Stories of the Betterverse: Anything Goes

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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: From Sea to Shining Sea

Post by betterwatchit »

From Sea to Shining Sea, Part 6

19th May, Rocky Mountains, Colorado…

It was starting to get really foggy as the crew were slowly making their way up the Rockies.

Griffin went "I can see through this fog, but you'll need your goggles."

Bert donned his goggles as he said "And I also have radar fitted to the Ox. We can only do 5 miles per hour. If even that. Any more and we could crash."

That was when several voices could be heard on the radio. Most were human, some sounded like animals. The only one that came out went "Mayday! Mayday!"

A truck horn sounded out in the fog. Bert said "Must be about two miles away." Then he swerved to avoid hitting a car stuck in the middle of the road.

Bert stopped the truck and said "You two should investigate, I'll stay with the truck."

Thump nodded and said "Come with me, Griffin."

Griffin checked the car, saying "I've seen these before from watching super-fight footage. This dent isn't something you get from a car crash or scraping a rock. Someone took a big club to this thing. And those scratches look more like claw marks."

That was when they both heard a truck horn going off some distance away, which cut off suddenly. Thump went "I think it crashed, let's go!"

The fog had lifted a little and it was clear that something had smashed through a guard rail. Griffin said "I'll check!"

Griffin flew down a hundred feet to find a wrecked 16-wheeler. He cut the driver's door open and found an interesting corpse at the wheel. It appeared to be a rodent, about waist-high to Griffin. After turning the engine off, he flew the corpse back to Thump, saying "This was at the wheel of the truck that just crashed."

Thump said "I've got no idea what that is."

That was when gunfire came from the direction of the Blue Ox. Griffin and Thump both went "BERT!" as they headed back to the truck. When they arrived, Bert was gone!

Griffin said "I've got an idea. Notice how the barrel of his dropped rifle's pointing that way? I bet if we head that way, we'll find Bert!" He advanced into the bush and saw drag marks. He said "I know where to go, Thump! Grab the rifle, Bert'll need it! And your own gun."

As Griffin and Thump climbed the mountain, they saw Bert's wallet, proof that he was definitely dragged here. Then there was a big broken branch.

Thump pointed out "I see Bert's cap, we're in the right direction."

Another fifty feet and Griffin said "I see a hankerchief with Bert's initials on him."

As Griffin climbed up, he whispered "Hey, Thump! I think I see where he's gone!"

Three rodents, each waist-high to Griffin, were standing guard around a man-sized cleft in the rock. Griffin simply ran and laid them all out.
The Hunter Pika stats are on Page 7 of the guide. All three are minions.

Griffin does a Stealth Check, getting 16. The Pikas get 3.

Griffin's going non-lethal.

Roll Initiative!

Griffin: 15
Hunter Pika 1: 15
Hunter Pika 2: 13
Hunter Pika 3: 4

In the surprise round, Griffin attacks the three Pikas with the Flurry of Steel, getting 21, 18 and 16. The three Pikas get 7, 10 and 5, all are Incapacitated.

He helped Thump up, saying "Guards are down. He's in there."

As they entered the cleft, Griffin and Thump a door with three buttons next to it, red, yellow and green. Griffin asked "Any ideas?"

Thump went "Let's hit yellow." She hit it and the door opened. Griffin saw a guard rodent on the other side and swiftly knocked him out.
An appropriate soundtrack for this next part: Subterranean Castle from Yakuza: Like A Dragon OST.
It felt like the hewn rock corridor went on for at least a thousand feet. That was when they encountered another corridor, going either left or right.

Griffin said "Let's go left. And no shooting if the alarm isn't active." Thump nodded.

Griffin and Thump opened the door and ended up in another long corridor. Four rodents were there, one of which said "We're being invaded, Sarge!"

One of the rodents leaped a few feet into the air, pressing a button that slammed a door shut behind Griffin and Thump. Another rodent said "It's useless to resist. Surrender or die."

Griffin laid them all out with a single stroke.
There are four Hunter Pika minions in the corridor. One of them attempts to Intimidate Griffin and Thump, getting 18. Griffin is Fearless, automatically beating the check. Thump gets 26 on her Insight and resists.

Roll Initiative!
Griffin: 25
Thump: 21
Hunter Pika 1: 13
Hunter Pika 2: 10
Hunter Pika 3: 8
Hunter Pika 4: 4

Griffin does a -4/+4 All-Out Attack on the Hunter Pikas with the Flurry of Steel, getting 18, 18, 14 and 18. The Hunter Pikas get 12, 9, 10 and 7. All are Incapacitated.

Griffin hit the button that the rodent pressed and the door opened back up. "Let's keep going." After going through the corridor, they found themselves in a room about 30 by 30 feet. And some rodents who ran into the door behind them.

Thump went "After them!" She and Griffin gave chase into a much larger room.

The room looked like a command centre, but the screens were showing what few analogue TV transmissions were still available. Twelve rodents who were watching over a group of tied-up humans went "Court's adjourned!" before running off.

Griffin went "Thump, you free Bert and give him his gun back, we'll need another shooter soon."

Griffin and Thump managed to free most of the other humans before the rodents' backup arrived.

He appeared to be about as tall as Bert. The tall rodent went "Who are you to tamper with the trial?!"

Griffin revealed his wings and unsheathed Justice as he said "I am Griffin of the Host of Heaven! Me and my friends are freeing these people! The only choice you've got is whether or not you get to survive!"

The tall rodent said "Bailiffs! Don't let them escape!"

Five rodents who were still in the chamber said "Of course, Jonny!"

Griffin went "I've got the guards! Bert, you get everyone out! Thump, blast him all you like!"

Thump shot Jonny, grazing him on the cheek. Jonny tried to return fire, but his gun jammed!

Bert shot down the two rodents who hit him while Griffin cut another one down.
Here's Jonny's stats are on page 8 of the Guide. The five Hunter Pikas with him are minions.

Bert, Griffin and Thump get a HP each for having to defend hostages.

Roll Initiative!
Thump: 29
Hunter Pika 1: 21
Jonny: 19
Hunter Pika 2: 19
Hunter Pika 3: 19
Bert: 17
Griffin: 10
Hunter Pika 4: 10
Hunter Pika 5: 3

Thump fires the Thumper at Jonny, getting 21. Jonny gets 13 and is hit and Dazed!

Hunter Pika 1 attacks Bert with a Club, getting 13 and missing.

Jonny fires a Heavy Pistol at Thump, getting a Natural 1 and missing.

Hunter Pikas 2 and 3 attack Bert with Clubs, getting 19 and Natural 20 (no crit due to being a minion). Bert gets 24 and 17 and is hit.

Bert fires upon Hunter Pikas 2 and 3 with his Assault Rifle, getting 23 and 24. Hunter Pikas 2 and 3 get 6 and 12, both dying!

Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel on Hunter Pikas 4 and 5, getting 18 and 29, crit scored! He raises the DC by +5. Hunter Pikas 4 and 5 get 13 and 9, and are both killed.

Bert: 1 Injury.
Jonny: 1 Injury, Dazed.
Hunter Pikas 2, 3, 4 and 5: DEAD.

Thump shot Jonny in the chest, flooring him! She dodged the rodent who shouted "MURDERER!" at her before they ran off.

Bert saw his chance and put a three-round burst into Jonny, making sure he didn't get up again!

Griffin used his healing touch on where he saw Bert get hit.
Thump shoots Jonny, getting 20. Jonny gets a Natural 1 and is Dying! He gets 14 and fails his first death check.

Hunter Pika 1 flees and is out of combat!

Jonny gets 19 on his death check, he doesn't improve.

Bert performs a Finishing Attack on Jonny, getting 25 and increasing the DC by +10 for the Finishing Attack crit and for using Multiattack. Jonny gets 7 and is killed!

Griffin heals Bert, getting 17 and removing his injury.

Jonny: DEAD.
Hunter Pika 1: Out of Combat.

As everyone made it out of the abandoned facility, Griffin said "Looks like the State Police are here."

Bert went "So how are you going to handle them? I can convince them to let me and Thump go, but how are you getting past?"

Griffin told him "I can fly at 250 MPH and I can see through what's left of the fog. I'll be at Silverthorne, which is at the next exit, Exit 205. I checked before we headed off this morning. I'll be at the 7-Eleven there. I should be able to grab a coke for each of us. I've still got the walkie-talkie and headset, so you can tell me when you've arrived."
Last edited by betterwatchit on Tue Dec 19, 2023 1:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: From Sea to Shining Sea

Post by betterwatchit »

From Sea to Shining Sea, Part 7

20th May, Utah, just west of Green River…

After lunch, Bert said "Well, it shouldn't be more than a couple of days before we reach San Francisco."

As the Blue Ox rolled through the desert, Born to be Wild playing on the satellite radio, Thump said "Looks like there's a biker gang in the rear view."

Griffin got Justice out of his bag, saying "I'm ready."

Behind the Blue Ox…

The gang called the Devil's Advocates were riding in formation, using their radios to talk over their engine noise.

Buddy asked "So what did that Chiquita chick offer us again?"

A biker with a skeletal motif for his outfit said "She'd pay us all $2,000 each for the truck, with its full load. She wants the driver alive, I don't know why, but she don't care at all about any security with him."

Cueball said "Suits me! I haven't had a fight in days!"

inside the Blue Ox…

Griffin looked at the monitor and said "Oh f**k me, it's the Devil's Advocates! A biker gang based in Freedom City!"

"You know them?"

"Yeah, I got several of their members arrested in the Big Apple. And I know for a fact that their leadership - the four up front - are all Hellsworn! They have powers based on the Four Horsemen of the Book of Revelation! And the Agreement I made in exchange for sparking up is crystal-clear on rules of engagement with Hellsworn."

"How clearly?"

"Two words: No. Quarter."

Bert asked "I take it there's a reason for that?"

Griffin told him "Hellsworn are the ultimate sell-outs and traitors! They sold their souls to Hell in exchange for power. They've betrayed everything they used to hold dear and their entire world to infernal service! They. Have. To. Die. No excuses. It looks like they're using radios, so I'm going to see if I can overhear anything before they attack."
Griffin does a Well-Informed check, getting 27. He knows how the four highest ranking members sparked up! He also gets a HP: The Agreement compels him to give no quarter to Hellsworn opponents!

Griffin was adjusting the walkie-talkie's frequency. He heard a conversation on one of the other channels.

"Got any ideas how we're hitting the truck, Cueball?"

Cueball said "Three prospects on the passenger's side try to open the door, Angel. After they get it open, you and me jump in, knock the driver out and kill the rest! After that, you stop the truck and let Larry take over."

Another voice asked "Do we have to let Larry drive it?"

Cueball told him "He's the only one of us who's checked out for 18-wheelers, Buddy! Meaning he's our best chance for getting it to the drop-off point without breaking anything! That's why! You got a problem with that?!"

Buddy went "No, not at all!"

Cueball then said "Puma! Cowboy! Red! Take the truck!"

Thump said "I see they're moving three guys to our right!"

Griffin unsheathed his blade, saying "I've tuned into their radios! Channel 2! They're attacking us right now! Get ready to repel boarders!"

Griffin opened the passenger door and flew out. After shutting it, Thump was ready to fire out of the window.

Red fired on Griffin, but he saw the bullet bounce off. He shouted "Who is that?!"

Puma said "It's that limey bastard! The one who busted our NYC chapter!"

Griffin flew at the bikers, cutting two of them in half!

As a bullet whizzed by her, Thump returned fire.
Info on the Devil's Advocates is on pages 136-139 of Rogues' Gallery, including statblocks.

Cowboy, Puma and Red are Typical Devil's Advocate minions.

Griffin sets his Favoured Environment to Defence. Thump is in Partial Cover. Bert's in Full Cover.

Roll Initiative!
Thump: 28
Red: 19
Griffin: 18
Cowboy: 5
Puma: 2

If the Advocates' Weakness complication triggers while they're Dying, it triggers another death check.

Thump Delays.

Red fires a shot at Griffin from his Light Pistol, getting 20. Griffin is Impervious to the shot.

Griffin attacks all three with the Flurry of Steel, getting 20, 26 and 25. Cowboy gets 13 and is killed. Puma gets 19 and is killed. Red gets a Natural 20 and resists!

Red fires at Thump, getting 18. Thump gets 19 and resists.

Thump fires the Thumper at Red, getting 15. Red gets another Natural 20 to resist!

Thump landed a headshot on Red, causing him to fall off his bike and get crushed by the Blue Ox's rear wheels!
Thump fires at Red, getting 26. Red gets 20 and is killed!

Angel said "I'm going to kill that bastard myself! Watch this!" He then rode up to Griffin, pointed at him and shouted "In the Morningstar's unholy name, DIE!"

The unholy energy dissipated as it hit Griffin, who shouted over the radio "That's a weak curse! You have to be better than that, Hellsworn!"

Carmody, the "Born Loser", shouted "Starve, you bastard, starve!"

A burst of infernal energy hit Thump and Griffin. Thump went "I suddenly felt hungry! It's gone now!"

Griffin went "I felt it too! So we know who's Famine! And I know who's my priority target!"

Griffin slashed at Angel, managing to knock him off his bike! What he saw next was something he'd never forget. He saw the other Advocates trying to swerve out of the way. Two of them failed to move in time and ran Angel over! The second one accidentally - and quite audibly - snapped Angel's neck!

Buddy went "What gives?! I'm plaguing him and he ain't falling down! He ain't even coughing or nothin'!"

Cueball swung at Griffin and missed him.
Roll Initiative!
Angel: 27
Born Loser: 23
Griffin: 22
Buddy: 19
Thump: 18
Cueball: 13

Angel levels the Death Curse at Griffin! Griffin gets 24 and resists!

The Born Loser fires his Starvation power. Both Thump and Griffin are in the blast radius. The other Devil's Advocates are unaffected. Griffin gets 16 on his Dodge check. He gets a Natural 20 on the Fortitude Save! Thump gets 24 on her Dodge save and only has to resist a rank 5 effect. She gets 24 on her Fortitude save and resists!

Griffin attacks Angel with the Flurry of Steel, getting 30. This raises the DC by+5. Angel gets 21 and is hit and Dazed! Angel's Weakness complication kicks in. Angel gets 14 and is Dying and falls off! He gets 19 on his death check, which isn't enough to kill him, but isn't enough for him to recover.

Angel has to resist a Damage 5 effect from falling off his bike. He gets 29 and resists.

