Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton

GURPS Depression, Aug-09-2002

Yesterday we finished up the current adventure in the GURPS Depression game.

In our previous episode, we had gone out to the island south of Japan, and killed the Japanese soldiers who had taken over the Buddhist temple. Alec got to say to Kratchit's date, "It's not a sight for ladies... it seems the ruffians who took over the temple were wearing the uniforms of Japanese soldiers." (Technically true...) We had rescued Professor Richards, who said that he had misled the team who had captured him, so they would search for the sword at the pirates' cave, instead of at the Shinto shrine.

We slept at the temple. The next day, we heard explosions coming from the pirate's cave. We went out to the Shinto shrine and managed to open a hole in the roof to the priestess' chamber. (We're from the old-fashioned "loot the artifacts" style of archaeology.)

Himoko (one of the NPCs accompanying us) followed Dunali down into the chamber. She looked into the mirror there and said, "He's not him!" The meaning of this was not immediately apparent to us. But she grabbed for the sword before DunaLi could get it.

When they came up from the chamber, Dunali explained that she had apparently been possessed by the spirit of the priestess, and believed it of utmost importance to take the sword to the samurai at the pirate's cave so that he could fight "the dark one, the devourer of blood." The meaning of this was not apparent to us IC (though OOC, I suspected 'gaki').

We followed along up to the edge of the volcano. At one point, a Japanese soldier came running down at us, wild with fear. Our first reaction was to dive for cover and aim our guns at him; since he wasn't shooting at us, Alec tried to tackle him instead--but rolled a critical failure. He ran on down without our stopping him.

We followed Himoko on up to the caves near the top of the volcano. She went to the left fork unhesitatingly, and we followed, past bodies of soldiers that had been drained of blood.

Alec heard a footstep behind and spun around to see another soldier following us. He was surprised to see us and went for his gun--two of us managed to bring him down in two shots.

Alec started to go on after Himoko while Forrest went back to check out the body. As Forrest moved towards it, he saw a black mist congealing out of the air, with two burning red eyes in the center. He called for Dunali's help and ran back towards us.

Bakunin (the Buddhist priest) who had been accompanying us scribbled a charm on a piece of paper and told Alec to pin it across the entrance. Alec started to do so, but was overcome by a chill of terror emanating from the mist. Alec ran back to the rest of the group, dropped the charm, and drew his gun.

The mist had coalesced into a misshapen humanoid figure bent over the soldier's body. It got up and started coming towards us. Forrest shot it three times, but it kept coming without even flinching. Alec shot it three times between the glowing red eyes, again to no effect. (I rolled the dice for the first hit, but after that was obviously ineffective, the GM let me assume accurate-but-ineffective shots for the following two shots.)

As we retreated into the next room, a ghostly figure of a samurai came forth, carrying the real sword. A few slashes at the gaki turned it into harmless white mist.

Afterwards, there was just cleanup. We took care of Himoko, who had fallen unconscious (and remembered nothing after picking up the sword). We gathered up what loot we could find from the pirates' cave, which included the pirate's sword which bore lingering traces of the gaki. We performed a banishing ritual on the gaki. We went back down to the Buddhist temple, and found that they were unwilling to let us take the samurai sword back to the museum. Et cetera...

A very good thing about this session was that I was really acting in character. I wasn't really thinking in character exactly, but when Alec dropped the charm and went for his gun, I knew OOC that the gun was probably useless and the charm would be better, but I couldn't imagine Alec doing anything else. That sort of immersion doesn't often happen in the games I play in.

A particularly unfortunate thing about the session is that it fell into the "PCs as spectators" trap. We didn't really help deal with the gaki much at all--we just came along and managed to avoid being killed. It might have been better if we had been fighting Japanese soldiers while the samurai fought the gaki, or something.

I need to figure out how Alec would retell this story. He has a quirk-level delusion that there's no such thing as magic. Since it's only quirk-level, I figure he would not deny the evidence of his senses, but just assume that there was some scientific explanation.
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