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Nechronica: actual good game or degenerate weeb garbage?
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>>73453448
Both
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Do you HAVE to be a little girl?
Because I do vibe with undead zombie monster planet, but there is no way I'd actually be able to convince any of my players that we all need to be little girls.
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>>73453597
You can also be little boys.

I truth there's strictly speaking nothing in the rules that requires you to be a little girl, but the point of Nechronica is that the characters are emotionally vulnerable (sanity damage is generally more dangerous than physical damage, since you can put yourself back together from anything short of complete annihilation), and that works better if the characters are little girls than if they're grizzled soldiers.
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>>73453577
fpbp
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>>73453762
But you need a specific part to be a boy, anon.
>>73453448
It can be as weeb as you want. It's actually easily tweakable to play as robots or even mecha pilots.
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>>73453577
fpbp

>>73453762
>You can also be little boys.
Half the playerbase spergs out if it ever even implied that anything that can theoretically threaten the purity of their guromech waifus exists.
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>>73453762
>characters are emotionally vulnerable

We got hard numbers? Cuz Trail of Cthulhu gives you a big SAN hit for killing someone
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>>73453597
>Do you HAVE to be a little girl?

No. The book ASSUMES you will but there is no mechanical reason you can't be something else.

My current party is an old man and woman, a greaser who looks somewhere between 18 and 30, and someone so heavily cyborged that it's hard to tell what they once were, assuming they started out looking human at all. There more like humanoid sorting robot with a spider tank lower body. Though they came back online covered in art like somebody who is really into tattoos, and they have a real eye for architecture.

The Greaser has convinced himself that in life the two old folks are his grandparents on different sides of the family and that's why they all woke up with amnesia in the same room, resulting in him being protect I've of both of them.

The old woman is bitter about her lost memories and isnkond of a downer, the old man is trying to keep everyone sane and motivated.

Currently they are trying to set up a radio to try and find out what happened and why everything around here is fucked, and invested with giant bugs, mindless zombies, and pack hunting undead cyborg chimpanzees.
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>>73454825

Call of Cthulu's Sanity system is for a game where sanity is a slippery slope you quickly slide down and fall off of.

Nechronica's sanity system is about trying to carve out an existence on that slippery slope. as the game progresses you gain resources that help you do this.

(the easiest way to kill PCs is san damage, and you can EASILY tpk a starting party with it because they start out with minimal capacity to remove madness points, AND all their fetters are one MP away from being full, and when fetters get full the side effects range from problematic to CRIPPLING)
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>>73455858
tell us more about your campaign please.
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>>73455858
>there is no mechanical reason you can't be something else.
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>>73453597
I just refluff problematic parts (as necromancer you refluff parts anyway when building enemies) and let the PCs be whatever.

There's no mechanical reason to be little girls.

>>73453597
>Because I do vibe with undead zombie monster planet
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>>73453762
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>>73456002
>>73453762
throwing mysteries in the wastes, or in relatively civilized undead regions if you make those, is fun.
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>>73456014
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>>73456020
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Rolled 2 + 1 (1d10 + 1)

>>73453597
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>>73453762
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>>73455986
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>>73456100
>>73453597
>>73453762

Eye liek tu inklood deskripshons nachural byootie intu gaymz.
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>>73456124
I suppose when humanity hasn't been around for a century or two or more thats enought time to get some extensive forests and other things we don't have as much of anymore.

If that is how you are running your game.
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>>73453448
I want to run a game using nechronica where the players are part of a demonic invasion and the sheer alien mundanity of earth is taxing on their demon realm sanity.

Also humans have all kinds of crazy weapons and aren't shy about shooting back.

Good thing your so durable and heal so easily.

How long can you survive before you get too broken, physically or mentally, and your overlords back home have you dragged back for scrap or written off as a total loss.
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>>73456140
pretty much.
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>>73455986
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>>73456100
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>>73456124
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>>73456378
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>>73456461

>>73456428
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>>73456223
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>>73455986
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>>73453597
>Because I do vibe with undead zombie monster planet,
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>>73456496
>>73456490
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>>73456083
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>>73453448
Unironically one of the best cyborg simulators out there, far better rules for that than in any cyberpunk game I've played.
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>>73453597

Not really, some GMs let people play as boys and it doesn't do too much to harm the atmosphere/theme, unless the player's being shit about it but that'd happen anyway.

Letting people play as adults tends to change the atmosphere and theme very heavily and some things start to get questionable. With the way that sanity fluctuates in the system it makes sense when the PCs are children because kids are prone to extreme reactions. Also things like general competence and knowledge about the world and so on that nechronica expects out of PCs makes more sense with kids than adults.

The long and short of it is, mechanically the game doesn't break down but it becomes something that feels very different.

And to bring something more fun to the table, you can play as a head and spine.
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>>73458052
Cute!
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Join us!
https://discord.gg/VzZ6wMd
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Because it hasn't been linked in the thread yet, here's the link to the wiki and the PDF.

https://nechronica.miraheze.org/wiki/Main_Page
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>>73458858
I like using the translation project wiki. it lets me avoid the artwork in the book.
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>>73453448
>tags: girls_only, lolicon, yuri, guro, body_horror, necrophilia, lovey_dovey_sex, hand_holding, heart_pupils
But also yes it is a really good game.
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>>73461218
...anon why would you just out yourself as a gigantic pussy like that?
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>>73461330

Because I actually USE THE SYSTEM and wanted to give OP an honest example.
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>>73453577

Pretty enjoyable weebshit, honestly. Kamiya delives as a game designer
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>>73461786
The sad thing is Cletus is a DISNEY CHARACTER now.
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>>73461309
That's an interesting way to fluff gaining the adhesive pads part.
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>>73461309
Tags?
What are you on about?
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>>73461786
And I don't? I'm grateful for stumbling upon it on /tg/, it's a really great game. But acting like like the art is icky makes you sound like a normalfag that doesn't really use it at all.
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>>73453577
exactly
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>>73461786

Even if there is a valid point that the wiki is a decent way to go to convince those who are skittish to give it a try before the art scares them off, you're still a colossal faggot for trying to say that people who like the art don't play the game.

>>73461801
Yeah, in between Nechronica, MAID, and Golden Sky Stories, the guy's done great work and Nechronica is his best overall. The part system alone is such a simple yet inspired idea.
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>>73463093
Ok first, that crown of clawed fingers is badass.

>trying to say that people who like the art don't play the game.

I'm saying I don't so SOME people who play the game don't like the art. NOT that people who like the art don't play the game.

But thank your for helping me be more clear.

Do you have more art to share?
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>>73463719

Got a smattering of things, probably gonna toss out a few things that people have used as character art/inspiration as things go along.

One of the great things about this game is the sheer amount of crazy character looks you can do that are perfectly fine, and one of the complaints about the art is that they don't go out there enough to show what wacky shit you can do. Baroque's class art is probably the only one that does anything real different.
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>>73464526
you could legit play undead with minds uploaded from a corrupted brain backup location from before the war, in bodies altered to look like icons from a dead age. You have to band together as a team and escape before your necromancer's high level servitors force you to play blood sports for it's amusement.
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>>73464526
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>glow niggers propped up a doll as a revolutionary figurehead just to see how a doll revolt would turn out in a controlled environment
>assassin doll that was supposed to kill her couldn’t because she fell in love with her, waited out the end together
I love how /u/ the game is
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>>73453448
Is Nechronica the Tom Scott of tabletop RPGs?
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>>73453448

This was in the last draw your party thread.
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>>73464526

Here's one of a Requiem/Baroque. Sniper rifle that was their main attack part not shown.
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>>73453448
The second thing.
It's about fucking zombie lolis.
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>>73465412
In what sense, sorry?
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>>73466697
it can be about zombie lolis AND be breddy gud, anon
t necromancer for a few years now
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>>73466697

You're not required to have them fuck. That is entirely your choice that it happens.
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>>73467559
>Conversation Checks are makeout sessions
this would get extra hilarious with stuff that let you make them mid-battle
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>>73453448
It can be both!
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I would gladly fork over money for an officially translated printed copy of this. It could sit on my shelf next to my other Kamiya books.
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Speaking of this game, I need one more. If you can play at 9 EST every other saturday, come say hi on this discord:
sHShkc
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>>73456293
What is “warp time street level view” even mean and what’s that pic from it looks cool,
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>>73467627
>Slurper now gives +1 on conversation checks
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>>73464526
It's quite fun to go all out with Baroque mutations, though you can get pretty reasonably weird with any class if your DM allows you enough leeway with refluffing parts. Coleo here has refluffed Extra Eyes as a set of large compound eyes with a multitude of extra irises and pupils rather than literal extra eyes. The bug theme has honestly been a lot of fun to mess with.
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>>73465412
Tom Scott is an educator who makes videos.

In what way are you comparing you to Nechronica.
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>>73468713
Tell us more about your character.
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>>73453448
Previous thread.
>>72655511
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>>73468449
now consider that Alice-type doll
>has bonus to Conversations she makes
>has bonus to Conversations made with her
>and can make additional Conversation
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>>73468713
>set of large compound eyes with a multitude of extra irises and pupils rather than literal extra eyes.

How do you draw this? are her eyes just shiney balls off Iris color with a few black points in whatever is the center of the eye from the "camera's view" in the drawing?
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Reading the book, a lot of these fetters seem to have rampantly lesbian themes.
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>>73469212
Yes, being lesbians is a core part of the game. It's a good thing.
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>>73469212
>Reading the book, a lot of these fetters seem to have rampantly lesbian themes.
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>>73468713
Is she the village bicycle? She looks like she can handle a whole team of dolls.
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>>73468713
What is she holding behind her back?

Is it her secret lover? Is her lover a masochist?
Is that why their's blood dripping from some of her legs?
Has she been torturing her lover To help her get over the terrible things she's seen and done?
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>>73465382
where in the world was this stated, or is it just some made up head cannon
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>>73469254
Only insofar as keeping each other sane in a sisterly+ way. Not like, actual sex. I hope.
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>>73469340
One of the fluff books has that story among others in it.

The books is called "savant human rights" or something similar.

If you want your setting to have stories of humanity abusing the undead after inventing them (before the endtime comes) then that book is useful for inspiration.
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>>73469356
No sex, but kissing, fondling, teasing and more should always be welcome and part of your game. Fade to black if things get too bad.
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>>73469413
anon these are corpses
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>>73469171
>How do you draw this?
To be perfectly blunt, I don't. My drawing skills are poor, and the picture provided was done by one of my DMs (though they play in Coleo's game as a party member). So far we haven't given drawing them a go.

>>73468785
Coleo (full name Scutigera Coleoptrata) is an orphan, raised by her late parents' good friend William Windsor since she hatched. She works as his assistant at the city library he runs and lives in and performs various duties around the property such as organizing books, helping customers, and hunting pests.
She actually has quite a strong predatory bent, having hunted the local squirrels to the point where they won't come on the property anymore. And in general she highly prefers her meat raw.

She lives in a fictional English city called Homburg, which is currently experiencing the year 1888 (with some anachronisms). Everyone inside is an undead, though they obey certain rules that make them less robust than traditional player characters; there's also several other animal hybrid types (Coleo is friends with a black cat chimney sweep boy and an older red moth girl).

The other two party members are more traditional Dolls, and Coleo met them in the first session when they broke out of the shipping boxes they had been trapped in. She only just recently realized that they legitimately weren't like the other people she knows when one of them experienced total brain destruction, which Homburg's people normally find lethal.

Her favorite foods are corned beef and freshly caught rabbit.
Her guilty pleasure is human meat.
Her treasure is a cat-sized cricket named Jiminy.

She's been a fun character to play. I'm glad my DM invited me over.

>>73469333
She got caught sneaking a large rat for a midnight snack.

>>73469333
She is nine. Don't act uncouth (And she's firmly committed to her Thanatosfu, partially because the Requiem only has eyes for the cat mentioned earlier).
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>>73469212

Only devoted is outright lesbians. The rest require you to intentionally interpret it that way.
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So she chews on the Thanatos?
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>>73469574
Anon, please
>possessive
>attached
>love-hate
>dependent
>reverent
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>>73469614
Mostly just hugs, really. Six arms make one quite excellent at hugs. The one time it got real bad there was also hair brushing.
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>>73469697
>hugs
>there was also hair brushing.
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>>73456471
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>>73470000
>57 No.73469502
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>>73469911
I guess you talked me into it; I'll storytime that little scene.
For some context: Coleo's library had just been attacked earlier that evening by a Savant. Said Savant had harvested a bunch of other centipede peoples to make a macabre meat-suit that mimicked how Coleo looks, and even went so far as to copy her glasses and haircut. The Savant's goal was to burn down the Library as revenge for the group killing her sisters (which ambushed the group in an old apartment building); they were thwarted, but not before the group took pretty serious injuries.

Luckily Coleo has a healing factor and Imp goes together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Also, Imp rolls a d10 on every person she meets. And possibly has a habit of collecting parts.

