Results from Previous round votes:
1 Vote: Plan CCC on my blog
Free Action: Invite Owner into Posse
Morning Action: [Resistance] Assign Information Gathering: Merlin
Afternoon Action: Investigate Acquaintance: Replayer
Builder’s Action: Investigate Patterns: Busses
Day 15 Log :
5 AP at start of day (4 at end of last day +1 for half night’s sleep)
Invite Owner into posse (0 AP cost, auto succeed)
-2 for Assign Resistance to investigate Merlin (3 AP)
Roll 7, +1 for success (4 AP)
-2 for Investigate Acquaintance: Replayer (2 AP)
Roll 5, +2 for success+ ally (4 AP)
Builder: Investigate Busses
Roll 4, partial success
End of day, 4 AP
Invite Owner into Posse:
Owner was waiting for me when I got ready to leave the house, loafing around with a bemused look on her face.
“What?” I asked.
“I was just wondering…” she said.
I rolled my eyes as her voice trailed off, but didn’t try to guess her question. I’d learned long ago that the easiest way to get Owner to come to a point was to let her make it there on her own.
“Am I in your Posse?” she asked.
I’d been giving this a lot of thought. There were a lot of pluses, a lot of minuses. I could have gone either way, but ultimately there was only one answer.
“Of course,” I said. “I was just thinking we should make that official.”
She broke into a relieved grin.
“I figured,” she said. “I mean, I watch you while you sleep. I’ve been helping you since day one!”
“Exactly,” I responded. “We’re in this together, and it is past time we started acting like it.”
She smiled brightly and took a step off to the side, as though inviting me to go past and set about my day.
“Actually,” I said. “Do you have a moment? I’d like to go over your gift, see if we couldn’t come up with some more ideas like the package store thing.”
“Sure,” she said. “I know you know most of it, but it can’t hurt to go over it.”
She gave me the brief version. I’d heard the bones of it before, but never in an actual expository lecture.
Her gift was weird. Definitely one of the stranger that I’d ever seen.
At its core, she could ‘vanish’ or ‘assign’ away anyone or any bit of currency that she could touch, aside from Ultras.
The currency went into a sort of bar or mound in her mind, and it made her happy when it got higher. She spent a lot of time and effort bribing scavengers into bringing her credit cards and such, all of which made the bar higher.
People, on the other hand, made the bar lower when she sent them away. They would vanish, and then they would pop back 9 and a half hours later. They had no memory of the time that they were gone, but apparently they were getting fed somehow.
She’d been bewildered when she’d first got the gift, but ultimately had worked out that what was going on was that she was running a sort of imaginary business, over in some simulated world. The money that she sent over was used to pay the people that she sent over.
This business could change over time, and she’d ultimately got it going such that it actually made (imaginary) money. Nowadays the contributions from our world mostly helped her expand.
So far, so odd, but no one would have cared about her if that had been all that her gift did.
The really strange part was that the effects of her fake company carried over to the real world. If they opened a retail location, then that location actually opened up around here, and actually filled up with whatever they were buying.
Any change that they made to their environment would actually manifest here. They could dig ditches, fix roads, whatever. If the company could get it done over there, its effects would show up over here.
With my help she’d ultimately been able to work this into a sort of virtuous cycle. She presently operated a package store. Over there, it was moderately profitable, nothing not write home about. Over here, however, it was wildly successful, as people lined up to exchange worthless cards they’d found scavenging for bottles of booze.
Owner had been funneling these profits back into her business, and was reporting that her reserve was as high as it had ever been. She figured she could probably open a new location soon, or switch into another line of work entirely.
I had ideas on that score, but now wasn’t the time to talk about them.
Assign Resistance to Investigate Merlin:
“Do you know why I told you to come here?” I asked.
Skinner shook her head, side to side, her lips pursed together in a thin line.
Her confusion was entirely understandable. There actually wasn’t really any reason for me to call on her. She couldn’t do anything in particular that I wanted, didn’t know anything I needed to know. I could have gotten exactly the same effect out of a log with a face drawn on it.
“N-no,” she said, frowning her brows at me in an attempt to look tough.
It wasn’t that she was weak or anything, her gift being a bog standard death touch with a little bit of Ultra toughness thrown in, but I had many more prominent candidates.
“I have a task for you,” I told her. “One whose completion will result in great rewards, and whose failure will result in my displeasure.”
“I’m not doing nothing for you!” she blurted out, eyes now darting left to right, as though she feared my confederates were about to fall upon her.