The other three Advocates must make a DC 20 Vehicles check. Each one they fail results in Angel resisting another Damage 5 effect. Born Loser gets 18 and fails. Buddy gets a Natural 20 and Cueball gets 19. Angel gets 16 on his first save and is hit. On his second save, Angel gets 10 and is killed!

Buddy attempts to use his Pathogen power on Griffin. Griffin has Immunity: Life Support, making him immune to the Pathogen.

Thump fired the Thumper at Born Loser, getting 22. Born Loser gets 19 and is hit.

Cueball took a swing at Griffin with his War Axe, getting a Natural 1 and missing.

Angel: DEAD.
Born Loser: 1 Injury.

Griffin ran the rail-thin biker through, before Thump shot him in the head. The head-shot biker fell off and his head was smashed in like a watermelon when one of his gang ran him over by accident.

Cueball roared "YOU SELF-RIGHTEOUS BASTARD! NO SURRENDER!" as he tried to hit Griffin with his axe.
Born Loser activated Starvation. Griffin gets 27 on his Dodge. He gets 28 on his Fortitude and resists. Thump gets 23, succeeding on her Dodge save. She gets 21 and resists.

Griffin attacks Born Loser with the Flurry of Steel, getting a Natural 1. He spends a HP to re-roll, getting Natural 20, crit scored! He spends the crit to stunt the Flurry into The One Way Ticket: Affliction 8 (Resisted by Will; Dying, Limited Degree (Third Only.)). Born Loser gets Natural 1 and is Dying! He gets 14, failing his first death check. His Weakness complication triggers, compelling him to resist a lethal Affliction 8 effect. If he takes a second Dying result, he stays dead. He gets a Natural 1 and is made to do a second death check. He gets 13, failing a second degree.

Buddy attempts to use his Pathogen power on Griffin. Griffin has Immunity: Life Support, making him immune to the Pathogen.

Thump fires at Born Loser, getting 27. Born Loser gets 17 and is hit. He falls off the bike. The other two Advocates must make a DC 20 Vehicles check as before. As he's dying, failures count as Finishing Attacks. Buddy gets 15 and Cueball gets Natural 1.

Born Loser gets 18 and is hit on the first failed check. He gets a Natural 1 on the second check and is killed!

Cueball attacks Griffin with the War Axe, getting 14 and missing!

Griffin: 2 HP
Born Loser: DEAD

Griffin said "You sold your souls! I can't let any of you leave here alive!"

Buddy slapped Griffin, saying "Says who?!"

Griffin slashed him back, going "The Almighty God, that's who said you have to go!"
Griffin performed the Flurry of Steel on Buddy, getting 25 and raising the DC by +2. Buddy gets 20 and is hit. He gets 15 on his Weakness check and is Dazed.

Buddy takes a swing at Griffin, getting 27. Griffin gets 19 and is hit.

Thump fires at Buddy, getting 27. Buddy gets 20 and is hit.

Cueball throws his War Axe at Griffin, getting 14 and missing.

Griffin: 1 Injury.
Buddy: 2 Injuries.

Griffin was able to fend off both Buddy and Cueball, while Buddy got himself cut up and shot.
Griffin attacks Buddy with the Flurry of Steel, getting 22. Buddy gets 22 and is hit. Buddy gets 22 on his Weakness check and resists.

Buddy tries to punch Griffin, getting a Natural 20, crit scored, raising the DC by +5! Griffin gets 29 and resists.

Thump shoots Buddy, getting 21. Buddy gets 16 and is hit.

Cueball managed to grab his War Axe and tries again to cut Griffin down, getting 27. Griffin gets 26 and resists.

Buddy: 4 Injuries.

Buddy missed his next punch, which Griffin exploited to cut him up some more!
Griffin attacks Buddy with the Flurry of Steel, getting 15. He spends a HP, getting 28 and raising the DC by +2. Buddy gets 16 and is hit and Dazed. He gets 16 on his Weakness check and resists it.

Buddy tries to punch Griffin, getting a Natural 1 and missing.

Thump shoots Buddy, getting 20. Buddy gets 14 and is hit and Dazed.

Cueball swings his axe at Griffin, getting 23. Griffin gets 22 and is hit.

Griffin: 1 HP, 2 Injuries.
Buddy: 6 Injuries.

Thump shot Buddy right in the chest!

Cueball went "BUDDY! NO!"
Griffin performed the Flurry of Steel on Buddy, getting 30. Buddy gets 13 and is hit and dazed. He gets 19 on his Weakness check and resists.

Buddy tries to punch Griffin, getting 21. Griffin gets 20 and is hit.

Thump shoots Buddy, getting 24. Buddy gets 8 and is hit and Staggered!

Cueball charged at Griffin with the War Axe, getting a Natural 1 and missing.

Buddy: 8 Injuries, Staggered,

Griffin ran Buddy through. After kicking himself away, Griffin saw Thump shoot Buddy right between the eyes!
Griffin attacks Buddy with the Flurry of Steel, getting 31, crit scored. This raises the DC by +10 (5 for the crit and 5 for the Multiattack). Buddy gets a Natural 1 and is Dying! He gets 14 on his Weakness check and is dazed. He also gets 14 on his death check.

On Buddy's turn, he gets 13, failing his second death check.

Thump shoots Buddy as a Finishing Attack, getting 24. Buddy gets 10 and is killed!

Cueball swung at Griffin with his axe, getting 11 and missing.

Buddy: DEAD.

Griffin went "All I have to do is kill you and we're done here!"

Cueball shouted "You wish!"
Griffin attacks Cueball with the Flurry of Steel, getting 20. Cueball gets 16 and is hit and Dazed! He gets 19 on his Weakness check and resists.

Thump fires at Cueball, getting Natural 20, crit scored! She raises the DC by +5. Cueball gets and 16 is hit and Dazed.

Cueball takes the Defend Action.

Cueball took a swing at Justice and was amazed to see it was still intact! "That- That should've been scrap by now!"

Griffin shouted "Halosteel Sword! NOTHING BREAKS IT!" Then he backstabbed Cueball while Thump headshot him!
Griffin attacks Cueball with the Flurry of Steel. To Defend, Cueball gets 27. Griffin gets a Natural 20, Crit scored! He raises the DC by +7 (+2 for Multiattack, +5 for the crit.) Cueball gets 12 and is Dying! Cueball gets 26 on his death check and stabilises. On his Weakness check, Cueball gets 26 and resists.

Thump fires at Cueball, getting 23. Cueball gets 10 and is killed!
Cueball: DEAD.

After pulling Justice out of Cueball, Griffin flew back to the Blue Ox. As he opened the passenger door, he said "That's all seven bikers dead, it's safe to move on! And I need my wounds bound!"

Thump said "Can't you use your healing touch?"

Griffin told her "No, I can't! I can't use it to heal myself, I've tried! I'm the only person I can't heal with it."

Bert sighed and said "There's a first aid kit in the back that I restocked before I left. I put some armor-piercing sutures in there, just in case."
Last edited by betterwatchit on Sat Oct 14, 2023 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: From Sea to Shining Sea

Post by betterwatchit »

From Sea to Shining Sea, Part 8

21st May, Nevada, a couple of hundred miles north of Las Vegas…

A few miles down a lonely stretch of highway, the Blue Ox came upon a construction site near an exit. A flagman stopped the truck and said "A construction accident's temporarily closed the highway, it's going to be at least six hours before the lanes are clear, so we arranged a detour around the trouble spot."

Bert asked "How long for?"

The flagman told him "Can't be more than 25 miles, you'll be back on track before you know it."
Due to Thump's medical treatment, Griffin has recovered from his wounds.

As they drove down the detour strip, Bert said "I can't turn the Ox around right without getting stuck, so I suggest you ready up. I'll do it as soon as I can, but something tells me we ain't gonna get the opportunity."

A few minutes later, the sound of an approaching helicopter rumbled over the noise of the engine, a black assault helicopter rose from its hiding place behind a hill. Griffin could see it on the rear camera.

Bert described with a sigh "Looks like a Huey 1-D with a rocket launcher and a grenade launcher in its nose."

A voice on the CB radio said "You in the blue truck, you will turn right at the next road where there is a signpost for the Capital Movie Studio. You will take this road until you reach a little town. And remember, we'll fly above you and watch. Now go!"

After the helicopter finished talking, Griffin asked "Do you want me to take the chopper out?"

Bert went "Yeah, we could probably take that thing out, but maybe it's time to go to that party and put an end to all the dancin' they've been having us do. You all up for it?"

Thump went "Yeah, let's end this!"

Griffin said "Of course I am!"

Bert went "Hell, then let's party!"

As they drove to the studio, Griffin asked "I'm wondering how many bullets you have left, Thump?"

Thump replied "Why do you ask?"

"It's just, wherever we're going is likely to be loaded with those ninja-looking folk and whoever else Chiquita can round up. It's going to be really bad if you suddenly run out."

"I'm trained with various firearms and some energy weapons. Worst comes to worst, I can steal some dead man's gun."

"Fair enough."

Half an hour later…

The Blue Ox passed a sign saying…
Property of Capital Movie Studios. NO Trespassing. Authorized Personnel ONLY!
Bert said "Capital used to make a lot of Westerns in the 40s and 50s. They went out of business decades ago."

As they pulled up, the crew could see that it was defintely on Old West town built for the movies. Wooden buildings lined a dirt road. Behind the main street, there were a couple of warehouses disguised as barns.

And every single building and telegraph pole had a poster nailed to it:
Poster wrote:Image
Dead or Alive
Melvin "Bert" McClusky
- For Crimes Against His Daughter And Her Mother.

Bert's face paled and his eyes narrowed in anger and astonishment. "What the Hell is going on here?!" he muttered as he tore a poster off and crumpled it. "What's going on here?!" he bellowed, turning to gaze down the street. "Alright, we're waiting?! What's your game?!"

Bert was only answered by a gust of wind and a rolling tumbleweed. He turned to address Griffin and Thump. He suddenly looked old and hurting.

"You know I worked for the CIA. It ain't quite what Hollywood makes it out to be, but there were moments… Well, anyway, I was in Panama City, making sure we knew what Noriega was doing. I was undercover deep. So deep i even took a Panamaian woman for a wife. She was a beauty. Figured that if I was going to play the game, I might as well play it good."

Bert wiped a tear and continued. "She was something special, my wife. I never loved anyone or thing more than her, 'cept maybe my country. We had it damn good too. I kept a low profile and kept intel flowing into Langley. My wife never knew I worked as a spy." He looked at Griffin and Thump as he said "I was the first to prove that Noriega was helping the drug cartels of South America."

Griffin said "I did wonder who exactly gave Washington their casus belli for Just Cause."

Thump went "Casus what?"

Griffin told her "Casus belli, their cause for war! Bert just admitted out loud that he gave the United States a reason for launching Operation Just Cause. I mean, a head of state in the Western Hemisphere who was willingly dealing with drug lords and leaning towards Moscow? No way could Washington afford that. So Noriega had to go."

Bert continued "…I- I couldn't get my fiancée out in time. I was meant to wed her, but I was yanked back Stateside just hours before Just Cause started. I found out a few years later that my wife was picked up for interrogation 'bout my activites. I can only pray they weren't too severe on her."

Thump said "If your wife survived the invasion and she had the baby…"

Griffin went "By the Lady's Heart…"

Bert uncrumpled the poster "For crimes against his daughter… My darling thought she was pregnant. She was going to see the doctor on the day I got yanked. I always thought the baby died or there never was a baby. It has happened before, you know. But I guess that was the easy answer. What if it was a girl, a baby who grew up alone. Her mom dead, her dad a traitor to her country…"

He took a deep breath and gasped "I think Chiquita's my daughter. That would explain why she's out to get me. That's the only answer, isn't it?!"

Thump said "This sort of deception is well within Chiquita's MO. She could have found out about your wife and put those posters up as a weapon!"

Griffin told Bert "I have to agree with Thump. She's clearly using what little of your past she knows about to mess with your mind here. Psychological warfare 101."

Bert said "Just try and take her alive…" He staggered back into the Blue Ox and slumped to the floor inside the sleeper.
Due to the emotional turmoil in his head caused by the poster, Bert is effectively Incapacitated.

Three ninja came out of the saloon, so Griffin and Thump closed in on them, with Griffin laying two of them out in a single blow.
The three ninja are Ninja Master minions from Gamemaster's Guide with the Elite Template.

Griffin and Thump get a HP each for going non-lethal against lethal opponents.

Roll Initiative!

Thump: 28
Griffin: 23
Ninja: 16
Ninja: 14
Ninja: 13

Thump Charges at a Ninja, and punches at them, getting 10 and missing.

Griffin Charges at the other two Ninja with the Flurry of Steel, getting 22 and 21. The ninja get 19 and 15, both are Incapacitated.

The last ninja strikes Thump with their sword, getting 26. They don't get a crit due to being a minion.

Griffin flanked the last ninja, who was fighting Thump, and beat them unconscious.
Thump punches the last Ninja getting 16 and missing.

Griffin attacks the Ninja with the Flurry of Steel, getting 26, raising the DC by +2. The Ninja gets 16 and is Incapacitated.

A hidden loudspeaker boomed out. "Oh, very well done," Chiquita chimed. "Daddy always did work with the best. Now, let's see how you handle these fellows!"

A robotic sheriff emerged from the town jail, dressed like a cowboy and wearing a brightly polished badge. And both their six-shooters were drawn. The Robo-Sheriff said "You boys shouldn't oughta done what ya did. Now I gotta bring ya in!"

As Thump drew her gun, the Robo-Sheriff went "Ya done it now!" and started shooting! Griffin unsheathed Justice and charged. The Robo-Sheriff's bullets just bounced off him!
The Robo-Sheriff's stats are on page 8 of the Guide.

Roll Initiative!

Thump: 21
Griffin: 16
Robo-Sheriff: 0

Thump fires at the Robo-Sheriff with the Thumper, getting 24. Robo-Sheriff gets 27 and resists.

Griffin charges at the Robo-Sheriff, getting Natural 20, crit scored! The DC is raised by +10 (5 for Multiattack and 5 for the critical)! Robo-Sheriff gets 18 and is Staggered!

Robo-Sheriff fires at Griffin, getting 29. But Griffin is Impervious to the bullets.

Robo-Sheriff: 1 Injury, Staggered.

Thump landed a headshot on the Robo-Sheriff, while Griffin took a three-round burst to the chest! He stood back up and roared "JUDGEMENT COMES!"
Thump fires at Robo-Sheriff, getting 28, crit scored! She raised the DC by +5. Robo-Sheriff gets 24 and is hit!

Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel, getting 28 and raising the DC by +5. Robo-Sheriff gets 28 and resists.