>Coleo stumbles into the kitchen, Jiminy cradled up close to her chest with one set of hands, a candle held high in another. Her eyes are set into deep bags and she sways a little as she slithers through the doorway.
>Her stomach growls even as she crosses the floor to the kitchen. "And somehow I'm still parched, too," she complains to Jiminy, who chirps quietly as he nestles closer to her chest. "Maybe I'll put on some tea..." she says idly as she swings the cupboard open and starts looking for something to eat.
>"Coleoptrata."
>It's Imp's voice, urgent, but quiet.
>When Coleo turns around, Imp is just... there, without any prior sign of her arrival.(edited)
>Her eye burns azure in the night, like an off-season jack'o lantern.
>Her expression is so neutral and her body so still Coleo might've mistook her for a statue.
>Her basket hangs from her shoulder, and her chainsaw rests in her right hand.
>Coleo tries to rub the sleep out of her eyes with the back of the wrist. "Oh, hello Imp. I didn't see you-" She blinks as she sees the door swing itself shut. "Hear you? I didn't know you were here." She looks uncertainly between the open cupboard and Imp. "Did you... also want something to eat?"
[1/?]
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>>73470185
>"No." Imp says, "We...'ve gotta talk. Alone." She takes a breath, "Please, eat, drink, then follow me."
>"Uhm..." Coleo hesitates for a moment, then quickly snatches a large-ish loaf of bread from the shelves and pouring herself a glass of water. "I can eat as we go," she says to Imp, holding up her last two unoccupied hands which now hold her midnight snack.
>She tears a large chunk off the end of the loaf with her mandibles as if to punctuate the statement.
>"Alright."
>Imp leads Coleo away from the kitchen.
>She seems tense- Skittish, almost like she expects someone to attack her at any moment.
>Eventually they're in the most remote, secluded location Imp knows on the library grounds - the bathroom she's been repairing clothes in.
>Once there, she steps inside, then turns to face Coleo. "Please, hold this," She passes Coleo her chainsaw - a sign of trust, or...? - and then beckons her in, "and close the door behind you."
>Coleo swallows the last of her bread and downs the rest of her water, freeing up her hands. But as she reaches out for the weapon there's very clear hesitation. "I've, uhm, I've never held a weapon before," Coleo admits as the door clicks shut behind her.
>"That's fine. I hope you don't need to use it," Imp replies, before taking another deep, steadying breath.
>"Uhm... Well, all right." Coleo leans forward tentatively, taking the chainsaw by the handle. It hangs awkwardly in her grip; she's not exactly sure what to do with it. After a moment she decides to put another hand under the boxy part near the back - the motor? - and half-cradles it with the paddle of the saw facing away from her.
>"So... what is this for?"
>"So..." Imp says at the same time, before awkwardly cutting herself off and glancing to the side to admire the wallpaper.
>Her newly reacquired tail lashes nervously.
>"I can't stay here anymore." She says.
>"It is unsafe." She bits her cheek.
>"For your father."
[2/?]
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>>73470330
>"It's- I don't think I understand." Coleo looks to the chainsaw in her hands and back to Imp, trying to formulate her next words. "You don't think Suzie came because of you do you? That would be absurd."
>"No." Imp says, "And I will rend her into dust when next I see her," the girl snarls, almost, her eye burning brightly with rage. "With my teeth if I must."
>She takes a breath to collect herself. "This body... these parts... this face..." She says, hesitantly, and edging every so slightly from Coleo, while looking anywhere but the girl's face, "they may look like 'me,' but are not mine."
>"They never were."
>Coleo shrinks back, clutching Jiminy closer to her chest as the cricket chirps quietly. "Di- did you..." The image of Suzie's faux carapace dances across her mind's eye. "Did you... take them? From others?" The last words are almost a whisper.
>Imp is continuing to pointedly look away. "That memory I mentioned... that face I forgot... I needed to rebuild it somehow, so..." She laughs hoarsely. "It mattered less when they were just savage, mindless puppets, but... habits so hard to break when they're all that keep you...
>"I can't stay here. I can't stay here. I have to go. I have to go before I hurt you. Before I hurt what's yours."
>"I... Imp, I don't- I don't think you'd hurt me. I know I startled you that one time after we'd just met, but you and Melico were so wound up." Coleo takes a tentative step forward. "You've been- well, quiet, but you haven't broken anything, or hurt anyone. I don't really... I don't really understand what you're saying."
>"Your father is close to ideal." Imp spits out, in a rush.
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>>73470501
>"Too close. Too close. Too tempting. Last night, like this... I can't trust myself near him, and you shouldn't either. Just like that... other man." She giggles, somewhat brokenly, "Nine out of ten - so similar, so tempting, so selfish and wrong. I can't stand it. If I'm to have something I care for- something real... and also threaten it just... just by existing... I can't stand it. I can't stand for it."
>She backs away, toward the wall, "So... maybe I should just disappear?"
>Jiminy skitters from Coleo's chest to stand on her shoulders, chirping angrily at Imp's outburst. Coleo tries to calm him with a light pat on the back of the head as she gently lowers Imp's chainsaw to the ground. She takes another tentative step forward.
>"I don't want you to disappear, Imp. I promised I'd help you, and you protected me from Suzie and helped me save the fire team... I want to help. I can help. If- if we have to keep you somewhere and let you calm down we can do that. But I don't want to abandon you."
>"But you should!" Imp cries.
>"I... All I'm good for is breaking things. People. Tearing them apart! And then putting them back together in... that person's likeness... I can't support you, I can't defend you... Just break the things which hurt you... and hurt-" the things you don't want to break. She hisses out a sigh, choking back a sob.
>"This world is too peaceful for something like me. Things like me should just disappear, so you can keep dreaming your happy little dreams! Even Melico... whatever she's trying to do, I just keep complicating things..."
>Imp is shrinking toward the corner, but her head is high, her gaze is even, and her neck is exposed.
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>>73470533
>"I am not asking you to help me!" Coleo's voice is a magnitude louder than she intended, Jiminy even jumps a little in surprise.
>"I am asking you let me help you. You're here because I want to help you. Because I asked to help you. Because I asked if I could support you." Coleo's volume tapers off as she speaks. She lowers herself to eye level with Imp, padding forward slowly.
>Gently, very gently, she lays a hand on Imp's shoulder. Her other arms snake around, enveloping Imp in a hug made just a little awkward by her orientation away from Coleo. Coleo squeezes gently and tugs, trying to draw Imp out of the corner.
>"Just- c'mon and look at me." Her voice is as non-threatening as she can make it.
>Imp hesitates. "But..." that's not how this story ends. "...taking someone like this in just... never ends well. Melico is stable, but I'm..."
>Imp is still looking away, though her heart's clearly not in it.
>Coleo moves in closer, completing the hug as one hand reaches up to stroke Imp's hair. "There are seven men alive tonight that might not have been if you hadn't helped me pull them out of the fire. There are two serial killers off the streets, who would still be abducting and killing innocent people for their sick games if you hadn't been there to stop them that night."
>"I may not have made it out of the fire if you hadn't come to help. I could have been one of their victims that night in the tenements."
>"But I did and I'm not. Because you and Melico were there, and you saved me." Coleo's voice is quiet, gentle.
>"I... don't want to hurt you." Imp says, at last, turning her head toward Coleo just slightly,. "...but if I'm not that person, what am I? These arms..." She dares not touch Coleo with them. "This body... It just keeps getting worse, you know. Spikes. Tail. Arms. Somehow I always look the same, mostly, but... one day that might not be the case. And I..."
>She chokes. "...I don't want to give up on that memory. I can't."
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>>73470599
>"Imp, you are my friend and I will call you that no matter how you look. And besides," She giggles quietly to herself as she draws back from the hug enough that she can look Imp in the eye.
>A hand comes up and Coleo uses a pair of fingers to pull her own kaleidoscopic eye as wide as it will go. "I don't look the same way as when we met either, and I'm not a different person." Her toothed tongue peaks out from between her mandibles as she tries to make a silly face.
>She sighs once. "But if you're really worried... we could get you checked out by doctor Clemens. He was there and saw it happen. He might know a way to... fix your arms? Or keep it from happening again, maybe. He did help put you back together."
>Imp giggles shakily, "Shouldn't leave me alone with him either. I... I'll try, but... Keep this in mind, ok?"
>Coleo draws back a little more and pats Imp's shoulder. "I can go with you if you're worried. I wouldn't let anything happen."
>She yawns abruptly, involuntarily. "Goodness, I'm sorry. I almost forgot how tired I was."
>"Then to bed with you, silly mortal." Imp says, with faux regality, "Go get some sleep. I'll be fixing clothes... again."
>Coleo disentangles herself from the other girl, apparently satisfied. For now, at least.
>She yawns again as she turns to leave, Jiminy cradled against her chest once again. "Okay, have a good night. Let me know in the morning if you need anything, okay?" And then she's slithering out the door.
--
And done. Hopefully that's what you were looking for.
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>>73467903
https://discord.gg/ts7nesa
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>>73469356
so "sisters with benefits" is a thing, huh?
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>>73477339

It can be if you're weird.
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>tfw it's been weeks since the last thread, which has given me plenty of time to type up another session of Gravel's storytime, and instead I only got like halfway through it and then gave up

W-well, shit. Guess I'm doing this live. For the record, I'm a different player from that campaign, because the thought of leaving the entire campaign to one man alone is so heinous that I couldn't conscience it, so we're splitting the workload by handling separate sessions. Speaking of, for those wanting a refresher, here's the link to the first episode, as it were. http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/72655511/#p72732935

Because I don't have everything ready, there's definitely going to be slowdown here and there. I can only ask for your patience and understanding as I go "oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck I'm a fool for not getting this all sorted out sooner".

Now, without any further ado: Gravel, Session 2.
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>>73480748

The tension doesn’t last through the several hours of boredom that a truck ride entails, even one filled with flesh. Day turns to dusk, and stars begin filling the sky behind the disinterested dolls coasting through unlife by the grace of a tiny trucker. Both Adrian and Coach have fallen asleep after growing bored of watching Lola drive (Adrian snoring quite loudly, Coach less so), next to Lola and Alexis, the latter in some sort of meditative loli trance, whereas Altina and Aida enjoy the company of a skittish slavic mule and perhaps rather less enjoy the squishy seating of a truckbed full of body parts.

Lola eventually speaks up. “Now, you gotta promise something.” Her eyes are fixed on the road. She's a pro. Or so she likes to think. “If -anyone- asks, you woke on the side of the road and I gave you a lift. That's it.”

Aida pokes one of the walls of the truck's back. "But... we woke up in this! Why do we have to lie about that?"

“Because I'm gonna be in deep shit, that’s why!” Lola says. “I'm not supposed to give lifts, either, but if they found out I didn't double-check the cargo they're going to strangle me. The lift they'll excuse, I hope, since you helped with the Russians.”

“If not, you're rushing to the unemployment office,” Alexis says, coming out of her meditative daze to be cheeky.

Aida, however, is less flippant and more concerned. “But why would they wanna hurt you? Are they... are they bad?! Should I blow them up?!” For however unpleasant she finds her circumstances as an unliving bomb, one cannot fault her willingness to explosively help others.

A surprised “What!?” is Lola’s immediate response to such an offer, before she hastily adds “No! They're just my bosses. At worst, I'd get the nagging of the century and would be assigned something really stupid. Like mining. I worked a lot to get where I am! I can't afford to lose all my credibility!”
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>>73480823

“Oh,” says Aida, finding this explanation reasonable enough to calm down. “Okay. I won’t blow them up if you say so.”

“I'll just jedi mind trick them into thinking you did a good job,” Alexis offers with a wave of her hand, but Lola is baffled by such pop culture references of ages past, and opts to poke the sleeping muscle instead.

"Who cares, the water's fine…” Adrian mumbles in the face of this harassment, unfazed and unconscious. “You just have to punch sharks…" Lola pinching a muscly arm accomplishes nothing, for they’re hard enough to deflect bullets.

“Can you wake her up with that trick?” Lola asks of the jedi, exasperation growing.

Alexis shrugs. “She has to hear me.”

“...This is really important, y’know!”

In the face of such urgency, Alexis makes the mistake of elbowing Adrian in the solar plexus. “Wake up!” This jolts the muscle awake in alarm, and she immediately secures the loli in a headlock, though a cry of “Uncle! Uncle!” gets the still-groggy Adrian to release Alexis before her head pops.

While a confused Adrian’s question of why Alexis did that results in blame being foisted on Lola, the trucker shows no sign of remorse. “Listen up: if -anyone-, and I do mean -anyone- at all, asks you where you woke up, it was on the side of the road. I just gave you a lift. You didn't wake up on the back of this truck. No, sir.”

Adrian accepts this with a shrug, and then opts to rummage around in the glovebox while asking if there’s any food to be found. She acquires a pair of dusty sunglasses and (after a quick cleaning) plants them on her face, but as Lola admits she doesn’t really eat, there’s not much in the way of anything edible unless Adrian wants to start gobbling up the cargo.
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>>73480748
>W-well, shit. Guess I'm doing this live.
Best of luck, Second.
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>>73480893

Alexis, for her part, opts to drill the passengers in the back about the plan. “Where did we wake up!?”

“Ah, uh, road!” Aida shouts back, half-convincingly.

Altina, seated against a wall of the truckbed, arms folded behind her head, eyes shut, and smile eternally fixed in place, finally finds it an appropriate time to speak up. “We were just four poor lost girls lucky enough to find a passing truck for a ride, aha, simple enough. This is sure to convince whoever we meet, yes.”

"Look,” Lola says, not quite appreciating the layer of (presumable) sarcasm draped over Altina’s words, “if this story isn't good enough for you, just say I got attacked and you guys rushed in to help and that's why I gave you the lift. Or something like that.”

“I said nothing of the sort, thank you,” comes the albino’s reply, friendly as ever. “It is perfectly fine with me.”

Lola doesn’t seem interested in giving that a response, and so the sound of a mule’s whistling, guns pointed at the sky, is the only vocalization to fill the air after that. Those two who look up, Adrian and Aida, are fortunate enough to spot a shooting star’s passage, though whatever wishes they make are kept to themselves.

Night falls, stars providing plenty of light to see by, even not accounting for the truck’s headlights. And, on the horizon, the lights of civilization can be faintly seen. Lola is relieved by the sight, and so figures this the best time to address another issue. “Well, I never really asked you but... I can leave you guys off here, right? I won't be going back to Europe for a while now. I figure that's where you're from.”

“Why’d we go back there?” Adrian asks.

“I dunno. That’s why I’m asking you. It’s mostly ruins ‘nyway.”
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>>73458858
Whoever translated this wasn't a native English speaker, were they?
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>>73480997

Adrian, quite reasonably, points out, “We woke up in the back of the truck, we’d have no idea where we’re going.”

“There wasn't anyone when I checked the cargo. I'm still convinced you climbed in somewhere along the way.” Lola then concedes the argument with, “Well, you fought the Russians for me so it's all forgiven.”

“But we didn’t!” Aida protests (about climbing in, for fighting the Russians was undeniable). “We woke up right here.” She pats one of the corpses, eliciting a whimper from the mule.

“Side of the road,” Alexis corrects the bomb, still set on playing along with Lola’s story.

“Why would we lie about that?” Adrian asks.

“Saying we climbed in is a lie and I am ashamed of you for doubting us so,” Altina adds, still sounding friendly as ever.

In the face of all these protests, Lola is undeterred. “I’m just saying, I have no idea how you ended up in there. I didn’t put you there, if that’s what you were wondering.”

“I don’t think you could pick me up,” Adrian notes. “So no.”

“...Well, that too,” Lola says.

Alexis has a more outlandish idea, however. “What if… what if we fell out of the sky? And got really lucky?”

“That’d be pretty amazing,” Lola admits.

“But if I fell real far, I’d go all boom,” Aida says.

Alexis doesn’t find this to be a concern. “How many times did you blow up already? You look fine to me.

“She had to be put back together,” says the muscle.

“As did I, after the last time,” Altina adds. “But this is all right, for everything else exploded as well and victory was ours.”

Aida, meanwhile, has spent that entire time thinking hard about how many times she’d gone up in flames. “Uh... it was... one... two... three and a half!”

“An excellent number of explosions," so declares the albino.
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>>73481114

While the inanity of this conversation carries on, the truck rumbles into town at last, passing a sign so worn that it may as well be illegible. The party cruises on dirt roads crossing between empty lots and rundown shacks in this sparse slum, with the occasional building that -doesn’t- look like it belongs besides a dumpster. Every other shack and building has at least a very faint light in its porch; electricity! Indeed, this is civilization, third-world though it is. Soon enough, a sharp turn takes the truck into a larger area surrounded by fences, the vehicle coming to a stop at the closed gates of a slightly more well-illuminated lot.

