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Session 1: Meeting up

General Summary

The session started with Celia convincing the eponymously named "Driver-San" (who is actually South American, not Japanese) to drive her to the skeevy part of town. Since her parents were on a business trip, it was a good opportunity to get out and about without them breathing down her neck.   Driver-San, knowing that the Redmond Barrens are a bit of a dangerous place to be, decided to pick a runner hotspot on the border between the Barrens and Bellvue, figuring that it would give her a taste of danger but keep her relatively safe. How wrong he was...   Celia arrived at Club L4Z3R. The four PCs all stood out - a rich kid who didn't belong, a catgirl, a mysterious silhouetted DJ, and the most beautiful Dryad you ever laid eyes upon. After some uncomfortable mingling, the club was hit by gangers.   Quickly dispatching them, the four discussed things with one another, since they were the only ones (other than the guards) to stick around when the bullets started flying. The only real damage during the fight was Wednesday's booth being shot with a grenade launcher, which caused the bulletproof glass to fall on top of her.
The group tried to interrogate the two surviving gangers, but one of them secretly sent a message during the interrogation. Turns out that the Humanis Policlub were behind the hit, and the racism goes all the way to the top...  

Legwork

In which I summarise the legwork done by each of the characters in preparation for the second session.
The entire legwork session is limited to one hour, due to the relative urgency of the situation. Everyone took time to prep and gather information, but not too much time.  

Ariana

Ariana knows a little about the streets of Seattle, and recognises the gang markings. The group that attacked are from the 50 Barrens, a barrens go-gang who are human supremacists and who hate magic.  

Wednesday

Wednesday uses this information to research the gang a little more, uncovering the name of the gang leader, Ross Knapp. She also finds his commlink address, and takes the opportunity to place 3 marks on it.  

Abagail

Abagail compiles a data sprite and sends it to investigate the trail of money. Initially, she finds that it leads to Kenneth Brackhaven, via a number of shells, which it discovers by hacking various commlinks (following up on the work done by Wednesday). However, it hits a wall when the trail goes outside of Seattle, as it is unable to hack itself onto another grid.
In response to this, Abagail compiles a second, stronger sprite on the Horizon grid, which is able to follow the trail internationally. It eventually tracks the trail to Keiji Saito, who has apparently been funding anti-metahuman projects all over the west coast of North America.  

Celia

Celia does quite a lot. Firstly she switches to the astral plane and follows the trail of the gangers back to their hideout. Noting that it's on the other side of the glow, she finds some landmarks to help her spot it in meatspace as well. She doesn't notice much in the hideout itself as it's too difficult to see anything through the anger.   She then interrogates a city spirit in the vicinity, asking a number of questions and learning some useful information:
  • Ross, the leader of the 50 Barrens, is awakened.
  • Ross' son, Freddy, runs the hideout. Celia spends a service to get his current location as well as a list of places that he frequents.
  • The 50 Barrens are so hated that they only survive by virtue of their hideout being hard to find via mundane or technological means. Most anyone who is kicked out of the gang is murdered in the streets within a matter of days.
  • The gang was previously infiltrated by a member of the Ancients, but they have yet to act on their information. Celia spends a service to get contact information for the member who infiltrated them.
  • They have little to no ability to limit magical powers.
  • Many, many local gangs would love to murderkill the gang.
 

Some Mechanical Notes

I'm writing a few notes here to make things a little clearer. Hopefully this will make the next session a bit easier to play. Anything in italics is a mechanical term from the system.  

Combat

In case it wasn't clear, one combat turn involves every player rolling initiative once. At the end of an initiative pass, each combatant subtracts 10 from their current initiative, and if they have more than 0 they get an extra turn. This means that faster characters, like Ariana, can potentially have 4 passes in a single combat turn.
However, both during and outside of your turn, it's possible to spend some of your initiative on things. This reduces your initiative by a set amount for the entire combat turn. Check the combat cheatsheet for more information on these things (it's stuff like full defense).  

