The MONORAIL hums eastward down its elevated track, pulled by a smoke-belching Engine.
In the crowded Coach carriage, an [orange]Orange Man[/orange] struggles to stay awake. The train is running far behind schedule, and now there are more delays crossing the mountains. The conductor says something about clearing ice from the tracks, but with a worried expression hinting of something more serious than ice.
The Monorail rolls to a halt in the shadow of the great mountain range. The Engine idles with a low, throbbing pulse that beckons sleep. Another in an endless series of missed connections, derailments, and weather delays.
[orange]The Gunnery Veiled[/orange], your adventure begins now! To comply with Transit regulations, your weapons have been stowed in the overhead compartment (except for a dagger hidden somewhere on your person). How will you pass the time to relieve the drudgery of travel?
The sun is sinking behind [orange]Gunnery[/orange] and what was a nice early-spring day is becoming a cool, windy evening. The mountains before you are still capped with snow, and ice clings tenaciously to the deep crevasses and ravines.
The Monorail has stopped in front of a tunnel entrance. It appears the track passes straight through the heart of the mountains! A dozen Green workmen are milling around, and you notice with mild concern that some of them are bleeding from scratches and bite marks.
He remains cloistered in his seat, but taps twice impatiently upon his left wrist then raises it to his ear a moment, as if listening.
"Nothing," he mutters to nobody in particular...
"My aunt used to talk to herself," volunteers a chatty Black Man seated nearby. "When she died, we discovered her tiny little conjoined twin. Brilliant Totalitor Beyond All Superlatives, at your service. Oil's my game; bound for Kingsport. Is this your first time in the East?"
He rises from his seat so that he can open a window, lean out and call to the green Men below, "Why have we stopped?".
"Squatters living down in the tunnels," answers a grimy, bloodied workman. He shifts his crossbow to his other shoulder and stretches his sore arm with a grimace.
"Bunch of savages," his friend agrees. He sneezes.
"They sabotaged the tracks and put us way behind schedule." He sneezes too.
"Yeah, but we don't mind the overtime pay. Heh-heh."
As though the boss was listening, the engine suddenly chugs to life.
"Track's clear, got to go!"
"Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle!"
The Monorail whistle blows and it leaves the surface behind, hurtling through the darkness at incredible speed, with a mile of solid rock overhead!
At one point, a section of the tunnel is brightly lit and scenes of destruction and carnage flash by. Then back to darkness again.
Despite the excitement of subterranean high-speed transit, [orange]Gunnery[/orange] cannot stay awake, the song of the rail is so hypnotic. He leans his head against the humming window, until he falls asleep and dreams he is a beast running through an alien jungle. The chase of predator and prey awakens him with a rush of adrenaline, and he jerks his head upright with a start! This happens several times, to the amusement of the Brilliant Totalitor.
Finally the Monorail emerges out of the tunnel and under the night sky. You are now in the the foothills with the mountain range receding to the west.
"Next stop Dunwich," announces the conductor. "Dunwich with continuing service to Arkham and Kingsport. Thank you for riding Miskatonic Transit."
Last Edit: Nov 28, 2011 16:57:41 GMT -6 by mushgnome
Gunnery's frustrations continue as the Monorail once again slows to an unscheduled stop in the middle of nowhere. Will this voyage never end? Brilliant Totalitor is droning on and on about the subtle distinctions in aroma and viscosity between grades AA and AAA oil, and ranting about the dishonest merchants trying to pass off grade B as the good stuff.
The Monorail is stopped at a junction in the tracks. The main line runs west-east, but a secondary maintenance track joins it from the north. About a mile away, you see another Monorail is approaching. The older-model engine struggles up the hill, belching smoke and making a frightful, grinding clamor. In the moonlight Gunnery's keen eyes notice it is towing only a single carriage.
It appears this smaller Monorail is on an intercept course with your own...
