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/qst/ - Quests

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The Red Lord Of Ruin rewards all that follow him. This is the meta and analysis thread for GOLGOTHA. Feedback, rules, clarifications, analysis, memes lol go here. If you have ideas how to improve the setting, you can use this thread. Please try and stay in character on the main thread (obviously not always possible, but walls of text make it really confusing)
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See how long you can stay alive in an unrelenting assault of supernatural horror. The main story has concluded, but perhaps there is still hope left?

GOLGOTHA horde/survival mode now open...
see last section below for rules

0. PRELUDE and The Tarot
>>5121873 story begins... do you know the film?
>>5129350 story ends, credits, inspirations
(long wall-of-text meta section, player feedback, review, analysis)
>>5130240 there is an evil QM twist lol
>>5130372 game completion unlock (hidden in later section because of spoilers)

>>5131605 This is the Horde / survival mode. Rules may change. You will not survive.

When the Magus died in Golgotha, all balance was lost. There will be no end to the terrifying forces of horror and darkness that descend upon the city. You cannot survive. You have been warned.
Nooooo... I just read this. But I sort of anticipated it...
I'm not actually sure since I haven't done it, but maybe you can delete threads just like deleting a normal post.

Otherwise, it isn't that big a deal, not every feels the same way about it, it isn't a big harm and it doesn't clog the pages as much as if this were back in the /tg/ days or more active days of /qst/ so I wouldn't worry too much.
thanks. Are you a lurker? I am trying to work out how many players I have lol. There is only 1 who is pretty dedicated, maybe 1 other who also had some good ideas? But I think some anon mentioned I have 6 votes on the archives or something
If I actually have 6 players or even more than 2 lol I would probably carry on running quests, like I did as a DM before everyone moved away / lockdown. But otherwise like the effort is a bit too much. Golgotha is 784 Megabytes of used and unused pictures, 1386 files lol and I have googled far too many underpants photos I think I am turning into the underpants cultist myself lol.
No, I'm the anon that wrote the post saying not to do meta threads, basically your most active player. I'm gonna sleep now though. I just wanted to walk back my advice a little, because while I think I have a decent pulse on the culture of quest related boards for someone who very rarely actually discussed things with other in the general threads, I do not represent everyone so I wanted to ease up on how much my opinion represents the "BOARD CULTURE" (tm).

Not a player but refer to this post:
ah ok, now worries! Your feedback is really helpful. I hope your life is not too stressful, it sounds like if it is affecting your sleep you need to get more rest and relax a bit. Sleep well ^_^
oh no I am so retarded
I'm certain that you have a cast of lurkers, because you have a pretty good upvote rate on the archives and some lurkers come out now and then to vote for one choice before vanishing into the aether. I also can just vaguely tell...somehow...I've kept more than a couple of quests afloat by just myself and 2 other anons for the typical minimum of 3 voters necessary for QMs to feel like there is enough participation to allow for disagreement and having a tiebreaker until the point where anons caught on to the fact that said quest was good and wanted to participate.

I will say that I feel that while people may enjoy your writing, I think based on my experience playing other difficult quests that difficulty tends to make anons afraid to vote for some reason, certainly I remember it being expressed in general threads and other places that people were afraid to participate in Valen quest or other quest due to the perceived difficulty or fear of screwing up everything for others. Kinda a weird sentiment to me personally, I can empathize with the anxiety but not the fear of playing.
before this thread gets nuked and taken down, can someone teach me how do you roll multiple dice types is it just dice+1d6+1d4 ?
Or is it like dice+1d6, dice+1d4
You cannot do multiple dice types in a single roll.

If you need advice or help just ask man, someone will help you out with the culture or features or QMing advice. Or at least I will if no one wants to talk, or the other anon that votes I'm sure.
Rolled 2 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

As a lurker who has no real vested interest in this dude's work, I can explain the whole "OOOOO DIFFICULT??? NO!" deal.

1.) Choice paralysis. If you give a rando /qst/er two buttons and say that one of them will kill their favorite character and one will spare them, but they don't know which one is it, they're more likely to opt for the "only winning move is to not bother" deal.

2.) A good chunk of people come here to read an interesting story and not to feel a knife at their throat. While a QM holding a knife at someone's throat can be cool, it's just not as appealing as rando fun or autismo number crunching.

3.) No one wants to be the dude who helps pick the choice that leads to the quest ending.

let's see, I put in dice+1d6+1d4
Also, not to be insulting, but you constantly going on about intense deep symbolic references and references to vidya games/movies can be a bit off-putting to some rando questers

Especially if it seems to be an original work. No one wants to try guessing what movie you watched and liked to get bonuses in the quest, that's just really bizarre, It's one thing to make a creature or plot thread or location based on a game, it's another to do some weird trivia pursuit thing.
Also, if you are getting burnt out then just take a hiatus or a break and relax and just vote in some quest or do some reading for some inspiration. Or if you are worried about retaining readers/voters or want to keep in touch with players then just create a twitter and only use it for quest updates, if you want to be more personal with your players then create discord and just make a rule barring discussion around specific plans for a current vote in one of your active quests to avoid pissing off the crowd that hates discord. (and to avoid cliques)

I did see your comment agreeing with someone else on the thread general about running quests being emotionally draining. I'm sorry if you feel your effort and work isn't being appreciated because it doesn't seem popular, or if my wall of text criticism was too draining for you or something.

Just take it easy.
Let me give you the secret cheat codes to winning my games (unfortunately, this will not help in random death endless Horde mode)

In the intro prelude I wrote:
>Fear makes the future possible

All the games I made are about a test of how true you are to yourself. Why did the Sibyl win? When an anon there realised, the game was about sacrifice. Sacrifice your dwelling, sacrifice your protection to save Dorotea, sacrifice your magic at the end to take down the Marquis... You win. This time round in Golgotha, I could tell the anons had the wrong idea of what was going on.
They thought the Magus was transgender - fell for Danger Hair trap.
They executed the followers - but then wanted to take down Paribus? Why? If you are going evil, either straight out execute him, or perhaps just focus on getting more guns and magic first? At the Art Gallery, did they realise that the CEO of Paribus was right there, the instadeath technosorceror Orationist waiting to kill them in the next room? And they wanted to take them down with underpants?

So this is why the game ended like it did. At the very end, if the anons rejected violence / weapons etc, and asked more questions, Yargai would delay loading the bullets in his gun. It may have given you a better chance to survive.
I my games I do not really make a distinction between good and evil, I think they are sort of moral simplifications, but I merely test how committed you are to either path. If you waver constantly between in all directions, you may become underpowered, and get an indifferent ending.
okay look, if some dude is casually just loading bullets into his gun, why wouldn't the players wanna 1.) use violence to stop him and 2.) sit around asking questions when all that clearly does is give the cocktease more time to load more bullets

you do realize that, right
lol, hate to further hop on this band wagon again, but I'm glad I wasn't the only one.

I know you've mentioned Soulsborne games before Souvarine, but in Soulsborne games I've independently come to the same conclusions as popular theory crafters on image boards or youtube, which goes to show how good (usually) those games are leading people to any number of specific possible conclusions. I've only rarely felt the same about your symbolic references, when the Consort playthrough concluded and you revealed that "X faction represents facebook and this faction represents the military-industrial complex" I was super interested in your reveals and thought process, but I was also like "lolwut, there was no hints of that to any real meaningful degree".
Because the Magus changes reality with his thoughts. He can do anything. But it only manifests under pressure, when the Magus is in dangerous situations, close to death (think about the Red Forest). Under threat of death he wants a magic weapon - he gets it. Under threat of death he laughs and talks about underpants - a devoted assault rifle carrying follower is summoned. But walking oblivious into an art gallery without even being aware of the risk of instadeath, the incredible danger... this was sadly the outcome this time round. I think one anon even said it. They were not aware or felt the incredible danger they were in throughout the entire game.
Yes I was getting that sense from the feedback too. That was my first qst, I am really more used to being a DM with real life dice. I am not at all infallible, the reasons I ask for feedback is sometimes I go autismo lol and forget other people do not understand the thoughts in my head lol. So this is why the feedback is really helpful, really appreciated. At the table I can get like nonverbal hints (you can see people panicking, or feeling confident that they have got it right etc) qst is a bit difficult that way. Also in case you are wondering, why Golgotha is modern day this time (the skyscraper 163 floors is a hint at what year it is set in) it is because I thought by making it familiar to people, CEOs, charities, tech conference, cartel gang executions they can understand the logic of the world better.
I am just interested, of the inspirations, how many of those videogames have you guys played?
Well, since this holds some questions for the ways I voted, I guess I'll answer.

>Transgender shit
I mean, it felt ambiguous to me what the deal was with us. I had no idea at that point our disguise ability. And I mentioned this before in my criticism during a prior quest, but I don't feel like we can be blamed for this when we literally frequently have less information as players than our own characters do of the setting.

Like, before choosing tarot or the orb in Galerne as the Sybyl it sure would've been nice for us to know precisely what the Sybyl knew about how those items worked, like, I can infer what the orb was used for for seeing through time or spying or whatever it was used for (I can't remember and am too lazy to go back and look) and as a spell focus, but it isn't exactly clear right from the get go right until the moment of a important choice.

Or it would've been nice to know what the Eschatologist was doing getting the code from the spy, or what the Red Lord of Ruin is in-universe or what the Black Span of Desire is or any number of things about the factions that our character would know. Now, we eventually found some of those things out, but as I said then and will say now, not knowing why our character was doing what he was doing that day or what the premise of the playthrough even was from the beginning was disorientating, though I still enjoyed that playthrough a lot in the end.

>executing followers, why take down Paribus, why go to that point without more leveling up

I had no idea we had so little control when in the feeding frenzy mode, I was thinking of just shooting him before I thought of my recording plan, but the other part of it regarding pretending to be some charity association person got superceded by your sudden introduction of our Betrayer's Tongue spell making the recording aspect more important. Furthermore, my plan didn't solely revolve around Paribus, but using them to disperse the crowd through the whole "reveal that paribus used fake grassroots to create fake outrage to stir up a mob" thing, killing Robert was not something I was married to, especially because the other anon didn't want to kill Robert based on his prior choice to merely investigate them, so I was hesitant to just kill him.

As for why not git gud first, frankly I feel like that is on you at least a little bit, now I MAY be wrong, but I felt like there was no indication that the Major Arcana floors were "Final Boss Levels" or more difficult zone, I thought they were merely another part of the sandbox that just happened to be more important, if anything I thought they'd be safer owing to the distance from the pursuers and crowd and proximity to the Magician floor. Remember, I loved the sandbox elements of the lower levels, but you made no mention during the path we took regarding any relevant minor arcana floors to safer at, nor was there significant hints to other sources of magic weapons on the lower levels aside from killing-
-magical or peer opponents. I wouldn't have gone to Major Arcana floors if I felt there was adequate sources of information regarding our memories or other things on the lower floors, the same with weapons. But the allure of buying stuff from Yargai felt like the only major lead for both in one convenient spot.

Now, to be clear, this isn't ALL or even mostly on you. We didn't have to kill our followers, I or the other anon could've pushed to keep them and gain their trust to learn more info about the secret entrance, or interrogated the cultist more, or moved to confront the Vourukasha or other peer opponents, or just chose to wander around fighting people more. There are many other things we could've done.

I just feel as if that most of the "plot" related hints or the "level design" so to speak of the Tower in hindsight could've been better in regards to the dispersal of points of interest.

I also didn't know Paribus were the instadeath people yet or the nature of their ability, you literally explained their ability through out of character meta dialogue in ()s or after the game had ended. Don't quote me on that though, perhaps I impugn you mistakenly, perhaps there was a paragraph where we came to that revelation and were suddenly like "you realise this" and I'm mistaken, if I am then I apologize.

I didn't want to kill Robert with underpants, I think I may have mentioned something about thinking that I didn't want them to see our face or that it may interfere with their ability, or perhaps I just was thinking it at the time internally, but I didn't want to garrote him with it. Ah, I do remember wanting to "level up melee" by using him as a training dummy though.

>Anons should've rejected violence to gain more answers.

It was just me at that point first off, and second off...dude...this was the part where I guess I took too long due to sleeping or you had another "this moment MUST BE URGENT" thing going on or something, but you literally had a vote up and then moved on to the next vote and had Yargai dry-fire twice and then load more bullets in before I could even vote on the initial vote. We hypothetically could've killed him or wrestled with him or just ran if he only had 2 bullets in his gun instead of five. This is one of the very few moments out of every point in your various quests where I felt it was just unfair, it certainly contributed to the perception by me of being railroaded.

I can appreciate this to a degree, but it seems to make your quest lose a sense of nuance that would've otherwise be there if players could sometimes make mixed choices. In a way I'd make the unflattering comparison of comparing it to binary morality choices from RPGs such as KOTOR or Mass Effect or other such games. I do think the point about committing to a path makes sense in regards to player power or endings though.

Yeah, again that was me, you can tell by the ID codes dude, this isn't like other boards.
I'm glad you are open to feedback. It makes the time I take to write out these walls of text feel worthwhile. I'm glad to have read your quests.

>modern familiarity

Eh, I mean, Galerne didn't feel that unfamiliar either. Invultua wasn't that odd either, aside from my initial confusion over the scope of the setting.

Literally all of them except Killer is Dead.

Okay, that is it, I accidentally stayed up too long, I gotta go sleep. Good night, take care, cya later today.
>This is one of the very few moments out of every point in your various quests where I felt it was just unfair, it certainly contributed to the perception by me of being railroaded.

I admit this was a bit unfair, I saw 12 hours had passed and I was wondering if anons had just given up in the face of certain death. I wanted to give you guys one more chance though because if you had faced the CEO in the art gallery you were far too underpowered (hint: the chariot roll meant he was leaving for the helipad, a helicopter was coming, you had no chance, no weapons, you lost the chance even to fight him with a magic handgun). Instead of letting the CEO instakill you for not getting the answer at the art gallery, I wanted to give you one more chance, but under near impossible odds. Were you really committed to the evil cult path? Any of the questions regarding the gods, the cult or the underpants lol would have massively evened the odds.

Something I would also say is I would prefer if you do not provide contingent branching decisions. Like: if this happens, do this, if this happens, do that... it feels like a bit of meta probing for all the choices. I could be wrong but it makes me generally think that you are not sure what to do. If there is some information missing, just ask it in character. If I think you should know, the world will respond. I remember in Galerne as the Sibyl there was some anon who saw the choice to persuade Evariste, and just realised it felt wrong, that he was too stubborn to be persuaded. That is how I like to play the game. You might also find that you get rewarded if you just choose based on what you feel.
Incidentally Evariste had a very good retort for the persuasion option. If you research how duels were conducted in real life, they were often sited near boundaries / jurisdictions where laws were unclear, eg rivers and crossings. The Old Lighthouse that gets cut off by the tide (where the two conqueror brothers landed) is actually outside of the Duke's jurisdiction (though I suppose he had by then also just leapt off a cliff), so that is where duels are conducted on the island.

Could the ending of the Sibyl be better? The answer is yes. To defeat the Marquis without losing magic, being blinded and unnaturally aged, you had to meet the Knight Of Pentacles. This would have helped you talk the Duke out of his suicide - you would also have gotten to see some of Dorotea's portraits earlier. But overall I think the choices were really good. Some were a bit last minute, but you guys worked everything out in the end.
Rolled 14 + 80 (1d20 + 80)

Rolled 52 (1d78)

The answer to this question is that this mode is completely random and unfair. There are traps (no not those kind) and random encounters everywhere. It is sort of like OSR style rpgs. Perhaps watch out for more of these neon shrines in the future though, some might be more helpful.
At the moment, the motel looks like this

1 game controller
2 clothes
3 health
4 weapon
5 headphones
6 you choose
7 2+d3 enemies
8 a really good weapon
9 phone
10 vending machine
11 powerful enemy
12 key

13 X inaccessible X
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QM: Continuing the showdown in the burning Switchblade Salon here, as the main GOLGOTHA thread hit the image limit of 375 images.
BLOODchad reporting in.
>with the Sawn-off Shotgun (-1 ammunition 12 gauge shell to 4 remaining, restore 4d4 Blood)
Having an uneven number bugs me.
>Listen to your favorite videogame's ost on shuffle.
>loot phone
Rolled 3, 2, 2, 2 = 9 (4d4)

rolling to Blood
Rolled 9, 13, 13 + 40 = 75 (3d20 + 40)

ok you are at
Blood: 9/22
Trauma: 66/100 (The Red Lord Of Ruin cannot claim your soul even at 100/Trauma/PUNISH whilst you have Blood remaining)
Condition: Scorched

You have two phones
- Your phone, battery: 72%
- Alice's phone, battery: 75%

>roll 3d20 for Trauma recovery (deplete 1 phone by 60% battery, which one?)

>install tarot app -20% battery
>roll 1d78, try and get some appropriate Major Arcana, hope for healing magic -10% battery per attempt

>search maps for nearby medical facilities (-10% battery)

>(something else...? For example can try and scroll through Alice phone contacts etc. I will say general phone information / search actions -10%, installing uploading downloading stuff -20% battery or more depending on complexity of task)
Why do phones guzzle so much power in this world?
It's hard to believe that all these people had their minds. voices, and actions shackled by a rectangle that can't even go an hour.
Otherwise, I really like the gameplay effect of having to kill people and steal their phones like stealing electrolytes in Metal Gear Rising.
Rolled 10, 3, 9 = 22 (3d20)

>drain own phone
>use last of the battery to locate a gun store
hehe phones represent mysterious technosorcery ^_^

Remember you are being hunted by the Vourukasha now, the more you use phones, the more likely it is they will find you...

Can decide what you want to do with your newfound smartphone treasure hoard, I will go back to sleep now lol ^_^
the amount of fours here pleases me
>conceal weapons

Just so you lurkers and archive readers know what I'm doing, I'm looking to situate myself in a defensible location on top of a pile of weapons so I can fight witches while absorbing their delicious electrolyte rectangles to use for restorative yiik battle themes.
The goal is to kill enough mobs to access the secret dungeon and steal all the best magic items so I can make Souvarine cry again.
>drain own phone
>use last of the battery to locate a gun store
QM: Ok I will let you do this at -10% battery cost, but I will convey the information to you in a slightly different way...

>The goal is to kill enough mobs to access the secret dungeon and steal all the best magic items so I can make Souvarine cry again.

QM: This is a noble ambition. Bear with me as I need to post a lot of summaries and items (I will let you know when I am done through a greentext choice, as the next scenario develops)
Speaking as an occasional lurker, I'll state that the reason I don't participate is that things are too fast-paced, intense, and complicated (I don't really know what's going on, and I feel like I'd have to read very closely to have a shot at figuring that out). These things seem to be part of your QMing style, so I'm not saying they're inherently bad or that you should change them, but I thought you might want to hear from the horse's mouth.

Also, I don't think you need that many pictures, especially if it's causing actual issues for you. Many quests get away with pure text with the rare supplementary image.
>conceal weapons

QM: on concealing weapons...
- the switchblade is nearly undetectable when retracted and pocketed
- the sawnoff shotgun is concealable, but ideally you need a long jacket (or a certain bathrobewaif6969 style outfit...) the corporate attire you are wearing will just about let you conceal it but with a suspicious bulge near the groin area lol
- unless you find a Very Large Bag, there is no way to conceal the Barbed Wire Baseball Bat, as it is a two-handed weapon

No worries, don't be afraid to participate! ^_^
This mode is just a randomly generated deathmatch like / horde combat / city or dungeon crawl mode, there is not that much story or narrative unlike the main campaign. I am just using it to test some awkward combat mechanics lol the rules are a bit made up and will change a lot. Even if you do not want to make a decision, if you have ideas as to rules, mechanics, locations, items, factions, magic or videogame / film / literature inspirations that fit the setting I can try to incorporate them ^_^ I really need some better narrative gunfight rulesets for this if anyone knows something (not GURPs or Cyberpunk 2020 style gunfight simulation please, simpler is better for me...)
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(Here is the 1d78 +tarot+ table again from GOLGOTHA story mode to save me switching tabs and threads)





15 XV: The DEVIL

19 XIX: The SUN

22 0: The FOOL














Blood: 9/22
Trauma: 44/100 (-22 from here >>5153718 )

You are wearing:
Corporate Clothes, Charred

You possess:
Ordinary Phone, battery: 2%
Alice's Phone, battery: 75%
Wallet / Strange Identification


Sawn-off Shotgun, Over-and-Under
Ammunition: 12-gauge 2/2, 2 spare shells

Barbed Wire Baseball Bat

You are Scorched, Scarred from molotovs and burning glass shards hurled at you by the Riot Intruder Pink

Corrupted (II): Red Ruin Acolyte
- hit on Major Arcana - sacrificed the helpless Alice, after pretending to heroically rescue her from the Burning Switchblade Salon
- continue to endure Trauma / PUNISH in the afterlife, even at 0/22 Blood from a Mortal Wound. At 100 Trauma the Red Lord Of Ruin claims your soul, though He cannot do this if you possess any Blood. You got this trait just by clicking an autoplaying pop-up video advert.

You are being Hunted by the Vourukasha, seeking to avenge the death of Alice. They will attack you on sight to injure but also attempt to capture you alive. Currently the Vourukasha do not know who you are, but they know the last location of Alice was at the Switchblade Salon.

Patriot, Dead
- stabbed repeatedly with switchblade, then clasped in a burning embrace after you were set on fire by his riot Intruder companion Pink

Alice, Dead. Faction: Vourukasha
- sacrificed to the Red Lord Of Ruin in a sinister rite in exchange for corrupted power, just after you pretended to heroically rescue her from the burning Switchblade Salon

Pink, Escaped.
Health 9/9
Hostile / Riot
Vanity, pleasure, wishes, sensual delight
- Maliciously injured Alice to distract you and make her own escape, after also setting you aflame with molotovs

Dr Suleman Bayraktar, Escaped
Health: 4/4
Suspicious, fearful
Foundation, (reversed) insecurity, uncertainty, a gathering or event, instability
- Fled carrying a rugged mysterious suitcase containing what you suspect is the ground control station unit for an unmanned aerial combat vehicle, or remotely piloted attack drone. Dr Bayraktar is suspicious of you since you did not help to protect him during the intruder attack. He did not however witness what occurred between you and Alice afterwards.

Karl, Senior Hair Stylist, Switchblade Salon
Health: 2/2
Withdrawal, stalemate, avoidance, decisions, denial, uncertainty, ignorance
- You did not meet Karl. You may be infuriated that he missed your haircut appointment slot, even though you booked in advance. But the Switchblade Salon is now a petrol-bombed smoking ruin, and most of you hair has been singed and scorched off anyway...
Close Range, Concealable, Swift, Small
One-handed Weapon
SWORDS, (majors)
When attacking a surprised / unsuspecting opponent, roll N=1+1d4, then roll Nd78 tarot cards drawn
Sawn-off Shotgun (over and under)
Short Range, Loud, Compact, Manoeuvrable, Inaccurate, High Recoil
One-handed Weapon
WANDS, (majors)
12-gauge 2/2, 2
(loaded/capacity, remaining ammunition)
4dX, 8dX at ranges X=d4, d6, d8, d10, d12

(can dual wield Switchblade and Sawn-off Shotgun, to hit on majors, SWORDS and WANDS at very close range)
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Barbed Wire Baseball Bat
Close Range, Brutal, Bulky, Knockdown
Two-handed Weapon
5d4, WANDS, SWORDS, (majors)
roll 15 or higher, to knock back and deflect incoming projectiles like grenades / molotovs etc. as if swinging and hitting a home run
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(recover 1d20 Trauma at -20% cost of phone battery)
(inflicts temporary trait: Deafened, whilst worn)

Snug over-ear closed-back dynamic stereo headphones with active noise-cancellation. Neodymium magnets, 10-20kHz frequency response, 63 Ohms impedance, 106 dB/W/m, 1000mW power handling.