“Wait until you hear it first,” I cautioned her. “Ask Picker how my second chances taste.”
She slumped back in her chair, eyes wild.
“I want you to go to Ar Harbor,” I told her. “I want you to look into every aspect of the Ultra who calls herself Merlin. I want to know her gift, her appearance, who her friends are, absolutely everything that you can find out.”
She leaped up to her feat, kicking her chair back.
“You’re crazy!” she shouted. “I’m not-“
She choked off her shout as I pointed a finger at her face.
“Get that info to me,” I told her. “Or else.”
She spun about and walked off, casting an anxious glance over her shoulder every couple of paces. I kept my eyes on her until she turned a corner and was lost in the crowd.
I never looked at the human servant who was shining my shoes. Never so much as glanced at the actual person I’d been speaking to. She would understand what she had to do.
She would tell another Resistance member, who would tell another, and so on. The news would spread out of the city, passed from member to member all the way to Ar Harbor, where it would become reasonable seeming questions about a prominent member of the community.
Then it would start its long journey back, joining together with all of the organization’s other information on the subject. When I gave the call I’d get the report, neatly labeled and signed by ‘Skinner’.
Let Snitcher ride my perceptions all he liked. All he would see was a Warlord of the Regime bossing around my lesser in order to carry out Her will.
I brought Replayer around to the usual place where I’d been meeting people, the café tables outside of Owner’s newly upgraded package store.
She was a tall woman, gangly, with very dark skin and short hair. She was wearing a pair of guns on her hips, and another set in shoulder holsters. She gave a friendly grin when she saw me.
“Hi,” I told her. “I guess you know why I called you?”
“I’ve been expecting it since you showed up to the Ultra fight,” she said. “I guess you are sounding people out for your Posse?”
“Uh huh,” I told her. “I’ve already taken on Builder, and she didn’t have anything bad to say about you.”
“Excellent,” she said. “Now I don’t have to beat her up. Did she say anything good?”
I shook my head.
“Nothing beyond listing your gifts, which was honestly good enough for me. You really have Ultra speed two? That’s incredible.”
“Want to see?” she asked. “I can do a few party tricks as demonstrations, if you like.”
“Like what?” I asked.
She gave an expansive gesture to the street, people darting here and there on their master’s errands.
“You start counting, I’ll do headshots, bet I beat you to ten.”
I couldn’t keep my eyes from bulging a little, but I didn’t let my smile slip.
“Messy,” I said. “Anything with less cleanup?”
She had to have been kidding. Even I wouldn’t get away with it if I just started shooting random people inside of the Lair. At least, I thought I wouldn’t. Surely some powerful would care about having all their humans gunned down, if only for the inconvenience of it all.
“I can do the thing where I keep something in the air by shooting it a lot. I dunno if we did that the night you were at the Ultra Fight. The finale is I switch to throwing bullets.”
“I dunno,” I said. “Its kind of spoiled now that you talked it through, plus that’d be wasting bullets. Why don’t you just tell me about your gifts?”
“Ok,” she said. “I’ve got ultra strength, and more ultra speed. I also can go back along my timeline if I get hit, so I basically have the toughness too. Total package Ultra combatant.”
“Any more details about going back on your timeline?” I asked. “Or is that one of those things you like to keep quiet, don’t want people using it against you.”
“A bit,” she allowed. “It isn’t perfect, and I don’t want anyone using its weaknesses against me. I’d tell you about it if this goes anywhere, but I don’t think we are there yet.”
“Make sense,” I allowed.
“You probably hear this from all the Ultra fighters,” she said, “But I’m the toughest of us all. If you only take one of us for fighting, you should take me.”
“I’ll let you know,” I said.
Builder: Debrief on busses
Builder was already there when I got back to Packer House in the evening, chatting idly with Owner about some triviality or other.
“How’d it go with the busses?” I asked. “Are you confident that you could form one, given all of the component bits?”
“Mmm-“ she said, holding up a hand for a second.
I waited patiently, noting the small pile of candy wrappers on the table between them.
“Mostly,” she said, once she’d swallowed. “I don’t think all of those busses were, like, the same exact kind? There was some things on the inside of one that were not there on the others.”
“Probably just damage,” I guessed. They’d certainly had the, school yellow, paint job. “People pull parts out of stuff all the time. I’m just hoping we had enough there for you to see every piece, get it all down.”
“Pretty much,” she said, in a way that didn’t inspire an altogether amazing amount of confidence.
