To Schlep up a Ziggurat

Episode 2
To the Tower

The Stutz motors out of the Garage and onto East 43rd Street. The City is decorated for Christmas, and there’s snow on the ground. From there you catch Lexington Avenue, turn right onto 42nd Street, and left on 5th at the New York Public Library.

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With a start you notice the two stone lions standing guard. These do not rise to greet you, however.

The Empire State Building is visible as soon as you turn onto 5th Avenue. Nighttime in Midtown means street parking is readily available. You now must decide your approach.

  1. You can try the lobby. The doorman and desk clerk are unlikely to be armed (at least, this would be true in the New York you remember). You look unusual enough to make bluffing your way in a challenge.
  2. You could try a service entrance, but this would be immediately suspicious.
  3. You could try something entirely unconventional, like rappelling up the exterior. You’ll have to supply the details for how you wish to accomplish this, however.

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Please decide upon a plan of action by Friday, December 7th.

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Episode 1
Evening in the Eternal City

office

When you return to consciousness, you are standing in a luxurious, dusk-lit office. The Cretaceous jungle and the Lovecraftian horrors are a fading memory, like a dream upon waking.

Seated at a huge desk before you is an old man with hooded eyes and an ample gut under his smoking jacket. He is helping himself to brandy and cigars. You have not been invited to sit, so the man before you must be important.

“You boys are the ones Izzy sent?” He looks at Sydewayz, McGurk and Pokey appraisingly. “Well, you look a bit strange, especially the little guy. But you dress sharp, and you came highly recommended.”

He fumbles under his desk and produces a dossier. “There’s your objective. The Man of Bronze. There he is, right now in that fancy new office of his.” He points out the window.

You look and see the Empire State Building. (From your vantage point, you must be fairly high up in the Chrysler Building.) You are mesmerized. Seeing The Tower has jogged a strong memory in you, but you cannot place it.

“The ‘Man of Bronze,’ Doc Savage,” continues the seated corpulent figure (whose name, you suddenly remember, is Saul Cohen). “Boys, we can’t let Fascism take root in America. You’re going to find Savage and put him on ice. Your fee has already been taken care of. My express elevator will take you to your car.”

“Any questions?”

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Turn 10
Fright Night!

The Shoggoth shrugs off the party’s attack and rolls over the helpless Old One.

“No, no, down boy! AAGH!” the Old One thinks aloud as the Shoggoth envelops it, pauses to chew, then spits out a yellowed, headless carcass that bounces on the earth like a discarded chicken bone.

The Shoggoth stands 15 yds. away from the party. It emits a deafening cry that sounds like atonal orchestral piping: “TEKELILI!”

The party must make a Fright Check. Please roll 3d6 and report the result in the comments section before taking further action. Septimus and Fr. Jason are immune, but Paleonyx is not.

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Turn 9
Brontosaurus Burgers

The Sauropod now has 23 HP and is 50 yds. away. It will overtake the party this turn.

Hot on the heels of the dinosaur is the Old One. Last comes the Shoggoth.

Turn 9 will end Sunday evening, EST.

Because a turn represents more than one second here, you may declare several actions.

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Turn 8
An unusual procession

Paleonyx has collected the baggage and the mules. He follows the party up the hidden staircase.

The staircase corkscrews a few times and then ends in a door marked “Level 2.” There is nothing to do but open, and when you do there is a flash of pure white light.

The party is now outside in the clearing of a coniferous forest. The Tower is visible on the horizon, rising to infinity. It must lie about twenty miles away.

There is a rumble and into the clearing marches an unusual procession.

First is Pokey, a three-foot-tall extraterrestrial. You recognize him as a fellow Tower pilgrim.

Next is a Sauropod, perhaps Diplodocus or Brachiosaurus.

Chasing after the Sauropod is a plant-like beast with radial symmetry, an Old One. It stands eight feet high on starfish-like legs, has many forking tentacles but no discernible face.

Last is a Shoggoth, which looks something like an amoeba as big as a building.

All are thundering toward you at 8 yds/sec. or better. Pokey arrives first, and the Sauropod about thirty seconds behind him, followed closely by the rest.

This is not (yet) a melee, so you may take more than one second of action on your turn. For example, you may present, aim, discharge, and reload an arm in a single turn. Turn order is not here important.

Next update will be Friday, Nov. 23.