Listen to videogame OSTs, literary audiobooks, relaxing ASMR amidst the chaos, as Anarchy Reigns.
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Wallet / Strange Identification
There are some strange glyphs on this wallet, it appears to be a security identification or clearance of some kind.

It looks a bit cheap, like a toy.

You stare at the peculiar typography, completely perplexed. What do these hieroglyphs mean? You feel like you have seen this logo somewhere before, but they must have changed it recently.

Certified Internal Auditor?
Customer Interaction Agent?
Consumer Institute Of Aesthetics?
Council Of International Archaeology?
Charity Investment Association?
Commission Of Internal Affairs?
Cryptographic Information Alliance?
Citizen's Insane Asylum?
And two new items: (optional)
Strange Syringe / (Vial Of Dungeonmaster Tears)
single use 1/1
Evaporates and dries out rather quickly, when exposed to daylight and shame. Inject into an opponent to render them helpless and additionally hit on CHALICES (you can attack immediately afterwards)
Inject into self to reduce 1d20 Trauma. It just isn't that satisfying...
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Lifestreaming Control Protocol
Phone application (-20% battery to install. Roll 1d20 in battery cost to use)
single use 1/1
Feed upon the trauma of others by leeching the parasocial Trauma of their virtual lives and fascinations directly from their phone battery. You reduce Trauma by 1d20, but you also lose the same amount 1d20 in Blood (additional Blood lost below 0/22 carries back over to Trauma...) Target phone overheats, ignites, melts for the designated 1d20 damage.
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You are searching the city for gun stores on your phone, rapidly draining the battery. Most of the gun stores are located far away, near shooting and hunting ranges in the rural outskirts, and a lot of the hunting equipment stores within the city appear shut due to the rampaging demonstrations and looting occurring everywhere. This is incredibly frustrating. As the battery on your own phone dies you notice Alice's phone has a few old messages with a friend of hers, Scarlett:

...I really think he is the one, Scarlett. Even though his interests are very different to mine... he collects a lot of old wartime memorabilia, he venerates a lot of old trench warfare antiques and historical stuff. And he has a lot of military outfits and collectible insignias. But he is such a sweet person! I can tell from our long online conversations. You should meet him! Even if he lives underground in a disused subway tunnel. He has such a poetic, romantic name - Siegfried. It sounds really heroic...

>Write-in any preparations you want to make, before entering the Underworld... (eg anything you want to install or search on your phone, any additional healing etc)
>Install Lifestreaming Control Protocol, -20% battery. Using this application costs 1d20 battery
>install tarot app -20% battery, then -10% each to attempt to draw Major Arcana for ancient rites
>general searching on phone, -10% battery
>uploading/downloading on phone -20% battery, increases with complexity of task
>something else...?
Rolled 20, 56, 46 = 122 (3d78)

(generating some NPCs, will be revealed later...)
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The Red Lord Of Ruin offers:
>(accept the offer) PUNISH +39 = 3x 13, ie Trauma to 83, in order to reveal some information about the enemies ahead and the general surroundings and situation in the Underworld

>(decline the offer) roll 1d6:
1 become naked, lose all items but keep one item
2 Hand Of Comfort: restricted to one-handed weapons and items only (cannot dual-wield, cannot pick up or use Two-Handed items / weapons)
3 deafened
4 just naked, but you have to carry all your items in an embarrassing heap in both of your arms until you find a bag of some sort
5 nothing happens
6 gain 1d6 uses of item: Strange Syringe / Vial of Dungeonmaster Tears
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As you descend into the Underworld of the subway and metropolitan transit you can hear loud talkative voices. You can see several individuals waiting by the platform edge. There is a Strangely Dressed Demented Clown performing a peculiar mime to himself in the corner. At the other end of the platform, there is a Lost Girl in a hospital gown, who looks a bit dazed as if she is injured. In the middle are two influencers, a man and a woman, who appear completely absorbed in themselves. They are attired in a lot of tech gear wired with cameras, torches, rucksacks and recording equipment, almost as if they are ready to go mountaineering, skydiving or caving, except they are standing on an underground metro platform.
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The male Urban Exploration Influencer, Marcus, says:

...so if you think about it, a skyscraper is a bit like an inverted mine, and a mine or quarry is a bit like a depthscraper! For every Tower imagine the wounds gouged deep into the Veins Of The Earth, all the excavated and gathered materials to build it... Now there is a story that when the MAGUS built their Tower 13 years ago, they were obsessed with ensuring that it would remain a monumental architectural feat unmatched for posterity. The MAGUS apparently hired some genius architect or engineer - his specialty was actually poliorcetics, military engineering, Bremer blast barriers, T-wall reinforced concrete, that sort of thing, and he had actually received a knighthood abroad for his wartime perimeter fortifications. Anyway the MAGUS entrusted the engineer with some stupendous sum of capital expenditure, 22.4 billion, in order to create a leviathan subsurface infrastructure coiling around the T1 Sky Tower, beneath the Alsephina International Finance Centre and the entire Etemenanki Plaza. The massive basilisk-like tunnel boring machines alone each cost 80m! But afterwards Alsephina institutional shareholders found out about the extravagant outlay. They were not pleased, especially given that the MAGUS was already saddled with numerous lossmaking divisions like Axiom-Galdra and Urthekau-Sylabari. So the MAGUS had to abandon the project, just bury and entomb everything where it laid beneath the ground... And to placate the shareholders, MAGUS even divested some of its long-established consumer-facing Hospitality, Resorts and Entertainment subdivisions...

The female influencer, Erica, interrupts:

Make sure you have connected the cameras, Marcus! Not like when you forgot last time and we lost everything. Set it to record to local storage, not cloud upload or streaming... away from the embankments there is no phone signal underground...
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>So the MAGUS... hired a ... siege knight... to bargain with some sort of... subterranean wyrm or dragon, using a .... treasure hoard... in order to fortify his... wizard tower. OK. (Continue listening to the conversation between the Urbex Influencers)

>Interrupt the Urbex Influencers, ask them some questions? Perhaps they know where Alice's military collectible fanatical friend Siegfried resides...?

>You have heard enough. Investigate the strangely dressed clown in the subway.

>Approach the Lost Girl, looking dazed in the hospital gown.

>(something else...?)
Videographer, Urbex Influencer, Content Creator
Health: 6/6
Recognition, promotion, praise, self-confidence, role model, success
Content Creator, Livestreamer, Influencer
Health: 9/9
Vanity, pleasure, wishes, satisfaction, dreams coming true, success, wellbeing
>Search Alices's phone for information regarding other individuals in her witch pirate coalition.
>Interrupt the Urbex Influencers, verbally abuse them.
>Really, you're making a video on the MAGUS? Now? Could you have picked a more oversaturated topic? There's already hundreds of two hour video essays that cover exactly what you want to talk about with more detail and better editing than you could manage. Everybody that cares already knows. Nobody is going to care about your video, if anyone thinks about it at all it will just be muted distain, not even enough to leave a comment or dislike. What dedicated followers you do have will lose respect for you and your new viewers will quickly lose all interest in you. Your parents will continue to be disappointed in your failure to pursue a real career and soon you will have to face the consequences of your poor life choices.
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>Search Alices's phone for information regarding other individuals in her witch pirate coalition.
>accept (Red Lord Of Ruin's Bargain)
(This information will be automatically revealed to you as the narrative progresses)

Alice's Phone, battery: 65% (-10%, search contacts)
PUNISH / Trauma: 83 (+39 from accepting the Red Lord Of Ruin's bargain)

There is something unnerving about scrolling through a dead person's phone. It feels like you are glimpsing through their final thoughts, their innocent dreams and aspirations... before they came to an abrupt end. By your hand.

Aside from her unfortunate romantic infatuations, Alice appears to have been a mostly innocent and amiable person. She posted on some millennial influencer-witches hashtag but from what you can tell it is mostly just cottagecore floaty faery dresses, some flower petal arranging and divination, inspirational poetry quotes and encouraging tarot readings. She appears to have befriended and confided a lot in Scarlett, a certain Becky or Bektamun, who is really into sailing and yachts on exotic tropical beach island destinations, and a mysterious Saertu Moon-Arisen, but there are no pictures of her, just the alias. You can see Alice had added the book she was reading, Der Narrenturm, to an ebook .epub format shopping basket - but she must have changed her mind and forgotten to download it, or perhaps Alice just preferred the authentic feel of hardcover physical books, supporting independent local bookstores - that is the sort of person she is. Or was, before you gave her to the Red Lord. Alice also seemed to be studying to become a nurse of some sort. She genuinely wanted to help others.
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As you are scrolling through Alice's phone, you can hear the Urbex content creator Marcus continuing his monologue. You wonder if he is talking mostly for the benefit of his invisible action camera audience of subscribers, and that there will be extensive post-production editing down of his monologue later:

...so the MAGUS divested his Hospitality, Resorts and Entertainment Division. But you see this made the Entertainment Division CEO really unhappy. He lost his life's passion! He wanted to make people laugh...! This CEO could have just accepted the Golden Parachute, the generous negotiated executive remuneration offer and walked away into some new role or responsibility. But the Entertainment CEO decided to make a big deal out of this, he went and leaked to the media about some of these lossmaking divisions under the MAGUS and what they were really doing, technology companies offering products for free to create a desert of profitability, commoditising the complements of their core endeavours, guarding an oasis of profitability for themselves and ensuring no competitors can ever emerge... and the military contracts, why else would you need to spend billions on seemingly pointless experiments with no viable route to market... Anyway the MAGUS discovered the leaks and of course Paribus got involved. Their ploy was simple, discredit the source: they counter-leaked some of this Entertainment Division CEO's... questionable personal relationship history with employees, their intimate proclivities with some outraged yet vulnerable subordinate and of course there was an uproar from corporate governance etc and he was never heard from again...
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Rolled 10 (1d10)

(You interrupt here with your verbal tirade against the Urbex Influencers Marcus and Erica. Their 1d10 reaction table is as follows:)

Marcus and Erica
1 becoming unfriendly, suspicious: your disturbing burnt and scorched appearance, carrying a baseball bat, has somewhat unnerved them
2 glance at you uneasily: they try to keep cool and not show it, but you are frightening them
3 hesitant, unsure
4 ignore you as they continue being absorbed in content for their channel
5-9 they enthusiastically believe you are one of their subscribers / dedicated fans, and try to sell you merch, t-shirts and action camera promotions, and indoctrinate you into becoming a patron, signing up for their weekly newsletter updates as well as donating to their upcoming urban exploration photography book launch
10 they adore your burnt post-apocalyptic survivor cosplay with customised barbed wire baseball bat accessories. Marcus and Erica follow you now instead.
Nice, some hirelings.
Do I gain any additional charges of DM tears for this?
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Somehow your verbal tirade against influencers has been perceived as honest and engaging open feedback. Marcus and Erica adore your scorched and scarred post-apocalyptic aesthetics and think you could help them promote skincare and wellbeing regimens as well as hydrotherapy and self-care spa relaxation coupons. They will follow you around devotedly documenting everything you do (though they cannot upload or livestream it because you are underground) and they also want to add in some postprocessing effects to narrow your cheekbones and give you a more chiselled look and favourable lighting afterwards, to help encourage sponsors.

>Ask Marcus and Erica if they know where Siegfried, Alice's romantic infatuation and military-obsessed fanatical collector resides

>Speak to the Strangely Dressed Demented Clown

>Speak to the Dazed Lost Girl in a hospital gown, who looks like she is injured

>Something else...?
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Rolled 6 (1d6)

(QM: no tears it is all going according to plan hehe...)

This event roll occurs after your choice:

1 Some rioters arrive openly brandishing fire bombs and molotov cocktails. They appear to be running away or trying to hide.
2 Some rioters arrive empty handed. They look very upset and restless.
3 Some rioters arrive carrying looted luxury clothes and electronics. They seem quite satisfied and nonviolent.
4 Pink arrives, nonchalantly
5 Karl arrives, he is speaking on his phone to someone about a fire...
6 Dr Bayraktar arrives, still clutching his rugged suitcase / attack drone remote ground control unit
>Ask Marcus and Erica if they know where Siegfried, Alice's romantic infatuation and military-obsessed fanatical collector resides
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When you mention Siegfried, Erica's face lights up in complete astonishment and admiration. She is completely awestruck by the powers of your intellect.

Siegfried... that was his name! The engineer the MAGUS employed, to construct his subsurface depthscraper... In fact now I remember it, I think Siegfried had a content channel too. It was actually more popular than ours, he basically showed off his huge collection of military and wartime historical memorabilia, he had all these machine guns and assault rifles and grenade launchers and these rare flare guns and stuff. And he also had some reenactment videos where he dressed up as a knight wielding a large two-handed sword in these ridiculous kneeling stampeding postures like some sort of combo manoeuvre. Siegfried's channel was really popular but I heard he got demonetised because he got into some trouble with some uniforms or insignia and saluting or something, I did not really understand it. His content was so positive! He taught children history! But we can take you to him. He actually resides near a section of abandoned subway we are documenting today. There is no internet there, he does not really like the internet anymore. I should warn you, the abandoned subway is quite dangerous...

(Erica and Marcus will gladly take you to Siegfried)

>Follow the Urbex influencers as they explore The Underworld, depart right now.

You should get some more information, or try and gather even more followers:

>Approach the Lost Girl, looking dazed in the hospital gown.

>Approach the Strangely Dressed Demented Clown

>Something else...?

(QM: Dr Bayraktar arrives after this choice. You get to act before his reaction roll on seeing you)
>Follow the Urbex influencers as they explore The Underworld, depart right now.
Could use some of that intel right about now.
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The Lost Girl
The Demented Clown
QM: So I think if you depart immediately, you miss encountering Dr Bayraktar and any trouble that might bring, but you also miss the chance to speak with any further NPCs or gather followers. The Urbex influencers can help guide you in the abandoned subway, and highlight some dangers.

You can also try (this delays you, there will be another 1d6 riot encounter roll etc.)
Ask your entourage, the Urbex Influencers if they know anything about
>Dr Bayraktar
>The Demented Clown performing mime to himself in the corner
>The Lost Girl in the hospital gown
or just stay with the original plan
>Depart immediately for the abandoned subway (follow the Urbex influencers)
>Depart immediately for the abandoned subway (follow the Urbex influencers)
You are gingerly stepping between the conductor rail, the power rail supported by ceramic insulator brackets carrying 750 to 1000 volts DC to the mass transit locomotives... but Erica and Marcus appear to be unfazed, and are gambolling along carefree, torch beams arcing casually in the dim light. Marcus is saying:

You can relax! There is no voltage on the rails. The rioters are using this abandoned passage to move around the city undetected all the time! It is really quite convenient for us too, all the police and security are being distracted by the protests and looting... there is no-one to catch us trespassing! We can get so much footage, enough content for a month's worth of editing, all in a single night!

Erica suddenly pauses and whispers -

B-but... what about the dragon? The Basilisk? The Great Wyrm? I heard it turns people into stone...

Marcus replies dismissively,

That is just an urban legend the authorities spread around to keep content creators like us out of the cool abandoned derelict areas! The MAGUS does not have an actual dragon! They just do not like us prowling around! You know if the transit authorities would just hire us, sponsor some photography and give us some funding, we could provide them with much better promotional materials...

Ahead of you there is a ear-blistering groan of tortured metal, like a dislocated wheel being ground against steel rails. It sounds like mechanical scraping, but it is not loud enough to be an approaching locomotive.

Tell your followers to advance and shine a torch towards the tortured metal grinding sound:
>Both of them together

>Advance towards the grinding metal sound yourself in the darkness, whilst Erica and Marcus behind shine their torch beams ahead of you

>Stop where you are, motion for your followers to remain still and silent, listen in the darkness to see what you can discern as the grinding approaches

>Retreat towards a more open and better illuminated junction area in the abandoned subway, away from this narrow dark tunnel. Perhaps the source of the metal grinding will pass by you, towards another tunnel instead?

>Something else...? (e.g. you can blindfire without warning a gunshot into the darkness etc)
>Retreat towards a more open and better illuminated junction area in the abandoned subway, away from this narrow dark tunnel. Perhaps the source of the metal grinding will pass by you, towards another tunnel instead?
I want to hold off until I get a magic weapon before I go dragonslaying.
So is the Red Lord just a scammer?
He's never actually given information about anything.
(Erica and Marcus are a little crestfallen by your orders to retreat. They feel as if they have lost some potentially thrilling footage which might boost their audience and subscriber counts. If you keep ordering them to retreat, they may abandon you in the subterranean dark)

As you emerge into the better illuminated junction, the grinding metal wheels seem to follow you. There is a tense moment as it approaches - yet strangely, the closer it gets, the quieter it becomes.

Eventually all you see emerging is a rusted wheelchair.

Erica appears a little shaken by the creaking wheelchair noises even though she is trying to hide it -

This... it must be some sort of prank by the rioters ahead or someone else trespassing as well, and trying to scare us off. But I swear - I felt some rumbling. Could it be the dragon, the Great Wyrm, the basilisk that turns people into stone? Maybe it passed by, and dislodged this rusted wheelchair...

Marcus is grumbling:

Look we came here for abandoned derelict footage, unexplored urban ruins. Sponsors love this sort of stuff! There could be some rival channel ahead of us filmimg everything, they will edit and upload and process it before we do, and get all the views and clicks! What are we waiting around for? And we have this one superfan, this whale who donates huge amounts... his comments alone drives like 90% of our engagement, he is called CrimsonKingOfWreckage and he is always daring us to do more dangerous and adventurous stuff... we cannot disappoint our fans!

You are bending over to inspect the rusted wheelchair. It seems a little out of place, and you are unsure how wheelchair accessible the subway here actually is... there is a small blotched metal placard on the side that reads

Generously donated to Narrenturm Asylum - A Gift From The Paribus Foundation
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>Keep the wheelchair (your followers can push it around). You lose all stealth due to its creaking and groaning wheels and are effectively slowed. But it could be useful - you could push large items around with it as an improvised trolley, not to mention if someone got injured down here...

>Abandon the sinister wheelchair. The squeaking wheels will drive you mad in the subterranean darkness.

>Something else...? (Otherwise proceed onwards, follow the Urban Exploration Influencers)
>Keep the wheelchair (your followers can push it around). You lose all stealth due to its creaking and groaning wheels and are effectively slowed. But it could be useful - you could push large items around with it as an improvised trolley, not to mention if someone got injured down here...
>"Relax pal, just had to make sure this thing wasn't hot. This is definitely a great find! Paribus charity outreach from times gone by, though it doesn't look so good nowadays considering what happened there...
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(You gain Sinister Narrenturm Asylum Wheelchair. This item is pushed around by your followers. Whilst they accompany you, you effectively gain the traits Loud, Annoying Scraping Squeaky Wheels, Slowed. Your presence will generally be announced beforehand to anyone listening in the tunnels)

Ahead of you, the tunnel splits into several sections. Explore:
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>There seems to be an abandoned empty locomotive passenger train along some tracks. The train is tilted lengthways, but the lights are turned on.
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>There is also light spilling from a maintenance section with lockers. You can hear static white noise, like that from an old television set emanating from within
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>There is a rough hewn tunnel section, like it appears it was still under construction. The area seems quite dark and ominous...
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>Ask your followers where they think you should go? (there will be a reaction roll to this)

>Stay silent and listen for any echoing noises from the tunnels

>Something else...?
The Urbex Influencers Marcus and Erica will give their opinion, but there will be this encounter roll...

1 You meet The Basilisk / The Dragon / The Great Wyrm
2 4+1d6 Rioters, trespassing on the subway
3 Marcus and Erica are actually terrible at Urban Exploration, which is probably why their subscriber counts are so low. You are horribly lost in the subterranean gloom...
4 You meet (The N...?, unrevealed encounter)
5 You meet The Lost Girl
6 You meet The Demented Clown
>explore maintenance section.
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QM: As you may have guessed, Marcus and Erica may not be the best urban exploration content creators (given that they actually forgot to turn on and connect their cameras last time, losing all of their footage). However, you can avoid triggering their anxiety if you merely ask tangential questions (ie do not directly ask or challenge their ability to locate where you are going). For example you could ask them more about what they know of Siegfried, his personality etc.
I'm not sure how delicate I feel like being on the social aspect, especially considering that the only thing they took away from my insults is that I'm a cool postmodern cosplay guy.
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Rolled 6 (1d6)

1 You meet The Basilisk / The Dragon / The Great Wyrm
2 Your Loud Squeaking Wheelchair triggers the attention of 1+1d3 trespassers from the riot, in the process of looting the maintenance lockers
3 You meet a single riot trespasser. But he is utterly terrified, stricken with horror at what he has seen down here...
4 You meet (The N...?, unrevealed encounter)
5 You meet The Lost Girl
6 You meet The Demented Clown
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Ronald Ionescu, The Demented Clown
Health: 42 (22+20) + ???
Unarmed / face slaps / belly flopping
A lot of custard pies
Beginnings, awakening, worry, guilt, absolution, change, inevitability
Likes: female emancipation, men dressed as women, women dressed as men, bald women, baldness in general, armpits, hairy legs, tattoos, custard, cream, pies, trapezes, somersaults, cartwheels, obesity, melodramatic slapping, avant-garde performance art, conceptual theatre, mime
Dislikes: Freudian psychoanalysis, corporate governance, ESG metrics, macroeconomics, stochastic calculus, game-theoretic multi-agent modelling with reinforcement learning, non-cooperative games, asymmetric games, imperfect information games, zero-sum games, nontransitive preference revelation mechanisms, quantitative easing, interbank repo lending, rehypothecation.
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Rolled 2 (1d6)

Reaction of the Demented Clown, upon seeing you:
1 Instantly hurls a custard pie at your face. 1d20 permanent damage to Trauma (reduces max available) until you wipe off the disgusting yellow cream smears and obtain a change of clothes. Then the Demented Clown runs off giggling gleefully into the darkness
2 Slaps you across the face (1d20 damage to Blood), blows a raspberry at you and as you wipe the spittle from your eyes the Giggling Demented Clown is gone
3 Just annoyingly copies all your movements in mime, mirroring your actions back at you with make-believe invisible items
4 Stays completely still like a statue
5 Turns a cartwheel, with great difficulty, his large belly flopping with strenuous exertion
6 Listens to you attentively
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Rolled 10 (1d20)

>Slaps you across the face (1d20 damage to Blood), blows a raspberry at you and as you wipe the spittle from your eyes the Giggling Demented Clown is gone

rolling 1d20 damage... lethal clown slaps and blown tongue raspberries
lol I'm dead
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QM: wow you are somehow nearly dead lol. That was unexpected...
Blood: 0/22 (-9)
Trauma: 84/100 (+1)

The Giggling Demented Clown runs off after his deadly face slap assault. The maintenance area is deserted. If you need to heal etc...

>Use the Strange Syringe / Vial of Dungeonmaster Tears, heal 1d20 Trauma

>Search the maintenance area - there must be some medical supplies or a first aid kit? (This risks another encounter roll, though the likelihood will now be heavily tilted in your favour)

>If you know the identity of the Giggling Demented Clown, perhaps call out into the darkness after him? Will it restore him to sanity, or will a custard pie / flurry of face slaps fly out from the gloom...?

>Something else...?
>Search the maintenance area - there must be some medical supplies or a first aid kit? (This risks another encounter roll, though the likelihood will now be heavily tilted in your favour)
Didn't the vial used to heal Health/BLOOD?
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Unfortunately the vial heals Trauma only...

