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 Post subject: OPERATION NATURAL 20
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:47 pm
  

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Knight

Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:20 pm
Posts: 4923
Location: Right behind you.
Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
This happened when I was about 21…an undisclosed number of years ago…let’s just not talk about that…anyway, it was back when no one I knew REALLY understood how this game actually worked, so ignore the rules issues.
Spoiler:
OPERATION NATURAL 20

I am the Game Master. I am your GOD.



PART ONE
Coming down from a liver bender is the worst. Fall a million miles to the sweat-drenched, shivering, zombie-breath pit of suck…and stay there
for most of a day. Yeah, I’m tough, but it doesn’t matter when you’ve been drinking distilled hate. Some gear head probably uses it to
degrease engine parts. It isn’t danger sense that wakes me up, it’s the ruckus, the rowdy whoop and constant vibration of a helicopter.

I’m in an air blender…great. Doesn’t anyone have the creds for a nice hover job anymore?


Opening my eyes it’s a blurry mess on one side, overlaying the clean and clear from my multi-optic eye on the other. It’s dark, but it NV kicks in
and I sit up with every last regret of the head rush. Seven other idiots in this school bus. GAW-47, Chinook. Two ladies in battle armor, four
meat popsicles, one more missing his helmet while he chatters senselessly. The old bastard’s got a shaved head and a mustache, looks like a complete tool. Must be the leader.

They noticed me stir, hands go toward side arms but I don’t get the itch. More afraid of me than I am of them. Good to know.

“Good morning, maggot”, leader says. He strides up, oozing arrogance with his steely gaze. “On your feet, five until deployment.”

I roll over and go back to sleep.

Sharp pain, like my headache roared and went running back toward the bar from last night…or maybe the old slag just kicked me in the face. Hard to tell.

“Get up, maggot! I ain’t payin’ you to sleep!”

Multi-optic opens lazily. “How much are you paying me?”

“20k plus bounties, get it in gear, slag.”

…zzzzZZZZZZzzz…

Another boot, but I don’t care. 20k is enough to take a beating from a wash-out like Mr. Tool here, not enough to act like a pro. Besides, a quick second of focus and my chi unites with the ambient magic in the air, turning my body into a fortress for about thirty seconds. He could shove a grenade down my trousers and, though it would suck, I’d be fine in the end. This is what we call cheating.

Tool leaves me alone, goes to tell everyone how much of a slag I am and the school bus comes to a halt. I’m up with the rest of the meat and we fall in. One of the ladies isn’t full EBA, gas mask, got a satchel with runes on it, wearing some talismans. The other is full kit and twitchier than a juicer. Mega-juicer. Giant chainsaw sword, guns bigger than my noggin. Seems about right.

The guys are just that, slags, dudes, useless with M-21’s, vibro swords, 223’s and grenades; one’s got an RPG-70 and a 3 HE reloads. Really the standout of the group is me, well…except for the guy climbing into the Glitter Boy. Kind of a big deal. The last of them is in a long coat like mine, got goggles and a modded NG-45 at his hip, SAR-15 with HEAP rounds over his shoulder. Extends his hand.

“Been a while, Alrik.”

I squint. “Who’re you again?”

He shakes his head, “I figured you’d say that. I looked a lot different back then. I was at Richdale*. Peter, I was Kincaid’s radio man.”

(*See Operation Handshake, but I totally don’t remember this guy…)

“Oh…” shake his hand. “At least there’s someone here worth more than slagged armor.”

“Good to see ya again”, he nods and adjusts his rifle strap. “Well, I gotta go help unload from our ride. See you out there.”

I nod as he runs off, straighten up, shoot snot out of my nose, light a cig and more or less feel ready to at least put up with these guys for an hour or two. Then I look at the territory we’re in and roll my eyes.

Alien landscape. Spires of some kind of wax or resin stick out of the ground everywhere, the taller ones far in the distance are monolithic in size. The ground is hard, slicked over with the same resin material, swirling in ugly riot colors but dulling back to dark blues and ugly yellows the closer it gets to the spires. Snow covers a lot of it, makes it a Seuss-scape, expect hairy jerks with petty villainy at any moment.

“This is as far as our ride goes, troops”, Tool says. “From here we use the buggies, it’s a long patrol up to the hive, but you’ll make it. You’re all the best at what you do, for a bunch of maggots.”

Pete was, at the moment, deploying buggies that were in netting the chopper had carried. Okay, so these guys aren’t completely useless. Tool even gave me a triumphant look when he saw my nod of approval.

“The job’s simple, like I told you at the briefing. Patrol up to Duluth, set the bombs and collapse the center stem, bring the damned thing down and show them bugs we don’t appreciate their kind, ya hear? 20k for each of you, plus bounties of any heads you collect.”