“Of course,” I responded. “But maybe we should schedule one more session with them, just to be absolutely certain.”
She couldn’t hide the relief that flashed across her face.
“If you’d like,” she said.
Days remaining: 15
AP available: (4 after crisis + 1 for 6 hours sleep) = 5/10
Timeslots available: 2, morning and afternoon
Builder Timeslot Available: afternoon
Owner Timeslot Available: afternoon (Owner’s personal actions will appear tomorrow)
Posse: 2 out of 3 slots filled
Force size: 0
(Ultra format: Role, Ultra Strength/Speed/Toughness, other gift description)
Builder — 0/0/0, a woman who can alter objects for miles around into other things, blessed with a ‘Bulletproof’ blend
Owner – housemate, 0/0/1 operates an imaginary firm, with real effects on the world,
Maker- Friend, and protégé of Snitcher, 0/0/1, can summon the spirit of things
Clawer – Ultra fighter 2/0/1, melee combatant, deadly hooks for hands
Stopper – partner of Clawer, 0/0/0, steals form’s velocity by looking at them
Sticker – Did dentistry for her brother, 0/0/2, Creates slime, can choose its stickiness
Grower – 0/*0/1, an outside Ultra I sponsored into the Lair, has a bullet blend from me, can rapidly increase the size and mass of objects
Joker — 0/2/0, a woman who can change what other people/herself look like
Replayer — 1/2/0, she can ‘step back in time’ to undo damage that she takes
Masher- Enemy, and fellow protégé of Subtracter, 3*/0/3*, trades off strength and durability as she moves or stays still
Picker – First Fist protégé, 0/1/0, ‘selects the outcome of things’
Tracker – Running buddy, 1/0/1, Creates tracks, and can move things on them
Shower – Adder’s protégé, 1*/0/1*, gains strength and durability from witnesses
Echoer – Singer I am a fan of, 1/1/1, can duplicate any action that she sees
Bubbler – Operates Ultra clinic 0/0/?, traps things in bubbles that heal and move them
Sucker — Ultra entertainer, ?/?/?, pulls objects/people towards her at incredible rate
Gunner — 0/0/1, she shoots tracking Ultra Blasts at roughly Ultra Strength One
Chiller — 1/0/1, can freeze any object she touches, leaving them brittle and easily broken
Cutter — 1/1/1, she is a brutal front line combatant
Smasher — 3/0/1, a woman who is billed as the strongest Ultra fighter of all time
Swimmer — 1/0/1, she can ‘swim’ through solid surfaces
Burner — 0/0/1, she can summon Ultra fire from anywhere that she can see
Maxxer — 0/0/0, she can augment the gifts of other Ultras, pushing their gifts
Puncher — 1/0/1, her strength and speed both go up when she repeats her movements
[ ] Contact Knights (Timeslot cost: 1, AP cost 2, returns 1 on success)
Motive: My recent actions have opened up the possibility of collaboration with the Knights of Purity. Their assistance could be valuable, insofar as they don’t count towards the Regime’s ridiculous rule against outnumbering our enemies, and I might be able to acquire some of their blessed equipment if I play my cards right.
Concerns: I don’t know if I really want to be associating with such a group. KEM wouldn’t mind, but the Resistance would pull away from me, and I might end up coming into contact with Second Fist or their sponsored Ultras. It is likely that anything they might want from me would be rather evil.
[ ] Seek Transportation
-[ ] Scavenge (Timeslot cost: 2; AP cost 4, refunds 3 on success)
Motive: My current transportation sufficed for me in my troubleshooter role, but I will likely require a larger vehicle, or several vehicles, in order to bring everyone to Ar Harbor. I can seek to find something in the suburbs and surrounding towns.
Concerns: Leaving Shington could be dangerous, and I am far from guaranteed to find a bus or truck suitable to my needs, as the area has already been heavily scavenged.
-[ ] Trade with existing owners (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 2, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: As above, but instead of fixing up ruined vehicles I’ll negotiate to get them from their current owners.
Concerns: Snitcher may disapprove of a warlord being civil
-[ ] Seize by force (Timeslot cost: 2; AP cost 4, refunds 3 on success)
Motive: As above, but instead of asking my contacts for vehicles I’ll just take what I want. My role as warlord and my Tally should minimize resistance
Concerns: People like their vehicles, and won’t like the one who takes them. I will make enemies.
-[ ] Seek Transportation [Adder + Company] (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 2, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: As above, but Adder can use his gift to make something for my purposes, and the Company can duplicate it and make it permanent.