Robo-Sheriff fires at Thump, getting 17 and missing.

Robo-Sheriff: 2 Injuries, Staggered.

Griffin took the Robo-Sheriff's head off and raised it above his head to prove it was downed!
Thump fires, getting 19. Robo-Sheriff gets 17 and is hit.

Griffin performed the Flurry of Steel, getting 31, crit scored! The DC is raised by +10 (5 for Multiattack and 5 for the critical)! Robo-Sheriff gets 14 and is destroyed!

Robo-Sheriff: DEAD.

From the loudspeakers, Chiquita said "Okay, I'll give you two one chance: If you hand Bert over, I will guarantee you both safe conduct to San Francisco! You have sixty seconds to choose!"

Griffin resheathed his sword as he said "I don't even need one, Chiquita! I gave my word to Bert to get him and his load to San Francisco, and that's what I'm going to do! The only chance you've got is to surrender at once!"

Chiquita said "Don't say I didn't give you two a chance! Men! Blow them away!"

Griffin and Thump were suddenly sprayed upon with bullets and lasers. Thump shot one of the snipers down, while Griffin laid the other one out.
The seven rooftop sniper minions are the Hired Killer archetype from Gamemaster's Guide with the Elite template added. Four have Blaster Rifles with Laser Sights. Three have Assault Rifles with Laser Sights. All have Bulletproof Vests and are in Partial Cover against opponents on ground level.

Thump is in Partial Cover, Griffin is not.

Roll Initiative!

Thump: 24
Laser Sniper 1: 21
Griffin: 20
Laser Sniper 2: 19
Assault Sniper 1: 17
Assault Sniper 2: 16
Laser Sniper 3: 15
Assault Sniper 3: 13
Laser Sniper 4: 12

Thump fired at Laser Sniper 1, getting 21. The Sniper gets 15 and is killed.

Griffin Charged at Assault Sniper 1 with the Flurry of Steel, getting 21. Assault Sniper 1 gets 16 and is Incapacitated.

The three Laser Snipers each fire at Griffin, getting 24, 13 and 19. Griffin gets 27 and Natural 20 to resist!

The Two Assault Snipers each fire at Thump, getting 15 and 13, both missing.

Griffin managed to floor a sniper, while Thump was being pinned.
Griffin's Favoured Environment is now active and set to defence.

Thump fires at Assault Sniper 2, getting 25. Assault Sniper 2 gets 21 and resists.

Griffin Charges at Laser Sniper 2 and Assault Sniper 2, getting 21 and 18. Laser Sniper gets 18 and is Incapacitated.

Laser Snipers 3 & 4 both fire at Griffin, getting 12 and Natural 1, both missing.

Assault Snipers 2 & 3 fire at Thump, getting 12 and 13, both missing.

That was when the helicopter flew back to the town.

On the walkie-talkie, Thump said "Griffin! The chopper's back!"

As he flew towards it, Griffin managed to avoid a burst of gunfire from the helicopter. He unsheathed Justice as he thought 'Hitting directly from behind would be suicide with that rear rotor! But I bet he hasn't seen a target do THIS!'

Griffin jinked downwards and then flew up from underneath to stab the chopper's engine block! The door gunner was agape, he'd never seen anything like it! The smoke coming out meant that Griffin was definitely stabbing it in the right place!
The Helicopter Pilot and Door Gunner are Elite Soldiers from Gamemaster's Guide. with the Elite Template added on top. He's piloting a Military Helicopter (Page 225, Hero's Handbook). The Helicopter's Machine Guns contain armour-piercing rounds, giving it Penetrating 6. Their Initiative count is 24, putting them after Thump, but before Griffin.

Thump fires at Assault Sniper 1, getting 16 and missing.

The Door Gunner fires the Machine Guns at Griffin, getting Natural 20, crit scored! The DC is raised by +10 (5 for Multiattack and 5 for the critical)! Griffin gets his own Natural 20 to resist!

Griffin charged the Military Helicopter with the Flurry of Steel, getting 22 and raising the DC by +5. The Helicopter gets 16 and is Staggered! He's close enough to the Helicopter that his Favoured Environment is off until he disengages from it.

Laser Snipers 3 & 4 fire at Griffin, getting 22 and 19. Griffin gets 31 and resists.

Assault Snipers 2 & 3 fire at Thump, getting 14 and 15, both missing.

Helicopter: 1 Injury, Staggered.

A bullet grazed Thump's head as she dropped one of the snipers.

Griffin kicked the door gunner off him as he stabbed at the engine some more.
Thump fires at Assault Sniper 2, getting 23. Assault Sniper 2 gets 11 and is killed.

The Door Gunner fires the Machine Gun at Griffin, getting 17 and missing.

Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel on the Helicopter, getting 25. The Helicopter gets 19 and is hit.

Both Laser Snipers fire at Griffin, getting 28 and 19. Griffin gets a Natural 1 against the first blast, He spends a HP to reroll, getting 29 to resist. He gets 28 to resist the second blast.

Assault Sniper 3 fires on Thump, getting 28, raising the DC by +5. Thump gets 19 and is hit and Dazed.

Griffin: 1 HP.

Thump: 1 Injury, Dazed.

Helicopter: 2 Injuries, Staggered.

Griffin stabbed the engine as he shouted in Spanish "<Bail out! BAIL OUT!>" before leaping off the helicopter.

As the helicopter fell, the pilot activated the ejector seat. This made the explosive bolts attaching the rotor blades on the helicopter go off, allowing the pilot to safely eject. The door gunner waited until the last moment before leaping clear,

As Thump hid to catch her breath, she heard the sound of a helicopter engine failing and then a crash. She thought 'How in God's name did he do that?! He's got more balls than the Agency thought!'
Thump goes into Full Cover, taking the Defend action to recover from the Daze.

The Door Gunner fires his Machine Gun at Griffin, getting a Natural 1 and missing.

Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel on the Helicopter, getting 19. The Helicopter gets Natural 1 and is destroyed!

Griffin's Favoured Environment is active again and set to defence.

Laser Snipers 2 & 3 fire at Griffin, getting 21 and 16. Griffin gets 25 and resists.

Assault Sniper 3 fires at Griffin, getting 21. Griffin is Impervious to the Assault Rifle's bullets.

Helicopter: Destroyed. Door Gunner is incapacitated.

Griffin resheathes Justice and proceeds to lay out two of the snipers.
Thump leaped onto the roof and fired at Assault Sniper 3, getting 20. He gets 20 and is killed.

The Helicopter Pilot flees and is Out of Combat.

Griffin Charges at Laser Snipers 3 & 4 with the Flurry of Steel, getting 26 and 20. The Laser Snipers get 14 and 17, and are Incapacitated.

Griffin saw a quadcopter drone fly up to him. Chiquita spoke from its loudspeaker. "If you and that rabbit girl want me, I'll be at the OK Corral! It's at the end of the street!" The drone then flew to the end of the street.

Thump said "I need a little medical attention, Griffin!"

Griffin landed next to her and said "Yeah, this won't take long."
Griffin does a Healing check and gets 14. Thump's injury is removed.
Last edited by betterwatchit on Fri Oct 13, 2023 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: From Sea to Shining Sea

Post by betterwatchit »

From Sea to Shining Sea, part 9

At the OK Corral…

Griffin said "Okay, I've got a plan."

Thump asked "What's that?"

"We get up to the hayloft and give her a bad case of death from above. And if she's already there, she likely won't expect it."

"I can jump that distance. And you don't need any help getting that high."

Once they entered the hayloft, Griffin and Thump were set upon by a pair of ninja.
Griffin does a Tactics check, getting 22.

The Ninja Master minions from Gamemaster's Guide have the Elite template added.

Roll Initiative!

Griffin: 24
Thump: 16
Ninja Master 1: 12
Ninja Master 2: 9

Griffin attacks Ninja Master 1 with the Flurry of Steel, getting 23 and raising the DC by +2. They get 20 and are Incapacitated.

Chiquita attacks with her Knuckle Blades, getting 23. Griffin gets 29 and resists.

Thump punches Ninja Master 2, getting 24. They get 14 and are Incapacitated.

Once the second ninja fell, the whole hayloft tipped down like it was a giant trapdoor. There was enough loose hay beneath everyone to break their fall.

As they both got up, they saw Chiquita finish putting on some power armour. She said "This is my last chance to put things right! I'll kill you both myself!"

Griffin charged, roaring "LET THERE BE LIGHT!"
Chiquita's stats are on page 10 of the Guide.

Griffin and Thump get a HP for using non-lethal force against someone trying to kill him.

Roll Initiative!

Thump: 20
Griffin: 15
Chiquita: 12

Thump fires at Chiquita, getting 22. Chiquita gets 20 and is hit.

Griffin Charges at Chiquita, performing the Flurry of Steel. He gets 18, raising the DC by +2. Chiquita gets 30 and resists.

Chiquita punches Griffin with her Knuckle Blades, getting 19. He gets 31 and resists.

Chiquita: 1 Injury.

Griffin roared "SURRENDER OR DIE, CHIQUITA! SURRENDER OR DIE!" as he cut various sections of her armour off of her!

When the armour fell apart, Chiquita fell, sobbing as she cried "No mas! No mas! I yield! I YIELD!"
Thump fires at Chiquita, getting 27. Chiquita gets 27 and resists.

Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel on Chiquita, getting 31, crit scored! He spends the crit on raising the DC by +10 (+5 for Multiattack and +5 for the crit.). She gets 20 and is Staggered! She surrenders soon afterwards.

Griffin dragged her out of the armour and tied her up with the zipties he found on her, binding her wrists, knees and ankles. He said "Thump, you should go and fetch Bert. Tell him we've caught Chiquita alive, that should help him recover enough."

Thump said "Yeah, I'm on it," as she ran at superspeed towards the Blue Ox.

Griffin asked in Spanish "<We were attacked by the biker gang called the Devil's Advocates. Did you send them?>"

"<Yeah, I did. What happened, did you kill them all?>"

"<That's right. I know for a fact that their leadership all sold their souls for power. Naturally, I had to make sure they all paid for such treason with their lives. And since they sold their souls, they skipped judgement, straight to Hell. I'm not losing any sleep over it.>"

"<I've seen monsters, but you, you're the biggest monster of all! Are you even human anymore?!>"

"<I'm still not sure of that one, myself. And the man called Ener-tron, we know you sent him!>"

"<What makes you say that?>"

"<While I put him down, Bert and Thump were attacked by ninja. And speaking of Bert, here he comes now.>"

Bert said "Thanks for keeping that snake here, Griffin." He looked her over, shaking his head. Then he snarled "So you gonna keep me guessin' or what?"

Chiquita told him "What if I was, hmm? Would it make a difference?" Griffin could feel the contempt coming out of her voice. Bert didn't even blink. "Well, your people actually put up a real fight and got me fair and square, so I'll do you a favor and tell you the truth: I am NOT your daughter!"

Thump and Griffin both breathed a sigh of relief.

Bert said "I called the FBI over, they're really interested in you."

Griffin said "How did you do that?! We're miles from any mast and I can't see any telegraph poles."

Bert said "I used Chiquita's satellite phone, that she had in the Post Office. And that helicopter should be them right now."
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: From Sea to Shining Sea

Post by betterwatchit »

From Sea to Shining Sea, Conclusion

After Chiquita and her crew were all restrained and arrested by the FBI - who were very glad to collar a major threat like an enemy spy and saboteur - Bert and the crew were ready to continue their journey.

As the Blue Ox got back on the highway, Bert said "You have no idea how thankful I am that she wasn't my daughter. Then again, I kinda wish she was so I could reach her."

Griffin said "I know what you mean. And don't worry, your secret's safe with me."

Bert said, "Well, it's a few hours to Reno. We'll hit the checkpoint at I-80."

Griffin went "Hang on, what checkpoint? I thought this was a domestic trip!"

Thump said "The state of California takes threats to its agriculture seriously, Griffin. Truckee is the nearest town on our route with a checkpoint."

Griffin went "In that case, how are we getting the chips past them? That stuff's meant to be classified. And we're in a dirt-covered truck with out-of state plates. That just screams 'Rubber glove these idiots!'"

Bert said "I've got that covered. I know a truck wash near Reno that'll get the dirt off our rig. And there's a letter in the glovebox that'll let us straight through."

I-80 Agriculture Checkpoint, a few hours after the Blue Ox was washed…

The crew saw the checkpoint that everyone using I-80 had to pass to get to California. A sign ahead of it read:
Bert said "This'll take a couple of minutes."

The CDFA officer asked for everyone's IDs, which he got. He also got Bert's letter, which said to call a specific number to do an exemption check.

The officer dialled a special number for this sort of situation. He said "Central, this is Truckee Station. I need to do an exemption check for a Bert McClusky. His out-of-state tags read Bravo, Lima, Uniform, Echo, Oscar, X-ray! Claimed destination, San Francisco!"

The voice on the other end said "Blue Ox, checking now. And confirmed! That truck is on United States military business! Orders are to wave him, any passengers and the truck on through!"

The officer said "Understood."

When he returned to the Blue Ox, he handed the IDs and the letter back, saying "You can go on through, sir! And your passengers!"

Bert said "Thank you kindly."

Sacramento 49er Travel Plaza, sunset…

After Bert refuelled and parked the Blue Ox, he said "I'm afraid that this is where we part company."

Griffin asked "Why?"

Bert said "I have to drop the load off tomorrow at a military facility. If they find anyone other than me inside the truck, we all get shot. And unlike at Stark's place, they actually go inside the cab to check! Come with me to the diner, there's something we need to do before it's all settled between us."

The Silver Skillet Diner…

As she was having a salad, Thump said "Now we're officially off the clock, I can safely say that I've never seen anyone fight quite like you, Griffin."

Griffin said "Thank you, Thump." After finishing his roasted half-chicken, he said "Just so you know, I'm leaving for San Francisco in the morning. Checked on my phone, $30's the one-way Amtrak fare from Sacramento to Emeryville."

"Where's that?"

"Emeryville's on the East Bay, near Oakland. It has the nearest Amtrak station to San Francisco."

"Are you comfortable taking a train?"

"Thump, love, I'm from the country that invented train travel! Of course I'm comfortable with going by train. Even if you can't drive, you won't have much issue going between British cities! And are you going anywhere in particular after this?"

"Yeah, I'm thinking of going to LA."

"If you're going by train, you'll have to take the Capitol Corridor westbound to Emeryville and then the Coast Starlight southbound for LA. Well, if you or Bert ever come to London, leave a message at the Time in a Bottle pub near Kings Cross station if you need to talk to me. I'll get word soon enough."

