Thursday, July 18, 2019

P&P: Rails and Slime - Session 2

This was the first game set in my personal GLOG hack, Plaster and Pulque. I finally put together a rough rules document under pressure and it's not horrible, I think? Anyways:

The adventure takes place on a train bound for the urban battleground of Palenque, a Mayan city. The train consists of 7 cars (from front to back): The conductor/engine, 3 troop transports, 1 officer's quarters, and 2 cargo cars at the end. Conductor's car is #1, the first troop transport #2, etc.

The players:
Werd, a human Soldier who is thoroughly paranoid of all things unnatural after the introductory session.
"Skitters", a tiefling Thief with a penchant for investigation. Rolled spider legs as his beneficial mutation. (Skitters isn't his actual name, but I'm using it in place of the player's name.)
Ixcuina Quiahuitl, a tiefling Radiomancer who likes cards. He is a plant. 

The session opened with soldiers gambling, drinking, and completely eschewing their duty, chugging tequila and munching cacao bars with abandon. 

A man walked through the cabin, and the only noticeable thing about that was the other man with the exact same face who followed him a minute later. 

After that, a disheveled captain walked hurriedly into the room, and Skitters noticed his clothes were not entirely put on. Skitters deftly tripped the captain with one of his legs, catching the man and inquiring to his well being. Meanwhile, Ixcuina dodged a flask of tequila spilled in the rush to hide illicit substances from authority. 

Skitters, after being solicitous, took the chance to pick the captain's pocket while the man was distracted by the fresh puddle of tequila. While the captain gathered himself to tear the unfortunate lass a new orifice, one of the same-facers walked in and whispered in the rumpled man's ear. The party caught the words "conductor", "barred", and "unresponsive". 

Same-face and the captain rushed off, and Skitters examined the purloined papers, finding one to be a telegram directing the biological samples acquired by Werd in the intro session to be brought back as a top priority, superseding even the return of personnel. The other paper was simply a manifest of the cargo cars, listing such fascinating items as a mechanized macahuitl, jellied fire-water, and some fast-hardening rubber with special molds. Skitters filed away the papers for later.

Around that time, the second same-face walked back through the train car. Werd and Skitters decided to chat with the captains and observe their reactions. Werd, burdened with normal legs, walked through the train cars while Skitters crawled underneath the cars until he reached the captain's cars and then lurked on the outside, watching through the windows. Ixcuina wandered off to find another wizard.

While observing his superior officers, Skitters saw a slime trail that ran from the cargo hold to the front of the train or vice versa, and after inspecting the trail, determined that it ran from the cargo hold to the engine.

Werd knocked on the door to the captain's quarters and lied to his section's captain about hearing a noise near the cargo hold. She responded by offering him a drink from a flask and drawing her revolver. Werd then chugged some gutrot tequila and went off to investigate the hold with his captain. When the captain's argument resumed, Skitters noticed it had calmed down somewhat, although he noted the field surgeon had joined in.

Werd and Skitters briefly talked on top of the train, and Werd noticed a purple blob atop the train behind the thief. Skitters whipped around and quickly trotted over to the blob, revealing it to be a small wormlike creature with a toe on a segmented tail and fingers poking out from a central orifice. It popped up at him on thin legs and he whacked it off the train with the butt of his rifle. Peeking inside the open window (which was covered in slime) he discovered that the floor was covered in a sticky goop and saw a pulsing thing lurking in the shadows by the engine. The conductor was piloting the train, but his face was slack and unresponsive, lolling on his neck.

A cdkcdkckd-ciii noise erupted in front of Skitters and he saw several more grubs approaching him. The closest on popped up at him, landing on the arm he swung at it with, and proceeded to pull his lips open with its fingers.

Werd entered the cargo bay with the captain. They found the light off and the soldiers assigned to guard the car gone. Lighting a lantern, they began to explore the car until they heard a chittering noise. Panicking, Werd fired once at the shadows atop the cargo crates over his captain's orders. She ordered him to stand down and they retreated from the car back into the captain's quarters to secure backup.