Adrian, ever helpful, hops out and yanks the gate open so that they can drive in, shutting it behind them once the truck’s through. The lot is oddly deserted, but this late at night, it’s like as not just because everyone went home, and it’s in this lonely silence that the truck pulls up next to a building relatively close to the gates.

“Alright, here we are,” Lola says. She pauses to let out a loud sigh before the horn sounds, its hellish honk echoing in the night. Such screeching is alarming enough to get Adrian covering her ears, a mule whimpering and covering its head with its guns, Altina twitching with each blast of hell-noise but otherwise holding remarkably steady, and Alexis finding it delightful enough to honk the horn again like the little noisemaking troublemaker she is.

Lola cuts Alexis off, telling her that ‘they’ already heard her before turning the truck off and hopping out. And, indeed, a large shambling mob emerges from the darkness into view, alarming enough for Adrian to tense up and make ready to fight...
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>>73481163

...but instead, Lola identifies them as friendlies, causing no small amount of muscly disappointment as the prospect of an enjoyable fight is dashed. The zombies, reassured by the familiar voice of Lola, disregard Adrian to lurch towards the truck and attempt to unload it – but the rear door is wedged shut from being stuck back in by hand, leaving them to bang on it hopelessly. Even Aida’s attempt to shove the door open from the inside with her tiny loli arms, valiant though it is, accomplishes not much of anything.

Adrian shoulders through the zombies, who sense her innate aura of dominance and clear a path for her, bowing their heads. Once she’s through, and with a bit of encouragement from Altina (“Please fix your handiwork with your huge muscles, Adrian.” “Gladly.” “Lovely, thank you.”) the muscle pries the door off with ease and sets it aside. Aida scrapes her knee falling from trying to push the door open as it’s removed, but thankfully doesn’t blow up everyone and their ride, for she’s not quite ~that~ fragile.

The zombies slowly clap at the impressive display of strength, while a mule happily whistles from the truckbed. Once the undead mob are able to climb aboard, they start orderly lining up to unload everything – well, everything that doesn’t move, at least. A mule disembarks with a high jump, finally rousing Altina from how she was lazing about, and the albino’s eyes glow in the darkness as she finally stands, stretches, and clambers off as well.

“So now what?” Adrian asks, once all’s said and done.

“You tell me, I’m not your boss,” Lola says. “I just want to know what I should do with that… Russian… Girl? ...It’s a girl, right?”

“Sure, she can be a girl,” Adrian decides.
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>>73481231

Altina has to concur. “I don't see why she wouldn't, after how we handled her previous 'friends'.”

“But for us,” Adrian says, heedless of potential vehicular accidents in the near future as an unattended Alexis fiddles with the truck’s gear shift and wonders how to drive, “...Maybe your boss can give us a job? Or you can show us around.”

“Having something to get paid for sounds like a -fine- way to spend our time,” Altina says.

Such hopes are something Lola cannot abide. “Ha, don’t expect to get paid. We gotta work because it’s the right thing to do. We don’t get paid. We’re a community.”

Adrian’s “Really,” is about as unamused as one would expect.

“Hmph, communists,” Altina scoffs, her scorn at odds with her smile. “Of course.”

“Well, it’s not like there’s any cash left,” Lola says. “Not that it’d be worth anything.”

“Why wouldn’t there be?” Adrian asks, folding her arms.

“Let’s just say that this area was pretty poor to begin with. The whole -apocalypse- thing didn’t do much to improve it.”

“Ahh,” Altina sighs, “the joys of economics.”

There’s an “aww” from the truck as the unattended child fails to find any keys, and then the price of leaving her alone is paid in hearing damage when Alexis slaps the horn again. Adrian winces, Altina twitches, Aida jumps, and Lola doesn’t so much as blink, before Alexis evacuates the vehicle and spares everyone else any more auditory suffering.

“Good thing I got used to this,” Lola says. “Hmmm… To be honest I was going to give you a speech about the community and all that but it's really not my place to decide these things. Seeing as you're all outsiders I guess you'd better see my boss. She has ~some~ authority, I think.”

“So do some work for no pay,” says Adrian, “or wander to who knows where."

“What about the community?” Alexis asks, wandering over to inject herself into the conversation.
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>>73481275

“I'm not suggesting you work here, mind you,” Lola says. “I just figure you'd want her to explain how things work here to you. I don't think they'd run you out of town. You're not Russians, right?”

“Do I look Russian?” asks the six feet of brown muscle.

“No, you look quite stationary,” Alexis says. If anyone appreciates the jest, they don’t show it. Aida, meanwhile, finds the question to be cause enough to puzzle over her own nationality; actually figuring it out is beyond her, so she eventually shakes her head no. Islamic Russians are a rarity anyway, presumably.

Altina pays such questions of nationality no mind as she has herself a giggle at all this. “A town of communists who dislike Russians? Oh, I love it.”

“Well, about the communism…” Lola says. “You can’t really help it when China controls everything.”

“Everything but the Russians?” Adrian asks.

“Communists?” Alexis also inquires. A terrible thought dawns on her. “Wait... are the Russians the good guys in this scenario?” She looks over at the only expert on this topic, the mule, which perks up and slowly spins her head in place, lens-eyes audibly zooming in on Alexis. She gives a very soft, sustained whistle, almost as if saying hello. The jedi’s whistle in response begets more happy whistling in turn, and nobody can really understand anything here, honestly, but that’s fine.

Lola disregards everyone’s questions because she’s a business-oriented little girl, in stature if maybe not necessarily in age, and so redirects the focus from communism to practical matters with “Anyhoo, want to step inside, or should I see you off?”

Adrian shrugs. “Might as well see what your boss has to say.”
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>>73481294

“Let’s just hope they’re both awake.” Lola takes off towards the building, light coming through the small window on its door. She knocks twice, is let in, and is thusly pursued by the rest of the party, save a mule who can’t fit through the door, but at least it receives consolatory headpats from Altina before the group presses on, leaving it to merrily whistle on the porch.

Inside the bare-bones structure, they find Lola seemingly done briefly explaining who the hell they were to the two other young women stationed there: a short Asian with her arms crossed, and a tall, well-built black girl standing behind her with her hands lazily resting in her pockets. Their surroundings consist of a table in the center of the room surrounded by a few chairs, and quite the number of dusty sleeping bags to the sides.

Eyebrows are raised by the presumable owners of this joint. “These?” asks the black one.

“No,” Adrian says, “whatever she said was about the group behind us.”

“‘These’,” Altina also comments, smile widening. “Ah. A pleasant name for us.”

“No, no,” says Lola, “y’see, they handled the ruskies by themselves. I didn’t even step in.”

The tired Asian chimes in at Lola’s words in Chinese, gesturing wildly at the small girl in presumable reprimand… but nobody in the party can understand a damned thing, so all they can do is be confused, really, as the translator has herself a laugh at what’s being said. “She believes you,” she says, while the Asian shakes her head in disbelief and mutters something unkind about Lola’s competence. “It’s just that you weren’t supposed to let the Russians catch up, y’know. How did they do that?”
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>>73481325

The party explanation is offered about bikes, including how they were “all vroomy and stuff” and how Alexis got run over, and this is enough information to go on for the translator and her boss to start arguing in Chinese some more. Things are heated for a short while as they have a rapid back-and-forth, but it all cools down quickly enough.

“Well, whatever,” says the translator, turning her focus back to Lola. “Did you remember to double-check the cargo?”

“Ayup,” says the tiny trucker.

“Why did you honk three times?”

“Uh...”

Alexis suddenly finds another part of the room a lot more interesting as Lola is put on the spot like this. At least Adrian jerks a thumb at the true culprit.

“That thing is really loud,” says the translator. “You're lucky nobody actually NEEDS to sleep. You might have ruined the placebo for some of the guys, though. Don't do that again unless we're being attacked or something.” That chastising delivered, she eyes up the party. “...Nobody followed you here from Europe, I hope. Besides these fellas.”

“I don’t think so,” Lola says. “The ruskies we met are all charred remains on the dirt path now. There weren't even any good bits left to load into the truck.”

“They didn’t taste too bad,” Adrian adds. Such a comment immediately makes her the focus of attention.

“Oh, good,” says the translator, “you’re one of -those-.”

“One of what?”

“The cannibals.”

Adrian can’t really take offense to the truth, so instead she says “It’s not like I ate any of your cargo or whatever on the way here.”

The translator’s relief is immediate. “Ah, that’s less bad then. I was wondering if you had a snack at our expense.”

(And now, alas, marks the point where my remaining prepared words aren't enough to properly fill out another post. Please wait warmly while I hastily type things up and post them for the next -several hours, probably, oh fuck-)
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>>73480748
Oh boy Gravel Storytime!

This is a most pleasant surprise.
>>
I hope we get some
Red Planet Storytime
too.

>>73481366
Alright cool.
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>>73481366

“Of course she’s one of -those-,” Altina says. “How else did she get so strong? Eating your enemies is an excellent way to bulk up, I believe.”

“And the way to get muscles like these is a good diet -and- exercise,” Adrian adds.

“Exercise like ripping the heads off your enemies? I see.”

“Her muscles pale in comparison to the force,” Alexis claims, which is only met with laughter from the the maximum overswole she’s competing with.

The boss of this operation chimes in to ask what the hell everyone’s going on about, which brings her and her translator to another back and forth. That issue is quickly settled, however.

“She got a problem?” Adrian asks.

“With me?” says the translator. “Yeah, she does. She’s always bothering me about inane shit and calling me lazy.” Realization strikes her after that. “Fuck, we weren’t introduced yet. You already know Lola here, the driver. I'm Edwina. The Chinese here call me the Eternal Dragon, or Eddy for short. And this right here is my really stubborn Chinese boss, Lao Yue. She handles logistics and nagging, and I translate for her."

The tiny jedi bows her head. "I am Alexis, Jedi Knight."

“I'm Aida!” says the bomb, waving. After a second, she considers that several people have offered their job, and follows up with, “I'm a bomb!”

"I'm Adrian,” says the muscle as she pats Aida on the head. Such a kindly gesture earns a loli-bomb’s smile in turn.

“...You’re a what now?” If undead could sweat, Eddy would probably be pouring it. “A bomb?”

“Uh-huh.” Aida nods.

Lao Yue’s gesturing picks up immediately, because even she apparently understands the word ‘bomb’. Some more quick talk from Eddy defuses the situation, though not any future explosions.

“And I,” says the albino, “finally, am Altina. I have arms that shoot lasers. And laser swords. Maybe even other things, oh my, who knows? I certainly don't!"
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>>73481099
It's a team of volunteers.

But also I think, given how much the translation have improved over the years, some of the "reads like it was translated from a late 1990's video game manual with a lore section" Is on purpose.
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>>73481099
>>73481522

More like 1 volunteer and it's partially that a lot of the fluff for skills/parts is apparently worded in a weird flowery way in Japanese.
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>>73481492

“If you need roadside assistance with the Russians, just call Triple A,” Alexis says. “We'll throw in an extra A for free.”

Once again, Alexis being a dork goes ignored, as Lola decides on the best way to advocate for the A-Team. “Well, they did kill those ruskies. I didn't get a good look at the fight but it was easy enough, right?”

“Yeah, pretty easy,” Adrian confirms.

Eddy doesn’t take to this as well as might be hoped. “...There was a fight and you weren’t looking?”

“I had to protect the cargo,” Lola protests.

“She hid in the truck,” Adrian says.

“We may have crashed,” Altina adds, to rub further salt in Lola’s wounds.

“What! No!” Lola’s panic is that of a girl looking at a demotion to the shittiest of jobs. “I just went off the road for a second! The truck is just like when I left! Look outside! Please!” Even she has to concede, however, that “...The door is busted, though.”

Altina just smiles widely, sighing in satisfaction at bullying well done.

Eddy has herself a giggle at it all too. “Relax. We'll talk about that in the morning. Well, I'll be translating some nagging to put it bluntly.”

“It was kind of a mess,” Alexis says, raising a hand and starting to tick off fingers. “Russian bikers that are actually bikes, we woke up in the back of a truck on a pile of corpses, I got ran over, Aida blew up multiple times, the keys weren't in the ignition…"

“...Didn’t she pick you up on the side of the road?” Eddy asks, raising her eyebrows at Lola, who’s suddenly started shaking in her tiny mechanical legs.

Alexis pauses, realizing she done fucked up. “Oh… yes!”

Altina claps a hand over her eyes as their cover is probably blown, shoulders shaking as she bows her head to have a giggle.

“They fell asleep in the back,” Adrian says, calmly doing her best to salvage things.

“Ah, right,” says Eddy, though whether she actually believes this is debatable.
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>>73481661

Then we all owe a lot to that volunteer.

Thank you whoever you are. I've made friends and had fun through this game.
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>>73479117
Game literally built for it my dude
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>>73481718

Lao Yue chimes in tiredly once again, and so the conversation is redirected. “So… How can we help you?” Eddy asks. “She gave you a lift for the fight, but I figure we still owe you some.” She follows that up by asking for confirmation from Lao Yue (probably), who responds positively (probably).

The following barrage of questions boils down to Adrian asking if there’s anything to actually do in this dump, Alexis searching for more pop-culture in the form of Jedi temples, and Altina desiring actual clothing that doesn’t consist of dirty, shredded bandages, whereas Aida is just content with unlife.

“Well, for those that aren’t under Chinese rule…” Eddy ponders this for a time. “Odd jobs here and there. Not with us, that is. If you folks really are strong then I bet there’s plenty of exterminating to be done around here. Place is crawling with nasties and Russians.”

“Oh, another fight?” Adrian asks. “Sounds fun!” Spoken like a true prizefighter.

Meanwhile, Eddy is checking something with Lao Yue. The word “djedai” can be made out amidst all the Chinese, before the translator turns back. “No djedai temple. Only Chinese temple. As for clothing…” Altina perks up at topics relevant to her interest and also modesty. “We have uniforms, but, uh, we’re not really supposed to hand them out. Though I guess we could make an exception for you. If you REALLY want clothing you could always try downtown. There's probably a store or two that weren't completely ransacked. There are baddies roaming around, though.”

“If it would cause trouble, then perhaps not,” Altina says. “Besides, I was never really one for -uniformity,-" She sniffs, as though the very concept offends her.

“You really are living in a hive of scum and villainy here,” Alexis says.

“Scum?” Eddy doesn’t take too much offense, thankfully. “At least we're not Russians. Or Chinese, for that matter. Don't mind my boss here, though.”
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>>73481969

“So what's all this about Russians and Chinese and shit?” Adrian asks.

“You guys are from western Europe or something?” Eddy asks in turn. “You don't look all that African to me. Middle East, maybe?”

“I’m from…” Alexis’ face is as blank as her mind. “...Where am I from?”