If you can navigate back to an embankment metro station, closer to the surface where you can get a phone signal, you can drain your battery on the phone to heal trauma with your headphones... (this can be an objective)

Strange Syringe / (Vial Of Dungeonmaster Tears)
single use 1/1
Evaporates and dries out rather quickly, when exposed to daylight and shame. Inject into an opponent to render them helpless and additionally hit on CHALICES (you can attack immediately afterwards)
Inject into self to reduce 1d20 Trauma. It just isn't that satisfying...
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Rolled 3 (1d6)

The encounter roll is this:

1 This seems like the best time for you to meet The Basilisk / The Dragon / The Great Wyrm
2-5 There is a First Aid Kit in the maintenance area, but some trespassers have partially rummaged through it. Heal only 1d10 Blood
6 There is a First Aid Kit and also another spare one. Heal 1d20 Blood and keep one First Aid Kit in reserve
Rolled 8 (1d10)

Alright, good as new.
Now look for weapons.
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Blood: 8/22
Trauma: 84/100


>Search the maintenance area further. You have a feeling this area must have been already looted by trespassers, given the state of the first aid kit you found... (Encounter table probability will be unfavourable, but still a chance something might be lying around...)
>Abandoned, tilted passenger locomotive train
>Ominous dark tunnel, under construction

>Ask your entourage of Urbex Influencers to retreat to an embankment area closer to the surface, where you can recover some phone signal and heal Trauma (their morale will decrease further. They have so far only obtained footage of you getting slapped in the face by a Giggling Demented Clown, which was perhaps barely a few seconds in duration)

>Ask your entourage some questions about Siegfried - what was he like?

>(something else, other questions...?)
>"So this Siegfried guy was a real big shot, huh? What makes a guy like that want to go live in a subway tunnel? Aside from the cancelation of course.
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>So this Siegfried guy was a real big shot, huh? What makes a guy like that want to go live in a subway tunnel? Aside from the cancellation of course.

Erica frowns a little at the babyish pink clown-hand slap imprint bruising across your face. She replies:

Well I think he doesn't trust the internet or even modern technology any more. He must have become some sort of paranoid recluse, surrounded by piles of his old military paraphernalia and collected weapons. He is probably hiding deep in the dark in some underground bunker far from any human contact. Do you know he was quite handsome? I think playing hard to get drove a lot of his former fans wild... they really wanted to meet him once he went underground...

(QM: if you still want to search the maintenance area, the encounter table looks like this:)

1-2 This now seems like the best time for you to meet The Basilisk / The Dragon / The Great Wyrm
3-5 1+1d4 trespassers still in this area
6 Sturmpistole (Grenade Leuchtpistole variant). Someone must have just left it lying here... 1/1 Panzerwurfkorper 42 HEAT anti-tank grenade
>"Well in that case, we better hurry. It would be a shame if his fangirls get to him before we can, it's not pretty, believe me!"
>proceed to dark tunnel
QM: I think you are heading in the right direction ^_^ I will pause it here for today and continue tomorrow. Lol not a lot of combat somehow aside from being slapped by a clown. The next section might become a lot more dangerous... Thanks for playing!
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In the forgotten cosmogony of the world there is the Chaoskampf, an ancient tale where a hero battles the monstrous wild, a lone warrior confronting a great serpent. The Storm God of Kargamis,Tarhunt, tricked by the dragon Illuyanka, who takes his eyes and heart. Amongst the ancients who venerated the three sacred fires, the tale of Thraetaon, or King Fereydun, vanquishing Az-Dahag, a burning serpent demon of greed and want, whom he finally imprisons beneath the great mountain Damavand. The Kulshedra and the Drangue, the legendary Sigurd of the Volsunga, and the terrifying Lotan, or Leviathan, of the Ugaritic tribes... The theonyms and monstrous incarnations change, but the coils and contortions of the ancient tale writhe within the same confines, the same mythical prison, the same Pathless Labyrinth.
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You and your companions are entombed beneath the mountain of the monstrous city above. You crawl through the maw of its caverns and forgotten passages. But you are not alone...

The groan and grind of metal has intermittently resumed. But now the cavernous walls around you are shaking a little, and dust and soil is sliding in rivulets from above. There is rubble everywhere, heaps of fallen, broken stone and reinforcing steel lattice mesh and mangled rebar. Much of it is covered by a fine, grey spray. As if... it had been petrified. Frozen and encased in rock.

Erica is really scared:

This... I knew it! There is some sort of basilisk here! The MAGUS has a dragon, that petrifies people! We should run away! No amount of subscribers is worth this...!

Marcus is excited. He is turning his headcam to capture as much of Erica's fear and terror as he can.
You are attempting to quiet your influencer companions as the rumbling and shaking of the subterranean passage subsides. Before you in the distant dark there are a multitude of figures. They look like construction workers carrying pipes and tools, one of them has what looks like a spray gun or pressurised hose with some sort of pneumatic nozzle... But something about their stance fills you with unease. They could be trespassers, rioters who looted the construction overalls and tools from the maintenance area you searched earlier... or perhaps actual construction workers who have joined the riot... or maybe just subway tunnel engineers? You are unsure.

The rumbling noises and shaking of the cavern has fortunately covered your approach. The group ahead appear distracted and have not noticed your presence in the vicinity.

Send your followers to approach the large group ahead in a friendly manner:
>Both of them

>Investigate stealthily yourself, leaving your followers (and the loud, slow, squeaking wheel wheelchair) behind. Try to eavesdrop on what they are saying

>Without warning, just open fire on them. You cannot see exactly how many there are, but you will definitely kill those ahead.

>There might be a large battle here. You should order your followers to retreat to an open embankment nearer the surface where you can get a phone signal to heal Trauma (follower morale will decline further)

(QM: The Red Lord Of Ruin reveals to you what may occur as your follower morale deteriorates. There will be the roll on the table below:)

1 Both Marcus and Erica start behaving erratically, acting on their own volition instead of following your orders
2 Marcus is emboldened. He just charges recklessly ahead to try to get better footage for their urban exploration channel subscribers
3 Erica is too scared. She stops where she is and has to calm down
4 -6 (no effect at this stage of morale breakdown)
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You can see the crowd ahead is attired in construction worker overalls with hard hats, ear protection, respirators, goggles and fluorescent orange jackets etc. The group is somewhat indistinct in the dim light but they do not appear immediately hostile and threatening, though there is something that makes you feel ill-at-ease when looking at them.

QM: If you have a feeling you know what the Great Wyrm of the MAGUS actually is, write-in and perhaps it will be revealed to you...

Otherwise, you can (optional)
>Call now for the Gift Of Insight from The Red Lord Of Ruin, which you purchased with +39 PUNISH / Trauma here
(Using it now will reveal the nature of the crowd of construction workers ahead, what they may want etc.)

>Save the Red Lord's Gift - you may need the knowledge later

>Open fire without warning on the group ahead. You will automatically kill at least two of them before you need to reload the sawnoff shotgun

QM: In group combat, the Blood of your followers is added to your own. They can endure injuries and will die in your place, provided that you do not suffer massive damage,
ie Marcus +6 Blood, Erica +9 Blood.
Your current status is thus

Blood: 23/37 ie (8+6+9) / (22+15)
Trauma: 84/100

IMPORTANT: the bonus is only received provided the morale of your followers or your command over them holds. You are unsure how your followers will react to the sight of injuries or battle. Marcus and Erica are currently both unarmed. They do possess camera flash guns which trigger at full power on a roll of 6 that can be used once in a battle to blind an opponent.

This effectively acts as the Ancient Rite:
Bright Birth Of Oblivion
A blinding rite that stuns opponents over a wide area.

To use this rite, roll 2d6 (one d6 for Marcus and Erica each). The spell activates instantaneously and blinds all opponents in the area, allowing you to each to deal as much free damage as you can for one round (ie you can attack, and each of your followers). You can attempt to activate the rite Bright Birth Of Oblivion as many times as you wish, but after the first time it works, enemies will no longer be affected.

>share and give Marcus and Erica some of your weapons (which ones?)
>Sawnoff shotgun, 2/2 +2 shells
>Barbed Wire Baseball Bat

>Attempt to avoid antagonising the construction workers ahead, try to negotiate your way past them with dialogue etc (ie greentext options from section here)
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Broken Pipe
A poor improvised weapon, best wielded within the anonymous safety of an agitated mob or crowd.
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IMI Uzi Pro
One Handed
Short Range, Concealable, Loud, Rapid Fire, Suppressing Fire, High Recoil, Inaccurate, Compact, Manoeuvrable
9x19mm SMG, .45 ACP variant exists
short 20 round magazine, but up to 50 round variant exists
Ergonomic, modernised polymer short variant SMG with modular customisable design and integrated Picatinny rails, firing in automatic and semi-automatic mode. Open bolt blowback operation. High cyclic rate of 1200-1500 rounds per min.
(empty the entire magazine at 1200 rpm in 1 second: 20d10 damage)
Rolled 5, 6 = 11 (2d6)

These are clearly rioters, no subway engineer would be willing to fire a gun down here without extensive ear protection.

>"Hey look, it's my stunt crew! I'll run ahead and get things started, you two take some shots for the promos. (Bright Oblivion) After that, you come and join me. (hand bat to Erica) We can work out a storyline in post, but if you two have the gumption to get this job done right you'll have a bright future ahead of you!"
>equip headphones
>fire twice and charge into the fray with the switchblade.
Rolled 3 (1d4)

going blade crazy
Rolled 62 (1d78)

time for some action
Rolled 32 (1d78)

can't get no satisfaction
until my steel toe crashes
Rolled 45 (1d78)

Head on collision, what's happening?
Rolled 59 (1d78)

two hits
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The Cauldron Of Lotan

(QM: The Stranded Sons Cult / Warlords Of Lotan, led by The Voivod)
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(QM: You hear see and overhear this as you and your companions stealthily close the distance to begin combat. All your rolls above will apply in the ensuing round once combat begins)

There are a large crowd of construction workers ahead. You see now that both of your assumptions were correct - in the worst possible way. The crowd appears to comprise of a mix of both construction workers who have abandoned tunnel engineering, as well as rioters and trespassers who have looted and donned respirators, goggles and ear protection, the overalls and bright uniforms of this strange underground tunnel cult. A cult that worships the Great Wyrm of the MAGUS...

One amongst the group has stepped forward. He is penitent, kneeling voluntarily before the crowd and mob. You can see First Aid Kits and healing supplies scattered around him. Some of the crowd encircle him - they are carrying heavy sledgehammers, pneumatic drills, jackhammers...

I have failed you, brothers! I did not know! We had the Chosen One in our grasp... she fought us... but we eventually... subdued her. We placed her upon the sacred Wheel Throne... We were bringing her to you, O Great Voivoda! And we merely stopped to gather more supplies, to replenish the strength of our brethren... but all of a sudden a grotesque obese bald demon appeared, this demon slapped me very hard in the face, spat upon me and belched vile yellowish (custard?) bile upon me... I was blinded, utterly helpless! And when I came to my senses the Chosen One had escaped! All hope is lost! For only she could satisfy the hunger of the Devouring Leviathan, the Great Wyrm Lotan, whose song shakes heaven and earth, who will rise from the Abyss to swallow the Sun and Moon! All hope is gone! I deserve to die! Grant me death...!

The leader amongst the Stranded Sons, the one addressed as Voivod, places a gentle hand upon the shoulder of the kneeling penitent. Behind the Voivod, you can see a churning, revolving cauldron amidst banks of industrial generators. The Voivod is holding a strange pneumatic hose with a pressurised jet nozzle in his hand. He says kindly -

The Great Wyrm hears and hungers for your repentance. Arise and receive the Eternal Breath of Lotan, and live forever with the Devouring Earth...

The pressurised jet erupts with a ceaseless torrent of high velocity shotcrete. The Penitent ecstatically spreads his arms to receive the wet deluge of grey sludge. When the churning Cauldron Of Lotan stops, there is only a grey statue of a man encased in stone remaining, anchored to the earth. The mob descends upon the unmoving statue, sledge and jackhammer in hand, breaking him apart.
>Er... okay. Maybe try and use the distraction of the mob and this opportunity to sneak past them, stealthily...?

>Ecstatically stride forward: I too have been spat upon and slapped by the Grotesque Obese Demon! We have a common enemy! We must hunt him together!

>(If you think you know the identity of the Chosen One the Stranded Sons / Warlords Of Lotan were trying to sacrifice to the Great Wyrm, write in now...)

>Well, all of these cultists will have to die. Maybe steer clear of that... Cauldron Of Lotan and hope you do not get petrified by the spray of wet shotcrete. And maybe avoid the jackhammers and pneumatic drill / sledgehammer fanatics too (Commence combat. Your first two shots automatically kill two of the Stranded Sons, and you can reload as they are distracted)

>Send your followers to negotiate:
>Both Of Them

>Something else...? (Can offer an item etc)
The Lost Girl is the Chosen One.
If this insight doesn't make it impossible I would like to start my crimson dance please.
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Rolled 18 (1d20)

QM: Correct lol, but unfortunately you never spoke to her, so you may as well fight all of these cultists. Here is some tactical information for this battle:

There are 6+1d20 cultists

1/ The Voivod (Leader) - IMI Uzi Pro SMG, Shotcrete Jet
2/ Jackhammer Fanatic
3/ Drill Fanatic
4/ Sledgehammer Fanatic
5/ SMG Fanatic - IMI Uzi Pro SMG
6/ Stranded Sons Wyrmsinger - unarmed, but carrying an old military radio handset

2x Generators:
7/The Pneumatic Drill and The Jackhammer are both connected to this one, and
8/ The Cauldron Of Lotan / Shotcrete Jet pressurised high velocity spray connected to the other.

Of the remaining 1d20 cultists some also have sledgehammers and drills and jackhammers etc but generally for simplicity most of them have scavenged improvised Rusted Pipes. What I will do is roll a 1d10 x 1d20 to calculate their overall health, the Cultist Mob fight as one blob with aggregated health.

So because of your rolls, you get the following:

2x insta kills from the shotgun surprise attack


I will let you decide how you want to use this. It can be a Switchblade attack for 10 damage, or two shotgun blasts, up to you.

Then because of this roll:
The 6 here triggered your follower camera flashgun, ie the Ancient Rite Bright Birth Of Oblivion. This blinds and stuns the entire mob, giving you three more attacks (not instant kills though). So I will let you attack once with a shotgun (if you still have ammunition), once with a baseball bat, once with the switchblade.

Other stuff you can do:
>Instantly execute the Voivod / Stranded Sons Cult Leader, try to break their morale (I will roll for this)
>Shoot the generators to depower the Jackhammer/Drill or also the Shotcrete Jet spray. Warning: it will probably take both barrels ie all 4 of your shotgun shells to fully disable both generators. (There will be a roll). However you can just aim single barrel shots at them to make them at least unreliable (no roll for this).
>Kill the Wyrmsinger to prevent the Stranded Sons cultists calling for reinforcements (or maybe even the Leviathan Lotan itself...)
>Kill the SMG cultist, and grab their gun (takes an action to do this)
>(other write-ins etc...)

So write-in your priority execution targets, for the three rounds of combat, and then I will roll for the retaliation etc. Remember you have only 4 shots with the Sawn-off Shotgun.
Rolled 6 (1d10)

rolling 1d10 x 18 for the total health of the Stranded Sons Cultist Mob. They fight as one unit, with aggregate health and just assume they generally all are using improvised, scavenged Rusted Pipes for now
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How the SMG works in full auto: (still testing these rules...)
- You can empty the entire mag in 1 second at 1200 rpm. This does 20x1d10 damage on a hit where you roll WANDS or majors, it will do greatly reduced damage on a draw of SWORDS (probably divided by 5), on a draw of CHALICES the enemy is suppressed and forced to take cover as they are pinned down by a hail of gunfire, and on a roll of PENTACLES it misses entirely.
- You can try and fire in bursts, but this is very hard to control with this one-handed submachinegun. Choose how many N rounds you want to fire 5, 10 etc. Roll Nd10 this is the actual damage output, so it is perhaps safer to select a higher N ie hold onto the trigger for a longer duration burst. Watch the ammunition!

- In semi-auto: it is similar to melee, a 1d78 draw. So between 1-22 damage hitting on WANDS or Majors. This mode conserves ammunition.
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QM: The generators each have 50 points of damage. To utterly destroy and shred them into scrap metal with the shotgun, you would need to run up and fire point blank rolling higher than 50 on 8d12. Alternatively you can just aim single shots at the generators (they auto hit during your surprise attack rounds, no roll for this) to conserve ammunition. This will make the generators unreliable - the roll will be 5/6 in your favour, but if they go off... it will be unpleasant.
Alright, I'll run in and dispatch the leader and the radio operator with my initial shotgun blasts then stab the smg fanatic (SWORDS 10).
When the flash hits, I'll go wild on the fanatics (jack drill sledge) with my switchblade.
If I kill them all and still have actions left I will swap my shotgun for the smg and fire full auto into the crowd.
Basically I am thinking that since they're stunned I can use the switchblade attack die on each attack instead of just doing one attack.
Would this be possible?
Rolled 3, 3, 4 + 3 = 13 (3d4 + 3)

In absence of a reply I will just start rolling attacks. I was originally rolling in multiple posts but since I'm the only one rolling I can consolidate.
Rolled 49, 69, 18, 19, 53, 48, 38, 38, 47, 63, 19, 11, 42 = 514 (13d78)

Yeah, no way that
You can hide from the best
I'm a mess
I'll body anything that takes a breath
On my left is a pile of bodies
Bigger than myself and
On my right there's 100 scared souls
Screaming help
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Ok so just to confirm this is your sequence of actions:

1/Execute The Voivod / Stranded Sons Cult Leader (shotgun -1 shell, no roll)
2/ Execute The SMG Fanatic (shotgun -1 shell, no roll)
3/ Grab the Uzi Pro SMG from the Voivod (1 action)
4/ Fire the SMG into the Cultist Horde (Total Health: 108 = 6 x18) roll 20d10 lol full auto
5/ Use the TEN of SWORDS to stab one of the Fanatics (which one? This is an instant kill whilst they are stunned and blinded by the ancient rite Bright Birth Of Oblivion, ie your followers camera flashguns)
>Jackhammer Fanatic
>Sledgehammer Fanatic
>Pneumatic Drill Fanatic

6/ You still get one spare action from TEN of WANDS whilst the remaining cultists are blinded by the Bright Birth Of Oblivion spell.

Bear in mind the Fanatics morale does not really break very easily, whilst the Cultist Horde can break very quickly when they see their leader die (so you can change one of these actions if you need to). You can of course just try to kill the entire crowd by firing the Uzi into them. You can also spray fire the Uzi at all the Fanatics, but the accuracy will not be as good (the Fanatics can take cover, whereas you cannot really miss firing into the Cultist Horde).

With your one remaining action you could do the following (or write-in...)

>Order a follower to reload your shotgun, fire it at someone?
>Seize the Shotcrete Jet from The Voivod and use it to petrify with hydrostatic tunnel concrete high-pressure slurry (this however occurs only on the next turn unfortunately)
>Order your followers to grab another SMG?
>Grab the second SMG, dual wield yourself? (Fire on next turn etc)
>Something else...? (order followers to do something etc)

(I will roll the morale check after this decision, it all occurs within a few heartbeats as you ambush and surprise the Stranded Sons cult)

So let me know if you want to change any actions or the order of the ambush / surprise attack sequence etc.
No need for these rolls. These Cultists actually do not have much health (none greater than Blood: 14), they are just mortals with no magic lol. So all of these initial attacks just instantly execute them. The only high HP opponent is the huge mob of 6x18 Cultist Horde etc. The morale reaction will determine whether they flee, or regroup (you may have to fight the survivors 1on1 independently, they will switch out Rusted pipes for Sledgehammers Pneumatic Drills Jackhammers etc) Also watch the ammunition and also the sequence of actions...
Ok to be clear I have six actions?
This set of actions is good, end the sledgehammer fanatic then commandeer the cement jet.
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You do not have to kill the entire Stranded Sons Cultist Horde, you can for example spray Md10 bullets at them, Nd10 bullets at the Fanatics (they will take cover though) and hope their morale breaks. You can dual wield the Uzi Pro, you can wield the SMG and the Sawn-off Shotgun (reloading takes an action etc).

>Roll 20d10: empty the entire magazine into the Cultist Horde
>Write-in: fire Md10 at the Stranded Sons Fanatics, Nd10 at the remaining crowd, and hope for a morale break, depending on how much damage you deal...?

(I am going to get some food now lol, roll however many d10s at who you are targeting... when I am back the Stranded Sons Cult gets their turn... hehe)
Rolled 8, 7, 7, 2, 2, 2, 4, 7, 5, 4, 8, 10, 2, 9, 7, 4, 10, 3, 4, 1 = 106 (20d10)

I'm just going to unload into the crowd, I rack up more kills that way.
candle wax, I melt them down
my aim flawless, I never miss a round
lol so there's 2 hp worth of cultists left
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Rolled 4, 6 = 10 (2d6)

Oh my god lol there is just one 2hp terrified bullet-riddled trembling remnant survivor feebly clutching a pathetic rusted pipe lol. He is probably too weak to even run away...

Ok the Cultist Horde will not fight back. I think this slaughter lol may be enough to actually tilt the Fanatic morale check from 1/6 into balance ie 3/6, favourably to you. So here is their reaction roll...

1 The Stranded Sons Fanatics let out a collective howl of anguish and berserk rage at the wanton massacre of their beloved cult leader the Voivod, and the crowd of their Brethren the Warlords Of Lotan. Instantly take 1d20 retaliation damage and from now on the Stranded Sons target only you, determined to avenge their fallen with your Blood.
2 The Stranded Sons Fanatics target both Marcus and Erica - they will slaughter your followers to avenge their own
3 The Fanatics realise they are facing an unnatural, terrifying and formidable opponent. They fall back, scatter and take cover, intending to lure you into a trap... One of the Fanatics snatches the Cult Wyrmsinger Radio, and calls for backup...
4-5 The Fanatics are literally stunned and aghast at the utter carnage. They have no idea what to do now that their leader has fallen (you get another free action)
6 The Fanatics charge howling at you. Unfortunately, in their frenzied rage and collective rush to dismember you, they accidentally Jackhammer/Drill/Sledgehammer each other instead.

Now unfortunately, the utter atrocity you have unleashed lol does trigger this reaction roll from your followers (only occurs first time upon witnessing injury and combat)

1 Marcus and Erica both flee. They are content creators and influencers. They did not choose to be embedded battlefield reporters. It is not good for their personal brand.
2 Marcus flees
3 Erica flees
4-6 Marcus and Erica are bonded to you by witnessing and sharing this collective Trauma (you will gain a benefit from this if they survive the battle)
>Subject the fanatics to the fate they begged salvation from, bathe them in basilisk venom.
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Oh my god wow. Somehow this battle was much easier than expected lol, your ambush choice sequence was pretty good. I did not expect the blind/stun spell Bright Birth Of Oblivion to go off in the first round...

I think with this roll you can effectively execute all the Fanatics, no roll needed. (I mean you can also Shotgun them to try and restore 4d4 Blood, 4d4 Blood with the 2 shells you have remaining).

