Wednesday, 31 August 2016

ConBravo: Some D20 + Linkara Q&A

This is a sub-post of the whole ConBravo convention, covering “D20 Live” (Sat) up to the intermission, and the end of “Atop the 4th Wall Live” (Sun) with the Q&A. I debated not doing this separately, merely condensing it, but it’s rather humorous if you’re into RolePlay. Also, quick self plug, I’ve written up prior D&D Campaigning. Usual caveat applies: Quotes are not exact, any errors are my own, enjoy.

Quick primer, if you don’t know about “Attack on Titan”, which is the universe wherein the gaming session occurs: People live within nested walled cities, to protect them from the “Titans”, huge beings outside the walls that consume humans. The military have what is called “maneuvre gear” which allows for great mobility in combat, it’s powered by gas canisters.


Tristan, Heather (focus my bad), Christopher and Lewis behind

-“Big Mike” from the 404s, was the DM (in his shirt “the DM is always right”).
-Lewis “Linkara”, host of AT4W, was playing “Rangun”(?), a member of the military police. Expert in long range combat and strategy. (RAN)
-Tristin “Arkada” Gallant, was playing “Muiro”(?) the (female) medic of the team. (MUI)
-Heather “Calluna” McDonald, of Calluna Reviews, was playing “Sonja”(?), good at interrogations. (SONJ)
-Christopher Sabat, American voice actor, was playing “Sir Steve”, a muscular guy in the military police. (SIR)

Apologies if character names are spelled wrong, let me know and I can fix. Also, they're doing something special this year! Every person has a hidden secret, in an envelope that’s randomly assigned. Could be good or bad; at any point, this secret history will provide a skill or ability they can use, if they announce it. It can be role-played in however they like.


THE MISSION


DM Sets The Scene: Inside Wall Sina. Year, I won’t tell you. Much of the corruption and decadence hasn’t really set in, just a little. Group is called into the offices of Nile Dok (image on screen). He’s having a drink of something, probably booze, having a rough day.

Dok: “I have a mission for you. It’s not much of a mission; I need you to pick up something for me.” It’s a member of one of their special teams, Kenny Ackerman. (We have a better photo than that. There.) “He went on an impromptu leave.” He’s in the eastern district of Wall Maria.
MUI: Any reason you’re sending us?
Dok: Because he’s not coming back and we need him, we have a mission for him.
RAN: How difficult is this?
Dok: He won’t attack you if you’re polite.
SONJ: Bring him by any means necessary?
Dok: Don’t hurt him, we need him to do his job.
RAN: What parts of him can we hurt?
Dok: You can hurt his mouth.

They’re assured nothing should happen, though he doesn’t technically answer to them.
SIR: This is Steve, we haven’t met. Just wanted to tell you I’m having a great time. Can I grab that extra 3D manoeuvre gear on your desk there?
Dok: All of you will be supplied with it, yes.
SIR: Can I practice in your office with the high ceilings?

Someone asked what Ackerman was a specialist in. They were told “That’s classified” but that “He is a strong and skilled fighter so it would be better to outwit him.”
RAN: And you’re asking us to do this?
SIR: I’m ready to do this!
Dok: Steve has the right idea.

As to Ackerman’s location, possibly a whorehouse. Which raised the question of whether to go in their uniforms or in civilian garb.
MUI: So we walk up to him and say “how do you do fellow citizen”?
SIR: Nile, can I get your autograph before I leave?
Dok: Sure, can I get yours?
SIR: Sure. I play sport ball. (Aside: What is the sport of choice in this setting? Response: “Hitting children with sticks.”)

Leaving the lavish life of the inner wall, ConBravo provides coconut noises for horses. “Our budget for this year was those cup lids.”


EASTERN DISTRICT OF MARIA


You spot three members of the military. Make a roll (body or mind) to see what you notice visually. (Brief discussion, roll 2d6, if the total is equal to or under “body”/“mind” stat, then you succeed. System is BESM (Big Eyes Small Mouth). Made by a Canadian Guy, out of print now, it’s kind of sad.) Three of them failed to see the alcohol (I think Sir Steve was the only success).
Linkara: It’s because we’re focussed on the mission.
SIR: I will talk to them!


The guys straighten up as the group approaches.
SONJ: Why is your stance incorrect?!
RAN: Why is your stance incorrect?!
SONJ: He repeats what I say.
RAN: I repeat for emphasis.
MUI: I live in an echo chamber. This is my life now.

The military guys identify their commander as “Bob”. (An unbelievable name? Well, we have Sir Steve.)
SIR: We’re on a really super secret mission to find this guy Kenny. (shows picture)
Man: Oh yeah - except his name is Craig Speedman. He needed to get drunk. There’s two bars in this part of town. “Fruit Barge” and “Dead Dragon”.
 (Big Mike noted, upon questioning, that “Fruit Barge” is a reference to last year’s game, with Firefly and the cargo of strawberries.)

In parting, Sir Steve wanted to take the maneuver gear from the three guys “because you’re inebriated”. A successful roll later, and the group has extra maneuver gear. They proceed to the “Dead Dragon”. RAN and SONJ enter while MUI and SIR wait outside with the equipment.