After finishing his steak and fries, Bert said "Here's your keys for the night and a token of my appreciation," passing an envelope along with their motel keys.

Griffin opened the envelope in his room. He could count $1,050 in tens and twenties, all used. And a note:
Bert wrote:Griffin,
I'm writing this in Utah, before we make our way to California. I ain't one for fancy letters, so I'll just say that if you're getting this, then I knew getting you and Thump on board was a good idea.
I never worked with any superpowered types before, but I didn't see much choice. No offense, but working with your kind is often seen as being more trouble than it's worth.
But I heard from various people who I consider reliable that you take considerable efforts to reduce collateral damage and actually focus on saving lives.
At least, I 've never heard of you hurting someone who didn't give you a reason. What I'm trying to say is that you're alright. I would gladly work with you again.

Bert McClusky

P.S. As well as our agreed-upon payment, there's an extra $50 in each envelope so you and Thump can take a cab to the local Amtrak station and the train to Emeryville, the nearest station to San Francisco.
It'll be much easier for you to continue your journey from there, wherever you choose to take it. Safe travels.

P.P.S Checkout time's 11 AM. My advice, call the cab to pick you up from the Silver Skillet after breakfast.

Griffin realised 'Utah would have been after we hit that old bunker and before those bikers came around!'

Griffin immediately used his laptop to hit the Extended Stay America website. He had a stroke of luck, they had a Flash Sale on, meaning they were having a sale for a couple of hours. He quickly booked himself two weeks at their Alameda branch. And another two after that in Glendale.

22nd May, 10 AM, Griffin's room…

After breakfast, Griffin phoned his father via WhatsApp.

"Dad? It's Simon! Sorry I couldn't call on your birthday, I hope you had a happy one."

"Simon! I'm glad you're okay! Where are you now?"

"Sacramento, California. I'm checking out of my motel soon, before I go to San Francisco."

"The City by the Bay! And how are you getting there?"

"Amtrak to Emeryville, that's the nearest station to San Francisco."

"I just have to ask, how did you get coast-to-coast? I've been following you on the news, Si! Ohio, St. Louis, I know that there was an angel sighting in Colorado and a dead biker gang strewn along the highway in Utah that's got your sword all over it!"

"I hitchhiked from coast-to-coast. A bit dangerous, but I can handle myself." Griffin thought 'Which was mostly true.'

"Did anyone who picked you up know who you were?"

"No, not when they picked me up. And when they found out who I was, I had to leave. My first rule as a guest is to never allow anything I do to come back to my hosts. If it means taking a circuitous route back, fair enough. If it means not seeing them again, that might be the only thing for it."

"At least you thought about it! Well, you don't want to miss your train, so I'll let you go now. Stay safe out there!"

"I try, but other people don't give me the choice! I have to check out soon, so I'll see you later."

After calling the cab from the Silver Skillet, it only took ten minutes between getting from the truck stop to the station. Griffin was able to book a coach ticket and take the Capitol Corridor to Emeryville. It was comfortable enough, but he didn't like how the doors rattled. However they refurbished it, they didn't do that good a job of it. Good thing there was an on-board shop, so he wasn't going hungry or thirsty.

After taking another cab to his hotel in Alameda and checking in, Griffin knew that he didn't have much time before sunset. So he went down to a coastal path next door before revealing his wings and taking off, following the Oakland Estuary towards San Francisco. He flew under the Bay Bridge and over the Golden Gate.

Three minutes later…

As he saw the sun set over the Golden Gate, Griffin laughed in joy as he thought to himself 'I finally made it! I finally made it! From sea to shining sea, I made it coast-to-coast! Never thought I'd see it with my own eyes, but here I am! California won't know what hit it! Thank you, my Lady, for showing me the world!'
Griffin gets 3 PP, which he saves up.
Last edited by betterwatchit on Tue Oct 31, 2023 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: From Sea to Shining Sea

Post by betterwatchit »

By Day and By Night, part 1.

23 May, 8:30 AM, Griffin's Hotel, Alameda… (40 days remaining on Griffin's waiver)

After a grab-and-go breakfast, Griffin went out of the main entrance, thinking 'Today's the day I hit the Bay for real!'

Once he took off, Griffin followed the Oakland Estuary out to the Golden Gate Strait. And that was when he had an idea for introducing himself. He saw that the two towers for the Golden Gate Bridge had gaps that he could fit in.

So he flew through all four upper gaps, performing a Split-S to reduce his altitude and go through the two lower gaps faster. He headed east and landed at the Aquatic Park Bleachers near Fisherman's Wharf.

Griffin saw the sealions of Pier 39 before he walked the whole length of the Embarcadero. Afterwards, he headed for Chinatown, using the Transamerica Pyramid as a landmark.

Dragon Gate, Chinatown…

On his phone, Marcus said "I can't believe he's in town, Sitara! And I'm still not sure this is a good idea. This is one crazy motherf***er we're talking about here! You know what he's done!"

Sitara said "All you have to do is say you're with DedSec! He gave our friends in New York the smoking gun on that big conspiracy, he won't start anything with us. After that, just get a cab back here."

Marcus said "Got it," before hanging up and calling out "Hey, Griffin!"

Griffin turned around and said "Who are you?"

"Name's Retr0, I'm with DedSec!"

"I remember dropping off a lot of info with DedSec NYC last month. Have you worked out who it revolved around yet?"

"Yeah. I still can't believe vampires are for real."

"You know what I am, right?"

"You're that guy who's been kicking ass across America! I hear you told everyone on the East Coast what time it was!"

"Indeed. And still you failed to ask yourself the obvious question. The question that anyone who encounters the supernatural and the mythical must ask themselves. The question I find that most people are too oblivious or weak in the head to realise they need to ask."

"And that is?"

"The question being 'If this is real...'" Griffin got close to Marcus and whispered "'What else could be real?'"

"That's… That's actually a good question."

Griffin then asked "You said your name was Retr0?"

Marcus said "That's right."

Griffin thought for a second then he said "Yeah, I knew the name was familiar! I've heard about what you and your crew got up to last summer! You made the SFPD look stupid in public, exposed and discredited a cult, took down the Tezcas gang, f**ked with the Feds and finished the summer off by exposing the true nature of ctOS to the public and taking down a Blume executive! You even made sure the court had enough evidence to make the conviction stick this time! I say that you helped the ordinary people of the Bay Area, if not the world, far better than the Titans ever could!"
The events of Watch Dogs 2 by Ubisoft transpired one year ago, in 2016. In the Betterverse timeline, they would have happened just before The Convention and finished before Operation Inundation III started.

Griffin does a Well-Informed check, getting 20. He's heard a lot about what the Mission Dolores cell of DedSec SF got up to.

Marcus said "Thanks! But there's a reason I'm here."

Griffin asked "And what might that be?"

Marcus told him "We have a problem. One you might be better equipped to deal with than DedSec."

Griffin simply said "Well, lead the way then."
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: By Day and By Night

Post by betterwatchit »

By Day and By Night, part 2

Gary's Games & Glory, Mission Dolores, 20 minutes later…

As they left the cab, Griffin said "Yeah, I've heard of this place! It's the biggest dedicated tabletop gaming shop in the city!"

Marcus said "You ain't even seen nothin' yet!"

Marcus led Griffin to the back of the shop, where there was a door with a keypad lock. After Marcus entered the code, he led Griffin down to the basement. One of the first signs he saw was a neon "HAPPY NEW FEAR".

Griffin saw a man with a gas mask that was capable of changing its expression, and was clearly equipped with a voice changer. The masked man appeared to be working on a firearm, but Griffin couldn't tell if it was meant to be an assault rifle or a sub-machine gun. He also saw a woman who was working on a new poster.

Marcus said "The man in the mask is Wrench. He can take anything apart and find out what it's really made of! And he's kind of a direct action specialist. And Sitara here is our PR specialist."

Wrench said "Griffin, I'm such a huge fan! I heard about what you pulled in New York!"

Griffin said "Thank you, Wrench. I heard from Retr0 that you have a problem that I'm better equipped to deal with than you are."

Wrench opened his laptop and said "Michiko Tanaka, this rocker girl calling herself Apocalypsette. She's been having a tour down the West Coast and everywhere she goes, riots keep breaking out!"

Sitara added "And not the good kind where people have had enough of local police or corruption. These are way more intense than that. People have died in every single one of those riots! About half of those dead were rioters, the other half were riot cops. And she's playing here tomorrow night."

A voice from behind that Griffin recognised said "Finally, a portal I can use! Griffin, help me out!"

Marcus went "Who is that pink dog?!"

Griffin said "Everyone keep cool, I know who she is! You have my oath, she intends us no harm."

Wrench went "Who is she?"

As Griffin helped her out of a CRT monitor and then held her in his arms, he said "May I introduce my commanding officer, Archangel Annabelle."

Wrench went "You're kidding! Tell me you're kidding!"

Griffin told him "I never joke about the path I walk, Wrench."

Annabelle said "You might want to listen to Griffin. I couldn't help but overhear you talking about Miss Michiko Tanaka. Griffin will tell you what I mean when I say that Miss Tanaka is Hellsworn."

Sitara said "What, did she sell her soul or something?"

Griffin said "That's it, Sitara! That is exactly it! By selling her soul to Hell, she betrayed everything she believed in and everyone on Earth, becoming the ultimate sellout! And I'm under strict orders from the top to only give one punishment for it."

Wrench said "What, you're going to trash her concert?"

Annabelle said "Griffin. Tell Wrench what you have to do to Hellsworn."

Griffin told him "I cannot accept any surrender or bargain the Hellsworn make, they gave up their honour when they sold their souls. I will slay Michiko or I will die trying!"

Marcus said "You're serious. You really are serious!"

Griffin told him "Ask Madame Macabre how serious I really am, Retr0. Or the Devil's Advocates, they'd tell you if they weren't scattered across the Utah highway! And you'd better believe that New York's vampire community want me gone. The last I heard, the total bounty on my head's some $200,000. And I don't think I need to tell you what happens to people who think they can claim it."

Sitara said "I saw that stream! You impaled Lily Esther and broadcast her f**king death rattle online after she begged for mercy!"

Griffin replied "Mercy that, even if I wanted to, I am forbidden to give to Hellsworn. And if you actually saw the entire stream, you'd know that I saved several lives and gave Randall Fox a dressing down for being irresponsible with magic."

Sitara said "He killed himself a month later, did you know that?!"

Griffin told her "That's what happens, when you lust for something fleeting like fame and fortune and try to cheat your way there. You know what I told him?"

Sitara shook her head.

Griffin went "That shows that you didn't actually watch the stream and that you were too emotionally manipulated to actually check for yourself. I told him what I tell you all now: Fame. Is. A. TRAP. Never seek fame, for you can never choose what you become famous for."

Marcus told him "I have to admit, you ain't wrong."

Griffin sighed "Where is Michiko planning to play?"

Marcus said "It's going down tomorrow evening. In the Undercity."

Griffin said "In that case, I need to know three specifics. Where exactly is the concert happening, where's the nearest entrance and when it's supposed to start."

Sitara said "We know when, but one of our crew who knows where it is was taken just two hours ago. He's our encryption expert, so he's the only one of us who can get his laptop with the invite open!"

Griffin said "I need to know who and where he is now. And I'm going to need an identification factor, to let him know I'm with you."

Sitara said "His name's Josh, hacks by the name Hawt Sauce. He was last seen being taken into this address in the Tenderloin. He was wearing a green sweatjacket when he was taken. Just tell him Retr0, Sitara or Wrench sent you."

Griffin told them "In 24 hours, he'll be back here or his fate will be confirmed. That is all I can promise."

Annabelle said "You heard what he said. Griffin will do what he must. Take me back to that monitor."

Griffin said "At once, Annabelle."
Griffin gets a HP for his Honour: The Agreement compels him to take down Hellsworn!
Last edited by betterwatchit on Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: By Day and By Night

Post by betterwatchit »

By Day and By Night, Part 3

658 O'Farrell Street, The Tenderloin, San Francisco…

Griffin did his research on San Francisco while he was on the road. It was no secret that the Tenderloin was San Francisco's red-light district. The sort of place where no one would care about a scream if no-one's sticking their head out of the window. The fact it was near the Civic Center meant that Griffin had to behave himself until he got indoors.

As he reached the door, Griffin saw a green sweatjacket. He was told that Josh wore one. He smelled the sweatjacket and he had Josh's scent. And the scent trail stopped at the door. A hostage situation meant that he didn't have time to mess about. So he cut the padlock off and then sliced the door open. The scent trail continued upstairs.
Griffin attacked the wooden door (Toughness 3) with the Flurry of Steel, getting a Natural 20 and adding the crit to the DC, raising it by +5. The door gets 6 and is sliced open.

Griffin followed the trail to the third floor. Griffin cut the door open that was at the end of the trail. He saw a slightly run-down apartment containing three gang members and someone who was blindfolded and tied to a chair. One was shouting in Spanish "<It's DedSec, they found us!>"

Griffin thought 'This is the right place!'

Another gang member went "<That's not DedSec, that's Griffin! He's got a hundred grand on his head!>"

Griffin charged and impaled the man nearest to Josh.

A third gang member injected himself with something as he said "<You killed my brother, cabron! Now I kill you!>" Then he suddenly got a lot more muscular.
There are two Thug minions and a Goon (from Gamemaster's Guide) in the room, along with Josh. All three hostiles have the Elite template.

The Goon is now also on Max (See page 159 of Freedom City 3E) and has a set of Brass Knuckles.

Griffin gets a HP due to a bound and gagged (and blindfolded) bystander at risk.

Roll Initiative!

Goon: 16
Griffin: 16
Thug 1: 13
Thug 2: 6

The Goon punches at Griffin, getting 12 and missing.

Griffin Charges Thug 1 with the Flurry of Steel, getting 21 and raising the DC to resist by +2. The Thug gets 15 and is killed.

Thug 2 fires at Griffin, getting 10 and missing.

Thug 1: DEAD.

Griffin thought 'F**k! I need to end this now!'
The Goon took a swing at Griffin, getting 18. Griffin gets 30 to resist.

Griffin attacked Thug 2 with the Flurry of Steel, getting 30 and raising the DC to resist by +5. The Thug gets 7 and is killed.

Thug 2: DEAD.

The Maxed-out muscle tried to punch Josh, but Griffin got in the way, saying "<You want him dead, cabron?! KILL ME FIRST!>" That was when he cut the muscle's throat. When the man fell down, Griffin stabbed him in the gut, then the heart and then he took the man's head off.
The Goon decides to hit Josh, who is basically a Defenceless Bystander, getting 18. Griffin Interposes, getting 21 and getting hit.