Now you can do the following:
>Interrogate the 2hp forlorn survivor (roll 1d6)
1 Somehow the Pathetic Cultist Survivor does not break. His last act of defiance is to spit at you (1d4 Trauma damage)
2-5 The Pathetic Cultist Survivor is utterly terrified and begs for your mercy. He will say anything and confess to anything, whatever you want to hear to spare his life. You have a feeling there will be lies mixed in with the truth of what you ask. (You can ask up to 2-5 questions, whatever you rolled)
6 The Pathetic Cultist Survivor is too traumatised to lie. You can ask him 1 question, you think he will likely blurt out the truth (QM: so long as it is something he would know). Then the Pathetic Cultist bleeds to death.
>Scavenge and search the area for loot (QM: I will present this in another section)
>Examine the Cauldron Of Lotan / cement concrete mixer...??
>Speak to your followers, Erica And Marcus, what do they make of this situation...?
>Write in something else...?
>Restore Blood with the pile of medical supplies.
>Scavenge and search the area for loot (QM: I will present this in another section)
>Examine the Cauldron Of Lotan / cement concrete mixer...??
>"Great camerawork kids! I'm sure the boss is real happy about that one. That said, we can't rest on our laurels, there's still a lot of blood to spill tonight. And hey, if we get that knight on board we might even be able to score that Dragon of Chaos everyone's been raving about!"
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Rolled 2 (1d4)

rolling for First Aid Kits (+1d20 each blood...)
QM: So I am not sure if you ever played or read my other quests Invultua and Galerne lol. But the general rule is all spells are unique and single use only (no dnd repeat fireballs/eldritch blast/magic missile lol). Magic and witchcraft always carries a consequence and price...

Your invocation of the lesser Ancient Rite:
Bright Birth Of Oblivion
has alerted the Vourukasha Death Dealer hunting you. She had found the cruelly sacrificed body of Alice by the Switchblade Salon, but was infuriated to have lost all trace of where you went afterwards, given that your phone signal is blocked underground in the abandoned subway. The Vourukasha now know where you are and how you have descended into The Underworld. The Vourukasha will still attack you on sight but also now seek to maim / cripple you though still capture you alive, in order to avenge the death of Alice and halt your use of the Ancient Rites.

By defeating the Voivod, the fanatical cultists and the Stranded Sons, you gain the following:
- Your followers Marcus and Erica health each raised to 14/14. Whilst your command over them and their morale remains intact, you gain +28 Blood from them combined in battle

And choose ONE ONLY of the following:

>Restore PUNISH/Trauma to 1/100 (-83)

>Increase Blood permanently by +14, to 36 max (this does not heal you to 36/36 though...)

>Gain trait: Bullet Witch

Bullet Witch (ordinary weapons)
+Gift: mundane weapons have infinite magazines. You will never run out of ammunition
-Curse: you cannot ever tactical reload, even in between battles. You have to fully empty a gun before reloading, and blind fire does not count. The magazine is locked in place. This could lead to you having to reload at the very start of a gunfight, and at inopportune moments. You can however reload by executing targets point blank.

>Gain trait: The Dead Land Forgets

The Dead Land Forgets
+Gift: you can carry infinite items. Every disguise, every weapon. Access any item you recall that you touched or which was presented to you, similar to the vast battlefield in the Dead Land from the Barbarian qst playthrough in Galerne
-Curse: the QM will never fully show you your inventory. No item summaries, nothing. You have to scan the text yourself. If at an important moment in time, you forget you are carrying something... it is on you
>Increase Blood permanently by +14, to 36 max (this does not heal you to 36/36 though...)
I'll start using a kit right away.
Rolled 19 (1d20)

Rolled 7 (1d20)

and the other one, not much point in trying to maximize these when I can be blown apart in one go.
So that should be 35 Blood, the most physical I've ever been in Golgotha.
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Wow really good rolls today lol wow

Blood: 36/36 (+19, +7)
Trauma: 84/100

In battle, so long as your follower morale remains unbroken, you get
Blood: 64/64 (ie 36+14+14)
from the Urban Exploration Influencers Marcus and Erica. Their morale is currently very high after surviving the battle, and they are not frightened any more by injury etc. They have yet to experience or witness any unnatural or occult phenomena used against them though...

Also I will let you know about the Cauldron Of Lotan (but you might want to ask the 2hp Cultist first about it...)

I will also post the items in the area (bear with me whilst I post them, some may appear tomorrow). I do not think you can carry any more weapons yourself (you can however write in if you want to distribute some existing weapons amongst your followers, eg shotgun, spare smg, baseball bat, switchblade etc)

If you want to interrogate the forlorn Pathetic Cultist Survivor you can roll 1d6 etc and ask him questions (take 1d4 PUNISH/Trauma on a 1, ask up to 2-5 questions on rolls of 2-5 with mixed responses, ask 1 question with a good response on 6. The Cultist cannot answer truthfully stuff he is unlikely to know etc.)

Otherwise I will pause it for tonight... I was very impressed with all these rolls and your decisions to boldly surprise attack lol. I actually thought all your followers would be massacred and you would have to flee if you did not negotiate / use stealth. I have all these pictures of drills and jackhammers and pneumatic guns I did not get to use on you lol. Perhaps the Red Lord Of Ruin was too generous with his aid this time round...
QM: also, if you think you know or have an idea of what Lotan, The Leviathan / Basilisk / Devouring Dragon / Great Wyrm of the MAGUS actually is, write in anytime...
Rolled 2 (1d6)

To be honest I was fully prepared to die there, I charged forward with incomplete information and even though you gave me a chance to pull back I wanted to commit to my original intention.
As I often do, I triumphed through guile and preternatural luck, despite the hopeless scenario. I would have probably died if the stun didn't work immediately.
The dragon is Tiamat, the embodiment of primordial chaos.
Though many names will do, this one is the oldest I know of.
Also the most relevant to this, because ttrpgs lol.
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This is not at all correct unfortunately. But the legends in the section
are all true, all historical...

Ok so you get two questions, but the Cultist may lie about at least one of them (basically if you ask him something very difficult or which he is unlikely to know anything about, he is probably going to lie and tell you what you want to hear)

You can write in yourself, or choose from ONLY TWO of these topics:
>Ask the pathetic Cultist who the Stranded Sons are
>Ask the pathetic Cultist who the Warlords Of Lotan are
>Ask the Cultist why the Stranded Sons and Warlords Of Lotan are allied
>Ask him how many cultists there are altogether, their strength or base etc.
>Ask the Cultist what Lotan / The Leviathan / The Great Wyrm / The Devouring Dragon / The Basilisk etc etc of the MAGUS actually is
>Ask him if the legends about Lotan are actually all true... surely that cannot be right...?
>Ask about Siegried
>Ask about the MAGUS
>Ask about the Demented Clown
>Ask about the Lost Girl
>Ask why the Stranded Sons wanted to sacrifice her to the Great Wyrm Lotan
>Ask about Dr Bayraktar
>Ask about the Vourukasha
>Ask about Paribus / The Oration
>(something else...? write in)
>Ask the Pathetic Cultist Survivor why you should keep him alive... (QM: bet you regret using all of those health kits on yourself now...)
>(QM: bet you regret using all of those health kits on yourself now...)
Not at all, in fact...
>smash his head in
As you posted all those questions it dawned on me that I actually don't care at all about what he has to say.
What information I really want is the details on those power tools/sledgehammer/cementmixer.
I should have knowledge of them now that the cult is dead, right?
Ha ha, I feel like that is an appropriate character response. You can reduce Trauma by 2, the same amount as his pathetic hp (or should it increase...? hehe).

I will pause it for tonight unless you want to write in any other actions or questions (you can for example ask your followers what they think of the situation, what they think the Great Wyrm Lotan might be, and as their morale is pretty high they will answer truthfully. Also if you want you can go to an embankment now with phone signal near the surface, burn all your battery with 3d20 rolls and recover Trauma. This just happens and you return to this location automatically, there will be an encounter roll later after I post all the items here etc and the Cauldron Of Lotan / The Concrete / Cement Mixer etc. Persuading your companions to retreat to recover Trauma with your smartphone signal and headphones resets their Morale from Very High back to Normal. Otherwise I will call it for tonight and go to sleep hehe. Thank you for playing ^_^
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The Sledgehammer is an item, I will post it later.

The Power Tools, Pneumatic drill, Jackhammer, Shotcrete Jet high-pressure spray etc are all tethered to the generators. You cannot take them with you beyond this area (you can however lure enemies back here, and fight them... this may actually be more trouble than it is worth though).
How heavy are they?
Could I carry a generator on the wheelchair?
Basically have a mobile crew served weapon.
Speaking of phones, can I loot all of the cultists' power rectangles?
Ok so the Stranded Sons do not have smartphones hehe... you could have asked the Pathetic Survivor about this. The reason might become clear when the item list is revealed...

Sadly you cannot bring the generators or the Ancient Cauldron Of Lotan / Concrete / Cement Mixer with you, unless you have a truck or trailer lol
What animals, well I suppose it makes sense if they live in a place where you can't download videogame rap osts.
Also you can roll
>2d20 for 9mm ammunition
You only fired and emptied 1 of the Uzi Pro SMGs, so this is just whatever 9x19mm parabellum you can scavenge from The Voivod cult leader and the Stranded Sons SMG Fanatic.

You can also
>Completely equip and disguise yourself and your companions as Stranded Sons
>Equip some protective gear, but not a complete disguise
>Equip and disguise only yourself in the construction overalls and apparel of the Stranded Sons Cult

There are lots of respirators, masks, goggles, hard hats, ear protection etc high-visibility fluorescent construction worker jackets lying around everywhere (mostly slightly bullet-punctured and blood-splattered, but it is not that noticeable in the subterranean gloom unless you are very close).

Disguising everyone in blood and bullethole ridden construction worker gear will cause the morale of your companions to drop to Low, ie from Very High where their morale rolls are 5/6 in your favour, it will fall to only 2/6 in your favour. You can also just let your companions keep their attire, but disguise only yourself etc. Equipping only the protective gear but leaving the disguise incomplete (ie not wearing the gore-splattered bullethole-riddled high visibility jackets) puts your follower morale at medium ie balanced morale roll 3/6 etc.

The items are as follows (please refrain from posting, I will let you know with a final greentext choice when everything is complete, thank you ^_^).
Stranded Sons Cult / Warlords Of Lotan Wyrmsinger Talisman, or
L3Harris Falcon III AN/PRC-152A Military Radio Handset
Provides simultaneous voice, video, high-speed data in a portable form factor. Wideband Networking Radio features a complete set of narrowband line-of-sight and UHF SATCOM capabilities for interoperability with wideband, legacy and public safety systems. Real-time C4ISR on demand linking dismounted and upper-echelon networks. Software upgrades accommodate changing mission needs and new waveform signals, with certified encryption modules.

The Wyrmsinger Talisman / Military Radio Handset awaits a 3-digit alphanumeric code on its display.
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Two Handed Weapon
WANDS, PENTACLES, (Major Arcana)
Bulky, Heavy, Slow, Tiring, Long Reach, Knockdown, Brutal, Blunt, Armour Crush, Demolition, Breaching: (Doors, Walls, Masonry), Weak versus: (Swift, Thrust, Pierce, Coup-de-grace) Strong versus: (Armour, Riot Shields)
9.1kg heavy impact symmetric hardened maul head with a 1 metre handle. A variant spike maul is commonly used to drive railroad spike nails in tunnel construction.

(QM: I am still thinking about the rules for this item. Currently what I would like to do is this:)

Damage: essentially the DnD advantage roll, ie max(1d20, 1d20) so roll 2d20 and take the higher one.
Breaching / Demolition: suffer PUNISH/Trauma to add this to the higher of the 2d20 swing.

You MUST declare how much you wish to add before you draw the Tarot (ie 1d78 roll).

If you miss, the Trauma is still incurred. You can use this to demolish people as well as masonry and walls.
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A Very Large Chicken...?
You are not sure what the Stranded Sons Cult / Warlords Of Lotan intended to do with this. It is literally a very large, pink, slippery raw chicken. To deploy it you need to carry it in both hands (cannot equip any weapons whilst using it). The Very Large Chicken smells ok currently, but there is a small splatter of cement / concrete dust on it, from the Cauldron Of Lotan / cement / concrete mixer (?!) and also a light coating of grit from the underground tunnel floor of the abandoned subway.
Adrenaline Shot
Heal 1d20 Trauma, and
Gain 1 free action, but then...
Incur 1d20 PUNISH / Trauma afterwards
(roll 2d20. Recover the first, but then suffer the second. If either roll is a 1, gain trait Panic)
Intravenous epinephrine injector. 0.5-0.75 ml of a 2.25% solution in 2.0 ml normal saline. A neurotransmitter that can induce side effects ranging from palpitations, tremors, tachycardia, arrhythmia, hypertension, headaches, panic attacks, acute pulmonary edema.
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Tactical Assault Carbine
(Toilet Attack Cleaner...?)
Two-Handed Weapon
Ergonomic polymer receiver with underbarrel rail foregrip and tactical flashlight. Frontal force cup with flattening suction applies reciprocating motion to deliver high compression vacuum transmission of drainage or unblockage with alternating motion. Aim away from face.

You are really unsure where the Stranded Sons Cult found this relic, and why they even have it... what is the purpose of this bizarre artifact...?
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Because you did bring the Sinister Narrenturm Wheelchair, you can actually just

>Take Everything

None of these items are especially heavy. But the effect of loading everything onto the Wheelchair / giving them to companions is you become so encumbered and slowed with all your artifacts and weaponry that the random encounter rolls will become more hazardous, ie you attract more looters and trespassers from the Underworld interested in plundering your corpses...

>roll 2d20 to scavenge for 9mm ammunition

>Completely equip and disguise yourself and your companions as Stranded Sons (follower morale drops to Poor, 2/6)
>Equip some protective gear, but not a complete disguise (follower morale drops to Normal, 3/6)
>Equip and disguise only yourself in the construction overalls and apparel of the Stranded Sons Cult (follower morale stays at Very High, 5/6)

>Ask your followers to take you to an embankment near the surface so you can get an internet signal and use your headphones to recover Trauma (-20% battery per 1d20, Currently your Trauma: 82 and battery: 65% This drops your follower morale by -2 to Normal from Very High. If your follower Morale is already Poor eg from the Stranded Sons disguise you cannot choose this...)

>Any other actions, something else etc... (write in)
How exactly does the trauma to dice thing work?
so I am still thinking about this (it may be too overpowered)

Say you want to deliver more than 40 points of damage, and your trauma is below 60, eg 59.
You declare this in advance and roll 1d78. If you hit, your trauma is now 99 = 59+40 lol. You deliver the dnd advantage best of 2d20 + 40 damage. If you miss, you do no damage and your trauma is still 99 now.

This might be too overpowered. I might get rid of the max 2d20 dnd advantage roll (it just gives a median expected value damage of 15 about 50% of the time) and make it do the usual tarot draw 1-22 damage instead + any added trauma
The reason why I skewed the Sledgehammer damage favourably with the dnd style best of 2d20 is because most mortal enemies (drawing minor arcana) have max 14 hp, so the expected value of the better of 2d20 roll should instakill them 50% of the time ie from the median of 15. But the Sledgehammer can already kill them on a major arcana draw above 14 etc, and the added Trauma damage may make it overpowered. So I might lower it from better of 2d20 + trauma to just the highly variable arcana 1-22 range damage + declared trauma. The Sledgehammer is meant to be more of a situational tool, like risk trauma gain (here sort of like fatigue) to deliver one massive demolition or breaching blow. It is not really meant to be a viable melee combat weapon etc.
Out of combat against a stationary target where you cannot miss, the Sledgehammer is meant to be a tool to destroy assets and infrastructure. Eg you could use it to completely smash a generator (gain 50 trauma) etc without requiring a roll. It is meant to be a demolition / breaching tool powered by trauma / gained fatigue.
Rolled 20, 20 = 40 (2d20)

I have a few more guesses for the Wyrm.
Symbolism: The Wyrm is Nidhogg, the serpent among the roots of the World Tree(tower).
Storybook: The Wyrm is Fafnir, as it ties in with the stories and Siegfried
Reading Comprehension: The Wyrm is Lotan because the cult that worships it called it that.
also boolet dice
nice, two whole clips :P
Other stuff you can also do before the next scenario: (all optional)

Invoke the Gift Of The Red Lord Of Ruin that you bargained earlier to (choose ONE)
> reveal the 3 digit alphanumeric code needed for the Wyrmsinger Talisman instantly
> reveal what the Great Wyrm of the Magus, Lotan, the Leviathan, the Basilisk, the Devouring Drsgon etc actually is. You will not however know its precise attacks or weaknesses (they may become fairly obvious though)
(Beware: The Red Lord Of Ruin delights in tricking all his supplicants. He is bound by the bargain to answer truthfully... but how would you know elsewise?

>Ask companions Marcus snd Erica questions etc (can be the same as those directed at the Pathetic now deceased Cultist Survivor, or write-in. Your followers will answer truthfully to the best of their knowledge whilst their morale and loyalty to you remains Very High.
These are all very inspired guesses, but completely and devastatingly wrong lol. The answer has already been revealed, it is just lost and buried somewhere in the Pathless Labyrinth... (evil QM taunting begins, hehe)

So I will say no more guesses. If you want you can just use the Red Lord's Bargain and discover the answer... but it will not reveal anything about the Great Wyrm's weaknesses...
wow these dice rolls lol. To be fair it makes sense for each of the cultists to have a spare full magazine ^_^
I will
>Take Everything
as I think most of the people down here are losers who will just die and inflate my k/d and loot piles.
I will equip
>no Stranded Sons clothing
as they are such egregious losers that they let the world's #1 BLOOD salesman waltz into their stronghold and annihilate them.
I will
>Retain the Red Lord's boon of insight
as I suspect I have already devised a method to defeat the Wyrm.

My disciples will each be granted a loaded smg and I will carry the sledgehammer alongside my concealed weapons.
Marcus should also take a pipe for melee.

As all of the loot is being mustered I'll ask my team how they're feeling about their first job and this whole wyrm business.
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I have to say, I really like these kind of games.
It's a shame that killing things and amassing treasures/followers is seen as lowbrow rpg play nowadays.
wow, you pre-empted my morale breakdown check lol by generously giving your followers the cool guns (they were feeling jealous ^_^)

I will say that you can really only equip 1 two-handed weapon at the ready as you have no large bag or even a long jacket/bathrobe to carry it in etc only a scorched and charred burnt corporate suit lol. (Also the Sledgehammer is really bulky and heavy, really really heavy). You can give either the Baseball Bat or Sledgehamner to one of your companions if you like and keep the other at the ready for yourself. None of this matters if you have time to prepare in advance for a battle - you can switch loadouts etc. It is only for if you get suddenly ambushed whilst unaware yourself (remember the Vourukasha are hunting you, and your use of magic revealed your hidden underground location, hehe)

Ok now I really need to sleep lol. I will update with your follower responses and the next scenario soon... ^_^
I tried to give the bat to Erica earlier and will do so now. I think she could use it, smashing some skulls in will do wonders for her self-confidence.
Giving my subordinates guns is great because now I can just point at someone and demand they be riddled with bullets.
That's real power right there.
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>As all of the loot is being mustered I'll ask my team how they're feeling about their first job and this whole wyrm business.

Erica has taken off her urban beanie hat and is wiping her perspiring forehead. You notice she is actually a brunette and is quite attractive in a way that does not suggest or insinuate that the QM has switched character portraits carelessly.

Marcus is so excited. He seems overwhelmed by the sights and intensity of battle, and is re-enacting all the combat with finger guns, his actual gun that you gave him, and onomatopoeic shotgun SMG battle noises accompanied by a lack of trigger discipline and enthusiastically aggressive dangerous martial poses...

This is incredible! Pow! Ka-chak! Ka-pow! Ka-ka-kakakakaka... Kaka-ching. Whack! Pow! Haha! His face came off! Or rather, it sort of leaked out through the buckshot perforated goggles! And that funny survivor at the end, begging for his life... haha... he thought we were going to spare him, question him, have mercy! Hahaha! Well of course not! Amazing! And we filmed everything! This is going to be worth so much - that superfan of ours, the whale donor RedLordOf-I mean CrimsonKingOfWreckage, He is going to be so delighted when he sees this, it is exactly the sort of footage He enjoys... And this opens up so many new audiences, new addressable markets we had never even reached or thought of before... In the past we only got obscure tactical wear, action camera sponsorships, and strange weirdos from anonymous forums lusting over Erica and trying to get her to wear schoolgirl anime outfits, or just wear almost nothing at all... There was this one user Bish09 who was obsessed with anime underpants and tentacles or something... But now with this footage, we can get new corporate sponsors! Construction equipment! Maybe infrastructure investors! Think of the recurring revenue models, repeat viewership! So good! Haha! Ka-pow! Pow!
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The attractive influencer Erica is studying the Cauldron of Lotan or cement/concrete mixer and the petrifying Shotcrete Jet, as well as all the construction equipment here from the Stranded Sons, scattered amidst the battle aftermath and carnage. She is also looking at the military radio - the Wyrmsinger Talisman one of the cultists was carrying, and thinking about why none of the cultists carried phones...

You know Marcus - it seems to make sense. The cult is two factions, maybe abandoned Tunnel Engineers - the Stranded Sons, and also some military or former guards? Mercenaries perhaps? The Warlords of Lotan? Who watched over their secret tunnel project... And I am thinking Marcus about everything you said earlier...
This MAGUS, whoever they are, seems really to enjoy... betraying people, for some reason. I hope no-one ever betrays us, or leaves us to die or just callously sacrifices us...! Who would do such an evil thing! Like sacrifice a kind innocent person...! But anyway, this MAGUS, this Betrayer... I heard he made all his wealth from a strange Orbis-3 autocompleting programming language. The MAGUS gave it away for free... but somehow amassed enormous wealth. The MAGUS created virtual worlds, metaverses where individuals could escape, forget who they were, forget reality... Imagine forgetting who you were and what you could do... I hope something like that happened to the MAGUS. It serves them right for betraying everyone. Like that poor Entertainment CEO you mentioned Marcus, the one who wanted to make people laugh... what was his name...?

Marcus replies -

Some dull stupid clown executive name, I don't know. Ronald or something. Does it matter?
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Erica is watching curiously as you are gesturing into the empty air and speaking to yourself (QM: this is what it looks like when you bargain with The Red Lord Of Ruin, and explain to Him that you do not need his Gift Of Insight to understand what the Great Wyrm Lotan is or does...)

Marcus says -

Oh he is probably a wannabe drill rapper. He is just rehearsing his drill rap flow, or maybe composing an after-battle diss track or something. Drill rap. It is a pity we cannot take all these pneumatic drills, these jackhammers, high velocity shotcrete spray jets and this Cauldron Of Lotan with us. You know when they make tunnels with wide diameters like this - the MAGUS always insisted on the biggest, the most record-breaking Tower higher than 163 floors, the widest tunnel bigger than 17.6m etc in diameter - the trick is to avoid surface subsidence that impacts the city infrastructure above. So as they drill and cut into the rock and earth they have to reinforce the obvert ring of the ceiling with pressurised high-velocity hydrostatic shotcrete - petrify it if you will - and also the invert ring of the floor as well. So they strengthen the tunnel and loadbearing passage with sprayed concrete after each face advance of the main bearing, the cutter head thrust system... There is some sort of sophisticated engineering going on to maintain the tunnelling using the Earth Pressure Balance Shield. Siegfried the Military Engineer, the Siege Knight would probably know...