Concerns: Adder and I are not close, he may decline to aid me, owing to his rivalry with my sponsor, Subtracter.
[ ] Seek Target Information
-[ ] Company (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 2, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: The Company logs every Ultra they create. Their Ar Harbor records would be useful information
Concerns: Ultras migrate and conceal their gifts, this information would be incomplete
-[ ] Subtracter (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 3, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: Subtracter is the military leader of the Regime, she will have information on this target
Concerns: Subtracter is stupid and violent, I don’t like to be around her
-[ ] Survivors (Timeslot cost:1; AP cost 2, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: There have been 2 other attempts at Ar Harbor. I can seek out and question survivors in the outer city.
Concerns: I may be unable to find any survivors, and I may be misled by liars.
[ ] Seek Posse Members
-[ ] wander & gossip, (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 1, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: There are dozens of powerful Ultras in the Lair. I know only the barest fraction of them. I can learn the basics on 1-6 of them in a few hours of socializing and gossiping, opening up in depth investigation options on them and adding them to my list of acquaintances.
-[ ] At Ultra Fights, (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 1, refunds 1 on success)
Constraint: Only available in the afternoon or night on days divisible by 4 (day 4, 8, etc)
Motive: There are dozens of powerful Ultras in the Lair. I know only the barest fraction of them. I can learn the basics on 3-12 of them in a few hours of socializing and gossiping at this kind of event.
Concerns: Ultras associated with the Fights are more likely than most to be melee combatants.
[ ] Seek Warband Members
-[ ] At the Yard, (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 2, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: The Lair is surrounded by hundreds of Regime Ultras. The strongest come to the Yard to show their power and appeal to those like me, who would give them purpose. I should be able to gather between 5 and 20 Ultras of such caliber.
Concerns: I will need to provide housing and direction to these Ultras, or risk them wandering off. I can expect to spend at least an action a day on them, and training them might well eat up more. Ideally a Posse member will be tasked with this.
-[ ] [Gang name] From a Gang, (Timeslot cost: 2; AP cost 5, refunds 3 on success)
Motive: The Ultras that surround Shington are organized into Gangs dozens strong. If I can recruit such a force I might have my whole Warband right there.
Concerns: These Ultras likely already have patrons in the Lair, who I would need to negotiate with. Their leader would also likely want a place in my Posse, and she would be the primary locus of their loyalty until I’d had time to win them over.
[ ] Investigate Acquaintance:
-[ ] [Name], (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 2, refunds 1 on success, 2 if we become allies)
Motive: I can spend some serious one on one time with an Ultra I’ve chosen, evaluating the capability of their gift, the alignment of their values with mine, and their basic ccompetence. If all checks out, I might move them into my Ultra Allies column.
[ ] Invite Ally into Posse:
-[ ] [Name], (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 3, refunds 3 on success)
Motive: If I want to bring an ally into my posse, get them to take actions on my behalf and rise or fall with me, this is the way to do it. I will only take this action on those I’ve already made allies, and once this has been taken it is difficult to undo.
Concerns: Posse members are most of the way into my circle of trust, and will operate on my behalf, representing me to stranger. A mistake here would be dangerous and damaging. I should be careful before taking this step, potentially investigating a prospect several times.
[ ] Seek Information on Snitcher’s patterns
-[ ] Passive listening (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 1, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: Snitcher can ride my senses at any moment, and bring Her along. If I am ever to contact my KEM allies, my resistance allies, or show any kindness or weakness whatsoever, I need to understand when this is likely to take place. Gossip can hint at this, particularly if I carefully steer conversations. This action would be mostly undetectable, even if he was riding me when I took it.
-[ ] Active interrogation of Snitches (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 3, refunds 2 on success)
Motive: As above, but rather than listen for random gossip I will seek out other linked individuals and directly ask them how often he rides their senses, and what actions he has reacted to in the past.
Concerns: More likely Snitcher notices this, unknown consequences of that.
-[ ] Confront Snitcher Directly (Timeslot cost:1; AP cost 4, refunds 3 on success)
Motive: As above, but take the simplest possible route. Go to Snitcher and ask him for the deal.
Concerns: I am sponsored by Subtracter, not Snitcher, he may not wish to aid me. He may demand favors or other services in exchange for the information.
[ ] Seek Information on Regime military operations
-[ ] Ask Subtracter (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 3, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: My life depends on doing this right. I need to get a basic understanding of what She is expecting from my attack on Ar Harbor. Do I need to seize the Company Facility? Kill all the enemies? Are there any constraints on how I go about it? Subtracter is the leader of the Regime’s military, and my sponsor, she will know these answers.