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Level 1 Scorecard

As the Manticore falls dead, one of the stone jars adjacent the tower opens to reveal the following treasures:

Two STATUS 3 TL6 mens suits, which confer a plus 1 reaction bonus on most worlds, enchanted to stay clean and dry. One brown and the other blue pinstripe.

One box of silver bullets (20 rounds) for the Mauser.

One box of silver bullets (20 rounds) for the M1911 pistol.

One small silver hammer (3 lbs.) engraved, “Return Maxwell Edison, M.D.”

Two sets of brass knuckles, silver plated.

One icepick (not silver).

The following potions to distribute as you wish:

Strength Potion, $250
Adds 1d6 to ST for 1 hour. No increase in HP.

Invisibility Potion, $3000
Invisible for 1d6x10 min.

Fire Resistance Potion, $500
Resists fire for 1d6 hours.

Healing Potion, $120
Heals 1d6 of injury (HP) or fatigue (FP) if HP are full.

Regeneration Ointment, $5000
Rub onto the site of a lost limb, eye, ear, etc.

Resurrection Potion, $25 000
Subject can only be dead an hour. Heals 2d6 HP. Returns to life with 0 FP.

Universal Antidote Potion, $750
Grants +8 to HT for resistance roll, but does not restore HP already lost to poison.

all potions work on golems, humans and aliens!

You also receive points to spend on your character sheets as you will:

1 pt./Manticore killed
1 pt./Riddle solved
1 pt./Surviving PC
1 pt. For Septimus’ riddle

also:

1pt. for McGurk’s finding the door

11 points.

Go ahead and copy/paste to your inventories.

Level 2 begins Sunday Evening, EST. Congratulations, all!

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Turn 7
Step-pyramid Stupor

So Far:

One Manticore (D) survives. It is surrounded by the PCs.

All PCs have ready weapons in hand.

The Melee has ended, and players can now go in any order.

Fr. Jason’s boon has expired and he is returned to DX 10.

The Manticore faces Sir Septimus and has its back to McGurk. Sydewayz and Fr. Jason are on its left flank. All are very close.

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Turn 6
Step-pyramid wrap-up

[Please take a look at this post in the Comment thread and answer whether you’re interested or not interested.]

First things first: Manticore C hits the ground like a sack of wet cement. [I forgot to give these things Catfall and it failed its Acrobatic roll: defaults to DX-6=12. Rolled 5+3+6=14. Uncontrolled fall 13 yards means 2xhpxvelocity/100 dice of crushing damage. 2×25×17/100=8.5, rounds up to 9 dice of crushing damage! Rolls: 6+6+4+6+2+3+6+1+5=39 points of crushing damage.]

Manticore C lands roughly and breaks its neck at the base of the step-pyramid. Credit for the kill goes to Fr. Jason, who side-stepped its charge.

Manaticore D is grappling with McGurk and about 1.5 yards from Septimus and Paleonyx. Fr. Jason is two yards away, and Sydewayz is about five yards back. Turn order as normal.

Manticore D: 16 HP.

Sydewayz: 10 HP.

McGurk: 11 HP.

Everyone else full HP.

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Turn 5
More step-pyramid mayhem

The Score:

Manticore A: 9 hp
Manticore B: 2 hp
Manticore C: 25 hp
Manticore D: 16 hp

Sydewayz is refunded 3 of his 5 lost hp (because I was using the wrong damage multiplier).

Sydewayz: 12 hp.

Turn order is Septimus, Manticores, the rest.

The party hears Manticore C muse aloud as it falls: “How long should a Manticore’s legs be?”

Manticore A is engaging Sir Septimus.
Manticore B is engaging Sydewayz.
Manticore C is in free-fall.
Manticore D is clinging to the side of the platform, wounded and partially blinded.

I plan to leave Turn 5 open until Sunday night. Please post your actions by then.

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Turn 4
Melee cont.

We rejoin our characters at the top of the Step-pyramid. Manticore A is five yards from Sir Septimus and has 16 HP left. Manticore B is less than one yard from Sydewayz and has 2 HP. Manticore C is charging the main party and is 8 yards away. Manticore D is charging Sir Septimus and is 7 yards from him.

Sydewayz has taken 3 points of crushing damage and is at 14 HP.

Paleonyx has readied the anti-tank rifle 3 yards behind Sir Septimus.

Sir Septimus goes first, then the Manticores, then the rest.

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