Griffin hit back with the Flurry of Steel, getting 28 and raising the DC by +5. The Goon gets 11 and is Dying! The Goon gets 28 and stabilises.

Griffin then goes for a Finishing Attack with the Flurry of Steel, getting 19 and raising the DC by +2. The Goon gets 10 and is killed.

Goon: DEAD.

Griffin quickly checked the dead gang's pockets, finding what looked like $350 between them. After that, he took Josh out of the apartment, making sure they were both out and the door shut before he freed Josh and got the blindfold off. He told Josh "The name's Griffin, Hawt Sauce. Sitara, Wrench and Retr0 sent me to get you out!"

Josh said "R- Really?! They sent you?!"

Griffin said "That's right. Now let's get out of there, there's no way the police didn't hear that shot and we need to be three blocks away five minutes ago!"

Corner of O'Farrell & Van Ness, 30 minutes later…

Across from the Tesla dealership, Griffin said "I think we're clear."

Josh said "We can use Driver SF, it's the local ridesharing app. The nearest pickup point's at the store over there."

Griffin said "Then let's go. And if the app asks about me, my name's Mr. John Smith."
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: By Day and By Night

Post by betterwatchit »

By Day and By Night, Part 4

Gary's Games and Glory…

Griffin buzzed the backdoor.

Josh said "Hi guys. Griffin helped me out."

Griffin said "And as a bonus…" as his hand glowed white while he used his healing touch on Josh.

Josh said "That felt… good."
Griffin performed his Healing Touch on Josh, getting 24. Josh has recovered from any injuries sustained during the kidnapping.
Griffin told him "That was my healing touch. Heals and cures you of anything short of an amputation, a foreign object inside you or a congenital issue. You might even be slightly healthier than before you were taken for all I know."

Marcus said "Josh, tell Griffin what you know about Apocalysette's concert."

Josh went "Right, right," as he ran over and opened his laptop. Within a minute, he said "24th and Illinois is the Map Point. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at noon for $30. Password is 'Rotten Eggs'. Entrance opens at 8 PM."

Griffin said "I've heard of Map Points. They're a pre-Web tradition from when illegal raves first became the big thing in the counterculture. What happened was that if you expressed interest in the underground in just the right sort of places, you get a card in the post or a phone call telling you where to go, what to say and what to pay. These days, an email, text or a direct message on your network of choice work just as well. When you get there, whoever's in charge of the Map Point sells you a map to the real venue. The map is also your ticket, proving that you've paid up. Then you just hand it to the bouncer and it's time to party. And you know what smells like rotten eggs? Sulphur. AKA Brimstone."

Wrench said "If we're going underground, we'll need to be prepared. We're gonna need some flashlights or something."

Griffin said "Since I'm actually trained to fight other powers and to fight in all sorts of weird places, I can advise if you wish."

Marcus asked "What's your suggestion?"

Griffin told him "For fighting underground, I suggest a headlamp, UV or infrared if your vision allows it, or night vision goggles if you can source them. You also need a knife and a pistol with a removable suppressor for each of you. With ideally two clips of subsonic rounds for fighting underground and two clips of hollow-point ammo when you're at the venue. Since we're going somewhere big enough, you might want a SMG with three clips each for the main event. A Micro Uzi or a MAC-11 would be preferred. The slimmer the gun, the better. If that 3D printer can make a pistol capable of selective fire, that's what you bring! When you're underground, it tends to be a bit cramped so rifles are out of the question. And bring earplugs, you'll need them at the concert. There's also a specific issue with doing a mission underground for a tech-focused crew like yourselves."

Josh asked "What issue?"

Griffin told him "No phone reception underground. Radio signals physically cannot penetrate that much rock and earth. Assume that you'll be cut off from everyone on the surface until you find a way back up. Walkie talkies will work while you're underground as they don't have to route everything through a mast to be any good like your phones do."

Wrench said "I hadn't thought of that."

Griffin went "And that's why you need me on this. Someone who knows what'll work and what gets you slaughtered in public. If you'll excuse me, I need some time to prepare. Also, this note has my Whatsapp number. Ring it once the venue's been confirmed."
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: By Day and By Night

Post by betterwatchit »

By Day and By Night, Conclusion

Noon, 24th May, San Francisco, 24th & Illinois…

Griffin was at an industrial area, about to get a ticket for an underground concert. He saw a metalhead by the signpost.

The metalhead asked "Can I help you, pal?"

Griffin said "Yeah, mate. I heard that this is the place to get some rotten eggs for tonight?"

"Thirty bucks and I'll be back in ten minutes with the map."

Griffin handed the money over, saying "Here's a hundred bucks, I want three."

The metalhead said "I'll be back in ten."

Ten minutes later…

The metalhead came back, saying "Here you go. Your maps are good for you plus two."

Griffin said "I appreciate it. I'll see you there tonight."

Basement, Gary's Games & Glory, an hour later…

As Griffin walked downstairs, Marcus asked "Tell me you've got something, Griffin."

Griffin took the map out of his pocket and said "I just bought some maps/tickets to the concert that'll get three people in, drama-free. I did a quick check and the entrance is at the warehouse on the south side of Pier 80 on Cesar Chavez Street. That's two blocks south and then one east of the Map Point. I won't blame you if you back out, but I can't guarantee your safety if you do come with me."

Wrench asked "Fair enough. But I've gotta ask, are you bulletproof?"

Griffin told him "I'm bulletproof up to and including rifle-calibre ball-type ammunition. And grenades don't hurt me either. So don't worry if you don't have an apparent clear shot, I'm in no danger from most bullets."

Marcus asked "What about from bullets made with high impact plastic?"

Griffin asked "What calibre are they in?"

Wrench replied "9 millimeter."

Griffin told him "I'll be fine, then. Just so you know, I was sprayed with four MAC-10s once. None of them hurt me at all and they're chambered for larger rounds than 9mm Parabellum. What gear are you bringing to this party?"

Wrench said "Here we have three pairs of earplugs and two 3D-printed machine pistols. They're basically clones of the Beretta 93R with built-in laser sights. I call it the Help Desk Denial. We even have a couple of extended magazines for each one!"

Griffin took a pair of earplugs as he said "You copied the Raffica? Now that's a good gun to copy the firing action from."

Marcus asked "Where did you get 'Raffica' from?"

Griffin told him "It's the R in 93R. It's Italian for burst, volley or flurry, depending on how exactly you want to translate it. Even the English Wikipedia page on the 93R mentions that fact. Now tell me, how are you getting out after Apocalysette's confirmed dead? I can fly faster than a police helicopter, so I just need an open manhole or sewer drain. But you need to plan your escape route."

Wrench said "We have a bike with a sidecar that we can borrow with a cloned plate."

Griffin nodded. He then said "At 7 tonight, I'll be outside the Little Boxes Theatre. That's about three blocks west of the entrance. It'll be closed at the time, so it'll be our staging area."

6.45 PM, Little Boxes Theater…

As Griffin was making his final checks, he heard a voice behind him saying "We need to talk, Griffin."

Griffin turned and saw a man in a hooded cape, the inside of which appeared to contain stars twinkling in the distance.

Griffin asked "Gatekeeper? What in my Lady's name are you doing here?"
Griffin performs a Well-Informed check, getting a Natural 20! He knows about Gatekeeper!

Due to spending most of the day resting, Griffin has recovered from the injury he sustained in the previous chapter.

Gatekeeper said "I heard that someone's opening a portal to Hell tonight. What are you doing here, Griffin?"

Griffin told him "I'm stopping the woman who's trying to open it. As hard as I can."

"And the way I hear it, you know about stopping people dead in their tracks."

"I won't deny it, And in this case, I have no choice in the matter."


"I made an Agreement with my Lady in exchange for my powers. One of the terms of the Agreement places me under a permanent standing order: All Hellsworn Must Die, No Exceptions. Like Apocalysette."

"Tell me you're kidding."

"No, I am not. And your informing me of what she's trying to pull means that my path is crystal-clear. Also, I've got some acquintances with DedSec coming over soon. So you can make yourself useful or scarce."

This was when Marcus and Wrench showed up. "And what's Gatekeeper doing here?" asked Wrench.

Griffin said "It is his office to reinforce the dimensional stability of the Bay Area, a region that is notoriously thin. And he's given me a good reason why he should join in on our operation."

Marcus asked "Why are we letting him get involved?"

Gatekeeper said "Apocalysette has been opening windows to Hell. Those are not special effects. The windows allow demons to influence human minds during their very brief visit to Earth. I'm one of the very few people who can safely close those windows without letting a demon out first. And she can summon four Oni who can manifest on Earth without needing such a window."

Marcus said "That's a good reason. And it explains the rioting that's happened at each of her concerts."

Griffin replied "And I know exactly how to drive her wild enough to make her target me with the oni instead of you."

Gatekeeper asked "How?"

Griffin told him "Simple, I just call her a sellout. And the best part is that her status as Hellsworn makes calling her that absolutely true! Remember, she does not leave the concert alive unless we're all dead!"

Abandoned Community Hall, San Francisco Undercity…

The place was jumping, people were using their recreational substance of choice and Griffin was ready to rock and roll. The guards didn't notice him sneak his way to stage left. As Apocalysette started to play, Griffin charged.
Due to the earplugs, Griffin's at a -5 penalty to Audio Perception rolls but the noise won't overload him.

Apocalysette's stats are on page 13 of Rogues Gallery.

Gatekeeper's stats are on page 15 of Atlas of Earth-Prime.

Wrench's stats are of the Militant archetype from Heroes Handbook combined with the Hacker archetype from Danger Zones (page 162) with the Elite template added, using the rules in my Combined Archetypes post. He is carrying a Help Desk Denial (SMG with a Laser Sight) and wearing a Bulletproof Vest. Marcus is also carrying a Help Desk Denial.

Griffin does a Stealth check, getting a Natural 20 against Apocalysette's 25 on her Perception check. He's in a perfect position to remain hidden until he strikes.

Griffin, Marcus, Wrench and Gatekeeper get a HP for entering combat.

Griffin, Marcus, Wrench and Apocalysette are all using lethal force.

Roll Initiative!

Apocalysette: 23
Marcus: 22
Oni 1: 21
Wrench: 21
Griffin: 19
Oni 2: 17
Oni 3: 15
Oni 4: 10
Gatekeeper: 7

In the Surprise Round, Griffin Charges Apocalysette with the Flurry of Steel, getting Natural 20, crit scored! This raises the DC to +10, including that Multiattack bonus! Apocalysette gets 25 and is hit and Dazed. Griffin meets the restrictions for Apocalysette's Demonic Aura. This means that he must resist a Damage 6 effect every time he hits her in close combat. He gets 31 to resist the Aura this time.

Marcus fires his Help Desk Denial at Apocalysette, getting 21 and raising the DC by +2. Apocalysette gets 32 and resists.

Wrench fires his Help Desk Denial at Apocalysette, getting 28 and raising the DC by +5 Apocalysette gets 17 and is hit.

Gatekeeper fires a Mystic Blast at Apocalysette, getting 27. Apocalysette gets 25 and is hit. The Surprise Round ends.

Apocalysette: 3 Injuries, Dazed.

Apocalysette went "WHO THE F**K-?!" as she was shot up and cut down. Griffin twirled in such a way as to strike her twice before finishing on the other side of her to where he started.

Griffin turned around and unfurled his wings as he grabbed a backup singer's microphone and roared "DEUS VULT, YOU STUPID SELLOUT!"

Apocalysette shouted in an unfamiliar dialect of Japanese "<ONI, TO ME!>" while playing a sick riff. As the oni appeared in a puff of brimstone, she roared "<TEAR THAT ACCURSED ANGEL LIMB FROM BLOODY LIMB! NOW!>"

One of the oni said "<With pleasure, Mistress!>"

This was when another burst and a blast from Gatekeeper hit Apocalysette while the Oni proceeded to swing their clubs at Griffin, who deftly parried and struck three of them down.

Apocalysette Summons her Oni, getting 23 on her Expertise: Music to call them over, telling them to target Griffin. She then takes to the air with Demonic Winds.

Marcus fires on Apocalysette, getting a Natural 20, crit scored! He raises the DC by +10, including the Multiattack bonus, Apocalysette gets 26 and is hit!

Oni 1 Power Attacks Griffin with their Kanabo, getting 10 and missing.

Wrench fires on Apocalysette, getting 28 and adding +2 to the DC. Apocalysette gets 27 and resists.

Griffin attacks all four Oni with the Flurry of Steel, getting 21, 21, 31 (crit scored, DC raised by +5) and 20. The Oni get 25, 20, 15 and 12. Oni 2, 3 and 4 are killed.

Gatekeeper fires a Mystic Blast at Apocalysette, getting 25. Apocalysette gets 21 and is hit and Dazed.

Apocalysette: 5 Injuries, Dazed.

Apocalysette said "Here's some killer guitar, you bastard!" as she fired a blast of energy out of the guitar at Griffin!

After Griffin was struck, he shouted "AGH! KEEP BLASTING THAT BITCH! SHE DIES OR WE DO!" as he took down the last oni.
Apocalysette fired a Sorcerous Blast at Griffin, getting 24. Griffin gets 25 and is hit.

Marcus fired at Apocalysette, getting 29 and raising the DC by +2. Apocalysette gets 25 and resists.

Oni 1 swings their Kanabo at Griffin, getting 15 and missing.

Wrench fires upon Apocalysette, getting 25 and raising the DC by +2. Apocalysette gets 17 and is hit.

Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel on Oni 1, getting 28 and raising the DC by +5. Oni 1 gets 20 and is killed.

Gatekeeper fires a Mystic Blast at Apocalysette, getting 18 and missing.

Apocalysette: 6 Injuries.

Griffin: 1 injury.

Griffin took to the air as he charged at Apocalysette again, cutting her up and down while Dedsec poured lead into her.
Apocalysette fired a Sorcerous Blast at Griffin, getting 21. Griffin gets 15. He spends a HP to reroll, getting 28 and resisting.

Marcus fired a burst at Apocalysette, getting 25 and raising the DC by +2. Apocalysette gets 17 and is hit.

Wrench fired a burst at Apocalysette, getting 26 and raising the DC by +2. Apocalysette gets 23 and resists.

Griffin Charges at Apocalysette with the Flurry of Steel, getting 22. Apocalysette gets 19 and is hit and Dazed. Griffin triggers Apocalysette's Demonic Aura, getting 25 to resist.