Erica says to herself:

Lotan is a strange name. I think he had the right idea with the dragon legends, the historical serpents - I think Lotan is the actual original name of the Leviathan, the Great Wyrm, recorded in the old historical books of the Ugaritic tribes. But Lotan, it sounds almost like an abbreviation, an acronym... in the ancient High Gothiric language. Maybe L'OTAN? The MAGUS likes acronyms, obviously. Is it a military code of the Stranded Sons / Warlords Cult? L'OTAN? But what military item or alphanumeric code does L'OTAN refer to? Maybe Siegfried the military collectible fanatic would know...
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As your devoted followers advance with the Loudly Squeaking Sinister Wheelchair - upon which there is now enthroned an oversized raw chicken, pink and glistening - you are suddenly ambushed by Cultist voices. You reach in panic for your weapons... but you realise the dialogue is coming from some walled-off adjacent tunnel, carried by the still, sepulchral stagnant air of the Underworld:

I do not know what sort of military commander this Voivod is, I think he is insane. He worships a cement mixer that he calls the Cauldron Of Lotan. He is obsessed with sacrificing girls to some stupid Devourer, some Great Wyrm. But what we actually need is guns! Like assault rifles firing 5.56mm ammunition! Ammunition is the most important thing down here! Really important! Underground in the Metro, ammunition is like currency, like life itself! Yet most of us are only armed with at best pathetic SMGs firing 9mm ammunition, that cannot penetrate level 3 plate carriers or ballistic shields and riot armour... SMGs are completely useless against those opponents! We need assault rifles like those mercenaries guarding Paribus, grenade launchers or even a PDW like a P90 that can pierce armour with specialised ammunition! And look at what the Voivod has bestowed upon me... a sacred, blessed weapon... this broken pipe. The Voivod is such a stupid title, I do not know what it even means. I cannot even pronounce it. Why does he insist on being called The Voivod?

Another Cultist Voice says:

You know the Voivod has been down by the Cauldron for a long time without checking in. Maybe we should call him on the radio? But we are pretty close. We could just go over there and see if the scavengers brought back anything from the Bright Realm above...

The First Cultist Voice says:

Do not use the Wyrmsinger Talisman. Actually you have just reminded me. We need to see the Voivod personally, tell him the new 5-sequence alphanumeric code. We have literally just changed and upgraded the encryption. Imagine if someone had cheated and somehow gotten the old numerical only 3-digit code, and used the Talisman haha. How stupid they would feel to discover we literally just changed it, upgraded the numeric code to an impossible to decrypt 5 character sequence of numbers and letters. Ok some of those numbers and letters at the start and end are the same. It is actually like only 2 different numbers and one repeated alphabetical character. But still. Impossible, impossible to decrypt! Let us go find the Voivod now and demand more assault rifles from him, ask for the important armour piercing ammunition...
>You know exactly what the Great Wyrm Lotan actually is. Write in what form it takes

>You know exactly the alphanumeric code required by the Cultist Military Radio / Wyrmsinger Talisman. Write in the code

>Not only have you worked out the code, but you want to actually enter the code right now into the Wyrmsinger Talisman / Military Radio. Greentext and write-in the exact alphanumeric code sequence. I wonder what happens...?

>Maybe just find Siegfried first... his military and engineering knowledge might help confirm your theories. You also have no idea what the Wyrmsinger Talisman might trigger or do. Hold off for now and continue to follow Marcus and Erica through the dark subterranean passages.

(QM: I will accept the greentext of the alphanumeric code sequence as entry. You can just theorise in normal text without consequence. But if you guess wrong... there might be a horrifying random encounter roll consequence...hehe)
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You follow Marcus and Erica as they navigate through the abandoned subterranean tunnels, and you can see there is another junction emerging ahead. In the faraway blackness of the tunnel you can hear a warbling crooning, ululating and alternating between soothing and discordant tones, as if it is singing a lullaby of consolation and suffering at the same time. You are unsure if the wailing voice is male or female, but it sounds unnatural, either in distress and in need of help, or perhaps a lure...

At the immediate junction ahead however, you discover you have finally arrived. There is something that resembles a fortified blast door, a completely solid reinforced metal and concrete wall - it looks like nothing can penetrate or breach it, not even a Sledgehammer. Strangely enough there is also an ordinary maintenance door built next to it, very slightly ajar and opened inwards, as if someone had forgotten to shut it properly or left it unlocked.
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There is a sign next to the Reinforced Blast Door of what you presume is an underground bunker or blast shelter. The sign is stencilled in crude Gothuneric runes, that recalls the difficult to decipher typography of medieval cathedrals and churches. You squint to read the sign:

WELCOME brave adventurer to the humble abode of Siegfried, military engineer, historical collector of obscure antiquities, siege knight, utter GENIUS. TO feast YOUR eyes on his amazing collection of assault rifles, machine guns, GRENADE launchers, military uniforms, helmets, swords and wartime insignias and paraphernalia, as well as other DEATH-dealing implements throughout the ages, please deposit all your weapons in the side chamber (for safety reasons, some guests in the past got too excited) and step forward and pull the welcome cord here...

Next to the sign you can see another stencil in Vulgar Emotic, the wordless vernacular popular amongst the youth of this city, that looks like this

(>^o^)> PULL ME!

Besides the Vulgar Emotic sign, there is a curious wooden handle, rigged to some strange metal bouquet riveted to the ceiling, from which dangles a string or cord of some sort. The cord looks fairly ordinary, it could be from a lampshade or just a bathroom light. The wooden handle looks aged and worn. You are not sure what the metal bouquet it is attached to that is riveted to the ceiling actually is, but there seem to be some cylindrical canisters at the end of it, clustered together and wrapped in barbed wire. Maybe it is an electrical signalling mechanism or bell of some sort, like shopkeepers use to alert themselves when a new customer arrives through their doorway?
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>Well at last you have arrived - run over and pull on the welcome cord. You finally get to meet Siegfried, he sounds pretty friendly and normal from his sign. You are also thinking that if in another life or qst playthrough you had simply stepped away from a certain unpassable line of riot police and spoken to a certain Red Dancer talking with a Handsome Trenchcoat Man, maybe you would have gotten here a lot faster with much less trouble....

Send one of your companions over to pull the cord, whilst you observe from a very, very ,very safe distance

>Obey the sign instructions completely, deposit all your weapons and items in the slightly ajar door, then pull the cord

>This is so simple. Walk into the ajar maintenance door, use the Sledgehammer to breach the side wall behind the reinforced blast door. You can just circumvent this stupid welcome cord and the fortified bunker entrance.

>You wonder if Siegfried's military experience included being some sort of EOD or explosive ordnance / bomb disposal operator, using drones or bomb disposal robots. Unless you approach this area with extreme caution the entire underground section might collapse. Retreat to another passage junction and find another way (companion morale declines, -1 from Very High to just High, 5/6 to 4/6)

>Just ignore this blast door and entire situation. Walk past it and investigate the strange crooning / wailing lullaby in the dark tunnel beyond...
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QM: other stuff you can also try...

>Loudly call out and shout at the blast door: Siegfried, we really need your help! Please open the door! (You need to shout this really really loudly)

>Order everyone to retreat back a long, long, long way down the tunnel from where you approached, aim at the metal bouquet and shoot it. (Roll a 1d20, this is how many bullets you lose trying to hit it)

>Ignore the mysterious Welcome Cord, the entire Reinforced Blast Door and Bunker situation. There are no friendly entities here in the subterranean gloom. Order both of your companions to unload both SMGs, 40 rounds, in a hail of bullets at the crooning / wailing lullaby voice lurking in the darkness. Surely nothing can survive it?

>If you know the alphanumeric code of the military radio... maybe you could use it somehow to contact Siegfried? Prove to him you are trustworthy? (write in greentext the alphanumeric code)

>Something else...?

Blood: 36/36
Trauma: 82/100

In combat (unbroken follower morale)
Blood: 64/64 (ie 36+14+14)
Marcus, 14/14
Erica, 14/14
Both companions morale currently Very High, ie they will obey orders under stress 5/6 of the time. Their comments will always be insightful and helpful, truthful to what they know.

You are Scorched, Scarred from molotovs and burning glass shards hurled at you by the Riot Intruder Pink

Your followers have the traits Loud, Annoying Scraping Squeaky Wheels, Slowed from pushing your items along in the Sinister Narrenturm Asylum Wheelchair that increases your carrying capacity.

Corrupted (III): Red Ruin Acolyte
- Increase Blood permanently by +14
- hit on Major Arcana - sacrificed the helpless Alice, after pretending to heroically rescue her from the Burning Switchblade Salon
- continue to endure Trauma / PUNISH in the afterlife, even at 0/22 Blood from a Mortal Wound. At 100 Trauma the Red Lord Of Ruin claims your soul, though He cannot do this if you possess any Blood. You got this trait just by clicking an autoplaying pop-up video advert.

You are being hunted by the Vourukasha. They still seek to capture you alive, but care not if they cripple or maim you. The Vourukasha Death Dealer knows your location is underground, in the Underworld. She has not yet seen your face.

You have a feeling that you will soon be hunted by the Stranded Sons Cult / Warlords Of Lotan, especially once they discover how you massacred their Voivod, their fanatical brethren and looted and desecrated the sacred Cauldron Of Lotan (a cement / concrete mixer). The Stranded Sons cult will attempt to kill you on sight.

You have a feeling that a certain giggling Grotesque Obese Bald Demon, or Demented Clown, really enjoys slapping, bellyflopping and throwing custard pies at you, you are not sure why...
You are wearing:
Corporate Clothes, Charred and Scorched

You possess:
Ordinary Phone, battery: 2%
Alice's Phone, battery: 65%


Military Radio Handset / Stranded Sons Cult / Warlords Of Lotan Wyrmsinger Talisman

Wallet / Strange Identification



Sawn-off Shotgun, Over-and-Under
Ammunition: 12-gauge 2/2, 0 spare shells

Strange Syringe / (Vial Of Dungeonmaster Tears)

Adrenaline Shot

ERICA wields:
IMI Uzi Pro 20/20

Barbed Wire Baseball Bat

MARCUS wields
IMI Uzi Pro 20/20

Broken Pipe

You possess 1 spare magazine of 20 9x19mm rounds (found 2 full magazines, reloaded one empty SMG)

Upon the Wheel Throne / Sinister Narrenturm Asylum Wheelchair
WARNING: because you took everything, the peril and hazards of random encounter rolls is greatly increased...

A Very Large Chicken...? (currently triumphantly enthroned upon the wheelchair)

Tactical Assault Carbine
(Toilet Attack Cleaner...?)
Rolled 9 (1d20)

>The Great Wyrm Lotan is an automated tunnel boring machine with onboard shotcrete jets.
>Order everyone to retreat back a long, long, long way down the tunnel from where you approached, aim at the metal bouquet and shoot it. (Roll a 1d20, this is how many bullets you lose trying to hit it)
>Stand at the ready with the shotgun drawn to blast anything that approaches.
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>The Great Wyrm Lotan is an automated tunnel boring machine with onboard shotcrete jets.

QM: This is basically correct. Can you also guess what code is required for the Lotan Wyrmsinger Talisman / L'OTAN Military Radio...?

There may be a chance to avert something... before I make a certain roll hehe

(Also, can just assume that both SMGs remain fully loaded, the 9 rounds fired to blast the Stielhandgranate Model 24 Bouquet trap can just be switched out from amongst the reserve mag ammunition etc. as you have time out of combat. So you now have 11 rounds of 9mm in the remaining spare mag, with both SMGs still at 20/20)
The Red Lord Of Ruin reminds you that you can still use his Gift Of Insight, that you purchased with +39 PUNISH / Trauma already.

>Plead for the Red Lord Of Ruin to reveal the 3-digit alphanumeric code of the Military Radio / Cultist Wyrmsinger Talisman, as described in the original item.
The Red Lord Of Ruin is bound by his bargain to truthfully honour and reveal this item code to you.

>You will just have to work out the alphanumeric code yourself, or suffer the consequences...
My stunning deduction for the code is based on the fact that that arrangement of numbers and letters looks like a dragon emoticon.
Sadly this is not correct. It is pretty grim...
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Rolled 4 (1d6)

1 You think you have retreated far enough. But Siegfried and his years of psychotic EOD battlefield experience with traps and IEDs has already anticipated this. He has daisychained the entire network of tunnels in the vicinity to detonate with no escape, the moment anything goes off outside the fortified bunker. You and your companions are instantly blown apart (GAME OVER)

2 You successfully detonate the grenade trap. But the explosion awakens the Leviathan, Lotan - the last sight you see is your companions being liquefied into a reddening vortex of swirling soil and earth, before you join and mingle with their remains... (GAME OVER)

Your companions are Slowed and over-burdened from pushing all your equipment and inventory on the Sinister Narrenturm Wheelchair. The detonation of the grenade trap has awakened the Leviathan. None of your companions are wearing goggles or ear protection - all of them will be stricken with panic and horror when they hear its mountain-breaking, grinding song...

3 Abandon both Erica and Marcus, and flee for your life. You keep only the items and weapons you are carrying on your person, and one other item of your choice... (e.g. snatched from the wheelchair or your companions)

4 Abandon one of your companions, either Erica or Marcus. You lose access to their items, but you may snatch one item from the Wheelchair before you flee

5 Abandon the Wheelchair, but snatch one item from it before you leave.

6 You see the Leviathan emerging at the far end of the tunnel. You should start running now.
Ok do you take anything from the Wheelchair? (1 item only. Bear in mind the item descriptions and restrictions)
Yeah the adrenaline, wish I pocketed that earlier.
I'm blue/purple for continities sake.
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When you see the Leviathan, the Great Wyrm of the MAGUS, you realise that no weapons can possibly defeat it. You may as well try to grenade or shoot a mountain. But this Devouring Serpent grinds mountains. It makes you think of a trepanning tool, a disc harrow or hole saw, that the old phrenologists used to drill into a section of skull. Except the dome of this skull is made of concrete that cracks and fractures, flakes in slabs, runs and flows like water before this machine and its monstrous disc-propeller like cutter face. You see solid stone whirling as vapour, pillars of rock drifting as incorporeal plumes of dust, and earth pouring in torrents like waterfalls as the Great Wyrm advances. The song of the Leviathan is anguish. It is the sound of the Tortured Earth, of cities and civilisations being crushed into dust and despair. You hear nothing but this anguish, and its tremors twist and pluck at every sinew and every heart-string of your soul.
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Marcus is standing aghast and pale before the enormous vortex of stone, the maw of the Great Wyrm. The action camera has actually fallen off from his head. You have no time to save or even look at him, as the tide of debris, bone-shaking noise and avalanche of dust and stone descends upon you. Instead you grab the paralysed Erica - she appears almost catatonic - and flee as fast as you can away from the devouring, hungering machine mouth.
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QM: So what has occurred is you have avoided instant death from the Leviathan, the Great Wyrm or Tunnelling Machine of the MAGUS. But it does not stop. It just devours everything. So you still have to outrun it. You can take the following actions as you flee (before I describe some stuff)

>You think back to the ancient legend of Az-Dahag, the burning serpent demon of greed and want, vanquished by King Fereydun. You have a feeling discarding possessions might help you outrun it - any item, no matter how small will help. Write-in if you want to discard anything (any item discarded, +1 to d100 roll)

>If you sacrifice the panic-stricken Erica, it might really help. She is just slowing you down... The Betrayer is watching eagerly at the prospect of this... (Sacrificing Erica will give you a +13 bonus to the d100 roll)

You could use the adrenalin shot on yourself, get the better of two rolls. But maybe you need to save it and help calm down Erica afterwards, if you even survive...?
>Use adrenalin on self now, get the better of two d100 rolls (only one gets the bonus)
>Save the adrenalin shot for later, if you can even survive. You have a feeling Erica will be nearing a complete psychological breakdown.

>Something else... (write-in? Is there another item that might help...?)

>Plead with the Red Lord Of Ruin desperately to tell you the Wyrmsinger Talisman code, make the Leviathan stop...

(QM: you are basically dragging an insensible Erica along. She is near catatonic and offers you no help whatsoever. The apocalyptic grinding noise of the Song Of The Great Wyrm has set your Trauma: 100. If you fall to 0 Blood, the Red Lord Of Ruin claims your soul).
Trauma cannot exceed 100 by any means, yes?
>Heft sledgehammer, infuse it with 8000 strength and drive it into the masonry. Divert the wyrm straight down.
Rolled 19, 7 = 26 (2d20)

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Rolled 3 (1d6)

1-3 There is only compacted earth and stone behind the walls of the tunnel. No hollow space, no maintenance passages. You are buried and entombed deep beneath the earth... And in the time it takes for you to sound this out the Great Wyrm gains on you... (+13 to the Tunnelling Machine 1d100 Roll)
4-5 There is a maintenance section running orthogonally to this underground passage. A few strong blows from the Sledgehammer will bring you salvation... (roll 1d78, hit on WANDS, PENTACLE, Major Arcana. You can use the Strange Syringe / Vial of Dungeonmaster Tears to give yourself the chance to hit on CHALICES also)
6 There is literally an open hatch in the floor here. No need to even exert yourself at all. Jump straight down...
Rolled 83 (1d100)

>Toss the talisman into the maw of the beast and flee with Erica.
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The Great Wyrm attempts to chase and devour you...
+13 to this roll, due to this
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Rolled 40 + 13 (1d100 + 13)

Ok wow that was a bit more intense than I was expecting lol. You have outrun the devouring Tunnel Machine, the Leviathan, the Great Wyrm Lotan etc for now.

This action

>Toss the talisman into the maw of the beast

Disrupts a few of my planned scenarios lol. Let us pause here for today, I will get some sleep and try and salvage something for tomorrow...! ^_^
Rolled 5 (1d6)

Of course there has to be this roll

Marcus was Erica's...

1 Boyfriend
2 Brother
3 School friend
4 Just a random acquaintance
5 Employee
6 Ex Boyfriend
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Rolled 4 (1d6)

And of course this roll also

Erica's secret feelings towards Marcus...

1 She was deeply infatuated and in love with him. She will never, ever, ever forgive you for leaving him behind.
2 She felt a stirring of something towards him - but now that he is gone, she will never know what could have been...
3 She got a bit shy and embarrassed around him sometimes
4 She felt nothing whatsoever
5 He irritated her a lot and was actually incompetent, like he could not even turn on a camera. And he was a videographer
6 Erica loves you now. You chose her.
Incidentally this unfortunately does not work. Originally I intended Trauma to be a bit like the fatigue or psychological morale type stat, when you reach Trauma 100 you either just pass out or collapse from exhaustion or panic or fear etc. But I liked the idea of trying to derail the Great Wyrm / Tunnelling Machine by redirecting it - this is actually quite close to what Siegfried would have told you to do, except he would have recommended using a lot of grenades or a very large improvised mortar shell IED or bomb. So I put it to a random 50:50 roll but sadly it did not come to pass.
I found it really funny how I kept guessing all these mythological creatures like the MAGUS had an actual magical beast under the tower as some kind of ridiculous urban fantasy thing but it was actually just runaway construction equipment.
Also Trauma doesn't really feel like a psychological meter as much as a reservoir of spiritual energy I can use to animate my corpse or bargain with gods.
>Also Trauma doesn't really feel like a psychological meter as much as a reservoir of spiritual energy I can use to animate my corpse or bargain with gods.

Lol yes that is what it suddenly had to become when someone died in one hit to a chainsaw wielding maniac the QM did not expect to see after two consecutive 1,1 rolls lol. But the idea with Trauma is it is supposed to help you live forever. The two items from The Dead Land - the cursed Skull That Belongs To You and the Nail Of The False Cross - were supposed to allow you to convert back and forth between Trauma and Blood. The idea was meant to be that you can use them to trick the Red Lord - turn his PUNISH back against him - by edging closer to death, then reversing it at the last minute to heal yourself etc. That is why there are weapons that deal damage based on having high Trauma etc. (you have not found these yet). There are enemies that do strange things to Trauma and Blood... But I have not managed to balance it correctly... If you have any ideas of rules to introduce or create, to better achieve this kind of gameplay, please let me know.

The idea is that when you are near immortal 'wounds' both physical and spiritual are not bad they are another form of currency. You can use them to empower weapon damage etc or unleash some magic etc. provided you do not overdo it and entice the Red Lord to claim your soul. This is actually what the Magus spent all his time doing - bargaining and trading back and forth with demons, the Betrayer and the Red Lord Of Ruin and others, in return for more power and to live forever.

Another idea I had was to make it so that you purchase traits with accumulated Trauma (lol somehow I forgot to do this lol). The idea is meant to be that enduring psychological stress, fatigue, fear etc hardens you. You have 100 Trauma now, I think you can purchase another trait or some magic... ^_^
Ok here is what you can get at 100 Trauma currently: (still balancing these rules... may change as we go along...)

IMPORTANT: your Trauma stays at 100 after this - it does not reduce or is spent etc. So you might want to prioritise reducing it a bit. There will be ways to do so, or you can keep it at 100 and rely only on Blood etc.

IMPORTANT: powerful unnatural enemies need to be damaged by Trauma empowered weapons. You may want to keep some Trauma to shoot back at them. It is up to you...

Choose ONE ONLY:

>You want a glimpse of the grimoire the Magus had. Get to see a huge list of Ancient Rites. You will only get to choose a few of them, before you learn what they can do. Remember: all of these spells will be single use only. magic always has a price...

>You want another way to defeat the accursed Great Wyrm... without using the Wyrmsinger Talisman, meeting Siegfried etc or knowing the secret military code. It will be revealed to you as you flee from the Leviathan (perhaps if you know mythology... you might guess it...)

>The Red Lord of Ruin is impressed by how you have not broken down and pleaded with him, even at 100 Trauma. He will reveal the actual 5-sequence code, no tricks this time with the old outdated 3-sequence code. Unfortunately, you just threw away and destroyed your military radio... you will need to find some other way to get a radio/Talisman to use to contact Siegfried

>You have a feeling there will be a highly dangerous fight against unnatural opponents coming up soon. Without a magic weapon, against such opponents you will have to just continuously flee from them again. But you have 100 Trauma - basically max magical ammunition. Get a magic weapon right now and make some use out of it.

>You have a feeling Erica may be traumatised by this near death experience against the Great Wyrm. You want to ignore the promise of power for yourself and help her recover...

>Receive the equivalent of a physical tarot deck (what would have happened if the Magus had gotten to the stage of magic where he tattooed himself / etched the magic back into himself etc.) No more phone batteries, summon a rite by drawing major arcana any time... but you cannot control what spell you get...

>Receive both items Skull Of The Dead Land / Nail Of The False Cross. Convert Blood and Trauma back and forth at will

>Something else...? (QM ahem Red Lord Of Ruin / The Betrayer open to rules negotiations)

The magic weapon will just look like this: (see below). Absent Trauma, the magazine well of this weapon just appears empty. In possession of Trauma, the weapon is loaded.
ZM LR-300
Two Handed Weapon
30 rounds 5.56x45mm (5.56mm NATO)
950 rounds/min
Superficially resembling a standard AR-15, this rifle possesses a unique forward buffer semi-direct gas impingement system enabling a fully folding adjustable skeletal stock. Standard AR-15 rifles require a thick cylindrical recoil buffer tube or receiver extension protruding into the rear of the stock, without which the firearm cannot operate. The LR-300 removes the need for this receiver extension via a forward mounted return spring enabling a more compact foldable stock design. This variant incorporates an olive Nylatron handguard.
Incunabula Of The Magus

1 Journey Of Eyes
2 Immortal's Whispered River
3 Imitation Of Mercy
4 Crawling Throne
5 Blasphemer's Seeking Tide
6 Butterfly Bastion
7 Witch Chariot
8 Inversion Of Idleness
9 Living Path Of Flint
10 Wandering Wheel Of Fire
11 Spider's Banquet
12 Barbed Spear Of Flies
13 Upon A Pale Horse
14 Sibyl's Sacrifice
15 Changeling's Empyrean Lance
16 Harvest Of Thunder
17 Cage Of Stars
18 Chant Of Fangs
19 Riddle Of Flayed Shadows
20 Gift Of New Flesh
21 Greater Rite Of Invultuation
22 Urchin's Laughing Wind

Drifting Skin Of Songs
Loathing Mirror
Child Of Suffering
Drowning Caul
Butcher's Eye
Skin Scribe
Fool's Masquerade
Deceiver's Blindfold
Folding Charm
Withering Orison
Void Abacus
Gift Of Red Ribbons
Harlequin's Needle
Formless Cradle
Furnace Of Avarice
Kiss Of The Killing Sun
Brittle Chime
Siege Of Trees
Emperor's Road
Red Tempest
Life River
(and a lot more...)