Nw that the question’s been asked, nobody recalls their place of origin. It’s not particularly distressing, though. Lola’s peppy “The Chinese own us now!” redirects the conversation from faulty memories, as Dolls are wont to have. Eddy can only admit to that, -and- how the party lucks out in not being locals, else they’d like as not already be set up with fixed jobs. (“And God knows that’s no fun.”)

Alexis would be fine with it if she could get to drive a truck, but alas, she cannot. A shame, truly, in Eddy’s eyes. Adrian’s muscles are a point of pride for her, meanwhile, but it turns out having zombie hordes for manual labor makes having Extra Swole girls around not quite as useful for grunt work as it might normally be, especially since the zombies don’t complain.

“Then I guess I’ll just have to settle for using it to punch stuff,” Adrian says, unbothered.

“You bet,” Eddy says, nodding in approval. “When you’re dead like this, strength is what rules. You know what’s up.”

“How brutish,” Alexis scoffs, only for Adrian to pick her up with one arm.

“Brutish, yet effective,” Altina says, quickly taking a step out of range just in case Adrian wants to pick her up too.

“You shouldn’t be rude like that,” Adrian says, leaving the albino unmolested for the moment. “Building up strength and learning how to fight with your hands proper-like takes discipline.”

“Please put me down before I feel the need to retaliate." Alexis requests, hanging limply in that muscly grip. Yet while she wants to be put down, Aida is repeatedly jumping up to try and catch onto that arm so she can have fun dangling.
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>>73482402

While that inanity happens, Lao Yue says something incomprehensibly Chinese, pulling at Eddy’s sleeves. “Fine,” Eddy says. “I’ll be doing some translating now, even if it’s WAY past my working hours.” Then, as Lao Yue starts talking again, she speaks along with her boss. “[So, have you decided what you want to do with your lives or are you just going to be lazy bums like Ed-] Oh, fuck off.” Lao Yue has herself a giggle at Eddy's irritation.

Of course, Alexis cannot abide being held the way she is, taking hold of her saber with a little bit of force-pulling – right before Adrian grabs the offending hand, anyway. “Now who’s the brute?” asks the muscle. “Immediately going for a weapon, that's something a barbarian would do.”

“It was -not- immediate, you were given a fair warning,” Alexis complains, unable to actually make good on any promised violence in Adrian’s iron grip.

Aida keeps ineffectually jumping, meanwhile, aiming for Adrian’s other arm to have it all to herself. “I'm gonna...” One jump. “Keep blowing up...” Two jumps. “Bad people until...” Three jumps. “Allah is happy again!” After the fourth jump, (and Altina backing off because she doesn’t want to be blown up again today), Aida gives up on doing it herself. “I want up.”

“[Did she just say Allah?]” Eddy translates, and follows it up with a “You did, didn’t you,” of her own.

Aida nods. "Allah isn't happy. But he made me a bomb, so I can blow up the bad people! And then he'll be happy again, when I blow up enough."

“[Ah, so she's like one of those. Those guys,]” Eddy translates. “Guess you’re Middle Eastern, then,” Aida’s resulting gasp is drawn out, as though that tells her something… but with how blank her face is, the odds of that being the case are poor. “Hey, at least you know where you came from.”
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>>73482748

Meanwhile, the muscle and the jedi are still locked in their painfully inane squabble, with childish accusations of brutishness coming from Alexis while Adrian calmly refutes them (“If I was really a brute, I'd be following the ancient code right now.”). Lao Yue grows tired of this, asking if they’re here for business or if they just want to go outside and fight. Adrian concedes they’re here for business, so she just gives Alexis a little toss… that lets her still fall a good six feet, thanks to muscle-height, but still.

“[It’s all so tiresome,]” Lao complains, as Adrian finally gives Aida the ride she wanted and Alexis has a hard landing, her little cat atop her hat falling off to the ground and hissing in alarm.

“Please forgive them,” Altina says, tilting her head towards the rest of the party. “They are of simple minds.”

“[We noticed.]”

“Simple?” Adrian says, finally taking some offense. “At least we have more modes than ‘giggling’.” That she gets a giggle from Altina at this only proves her point, really.

“[Is this your first fight between sisters? Your necromancer did a shameful job, it seems.]” Lao’s disdain is clear even without Eddy’s translation efforts.

“Our what?” asks Adrian, as Aida swings herself back and forth on a rock-hard arm like it’s an oversized monkey bar.

“Necromancer,” Eddy repeats. “By the way, Lola, you’re dismissed.”

“Oh, thank god,” the little trucker breathes out in relief.

“We’re still talking in the morning.”

“-goddammit-” Lola scurries out of the building.
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>>73482794

Adrian admits that the group just woke up with no idea of what was going on. While Lao chastises them for acting like a pack of disreputable bums in her office, she at least starts filling the team in on what, exactly, they’re missing out on. The most likely explanation for the A-Team’s circumstances is that they’re the leftovers of some European necromancer’s efforts before they got wiped out. This prompts questions about how the team wound up in Africa, of course, and no small amount of confusion from Alexis because of Aida’s conviction that Allah (or Allo, or Aloha, among many of the jedi’s mispronunciations that prompt Aida to repeatedly correct her) made her a bomb, but Lao doesn’t have much in the way of answers there besides offhandedly theorizing they were a really valuable bunch, or perhaps had a purpose to serve beyond their creator’s death. The latter possibility is likely squashed by the fact they ought to remember what their mission was, however, so ‘leftovers’ is the decided-upon explanation for the group’s circumstances.

As questions turn to their hosts, it turns out Eddy’s necromancer was long gone, but the Chinese one is still undead and well, hence why Adrian figures the town is under Chinese control – and, by extension, that the Russians harassing the place still had their own necromancer active, too. Lao confirms it all through Eddy ([“You bet. You’re actually pretty smart. Smarter than E-] For fuck’s sake. Please excuse her, she has problems.”).

Conversation then turns to investigating a name mentioned earlier – Rita, owner of the only bar left in town. (“Make sure you don’t drink her homemade stuff – let’s say it’s -meaty-,” Eddy warns. “The chinese tea is yuck, too.” “[You should try the chinese tea.]” “Yeah right.”) It seems like an agreeable location to investigate, so with Lao Yue’s sponsorship, the team sets off once again in search of liquid pleasures.
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>>73483097

(Just to explain the drastic shift in style, if I don't gloss over things more frequently, I'm going to be hear for goddamn days, oh christ)

Leaving is uneventful, although the team does acquire a happily-whistling mule that had been waiting outside the entire time, which gets friendly headpats and hugs from muscles and jedi, respectively - she takes to the affection a bit too well, very likely unused to being treated nicely. Investigating the truck reveals Lola snoring in the cabin, but her dreams are interrupted by Adrian slapping her meaty hands against the window and demanding she drive them to the bar, startling the hell out of her.

“Hu-what... But it's close... Just walk! Let me enjoy these hours before I get nagged!” she protests.

“You are stuck with us now,” Altina gravely proclaims. “This is your curse and mine.”

Lola’s continued attempts to remove the party through various means (“Please go.” “I'm not supposed to take the truck out unless it's on assignment anyway!” “I told you it's not mine!” “Leave me alone, I’m not Chinese!”) falter in the face of sturdy opposition, until she eventually just gives up and realizes she wouldn’t mind having a drink too. She’s not driving, though, which means Adrian just picks her up and carries her like Aida. And then Alexis is scooped up as well just for good measure, so that Adrian may hold All The Smols.

“And now you are ensnared, trapped with them as I am,” Altina chuckles, rocking back and forth on her heels. “Truly, it’s good to have you!”

Lola doesn’t seem to mind any of this, thankfully, so despite a little slip-up with Aida falling off Adrian and promptly being held high on meaty arms again, the team sets off with the accompaniment of a merry mule. The arid town’s nightlife is practically nonexistent, so there’s not much in the way of trouble… until hoofstomps and skittering can be heard up ahead, causing the mule no small amount of unease.
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>>73483391

Concern mounts in the party as Lola says this doesn’t sound like the town patrol, due to them not having any horses. Adrian’s conclusion is Russians (“Oh god no” t. Lola), and so after she sets all her smols down, the party makes ready for battle… but they move with surprising subtlety first, at Adrian’s recommendation to try for an ambush (both because they get to fight ~and~ because their Chinese benefactors might pay them for it). Of the team, only Alexis doesn’t feel like getting into a fight, as Altina's arm snap-crackle-pops open to bare her blaster, Aida ~needs~ to blow them up for Allah, and Adrian is Adrian. Lola and the mule aren’t so eager to jump in, the mule whimpering at the idea, so Adrian puts Lola atop it and tells them they should hold back to be safe. Lola, surprisingly, protests this (“I can shoot. I shoot real good! If I hadn't hit my head back there you would have seen! I swear!”), so she and her mount ready for a fight.

As Aida reassures Altina that she won’t blow the albino up ~again~, the crew takes cover behind a shack, settling into the darkness and waiting for the foe to arrive. The enemy’s approach slows down in caution, but when they get close enough, they’re still caught off-guard by a surprisingly stealthy Muscle Charge as combat begins, granting the party the benefit of a first strike against the enemy, who consist of a menacing-looking horseman guarded by quite a few bugs, two of them standing out with their large stingers and antennae. Adrian’s punching and Alexis’ saberwork carve through numerous bugs in the initial assault, but then the jedi has a plan occur to her – “I’m trusting you with this, Aida!” she calls out, thrusting the bomb forth with the power of her mind, and Aida is terribly confused as she’s suddenly propelled forward like this. Confused enough she accidentally smashes herself in the chest.

Then she explodes all over the enemy.
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>>73483882

The littlest suicide bomber goes up like a bug-spray nuke for how effectively the blast shreds a vast number of the foe. Adrian looks at the explosion with her jaw hanging open. Her second head only says "Holy shit!"

The large horsewoman pulls some Slavic Voodoo or some such to contain part of the explosion with a comment of “Da, impressive,” but Alexis and her jedi tricks are a hard counter that let the nuke continue as planned.

“Hey,” Adrian says, sizing her biggest opponent up, “you actually talk, unlike the last bunch.”

“Bah,” grumbles the enemy. “Maybe I underestimate you. I'll pay you back for what you did to my own. Tenfold!”

“Bring it on. I hope you won't lose your nerve so fast like the last bunch!”

Alexis interjects with a frustrated “We're just trying to buy some juice!” and is summarily ignored, while Altina is casually blasting stray bugs and Aida is too busy beaming to care about slavic threats; Allah was surely pleased! She blew up lots of them with that one!

“You are amusing, I give you that,” the Russian admits. “Davai!” Her stampeding charge is heralded by a “Behold! Armageddon!” but the swing of that massive axe she wields narrowly misses Adrian’s meaty heads.

“Hold that thought,” Adrian says, before jumping on one of the larger bugs to rip it apart. Once she’s done, a calm “Alright,” is what heralds her returning to the biggest of bitches, who promptly deletes Adrian’s legs with another massive chopping blow of that axe. She’s rather unfazed by it, though. “Got a nice swing there!”

“Armageddon comes,” replies the Russian. “I sincerely thank you.”
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>>73484350
I've got reading to look forward to once I get off my shift.
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>>73484350

Violence continues to be carried out, with Adrian shoving a leg back before trading blows with the horsewoman, and chaos generally raging overall as Alexis chops and swings and applies The Force, Aida claws and shreds, Altina blasts away, Lola proves to be a dab hand with her six-shooter, and even the mule gets in on it by spitefully spewing shrapnel at her former boss, at one point nailing a nasty blow to the horsewoman’s head and annihilating it. Happy whistles mark this glorious occasion, even as one of the larger bugs leaps upon Adrian’s face and chews away an unhealthy amount of flesh, but for this unfortunate moment there’s a furious “Eat shit!” from Lola in response as she fans the hammer on her hefty revolver, blasting large chunks out of the Russian leader – and actually scores the kill, reducing the boss to a few scattered chunks of torso.

There’s still resistance from the mindless bugs even as their commander ceases to be a threat, although Adrian’s still so muscly that she can just flex bites away. The mule keeps pumping shrapnel into the leader’s remaining parts to satisfy her grudge until the horsewoman is thoroughly annihilated, and even though Alexis loses her legs to one massive bug-sting, the battle is decidedly in the party’s favor as bloody extermination is carried out. Adrian’s second head mutters a disappointed “~Goddamn weak insects~” but an easy cleanup isn’t so bad either.

Once all’s said and done, Adrian, Alexis, and Aida are in variably rough condition, while Altina, Lola, and the mule are all untouched thanks to ranged superiority. Everyone's in good spirits, though, and Alexis, after getting a new pair of legs stuck on, gives Lola a big hug. “You’re good with that gun!”

“Told you,” Lola proudly responds, beaming at her success.
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>>73483882
>>73484350
>>73484647
I like the naming scheme.
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...And the end of combat marks my stopping for a little while to take a break, because this session still has a fuckin' hefty chunk left to it, and I, like a fool, didn't look at how long it all was when I said I'd write it all out. I'll be back in an hour or so at most, I think. I just need to recharge before I push into doing even more of this.

>>73484695

It's not a running thing past this arc, because putting the stats and such together in this format was too much effort for the GM to keep up indefinitely, but it's an amusing thing regardless while it lasts.
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>>73484798
Thanks for all the effortposting, anon. Be sure to stay hydrated!
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>>73485067

Well, now that I'm refreshed (and indeed rehydrated), I'm ready to resume with vigor, barring any interruptions that are likely to rear their heads in my personal life in an hour or two.

Additionally, I realized in all my editing of the combat into chunks that could actually be easily read, doing this live meant I've missed a few things. Thus,
>“Behold! Armageddon!” but the swing of that massive axe she wields narrowly misses Adrian’s meaty heads.
>"BEHOLD!" Adrian roars in turn. "I CAST FIST!"
>"What kind of muscle wizardry is ~this?~" Altina mutters, watching in wonder as Adrian smashes a fist into the horsewoman - and fails to actually deal as much damage as she ought to.

Also, a minor error, but I dropped a word (the correction now shown here in brackets) at this point:
>Violence continues to be carried out, with Adrian shoving a leg back [on] before trading blows with the horsewoman

My mistakes somewhat rectified, I'll now recommence with the actual effortposting in writing the rest of things up. Thank you for your patience.
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>>73484647

(After checking the logs more closely, I was happy to notice Alexis' portrait was still in there. It never got the same treatment that everyone else's characters received, so please forgive the artstyle clash.)

Alexis pets the mule. "You too!"

It whistles merrily at this victory, snuggling up with Alexis and Lola as they bask in grand success. Elsewhere, Adrian just digs right into all the corpses and lets her Extreme Cannibalism sort out the majority of the damage she’s taken, but once that’s over with, she’s quick to hustle on over to Aida and hoist her up in a hug, whispering into her ear, in French, “I'm sorry, little Aida, no more cockroaches will get you now."