The group nodded, the GB-10 even popped it’s robo-hands together like it was cracking it’s knuckles.

I did math in my head…okay, that’s a lie. You don’t need math for this.

“Are you #$@*()#*@ insane!? There are whores in Chi-Town worth more than 20k an hour and you want us to go into the @#*)%# Duluth hive and bring it down for that? What kind of slag are you?” That came out more eloquent than I’d planned. I must be getting nice or something.

“Now see here, maggot—“

“To hell with see here. Do you even KNOW what it costs to repair armor? Reload mags? Buy new gear? Plus there’s risk, 20k…” I spat on the ground, flicked my cigarette at Tool as I pointed at him. “…only a complete idiot of a GM who hates his players would cook up an adventure like this.”

He folded his arms, “I don’t put my players up against anything they can’t handle.”

“And the money?”

Tool scratched the back of his shaved head, “Maybe…I…I can pay for your ammunition and repairs.”

I stepped forward, “Throwing us a bone, huh? You think that’s going to work? GM retcon already? Can someone…SOMEONE…PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE BIG PICTURE…”

“Uh…hey, there, guy…”, one of the slags spoke up. “We’re here to have fun, ya know. Maybe you could just cool it?”

“Shut your trap, meat. I’m trying to sweeten the deal here.” I got back in Tool’s face. “What’s it going to be?”

“You think you’re worth more, slag, show it. You’re a worthless trash to me. I shouldn’t even pay you the full amount. You’re just a disappointment, all bluster and bad attitude but all you’ve done is moan like a whore this whole time!”

“Right…” I was about a foot from him and my magic pig sticker was in easy reach. So I went for it.

“Whoa, there, turbo”, Tool held his hand out. “Roll initiative first.”

“What the hell for? You got sixth sense or something?”

“Well, I’m kind of expecting you to pull something…”

“Fine. Natural 20.”

“oh…”

The blade cleared its sheath like lighting, seeking the neck to quench its thirst for blood. Rolled a critical, not bad. Tool rolls bad on parry, better. Excessive damage…best. Enough to pitch his head to the ground. Easy days, Alrik.

“Your sword hits a force field”, Tool says after flinching like a punk.

“What $#@*$#* force field!? You didn’t have it on.”

“Well, you didn’t notice.”

“…”

“That’s pretty lame”, says the lady mage. “I mean, I don’t like it any more than you do, GM, but you didn’t say your field was up earlier.”
I nod to the lady. She makes a face at me from under her gas mask.

Tool grumbles. “Fine.” And his head pops off his body in a bloody geyser.

“Now that that’s settled…” I say as I flick blood off my sword. Though I don’t finish my sentence, I’m getting the itch.

“Just because he was being lame”, Mage lady says, “Doesn’t mean we’re going to let you get away with killing our friend.”

Oh right. A little outnumbered here.


PART TWO
Okay, so for reals now. There are six of them. Mage lady, two troopers, a Mega-Juicer, Glitter Boy (suited up already…not fun) and Peter. Could be a hell of a lot better, but I’ve had worse.

“Okay, everyone who is fighting roll initiative”, says Tool’s disembodied head.

“I already did.”

“Yeah, yeah, I was talking to everyone else”, he croaks back.

No one matches my N20, even if they did my bonuses are probably higher. Good times.

When you’re in a situation like this, there are two major issues and surprisingly, neither of them are the mega-juicer, or even the Glitter Boy. It’s the Mage and the troopers. The Mage can hit you with crowd control, which results in your death and the troops can chuck grenades, knocking you down, which also results in your likely death.

Don’t get me wrong, they could just charge and grapple me, rip me to pieces, but if Tool was the leader of these guys…I felt confident team work and thinking outside the box wasn’t their forte.

So here we go. TK leap attack behind the Mage, putting me at point blank with the Glitter Boy and everyone else on his other side.

Natural 20…on a leap attack…literally roll 1 under max damage on several D6’s, damage ends in triple digits. Mage splatter.

Mega-juice comes at me with her chainsaw, wants to play lumberjack. Drugs pumping her reflexes and muscles full of The Power of CJ Carella. Cross blades, sparks fly but Juicette’s got nothing but single digit rolls and bonuses.

Fighting in close, the troops don’t go for their grenades, they bring the M-21’s up, aiming shots.

GB side steps, deploys pylons and aims as well.

They don’t want to hit the Juicette by accident…what a bunch of Superfriends. Juicers are already dead, they know it, they just don’t believe it yet.

Peter just noticed what’s happening, starts up a buggy.

My turns, TK back flip away behind the GB…

“No, wait”, Tool says. “Leap attacks cost your whole round of actions.”