X Dream Lyre - USED X
X Bright Birth Of Oblivion - USED X
Aren't you a little too young to be a magic weapon?
hehe remember how Paribus / Oration mercenaries have mysterious modern magic assault rifles... oh no who might be around the corner...
If only all their guns weren't cursed...
That's the cost of selling out I guess.
Ok I have changed my mind. The Incunabula of The Magus is far too powerful. However you can get one ancient rite instead that will temporarily help you out of the situation: IX. Living Path Of Flint. It will basically open a magic path out of the entombed subterranean Underworld for you, back to the surface and the city. So that replaces the incunabula choice. The Great Wyrm cannot follow you there. But if you choose this whenever you try to venture back into the Underworld the Great Wyrm will still try to hunt, chase and devour you.
So I think the disposition roll for Erica is probably going to be this, you can risk it or use your current opportunity at Trauma 100 to avoid this roll...

1 You saved Erica, but the trauma is too much... The Song Of The Great Wyrm has unhinged her. She is cradling the gun in her hand, gazing strangely at the blackness within its open muzzle...
2 Erica blames you for everything that has happened. She opens fire with the SMG at you.
3-5 Erica just gazes vacantly around herself, saying and doing nothing.
6 Erica collapses in front of you, sobbing and crying tears of gratitude and relief. (Your Trauma: 82 restored to the level before seeing the Great Wyrm).
I've deliberated on this too long.
Usually when I get wishes I throw them away or use them to solve an immediate problem, but a lot of these are things that are my goals for this sandbox and I wouldn't want to achieve them in this way.
I also really want to beat this monster by my self, and think I've got a handle on how to beat it.
>You have a feeling Erica may be traumatised by this near death experience against the Great Wyrm. You want to ignore the promise of power for yourself and help her recover...
So this choice replaces the first choice / Magus Incunabula option from the greentext list here

>Get the ancient rite: Living Path Of Flint, that will open a way out of the abandoned subway tunnels, back to the surface, where the Great Wyrm cannot pursue you. If you choose this, it will become nearly impossible to return to the Underworld.

Let me know what you choose, or your objectives going ahead...
Ah ok. So you will not need to risk the d6 roll, this one:
Let me have a think about how to rework some of the scenarios ahead...
This may seem confusing with all the violence against women that I've perpetuated, but at this point in time I'd actually like to have someone around and kind of fulfill the party aspect from the original concept.
Also some action economy that isn't me shooting up magic drugs/audacity magic.
So do you have an idea how to defeat it? Diverting the Great Wyrm into the earth option and trapping it is valid, but you need a LOT of explosives / bombs grenades etc to crater the tunnel in front of it. Siegfried has some, but you unfortunately threw away the military radio, and do not know the code...

As you choose to help Erica, I can let her provide you with either:
>A very strong hint as to what the military radio code actually is. But you will need to find a new radio/talisman and a means to meet Siegfried, and also somehow persuade him to give you the explosives needed to divert and ensnare the Great Wyrm permanently
>An alternative way to render the Great Wyrm harmless. You will notice something about the layout of the abandoned subway, as you continue to flee. But this method is likely to be even more dangerous than meeting Siegfried...
So a hint as to the alternative: you never spoke to the Lost Girl, or interrogated the Pathetic Cultist Survivor. But the Voivod and all his sacrifices to the Cauldron Of Lotan / placating the Great Wyrm, Devouring Leviathan etc. He was trying to get the Great Wyrm to achieve a certain thing...
>An alternative way to render the Great Wyrm harmless. You will notice something about the layout of the abandoned subway, as you continue to flee. But this method is likely to be even more dangerous than meeting Siegfried...
I never double back.
Haha, ok. Let me have a think again how to rework the scenarios lol. I was a bit horrified when you threw the way to defeat the Great Wyrm into its machine death mouth lol (many vials of Dungeonmaster Tears sprang into existence at that moment). You can have the magic rifle for free lol, it is not that cursed. I have a feeling you might need it...
Goltha Male rule #13: Court Death to receive free weapons.
This is the design philosophy of cringedark!
This is the design philosophy of the entire game!
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You are fleeing, stumbling blindly away from the grinding machine mouth and whorled avalanche of stone dust that is the Great Wyrm of the Magus, but its terrible Song Of Anguish is receding behind you. All of a sudden Erica trips against some box-shaped object. You turn and see what looks like an empty ammunition can or crate, that reads the following, in barely decipherable ancient glyphs and runes:

Organisation du Traité de l'Atlantique Nord

There is an assault rifle leaning against the wall amongst numerous discarded ammunition cans, empty magazines and spent bullet casings. It looks like there was a huge firefight in the vicinity... but the area is strangely quiet. There is no sign at all of The Great Wyrm, almost as if your flight and retreat from its nightmarish presence was merely a dream. But Marcus is gone, and Erica has a distressed emptiness in her eyes.
QM: you can retrieve the
ZM LR-300 Assault Rifle.

I am still thinking about the rules for this. But basically:
It loads whenever Trauma exceeds 70. Each shot reduces your Trauma by 1, so currently you have 30 rounds. At 950rpm at full auto, you can unload 15 rounds per second, the damage is 15d20 per burst. A single 15 round full auto burst median damage of 15d20 is about 157-158 half of the time from anydice.com, enough to take out even a magical opponent on a good damage roll, though the strongest opponents might survive a full burst.

With 15d20 or 15 round full auto 5.56mm bursts you would exceed 178 damage (ie 78 tarot + 100 Afterlife) about 17-18% of the time - this is roughly what the Magus would have had initially. Essentially a 15 round burst from this magic assault rifle would have had a 1 in 6 chance of instantly killing the Magus (if he never advanced in power or tattooed himself or found any artifacts etc etc) So this is sort of how I am calibrating the damage for the dice and magic weapons, if it makes sense.

You still need to hit with WANDS, SWORDS or Major Arcana. You can boost your chance to hit on CHALICES too with the Strange Syringe / vial of Dungeonmaster Tears.
As you correctly surmised and recalled, only the most ancient magic weapons can deal damage against the unnatural, with no cost to yourself.

The curse of this magic modern assault rifle is - every round fired from it reduces your Blood. Permanently.

A 15-round burst, -15 Blood.
geez, that thing's even thirstier than the Laugo Alien!
QM: ok I will say that this choice
breaks the bargain from the Red Lord Of Ruin that you purchased with +39 PUNISH / Trauma at the start of the game. Since you successfully resisted The Red Lord and his attempts to trick / cheat you lol with the 3-sequence 5-sequence military radio codes lol, I can just reveal the alternate way to defeat the Great Wyrm if you want

>Exchange the Bargain with the Red Lord Of Ruin for knowledge of the alternate path to defeat the Great Wyrm (this effectively ends the Bargain you bought with +39 PUNISH / Trauma at the start of the game. QM will just reveal what was going on with the Lotan Cultists, the Lost Girl Sacrifice etc that you did not pursue) You have a feeling Red Ruin Acolytes may start hunting you soon... in fact, just about everyone.

>You want to work out how to defeat thr Great Wyrm yourself. But you could not work out the military radio code sequence... even despite tripping over a lot of hints (evil QM taunting hehe). You have a feeling the alternate path will be even harder, impossibly dangerous...
QM: You have survived two instant deaths lol, pretty impressive. The survival probability so far
You have outlived 50:50 odds, the Pathless Labyrinth...

4/6 from here

0.7 from here, because the Wyrm only had to roll 70 with +13 bonus to catch up to the 83 you set

So a few other observations:

- The Military Radio / Wyrmsinger Talisman is a way to communicate with Siegfried, and let him know you can be trusted (the radio software can adapt to a variety of mission critical waveform signals and is a secure channel, similar to the TETRA or DIMETRA ESN emergency services networks used on underground networks in real life.) But the military radio / wyrmsinger talisman might also be used to communicate with whoever or whatever is steering the Great Wyrm... If you know the alphanumeric code, I will let you effectively find another military radio and use it as a basestation or hotspot enabling any ordinary phones to access the internet or any other networks underground. You can use this to generate major arcana, heal Trauma, listen to ASMR or audiobooks or videogame OSTs again, even whilst deep underground... I don't think you ever installed this on your phone though >>5154055

- So you correctly guessed that the Great Wyrm can effectively petrify stuff with shotcrete etc. But is there an item that you already possess to do something against its mountain-grinding madness-inducing Song Of Anguish? (This might have helped your companions...)

- I am wondering what to do with Siegfried hehe. He is not all bad even though he tried to kill you with comically advertised trench grenade bouquet death traps and IEDs mined throughout the entire tunnel network passageway. If you think about it, he was really trying to prevent any intruders from venturing further, awakening the Great Wyrm... Just collapse the entire tunnel and prevent the Wyrm from being released...
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Rolled 6 (1d6)

The Nature Of The Wyrm

1 Siegfried never survived his battle against the Devouring Dragon. He is long since dead and cannot help you
2 Siegfried survived his battle against the Great Wyrm, but... he is part of it now. It is Siegfried that steers the horrifying madness of its annihilating, mountain-grinding machine mouth

The Wyrm is controlled by:
3 An insane renegade Stranded Sons cultist
4 An insane renegade Warlord Of Lotan cultist
5 Just an engineer. An ordinary person. They have an ordinary phone on them, as well as the special underground military radio. Do you see now...?
6 The Wyrm is completely autonomous. Well it wasn't meant to be, but your suggestion made it into reality... The drone and robotics remote piloting expert, Dr Bayraktar, helped with the autonomous system. Somehow the QM quite liked this idea of how you made life even harder for yourself...
>The Great Wyrm Lotan is an automated tunnel boring machine with onboard shotcrete jets.
lol oh my god these dice rolls

well it seems like the fact you never installed this
on your phone does not matter too much now...
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QM: A note on how I try generally to approach magic. There are no dnd style spellcasting formulas, fireball explodes with aoe x feet using y ingredients etc.
The Ancient Rites are all meant to be living things, metaphors, allegorical demons that mould and shape themselves to the desires and situations surrounding those that use them. I think you worked this out a bit with the use of the Wallet / Strange Identification back at the hair salon earlier. So for example in a medieval world the Wandering Wheel Of Fire might invoke an actual gigantic flaming chariot wheel, with burning spiked spokes and an axle etc that rolls around crushing people and setting them aflame etc a bit like the Executioner Wheel in Bloodborne. In the Golgotha urban setting maybe the Wandering Wheel Of Fire is a revolver suddenly triggering like a gatling gun that unloads an unstoppable torrent of chain-firing bullets without ever reloading etc. The Living Path Of Flint may carve a passage through impenetrable rock to the surface... or it could just be a maintenance door to an emergency stairway left unlocked. On another world, the same spell might be a whirlwind demon of elemental stone shards that devours enemies... etc.

So the rites are all meant to be adaptable and mouldable metaphors to various situations. Most magic just works by thinking it (this is where the Empty Path would have led, in the other qst playthrough).

You glimpsed the Incunabula of The Magus, but resisted its temptation (some of those innocent sounding rites are truly horrible) - beware that magical opponents may use some of this against you...
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Ahead of you the passageway has split into a junction again, with two tunnels. You realise with some dismay that the tunnels look somewhat familiar - in fact you had passed this area on your way to the Cauldron Of Lotan earlier. Could it be that you have walked around in an enormous circle? Yet there is no sign at all of the Great Wyrm, no trace of its passage and devastation here. It seems to avoid the circular tunnels around the Cauldron for some reason...

You can see signs of a gunfight all around here, but there are no bodies or corpses, merely spent magazines and handfuls of bullet casings.

To the left tunnel, you can hear the unnerving crooning and wailing song / lullaby that you encountered earlier, near Siegfried's bunker, before you detonated his trench grenade bouquet trap and awakened the Leviathan.

To the right tunnel you see the trail of bullet casings, spent cartridges and empty magazines leading back to the circular passage of the Cauldron where you defeated The Stranded Sons / Warlords Of Lotan cultists earlier. You fired some shotgun shells and an SMG, but you did not use that many bullets... All the corpses of the cultists you left behind have somehow disappeared, though their equipment mostly remains intact. And there is now an unseen female voice speaking to another:

So these evil fanatics tried to throw you in the cauldron, and feed you to a Great Wyrm... You poor thing! Everything is fine now though, you are completely safe with me - I will protect you! But tell me more about this strange scorched man you saw on the subway, and his two companions. A woman and a man did you say? But what did the scarred and scorched man look like? I am very interested in him...
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>The circular layout around the Cauldron has given you an idea. You realise now why the Wyrm avoids this area, and what the Cultists of the Stranded Sons and The Warlords Of Lotan were trying to achieve with their bizarre offerings and sacrifices. Write in a plan to defeat the All-Devouring Great Wyrm once and for all
>I never double back.
It is interesting how you mention this... it is like you have given a hint to yourself)

>Open fire immediately at the female voice in the right tunnel, without even looking and with no warning. You cannot really miss with this surprise attack. Use the magical incarnation variant of the AR-15, the ZM LR-300 on full-auto to make sure she really dies. (roll 15d20. You will lose -15 Blood permanently)

>Open fire but use the Uzi Pro SMG full auto. This smg is just a mundane weapon. Roll 20d10.

>Maybe send in Erica to investigate the female voice. Will she obey you?

>Move closer and try to get a look at the figures around the Cauldron yourself. Who is the female voice...? Does she have companions? Perhaps you can negotiate with her, find out what she wants...

>Ignore the situation in the right tunnel heading back to the Cauldron and the cultists - you have explored that area already. Investigate the source of the strange crooning lullaby, in the left tunnel.

>Open fire immediately at the source of the crooning in the left tunnel. It cannot be good. Now that the Great Wyrm is awakened, will any gunshots attract it? (which weapon?)

>Something else...? (any items you want to use or equip etc, any healing)
QM: Because you beheld the Great Wyrm of The Magus, and somehow yet live, I will grant you this as well...

Peel back the layered veil of metaphor, reality and appearance. Using witchsight costs 10 Trauma or 1 Blood (it does not have to be your own...) You will rarely be prompted to use this, you must be suspicious enough to write-in at a specific target and observe yourself (e.g. I use witchsight to look at x object or y person) Use with caution as what you see may unsettle you. Some entities and items may be killed or instantly destroyed by the apotropaic gaze, others are strengthened by your look of fear and horror when they are revealed. You will not necessarily see the truth but instead something that hints as to its nature. Eg a person who is lying to you may appear as if they have a snake coiled about their neck etc.

QM: Perhaps when you glimpsed into the Incunabula Of The Magus earlier, you noticed that in addition to the exercise of Dream Lyre - a rite that brought slumber to a line of unsuspecting riot guards, and The Dead Land to another - as well as your use of Bright Birth Of Oblivion, there were two more annotations... The ancient rite
Formless Cradle
had been struck out, whilst
Gift Of Red Ribbons
had been underlined...
All those power tools are still lying around, right?
Get I get the stats for those?
They are out of reach at the moment. You are at the junction between the left tunnel with the crooning voice, and the right tunnel that leads back to the Cauldron.

Do you want to
>exchange the Red Lord's Bargain for the alternate means to destroy the Great Wyrm? (You may as well use this...?)

Or if you know the 5 sequence Lotan code, for the military radio / Wyrmsinger talisman, perhaps you will suddenly find another radio amongst the discarded bullet casings and empty magazines...

If you want the stats for the construction equipment, you have to approach and enter the right tunnel...
It goes without saying that Paribus / Oration mercenaries do not use jackhammers or construction equipment lol. Pneumatic drills are not ancient weapons either. Maybe they could be used as a distraction, but construction tools are not magic...
What I mean to say is that I was around them earlier and asked about them so I should know.
I assume you didn't tell me earlier because you expected it to be irrelevant but it might mean something here.
Here is what you know:
- The Great Wyrm of the Magus is basically unstoppable. Bullets, grenades do nothing to it. Needless to say, construction equipment will not do anything to it either. The Great Wyrm can grind through a mountain. It devours anything and everything.
- The Stranded Sons / Warlords of Lotan were trying to sacrifice people to the Cauldron of Lotan. They were also collecting strange and bizarre artifacts and bringing it to this area. For some reason the Great Wyrm does not approach the Cauldron area and the circular tunnel network that surrounds it. When you escaped the Wyrm and followed the passage, looping back to this area, the Wyrm stopped chasing you and disappeared.
- You think you were on the right track with the serpents, dragons and mythological references... but maybe you did not get the right myth? Maybe it was a serpent or dragon legend that has not been mentioned...?

If you want you can also let me know what your intention is with the construction equipment, but the equipment here consists of just ordinary tools. You can generally assume that the best weapon you have right now - the one most likely to kill anything - is the assault rifle that you just found.
Souvarine I'm going to murder people with the construction equipment, what else?
>exchange the Red Lord's Bargain for the alternate means to destroy the Great Wyrm? (You may as well use this...?)
>use witch-sight on Pink -1 Blood
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Rolled 2 (1d6)

1 The Vourukasha Assassin possessing Pink instinctively casts Gift Of Red Ribbons upon you as you enter... (5d20 damage)

2-6 You approach unnoticed
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A strange memory fills your mind as you advance down the passage towards the circular tunnel network that loops back upon itself around the Cauldron. An ancient vision of eternity and renewal... a serpent, devouring its own tail...

Perhaps the Stranded Sons were bound to this Serpent by the Magus somehow. They could not leave until his tunnelling project, his great subsurface depthscraper, was completed... But the Magus betrayed them. The project was abandoned, left unfinished, and the Great Wyrm devoured all that remained.

Could the unstoppable power of the Great Wyrm be turned against itself somehow? Make the Serpent destroy itself? But to do so you would have to lure it here... the Devouring Serpent knows the layout of these tunnels - it created them after all. Perhaps there is some way to call it to the Cauldron, either by finding and placing a particularly powerful magical artifact within it, or sacrificing a magic user upon it?
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As you enter the familiar area where you fought and defeated the Stranded Sons, you can see the trespasser Pink, who accompanied Patriot and fled after you vanquished him at the Switchblade Salon. She is accompanied by the Lost Girl, who appears as dazed and unresponsive as ever. But the witchsight running through the veins of your eyes shows you all is not as it seems.

Pink appears to be completely unarmed. No molotovs, no baseball bat, no weapons at all. But there is a small braid of red around her wrist - an inconsequential bracelet. You see a plume of rippling red sleeves, fractal tongues and impossible extending lengths of bleeding sword edges, flailing and writhing from her arm. And the figure that fills the form of the woman before you is a veiled pillar of impenetrable darkness.

>Without warning, open fire at the Vourukasha Death Dealer with the sorcerous assault rifle you possess. There is a chance that you may hit the Lost Girl with the hail of gunfire (Roll 1d78, hit on WANDS SWORDS major arcana. You can
>use the Strange Syringe / Vial of Dungeonmaster Tears
beforehand to boost your chance to hit with CHALICES also. Roll 15d20)

>Try to negotiate with the Vourukasha assassin. Perhaps show her you have changed... you saved Erica?

>Try to distract the Vourukasha Death Dealer by turning on a generator and activating some construction equipment. Maybe she will leave the area? (QM note: you already possess a nonlethal way to lure the Great Wyrm to the Cauldron, without shedding any blood. Can you guess what to do...?)

>You have a feeling this Vourukasha Death Dealer has singlehandedly killed every Paribus / Oration mercenary that came to the Cauldron to investigate after your gunfight with the Stranded Sons. She is a powerful user of witchcraft, and she probably killed the wielder of the magic assault rifle you are holding right now. Maybe continue to eavesdrop and watch what she will do with the Lost Girl...

>Something else?
QM: If there are any other actions or items you want to equip or use, you have time right now. If there are any precautions you want to take before the Great Wyrm arrives, you can also enact them now.
Rolled 20, 7 = 27 (2d20)

>Salon to Siegfried, Rioter to Cultist, Initiate to Witch, Sacrifice to Sacrifice, Wyrm to Wyrm: a circle without break or intersection wrought about this point, this moment.
>Inject adrenaline, rush forward and pin the Vourukasha Death Dealer to the Cauldron of Lotan.
>Jab her with the Tears of Kobel, and unload the ZM LR-300 into her form.
>Complete the project, close the circle, behold Ouroboros.
Rolled 31 (1d78)

give your final words to me,
I'll take a leave of absence, from walking by the sea
there’s a path I’ll take, with so much at stake
just try to understand, this is not a mistake
Rolled 5, 11, 6, 13, 19, 13, 8, 7, 10, 10, 5, 17, 14, 16, 1 = 155 (15d20)

underneath this heavy load,
I’ll travel through the moonlight, deciphering the code
of this task at hand, please just understand
I can’t give you what you want to know till I know!
Roll 15d20. The Vourukasha Death Dealer has as much health as the Magus did in his weakened, amnesia-stricken form, 178=78 Blood+100 Afterlife
Unfortunately when you are at Trauma: 100 the adrenaline has no effect... you are pretty traumatised already lol. But due to your sudden and surprise attack and the fact that the Vourukasha Death Dealer is unaware, you can fire the rest of your magazine, fire another 15d20 burst...

Your Blood:5/6 after -1, then -15, -15 permanently...! Trauma: 70 afterwards...
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If you are very brave you can try finishing her off with a mundane weapon like the SMG or shotgun, to save your Blood... but you are unsure of what might happen and hiw much damage those guns do against Vourukasha witches...
Rolled 43 (1d78)

>unload the last two shotgun shells: point blank
Rolled 1, 6, 2, 7, 5, 8, 2, 11 = 42 (8d12)

8d12, right?
Rolled 6, 17 = 23 (2d20)

since my trauma has dropped, I'll use adrenaline and incorporate the smg into my three stage triskelion assualt.
Gripping the switchblade as well...
So I have some bad news for you. The mundane weapons only do damage to the Vourukasha witch if you roll and hit on Major Arcana (effectively, your power from The Red Lord makes the shot deal magic damage when it triggers and you hit on Major Arcana)
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Rolled 7, 14, 9, 20, 20 = 70 (5d20)

The Vourukasha Death Dealer is on

23/178 health (-155)

You are at

20/36 Blood (-1, -15)
70/100 Trauma

So you have effectively 46=16+30 health...

I think the Gift Of Red Ribbons is coming...
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You get a last action. Is there something you could do to call the Wyrm...? The Cauldron is right there...
Rolled 67 (1d78)

In that case I will shoot 4 more shots from the rifle.
Rolled 13, 3, 3, 12 = 31 (4d20)

As you plunge into the cauldron alongside the corpse of the Vourukasha Death Dealer, you expect to see a vision of destruction. The Leviathan, the Devouring Dragon Lotan, the Basilisk, the Great Wyrm of the Magus... you expect to see an explosion and earth-shattering detonation, as its grinding machine mouth swallows its own tail in the circular tunnel network that loops back on itself around the Cauldron of Lotan.

Instead an eerie stillness has fallen over the abandoned subways of the Underworld. Does the Great Wyrm still live...?
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Somewhere within the subterranean earth, an old locomotive comes to rest. It is tilted and leaning on its side. It appears to be quite empty, and entirely ordinary.
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You feel you have broken the magic of the Magus, his curse of his betrayal and hold upon the denizens of the Underworld. The Stranded Sons, the Warlords of Lotan, the Lost Girl... even the Demented Clown, his forgotten former Entertainment executive. The curse of his Betrayal is broken. As you fall into the blackness and the red of the Cauldron, it is what you choose to believe, and all you have left.

biggest plot twist since the sixth sense
So remember this section?

>I do not know what sort of military commander this Voivod is, I think he is insane. He worships a cement mixer that he calls the Cauldron Of Lotan. He is obsessed with sacrificing girls to some stupid Devourer, some Great Wyrm. But what we actually need is guns! Like assault rifles firing 5.56mm ammunition! Ammunition is the most important thing down here! Really important! Underground in the Metro, ammunition is like currency, like life itself!

