Note: Unless a character or non-player character has a superscript number attached to their name, all characters and non-player characters hail from Earth1, the Ordinary World (our world).
March 14th, 2011
The characters turn towards the man, several of them reaching for weapons, but the man warns the characters not to draw on him, or he'll have no choice but to fire at one of them. Once everyone calms down somewhat, he introduces himself as Richard Drake2, but says they can call him Rick. Given where they are, Michelle Helstrom (Joanne) realises that he's a Nearsider like them, but he seems...less human to her, somehow.
They talk with him for a bit, and Rick tells the characters that he is the "keeper" of this small section of Chicago, and that he makes sure that newbie Nearsiders don't get into too much trouble. He asks them if this is their first time off-world, and when they tell him it is, he asks if they're some of Carlos Albanez1's "kids". They bristle, but admit it. Rick then tells them that he'll leave them to it, as they probably have things to do. When the characters ask if he's going to help them, he laughs, says "No", but offers them advice. He can't be everywhere in his protectorate, and there are dangers even here that he's not about to help them with. They react with some surprise to this, and he grins and says, "Welcome to the Nearside, kids."
Once Rick grabs a few items out of the shed and takes his leave, the player characters decide that they need to leave the shed and go in search of broken room that will take them home. Turning to Kate Matthews (Angela), their Finder, the characters ask her to use her abilities and give them an idea of where to go. She attempts to use her Finding abilities, and is able to determine that the nearest broken room is located due west of their current location, but can't give them an idea of any other information about it, other than it will cycle soon. Max Roberts (David) takes charge once more, and tells them they need to head for the broken room as soon as possible.
The characters leave the shed, and begin to travel overland in the direction noted by Kate, towards the broken room. From the nearby forest, Rick watches the rookie Nearsiders moving off. The perceptive Hayden Blake (Kathy) and Kate notice that there are signs of other humans in this area, as well as animals, and let the others know. After two hours of walking through the dense foliage, and having to cut their way through in places, the characters come upon an old campfire site that is slightly overrun by vegetation.
The characters decide to stop and have a small meal; while several of the characters gather some wood and make the food, Max and Richard Martinez (Nick) keep an eye on things. Andrew Travers (Tom) tries to engage Kate in some conversation, but she's having none of it. He tells her and the others that he's capable of Opening the broken room when they arrive, but that's just a last resort if they can't leave when the room cycles normally.
Once the player characters set off, after Kate rechecks her information on where the broken room is and confirms that they are still heading in the right direction, the characters make some notes on their observations of Vanished. Andrew and Michelle express a bit of concern that they will not make it to the broken room before it cycles, but are reassured by Kate and Max that they have plenty of time. So intent are they on other matters, that none of the characters are the wiser when three men step out of the forest, as if by magic, and confront them.
The three are sorry looking in appearance, with somewhat ragged clothes and jackets and a lean appearance, but the old-fashioned machine guns in their hands mean business. One of the men tells them his name is Owen Murphy, and that he and his friends want their belongings, as well as their food. The characters refuse, and when one of Owen's men opens fire with the sten, Richard instinctively uses his Blocking ability to stop the spray of bullets from hitting his friends, but with only partial success. Max uses his Moving abilities to double his own speed, and takes out one of the men quickly, while the other characters gang up on Owen and the other man. The player characters disarm the three men easily, though Richard and Michelle take a couple of injuries, and Kate and Hayden have been hurt by the initial gunfire. While Max and Richard, along with Hayden after her wounds are treated first, keep an eye on Owen and his two friends, the others do their best to treat the most injured.
Once the characters have recovered, Andrew and Michelle are shocked when the others decide that Owen and his friends can't be left alive. Owen pleads his case, claiming that the player characters would do exactly what he and his buddies did if they were in their shoes. The player characters give each other guilty looks, as they realise that their variants may be out there on this world... Reluctantly, Max agrees to leave them there unconscious, and after accomplishing this task, the characters prepare to head off once more.
Eventually, Kate stops again and gets her bearings on the broken room, and says that it's less than a mile from their location. As they prepare to head off, Max warns the others to approach the broken room carefully. Avoiding a couple of snare traps, and some deadfalls, the characters reach what appears to be the ruins of a small shopping complex, most of which has caved in on itself. Searching for an entrance, Kate warns the others they have less than 20 minutes to get to the broken room before it cycles.
The player characters cautiously enter the shopping mall, finding their way in through a couple of large, gaping holes in the walls. Kate informs them through a use of the Nearsight skill (and a clock map), that the broken room lies only 20 feet away... In what appears to be the remains of a photo booth!! As the characters get closer to the booth, they realise that it's going to be a tight fit. Kate says that the broken room will cycle in less than fifteen seconds. At that moment, a group of men and women, some seven in all, charge towards the characters, bearing an assortment of improvised weapons.
Kate shouts to the others to get into the photo booth, while she and Angela open fire with their handguns on the small group, but not at them, more to provide suppressive fire. It works - and the two women dive into the photo booth and join the others, just as the broken room begins to cycle!
With hearty laughs and some nausea, the player characters appear in a tangled heap in the photo booth at the Montmorency Mall, much to the surprise of several bystanders who are waiting to access the booth while "maintenance" is being done on it. Two mall security guards approach the area, claiming that the characters are some of the maintenance staff (both of them work for Regency), and escort the shaken characters away as quickly as possible.
Several hours later, in one of the Regency Group's safehouses on the west side of the city, the player characters are being debriefed on their first mission and having the standard medical examinations that Regency conducts on its field operatives. When they are done and given the green light, Carlos Albanez tells them that they did pretty well on their first field job, but that it was a practice run. The next time, he says, it'll be an actual life-and-death mission.
And that was the wrap-up on the first adventure of the Broken Rooms roleplaying game that the Friday nighters played. This scenario was meant to be an adventure to teach them a bit about various aspects of the game system and the game world, and to be relatively easy with a few things at stake in it as well. All in all, I'd say that it worked pretty well for what I intended it to do, and the players did a really good job at it, and learned how to work with their Meridian abilities quite well.
Afterwards, the players told me that they had rather enjoyed the game session and that Broken Rooms was one of the nicer surprises gaming-wise that they had had, as they didn't know what to expect in play, and found that the adventure that I ran was rather good, with a bit of everything to it. David commented that the Momentum system mechanics grew on him as the game went on, and that he really likes how everything is so "neatly tied together" on so many levels. Tom commented that he had a lot of fun with this, but that he didn't really think the characters would make it to the broken room on time. He made a bad joke about a "photo finish", which I rather liked.
Anyway, the group will start a new Broken Rooms scenario next week, and I'm looking forward to that.