I stop in midair, “Are you serious? When did we start playing TMNT?”

He snarls back at me, an open copy of RUE in front of his severed head, “Are YOU kidding? According to this leap attack doesn’t even exist anymore!”

“Uh…power punch but with a sword?”

The whole battlefield stops and groans at me. Oh fine, jerks. “Are we doing it over?”

“Please?” the Mage Lady pipes up from her corpse.

“Look, I’m sorry, I should have paid attention. You’ll have to stay dead.” Then he looks at me, “But no more of this #@*)(% maggot!”

“Right, right.”

“Can we get on with this?” Juicette asks. “I really want to kill this guy.”

“Yes. Alrik, did you succeed on your flip?”

Roll the dice, beat the odds.

Land behind the GB (finally). Juicette charges around with super speed, attacks and I parry with ease again. Slacker. Troops move for a shot, GB picks up sticks and turns to face me, redeploying. Pete drives over.

“Hey, Juicette, can you stop getting in the way of our shot? If we make him dodge he’ll run out of actions faster”, says troop one.

“Shut it, slag. Not your action”, I snarl.

“It’s your turn again, Alrik. Hurry it up”, says the decapitated head.

Bag of tricks, type 3 fusion block. Paired weapons attack, stick the block under the GB’s right arm, body flip the juicer. GB’s slow, doesn’t beat my crappy roll, Juicette tastes…wait for it…a natural 20.

“My action? I’ll cut his leg off from the ground”, says the Mega.

“Can’t, you lose an action and initiative. You don’t get to go until the end of next action phase”, I say.

“What? Are you kidding?”

“He’s right…” the mage corpse grumbles. Tool’s severed head nods in sad agreement.

“We got this!” the troops say. Their M-21’s open up with lasers. My body armor laughs.

The GB sees the ineffective damage, sees the Juicer on the ground, out an action…has a thought. “I’ll go for a knockdown.”

Tool’s eyes light up, “Do it!”

“Nat 20!” the GB pilot’s all grins.

“I’ll parry with my sword”, I say.

“It won’t deal damage, you know, that’s a special maneuver”, Tool warns. “And you don’t have auto parry right now since you paired attacked.”

“Fine, I’ll dump an action”, roll my eyes.

“And you’re -4”, the GM says.

“For what? I’m using a weapon and he isn’t.”

“I am the GM. I am your GOD!”

“Fine…” roll. Natural 20. The whole table groans, I smirk.

“Peter, what’s your action?” Tool looks hopeful.

“I light a smoke and watch”, he says.

“What? How could just stand there?” the mage corpse demands.

“You think I want to mess with that? The guy’s winning.”

I chuckle. “My turn?” GM nods. “I turn on my force field, duck and cover and fire off the detonator.”

“Huh? Oh…” everyone looks at the GB pilot.

“What?”

I smile. “Fusion block, bro.”

“…oh…”

Three sixes and a four later the right arm is mostly slag, the GB’s body has taken half the damage and my force field is a memory, but I’m cool. The Mega-juicer’s armor is gone, though.

Tool GM spits dice out of his severed head, 19%. “Sorry, GB, but your arm’s disabled.”

“What the crap!? Man I hate that table…it’s optional, why are we even using it?”

The GM quirks his brow, “You love it when you do massive damage to an enemy with that boom gun…”

“Yeah, stop complaining, slag”, I grin.

“You shut up!” the GM snaps. Touchy-touchy. “Troops, you were outside the blast radius. Actions?”

Troop one, “Grenades?”

Troop two. “Grenades.”

Yep, here it comes.

A natural 1 and a 2. It’s like these guys are doing it to themselves.

Tool would rub the bridge of his nose in annoyance if he could. Spits out dice, houserules grenade deviation. He grumbles. “Troop 1, the grenade explodes in your hand, Troop 2, your grenade lands on Juicette.”

She auto-dodges like a pro, rolling away at Juicer speed.

“Peter?”

He shakes his head. “I’m good.”

“Fine, Alrik. Go.”

“Alright, I’m gonna—"

“Wait, how many actions do you have left?”

“Me? Six.”

The decapitated head does some math, working numbers. “Wait…YOU HAVE THIRTEEN ACTIONS!?”

“Yeah, and?”

The group looks at me in collective surprise. The troops’ rifles get unsteady, the GB looks at his immobile firing arm and retracts his pylons, even Juicette is backing away as she gets up.

“Told ya”, Pete says with a drag of his smoke. “This guy fought off a full conversion borg with nothing but a vibro knife and you want to tangle with him? Not smart.”


PART THREE
“I’m pretty sick of this”, says Tool GM. “You’re all maggots, especially you, Peter. Can’t even help us out.”

“I’m roleplaying my character, bite me.”