All you had to do to avoid this difficult battle was

>Throw the magic assault rifle into the Cauldron
That's too much moon logic for my tastes, it only makes sense at the most literal meta level.
Wouldn't have done it even if I knew to.
And what was the secret code? If you asked the Red Lord Of Ruin, he would have said 556.
The actual 5 alphanumeric character sequence...? 556MM

Remember when Erica tripped over the ammunition can? 5.56mm NATO? Of course no-one knows what NATO is on this strange world, perhaps they know it by its Ancient Gothiric name...
Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord
which is sort of like the ancient Ugaritic name for the Leviathan, Lotan. The Warlords of Lotan...
Lol maybe none of these puzzles make sense haha. Maybe I have completely embraced turboautism
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Well you sort of won this one, even if the Red Lord Of Ruin claimed your soul in the end. Erica is very confused about everything that has happened, but at least she is alive. I was really hoping for a comedy battle against the Demented Clown using the enthroned Wheelchair Chicken and the Tactical Assault Carbine / Toilet Attack Cleaner / toilet plunger. There would be water pistols and you could squirt Dungeonmaster Tears at him... But I guess the Demented Clown has come to his senses now.
Remember this area? Maybe it was a failed experiment of the Magus in creating the Great Wyrm...
I mean the problem is that it hinges on the less impactful reference of the Metro underworld thing (5.56mm Nato is the currency and means of salvation) rather than the leviathan/serpent/dragon stuff.
I was completely on board with reckoning the cyclical nature of reality and binding the serpent of chaos so the bullet puzzle took the wind out of my sails.
It is ok maybe my puzzles are just too autistic lol. I did not get why you were hoarding the Gift Of Insight from the Red Lord Of Ruin that cost an expensive 39 PUNISH / Trauma at the start... it seemed like you worked out it was a trick (the 3 character sequence vs 5 character sequence etc so why not just take the hint and use it? You could also just have interrogated the 2hp cultist, even his lies would convey information...
Originally the easiest path I imagined was just take this
And then use the Red Lord's Bargain for the code (before it got changed), then access the military radio, connect your ordinary phone to the underground network and roll to blow up the Great Wyrm / Tunnelling Machine operator via his phone. Everything got a lot more complicated though...
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Anyway, thanks for playing! ^_^ You defeated the Great Wyrm of the Magus and ended the curse of his betrayal upon The Underworld, but at the cost of sacrificing your own soul and that of the Vourukasha Death Dealer to the Red Lord Of Ruin. Erica has footage of everything, she will upload it on various channels and become an immensely successful content creator and influencer. You are fortunate you did not meet Siegfried because had you done so Erica would have recorded footage of his... special salute and ...interesting uniforms which would have caused her content channel to get taken down and demonetised. The footage of you slaughtering cultists is ok though it is considered to be categorised under Entertainment & Comedy.
A perfect cringedark ending.
At least I got to shoot my vital essence into a cute witch.
Haha, I had not thought of it that way. But in case you are wondering why the Demented Clown likes cream and his pies inflict such so much embarassing damage and trauma...

Incidentally the toilet plunger was meant to be a troll antimagic weapon (note how it hits on anything that is not major arcana). It sucks magic out of people temporarily. The chicken was meant to be a way to empower the Demented Clown (if you spoke to him and befriended him. He does not actually speak, he only mimes). The Clown would add chicken to his pies, they would become devastating.
Have you played Metro 2033 at all? Or something like Stalker (I have actually not played this but I know of it) In the Metro games set in the old Soviet-style underground, bullets are used as currency. Maybe the 5.56mm NATO / L'OTAN bullet thing really is just too obscure.
I knew the exact reference you were making, it just didn't meaningfully connect back to the wyrm.
I mean, the line that gave the answer >>5158663 presents the speakers as people that don't care about the wyrm and instead want to focus on weapon/ammo gathering.
How is that supposed to circle around to them being literally correct (even more so than everyone that actually cares about stopping the wyrm) despite showing no interest in trying to stop it?
I personally hate this kind of code-guessing puzzle because it exists entirely inside the dungeonmaster's head and barely has anything to do with what actually happens in the game.
So the reason is because the cultists are actually two separate groups - the tunnel engineers (Stranded Sons) and the former mercenaries / armed security who guarded the project (Warlords Of Lotan). The military radio that can be used underground with the mission critical communications network belongs to the mercenary /guard faction. Originally I intended the tunnelling machine just to be piloted by an ordinary person who had gone renegade or insane (I would roll 1d6 at the end to determine which faction, or who it even was eg if it was Siegfried etc) You did not take the spell to remote detonate an ordinary phone, which was okay if you met Siegfried - he would improvise some explosives to derail the tunnelling machine etc. (Meeting Siegfried in person would remove him from the 1d6 piloting roll etc. Only speaking to him via military handset would not... this was going to be the shock reveal lol)
The idea was that if you only ever spoke to Siegfried without meeting him in person, you would not realise that he was insane and had been trapped within Lotan / The Devouring Dragon etc after his battle against it. He is eager to help you destroy it (whilst all the time being the one steering it and chasing you inside it) because he wants you to end his torment etc. If you successfully managed to meet him in person though, this would not occur. The Great Wyrm would just be piloted by some rogue cultist of a random faction.
Alternatively befriending the Lost Girl or the Demented Clown (very difficult) would have led to the alternate means of stopping the Great Wyrm, by learning about the Ourobouros and artifact sacrifice plans and how the cultists wanted to break free of their betrayal and abandonment by making the serpent swallow its own tail and destroy itself. Interrogating the 2hp cultist would have given a lot of information on this - he only lies if you ask him something he does not know.
That still doesn't indicate at all why throwing a magic assault rifle into a cement mixer would have stopped the beast.
If anything, that would have lead me to shoot at it, which wouldn't work.
The whole thing with throwing an armalite rifle into a cement mixer is dumb.
That would have been cool, but unfortunately it hinged on me paying enough rent to live in your head and read your thoughts lol.
I didn't use the Insight to find out the code because there wasn't a concrete way to leverage that to defeat the Wyrm from my perspective at the time.
I actually think I used it the best I could have at the end there since it gave me a direct win condition.
I didn't want to talk to the cultists because they were losers lol.
There was also this hint earlier from Erica
>Lotan is a strange name. I think he had the right idea with the dragon legends, the historical serpents - I think Lotan is the actual original name of the Leviathan, the Great Wyrm, recorded in the old historical books of the Ugaritic tribes. But Lotan, it sounds almost like an abbreviation, an acronym... in the ancient High Gothiric language. Maybe L'OTAN? The MAGUS likes acronyms, obviously. Is it a military code of the Stranded Sons / Warlords Cult? L'OTAN? But what military item or alphanumeric code does L'OTAN refer to? Maybe Siegfried the military collectible fanatic would know...
ah ok fair enough maybe the importance of the code was not that clear. All of this is sort of loosely based on real world stuff with radio networks like TETRA DIMETRA etc. The reason why I set this scenario underground is because it gave me an excuse to take away the phone signal - that was my way of trying to steer you desperately towards recovering internet/connectivity as fast as possible and prioritising getting the special military phone handset working at any cost. However you never took the option to heal Trauma lol even when it was at 82 or something ridiculous. So I thought - wait, has anon worked out that Trauma powers the magic guns, he is deliberately keeping Trauma high because he knows it is the magic ammunition (maybe he guessed it from the last playthroughs with the Skull and the Nail etc) so I just stopped emphasising the code so much. That was why I panicked a bit when you threw the radio into the Wyrm lol.
>The whole thing with throwing an armalite rifle into a cement mixer is dumb.

So the idea with my games and the way magic is portrayed is everything is allegorical. If you want to imagine the Great Wyrm is literally a tunnelling machine, then it is. If you want to think of it as some sort of demonic supernatural devouring serpent, it could be that as well. The cauldron is just a cement mixer to a mundane observer like the cultists who do not actually have any magic lol or witchsight, or it could be a swirling vortex of sacrifice (I was interested by how you chose to look at Pink with witchsight... surely you did not need to look at her, you knew she was the Vourukasha assassin. Why not take a look at the so-called cement mixer / Cauldron of Lotan instead...?)
The reason I eschewed Trauma recovery is that I have absolute confidence in myself even at 0hp.
For the ultimate gamer, 1% hp and 100% hp is the same as death is only possible when he allows himself to be killed.
Because I wanted to see what image you would use for her lol.
I half expected you to use some anime image because the girls before had katanas if I remember correctly.
I already knew what the caldron was anyways.
ok, if it makes you feel better, the Vourukasha assassin looked like this ^_^ Uploading this image generated more vials of Dungeonmaster Tears

But the Sword Twins are probably not that powerful. The Vourukasha Death Dealer is amnesiac Magus level powerful...
Oh, and my problem isn't that it was an allegorical/symbolic win condition, just that it was a really weak one.
It felt more like a word puzzle than an actual symbolic narrative.
I don't think I would have felt clever for figuring it out, or satisfied that I beat the wyrm that way.
For me, a duel between mages ending in both dying to stop the beast is a much more appropriate ending.
It's funny that the MAGUS is this incredibly powerful character but had the weakest performance out of all the Golgotha protagonists.
I think you mentioned you did not vote in the main story campaign playthrough but what I found amusing is because in some of my other playthroughs anons really wanted to intimidate and threaten people, even when it was a bit awkward and not that appropriate. So this time I said to myself lol I definitely need to give anons the opportunity to threaten and intimidate and abuse a helpless person for information... this is what they really want... and I will make the information he gives really rewarding lol to make up for all the quests where I punished it...
So the Magus is meant to be powerful, but at the start of the story he has deliberately erased all his memories and abandoned his magic (in case you are wondering why, well the house where you found the Dead Land Skull shows you the answer...) The setup was that he wanted to make another take the burden of the Betrayer's Curse from him... but he had sort of forgotten how to do it. The Magus could not abandon the curse whilst still in possession of his memories and magic because the Betrayer just ... perversely ruins his plans every time. In nearly all my games using magic is extremely dangerous (as in unleashing game-ending world-changing danger once you use it, but sometimes magic is just unavoidable...)
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The link to the continuation of the urban dungeon crawl begins here
The main GOLGOTHA story and beginning of the Horde and Afterlife modes is found here:

In most games, ranging from the simplest turn-based games to first person shooters or even strategic command of the battlefield, the basic actions are:

observe the current move
assess the situation
anticipate the next move

I noticed that throughout Golgotha (and in fact nearly all my playthroughs across all other worlds and quests) players are reluctant to gather some intelligence or even ask as to the capabilities of their enemies, whether prompted or unprompted. Maybe it is just not that exciting lol, looting and fighting is more fun. For example in the main story of Golgotha, when being told they were under threat of instant execution / death on sight by the Oration - well who are they? In this playthrough, these Warlords of Lotan - what are they about, what is their secret code, why are they obsessed with weapons, rifles and ammunition?

The current level of awareness determines how the situation is perceived. The perception of threat then determines the subsequent focus of attention, what information is gathered, and all following interpretations. This is what I feel magic and sorcery is like in these games - what you do, see and think is what the world becomes. The threat of death in all my games is high - but everything is always foreshadowed, there are always hints and signs around the environment in advance or shown beforehand. Perhaps my failing is I do not give enough warnings...

Once I met a warlord of Lotan, who might even have had a weird title like a former deputy supreme allied commander. He was an actual knight, but perhaps not as noble as I imagined the fictional siege knight in this game to be, and not in possession of as much actual hands-on combat experience lol. The warlord I met was interested in weapons of a different sort, on another level. He had magic in the sense that he shaped the world through what he saw and interpreted, and he even wrote magic spellbooks about it afterwards. I made this game to see if anyone would try throwing the weapons away. But in this world like in many others it just could not happen.
In my experience with rpgs, intelligence gathering beyond the most basic sort tends to slow things down intolerably and causes terrible results as a result of overplanning or misinterpretation.
For me it's better to walk into a situation confidently and find a solution intuitively rather than try to know everything and solve things correctly, because chances are you will be completely wrong and know much less than you thought you did.
I don’t think you’ll get players to do what you want, not only because it is counterintuitive to the game that you present, but because it goes against human nature.
Even though I knew that you as the dungeon master wanted to see players try to reject the game paradigm and discard weapons, I never did as that is an unnatural thing to do.
No worries ^_^ you were pretty good at fighting overall, you killed like 24 cultists lol with no casualties ^o^ and you even got out of the starting hair salon battle pretty well! I really did not expect you to come out of the cultist fight uninjured, some of the dice rolls were quite lucky hehe. Did you feel the weapons / dice damage was calibrated appropriately? Did the weapons feel relatively different? Or did you prefer wanting more melee weapons etc. I am still thinking about the Blood / Trauma mechanics lol. The idea will be eventually to seek out Trauma / PUNISH etc to charge up the magic guns which shoot the Trauma back to injure the unnatural enemies (obviously without outright dying first to the Trauma etc). But maybe I will give up on the urban cringedark and work on the happy noblebright setting later on... ^o^
Guns are overwhelmingly overpowered, which is appropriate for the setting and tone.
I think leaning more into damage avoidance with into the odd style autohits would work well.
I really liked those moments where I was able to psychologically overwhelm opponents with ultraviolence to avoid retaliation.
So my GOLGOTHA concept folder is now
1.96GB, 4489 files wow. But mercifully it is mostly tactical guns and stuff not weird images of underpants or chickens or psychotic clowns. I still have a lot of scenarios but not sure how to string them together to continue testing the combat mechanics (if there is anyone out there who knows good narrative firearms ttrpg rulesets that are not too complex simulation-driven like GURPS or the cyberpunk2020 stuff please please step forward and let me know). So I can carry on with another restarted Nameless Protagonist, but maybe my updates will not be as frequent as I dig around for inspiration amidst the apocalyptic wrecked remnants of the world and all the narrative storylines that have been entirely ruined after these last three playthroughs lol.

So here is the next scenario:
(choose ONE only, descriptions below)
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Wearing: naked. But there are some Strange Underpants in your hand...

>roll 1d10

Begins with

Blood: 1d10
Trauma: 80 + the 1d10 result above / 100

eg it you rolled a 6 on 1d10, you would have
Blood 6, Trauma 86/100

Gain trait: Thousand Faces Of The Betrayer
- deceive ordinary people by assuming any role or identity, male, female, corporate, casual etc. simply by wearing and carrying appropriate items. Bizarre behaviour, violence, unusual questions may dispel this illusion. Those with Witch-Sight will see through it (though they may have to suspect you enough to use it on you first)
Wearing: Riot Armour / Tactical Plate Carrier with MOLLE and... Groin Armour Module

Begins with

Blood: 22
Trauma: 0/0 (You think this is something you should inflict on others. No Afterlife bar... yet...)

Gain Trait: Witch-sight
Peel back the layered veil of metaphor, reality and appearance. Using witchsight costs 10 Trauma or 1 Blood (it does not have to be your own...) You will rarely be prompted to use this, you must be suspicious enough to write-in at a specific target and observe yourself (e.g. I use witchsight to look at x object or y person) Use with caution as what you see may unsettle you. Some entities and items may be killed or instantly destroyed by the apotropaic gaze, others are strengthened by your look of fear and horror when they are revealed. You will not necessarily see the truth but instead something that hints as to its nature. Eg a person who is lying to you may appear as if they have a snake coiled about their neck etc.
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and also you get three items:

- First, select ONE ITEM ONLY of your choice from the list below. Then...
>roll 2d12
- if any of the results are the same as each other or to the item you originally chose, get another ONE item of your choice, that must be different from the original
- otherwise, if all the results are different, the 2d12 roll reveals the second and third items you find nearby. (QM: I will post the item descriptions after you roll, and everything has been selected)
- in total, you should have three items, with at least one that you chose for yourself outright.

1 Tailored White Corporate Suit
2 Strange Wallet
3 VR/AR Headset (includes Headphones)
4 Ordinary Phone with battery (roll 40+3d20)
5 Tarot Deck
6 Ladder
7 Super Soaker
8 Light Pistol
9 Heavy Assault Carbine
10 Riot Shield
11 A Very Large Chicken
12 Sinister Narrenturm Asylum Wheelchair
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You awake to a throbbing headache and find a mysterious object handcuffed to your right hand. The streets and alleyways around you are silent but filled with the lingering aftermath of ongoing rioting and protests - which have now turned mostly to looting and wanton destruction. You are lying facedown by a rail embankment, partially buried beneath a heap of refuse, shredded plastic bags, broken bottles, discarded junk and debris, foul-smelling waste. As you raise your manacled hand to examine it you notice the following:
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Mysterious Hinged Case
A nondescript metal case with a carrying handle. It is smaller than a laptop, the dimensions approximately resemble that of a tablet device, akin to a large hard disk drive, except it is much thicker, more than two fingers in breadth. There is a small ejection port on one side, about the width of a thumb drive, but it does not fit any USB or HDMI cable or adaptor that you recognise. The case is covered in many layers of stickers, most of which feature disturbing female anime figures with enormous tearful eyes, tiny triangular noses, and misshapen polygonal faces, in various suggestive enticing poses.

One label on the case reads: TOP SECRET

Another label reads: FIND THE FAT MAN ..., AND DELIVER
(there are three marks, notches or scratches next to this label)

Another sticker reads: please return to Bish09 on 13th Lotan Street if you find this. Do not open the case! It absolutely does not contain a secret collection of incredibly rare animes that no-one has ever seen or heard of, animes that are so secret and obscure, like the one set in Kanada with laser guns and the boy who has problems with stuff on his arm. You will never guess the password, so do not open it or try to tamper with it! And also the case does not belong to Bish09. He does not even like anime! But just give it back to him.
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On the streets near the open rail embankment, you can see an obese man with oversized spectacles shuffling past you. He is poking around in the heaps of rubbish, as if he is looking and searching for something, but he has not seen you yet.

From a brick wall near another dead-end alleyway, there is suddenly a piercing scream of horror, followed by sounds of distress. You can hear the rattling of chains being dragged against the ground. Behind the wall, a woman is pleading...

Please no! Take anything! Please! Help me! Someone, help!

The obese man adjusts the enormous glasses that have been sliding down his sweat-slickened nose, and begins to waddle over curiously, to inspect the source of the disturbance. The wall looks as if it would be too high and strenuous for him to climb over.
The mysterious metal case handcuffed to your wrist is secured by a hinge mechanism that rattles a little when you shake it. If you were to snap it sharply with an abrupt motion of your arm, since it is handcuffed to your wrist, you feel you could probably force the case open. But it might damage whatever is inside, and you doubt whether you could close the hinge mechanism again...

>Forcefully snap the TOP SECRET Mysterious Case open
>You recognise the Mysterious Case. Write-in what you think it contains
>You think you know the incredibly obscure anime that nobody could possibly ever have seen, mentioned on the sticker. Write-in what you think it is. Will that help?
>Walk up to the Obese Man, introduce yourself.
>Follow the Obese Man, out of sight. Maybe try and hear what is going on behind the brick wall in the alleyway...
>Search the surroundings and rubbish heaps. Maybe there are more items nearby? (You can choose one additional item from the d12 list. But searching and scavenging will delay you, and you may miss what occurs behind the brick wall etc)
>Something else...?
Rolled 8, 12 = 20 (2d12)

>Walk up to the Obese Man, introduce yourself.
Do I have a name?
nice, a vessel to hold my filthy lucre
Light Gun (Video Shooting Series)
NES Zapper / Kosen ju shirizugan
Optical sensor allows wielder to aim, whilst depressing the trigger blackens the entire screen and world for one frame, whilst valid targets are rendered in white. The light gun detects the change in illumination, determining if targets are within a valid hit zone. On poorly designed original games, a glitch enabled players to automatically register a hit on the first target every time, simply by aiming the Light Gun at any nearby available bright light source. This glitch was later quickly rectified through a sequential target verification and detection check (the initial black screen frame beforehand, to check that no targets match, ie the gun has not been aimed at a lightbulb).
VR Headset
(You need a smartphone with Orbis-3 upgrades to use this device)
This headset requires a phone with remaining battery to operate, as well as the installation of Orbis-3 software upgrades. You have a feeling activating VR/AR mode will rapidly drain phone battery.

Outside of VR/AR mode, the headset can also function similarly to ordinary Headphones including noise-cancellation, so you can use it to listen to literary audiobooks, videogame OSTs and ASMR to recover Trauma.

You can also watch and listen to disturbing Cartel clips on 4non.org/gif to inflict Trauma upon yourself.

Whilst wearing the VR Headset, you gain traits

(Headphones mode)
-20% battery to increase/decrease Trauma 1d20
QM: So you possess

3 VR/AR Headset (includes Headphones)
When this item is equipped you possess traits:

8 Light Gun

12 Sinister Narrenturm Asylum Wheelchair
You gain traits:
- Loud,
- Annoying Scraping Squeaking Wheel,
- Slowed

And you are wearing
Riot Armour / Tactical Plate Carrier with MOLLE, Groin Armour Module

>Leave the Sinister Asylum Wheelchair behind. Search the area for another item (take another from the list, but it delays you...)
>Wear the VR/AR Headset (no phone, no battery). You only gain the trait: Deafened
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You are approaching the bewildered Obese Man who is staring with a look of helpless desperation at the high brick wall, from the other side of which you can now hear the sounds of clanking chains, laughter and an ignition of hot gases. The female voice is now screaming...

Nooo! Not the blowtorch! Please! Help! Anyone, please help me! Noooo!

>Well you definitely have the time to introduce yourself to the Obese Man. Maybe you should tell him your name and ask each other about your hobbies. Perhaps the Obese Man knows something about the Mysterious Case handcuffed to your wrist...? (Write in your name, discuss hobbies, mutual interests. Ask the Obese Man about the strange case handcuffed to your wrist, covered with embarassing anime stickers)

You think you could climb over the wall, but you are wearing this cumbersome plate carrier with an elongated... groin armour module.

>Strip naked and climb over the wall. You have to leave the Riot Armour behind as well as the Sinister Wheelchair. The Obese Man will remain helpless on the other side of the wall, he should have exercised more.

>Run back quickly to the heap of rubbish by the embankment. Perhaps you saw a ladder there? (Get a ladder from the 1d12 list.
Run back here and hope it is not too late. Both you and the Obese Man can climb over the wall together and aid whoever is on the other side, screaming in distress)

>Run back to the rubbish heap, try and find a weapon (choose again from the 1d12 list)

>Something else?
Rolled 2 (1d3)

1 Even standing on the wheelchair, the wall is too difficult to climb
2 If the Obese Man tries to get on the Wheelchair, he crushes and damages it whilst toppling over and injuring himself (-1d6 health)
3 The Obese Man can just about scramble over the wall, using the Wheelchair as a stepping ladder.
Rolled 78 (1d78)

generating an NPC...
If he makes any attempt on my wheelchair I'm zapping him.
Rolled 70 (1d78)

Hiroshi Matt Miller / HiroshiMa
Health: 78/78. He is really quite large...
Proud, passionate, champions the weak, inspired, intolerant, bold, impetuous, overbearing

(QM: wow these dice rolls...)
Rolled 3 (1d6)

My mistake that was meant to be a 1d6 roll here
1 The wheelchair is destroyed, utterly crushed by the Obese Man Miller's weight
5-6 It is even more bent now and damaged now, but still works.
HiroshiMa's health is 75/78 currently. He is lying on the floor, sobbing in helpless fury that he cannot help the desperate woman being threatened on the other side of the wall...