Concerns: Subtracter is stupid and brutal, and she killed my neighbors, I hate spending time with her.
-[ ] Ask Around (Timeslot cost: 1; AP cost 2, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: As above, but ask survivors of previous missions instead of my evil boss.
Concerns: My predecessors may not have told them everything, their views of their missions may omit certain command level details that I need to worry about.
[ ] Relax and Recuperate
-[ ] By visiting Blisser (Timeslot cost: X (slots spent until AP reaches max), AP cost 0, returns 3 per time period. DANGER, this action may cause addiction)
-[ ]By lounging around, (Timeslot cost: 1, AP cost 0, refunds 1 on success)
Motive: I could do with some rest.
-[ ]By patronizing entertainment areas (Timeslot cost: 1, AP cost 1, refunds 3 on success)
Motive: I could do with some rest, and I might learn some things by socializing
-[ ]By using my gift to repair the city (Timeslot cost: 1, AP cost 2, refunds 5 on success)
Motive: It needs to be done.
Concerns: This is not becoming behavior of a warlord, Snitcher may take notice, and people may talk
-[ ]By using my gift to heal people (Timeslot cost: 1, AP cost 1, refunds 5 on success)
Motive: This is why I have my gift.
Concerns: This is not becoming behavior of a warlord, Snitcher may take notice, and people may talk
[ ] Organize Armory [Timeslot cost: 1, AP cost 2, returns 2 on success)
Motive: I carry, in my backpack and on my person, various items to blend with if the need arises. I am overdue to look through my setup and take an inventory, once that is done I could seek out new objects if I am missing anything useful.
[ ] Seek new residence [ Timeslot cost: 3, returns 1 if successful ]
Motive: I could get a lot more done if I got a full night’s sleep
Concerns: Owner and I have guarded one another’s rest for a long time. I wouldn’t necessarily be able to trust a new person to the same extent.
[ ] Action: Other (Timeslot cost: x, returns x if successful)
[ ] Assign Assassination mission [Timeslot cost 1, AP cost 3, returns 1 on success, can only be done in the morning, uncertain Snitcher risk]
Description: KEM are the only humans who fight back on a consistent, day to day basis. We’ve come up together, they and I, and pointing them at my foes is only common sense. If I give them a target, then I trust them to make a good faith effort to put that Ultra down. Their odds of success, of course, vary wildly depending on how much info I can provide, and the gifts of the Ultra in question.
[ ] Assign Information Gathering Mission [Timeslot cost 1, AP cost 2, returns 1 on success, can only be done in the morning, uncertain Snitcher risk]
Description: The humans are the ocean in which the Ultras swim, the saying goes. The Resistance’s capacity to gather information about Ultras is unsurpassed. If I give them a target, then they will give me every bit of public information on the target, and often times a little bit more. Ultras are people, after all. I believe this with all my heart. And people trust other people, even those that they ultimately shouldn’t. I can assign as many targets as I wish, but the more I assign the less details I will probably get, and the longer it might take.
[ ] Debrief Information Gathering Mission [Timeslot cost 1, AP cost 0, returns 1 on success, can only be done in the morning, uncertain Snitcher risk]
Description: The information that the Resistance gathers is worthless if I never regain it. Using protocols I’ve worked out ahead of time, and my recent discovery of Snitcher’s habits, it should be possible for me to take the Resistance’s reports with minimal risk. I expect I should give them a day or two for local targets, and possibly as much as four for targets in Ar Harbor or further afield.
[ ] Repair Structure [Timeslot cost 1]
Description: Builder can repair most any structure any structure in just a few hours, spreading broken portions back into place and generating new matter as needed.
[ ] Construct Known Structure [ Timeslot cost 1]
Description: Builder can construct any easily described structure with the same ease that she repairs them. Her present education limits this to extremely primitive structures, but that might well be changeable.
[ ] Construct Known Items [Timeslot cost 1]
Description: Builder’s gits aren’t limited to buildings. If she can get a perfect understanding of an objects, and samples for every component, then she can form any items that I might desire. The easiest way to accomplish this, of course, would be to provide her with a sample.
[ ] Memorize Patterns [ Timeslot cost 1]
Description: Builder’s gifts are heavily limited by her imperfect education. The more patterns I can get her to learn, the more she can construct from any given material. If I provide her with patterns or specimens I’m pretty sure she can memorize them and add them to her arsenal.