Aida is filling in what little damage she took at a respectable pace. She smiles brightly as Adrian picks her up, and has absolutely no clue what Adrian just said, but she nods. “I think Allah is happy. I got lots of them! And I didn't blow anyone else up!”

Altina doles out a round of applause for Lola as she approaches, leaving the muscle to handle explosive children. “I have to say you were spectacular. Everyone did well, granted, but your performance was admirable indeed!”

Lola graciously accepts such praise, but also turns her attention to the mule in her cuddle-pile. “This ruskie is alright in my boo. What’s her name, anyway?” She gets no response from the mule other than whistling, as expected.

“Let’s name it…” Alexis trails off. “Spot? Lucky!”

“Those don’t sound very Russian to me.”

“Ana?” Adrian says, holding Aida in an embrace that is just short of bone crushing.

“Alex!” Alexis says, as though she didn’t already have claim to that name herself. Despite all her names, though, Ana is what everyone settles on as the mule's new name. It's not like she can object.
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>>73486006

Adrian leaves the inanity of naming things behind her, instead focusing on the more relevant question of how everyone was doing, and getting generally positive responses back except from Aida, who could only wheeze that the hug was too tight, which is absolutely the case when blue arcs were pouring from her lattice-chest as a preemptive explosion warning. At least Adrian loosens the hug before anyone explodes.

Alexis questions why Russians all seem to be horses, though Lola points out that there’s also bikes and bugs and Ana the mule, who whimpers at all this talk of slavs before Alexis soothes her with some more petting. Various bits of unimportant inanity transpire with smatterings of usefulish information in-between, like how Lola says the town does have horses of its own, but they don’t get much use when there’s cars available, and then Adrian just straight-up picks up the horse-body of the very dead knight as proof of their triumph, Aida clinging to her back, before everyone gets moving again, Ana happily spinning her head and whistling at Adrian’s impressive strength.

Along the way, with comments on things like how much more easily this might have gone if Lola had just driven them along in the truck so they could run things over, Adrian has to take note of something – a minor incident of friendly misfire during the fight. The truth comes out that Adrian had successfully flexed away a use of tiny jedi force power that accidentally hit her, which gives the muscle a giggle at the supremacy of meat over mind (“So muscle is stronger than your fancy force?”). All Alexis can really do is ramble on about mystic bullshit while Altina advocates the merits of finesse over strength, but such chatter thankfully soon comes to an end when they find a concrete building that ~isn’t~ made entirely of scrap, for once.
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>>73486143

A lit up sign saying "BOTECO RITA" is quite visible, whereas the porch has a few plastic tables and chairs but is otherwise empty. Light comes from inside, so presumably they’re open for business. Their destination so close, the party enter… well, tries to. Adrian’s insistence on carrying a body that’s big enough to be classified as Advanced Horse makes actually working her way inside rather impossible. Perhaps it was named Armageddon for a reason, when it can almost reach Adrian’s chin even without its legs taken into account.

“Hang on,” Adrian grunts, “I’ll figure out a way to get it through.”

“What if you change the angle?” Alexis asks. “Like moving a couch?

As this goes on, from inside comes a voice. “...Is there a horse trying to get a drink or did all that madness finally catch up to me?”

Such talk is disregarded by everyone, as Alexis suggests taking out the doorframe, only for Adrian to staunchly refuse in the stubborn belief she can wrangle a fuckton of horseflesh through a regular-sized door. Altina’s suggestion of deploying some kind of sharp object, like a sword (possibly even in the form of a laser) to cut it into little pieces, is summarily ignored in the face of boundless, muscly determination.

“Why don't you just leave it outside...?” Lola asks. “The bar isn't that big to begin with.”

“You wanna eat the horse raw?” Adrian retorts, still struggling to force it through.

“You’re going to eat it?!” Lola asks, and in response she gets stared at as though she just asked “Are you muscular?”

“You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him go through the door,” Alexis muses.

This is all interrupted when a well-dressed woman approaches the door that Adrian is trying to fit a GODDAMNED HORSE CARCASS IN. “Um, excuse me? What in blazes are you doing?”

“We’re trying to get the food in,” Aida responds, still holding onto Adrian’s back.
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>>73463093

I'd be very curious about Dracurouge too
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>>73486355

Alexis switches on her lightsaber. "I'll just carve out the door to make it bigger."

“Don’t damage the door!” Adrian barks.

“Property damage is maybe not a solution,” Altina adds. “Also, hello! There were Russians. We killed them.”

“Sorry about this,” says Lola, trying to ease the presumable bar-owner’s worries. “They’re new.”

“You got a grill or something back there, right?” Adrian asks, reaching the limits of her patience in trying to force the horse through.

“It’s fine, Lola,” says the bar-lady. “And, as a matter of fact, we do have a grill.”

“Good, then I’m not wasting my time.” Adrian sighs. “We will have to cut it up out here.”

“Hey, it’s fine. If you bring the meat, the BBQ is on the house. ...Not that anyone pays for anything around here. Thank the Chinese for that.”

“That’s good, because we don’t have any money,” Alexis admits. “Or communism-bucks.”

“...Mostly it was Aida and Lola,” Altina says, still dwelling on everyone’s contributions to that fight. “But the rest of us were useful too.”

“C’mon,” says Miss Owner, “bring that out the back and you can roast it.”

“Oh, alright,” says Adrian, just picking up the entire horse no problem as everyone gets to relocating behind the bar, where they find more tables and chairs. Wooden and resembling derelict picnic furniture, they nevertheless do their job. A reasonably sized grill is installed between a pretty big brick structure in the patio, already loaded with coal. The whole place is surprisingly well-lit.

With a cheerful “Alright, time to get to roastin'!” Adrian sets the horse down and promptly begins karate-chopping it into sections to prepare it for grilling – amazing what one can do when the sides of their hands are sharp and also super-strength. While she gets into it, Alexis picks out a table for all her sisters and friends, with room for Ana to sit nearby.
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>>73484647
Are you actually making stat blocks for your mobs? What's the metric?
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>>73486987

“Oh man,” says the owner to Lola, “you brought some pretty entertaining people.”

“They brought themselves,” Lola admits.

As the group settles in, the owner introduces herself as Rita (“The sign probably gave that away.”) and expresses interest in earlier comments about killing Russians, then extends it to wanting to hear about everything the group’s annihilated thus far.

Altina is happy to plop herself down and kick her legs back and forth, head bobbing from side to side as she shuts her eyes and explains the bare minimum of details (“We were given a ride by Lola! And then there were motorcycle Russians. I was blown to pieces but I got better after we killed them all.”) to explain their presence. Others chip in as necessary to point out the existence of centaurs, and how Aida blows things up, and Adrian figures that the fallen enemies of fights long past are pansies for being scared of her, despite her being a giant musclegirl with razor-sided hands.

“Nice,” says Rita, at the explosion part. “You use explosives?”

“Nope!” says Aida. “I am one! Allah made me one.”

“Only she blows up,” Adrian further explains, “as much as I’d rather she not. The poor thing.”

“That’s… Unique,” Rita says, trying to be diplomatic. “Whew! Good for you!”

Lola’s request that Rita get her The Usual is apologetically postponed until the team’s story can be properly finished, as the tale of the fight they went through just to get to the bar is told. The Russian presence around town isn’t new, but the bugs with that group definitely were. Adrian gets a bit too into storytelling at times, almost shredding the horseflesh with a punch for emphasis before Coach interrupts (“Kid, don’t ruin the meat by punching it.” “Yeah, yeah.”).

>>73487039

It's the GM's' work so I dunno the specifics, but it's pretty self-explanatory? Speed = Max AP, etc.
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>>73486987
>“Property damage is maybe not a solution,” Altina adds. “Also, hello! There were Russians. We killed them.”
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>>73487190

Aida also gets into it, naturally, as children tend to do. “And Alexis was like, 'Aida, I trust you!' and then I was all flying forward, and I hit myself, so I blew up... like...” She starts counting on her fingers, runs out of fingers, looks down at her toes, runs out of toes, and then finally throws her arms wide rapidly like a big boom, “a lot of them!”

“Damn, kid, you’re the bomb,” Rita says, without a trace of irony.

Everyone else agrees that it happened and was pretty cool, except for Adrian who doesn’t look like she enjoys such things at all. Aida just smiles at the memory, though, because, after all, “Allah will forgive me in no time!”

“Ah, middle eastern,” Rita says. “That’s also new. Though you could still be from Europe. Plenty of them there, there were.”

Rita’s thoughts are spoken as Adrian grills away, and Alexis makes her specific tastes known with a “Make a horse Блин!”

“The hell is that?” asks the musclecook.

“Russian pancake,” Alexis replies, like that says everything Adrian needs to know.

“You guys definitely aren’t from here, though,” Rita continues, “I can tell. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, trust me. I'd rather have more of you than more Chinese thugs.”

“I don't quite know where I'm from!” says Altina. “But I think I will find out, sooner or later. Ahh, it gives a girl something to strive for.”

“Well, good on you for knowing what you want out of unlife! Most girls don't even know where to begin!” Rita’s easygoing manner darkens a little. “But damn, there were Russians all the way up here? That Yue chick is going to be pissed. More than usual.”
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>>73487397

Adrian also considers what she’d like out of unlife, as horse-based French-Italian cuisine looks to be turning out pretty decent, actually. “I'll settle for the occasional fight and a good meal, and a drink wouldn't be bad. ~You'll~ get Cheval mi-saignant.” That last sentence is directed Alexis’ way.

Talk of liquid pleasures naturally catches a bar-owner’s interest, elsewhere. “Speaking of drinks, what can I fetch you? There's tap water, my special brew, chinese tea or beer, shitty wine, shitty whisky, shitty vodka and shitty absinthe. These are the relevant drinks. I have some other stuff too, but that's the main menu.”

Lola gets into an irritated back and forth with Rita (“The usual, I told you.” “Chinese beer again? Live a little, girl. “Oh, please.” “Booooooooring.”), while others inquire after everything else, from Adrian requesting some absinthe (“Do you even know what an absinthe is?” Coach whispers. “Nope,” Adrian whispers back.) to Aida asking for some of the ‘special drink’ (“It’s goddamned cannibal juice,” says Lola, despite Rita’s attempts to label it as just “suited to girls who like… erm, meat.”), to Alexis wanting some regular apple juice and Altina allowing Rita to surprise her, because “It will be an exciting adventure, no matter what I am given… but also maybe not cannibal juice.”

With a “Haha, gotcha,” Rita disappears to go fetch everyone’s drink orders, while Alexis gets to whistling back and forth with Ana, laughing along at supposed jokes from the mule despite admitting to whoever’s near her that she has no idea what’s being said.

“Did I tell you she was weird?” Lola says, once she’s sure she can talk freely about their host. “‘Cause she is.”
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>>73487635

“You seem to think everyone is weird,” Adrian responds. “Maybe you’re weird.”

“I mean, you just tried to bring a horse into the bar,” Lola points out. “That’s weird in my book.”

“I wanted to cook it,” Adrian huffs. “What’s so weird about wanting to cook?”

“Trying to bring the whole body into that crammed little bar?”

“So I get a little eager. That's not a crime, is it?”

“It might as well be! If Eddy told our boss that she might even consider it.”

As big and small argue the point, Alexis has her own troubles. “I just hope my juice isn’t concentrated. Also it would have worked if we removed the door.”

“I believe she is nice," Altina says, compelled to defend Rita, giver of surprises, from being called ‘weird’ as she pauses in her rocking about to lift a lone finger. “Unless she is going to poison us. But if that was the case you would let us know beforehand, so I think it is safely out of the equation.” Her trust in Lola may have been misplaced, but who could doubt a little girl with a six-shooter and stunning marksmanship, truly?

“Anyway,” says Lola, seeming eager for a change in topic, “I sure blasted that ruskie full of holes.” She looks at Ana briefly. “Uh, no offense.”

None is apparently taken, but it’s hard to tell with Ana. Chatter shifts to something more political, with Alexis wondering why they don’t all just ignore the Chinese and work for themselves. Evidently the town was like that, “Sorta,” according to Lola, before their necromancer died. The trucker figures that even with the Russians causing trouble, the Chinese were still trying to improve the town and unlife would be worse without them around. Plus, “Even if my job isn’t too fun, I still got to meet you folks. That’s alright in my book.” Such heartwarming sentiment, is it not?
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>>73483097
So in this setting an issue for Afroeurasia is "not enough necromancers".

In Aquen storytime the problem is "too many necromancers".

In Port storytime they party is climbing a tower to meet their necromancer.

In Red Planet Storytime there is at least one necromancer on Mars.
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>>73482794
You know it's a real world when geopolitics inform life, rather than just window-dress it.
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>>73484350
>The littlest suicide bomber goes up like a bug-spray nuke for how effectively the blast shreds a vast number of the foe. Adrian looks at the explosion with her jaw hanging open. Her second head only says "Holy shit!"

Now that's a mental image.
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>>73484350

What is Mobility A?
Animal Legs, Long Legs, and Wire Reel?
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>>73485666
Thank you for taking the time to Storytime all of this out as well as correct your own mistakes.

It is appreciated.
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>>73487706

Adrian begins a search for proper dining material (plates, silverware, etc.) to begin serving those who accept rare/medium rare meat, which doesn’t include the heathen Alexis, hungering for well-done flesh instead. Rita’s return is fortunate in that regard since she arrives bearing approximately a shitload of stuff and promptly sets the table – she’s preparing everything far too fast to be normal, and the cause is soon revealed when people get a good look at the two extra pairs of arms on her back speeding the job along.

Soon enough, she's satisfied that everything is in order, leaving the festivities ready to begin. Aida is given a recommendation from Lola to not look too closely at her meaty drink (which the bomb completely ignores to peer deep into her glass fully of meaty chunks), while Altina accepts her horse-meat and mystery drink with the same smile as always transfixed on her face. “This was a Russian not long ago,” she says, studying her meal intently. “Interesting.”

“Do Russians die when they are killed?” Alexis asks, poking her (undercooked, in her opinion) food with a knife. “It might very well still be a Russian.”

“They only die if you kill them real hard,” Rita says. “As for your surprise… it’s Russian-flavored too, let’s put it at that.”

Altina gets to discover the joys of vodka, appropriately enough, when she just slams most of her glass back like an absolute maniac without bracing for it or anything of the sort. It’s debatable whether or not she enjoys it from the way her eyes screw shut and her lips get sucked in afterward, making various quiet noises that could easily be seen as distressed. Adrian also takes a larger-than-necessary swig of her absinthe, but it turns out being six feet tall and full of muscle braces one better for this kind of thing than if you’re five feet tall and dainty like a certain albino, and she waves off Rita's concern without flinching.
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>>73487781

It turns out international politics continue to be a thing for basically the entire campaign, yep. There's some fun looks at a few different necrocultures as things wind on.