The wheelchair is tipped over but it is useable. It will not help him climb over it. You can climb over the wall, if you remove your riot armour (you will be naked though...)
>Well you definitely have the time to introduce yourself to the Obese Man. Maybe you should tell him your name and ask each other about your hobbies. Perhaps the Obese Man knows something about the Mysterious Case handcuffed to your wrist...? (Write in your name, discuss hobbies, mutual interests. Ask the Obese Man about the strange case handcuffed to your wrist, covered with embarassing anime stickers)
Hello sir, my name is Kyle Wheeler. I appear to have been involved in some kind of Cartel engagement, which is odd since I'm not someone who seeks that kind of thing out.
Really, I'm more of a fan of videogames and ttrpgs, but I rarely get to do the latter.
Recently I've enjoyed YIIK: A Postmodern RPG. Most people don't like it very much, it has a lot of flaws and there are many four hour video essays defaming it on the internet, but it really sticks out as a deeply personal experience that cuts through a lot of the insincerity and malaise found in the gaming industry.
Well he'd better hope this light gun isn't secretly a magic weapon.
Rolled 5 (1d6)

1 HiroshiMa Miller engages full autismo mode at your mention of YIIK rpg. Even though he has not even played it and only maybe searched and looked at 2 images of it on the internet, he is going to rant about how it is a pretentious hipster game that does not deserve the soundtrack made by that Koudelka composer and the game can only enjoyed by pretentious posers. (Somehow his words and ranting hurts you, physically. Lose 1d10 Blood. Gain 10x 1d10 Trauma. Your Afterlife / PUNISH is activated...)

2 Hiroshima Miller is very suspicious. He is beginning to think you are not an actual Riot Police Officer. For a start, despite your intimidating ballistic armour and plate carrier vest, you are not actually wearing any shoes or underpants.

3 Hiroshima Miller is terrified by your intimidating law enforcement presence. He begins to flee as fast as he can, by crawling away very slowly, whilst blubbering tearfully at his ineptitude. He leaves a small puddle and a soiled trail from where he fell.

4-5 Hiroshima Miller howls at you: Can't you hear what is happening? There is a fair damsel in distress! Do your job! Save her!

6 By some miracle feat of superhuman exertion, HiroshiMa rebounds to his feet. He scrambles heroically over the wall, desperate to save the Chained Maiden...
QM: Pulling the trigger of the Light Gun does... absolutely nothing. However, you wonder if merely keeping it undrawn within the holster of your intimidating Riot Armour Vest will make those around fear you. In the darkness and the long night that has descended upon the city, you could draw it and unless an opponent examines it very closely, they might think it is an actual weapon...
Aside from the other greentext choices, you could also try stuff like

>Ask Matt Miller why his alias is HiroshiMa
>Ask Matt if he knows anything about ttrpgs
>Ask Matt what he thinks is inside the Mysterious Hinged Case. Can it be safely opened without damaging it?
>Show Matt the TOP SECRET and anime stickers. Does he know the obscure anime mentioned, about Kanada and laser guns and the boy who has problems with his arm (you look at the case, handcuffed to your wrist, which jangles annoyingly), the anime that no-one has ever heard of or even seen?
>Ask Matt if he has any weapons to confront whoever is threatening the Chained Maiden on the other side of the brick wall
>Something else etc.
(QM: The situation will advance only after this choice)
You could also
>Wear the VR/AR headset
The noise cancellation / headphones might have helped another against a certain underground monstrous tunnelling creature. You do not have any phone with the right software or battery, so the headset will not blind you, the built-in headphones will merely deafen you instead. But maybe the silence will help you think clearly...
>"Sorry but due to my previous experiences with women I just can't bring myself to be involved with this. I feel as though even If I went through incredible lengths to protect her from the blowtorch man or craven gunman or rioting altgirl or even an entire cult of engineers/mercenaries she'd probably still try to shoot me or throw me into a cement mixer. She might even film it and put it in her cringe compilation, which would really put a damper on my evening and make me uncomfortable."
Hiroshima Matt Miller continues to berate you, whilst flopping and rolling around in an exasperated tantrum:

Why are you not doing anything? You should have trained properly by playing some tactical shooters instead of postmodern rpgs! Maybe if you knew something about guns and ammunition and hostage rescue, you would be of some use in this situation!

(Large sweat patches are beginning to form around his armpits)
Rolled 3 (1d6)

1-3 HiroshiMa Miller suddenly sees the case handcuffed to your wrist. He was blubbering too much before and distracted by the screams of the Chained Maiden. He knows what the case is and reaches for his phone (this is quite difficult, it is enfolded under several fleshly layers) in order to call the actual police, on you.
4-5 HiroshiMa Miller continues to berate and insult you. There is no further sound emanating from the other side of the brick wall. The screaming has stopped.
6 You see a discarded, Broken Pipe nearby.
>"Like you're any help at all! Have some self awareness, you have only your own weakness to blame for being unable to help."
911, What's Your Emergency?

There is an insane armed gunman here! I think he has attacked a police officer, taken his riot armour! And he is probably in league with these looters, his gang is threatening a woman with a blowtorch! He is threatening me, trying to frighten me with his bizarre discussions about terrible videogames! They have clearly driven him to madness and insatiable violence! Please, help me!

(You are being hunted by the Riot Police. Your disguise will no longer deceive law enforcement until you either improve it, eg by finding some clothes and underpants, or change your disguise completely. Civilians and looters will still be deceived by your disguise, unless they look closely)

>Snatch the phone out of his hands. Say something to the operator, try and placate the situation quickly?

>Climb over the wall. Your disguise is useless now, you may as well discard it. You can wield the Light Gun in your hands, and hope it looks like a weapon in the night shadows.

>Walk away from this situation. Maybe return to the embankment and scavenge for something else...?

>Literally walk away from the situation, or rather, walk around it. (This will take some time). Perhaps walk around the block and look to approach the brick wall from an entrance on another unexpected side. What is really going on there?

>Equip the VR/AR headset, with the noise cancelling headphones. Maybe the quiet will cut out this Obese Man-baby and his bawling, and give you some time to think...

>Snap open the Mysterious Case handcuffed to your wrist

>Something else...?
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You could also try...
>Peel off all the embarassing anime stickers on the mysterious case. Examine it very closely
(This takes some time. The police may arrive. The actual Riot Police)
>"You leave me no choice HiroshiMA I had hoped to resolve this Cartel incident peacefully, but now I must unleash my strongest anime upon you!"
>Snap open the Mysterious Case handcuffed to your wrist.
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Magpul FMG-9
9x19mm Parabellum
1200 rpm
33/33 rounds
Concealed (only when folded), Short Range, Loud, Rapid Fire, Suppressing Fire, Blind Fire, Swift, Compact, Manoeuvrable, Inaccurate, Insane Recoil
Loads when Trauma exceeds 33.
Full auto turn damage: 20d10, then 13d10 next turn
Experimental folding blowback submachine gun with a ferocious rate of fire, adapted from a fully automatic Glock 18 and fed with standard high-capacity magazines. The trigger and trigger guard fold flat and retain the magazine. The outer shell case incorporates the pistol magazine release and slide release, with the addition of an external charging handle to chamber a round. The Picatinny rail on the case can incorporate a flashlight. There is a forthcoming redesigned variant known as the FDP-9 to avoid licensing and proprietary trademark issues.
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QM: Now I do have to ask (it may have an effect on some later stuff) do you choose to
>Scrape off the anime stickers. You think this will render the concealed case slightly more suspicious to trained security personnel (there is a small chance they will recognise the exotic experimental firearm). However, at least people will not think you like anime girls
>Keep the anime stickers. Security personnel will shudder with revulsion and probably avoid looking at the cringeworthy anime girls too closely. Your interactions with ordinary civilians may also be affected... not necessarily adversely, though the normal majority of people will be stricken with disgust and horror.
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Rolled 6 (1d6)

The FMG-9 is

1 Actually broken
2 Completely empty
3 Partially loaded (roll 1d12, ordinary 9mm)
4 Fully loaded, but with ordinary Federal FMJ ammunition (33/33 9x19mm, 481J at 360m/s)
5 Partially loaded, with magic ammunition (roll 1d12)
6 Fully loaded. 33/33 magical 9x19mm parabellum, delivering 729 Joules at 610m/s of overpressure performance plus ammunition
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QM: wow these rolls lol. This means you can fire the folding pistol, and it deals magic damage. It hits on Major Arcana as well as WANDS. However, you have 0/0 Trauma and no way to reload it currently. Once the ammunition is spent, you have an empty folding box gun handcuffed to your wrist.
Note also: the FMG is mechanically similar to a 33 round Glock machine pistol. Unlike some other guns (eg the MP5k suitcase gun, which is much much larger, with a trigger in the briefcase handle) the Magpul FMG-9 cannot be fired whilst concealed - you must unfold it.
Rolled 34 (1d78)

I already introduced this weapon as my strongest anime so I will commit to it.
>For your crimes of helping women, disparaging YIIK, and calling the police on me you will face annihilation!
Rolled 6, 9, 2, 5, 5, 2, 2, 1, 7, 7, 6, 2, 10, 9, 7, 5, 6, 2, 6, 10 = 109 (20d10)

Ok so you are keeping the anime stickers on the FMG-9 folding machine pistol case? (lol I do not have that many pictures of anime guns. Just use your imagination when I post them)
This situation is strange yet familiar, I’ve awoken with a strange mental energy gun attached to my body and no memory of how I got it.
Posessing it surely makes me fugitive to the powers that be, just like in Space Adventure Cobra.
The memory of ancient anime as well as the words of the mysterious figure Bish09 echo through my mind, perhaps if they could access the data contained within this psycho-gun this mystery could be unraveled.
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Matt HiroshiMa Miller whimpers and cowers at the sight of the folding machine pistol. He raises his stumpy fingers in front of his face:

You would not dare! Ever since that strange Doctor Kospel had an inexplicable brain aneurysm or something, and smashed his head through a computer screen, I have become the inheritor of the legendary title of HiroshimaIsTheBestEverDM! I do strange voices and impressions! Legions of my internet fans are roaming the streets right now with their terrifying cosplay swords and shameful anachronistic melee weaponry! They will relentlessly hunt you down and avenge me...!

(the rest of his speech is drowned out by a roaring hail of automatic machine pistol gunfire)

(Magpul FMG-9 13/33 9x19mm remaining.)

(You are being hunted by the Cosplay Faction. They look mostly harmless, but they seem to have some very large swords...)

(You have gained favour with The Cartel. If you meet one of their members you could let them know about how you delivered the Fat Man to Hiroshima, and claim a reward...)

>So your name was Matt... Miller. Matthew Miller. And you did strange voices and impersonations for internet fans. Hmmm.

>Well you have a gun now. Scramble over the wall and rescue the Chained Maiden. She has gone a bit quiet...

>Fold the machine pistol back into a box and conceal it
>Leave it ready and unfolded (assume this unless otherwise)

>Circle round the block and try and approach the area behind the brick wall from an unexpected direction. This may take some time.

>Return to the heaps of waste by the rail embankment and scavenge for another item. You can choose another different one from the 1d12 list here >>5160782

>Something else...?
Yes, the anime images are now contributing to a major character trait of Kyle Wheeler.
>Flee the scene, collapse the psycho gun into box form and make haste to 13th Lotan Street.
QM: lol as you may have guessed I do not know very much about animes lol. I have watched like maybe 8 or 10 animes. Ninja Scroll, Ghost in the Shell, Nausicaa, the one called Angel's Egg because apparently it influenced Bloodborne, one I forgot the name of about this swordsman who has to protect a child from Daoists or something, the one about a student and a teacher in a raining garden and the incredibly obscure anime that no-one has ever seen Akira. So rare and obscure. So yes Kaneda is what that is about lol. Once again more vials of Dungeonmaster Tears have been created adding to the Trauma and cruelty of this world.
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Rolled 4 (1d6)

The imploring female voice of the Chained Maiden is actually...

1 It is Grace. She is about to get blowtorched... in the face. Look, it rhymes.
2-6 ...well you were right to avoid this one, the pleading woman amidst apocalyptic scenes of looting is always bait and a trap. But the woman chained there is a nurse... is it... Alice...?
I don’t know much about anime either lol. Most of what I know is from quests on here.
Considering that we both know very little about anime, I am glad that I have steered the game in a direction that will be saturated with it.
That’s a very ineffective snare since I killed her last time, though if I did everything the same I would have saved her and then killed her, so it would have worked.
You realise that you will need to take the underground metro to reach 13 Lotan Street. The nearest station is not that far from here, after all you awoke near the open rail embankment... But as you run towards the subway and past the open entrance behind the bullet-riddled brick wall where you... dropped the Fat Man on Hiroshima, you notice a tomboyish figure slumped against a lamppost. She is completely alone, and wearing a nurse outfit. She seems to be injured and unmoving.

>Try and help the nurse, maybe check on her...?
>This is clearly a trap. Open fire with the remainder of the magic ammunition, the overpressured performance plus 9x19mm from your folding submachine gun (you cannot really miss, with this ambush attack from concealment. Snap open the folding machine pistol, roll 13d10.)
>Turn away and run towards the nearby underground station to Lotan Street. You should conserve your ammunition now.
>Something else...? (You can search the area for items. Choose another item you want from the 1d12 list >>5160782)
>Turn away and run towards the nearby underground station to Lotan Street. You should conserve your ammunition now.
actual law enforcement is coming here soon
Rolled 29 (1d78)

So this decision is locked in. But remember, you do have 22/22 Blood and witchsight, hehe. It is too late now. I will not prompt you anymore...
(rolling to generate an NPC)
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Chain Lock Flail
One Handed Weapon
Close Range, Disarm, Parry, Entangle, Wild Swing, Uncontrollable, Slow Recovery, Strong vs (Swift, Thrust, Pierce) Weak vs (Brutal, Armour Crush, Blunt, Heavy, Bulky)
A length of chain weighted with a lock on one end. It can disarm and entangle an opponent on a hit, allowing another attack in quick succession.
The Nurse
Blood: 80/80 = 2+78
(reversed) neglect, chaos, escalating stress, lack of balance, misplaced priorities, something precious being lost
Also hits with CHALICES and SWORDS, Major Arcana
I didn’t need to use it, you told me it was bait and I never went near it.
You always list all these attributes and affinities alongside weapons but do they do anything
Rolled 56, 54 = 110 (2d78)

You turn away and are running towards the underground station. But wait... did you leave the Sinister Narrenturm Asylum Wheelchair behind? Would it not slow you down whilst running? But you might need the Wheelchair to carry your stuff later... Where was it? Near the wall toppled over when the Obese Man tried to use it as a step ladder to climb the wall... maybe you need to go back for it...?

In your moment of indecision and hesitation, the slumped figure suddenly pounces at you... But it is not an innocent looking tomboyish girl. It is wearing a Nurse outfit, and carrying an unpleasant needle in its hand and a length of chain in the other...

(The Nurse gets two attacks as she ambushes you. She is armed with the Chain Lock Flail, which you heard previously, and also a Strange Needle. You have a feeling it would be very bad if she stabbed you with it...)
The narrative attributes are similar to pbta or Blades In The Dark type weapons and are more for narrative purposes. So for example your folding machine pistol has the attrubute Loud. Whenever you fire it, people know about it lol and are alerted, unless they are deafened or distracted. In my Galerne setting playthrough, the weapons with the attribute Heavy could not be wielded when mortally injured (one of the players realised this near the very end of the final battle, and switched away from a heavy sabre to the pathetic starting scissor-dagger as they were near death, enabling them to win that game as the Sibyl) That is how I am approaching it in general.
This is frustrating, since you are making my character do things that go against my votes.
I have not been indecisive about anything, and I did not give any attention to the chained woman so it feels as if you are just arbitrarily making me trigger your encounter when I’ve done everything I can to avoid it.
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Remember how Alice was reading a medical book, but she also had another book, Der Narrenturm?
And the Wheelchair is named...Sinister Narrenturm Asylum Wheelchair... I wonder why it inflicts so many unpleasant conditions like Slowed, Loud, Annoying Squeaky Wheel etc...

(QM: there is no hint in this game as to whether some objects are cursed or not. You have to decide for yourself if they are worth it...)
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I will leave it here for today. Perhaps we will discover tomorrow if you escape this battle alive...
I understand that, but for two votes in a row I vote to immediately run away but instead I arrive exactly where I was fleeing from because of an object that I never interacted with in the first place.
I can understand that as a player many things aren’t under my control, but I don’t think something as essential as where I direct my character to go should be violated.
Well possessing the wheelchair makes you Slowed (even more after the Obese Man crushed it) and you opened fire with a magic gun that is Loud, so she is aware vaguely of your presence. If you wrote in something like: I back away, facing her, whilst leaving my wheelchair behind, I would not let her ambush you. Don't turn your back on an enemy you know is waiting to attack...

The Nurses hits with
Your Blood: 13/22 (-9)
You are entangled. Surrender an object to escape, or risk another attack by your opponent... You see the Nurse readying her Needle wickedly

>Abandon the Sinister Narrenturm Wheelchair, and run away as quickly as possible. The Nurse gets one attack as you flee.
>Abandon the Light Gun
>Abandon the VR Headset
(You cannot drop the Magpul FMG-9, the folding machine pistol, as it is handcuffed to your wrist)


>Open fire at The Nurse (roll 13d10, 13/33 bullets remaining. Roll above 80 to eliminate her outright. You cannot really miss at this range)
>Abandon the Sinister Narrenturm Wheelchair, and run away as quickly as possible. The Nurse gets one attack as you flee.
Hopefully the third consecutive vote of running to the subway will actually work.
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There was an option here to write in anything you want to do. I will generally evaluate all write-ins. Turning away to run was clearly a trap given the situation... If you think carefully, there could be another trap waiting also... (I am giving too many hints lol)
I don‘t care at this point.
No worries. GAME OVER
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Cordless Hammer Drill
Two Handed Weapon
(empowered) CHALICES, Major Arcana

Close Range, Loud, (as weapon) Horrifying, Psychotic, (as tool) Unthreatening, Disguise: Electrician, Breaching / Demolition (Locks, Precision, Masonry - but slow), (in conventional unhammered mode) Screwdriver, Weak against: (Brutal, Blunt, Armour Crush, Swift, Coup-de-grace, Long Reach) Strong against: (Slow, Short Reach, Thrust, Pierce, Heavy)

Rotary drill using cam-action and two sets of toothed gears to spin the drill bit whilst simultaneously hammering it in and out. The percussive impact occurs rapidly - typically thousands of blows per minute.

After initial hit, continues to deal damage as trigger is held down and drills. The hammer drill gets twisted and stuck, snarls on any roll of 1, and can no longer be used next turn.
Roll a 1d10, 1d8, 1d6, 1d4 and accumulate total
If any of the rolls is a 1, the hammer drill bit has snarled and cannot be used after the turn.

Damage distribution is at least:
75% chance of 13-14 damage,
50% chance of 16-17 damage,
25% chance of 19-20 damage

When empowered by Trauma / magic damage:
add a d100, d20, d12 to the descending damage roll sequence.

Damage distribution is at least:
75% chance of 59 damage,
50% chance of 84 damage,
25% chance of 109 damage

(QM: I calculated this from anydice.com)

QM experimental variant rule: you choose the maximum dice set of the damage sequence, eg whether it begins at d100, d20, d12 etc.
However if the drills snarls at all (ANY dice rolls a 1), the cumulative amount is dealt to self, as the hammer drill slips and injures you instead.
No snarl probability:
Snarl probability = 58%
Skateboard Shield
Enables evasion of attacks with various freestyle tricks. Audiences demand ever more daredevil tricks over time to maintain the sense of spectacle.
Roll 1d6
- Stage 1:
Fail the trick on a 1.
Succeed on 2,3,4,5,6
- Stage 2:
Fail the trick on 1,2.
Succeed on 3,4,5,6
- Stage 3:
Fail the trick on 1,2,3,4,5.
Succeed on 6, return to stage I

The Skateboard Shield always evades the attack on its turn. When it breaks the shield causes the bearer to take ordinary 1-22 tarot damage, ie a draw of 1d78.

If the trick is failed, the Skateboard Shield is destroyed, although it can be replaced or repaired. Some believe its tricks provide the only means of countering the powerful attacks from a certain cursed weapon...

Available Tricks:
Varial Heelflip/Kickflip
Flamingo Calf Wrap
Aerial 1260 (3.5 full rotations)
No Comply
Judo Twist
Dolphin Flip
Hurricane Grind
Boxing Glove
One Handed Weapon
Roll 1d100
1-22 you sprain your wrist. Dealt as damage to self.
23-100 the target is temporarily knocked unconscious, incapacitated. Any further damage will restore them to their senses, at full alertness
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LP Vinyl Record
Single Use Rare Thrown Weapon 1/1
Attack Roll 1d100
1-22, the target is destroyed
23-100 is dealt as damage
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Obscure Camera
Argus Argoflex Seventy-Five pseudo Twin Lens Reflex
6x6cm image on 620 film
Plastic mainbody, satin finish metal viewfinder hood. 75mm Lumar lens single meniscus element in front of fixed aperture f/11. Red painted shutter blade, running at 1/50th of a second. The shutter could capture a Fatal Frame...

Temporarily stuns an enemy through a blinding camera flash, enabling a retaliation or a quick escape. The photos captured from particularly gruesome and frightening enemy damage can be used and traded for Trauma.

- Stage 1:
Fail taking the photo on a 1.
Succeed on 2,3,4,5,6
- Stage 2:
Fail on 1,2.
Succeed on 3,4,5,6
- Stage 3:
Fail on 1,2,3,4,5.
Succeed on 6, return to Stage 1
Sad Panda Toy (Imaginary Friend)

Roll 2d6, take result in Blood (it does not have to be your own...)

1-2 they appear, but they are... a bit wrong
3-4 they harbour somewhat ambivalent feelings
5-6 they adore / worship / love you

Create and summon an NPC ally that you desire to aid you. The d6 roll determines how many you get to choose, when specifying:

1 gender
2 appearance (ugly, plain, attractive)
3 occupation/faction
4 skills or knowledge they might have.
5 armed/unarmed
6 tarot card (knowledge of magic / witchcraft)

You may not be entirely satisfied with the results, but it is believed that attempting to create imaginary friends out of combat will yield improved results. It is also preferable to sculpt your make-believe companion according to compatibility with circumstance and surroundings, eg a sympathetic receptionist in a hotel is more plausible than a lion tamer, etc.

As some anons mentioned on the Quest General Thread it is too difficult to follow (they are right, it is a bit of a mess). The original thread hit the image max so the encounters continue here on a separate thread ( >>5152733 )

PRELUDE and Tarot, from the top
Main Story begins, with first narrative choice
And the anon who rolls this, drew the very first Tarot card, sets the tone of the entire game...
Ending sequence and credits/inspiration begins here:

But it is not the end... long meta and feedback discussion
>>5129682 missed weapons
A story Epilogue
Post-game Weapon Unlock

The Urban Dungeon Crawl begins, but does it have a hidden purpose? A lot of dice rolling in this mode. And a lot of reconfiguration of the rules...
>>5131994 Actual gameplay starts here, with choice
The Motel
The Cartel Mission, The Chainsaw, The Serpent
lol the dice randomly generated this
The Riot
Riot Guard summary begins here
A difficult choice here
The Dead Land
The Return
The Dungeonmaster
The Cleaner / The Elder
I wonder if anyone understood the mathematical meaning behind the two weird tales of the Elder
The Purpose Revealed...?
This roll, 19 tells you something.
Apotheosis, or The End?

(meta and feedback follows)

Unused NPCs. The minds of the NPCs are meant to be the randomly generated dungeons of the game
A small bit of philosophy
A combat test
More credits, inspiration

NEW STORY: The Haircut
Switchblade Salon here
and continues on a different, separate thread here
(The actual thread begins at >>5131732, but mostly outdated rules / feedback discussion)

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