. Lucas snatches up one of the spear-like objects from the lizard-man and a bone knife, and the three make their way out of the airport. The surroundings are now filled with vegetation, almost a jungle, and they move cautiously, Lucas leading the way, as they can see lizard-men and other animals in the jungle. “Don’t that beat all,” Lucas says, matter-of-factly.
With the various team players, both Mets and Reds, fleeing back down to the tunnels and the clubhouses below the stadium, Andrew Quilling is all set to join his teammates when he sees two of the lizard-men attacking a pair of women in the stands behind the dugout. With a bestial roar, Andrew charges into the stands, armed with one of his baseball bats, and savagely attacks the two lizard-men who are taken by surprise. The women scream as Andrew approaches, for his “Moment of Crisis” has triggered, and he’s transformed, devolving to a primitive human state! The savagery of the attack and Andrew’s sheer strength takes down the two lizard-men rather quickly [invoking the Law of Savagery doesn’t hurt, and using a Drama card on each of them doesn’t hurt, either!], and while the two women are grateful, they run off. The now somewhat primitive minded Andrew [“Me am…Andar!”] desires nothing more than to be away from the “dead things”, and slowly makes his way out of the Stadium, killing “enemies” as he goes….
Last night's session of Torg Eternity was absolutely terrific, and a lot of fun. The players certainly enjoyed themselves, and I know that I did. The new player in the group, Peter Johnson (the friend of Mark's), made his "in play" debut with the other players, and had a great time. He wasn't sure about the roleplaying games thing due to not having played in over two decades, but he loved his character, had a blast with the game situation to start the Possibility Wars, and found the game mechanics really simple (once he got over the learning curve of the Bonus Chart).
Overall, I was really pleased with how the game session went, and am looking forward to next Friday night's game session. Lots of fun had with the game (once more). Can't wait for next week!