>>73487923
I'm afraid I don't have the specifics of how it was all handled, but that sounds pretty appropriate for an A-rank Mobility stat, absolutely.

>>73487937
I have made a terrible mistake in agreeing to do this, but I only have to get to the end of the session! Hahaha. Hahhhhh. There's still plenty more! I've doomed myself!
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Maybe you should try to take a nap to regain your strength.
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>>73487958
How long do your sessions run for?
Are they done in voice or text?
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>>73487938

Those taking in alcohol find it no hard task for it to start affecting them – whether it’s actually effective on undead bodies is up in the air, but if it’s a placebo effect, it’s a damn good one. On the less alcoholic end of things, Aida, for all her eagerness to try out new, meaty concoctions, pauses a moment to set her drink down, close her eyes, and mutter something under her breath for a few seconds. Only then does she take her first sip of her very own Meat Drink™. It turns out that this is actually entirely agreeable for her, because “Meat is good! Why wouldn’t you want to drink it too? You can eat it and drink it ~at the same time~.”

Alexis is able to accept her food despite it not being properly cooked, in her heretical opinion. “I would have preferred pollo.”

“Man,” Rita says. “It’s been a while since we had a proper roastin’. And look how crowded this is. If only I actually made a profit!”

“Blame the Chinese,” Lola says, chugging beer like it’s no one’s business. “It’s what I do.”

Once Altina's done getting sucker-punched by vodka, she cracks her eyes open and turns a trembling smile Rita's way. "Ahh, such is life with communism."

“You like it? I think that’s how they fuel their bikes. And their horses.”

“It is an experience!” And not entirely a bad one, evidently, given how Altina chooses to take a measured sip this time.

“At least you don’t need to buy anything,” Adrian says, on that ‘blame-the-chinese’ note.

“Well, yeah,” Rita says. “If anything this is more like anarchy. If it was a real commie shithole you'd have to get in line for the toilet paper!”

Adrian consumes the proof that this isn’t a Real Commie Shithole by tearing off a chunk of meat larger than most people could handle, followed by more absinthe than most could survive.
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>>73488212
I've considered sleep, but honestly, right now I'm wide awake. And I'm making enough progress that I'm reasonably sure it won't be an all-nighter to finish this off. I enjoy late nights anyway, usually.

>>73488242
Session length is pretty variable, though it usually trends towards around five to eight hours. While voice would definitely be faster, meanwhile, playing everything out in text is just how we've always done things. Plus it leaves a full archive of everything that's easy to reference whenever any of us want - like right now, with me being able to just directly copy stuff from the logs. I've always preferred text-based RP anyway, myself.
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>>73488247

Alexis has enough to share that she offers some of her own food to Ana, who takes a long sniff and then happily gobbles it up. Mule Life is good. Aida takes to wondering if her drink is Russian-flavored as she finishes it, a notion that Rita swiftly dispels in favor of calling it a more local flavor. Adrian attempts to work her way into the barwoman’s heart by retrieving the rest of the meat off the grill and offering Rita some, getting a drunkenly unprofessional, and also drunkenly carefree, “How kind of you. I like you more by the minute.” before Adrian claims what must be half the horse for herself. Altina can only guzzle so much vodka before she turns her attention meatwards, for her part, fastidiously dicing her steak up into little chunks and eating them one at a time, humming something off-tune the entire way.

“Sheesh,” Lola says, notably tipsy, “you guys really are sucking up to her.”

“She lett usss use the grill,” Adrian slurs, even her massive body unable to fully resist The Real Hard Shit.

“Well, she kinda is like our mom,” Lola admits, “so it’s okay.”

Rita can’t let that slide. “Been a while since you called me that.”

“That’s the beer talkin’, I swear,” Lola hastily says.

“Mom Rita?” Alexis asks, and receives an OK sign from Rita in turn. Shortly thereafter, Adrian requests another refill of absinthe and is poured some, against Rita’s better judgement. Aida has gone through several refills of her meat-drink and shows no sign of stopping, while Altina has been plied with enough alcohol that her smile has softened from perpetually wide to ‘merely’ having the corners of her lips quirk up.

“Don’t get me wrong!” Lola continues, desperate to avoid Rita Disapproval. “You've done more for everyone here than Yue, that's fo' sho'…”
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>>73456066
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>>73488452
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>>73488463
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>>73488476
Sometimes this game inspires me.
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>>73488486
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>>73453448
look at art style.
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>>73488497
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>>73488509
Guns and repurposed mining and Power tools.
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>>73487958
>It turns out international politics continue to be a thing for basically the entire campaign, yep. There's some fun looks at a few different necrocultures as things wind on.

I am very much looking forward to this.
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>>73488408

“You don’t have an appointment tomorrow, I take it,” Rita says.

“Hell no!” Lola says. “Why else would I drink?”

“Good, don’t drink and drive.”

Alexis has to remind Lola of impending suffering, however. “You have to talk to the squinty-eyed girl in the morning, though.”

“Mmm-hmm~” Altina hums agreeably.

“I ain't talkin' to her!” Lola snaps. “She's just going to nag me through Eddy! This beer makes it easier to take it!”

“You…” Adrian is decidedly out of sorts now, looking at Rita. “You’re okay. I guessh she shays you’re like a mom caush of that.”

Rita makes a curious sound at that, and Lola follows it up with an “Exactly.”

“Yer okah too,” Coach says to Adrian, only to get a “Naaaaah, I’m big sho I’m not,” in from the muscle. The second head can only go “fiiiiiiiine” at this, and they both ignore Rita saying they’ve probably had enough.

“The boss needs to loosen the fuck up, too!” Lola says, refocusing on her rant. “She needs to drink! She never comes here!”

“She does,” says Rita, “but it’s during the day. And she drinks the tea. And you tell me that every single time you come here.”

“I am content with my lot in life,” Altina feels fit to interject despite not being asked, swaying in her seat.

Aida offers Adrian her cannibal juice out of concern for how weird the muscle is behaving, but such generosity is ignored in favor of the French-Italian requesting even more alcohol, despite still having a fair amount left. Rita’s motherly concerns activate (“...Aw, are you sure, honey? You look like you’re going to pass out.”), but Adrian is nothing if not stubborn in declaring she’s still fine. Rita at least managed to steer her into eating instead of drinking more, though, which is enough for her.

“Congratulations, Lola,” she says. “You sure brought some superb people." Right on cue, Coach starts mumbling nonsense in Italian.
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>>73488584

“We’re superb people, yay!” Alexis is happy to say.

Aida has to investigate this. “Do we win anything for being superb?"

“I am a good person,” Altina says, quite cheerful. “I deserve to be called superb." She punctuates that by finishing her cup at last.

"I don't really have any trophies on me,” Rita confesses. She doesn’t hesitate to give Altina a refill when asked, though.

Lola can’t keep her mouth shut, though, as she thinks on what Rita said. “I didn’t EXACTLY bring them... They just sort of... POOF... Showed up in the cargo.”

Such words are cause for jedi alarm. “Lola, no! We were on the side of the road!”

Those concerns don’t both Lola at all. “That's ho-kay... Rita's not my boss... She's my mum!”

“But you said anyone!” Alexis insists.

Lola will regret these words when she’s sober, surely, but right now Rita merely comments on it all with “You’re so cute when you’re drunk.” Adrian’s insistence on a refill just then is something Rita obliges with the feeling she might regret it. “Just let me remind everyone that if you feel the urge to puke, it's okay! Just do it in the desert! There's so much sand and dirt here! It's perfect to absorb vomit. I really don't need someone clogging the sink and toilet all at once again.”

“...I said I was sorry,” Lola mumbles.

Aida does not quite understand, as she looks over her drink and food. That'd be silly, throwing up all of this tasty stuff. “Why would I feel like that?”

“Oh, don't worry,” Rita says. “There's, like, 0.1% alcohol on the meaty stuff. You won't be like them. It's more protein than anything, really.” Aida has not had anything explained to her by what Rita said. But, she's not gonna vomit, so that's probably fine? More meat juice!
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>>73488707

Altina is reasonably sure she’ll not be puking any time soon, meanwhile, so Rita is much less reluctant to give her a refill when asked, compared to Adrian, who’s already halfway through her third glass and swaying heavily. The muscle is also drunk enough to shamelessly start flirting with the bar-mom while her second head tries to give advice, which goes well enough, considering (“Heeeeyyyy, am I cuuuuute~” “Ye~s,”).

Altina is leaning hard, propping her chin up on a fist as she observes the giggly drunken musclegirl in her natural environment. “You are a meat miracle, Adrian, as I have said. A muscle mountain. Other accolades, too. I am trying to come up with more alliterative things but I am not having success.”

“Man,” Rita says, “too bad Carla went home early. She's missing out."

“Is she cute tooooo?” Adrian asks.

“Oh, no, she’s an old lady like me.”

“So she’s cute.” Adrian’s logic elicits another giggle from Coach.

“Oh, my,” says Rita.

“Tell her to fix the goddamn signal…” Lola mutters. “I couldn’t pick it up at all on the road.”

“Are we superficially rating people based upon their appearance now?” Alexis asks.

Lola side-eyes her fellow smol. “...How else?”

Adrian says something in response to all this, but it’s in a broken mix of French and Italian, so who knows what she meant by it? She does get Alexis to call her a stupid brute in Spanish, however… which Coach apparently does understand, given that she responds in kind to ask if Alexis is really trying to start some shit, which gets Adrian pushing herself up and drunkenly stumbling over to catch a jedi, with a threat to match (“I know a language that you will understand.”) This is cause enough for Alexis to start evasive action – fortunate for her that Adrian is entirely too impaired to easily grab her.
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>>73488881

While large-on-small violence is imminent, Altina has been pondering the question of cuteness. And, if superficially rating people on their appearance is how it works, then, “I would say I am cute, in that case." Her eyes flick down to her ‘clothes’. “..But I do not know if having only bandages for clothing helps that. I think it casts an unfortunate light on me. ...I want a dress. A dress would be nice. I could be cute then, couldn't I?”

“Oh, you can fix yourself some clothes downtown,” Rita assures her. “There's plenty of stores still untouched. And you look fine, really."

Altina slooooowly cranes her head to stare at Rita, her smile lopsided. “Ah, yes, right, the downtown clothes stores. I remember those being mentioned. I would like this. Also I do not think I look fine right now, but I will take these words and consider them. Thank you.”

“I’m guessing Lao Yue sent you my way, then,” Rita says. “Well, Eddy, more likely. Yue doesn’t really know this town like us.”

“That is-” Altina needs to think on this after how much she’s had to drink. “Yes, those were their names.”

Rita considers the various languages flying around as Adrian and Alexis banter incomprehensibly with each other. “Well, you definitely are European. Good for you! You guys are a dying breed.”

It’s around this point Alexis dives behind Ana, who isn’t enough to deter Adrian from approaching determinedly. There’s a menacing whistle from the mule determined to protect a giver of affection, but then Adrian grins wide enough to show off all her freakishly jagged teeth, and then Ana reconsiders her stance and just presents Alexis to the muscle.
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>>73488951

“Traitor!” Alexis hisses, getting Ana to whimper in response. But exposed by this treason, the jedi is vulnerable to Adrian pulling her into a muscly hug, before she loses her balance and tips over to land atop the small girl. Or would, if there wasn’t a quick burst of Force power to shove Adrian back onto the floor in the moment of her victory. This doesn’t deter the giant girl from lunging for Alexis again even after a moment’s confusion, granted, but jedi speed is hard to get a grip on.

“Ah, to be young again,” Rita says, enjoying the show alongside Altina, giving her another refill on shitty vodka, while Aida is confused and wonders if this means everyone’s going to be playing tag now. Big and Small deploy all kinds of tricks in their chase, and eventually Alexis decides it’s safer to just run off into the night into the dangerous city full of Russians while Adrian pursues. The rest of the party carries on without them until, eventually, things loop back around to the bar again, by which point Adrian is frustrated enough to pitch a rock at Alexis – which, due to incredibly poor luck, misses her entirely and hits Lola in the head instead. The trucker considers crying, but she’s too drunk, so she just drops dead on the table. Altina, witness to all this, downs what’s left of her vodka, stumbles over to Lola to sit next to her, and gives the poor girl a pat on the back, while Adrian just gives up, staggers back to her seat, guzzles down the last of her alcohol, and then plants her face down on the table, muttering something despairingly frustrated in French at her failure in child-catching.
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>>73488969

And that incredibly inane segment marks the end of Session 2 of Gravel, which I had no idea was this long when I said I'd storytime it and I'm entirely glad to be done, honestly. Still, I hope only that this was an enjoyable read for those following along, and that you may still want to see yet more of these goofballs in their ongoing quest to... uh... honestly, I don't think they even know what they want to do. As for me, I've been doing this for closing on 12 hours and I am entirely done. Thank you all for reading, and good night!
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>>73488584
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>>73488989
Thank you very very much (Secondary) GravelAnon.

Sleep well.
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>>73488707
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>>73484647
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>>73461855
It's a reference to how boorus (simple imageboards with extensive tagging) tag their images
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>>73469356
>I hope
Really up to your interpretation anon.
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>>73490087
I always figured it was a panda reference
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>>73492483
Sadpanda doesn't use underscores in its tags
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>>73488486
You could probably lift quite a bit from Metal Arms, with how much of the gear is retrofit working equipment, or sometimes just tools that have been pressed into service as weapons. IIRC, Metal Arms also had a thing where you could implant the AI of other robots into your gear for boosts? Or was that another shooter?

I lifted a bit from Warframe for the Aqen game when conceptualizing the Abductor, though I turned the Bad End slider up a few notches to make it less palatable than just a weird prosthetic rental scheme.
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>>73494680
Pretty sure it was another game.

Instead Metal Arms has the control feather which would let you possess vulnerable enemies. This was a lot of fun.


To a lesser extent there were also recruiter grenades which are morbot (morebot? I forget how it's spelled but they are mysterious precursors who may or may not still live underground) relics that when thrown would make enemies caught in the blast serve you.

(If you could catch a bunch, especially if you got a scientist mil since they heal others, you could have a pretty good force)
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So was Lola using bear gun or six shooter?
>>73484647
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>>73496213

Six Shooter, with a nice use of Delight in Corruption to refresh it for another volley since it's a Rapid. She nailed all six shots she got with it, even if she had to be busting out Scope and such at points. She got multiple crits, I think - really, the lil' trucker was a right badass this fight, it was great.
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>>73496744
Do you remember when it was you started to get a sense for who your character was and how to play them?
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>>73497791

Personally, it usually takes a few sessions to get a proper feel for how to play a PC. It's kinda like how a character might act in a first draft or TV show pilot vs how they act in the series proper. Even with a good idea of who the character is, it might take a bit to nail down how they act in the world the necromancer is bringing and how they bounce off of the other PCs.
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>>73498167
That makes sense.
Also a very interesting pic.
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>>73497791

With regards to just mechanical competency and Getting Good at combat, I'll freely admit that it's a meme among my group how Bad At Nechronica. Personality-wise, though, it was probably close to the end of the Africa arc? With what logs I've already read through, I definitely still find my particular girl's mannerisms to be more than a touch awkward compared to how I settled in with playing her later.