Meanwhile Breath of New Moon, Fated to Die, Minion of The Unholy Fragnog, and The Shade of the Evermore are on board the one-carriage backup Monorail, traveling south to rejoin the main line in the hills west of Dunwich. The lights of the other Monorail have just come into view; there is one final hill to climb.
The wounded Fated and Minion (1 hit point each) are riding up front with the [green]Engineer[/green].
"...so I says to her, I says... GREAT MOUNTAIN GOD! There's something on the tracks!!!"
He applies the brake, but it's too late--a giant worm chooses the wrong time to cross the track, and the speeding monorail cuts it in two!
By the time the monorail screeches to a halt, everyone's heart is pounding.
"Wait here, I'm going to check it out."
The green man hoists his crossbow and pokes his head out of the engine...
The worm is--or was--10' long and 1' thick, maybe 500 pounds. The front half is grappling with the [green]Engineer[/green] and the back half is flopping around on the other side of the track. There is rustling in the bushes nearby...
The Monorail Engine is sturdily built, and Fated finds a hiding spot under the coal-bin. Shade and Minion are inside the carriage, near the windows, armed and ready for battle. Breath looks up from the demolitions instruction manual and prepares for action.
What is Team Monorail's strategy for Round 1 of the Worm Battle?
Last Edit: Nov 29, 2011 19:21:57 GMT -6 by mushgnome
Breath of New Moon is feeling rather brave... but not foolish. She will move to the external doorway of the train car, ready with her Glaive to attack any worm which approaches (or quickly exit the car if such be needed).
Minion aims another arc blast at one of the giant worms approaching the car!
To be clear, the arc welder is a melee weapon. The arc can jump a few feet from the first target to an adjacent target, but the original target must be within spear-poking distance.
What you can do is set your spear vs. charge; if the worms charge the carriage then your readied attack will do an extra die of damage. Or I could allow Minion to revise his action and fire his crossbow instead?
I thought I'd run this encounter with the "cards face up" so our new player, WaysofttheEarth, can get comfortable with the system.
First I roll 1d10 to determine what size hit die the worms have. [1-2=d4; 3-4=d6; 5-6=d8; 7-8=d10; 9-10=d12] 1d10=5 so they have d8-sized hit dice.
Worm A has 2d8=8+5=13hp and Worm B has 3+8=11hp. The worm halves have 6hp (front half) and 3hp (back half).
Gunnery has a clear shot at Worm B, with no risk of hitting the carriage or Engineer, so he takes it... rolling 2d6+2 on the Man-to-Man missile table, longbow vs. light horse at long range needs a 12 and you roll 5+6+2=13! Now damage: first d10 for die size = 10 so you use d12! 1d12=6 hp damage, a respectable shot given the distance, and Worm B is reduced to 5hp.
Meanwhile Worm A rears up and slams into the carriage, shattering windows and splintering beams. The Monorail takes 2 points of structural damage (as if hit by a battering ram, see the Siege rules on p. 22).
Minion is standing by with his arc-welder, but rolls a natural 1 [noooooo!] and his brand new toy malfunctions, its battery is spent! Worm A takes a mere [1d10=6, 1d8=3] damage from the pointy end of the stick, reducing it to 8 hp.
The Engineer discharges his light crossbow at the severed worm-head [2d6=5] and just barely hits his point-blank target! The head takes [1d10=9, 1d12=8] 8hp damage and is slain!
This angers the worm-tail, which flings itself at the Engineer's legs, hoping to topple his balance [Light Foot vs. Light Foot needs a 6: 1d6=5] but its attack is ineffective. However, big bad Worm B rears up vertically on its tail and then topples like a tree onto the Engineer [Light Horse vs. Light Foot rolls 2 dice and needs 5+: 1d6x2=6, 2]. It crushes him for 1 die damage [1d10=4, 1d6=6] and the poor chap takes 6 damage, reducing him to 2 hp.
Meanwhile Breath is poised in the carriage door, having chosen to delay her action, and may attack any of the worms this round if she chooses.
Last Edit: Dec 1, 2011 10:01:04 GMT -6 by mushgnome