Spells

When casting a spell, first select a Force for the spell. The higher the force, the more powerful the spell can be. Most spells have the force in the description of the spell (eg Physical Barrier creates a sphere that projects 2xForce metres from the casting location).
Now roll your spellcasting dice. The more successes you get, the more powerful the spell is. Note: I got this wrong last night - the force is the maximum effect of the spell, but getting less successes doesn't cause the spell to fizzle. Sorry about that!
Finally, calculate the Drain value. This is in the spell description, and is physical damage if the number of hits you got is greater than your Magic attribute. Roll to resist drain - any successes reduce the amount of drain you take from casting the spell.   Example:
You want to cast Physical Barrier at Force 5. This will create a barrier that projects 10m away from you in all directions. You roll your spellcasting dice and get 4 successes - not quite as much, but you've still got a barrier projecting 8m from you.
You still have to deal with drain though. Physical Barrier has drain F-1, so you're taking up to 4 stun damage. You roll your drain resist dice and get 3 successes - that means that you're only taking 1 stun damage in drain, awesome!  

Complex Forms and Sprites

Complex forms are a bit like spells, but for Technomancers. They're slightly simpler to cast than spells, however.   First pick a Level for your complex form - this is the maximum power at which it will work for this casting, but you'll take Fading based on the level as well. Now roll your dice. Each hit you get on the roll will make your complex form more powerful.
Now calculate your fading value. Fading damage is physical if you got more hits than your Resonance attribute, otherwise it's stun. The minimum fading before resistance is 2 - then roll your resistance dice to try to minimise the damage you take.   There are a few different forms of sprites, and they are detailed in the Matrix cheatsheets. Broadly, sprites will always be better than you at anything you make them for, but each one is only made for one thing.
Again, pick a level before you start. The higher the level, the stronger the sprite, but unlike complex forms this is all or nothing. You roll your compiling skill, and the Matrix rolls the sprite's level to resist. Every net hit you get gives you a task - a single command that you can get the sprite to do.
Finally, you take fading equal to 2*the number of hits that the Matrix got resisting your compile roll. If the sprite level was greater than your Resonance attribute, it's physical damage.  

Edge

All of you have at least one Edge. It's luck, protagonist powers, just generally you guys being badass. You can spend it in the following ways (the first two being the most common):
  • Push the Limit: Also known as pre-edging. Ignore your limit, add your edge rating to the roll, and 6s explode. Awesome.
  • Second Chance: Post-edging. Reroll all failures. Can't negate glitches though.
  • Seize the Initiative: For the rest of the combat turn, go first in the initiative order. This means that you get the same number of combat passes as the next character down from you, even if your score is very low.
  • Blitz: Roll 5 initiative dice this combat turn. Don't do this. Seize instead.
  • Close Call: Negate a glitch or turn a critical glitch into a normal one.
  • Dead (Wo)Man's Trigger: If you're about to get knocked unconscious or die, make a Body + Willpower (3) test. If you succeed, you get one more turn to do something. Tbh, this one's kinda meh as well.
Your Edge pool returns at the rate of one point per day, but you may get bonus edge as a reward for things.   Additionally, you can burn edge. This permanently lowers your rating by 1, for one of the following effects:
  • Smackdown: Automatically succeed at a test with 4 net successes. You must be capable of doing the test in the first place, but limits don't apply.
  • Not Dead Yet: Survive something that would kill you. You'll be borderline, hanging on by a thread, and it might still have permanent repercussions. But you're not dead yet.
  That's all the rules stuff I'm gonna go into for now, but hopefully things will slowly start to make more and more sense as we play (and I'll introduce more stuff as we do so as well).

Created Content

In-Game Date
25th April, 2075
Campaign
Ring of Fire
Protagonists
Report Date
11 Jan 2019
Primary Location
Club L4Z3R

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