After encountering a mysterious woman in a hidden room, the investigators caught her starting to transform... into circa 1953 Richard Nixon. The shapeshifter owned up to being a demon, and suggested that he would vastly prefer to return to his home dimension, if they would only let him out. In fact, he offered to answer four questions for them to the best of his ability, two before his release and two after. The team, however, were highly skeptical. Matt remembered that demons are vulnerable to cold iron, holy water, and holy symbols, so the team left on a shopping spree and returned loaded for demon fighting.
For their first question, CP asked the demon what he intended when freed. The demon responded that he had been thinking about killing them all, but it was not worth the trouble they could now cause him thanks to their armament, and he'd just plan on bailing out. Marco asked why the students had confined the demon, and he responded that they were meddling do-gooders not unlike the heroes themselves. With that, Marco very carefully opened the chalk circles, and the demon vanished in a puff of smoke, leaving behind only the words "So long, suckers. You can't change what's coming."
Investigation of the hidden area revealed several ritual books and components, as well as a map with lines of colored string tacked on it. The lines all converged in an area outside of town known as "The Burn", site of a 1953 forest fire that left the area barren to this day.
The team determined to check out the Burn. They managed, with some difficulty, to sneak into the area, and took some soil samples. CP had the idea of casting a ritual in the area to dispel magic, to see if it had any effect. However, he needed ritual components, and so the team decided to return the next night.
That evening, however, they encountered fellow ETU students at the burn. Apparently Professor Burton, a biology instructor at the school, had brought a group in to conduct measurements and study the Burn. According to the students they encountered, however, the professor had fallen ill and taken to his tent. When the team arrived at the campsite, Ryo picked up faint moans from the tent, and went to investigate, as did one of the students. As they opened the tent flap, the professor, his skin mysteriously blackened and his eyes glowing red, seized the student and tore out his throat. The heroes attacked with some success, but the creature's claws seriously injured Matt, who fought on desperately trying to bring the professor down before he killed again...
Posting will be limited for a bit - I'm deep into the layout process for Children of the Apocalypse, with the goal of getting it up onto Drive Thru RPG as soon as possible. Stay tuned for the launch and for information on the upcoming Legion of Liberty.
A few examples of stuffed piglets and a Creative Taxidermist painted and based.
After facing down a small zombie horde, the sophomores made short work of the remaining two, with Marco hitting a home-run on the last one to finish the combat. The books the zombies were attempting to steal turned out to be volumes on the occult. Even more interestingly, a bookcase door opened in the hallway, revealing a secret room. The walls of the small room were carved with runes and sigils, and a pedestal in the center held a journal of ritual magic. CP and Matt's study of this book taught them Banish the Darkness (dispel) and the grave speak ritual.
After finishing midterms with fairly mixed results (notable for Mariana's acing her Art History midterm despite zero investment in learning anything about art history), CP's study of the Crayton Compendium identified a possible base of operations for the 1950s investigators known as the Founders. A clue in the book led them to Mary Lynn's Used Books and Emporium. In theory, the hideout was somewhere on the second floor. CP's initial bold-faced attempt at asking about rituals got him a brush-off, but Matt quickly capitalized on a help wanted sign and got himself hired at the bookstore. After Mary Lynn left for the night, Matt led the team to the stairs, only to find a security camera there. Quick work from Troy disabled the camera, and Matt led the team upstairs. The front room of the second floor was uninteresting; the back room seemed empty until Marco found a hidden latch on an empty bookshelf.
The bookshelf swung out in a cloud of dust. Beyond was a small room with a shelf of books, some miscellaneous objects that might have been useful in ritual magic, and a young woman in 1950s garb sitting on the ground. She identified herself as Judith and asked the heroes to help her escape, as she had been trapped for an unknown period in the room. While the team cautiously questioned Judith, she became increasingly agitated, until her disguise slipped for a moment, revealing glowing yellow eyes and razor-sharp claws. When it became clear that Marco had seen a hint of her true form, she said, "Well, s**t," and began to transform...
Some of the most exciting scenes in the Temeraire books are the aerial combats between dragons, or even whole formations of dragons. The question is, how would we approach that using Savage Worlds? For a formation level battle, the mass combat rules are certainly an option, but for smaller battles, I think the first approach is a Chase.
Basically, a dragon-fight is a dog-fight, with the two dragons maneuvering for advantage. Based on the results of the dragons' Piloting (Flying) rolls, the dragons might be able to engage with ranged weapons (like the Longwing's acid spitting) or melee (biting and claws, or impact). Beyond that, however, the aviators riding the dragon also have potential actions. Riflemen can shoot at the opposing aviators (rifle balls fired at dragons are of negligible use) and "bellmen" (crewmembers hanging from the belly of the dragon) can drop bombs. Bombing, in particular, is a tricky one, as it requires a specific position above the enemy dragon. I would probably say that, for a dragon to bomb another dragon, it must get at least one raise on the Piloting roll, and that the enemy dragon cannot have received any successes on its Piloting roll.
Range is also tricky, as the range of dragons' natural weapons is substantially different than the range of a rifle. I would probably use rifle range increments for the Chase range increments and adjust the dragon's weapons ranges accordingly.
Now for the really fun part - boarding actions. To board an enemy dragon, the friendly dragon must be in melee range. Boarders require an Agility check to leap to the enemy dragon and a Climbing check to latch carabiners. Moving around on dragonback would also require Climbing checks. From there, the dragon becomes a battle map, with the boarders trying to capture the dragon captain, forcing the dragon to surrender.
This all sounds like a lot of fun - I'm thinking I'm going to have to figure out a one-shot to use all these rules...