SONJ approaches the bartender.
SIR/Chris: “I yell from outdoors, ASK THEM ABOUT CRAIG.”
DM/Mike: “Chris, are you SURE you’ve never played before?”

They get from the bartender that Craig/Kenny was there, but they threw him out. Asking how they managed that, reveals it took six of them to do so. (Calluna takes notes.) They do have pretty good idea of where he was headed after. Outside, Sir Steve is getting bored.

MUI (to Steve): I’ll race you to the top of the building with the 3D gear.
DM: “It’s a 2 storey building.”
MUI/Arkada: Okay, what do I roll?
Linkara: You’re wasting our gas.
Arkada: We have a TON of extra gas here.
DM: “Five years I’ve waited for this kind of infighting. And this is how it manifests. And it’s beautiful.”

Steve wins the race, despite the extra 4 pounds of confiscated maneuver gear. RAN emerges, notifying them, “we’re headed to a bordello next”.
SIR: I will be disguised as a bird.

You did hear/read that correctly. Turned out in “Sir Steve”’s envelope of hidden secrets, he was an orphan “raised by a theatre troupe”. He has kept the secret, but will now use his talents to appear as a large pheasant. Using the extra 3D maneuvre gear. He rolls.
DM: “No one believes that you’re a bird, but you’re wearing military gear, so people assume you’re being hazed.”

When they show the picture of Kenny Ackerman at the door of the bordello, they are told “if I tell you he’s here, will you take him away with you?” Being assured yes, RAN (in non-military gear), MUI and SONJ (in gear) head inside, leaving Bird Steve with the equipment. They elect to knock on the door, Kenny opens it just a crack.
SONJ: How would you like to go on a date?
Kenny: “I’m game.”
MUI: That was easy.
RAN: I don’t think it’s going to be.


NOT SO EASY


They hear him throwing on his gear, and as they rush in, he’s headed out the window. He makes it to the opposite rooftop, where he encounters Bird Steve.
SIR: QUACK.
Kenny: (stopping) “What?”
SIR: I was an orphan!


The orphan bird of the skies, Sir Steve, ends up grappling with Kenny. Kenny Ackerman rolls an almost critical fail, which is sad - meaning he headbutts Steve, but his head hits the glass beak (gas canisters) of the costume, and Kenny falls down.

MUI and SONJ blast out of the window to join them on the roof, as RAN goes back down to see if he’s maybe got a shot.
MUI/Arkada: Can I remove his 3D Maneuver gear and add it to the pile of all the other gear.
DM: Roll.
MUI Fails.
DM: You are now holding his gear, he’s still in it.
SONJ/Calluna attempts to knock him out - and succeeds.

DM: (somewhat incredulous) “You have subdued Kenny Ackerman.”
RAN: Asks the bordello mistress for some handcuffs. Oh, and the key.

The DM then asks for a perception roll. SONJ/Calluna passes.
DM: “It’s really quiet. And everyone’s looking west, towards the wall.”

Cue the title music! Loud explosion, and the gate of wall Maria flies through the air, slamming into into the opposing wall. The year is 845, this is the day that Wall Maria fell. The Titans are coming.
SIR: This has been a crap day.

There was an intermission at this point, until about 10:20pm. Apparently “Hello Panda” snack things are delicious. I caught just the start of the next bit, before deciding to check out another panel at 10:30pm, so here it is:
DM: We left off with looming and pending death.
Calluna: My favourite part.
DM: City is in chaos, people are running around. Then a flash of light and the initial Titan disappears. What do you want to do?
Arkada: I drink from my flask.
Chris: I yell, “in your face bro, don’t come back”. Then begin taking off my additional 3D gear, putting it on the cart for others to use.

There’s some question of what to do about their prior mission. “Please don’t feed Kenny Ackerman to the titans.” (They throw his knocked out body onto the cart.)

A small number of titans have come through the opening. People are running towards there, mob is pushing them back. There is probably a garrison guard on the Eastern Wall. With cannons. There’s a River Barge, no one’s organized there. Go for the Garrison, or the Wall?
Linkara: I think if they’re destroying walls, walls aren’t safe, deal with the titans.
Arkada: We do have a problem of a hole in that wall. If we kill five titans, good, but there’s 20 more.
DM: ARE there? (Perception)

I headed out, and when I returned at 11:30pm, everything was wrapped up. Apparently the group was getting some REAL good rolls, while the Titans (less than a half dozen?) were not. There was an additional feature at one point, in the form of giant dice being rolled into the audience. As for what was in the mystery envelopes, that ended up being a question to Linkara at his panel the next day - so let’s go there now! (It’s Q7)


*****

“Attack of Atop the Fourth Wall Live” (on Sunday) wrapped up with over 15 minutes remaining, so Linkara (L) opened it up to some Q&A. Here were those questions (note - Pokemon SPOILERS... I think? I don’t play).