>>73498167

This anon's got it right. This has basically been my experience too for every character I've played, and then once I settle in things tend to generally just come naturally.
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>>73488989
Is it inane or mundane?

Inane means silly (often in a bad way) or stupid.
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>>73500440
Inane is definitely the word I intend to use. That said, despite its connotations, I'm still amused by the goofball inanity that tends to occur in the games I'm in, so I don't honestly mean it in a bad way.
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>>73500548
Understood.
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The fact that you can't have gun legs like this is a fucking crime. The most you can have is a laser leg.
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>>73504485
You can always ask your DM to make an exception. Although it gets a little screwy if you take a leg weapon and Extra Legs.
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>>73504485
The Extra Legs parts is probably the reason for this. Since as long as it's intact, all your broken leg reinforcement parts still work like they weren't broken.

So if I was your GM I'd probably let you have guns in your legs, but your character would be unable to get the Extra Legs part.

Now you've got me wondering about move parts for the arms.
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>>73506038
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>>73506038

You overestimate the advantage there since your attack part, 95% of the time is the last part you're breaking on a location, you're only really adding a +1 damage taken before breaking your attack. Also there's a bunch of melee attack parts, including THE absolute best melee attack part in the game, monofilament, goes on location: Any. The optimal path to max damage dealing is to put your melee/unarmed attack part on your arm so you can take gauntlet to maximize damage. Instead of embracing this in making Shooting able to go on other locations, you get only a SINGLE subpar attack part that can go anywhere for shooting attacks.

So no, making more guns location: any does not break the game when the most powerful attack parts in the game are already able to go wherever the player wants.
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>>73504485
I just realized the caps on her braids and the aglets on her laces are both modeled after plastic hulled the shotguns shells.
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>>73506189
what the fuck are these silhouettes and why do multiple people have them in cast iron outside their houses around where i live
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>>73507085
I do not know. I simply made a token out of it.
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>>73453448
Any newfag advice, for players or otherwise, please?
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>>73508109

Some fast tips:

Always try to have a +1 to attack checks for your main attack part, what way you get the bonus is a bit more up to you, whether it's from a skill like Gun God, made to be broken, or a position skill. That +1 not only ups your chance to hit, but means that you can't critically fail unless an enemy hinders you and you can potentially get a critical hit without supports, critical success requires a result of 11+, which requires either attack check bonuses or supports.

All shooting attacks require lullaby to hit decent a damage for AP ratio and if you don't plan on sticking with shotgun/undead gun, you're gonna want Instrument of Evil. Twin pistol is... ok with just lullaby and gun god, but you can't do much to make it better other than more bonuses to attack checks.

Look at what madness recovery options there are for the party/you. Conversation checks alone are unreliable. If an Alice has prayer, the party is set, as long as it's possible to keep the Alice from getting smacked, otherwise you may have to look at shit like Damaged Goods, Limit of Madness, and so on to prevent madness build up or lose what you already have.

And lastly, look at what the party's doing. If you already have two people focusing on dismember attacks, don't pick one up yourself. That just means an autoseparate is gonna be a problem for 3/4ths of your party. Vary up what properties you have within the party.
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>>73488989
And where he left off, I can now continue. It's closing in on five in the morning here; is there a better time to commence a massive dump of a Nechronica session? Possibly, but the typing's done when it's done. And since it is, let us delay no further.

When next the spotlight finds the dolls, it is as sunlight creeps in through the gaps of boarded windows. Upon a couch within the bar, a tangled trio rests: one bomb, one jedi, and one white-hair. Absent from the room are any of the others from last night, though the gathering is now up one Lao Yue, seated on a bench adjacent to the counter and sipping on tea. She wears a tired expression as the radio plays softly next to her. The first of the tangle to wake is Aida, as she rolls off the couch and onto the floor, producing a groggy, “Ow.” No explosions however, as she picks herself up and rubs sleep from her eyes with a remark of, “It was really loud last night.” The reason for that can be found not terribly far off.

A door stands ajar behind the counter, and through that half-opening can be seen a large lump covered by sheets. Sheets thrown shortly off by the twin-headed muscle, unveiling herself and her partner. “... Huh.” Such is her utterance as she realizes she's in bed with Rita. “We must've had fun last last night,” Coach concludes in tandem, though neither sits in a state of undress that corroborates. Pulling herself from bed with arms that have thickened, Adrian gives a cheerful announcement of, “Good morning!”

In addition to waking Rita, it gets her a wave from Lao Yue and Aida's similarly chipper response of, “Morning!” It comes in the middle of the bomb's own work, shaking at the two of her sisters with gusto, that they might themselves awake. It's going poorly. Alexis would prefer to pretend and hope sleep returns to her. Altina...
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>>73509701
She covers her ears and screws her eyes firmly shut, doing battle with the terrible forces of the hangover menace for the first time. With grim laughter comes a similar assertion, “Of course there would be downsides to enjoying myself. There always are.”

“Just remember to drink more water or something next time!” the muscle advises from the bedroom, ignoring the crucial fact that she did nothing but chug absinthe and yet feels no ill effects.

“Or drink the special drink! I don't feel all weird or anything!” So advises the tiniest cannibal, still shoving at the feigning jedi.

“So you don't have a hangover?” The bartender looks genuinely impressed upon receiving confirmation, while Adrian sets off on the quest to find some food; hunger has made a swift return, even after she ate at least half a horse last night.

Still, there is one fact of such complete drunkenness even the muscle's constitution cannot simply shrug off. “I can barely remember a damn thing from last night...” It makes pinning down what might've been done with theoretical leftovers more difficult.

Rita's simple reminder is, “You were really hammered. But we all had a good time.”

In spite of herself and her state, Altina interjects, “Vodka is uniquely terrible and I would like more, sometime, when I do not feel this way.” Speaking remains the extent of what she'll strain herself with, however.

In spite of prompting the reminder, Adrian counters, “That's good, but right now, I'm starving.” By this point it seems clear the only portion of horse left in here is the head on the counter, meant to inform the Chinese of the group's Russian run-in. That does conjure a thought. “Oh right, she can't understand a word we say, can she?” So indicated is Lao.

“Nah.” With that single word, Rita finally decides to properly rouse herself, fixing up her hair and donning her glasses. Once ready, she joins everyone in the bar proper and greets Lao with a, “Nihao,” getting back a smile in turn.
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>>73509717
As Adrian strides outside, the mellow tunes which have been turned up give way to the voice of the radio host, experienced and suave. They fall hastily into a terse berating. “And that concludes our first set for the early morning. Hopefully this is more to your tastes, since I've received nothing but complaints last time when I played the blues. I had quite a few letters asking me if someone had died. Honestly... Band of philistines. Start your own radio.” At the rant's end, she settles back into professionalism quite quickly. “In any case, we're up with some morning news in another slow news day, also presented by yours truly, your humble host, Carla. One of the dogs from Kuku's farm is still missing...” Into the background fades the most curious of things in a world of the undead and the deformed – the mundanities of life, going on as ever it has.

The patio proves a fruitful place to check for the muscle, inasmuch as as it can be. Two cuts, small by her measure, remain upon the grill in the midst of all the mess left after the party. Cold and lacking in freshness, flies having made their homes there overnight, it's nonetheless deemed fit for consumption. With a waving away of the insects, it takes no time at all before she's on the way back inside. The first thing she sees on entering is Altina's momentous decision to get off the couch instead of living there for the next year. With a great heave the girl shoves off – and promptly hits the floor with her face. “... Yes. This is intentional.” Planted squarely on the floorboards as hers is, there's little face the comment can save.

“You doin' alright?” Rita's inquiry is directed towards Adrian, despite what one may assume, to whom it seems baffling. “Well, you were out of it yesterday. Hence why I'm worried.”

The concern is waved off with a casual, “I'm fiiiine.” True enough in the immediate moment, at least.
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>>73509732
But last night, “Well, it's not often customers get drunk enough to start hitting on me, you see.”

“I wouldn't have to drink -that much- to start doing that,” Adrian assures her gracious host.

To the gasp of, “Oh, my. It may be a bit early to start again, however.”

“Yeah, aren't there Russians to pummel or something?” That's one agreement, and from the ground comes a second.

With one raised finger, Altina concurs, “Pummeling or shooting or dismembering Russians is a thing I would be okay with.” She says this, but lets her hand flop down once more, rather than get up.

As it flops down, the bomb who's still been trying to beat out Alexis' corpse impression connects the wrong dots. “Hitting you?” She looks over at Rita, concerned for her in spite of her impeccable intactness. “Is that why it got really loud in the room over there?” The now blushing bartender doesn't get terribly far in any attempts at a protest before Adrian comes over and picks up Aida.

“Just don't worry about it,” she says to a bomb continuing to worry about it.

“But what if she got hurt?” Adrian can hit things quite hard, after all. This isn't a matter worth simply dropping.

The necessary time has been bought however. “I apologize if my snoring didn't let you sleep. It's a bit of a problem that seemingly came with my age.” With this bold claim, Rita points at Lao Yue, adding a drawn out, “Right? The snoooores.” The Chinese taskmaster imitates the desired sound, sealing the deal.

“I don't remember no snoring...” Adrian decides she'd rather not be helpful, doing her utmost to pull out the still-beating heart of the explanation.

Which Rita manages to quickly put back in. “That's because you were out cold, silly.” The short exchange runs through Aida's head, pieces fitting together one by one, until she reaches her final verdict.
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>>73509750
“Ohhhhh. Was that snoring? So Adrian wasn't hitting Rita!” Inhabiting now the timeline where such things didn't happen, she's perfectly happy in the muscle's arms.

“It was still loud.” Alexis chooses now to give up on returning to sleep, rolling around on the couch to splay out, taking up as much space as her small form can manage to. Her comment is summarily ignored.

“So does anyone else know how to talk to her?” Adrian jerks a head at Lao, continuing to peacefully sip at tea and listen to the radio.

“The other Chinese.” Rita's response isn't terribly helpful to accomplishing the objective in mind.

“I do not speak the Chinese language. Or other languages. Only this one. So I am again useless.” Altina might perhaps find some means of changing this, were she as yet pried from the ground, but she and it are as one.

“Oh, please. Do not speak so lowly of yourself.” There shall be no linguistic self-deprecation in Rita's presence. “Eddy is a special case. If she did not speak Chinese I figure she'd be out of a job.” As she speaks, she points at the equine head sitting on the counter of her bar, finding that a point worth addressing. “You plan on taking that head with you when you leave, right? Please do.”

“Well yeah, it was gonna be proof that we ran into Russians on our way here.” Here now Adrian takes the head in one hand, cradling her bomb in the other. Appraising it more closely, Rita has an idea.

“That may actually look good hung up on a wall.”

“Too bad I don't have a wall.” Alas, yet a moment's thought spurs another idea. “You want it?”

“I am surprised you did not want to eat the head as well.” The fusion of floor and Altina continues to make remarks from below, as Rita reconsiders her earlier position.
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>>73509762
“Well... It has a story behind it, so it may prove to be an entertaining piece of decoration.” Thus is the gift extended and taken, trophy now formally the bartender's property. Accepting it with a courteous, “Why, thank you,” she's also curious since she wasn't clued into the plan, “Who were you planning on showing this to?”

Naturally indicated is, “Lao.”

“Oh. Well, she's seen it.” To ensure this is the case, Rita holds the head up in front of her Chinese guest, who doesn't seem to know what to make of what's happening.

“Russians.” The muscle's insistence doesn't earn her more than a shrug from Lao and a noise from Rita, both of which suggest this is going nowhere fast. Thus it's time to concede. “Well, without anyone to translate we can't tell her we ran into the Russians on our way here. Are they usually running around here?”

“The Russians? There's quite a few in the war zone downtown as it is. They don't usually wander off into these parts. Usually. But don't worry, Yue here is just having her morning tea. I'm sure if you tell this to Eddy you'll be set.” Content as the bartender is to answer questions, one thing does still puzzle her about this all. “Though I don't quite understand what you plan to obtain from this.”

Adrian should be able to clear that right up. Instead she scratches her head and admits, “... I forgot...” At which point whatever plan may have been rumbling around in her head(s) is discarded with a shrug. “Whatever, so if we want something we gotta find Eddy, right?”

“Well... If you want validation, maybe. You could go straight downtown for clothes like your friend here said yesterday. And if you have any questions about these parts, you can just visit little old me! I'll treat you good again, I promise.” The chipper assertion is met with a whistle from Altina, who would describe it as worth it in spite of the immediate and throbbing regret. Her eyes being glued to the ground, she misses the predator's grin Adrian flashes her.
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>>73509775
Thereafter comes the muscle's query of, “Well then, what the hell can we do around here?”

The answer, delivered with quite the trill, is, “Whatever you want~ It's a free country after all~” Insincerity may well hide, considering China's communistic grip. Which bears its own inquiry.

“So there's really no money or perks or nothin' around here?”

If that's really the case, Aida's mind is quite thoroughly made up, expressed in the exclamation, “We should go look for clothes! They're where the bad people are, right? We might run into some!”

“I am okay with ending bad people.” There is a slight caveat to Altina's flat interjection. “When I can walk without my brain deciding I am one of them. Ahhh, light and sound, my worst enemies.” Perhaps this experience will teach her to pace her drinking.

When offered the silence to offer it, Rita's assessment of the state of this place is, “It's a pretty boring countryside town, I'll admit~ It's not often you get to have fun like yesterday~ If it's up to the Chinese, I figure they'll demolish this place after they're done building their roads to Anatolia. It's not all bad, though. I hear they have untouched cities in China. Skyscrapers and all that!”

Altina then latches onto exactly the very last sentence and nothing else to state, “They should pick the skyscrapers up from China and put them down here. That's how it works, I think.” Only top shelf commentary out of her, same as the alcohol that put her on the ground. “... Maybe I had too much to drink.” By god, she's getting there. She may just prevent this going forward yet.

The focus of the muscle remains interviewing the barkeep, thus the peanut gallery continues to be ignored in favor of, “So... why do people do stuff around here?” For this million dollar question, Rita gives a hearty shrug.
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>>73509788
“They're building roads and factories. I'm guessing there's something they want here. Besides the free workforce now that their necromancer is gone.” While a fine and telling answer, it's off in a pivotal manner.

“I meant like Lola and stuff, sounds like she hates what she does or what they'd tell her to do so why do it if there's no pay?” A question of some merit when undeath removes many of the needs which necessitate a manner of income. Yet she's as off as Rita.

“Oh? But Lola loves her job. Or at least that's what she tells me occasionally. It seems a bit stressful.” That's one word for being run down by angry Russians. Who themselves come to mind, unsurprisingly.

