Endday session three: Revelation, 3rd September

One thing I’m liking about Endday is the framework we’ve laid down for it. We have a fixed number of sessions (30), and each session covers the events of a single day. This makes the campaign highly episodic with each session a single discrete chunk of the tale. Just like any TV show, that gives me wiggle room to experiment with the style of play. Sometimes it’ll work and other times it won’t, but as long as the players are having fun and the story moves forward it’s all good. Think of it like the X-Files (only with demons and magic). Some of the weirder episodes were great. Some were lousy. But hey, it’s still Mulder and Scully so it’s all good.

This session, I drop a little time-travel-flashbackness on the players’ asses.

Events begin just after midnight, immediately following on from the previous session. Our heroes are stood outside Los Angeles International Airport with an old skinny Vietnamese guy. He looks at the PCs and says; “It has begun again. The Endday is coming!”

They ask him what he means. He replies; “It means I’m thirsty. You’re buying. I will talk.” They end up in a coffee shop where Bao (for that is his name) reveals a little more:

“You, my friends, are the Glorious Warriors of this age. The angels have blessed you to lead the fight against the demons, just as they blessed us in our fight against the demons all those years ago. I fought alongside you Americans in Vietnam against the Viet Cong – at least, that is what the world believed. Our true enemies were the demons who plagued the jungles and threatened to end the world, just as they will try now. Only you can stop them.”

Bao is friendly enough and answers most of the player’s questions (though sometimes in riddles, of course). Just as they are about to leave he says; “I still sense your doubt. I show you.” They walk through the door and end up…… in Viet-frickin’-nam!

They’re right in the jungles, clad in US Army uniforms and there’s bombs going off all around them. By their side is Bao – a younger, fitter Bao – and he’s shouting “Come! Must run!” A couple of Reflex Saves to avoid flying debris (Annette misses one and it costs her a Healing Surge and -1 to Speed and -2 to Reflex Saves for the session), and they’re in a clearing where assorted troops and fighting a losing battle against a small group of demons.

Encounter level 3 (XP 725)
– 2 Gnaw Demons (level 5 skirmisher)
– 1 Dretch (level 2 brute)
– 4 Rupture Demons (level 5 minion soldiers)

This is a TOUGH encounter for Level 3s and it takes up a fair chunk of the session to play through. I’m using a battlemat this time around. The US/allied troops are minions who frankly don’t stand a chance against these dudes. The unfortunately named Rupture Demons are mechanically awesome in play. They’re demonic lumps of gloop that can envelop and Restrain a foe automatically, but that drops the demon to 0hp. That’s great for setting up a Gnaw Demon to chew on your ass. But that’s not all – when the Rupture Demon drops to 0hp it also… well, ruptures. If there’s another demon within 5 squares of it, that gloop (good word, gloop. Fun to type) gives them +5hp  and +2 to damage. And it’s cumulative.

By the climax to the battle those 2 Gnaw Demons (and even one of the lowly Dretches) were gloop-coated damage dealing beasts from hell. Add in difficult jungle terrain, restrained victims and explosions going off all around and it made for a heck of a session. Rupture Demons: perfect for jungle encounters!

Thankfully, Our Heroes aren’t slouches when it comes to fightin’ demons. Annette Weber is a fire-wielding Wizard made of pure awesome, Caroline MacAulney is a Spiked Chain biker queen, Oscar Marcinelli is a Halberd-heftin’ Fighter/Sorcerer Marine (don’t ask) and Daniel Giddens is a Rogue Accountant. No, really. By now they’re all level three and comfortable in their roles. With two fighters on the team with a Rogue, flanking is a no-brainer. Combine Annette’s ability to summon a Fire Warrior (can a Fire Warrior grant combat advantage through flanking? We said yes) and it didn’t take long for the demons to be outnumbered, then defeated.

The only problem was that the players had taken their eyes off Bao. He was down, and dying. The reach him and curse their lack of Cleric. Hey, I warned ’em. He looks at them and says with his dying breath; “The Endday is coming. Mine has come.”

Fade to black.

The heroes are standing in an overgrown graveyard somewhere outside LA. It’s noon. In front of them is a weather-worn gravestone.

Phan Bao
July 12 1951 – September 3 1969
Posthumously granted US Citizenship
For Valor

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8 Responses

  1. wow! Great session! Now did you plan for Bao to die, or was that something you came up with as the session progressed, or rolled, etc?
    .-= wrathofzombie´s last blog ..Pathfinder Bestiary Preview 2 has arrived! =-.

  2. Dave T. Game says:

    Uh oh! Time paradox! Hope they didn’t need Future Bao that much.
    .-= Dave T. Game´s last blog ..Critical Bits for the week ending 2009-09-19 =-.

  3. Greywulf says:

    @wrathofzombie Keeping Bao alive would have given them a useful contact (and me a way to feed them information and plotlines :D ) but it’s not the end of the world that he died.

    @Dave Time paradoxes are always fun :D

  4. drow says:

    nice end for bao. and if you do need another contact for the PCs, there may be other survivors of the previous end day. a hardcore military veteran eager to get the PCs into the glorious fight, and possibly in over their heads. a broken survivor still struggling with what he saw, desperate to find anyone who believes him. a harried fugitive still wanted for the atrocities “he” committed during the war. he’s innocent, of course — the atrocities were committed by the demons — but he’s still pursued by grim Interpol agents. an ex-KGB agent who had been assigned to the north, who wants the demons to inflict enough damage in the US this time around to give mother russia a second shot at world supremacy.

  5. Aaron says:

    That… is… awesome. So there was a chance they could’ve saved Bao? Was the Bao they met in the present a spirit, or something else? How did they go back in time?

    Yeah, I have to make things complicated.
    .-= Aaron´s last blog ..Battle of the iPhone Apps: Pirate Insult and iPirate =-.

  6. kaeosdad says:

    whoah kick ass! I would watch this if it were a tv show.
    .-= kaeosdad´s last blog ..Uninspired? =-.

  7. Elton says:

    I would have used the trick they used in Kate and Leopold — Time itself is like the weather, you fall through the right hole and you end up in a different time entirely.

    No machine is needed.
    .-= Elton´s last blog ..Shaper: The Story =-.

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