It's "Captain Kurt" from "Star Trek" (Linkara at right)

Q1: As a fan of Pokemon, thoughts on B&W?
L: I’m a fan of the Black&White story. When you saw me on Twitter when it first came out, I was ranting for two hours, why can’t I just use any old Pokemon?? I do what I want! So I cheated. B&W 2 is basically Pokemon versus PITA, people who were knights for a good cause are now pirates.

Q2: Other than your own space ship, if you could have any ship in fictional history, what?
L: Maybe Liberator. From Blake 7. Also Defiant from Deep Space 9; it wouldn’t be comfortable living on it, but fun to blow stuff up with that. So many good ones. White Base from Mobile Suit Gundam. (Audience is adding possibilities) The TARDIS I could make look like every one of those other ships. (Audience: Millennium Falcon) It’s a freighter, I don’t want that hunk of junk. Belongs in a museum. (Someone mentions Halo ship) I’ve only played the first one.

Q3: Thanks for Top 15s of “Night Gallery” and “1980s Twilight Zone”, they’re some of my faves now. Any plan for old Zone?
L: The thing is, I wanted to do those because no one talks about them. Everyone’s done their Top 10 of old school Twilight Zone. I like to spotlight stuff that’s less well known. That said, I’m hoping (fingers crossed, I’ve been so damn busy) to do a “Tales From the Crypt” list. Issue there is, my thing has become a Top 15, not Top 10 because I always felt “Ten” ended too soon. And there are not 15 episodes of “Crypt” that I think would be considered that good. It’s trash, enjoyable wonderful trash. I can barely think of 10, so maybe a top 10, we’ll see.
(Audience suggestions of general overview, or best AND worst eps)
L: Every time I get ready for “Longbox of the Damned”, I watch horror movies and anthologies to get in the mood. Which I’ll be doing in August to write scripts to film in September. Do you recall last year, with special Halloween bumpers? I’m going to open that up to people to create your own. Will need those by Sept 15th. Can be fog coming in to create the logo, or practical effects. If more than 31, I will put them into their own video.

Q4a: Two things about Pokemon. First, what about X and Y?
L: Had a strong start to it’s story, thought Lysandre was going for “preserving beauty” by freezing the world, so not age. No, he’s going to blow it up. And what people will he preserve? Those with good fashion sense. I don’t understand your mission statement here. And secret base out of a coffee shop, in the equivalent of Paris within the Pokemon universe. Feels like two ideas that they shoved together. The post game arc, that stuff was phenomenal. The in game arc, what are you doing?? “I will kill everything to save everything.” The best line of the arc was the 3,000 year old giant, need more of that in Pokemon. What was his deal? Shoved him in a box? Why was he walking around? Why was he so huge, were people taller back then?
Q4b: Fave pokemon from Sun and Moon?
L: Probably Rowlett. Close second, Mimikyu. Would prefer other doll things.

Q5: Linkara, if you’re the leader of a Power ranger team, who else would you pick?
L: Presumably 4 people chosen randomly from Zordon. I don’t really think about that. Carter Grayson?
(Audience member clarifies, among people/chars he knows)
L: Oh, I don’t know, I don’t trust 90s Kid with a power morpher. And Pollo doesn’t look good in Spandex. (Audience member: “It’s not spandex!”) I was waiting for that. Spoony would be the Pink Ranger. (Audience member: “Doug Walker?”) Doug would be one of Bulk and Skull.

Q6: Would you like a timbit?
L: Yes. I love your AT4W shirt. The store where I was making my shirts stopped doing printing services. I’m hoping to set something up with someone else.

Q7: What was your secret in the D20 Live “Attack on Titan”?
L: For those not there, this was a reveal to audience and others for a bonus on stats. One of us used to be a mafia member, one was a titan, one had a theatre degree (which was Sir Steve, turned out very useful), mine was completely useless. My secret was I used to be a burglar. The one time when it would have been useful, the guy just opened the door. And I didn’t have to steal 3D maneuver gear because Steve kept taking all of it. (Asides, with Big Mike in the audience, noting the Secret Titan had no reason to change sides, as they were winning. Didn’t you have great dice rolls, Mike?)
MIKE: I watched “Tomb of Horrors” to help me to go sleep.

Q8: Any opinion on “The Real Clone Saga” Spiderman graphic novel?
L: Oh yeah, Tom DeFalco a few years ago. Six issue mini series. Does “clone saga” how it was supposed to go. It does have problems with it because they included Maximum Clonage in the middle, a battle for no real reason. May review it for a Clone Saga review, I am glad they did it. (Audience member says something) “Spiderman: Reign” is Batman’s “Dark Knight Returns” but with Spiderman. It’s revealed he killed MJ because of radioactive spider sperm. (General “what?” reaction)

Q9: We singing the theme song?
L: I don’t have a copy of the theme song with me, next ep is the special opening for Star Trek reviews. (Audience sings a cappella) Those who didn’t sing the song, you have to stay.

The panel ended there. Let me know if you have any corrections or comments. One more recap post to come, “Social Conscience”, so follow this blog or the Main ConBravo post for when the links go up.

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