“Well excuse me I didn’t know we were going up against super-munchkin here!” the GM snaps back.

“Whoa, pal, that hurts”, I smirk. Love it when they bring out the M word. Feels like mission accomplished.

“To be honest this wouldn’t have happened if we all were working with the same rules”, Juicette says. “I mean, where’s he get all that crazy gear? XXX damage with a katana? Vibro weapons don’t do that much.”

“Have some respect, it’s a rune sword. Minor one, but he gets touchy about that.”

“Rune sword, thirteen attacks, natural 20’s for days? Yeah, I’m done with this.” Juicette walks.

The troops look at each other, then the rest of us. “Yeah, us too.” They follow.

“Hey!” Tool yells. “Get back over here and kill this guy, he cut my head off!”

“Maybe you shouldn’t have pissed him off…” the mage lady’s corpse shambles off stage right.

“That’s what I’ve been saying”, Pete says, swigging off a flask from his coat pocket.

I shrug. “Look, I’m okay with going back and doing this the right way. My mistake about the leap attack thing. I’m even okay with the pay being correct from the beginning so we can avoid this whole mess.”

“Forget it, I don’t even care anymore”, the GB pilot says, firing arm swinging uselessly as he walks away. “Just don’t come back to our game next week.”

“Fine with me. You guys were having fun before I showed up, it’s cool.”

“Maggots…” the GM blubbers.

“Hey, man…forget it. It’s just a game. I tried to tell you I was buff but you just laughed when I said I was human.”

“Shut up.” Grumble-grumble. “Hey, Pete…carry my head out of here…”

With a dismount, Pete’s snatching the noggin, shakes my hand and walks off.

Figure I should leave too, when the fourth wall gets this thin in Rifts nothing good happens.

END

_________________
Mark Hall wrote:
Y'all seem to assume that Palladium books are written with the same exacting precision with which they are analyzed. I think that is... ambitious.

Talk from the Edge: Operation Dead Lift, Operation Reload, Operation Human Devil, Operation Handshake, Operation Windfall 1, Operation Windfall 2, Operation Sniper Wolf, Operation Natural 20


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 Post subject: Re: OPERATION NATURAL 20
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:18 am
  

User avatar
Explorer

Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:40 pm
Posts: 145
Haha. Another great one.
This gave me something to do at work. So, thanks for that.


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 Post subject: Re: OPERATION NATURAL 20
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:15 pm
  

User avatar
Knight

Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:20 pm
Posts: 4923
Location: Right behind you.
Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
Glad I could help. I was a bit of a jerk back then.

_________________
Mark Hall wrote:
Y'all seem to assume that Palladium books are written with the same exacting precision with which they are analyzed. I think that is... ambitious.

Talk from the Edge: Operation Dead Lift, Operation Reload, Operation Human Devil, Operation Handshake, Operation Windfall 1, Operation Windfall 2, Operation Sniper Wolf, Operation Natural 20


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 Post subject: Re: OPERATION NATURAL 20
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:37 pm
  

User avatar
Hero

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 1378
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Alrik Vas wrote:
Glad I could help. I was a bit of a jerk back then.


Nah, i can empathize with messing the Tool like that - i ask myself why the rest of the group cared to try to "avenge" him. :P


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 Post subject: Re: OPERATION NATURAL 20
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:47 pm
  

User avatar
Knight

Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:20 pm
Posts: 4923
Location: Right behind you.
Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
Well, it's best I went with comedy there...the actual story got ugly and not nearly as amusing.

_________________
Mark Hall wrote:
Y'all seem to assume that Palladium books are written with the same exacting precision with which they are analyzed. I think that is... ambitious.

Talk from the Edge: Operation Dead Lift, Operation Reload, Operation Human Devil, Operation Handshake, Operation Windfall 1, Operation Windfall 2, Operation Sniper Wolf, Operation Natural 20


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 Post subject: Re: OPERATION NATURAL 20
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:41 pm
  

User avatar
Knight

Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:20 pm
Posts: 4923
Location: Right behind you.
Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
Gonna start work on the next op soon. The return from this silliness is necessary.

_________________
Mark Hall wrote:
Y'all seem to assume that Palladium books are written with the same exacting precision with which they are analyzed. I think that is... ambitious.

Talk from the Edge: Operation Dead Lift, Operation Reload, Operation Human Devil, Operation Handshake, Operation Windfall 1, Operation Windfall 2, Operation Sniper Wolf, Operation Natural 20


          Top  
 
 Post subject: Re: OPERATION NATURAL 20
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:18 am
  

User avatar
Hero

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 1378
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Alrik Vas wrote:
Gonna start work on the next op soon. The return from this silliness is necessary.


That would be fun to watch, we'll stay tuned! :P


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