Gatekeeper fires a Mystic Blast at Apocalysette, getting Natural 1 and missing.

Apocalysette: 8 Injuries.

Griffin: 2 HP.

Apocalysette shouted "JUST DIE ALREADY!" as she blasted Griffin in the chest! Gatekeeper downed Apocalysette with a blast of his own magic!
Apocalysette fires a Sorcerous Blast at Griffin, getting Natural 20, Crit scored! She raises the DC by +5. Griffin gets 16 and spends a HP to reroll. He gets 30 and is hit.

Marcus fires a burst at Apocalysette, getting 21. Apocalysette gets 13 and is hit and Dazed.

Wrench fires a burst at Apocalysette, getting 18 and missing.

Griffin attacks Apocalysette with the Flurry of Steel, getting 30 and raising the DC by +5. Apocalysette gets 21 and is hit and Dazed. Griffin gets 21 to resist the Demonic Aura.

Gatekeeper fires a Mystic Blast at Apocalysette, getting 24. Apocalysette gets 8 and is Dying!

Apocalysette: 11 Injuries, Dying.

Griffin: 1 HP, 2 Injuries, Dazed.

As Griffin landed, he went "One last thing… Before Hell takes you!" He then stabbed her once in the stomach, once in the heart and then he took her head off in one stroke!
Griffin spends his last HP to overcome the Daze, then he Goes For The Kill with the Flurry of Steel, getting 30, raising the DC by +5. Apocalysette gets 14 and is killed!

Apocalysette: DEAD.

Griffin then swapped his mike with Apocalysette's mike and shouted "Ladies and Gentlemen! I am Angel Griffin of the Host of Heaven! This is not a performance! I repeat, this is not a performance! And to prove it-" He raised her severed head and shouted "BEHOLD! THE HEAD OF A TRAITOR!"

Griffin then tossed Apocalysette's head into the crowd. The crowd panicked and ran out as fast as they could.

As Griffin hopped off the stage, Wrench exclaimed "Jesus f**king Christ!"

Marcus demanded "What the f**k was that?!"

Gatekeeper said "I demand an explanation! Now!"

Griffin said "I am under standing orders to slay Hellsworn, you know! And that means making sure Apocalysette isn't coming back. Slaying her in such a public fashion was needed to make sure that those who fear the darkness… see what the light can do. And with that, I hope you have a peaceful night. And I think it's this way back to the surface."

Griffin made his way back to the surface and flew back to his Alameda hotel.
Griffin gets 2 PP. He spends all his unspent PP to make his Healing Touch a separate power from his wings and adding 1 rank to it. It is now: Healing Touch: Healing 7; Persistent, Stabilise, Limited (Cannot Heal Self).

Marcus gets 1 PP, which he saves up.
Last edited by betterwatchit on Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: By Day and By Night

Post by betterwatchit »

Christmas Carnage

26th May 2017, Basilica of St. Joseph, Alameda…

The priest on duty saw a new face sitting on an empty pew, so he approached him. "It couldn't be… Griffin?! What in the Lord's name are you doing here?!"

Griffin said "I just wanted a bit of quiet, father." He sighed and said "Where do I even begin? I'm sure you heard about what I got up to last year."

"I heard that you were at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, protecting it from SHADOW."

"It wasn't just me! Britannia was there as well. She could stand up to that APC's autocannon, I probably couldn't. I made a total bloodbath of the SHADOW troopers while she wrecked the APC. The SHADOW trooper piloting the APC blew his own head off with a laser pistol when I got inside. I distinctly remember thinking at the time that I didn't know you could do that much damage with a laser. A bullet, maybe. But not with the laser he used."

"So you admit to murder?"

"Not quite, as I can count four reasons why it wasn't."

"This had better be good."

"The first was that SHADOW were the aggressors. Britannia and myself were acting to prevent the untimely death of the innocent. Second, I had clear orders from above to protect the Cathedral. The third, I didn't find out until I had a revelation in the Museum of London."

"What was that?"

"All SHADOW personnel have an implant installed that would kill them if they were captured or if they were broken enough to obey an interrogator. Even if I didn't kill them, they would have died upon failing their mission anyway. I used that knowledge to keep a friend of mine from getting suicidal, as it wasn't her fault that the soldiers she fought all died. That blood is on Overshadow's hands, no one else's. As for the fourth reason… Do you remember what the Sixth Commandment is?"

"'Thou Shalt Not Kill.' How you've broken that commandment as many times as you have without falling is beyond me."

"That was actually a mistranslation from the original Hebrew. It's actually meant to read 'Thou Shalt Not Murder.' I suspect that King James didn't want people getting too big for their boots. Yes, they do have different words in Hebrew for the act of killing in general and for the specific act of murder. And yes, I checked with the Almighty during my training. The moment I got my sword, I considered the possibility of having to kill a mortal cropping up in the course of my duties and I was in a position to check with the One who made that rule in the first place. He confirmed without question that it was murder that He drew the line at, not self-defence or the defence of those who couldn't defend themselves. That's how I know I broke no commandments that day, not those of God nor those of men. Funny thing is, I ended up fighting in another church last year."

"Was that what happened in-"

"St. Nicholas Church in Plumstead at Christmas? Yes, father. That was me."

"Was it true that you faced Hell itself?"

"Yes, father. I faced Hell itself that night and lived to tell the tale. Let me tell you what happened that night…"

11:50 PM, Griffin's House, Christmas Eve, 2016…

Griffin had just finished brushing his teeth before going to bed, when his phone rang.

His dad went "Griffin!" Griffin's dad knew full well that he had to try and preserve his son's identity.

"Yes, Mr. Wentworth?"

"I'm seeing a red beam of light coming out of the ground at St. Nicholas Church!"

"I see it from Plumstead Common and I know what it is! Someone's opened a portal to Hell! Get out of there, now! I'll be RIGHT OVER!"

St. Nicholas Church, fifteen seconds later…

Griffin approached his dad's car, saying "I'm here!"

His dad said "Get everyone out of there at once!" Griffin nodded and proceeded toward the church.

The moment Griffin stepped on the grass surrounding the church, several skeletons burst out of the ground facing him. The church was a place of worship for over a thousand years and there had been a cemetery there for nearly as long. There weren't any new bodies committed to the cemetery since the 20th century, which was probably why there were only five of them who came up.

Griffin unsheathed his sword as the skeletons charged him! He managed to cut three of them down in a single stroke.
Griffin gets a HP as his Agreement compels him to face down any demonic attack and undead opponents. The skeleton minions are from Gamemaster's Guide with the Elite template added.

Roll Initiative!

Skeleton 1: 24
Skeleton 2: 23
Skeleton 3: 20
Skeleton 4: 18
Griffin: 11
Skeleton 5: 7

Skeletons 1-4 attack Griffin, getting 5, 17, 5, 15, all missing.

Griffin attacks all five skeletons with the Flurry of Steel, getting 21, 11, 14, 22 and 10. Skeleton 1 gets 4 and is killed. Skeleton 3 gets 12 and is killed. Skeleton 5 gets 6 and is killed.

Griffin roared "Go back to your rest!" as he cut the two last skeletons down.
Skeletons 2 and 4 attack Griffin, getting 20 and 5. Griffin gets 20 and resists.

Griffin attacks both skeletons with the Flurry of Steel, getting 24 and 19. The skeletons get 14 and 16, both of them getting killed again.

Griffin kicked the door open and told the parishioners "I am Griffin of the Host of Heaven, do not be afraid! In the name of God, I have put the cemetery's residents to their final rest! Go in peace!"

As the parishioners ran out, Griffin saw that Belladonna was relieving herself on the altar, which boiled his blood. Once she saw him, Belladonna yelled "HE'S HERE!"

Griffin muttered under his breath "Oh, f**k me! Of course it's a setup." while five demons came out in puffs of brimstone, surrounding him.

Belladonna gave the order "TO HELL WITH GRIFFIN! TEAR HIM APART!"

Griffin charged at a demon and took its head off. One of them slashed his chest while Belladonna started burning the altar down.
Griffin gets a HP due to every demonic threat in the building specifically targeting him.

The demon minions are Warrior Demons from Gamemaster's Guide with the Elite template.

Roll Initiative!

Griffin: 19
Demon 1: 17
Demon 2: 14
Demon 3: 11
Demon 4: 7
Demon 5: 3

Griffin Charged at Demon 1, attacking with the Flurry of Steel and getting 17. Demon 1 gets 11 and is killed.

Demons 2-5 attack Griffin with their claws, getting 14, 25, Natural 20 (Crit not scored due to being a minion attacking a non-minion) and 10. Griffin gets 22 and 18 and is hit.

Griffin: 1 Injury.

Griffin then slew three demons in one blow while avoiding their attacks.
Griffin attacks Demons 2-5 with the Flurry of Steel, getting 17, 22, 22 and 14. Demons 2-4 get 16, 15 and 18, getting themselves killed. Demon 5 attacks, getting 21. Griffin gets 13. He spends a HP to get 26 and resist.

Griffin: 1 Injury, 2 HP.

He then sliced the last demon's head clean off.
Griffin attacks Demon 5 with the Flurry of Steel, getting 30 and raising the DC by +5. Demon 5 gets 19 and is killed.

Furious, Belladonna said "Okay, if that's how you want to play it!" She breathed fire all over the front pews and then she grew to a gigantic size, howling "I'LL TEAR YOUR THROAT OUT MYSELF!"

Griffin roared "MERRY CHRISTMAS, BITCH!" as he sliced her face.
Belladonna used her magic to remove her Shrinking and gain Growth 8! And the fire's burning hot enough to activate her Favoured Environment, which she sets to Attack.

Griffin's Life Support means that he's unaffected by the fire.

Roll Initiative!

Griffin: 22
Belladonna: 7

Griffin attacks Belladonna with the Flurry of Steel, getting 31, crit scored! He raises the DC by +10 (for the crit and for Multiattack). Belladonna gets 22 and is hit and Dazed.

Belladonna breathes fire at Griffin (as her own magical blast), getting Natural 20, crit scored! She raises the DC by +5. Griffin gets 27 and resists.

Belladonna: 1 Injury, Dazed.

Griffin roared "Your size makes you slow! Like this!" Griffin then stabbed her in the stomach and then the heart. Before he could take her head off, a Hellmouth opened that Belladonna fell into.
Griffin attacks Belladonna with the Flurry of Steel, getting 25 and raising the DC by +5. She gets 11 and is Dying! She gets 24 to stabilise. Griffin does a Finishing Attack on Belladonna with the Flurry of Steel, getting 23 and raising the DC by +5. She gets 12 and is slain.

Belladonna: 2 Injuries, Banished to Hell.

Griffin then grabbed a fire extinguisher and did what he could to help fight the fire before the London Fire Brigade showed up. He cut a couple of chunks out of each burning pew to serve as a firebreak, making sure the fires couldn't spread. The door out was already open, so he wasn't worried about the risk of backdraught.
Griffin spends a HP to Edit the Scene, making a fire extinguisher appear nearby.
As he walked out, he said "The demons are gone, but the fire means you can't go back in, father. Also, I've got a present for you." Griffin gave one of his freshly moulted feathers to the priest, saying "A genuine angel's feather. To help you remember what happened here and who stopped it."

That was when the London Fire Brigade and Officer Jill Benbow of the Ministry of Powers showed up.

Jill drew her gun and said "Griffin. It's midnight and I should be asleep. I want one good reason why I should just let you walk out of here and not have you cuffed and dragged to the station."

Griffin put his hands up as he said "Evening, Jill. Terribly sorry about getting you called out here. Demons attacked the church, so I fought them off."

"Did you start that fire?"

"No, I did not! Belladonna torched the place before she set some demons on me! After that, she started a bigger fire before she tried to kill me. And she failed. She's the hellhound we met at the Bottle, remember? I used Justice to cut through the pews as a sort of firebreak, with a fire extinguisher to actually get rid of the flames. The door to the church was open when I got here, so I didn't break in and I also wasn't worried about any backdraught. Those things are bad news, ask any fireman here if you don't believe me."

"As much as I want to arrest you for making me come out here, I know what someone's personally experienced memories feel like. Including the fact that the damage you caused inside was to prevent even greater damage. I can't find anything that would justify arresting you."

"So I'm free to go?"

"Yeah, you can go."

"Then I wish you a good night and Merry Christmas, Jill. And I hope you have a Happy New Year." Griffin then flew back to his house.
Jill is currently reading Griffin's mind. Since he isn't resisting, she soon finds out that he's telling the truth. She's currently Unfriendly to Griffin and he has to get her up to Neutral to avoid arrest. He gets 16, bumping her up to Neutral. As much as she wants to arrest him, she can't find or think of anything that would give her solid cause to drag him to the station.

Basilica of St. Joseph, Now…

Griffin said "And that's what really happened, father. And now the epilogue: I needed those new armour-piercing needles for my stitches, I can't believe they're only recently been made mass-producible. And the last I heard before I left for my world tour, the church was still being rebuilt and the priest on duty at the time had finished his sabbatical. The fact that the Church now has a genuine holy relic means that their parishioner numbers are going up when it re-opens."

"What do you mean, genuine?"

"That relic is one whose origin is known for a hard documented fact to come from an angel. Before I go, I just have to say that you'll find something in the church's donation box."

As Griffin left the church, the priest found $300 inside the donation box… and a white feather.
Griffin gets 1 PP, which he saves up.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Christmas Carnage

Post by betterwatchit »

Anything Goes, Part 1

9:30 AM, 27th May 2017 (36 days remaining on Griffin's Waiver), Griffin's Hotel, Alameda…

This adventure was converted from the D20 Modern adventure "Anything Goes". You can find my conversion guide in the link below: Anything Goes Conversion Guide

All page numbers mentioned in this story are referring either the original adventure (called the PDF from now on) or the Conversion Guide (simply referred to as the Guide).


After Griffin had breakfast from a diner near his hotel, he got a phone call. A woman asked "Is this Mr. Griffin?"

Griffin replied "Speaking. Who is this?"

"This is Councilwoman Comay. A mutual friend said that you have certain skills and abilities that are needed to ensure the long-term safety of this city. You will be compensated fairly for your efforts. Meet me at the Java House over on Pier 40 if you're interested. I'm a busy woman, so I'll be there in thirty minutes and I'll be gone in sixty. I'm sure you can get there in time."

"I'll see you in thirty minutes. Goodbye."

"See you then, bye."

After hanging up, Griffin got dressed, put $50 in his pocket and used his HUD to plot a route to Pier 40."

Java House, thirty minutes later…

Councilwoman Comay approached Griffin's table. saying "I'm surprised you got here early."