Ixcuina saw a person huddled in a corner playing with a ball of water and noticed Same-Face passing by again. As they brushed by, Ix got splashed with a bit of water, and noticed the previous owner of the water snickering. Suddenly, Same-Face's face began to blur and smoke, and Ix cast Annihilation, cancelling the magical effect. The surprised face of a curly-haired woman was revealed behind the illusion and Ix noticed some soldiers rolling their eyes. Sitting down, Ix discovered that the woman was probably a member of the Smoking Mirror, counterspies devoted to Tezcatlipoca embedded in every regiment. Ix broke out some scrip and started a hand of cards with the soldiers, noticing a new slime trail on the window.

Meanwhile, Skitters decisively whacked the grub off his mouth (and the train) with his rifle. He broke the window he was observing through, which had closed, and tossed a lit lantern through the hole, which shattered, spreading burning oil on the slime-coated floor. The conductor convulsed, and his organs melted out of his skin, crawling away from the fire towards the back of the train. A wave of chirruping arose and Skitters noticed more grubs crawling towards him. One jumped at him and Skitters introduced it to the his rifle's stock. It tumbled off the train, but then ejected its tail with a splorch and grabbed back onto the train's sides. Skitters chose this moment to decamp for safer parts, crawling under the train while noticing that the wind had picked up.

As he crawled underneath, Skitters felt a thumping rhythm from inside the car. The rhythm stopped as he neared its source. A large bone spike erupted with a metallic screech from the floor of the car, narrowly missing him.

As they moved towards the troop cars, Werd and his captain noticed some cooing noises coming from the cars. They opened the door to find the troops clustered around a small creature. It had a segmented tail, an oval torso, and three legs. Its face was doglike, with beautiful eyes and long eyelashes, and it was covered in dark brown fur. Some soldiers were petting it as it nuzzled up to them and arguing over its gender, as its underside was smooth.

Werd decided the thing was probably a threat and asked where it came from. A few people pointed to an empty bucket. (Last session, Werd stored a dead biological sample in a bucket.)  He tried to shoot it, but some soldiers blocked him. The captain ordered them back, and they reluctantly fell into inspection stance. Werd then perforated the small thing with half a clip of bullets. He pulled on some rubber gloves and poked around in the creature's guts, finding that its internals were mostly a semitransparent non-Newtonian fluid very similar to the slime trails.

As he inspected its belly, he discovered that the creature's inside was composed of serrated, segmented bone strips that ran from head to tail all the way around the creature. Its organs were lurid yellows and greens. As he pulled his hands back, he noticed that the goop was slowly moving up his gloves. Choking back a yelp, he quickly shucked the gloves and called for a mop to clean the creature up. Some soldiers went at the corpse with soap and water but only succeeded in smearing the goop around. A soldier successfully scraped the slime off the floor with her dagger and went to wipe it on a rag. Werd stopped her and had her toss the dagger out the window along with the thing's corpse.

Ix, after winning a couple hands of cards, went over to the window and tentatively touched a scrap of old slime, carbon dating it. It appeared to be extremely old and yet very new. He suddenly noticed some soldiers clustering around an object and discovered another small doglike thing. It rubbed up against him and he petted it, deciding to rejoin his companions.

He met Werd poking through the creature's guts and decided to date the fur, which was very young, and confirmed that the fur was dead.

Werd and Ix discussed their next move, and the session ended there.

Notes:
It was nice to finally use my system. Somehow, people have avoided getting hurt so far. That may change tomorrow. I like how investigative my players are, it's more entertaining than "I shoot everything." Allows for more horror, too. I managed to actually disturb Werd enough to shoot at shadows (he didn't Crack from stress!) so I consider that a plus as a DM.

Tune in next week!

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