Proceed A few weeks ago, I ran a game of Interface Zero (Savage Worlds) for two players whose character names were Keir and Dimitri. Keir was a cyborg, Dimitri was a shark-man hybrid. It was a “capture the objective” kind of scenario. Things got really weird and interesting when Dimitri decided to put his shark-side to good use. Read on to find out what happened.
System: Savage Worlds / Interface Zero 2.0
Characters: Keir (Cyborg/hacker), Dimitri (Shark/muscle); basically experimental units of the United Nations Anti-Terrorism Organisation
Setting: Singapore and Detroit, AD 2080; used some elements from the core rulebook but also took copious amounts of inspiration from Deus Ex
(I used the free adventure, The Prodigal, but modified a large chunk of it)
We begin the adventure in Singapore’s UNATO base, which is one of the bigger facilities. Keir and Dimitri, having just woken up from stasis, are tasked by their officer-in-command, Lieutenant Gunther Riley, to head to Detroit to arrest a suspected terrorist, John Marx, who’s public profile is that of a rock star. There’s going to be a concert at a club that night, and the chaos of the crowd would present the agents with a good opportunity to capture John Marx. Gunther also has a daughter, Lisa, who’s attending the concert, and Gunther wants players to keep her safe.
We’re fast forwarding to the interesting bit. Keir and Dimitri are on the roof of a hotel in Detroit, where their pilot has dropped them off. They’ve about two hours till the start of the concert.
Keir and Dimitri head down into a pretty well-furnished lobby, from which they exit out into the stone-cold streets, greeted by a chill wind.
GM: What do you do next?
They decide to just saunter down the main road.
GM: You do that. Barely two blocks down, there’s a Policorp road block. They’re directing pedestrians to take another route. You could follow them or go through the back alleys. I’m also open to other suggestions.
Keir and Dimitri climb up the emergency ladder of a neighbouring building towards the roof. The wind is colder up there.
Keir: Is it possible to jump to the next building?
GM: Looks humanly possible. It’s about 4m away, its roof lower than the one you’re on. Roll Agility.
One after the other, they deftly hop over to the next building before the following, leaving the Policorp roadblock behind. They then climb down the ladder into an alleyway.
GM: As you remove yourself from the ladder, you catch a quick movement of shadows deeper into the alleyway. Explore?
Dimitri: Let’s do it.
With no patience for tact or subtlety, Dimitri tears into the darkness to find out who those figures are. They emerge, two hobos with knives that glint evilly in the moonlight.
Dimitri: I’m a shark guy right? Are they afraid of me?
GM: Roll Intimidation.
Dimitri: Uh I don’t have Intimidation.
GM: Take the d4 and roll it along with your Wild die, then subtract 2 from each die.
Dimitri’s highest score is 6. He succeeds (TN = 4). The shark guy bares his teeth, even though he’s actually not very good at this sort of thing, so it almost looks like he’s smiling. Almost. Anyway one look at his vicious face is enough to scare the vagabonds sh**less. They all but wet their pants and shove each other out of the way while legging it. Unharmed, both Dimitri and Keir continue out of the alley. The sound of music gets louder and more light pours into the alley. They emerge upon a sidewalk, next to which is the night club that John Marx will be performing in.
GM: However, it seems like you’re not permitted to enter. Bouncers are standing by the entrance, telling clubgoers that they’re not allowed to enter until 15 minutes before the concert. You check the time. It’s around 11pm. The concert starts at 12 as per your briefing.
Keir: Can I find some way to distract the bouncers?
GM: You could try.
Keir: Any way to climb up to the roof of the club?
GM: Not through any immediately obvious means.
Keir: Is there a ladder on the adjacent building leading to its roof?
GM: Yes there is.
Dimitri climbs to the roof, while Keir mingles with the crowd outside. As soon as Dimitri reaches the roof, he gets a signal from Keir. BLAM BLAM BLAM! Dimitri fires several shots that ring loud and clear, carried through by the acoustics of the narrow alley walls and out into the streets. BLAM. The crowd screams in terror and you actually hear footsteps thumping towards the alley.
In the ensuing chaos, Keir sneaks past the guards and into the night club. Dimitri leaps off the ledge, lands on the roof of the night club, savagely rips a grating apart with his bare hands, and slips into the ventilation shaft.