Griffin told her "I've got a HUD and I can fly really fast, ma'am. And I've heard of you, Councilwoman Comay. That New Dawn cult leaked some intimate photos and you responded by giving DedSec info on the only facility of theirs that didn't completely check out. Info that someone in your position would have little trouble getting hold of. They broke Jimmy Siska out, who New Dawn was keeping prisoner, proving that the cult wasn't up to any good. DedSec went on to destroy the fake tablets that New Dawn 'based' their 'teachings' on while convincing Siska to speak out against the cult. New Dawn formally dissolved within a year. How am I doing so far?"

"I heard that you were well-informed, Mr. Griffin. My involvement isn't very well-known, and I would appreciate it if you kept it that way."

"You actually did the people of your city a favour by doing what you did, so I have no reason to tell anyone. So you said you have thirty minutes. What do you need help with?"
Griffin does a Well-Informed check, getting 25. He knows something about Councilwoman Comay that isn't exactly common knowledge.

Comay asked "What do you know about La Isla de Los Muertos Caminar?"

Griffin said "The name's Spanish. It means 'the Island of the Walking Dead'. It's about the width of Manhattan and two-thirds of its length. This is the nearest major city to it. It used to be a pirate haven a couple of centuries ago, but it was also used by modern smugglers and bootleggers. People who go there often have this disturbing habit of not coming back. Some developer tried to build a resort there in the 50s, but it was soon abandoned after the main building was finished. The way I heard it, the whole construction crew disappeared. Only certain college students and other cool customers will sail there these days. And those few who do go there won't dare land at night. I also heard that a few weeks ago, some weird lights were seen there by a fishing boat that was blown there by a storm. The crew also heard what they described as a plane landing, followed by some high-pitched screams like those of a cat. The timing might well be a mere coincidence, but the report was made around the time I first came to America."
Griffin does a Well-informed check, getting 26. he knows everything in the Gather Information table on page 3 of the PDF.
Comay nodded, then she told Griffin "It's fifteen miles north of the Farallon Islands, which are thirty miles west of here."

"Aren't the Farallons a nature reserve?"

Comay nodded. "And a lighthouse. We've had more recent reports of people going to La Isla de Los Muertos Caminar and simply not coming back. I want hard evidence of what really happened. I've already made arrangements. A boat's going to set sail from Oakland Marina in two hours time. I want you to stay on the island for a day and a night."

"Okay. I need the name of the boat and its general type. And I also need to know what sort of evidence will satisfy you."

"The boat is a cabin cruiser called the Golden Sunset, at Berth 108. Photos and videos will suffice for proof. If you can positively ID any bodies, bring the proof back with you. The families of the disappeared want closure. I want anyone who is still alive brought back."

"I understand. But I must give you a fair warning: If it turns out that they're actually undead, I am under a divine obligation to take them out by any means necessary. And I don't mean dating them. Is that understood?"

"What do you mean by undead?"

"The undead are those creatures who are no longer alive and who must consume the flesh or blood of living sapient beings to sustain themselves. I know they exist, I've fought them and gave proof of a big vampire conspiracy in New York to DedSec's branch there. That's how I hooked up with them."

"You're kidding me."

"I do not joke or kid, it disrespects and demeans us both, ma'am. Did DedSec brief you about what I am and what I've done?"

"They did."

"What did they say?"

"That you weren't scared of anyone. And that you specialised in the weird and dangerous stuff."

"They didn't tell you about what happened to Apocalypsette a couple of days ago, did they? Wherever she played on her West Coast tour, riots kept breaking out. I know for a fact that she sold her soul to Hell in exchange for a concert and record contract. It would explain how and why she could manipulate emotions to that level. I made my way to her San Francisco concert to put a stop to it. I walked out alive, she didn't. As they say around here, you do the math."

"Did you-?"

Griffin nodded then he asked "Did DedSec really brief you on what I am?"

"Who- What are you?!"

"I am Griffin, angel of the Host of Heaven. And there's a question you need to ask yourself. The question being 'If this is real…'" Griffin got close to Comay and whispered "'What else could be real?'"

"That's… A really good question."

"Well, I have a boat to catch. Oakland Marina in two hours, wasn't it?"

"Yes, Berth 108."

"I'll see you later, Councilwoman."

Griffin then left the Java House and flew back to his hotel.
Last edited by betterwatchit on Thu Feb 15, 2024 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Christmas Carnage

Post by betterwatchit »

Anything Goes, Part 2

Griffin's Hotel…

As Griffin was about to shut down his laptop, Annabelle asked him "What were you doing?"

Griffin told her "Here's what I could dig up on Urban 75 and MagicNet about the island: Most of the island's disappearances happened on stormy nights or the day afterwards. The company who tried to build a resort there actually consulted a psychic. She said that a great evil had awakened and that if he knew what was good for him, he would abandon the project. And he really did abandon it, writing off everything he used as a loss! Which is very weird, given how most corporate types would try to turn it around. And this is the funny thing: Most of the known survivors were known to wear crosses, stars of David and other religious iconography. And most of those who didn't have them… Never came back. So I'm suspecting an undead threat. And this is the hardest part to find."

Annabelle asked "What am I looking at?"

"According to the Bay Area Reddit and Urban75, on the night of the last big storm to hit the Bay, US Air Force and Navy radar installations detected a small vessel from outside the atmosphere. It was only due to it landing at terminal velocity that they knew anything was even going on! It landed on the island but didn't leave it. The military is treating the incident as a system glitch rather than an actual event. I don't know if it's the military or a third party, but it looks like someone's trying to wipe as much info about the island from the net as they can. I've made sure to get the pages on the Wayback Machine and to make copies on a separate USB stick."
Griffin uses Investigation to roll on the Research Table on page 4 of the PDF. He gets 25 and knows everything in there.
That was when the timer sounded on Griffin's phone. He said "I've got thirty minutes to make the appointment and I've got two changes of clothes in my day bag. Along with a couple of things that could come in handy."

Oakland Marina, a minute later…

Griffin was at Berth 108. He saw two latino men on the ship as he went "Ahoy there!"

One of the men aboard said "Ahoy, amigo! State your business!"

"The name's Griffin. Is this the Golden Sunset?"

"It is. And you haven't stated your business yet."

"Councilwoman Comay sent me to check out that island for her. Permission to come aboard?"

The second man said "Permission granted! Welcome aboard! The name's Hector and this is Jorge."

Griffin said "Pleased to meet you." Then he asked "How soon can we cast off?"

Hector said "We can go right now."

Griffin said "Then let's do so, without any undue delay."

Jorge got on the radio, telling the marina's portmaster that the Golden Sunset was casting off.

As the Golden Sunset passed the Golden Gate bay and entered the open sea, Griffin went "Hang on! Is that phone an Iridium?"

Hector said "Good eye, man! Yeah, that's a Iridium Extreme satellite phone with military-grade ruggedization. Just the thing for where you're going. There's a quick-start guide next to it, you might want to read it."

Griffin went "I knew it! I mean, there's no way a standard phone's getting any signal where we're going."

Hector continued "When you're ready for pick-up, get outside if you not there already, extend the phone antenna and align it with a satellite. Flip the cap off the top of the phone and push the red button underneath. The button's programmed to dial our other satellite phone, so don't worry about reception. You can also send a text for something that's not a high priority but still something you think we should know for when we arrive tomorrow. You can write the message whenever, but you can only send it after you've aligned the phone."

Griffin extended the antenna. "I noticed that you can tilt the antenna left and right. If I'm right…" He then tilted the antenna to the right and then put it to his left ear. "Thought so. Only way to keep it facing up while calling someone."

Jorge said "Just make sure you have a clear sky above you before you dial."

Griffin put the antenna back as he said "Fair enough. I just have to ask how long it takes to get to the island."

Jorge told him "All goes well, about an hour and a half from now."

Griffin asked "And is there any wildlife in particular that I need to worry about?"

Hector told him "Seabirds nest there on occasion and it's meant to be a good place to fish if that's your thing. If there's anything larger, we haven't seen it. But enough people have disappeared to prove that there's something out there. I guess finding out's your problem. We've got you a bag with a pop tent and enough supplies to last you two days. It's in the berth below. If you want to change your clothes for something more appropriate, now's the time."

When Griffin checked the bag Jorge left there, he found there were six MREs complete with Flameless Ration Heaters. That was everything one person needed to have a hot breakfast, lunch and dinner for two days, with enough plastic cutlery to eat it properly. There was also a shovel and some hand sanitiser. Then he changed into his tactical outfit and made sure that the gun and grenade he took in New York were still with him.

90 minutes later…

As Griffin made his way toward the bridge, Hector said "Here we are! We're now about 50 feet from the shore of La Isla de Los Muertos Caminar!"

Griffin said "The beach looks like a dump, mate! I can see cans and bottles strewn about!"

Jorge said "You ain't wrong, man. Everyone here calls it the Junkyard. It's also the only place on the island where we can safely moor the ship. Remember, we'll be back here by noon tomorrow."

Griffin told him "Got it."

Hector asked "One thing I have to ask is, what's with your accent, man?"

Griffin told him "I'm from London, mate. I speak English as my first language, it simply isn't the same English you speak. And I just want to make one thing clear." He then switched to Spanish and revealed his wings as he said "<If you two don't come back at noon tomorrow, I will have to take measures to ensure you regret your choice. There's one rule that binds everyone who deals with the supernatural: You never break a freely made deal like the one you made when you agreed to get me here and back.>"

Jorge asked "<Who- What are you?! And what kind of Spanish is that?!>"

Griffin said "<I'm Griffin, angel of the Host of Heaven. Dealing with weird and dangerous stuff is sort of a speciality of mine. Ask around when you get back about what happened to Apocalysette. Or Madame Macabre. What happened to them should tell you everything you need to know about people who cross me. And the Spanish you heard me speak is Castilian, the sort they speak in Spain itself, not the Spanish you're used to. Also, I have your satellite phone. If you want it back, you'll have to come here at noon like you said you would. Now, if you excuse me…>"

That's when Griffin took off and landed at the beach, Justice unsheathed. Now all he had to do was find out what was going on…
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Anything Goes

Post by betterwatchit »

Anything Goes, Part 3

The Island…

Griffin had barely walked 50 feet on to the beach when four abandoned vehicles roared into life! He could see a forklift, piledriver, riding mower and woodchipper start their engines and charge at him! And he couldn't see anyone driving them! He managed to get out of their way, slicing the forklift up as he dodged it.
The M&M stats for the Demonic Machines are on Page 1 of the Guide. Griffin gets a HP for entering combat.

Roll Initiative!

Woodchipper: 22
Piledriver: 21
Forklift: 19
Griffin: 18
Riding Mower: 17

Woodchipper Charges Griffin, getting 9 and missing. Piledriver Charges Griffin, getting 12 and missing. Forklift Charges Griffin, getting 10 and missing.

Griffin attacks Forklift with the Flurry of Steel, getting 30 and raising the DC by +5 from Multiattack. Forklift gets 19 and is hit and dazed.

Riding Mower Charges Griffin, getting 13 and missing.

Forklift: 1 Injury.

After dodging the machines, Griffin impaled the riding mower in its engine. He heard something inside it roar "Curse you, angel! Curse you!" before it shut down.
Woodchipper Charges Griffin, getting 6 and missing. Piledriver Charges Griffin, getting 11 and missing. Forklift Charges Griffin, getting Natural 1 and missing.

Griffin attacks Riding Mower with the Flurry of Steel, getting 27 and raising the DC by +5 from Multiattack. Riding Mower gets 8 and is slain.

Riding Mower: DEAD.

He then cut off the hose feeding propane to the forklift as it sped past him. It definitely looked like it felt that one, it was starting to chug!
Woodchipper Charges Griffin, getting 13 and missing. Piledriver Charges Griffin, getting 16 and missing. Forklift Charges Griffin, getting 22. Griffin gets 29 and resists.

Griffin attacks Forklift, getting 28 with the Flurry of Steel and raising the DC by +5 from Multiattack. Forklift gets 14 and is hit and Staggered!

Forklift: 2 Injuries, Staggered.

Griffin then hopped on the forklift and repeatedly stabbed it in the primary motor. He could feel it rattle and then stop.
Woodchipper Charges Griffin, getting 16 and missing. Piledriver Charges Griffin, getting 5 and missing. Forklift Charges Griffin, getting 11 and missing.

Griffin attacks Forklift, getting 31 with the Flurry of Steel, crit scored! He raises the DC by +10 from Multiattack and the critical. Forklift gets 5 and is killed!

Forklift: DEAD.

Griffin cut the tracks off the piledriver, immobilising it before impaling it in the engine.
Woodchipper Charges Griffin, getting 5 and missing. Piledriver Charges Griffin, getting 14 and missing.

Griffin attacks Piledriver, getting 19 with the Flurry of Steel, raising the DC by +2 from Multiattack. Piledriver gets 7 and is killed!

Piledriver: DEAD.

He then sliced off a couple of the tyres on the woodchipper.
Woodchipper Charges Griffin, getting 5 and missing. Piledriver Charges Griffin, getting 14 and missing.

Griffin attacks Woodchipper, getting 25 with the Flurry of Steel, raising the DC by +5 from Multiattack. Woodchipper gets 14 and is hit and Staggered!

Woodchipper: 1 Injury, Staggered.

Griffin then impaled it in the engine.
Woodchipper Charges Griffin, getting 10 and missing.

Griffin attacks Woodchipper, getting 26 with the Flurry of Steel, raising the DC by +5 from Multiattack. Woodchipper gets 13 and is killed!

Woodchipper: DEAD.

Griffin heard a voice in the bag, saying "Hey, Griffin! Are you all right? The radio's in the bag we gave you!"

Griffin opened the bag and found a radio. He responded "Golden Sunset, this is Griffin. Four vehicles just came to life and tried to kill me! I'm unharmed, but there's definitely something hostile on the island. Will continue investigation, over!"

"Griffin, this is Golden Sunset. Acknowledged. We're now heading back to the Bay. Use the phone when you're ready to leave, out."

"Golden Sunset, this is Griffin. I copy your last, out."

After Griffin turned the radio off, put the it in its own waterproof case and on his belt, he heard a man about 30 feet away say "That was a hell of a fight, Griffin!" Griffin recognised that the man had a local accent.

Griffin levelled his sword at the man as he demanded "Who are you?!"

"You don't know who I am?"

"No, I don't."

"Why not?"

"I'm new in town. The name's Griffin, from London."

"I'm Harry Wu from San Francisco. I run the VidBox channel called Wudunnit. I specialise in revealing the weird stuff that happens up and down the West Coast. I heard about what you did to Apocalysette. And judging by what I've seen, it looks like I've hit the jackpot!"

Griffin sheathed his sword as he asked "Why?"

"I got footage of you fighting those machines, that was hella crazy! I think they were possessed!"

"They might just be remotely controlled, ever think of that?"

"It's possible. And I can't upload anything because I can't get any signal."

"You're too far away from any cell towers to get any reception at all! Are you telling me you didn't check where you were going before you left?! How much battery is even left?"

"F**k! So that's why I can't get any bars! I've got 50% charge left and a powerbank, so I should be good until tomorrow."

"At least you're not completely screwed. Make sure you put the phone in flight mode."

"Why? We're not on a plane."

"It shuts off the transceivers and saves on the battery, don't you know how it even works? You can still record videos and take photos in flight mode if that's what's bothering you."

"Fair enough, I guess. What phone is that on your belt?"

"It's an Iridium Extreme satellite phone. Which means that, unlike you, I can contact the mainland."

"What apps can you run on it?"

"No apps. It's a dumb phone with satellite capability. It has only three functions: making phone calls via satellite, sending SMS messages via satellite and sending an SOS via satellite. All else is a distraction."

"Why aren't there any apps on it?"

"Because anyone with reason to even rent one of these prefers to focus on what's important. Like survival. The 'clout' you worship means nothing in situations like this. I don't care for the fame that ruins all those who seek it out."

"You don't care for fame?! Why not?!"

"Fame is always fleeting and false in the end. Especially if you cheat your way there. Don't believe me? Look what happened to Randall Fox when he tried to cheat his way there."

"I heard that about what you did during that stream! You made sure that Madame Macabre's f**king death rattle was broadcast over the internet!"

"Do you know what I told him after I killed her? I told him what I tell you now: Fame. Is. A. TRAP. Never seek fame, for you can never choose what you become famous for. He couldn't handle the truth I just gave you, so he committed suicide a month later. An overdose of sleeping pills and very high proof whiskey, the way I read it."

"So you killed him."

"No, I only told the truth. He killed himself because he couldn't handle the truth. Also, how long have you been on the island?"

Harry checked his phone. "According to my phone, I got here about a couple of hours before I saw you."

"When's your boat supposed to come back?"

"It's supposed to be here by sunset."

"Mine's coming over at noon tomorrow. If yours doesn't come back, you can come with me."

"I appreciate it, but I hope it doesn't come to that. Hold on, what's that gleam over there?"

"I see it too!"
Harry Wu's stats are of the Influencer and Investigator archetypes from Danger Zones combined using the rules in my Combined Archetypes post. He also has Languages 1 (Cantonese, English native). Griffin gets 25 on his Perception while Harry gets 26. They both pass the check on Page 2 of the Guide.

Griffin grabbed a couple of shovels that were attached to the piledriver and tossed one to Harry. They started digging around the exposed metal until they found that it was a hatch. Griffin found that it was slightly open, so he used the shovel to prise it open. He then climbed down and used the torch he found in the bag. He went "Harry, get in here! You're not going to believe this!"

Harry went "A spaceship! We just found a real spaceship! Forget the jackpot! We hit the motherlode!"

Griffin said "That's weird! That's very weird!"

"What's weird?"

"I can read these signs! They're not in any language I know of!"

"You can read extra-terrestrial? How?! Are you part-alien or something?!"

"I'm not. It's one of the gifts bestowed upon me when I became an angel. No tongue or script is beyond me any more. This is the first time I've done it with a script I know I haven't seen before! They're basically all sorts of safety notices, the sort you need visible at all times. It looks like one of these signs is screwed on. We can take it with us to prove what happened here!"


Griffin smiled as he unsheathed his sword, saying "This is Justice. It has a monomolecular edge, capable of going through any material I've encountered. Steel, plastic, bone, flesh, this can cut it all the same. And its halosteel construction even allows it to wound ghosts! That's how I took the Silver Scream down, by the way."


"Yeah. Woah. Now, to get this sign off…" Griffin cut the sign off and put it in his day bag.

After Griffin got out of the saucer, he checked the satellite phone. It was flashing green, the signal that it was connected the network. Griffin soon sent a text to the other satellite phone:

Code: Select all

Found crashed UFO on island!
Harry Wu from VidBox's Wudunnit is here.
Says his boat's coming back before sunset.

Griffin then extended the antenna and aligned the phone before pressing Send. The phone confirmed that the message was sent. He then asked Harry "Have you seen anything interesting?"

Harry told him "Yeah, apart from the UFO, I saw a cave around here earlier."

Griffin told him "Well, lead the way."

An hour later…

Harry said "I was here when I first saw your boat come in."

Griffin asked "Did you actually go in?"

"No," Harry replied. "It was too dark and I didn't bring a flashlight."

Griffin said "Then I have to see who's there. I'm under orders to get a positive ID on anyone I find on the island."

The damp cavern stretched far into the darkness. The dank smell of stale water and rotting fish filled the air, but another foul odour underlied all that. The slightest sound seems magnified by the acoustics of the cave, including something that sounded like… footsteps. Up ahead, something seemed to be moving in the darkness.

Griffin used the torch feature on his phone and revealed a lot of walking corpses lurching toward him and Harry.

"Run, Harry! Back to the beach! I've got this!"


Griffin pointed Justice at Harry shouting "RUN OR DIE, DAMN YOU!"

Harry ran while Griffin started cutting the zombies down. He made sure to keep just inside the entrance as he remembered something from watching 300 last night: As long as the enemy had to use a narrow entrance to reach you, all their numbers would amount to nothing.
This fight is going to be run under the Mass Combat rules from Gamemaster's Guide. The Zombie's Mass Combat stats are on page 3 of the Guide. Special Rule: Due to being completely mindless, the Zombies automatically pass any Morale Checks.

Griffin gets a HP for his Honour: He has to kill any undead hostiles he encounters.

A recommended song for this fight is He's a Pirate by Klaus Badelt.

Roll Initiative!

Griffin: 18
Zombies: 6

Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel, getting 17. The Zombies get 18 and are Disrupted.

The Zombies attack Griffin, getting 10 and missing.

Zombies: Disrupted 1.

Griffin was making incredible progress getting rid of the zombies. He was cutting them down, five, six, seven at a time!
Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel, getting 22 and raising the DC to resist by +2. The Zombies get 15 and are Disrupted and Stunned.

Zombies: Disrupted 2.

He then closed in and slew the remnants before they could start tearing him apart.
Griffin performs the Flurry of Steel, getting 29 and raising the DC to resist by +5. The Zombies get 7 and are Destroyed!

Zombies: Destroyed.

After getting his breath back, Griffin flew back to the beach. He asked "Are you alright, Harry?"

Harry said "Yeah, but I got some scratches from the local trees."

"I can treat those before they get infected."

"Do it."

"Stay still."

Griffin then used his healing touch to safely disinfect and remove the scratches.
Griffin uses his Healing Touch and gets 16 on his Healing Check. Any scratches or infections are gone.

Harry felt where the scratches were and it was like they never happened, not even a trace of scarring. "How-?!"

Griffin flared his wings as he said "Unlike those false fundamentalist fanatics, I really am a good and faithful servant. And seeing my reaction to the zombies should teach you something important." He then put his hands on Harry's shoulders as he said "Real difference-keeping people don't question or hesitate when they see something dangerous. You ACT or you are just. Another. Victim. Do you have the will to choose to understand how your world works?" He sighed as he said "I apologise for pointing Justice at you back then, but you wouldn't move otherwise."

"Fair enough. I'm starved, though."

"I've got some MREs here. And the heater."

"Are there any vegetarian options?"

"I'll try, but this might well be the only edible food in fifty miles. It's either this or starve. Hang on… We've got Vegetarian Taco Pasta here. Give me a minute, I'll show you how to heat it."

"How do you get this to work?"

"You tear the very top of the bag like this to insert the unopened MRE pouch and heater. Then, while holding the bag with the MRE and heater inside, you pour water until it reaches this line."

"How long does it take?"

"To get hot enough to cook? A minute. Within that minute, you need to put it against something at an angle. That rock should do it. It takes fifteen minutes to cook the pouch properly."
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Re: Stories of the Betterverse: Anything Goes

Post by betterwatchit »

Anything Goes, Part 4

Abandoned Spaceship, La Isla de Los Muertos Caminar…

Griffin and Harry had just finished their MREs. Harry had Vegetarian Taco Pasta while Griffin had Shredded BBQ Beef. Harry asked "Why did they make these in the first place?"

Griffin told him "So it doesn't matter where they are, soldiers can get a square meal. The chemical heaters mean that they don't even need to get a fire going."

"Why not just have a fire?"

Griffin sighed. "The heater means that you don't need to make a bright fire that gives away your position. Thermal vision still gives you away, but that's more of a physics-based issue. You need to understand, these were originally made for people who only bring more than the bare essentials if their mission strictly requires it and who are expected to enter armed combat against someone who's actively trying to kill them. They're not going to have any issue working it off as they've got bigger problems. You need to learn how to think tactically. To know that substance trumps all else as a matter of basic survival. That is how I've lasted this long. And everyone who says different clearly profits from deceiving you."

This was when the satellite phone started to ring. Griffin quickly went outside and aligned the antenna. "Griffin speaking."

"<Griffin, this is Jorge.>"

"<Is this about the message I sent?>"

"<No. You have an unrelated problem.>"

"<What is it?>"

"<There's a big storm coming in from the west, you should be able to see it! It's expected to arrive on the island in one hour. It's expected to last twelve hours. And it'll block the satellite signal.>"

"<Let me guess, you can't pick me up until it's passed.>"

"<And we can't pick you up at night anyway. For the next twelve hours or so, you and Harry are on your own!>"

"<Understood. I'll see you at noon tomorrow.>"

After hanging up, Griffin said "We've got a problem."

Harry asked "What's going on?"

"We've got a storm coming in. We've got less than an hour before it arrives. This ship's far enough away from the shore that it should make the ideal shelter for us both. Did you leave anything outside?"

"No, I don't think I did. But I saw a prefab building to the northeast of the cave. It's to the south-east of the northern hill. Looked like a big-ass shed to me."

"I'll check it out. In the mean time, you'll have to go outside and see if there's anything in the immediate area that you missed."

"You won't get to the building in time!"

Griffin revealed his wings and said "You can't. I can. I'll check and, if needed, clear the prefab."

Five minutes later…

Griffin landed in front of a lonely, prefabricated building made of rusted, corrugated metal sat on a cleared patch of dull earth surrounded by dead grass and scraggly bushes. Built like an oversized shed, it measured about 30 feet to a side with a flat roof. A few scraps of junk—including a broken hammer and a half-buried hard hat—littered the earthen clearing. A single light once illuminated the sliding double doors, but the bulb long since burned out. A faint wisp of a sickly odour lingered on the air, like the smell of an infected wound.

Griffin sniffed as he thought 'That's either the stench of massive decay… or the stench of undeath. Either way, I'm glad I brought this along.' He took the grenade out of his bag, unsheathed Justice, smashed a window on the roof, pulled the pin and tossed the grenade inside. Then he flew back to the front door before it detonated.
Griffin does a Theology & Philosophy check and gets 19. He is aware of the possibility that there could be walking dead in there.

There are 20 Ghoul minions inside the prefab. Their stats are in page 3 of the Guide. All of them are in the blast radius of the Frag Grenade and must make a DC 15 Dodge check. The results are Natural 20, Natural 1, 8, 15, Natural 1, 16, 23, 21, 20, 9, 15, 8, 16, 22, Natural 1, 20, 20, 21, 18 and 18. The six who failed their Dodge check get 9, 19, 18, 9, 19 and Natural 1, killing three of them. The 14 who made their Dodge check get Natural 1, Natural 20, 18, 15, 13, 20, 19, 7, 5, 14, 17, 9, 8 and 5, killing six. There are 11 Ghouls still undead and in a "fit" state to fight.

Griffin's Life Support makes him immune to the disease plaguing the building.

After the blast, someone inside shouted "Anyone still intact, get out there and kill that son of a bitch!"

The double doors slid open and about ten men opened fire on Griffin, who roared "JUDGEMENT COMES FOR YOU!" as he sliced through them! One of them managed to bite him.
Roll Initiative!

Eight Ghouls get 22, 21, 21, 20, 14, 13, 10 and 8. Griffin gets 7. Three Ghouls get 7, 7 and 4.

The first eight Ghouls fire on Griffin, getting 5, 17, 5, 21, 14, 18, 13 and 11. Griffin is Impervious to the pistols.

Griffin Charges at five Ghouls with the Flurry of Steel, getting 22, Natural 20, 8, 24 and 16. He raises the DC on the two criticals by +5. The Ghouls get 10, 4, 9 and 7 and are all killed.

Three Ghouls charged Griffin with Unarmed attacks, getting 19, 16 and 8. Griffin gets 17 and is hit.

7 Ghouls remaining.

Griffin: 1 Injury.

The man who bit Griffin went "Bullets don't work, use your teeth!"

Griffin went "You're all going down, damn you!"
Four Ghouls attack Griffin with Unarmed attacks, getting 17, 8, 9 and 18. Griffin gets 21 and resists.

Griffin attacks five Ghouls with the Flurry of Steel, getting Natural 20, 12, 16, Natural 20 and 14. Both crits are scored and Griffin spends them to raise the DC by +5. Three Ghouls get 14, 17 and Natural 1, and are all slain.

4 Ghouls remaining.

One of the walking dead went "Why isn't he turning?! He's meant to be one of us by now!"

Griffin shouted "By the grace of God, no plague can touch me!" as he cut two walking corpses down.
Four Ghouls attack Griffin, getting 19, 18, 13 and 7. Griffin gets 26 and 25, resisting both.

Griffin attacks the four Ghouls with the Flurry of Steel, getting 27, 15, 20 and 13. Griffin raises the DC on the crit by +5. Two Ghouls get Natural 1 and 12, both dying.

2 Ghouls remaining.

One of the ghouls went "You'll make a real meal!"

Griffin told him "You're not the first dead men I've killed!" before cutting the final two walking corpses down.
Two Ghouls All-Out Attack Griffin, getting 9 and 17, both missing.

Griffin attacks with the Flurry of Steel, getting 20 and 17. The Ghouls get 9 and 11, both dying.

No Ghouls remaining.

Griffin got his phone out and took several photos of the flesh-eaters' faces. After that, he beheaded each and every one of them and threw them all back into the shed before washing his hands in the sea with his healing touch active and flying back to the spaceship.
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