“What's with all the Russians around here?”

“That's an even better question!” While a spirited response, there's an unfortunate fact about it – its lack of an answer, as explained thereafter. “Probably after the same thing as the Chinese. So hell if I know.” A bartender she might be, but she can't bandy about rumors that haven't come through her place.

And that noncommittal nothingness finally brings Adrian to a shrug and a supremely disappointing realization. “I dunno, I just thought we'd have to see someone or something and then get something for beating them up, but if we do that then it's just for the fun of it?” She's finally starting to understand how communism works, and the system doesn't agree with her.

Having already made a debatable peace with her own existence, Rita's advice stands as such. “Ohhhh, don't look so down. It's just how things go these days when money has no true value and people are content following leaders that offer you protection from the horrible, horrible stuff lurking out there.”

There's one thing in there interesting enough to catch the ear of the floored drunkard. “Things more horrible than Russian horsewomen? And bikes. Well. -Well-.” Perhaps there are virtues to these offers of protection.
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>>73509806
“I guess we'll just have to settle for beating up the horrible, horrible stuff.” Or, if one is Adrian, there's enjoyment in handling things personally. Maybe some glory, too. No profit, though. Wouldn't want to get ahead of ourselves here.

Especially not when there's something more immediate to contend with – the sound of a vehicle pulling over in front of the bar. Partnered with this is the beginning of bickering between a pair of voices. “Huh, I don't usually get people this early. Besides Yue. Her morning habits are very commendable.” With this commentary, those present put varying amounts of effort into listening, though the party hears gibberish they can narrow down as 'not Chinese'. Rita, on the other hand, can narrow things rather considerably. “Maybe it's the fight you were looking for? Sounds like Slavs to me.”

Relishing the very idea, Adrian is only naturally excited. “That'd be great.” It would also be nice if we had our white-hair, however, who she glances down at.

Even as she is, Altina shoves herself to her feet, blinking rapidly, and dispels the last of her grogginess with a few quick shakes of the head. “I am restored and ready!” Surprisingly effective remedy for a hangover, staring at the floor.

That settles things. “Good, let's go outside. It'd be rude to ruin the nice lady's bar.” Just imagine if all that alcohol went to waste. What justice would there be in the world, were varyingly young girls unable to get hammered? Adrian takes the lead out the door, Aida still in hand, a self-assured swagger marking her steps.

Said bomb kicks her tiny little legs contentedly, cheering as they go, “Bad people! Let's go get the bad people!” For what else could a Russian be, really? Well, they could be what's before the dolls' eyes as they leave the bar.
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>>73509815
Out front is a military jeep, on which can be found two girls arguing, at least until the group's arrival prompts a pointing out, as if showcasing the merry band. Both are in military uniforms and wearing berets of different colors; even at a guess, it doesn't look like their units match. In spite of not looking Chinese – in fact, both are decidedly white, split between blonde and brunette – a greeting of, “Nihao!” is what one utters

“You want something?” The one not attempting to greet the party looks perplexed, not having expected English to be in use here for some reason as Adrian cuts to the chase.

Altina further muddies the waters with her own, “Nihao!” She bobs from side to side, hands folded primly behind her back. That was the thing to say, right?

One word of Chinese, however, can hardly dilute Adrian's straightforward approach, both verbally and towards the jeep. “If you're lookin' for directions, we can't really help you. We're new around here.”

The Russians are undeterred, both by this fact and what may well be a mediocre grasp of English. The brunette takes the lead. “Well, too bad. We really need, er, some information! We would really like your, erm, help!” That's far too reasonable a request. How can we possibly label all Russians kill on sight like this?

With neither raising protest at Adrian's continued approach, she arrives at her desired destination of the jeep's front, laying the elbow of her free arm upon it, resting a cheek on her fist to casually inquire, “So what do ya need?”

“Just a little bit of information is good.” While technically an answer, and accompanied by pinching fingers that show just how small the information is, it really doesn't say how any of us can help.

So Adrian presses towards the point, smile still perfectly friendly. “And that is?”

“Well... Buinov.” The brown-haired girl indicates her comrade, who's already in the middle of the job.
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>>73509828
“Yes, yes. A moment.” The blonde – Buinov, one might assume – is scanning her eyes over a clipboard in her hands. Eventually satisfied with whatever she's gotten out of it, she hands it to her comrade with a, “Here.”

Clearing her throat, the other Russian finally gets to her rather formal request. “Have you perhaps seen any of the following: eight living motorcycles, one centaur, one knight, one medium living vehicle, ten flying cyborgs and/or around twenty soldiers?”

Adrian's first response is a swift, “Yes to everything but the last two.” Yet as quickly it's followed up by, “Hang on...” A moment is needed to ponder more closely on things. “I think it was only three of those motorcycles...” Not wholly sure, she looks to the least qualified member of the group to count, the tiny bomb in her arms. “It was three, right?”

Happily she nods, not even having to use her fingers to reach the answer. “Three, three!” A count of motorcycles exploded she's happy to have reached.

The list obviously not complete, Buinov belatedly appends, “There may also have been one of the girls that carry our packs. It's mule, right? What you call it. She wasn't accounted for.”

Aida is now set down, a momentary diversion before the muscle continues to rest on the jeep, cool as can be. “Oh yeah, she's around. What's it to you?” But of course there's a limit to being forthright about these things.

“We would like to know the location of these folks, of course.” The brunette has a perfectly business answer.

“Why?” Adrian has a perfectly challenging retort, even as her demeanor fails to change.

“It's our assignment. We're here to investigate dis-” Clarifications by the unnamed Russian are interrupted by Buinov's gentle shove.

“You don't look very Chinese to me,” she observes.

“Of course not, as I said, we're new in town.” Adrian's casual reminder is met with a squint, directed at all.
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>>73509835
“Anatolia? Europa? You're not African either, are you?” Most of the party would like an answer to Buinov's question more than she would, frankly.

“Europe, I guess. Again, what's it to you?” It's as vague an idea as can be, but it is what the dolls largely have.

Excepting one tiny bomb, who needs no such vaguery, proudly wearing her presumed nationality with an enthusiastic, “Middle east! They said middle east!”

It's enough to put Buinov at ease. “Tell her, if she's not with them then it's fine.” Green light given, the brunette can speak once more.

“Ooooh, a middle eastern. Thought you were all dead.” A curious statement, though perhaps less so when one considers the consequences of suicide bombing without already having died. “Anyway. Like I was saying before I was interrupted by very rude friend here we are investigating disappearances. These troops we have listed to you were, eh, misplaced.”

“What were they supposed to be doing?” While Adrian continues her job as our rather informal representative, one child prods another.

It is of course Alexis, who has thus far today not given herself a chance to cause trouble. “Have you ever sat in a jeep before?” she whispers towards her sister in smallness, receiving a shake in the negatory. “Now's our chance if we want to try it out.” She points at the back seats, encouraging mischief as only small children are wont to. After only a second of rumination, and with a nod of assent, the plan to sneak into the back is in effect.

“They were stationed in Anatolia.” Entirely unaware of said plan, the brunette continues to explain. “They are listed as missing in action but we think they are more like deserters now. They were not supposed to be this far into neutral territory, you see.”

“Misplaced deserters, hm? Hm! That's -very- odd!” The eternal smile of Altina's is turned upon the Russians. “I wonder what might have happened if they decided to start bothering nice, innocent people.”
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>>73509847
“That knight ran into some locals, last I saw.” So begins the roundabout admission of rightfully putting down a few ornery individuals.

It's met almost as casually as Adrian prefers to act. “Ah, is that so? Would you list any casualties for me if you will?” Really, being coy seems to be nothing but a huge waste of time, considering, “Deserters get the axe, quite literally, in any case. So you'd be doing us a favor.”

With no real reason left to hide, Adrian frankly admits, “Well, we ate the horse.”

Buinov immediately starts cackling while her partner presses, “For real?” By coincidence more than anything, this is the moment the jedi and bomb choose to load into the jeep, everyone else thoroughly distracted by that anecdote and its reception.

While they settle in and Aida gets comfortable, idly kicking her feet and enjoying what seat cushioning there is, Adrian confirms, “Yeah, cooked it myself.” The brunette finds this just lovely, more than may be quite reasonable, checking things off on her clipboard.

“Ah, so you -don't- care what happens to them?” Liberated by this knowledge, Altina's perfectly willing to chime in, “Well, yes, we killed quite a few.”

In the moments before the brunette can press on that, Aida turns to her conspirator. “What do we do now?” she whispers in wonder, not sure what the plan is from here.

“Be here in case they need to blow up.” Understanding crosses the bomb's face at once and she nods. It's a very comfortable place to wait for her explosions to be needed.

Unaware of her potential plotted demise, the brunette carries right along, eager for more casualty reports. “Oh, do tell.”
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>>73509861
Adrian's eternal haste leaves her answering in Altina's stead. “Three bikes and the centaur. They were bothering the truck we were riding in.” That information seems particularly interesting, notes clearly being jotted down alongside the checking. More puzzling than interesting is the added query of, “Do your knights make a habit of running around with bugs?”

“What? I don't understand,” Buinov admits.

“Is that humor? Our English is not that good,” the brunette likewise confesses.

“Big ol' bugs. They were following her,” the muscle clarifies.

“Like fleas or ticks?” Buinov's question betrays a lack of understanding.

“The knights are supposed to look after their horses. That is unacceptable.” The brunette's condemnation does much the same.

“I don't mean small things, I mean -big-.” Using the arm she isn't leaning with, Adrian indicates just how large, decidedly more than the mere consequence of a shaggy mane.

Unsurprisingly, the brunette is surprised by this information. “That's news to us. Do you have any idea what the bugs were doing there?”

“Listening to the knight.” The simple statement, while clearly clicking with something, doesn't quite handle everything pertinent.

Thus Buinov raises the further concern of, “How many bugs? Was there like a black cloud or enough to cover the place up?”

“Uh, I dunno. Like four really big ones and dozens of little ones?” Adrian calls the most accurate answer she can from the drunken haze that followed the fight.

“Hm... That's not quite what I wanted to hear but.... I think it checks out.” The brunette seems to accept whatever this implies. Buinov has one point still to go.

“Was there a noise? Like shkshkshskhsksk?” The noise she's trying – rather poorly – to imitate is the sound of skittering.

A sound she's assured was present by the muscle's, “Something like that, yeah.”

“It keeps checking out,” Buinov has to admit.
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>>73509874
“Guess they weren't going crazy back at base,” the brunette agrees. Over yet more jotting of notes the Russian says, “That is actually very helpful, thank you very much. So where exactly did these fights happen?”

Finger tapping against chin, eyes closed in thought, Altina somehow manages to win the race towards speech. “Well, that first batch hit us when we were driving to down. The second bunch we ran into walking to this very bar. Is that any help?”

Judging by the accelerated pace of note taking, it is. The brunette's enthusiastic, “Very!” doesn't hurt either. Eyeing her clipboard she rattles off, “So the bandits jumping people on the dirt path to Anatolia checks out. The insects making the guards disappear seems to check out so far too. If all of this information is true you have done us a great favor. The investigation has advanced very much. Now, the question is whether we keep on this trail or go back and report.”

Or so she'd think, but Buinov has a moment of recollection, and a consequent question. “Wait, you said the cargo girl was around, didn't you? Where is she?”

Adrian's shrug is the quickest response out. Altina's, “That-” follows shortly, and is interrupted as swiftly, as she cocks her head and blinks. “-is a very good question I have forgotten the answer to.”

Truth or not, after all that information, Buinov is hardly of a mind to take umbrage with our not knowing. “Well, you were great help so far so we won't work your heads too much. It is okay.”

“Though this does not answer who took them and why.” Having this realization, the brunette makes up her mind on the plan going forward. “Guess we're going back to the center of town.” With this, the pair begins loading in the front; and with them being friendly, Aida begins sneaking out the back, figuring they're not targets of Allah's ire.

“Bye, bye, have fun,” Adrian casually waves them off.
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>>73509892
“A good day to you, my friend,” the brunette answers in kind, revving the engine to life. “Do not let the Chinese make you feel unwelcome.”

“Have a good day, may the force be with you.” Markedly less concerned about keeping their secret operation under wraps, Alexis offers the pair farewell before hopping out of the jeep's back.

Buinov is utterly perplexed, getting out only, “... What?”

“Ah, how playful.” Her compatriot sees nothing wrong with this, unaware of the plot that had been hatching. She quickly returns her attention to the others, with one final statement to make. “Well, if you acquire more information on the missing persons please come back here at evening. We will try to return here then. Maybe have a drink.” It's a request she hardly needs to make; this bar suits the dolls just fine as a hideout right now.

With Buinov's cheery, “Bye!” they take off for what looks like downtown – it's the opposite direction of Eddy's place, that much is for sure. Alexis waits for them to leave eyesight before she takes two fingers and whistles loudly as a summons. Silence holds but briefly before the great hydraulic pumping noises come from behind the building; thereafter is Ana's arrival, clearing the bar in a single bound, landing with a happy whistle. A true display of athleticism, earning her Alexis' patting.

Happy as she may be with that gift of affection, her mood isn't improved by Adrian informing her, “People were lookin' for you. Said you were deserters.” With her whimper, it dawns upon most she might well understand speech. With her naming however comes membership in the A-Team, and with her membership comes solidarity. “So don't let'em know where you are,” the muscle insists, getting back a whistle.

The jedi hums in thought. “Bully bikes forced you to desert, didn't they?” she coos at Ana afterwards, as if at a baby. The whistle that comes sounds positive enough to be confirmation.
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>>73509909
“Well! Now I'm glad I really -had- forgotten where you were, because I can say with full honesty I wasn't lying. I blame the vodka.” Alcohol shows its virtues as Altina admits this... though surely she wouldn't have divulged anything, even if she did recall.

A modestly perplexed Aida inquires, “Those were the bad people, right? The Russians? Should I have blown them up? They didn't really do anything bad.” Is life truly not so black and white? Does nationality alone not entitle one to an execution?

“Let's go back in and ask what that was about.” Thus is Adrian's suggestion to unraveling this most esoteric of mysteries. Strolling to do so, Rita can be found in the process of cleaning last night's glasses, having donned an apron. She's also found time to mount that horse head, resting over the entrance with its proud Russian visage. Absent now is Lao Yue.

“Well, that was a quick, quiet fight,” Rita comments as the gang files in – save for Alexis, who remains outside, relieving Ana of the Russian baggage strapped to her. “You okay?”

“They didn't do anything bad so we didn't blow them up,” the bomb reports, still unsure if this is truly right.

Altina adds, “They were very polite! I quite liked them. Once I was sure I wouldn't have to shoot them, anyway.”

After a bit of processing, Rita's response is, “... Well, I guess those were the official Russians, then.”

“I was ready to flip their jeep. That's what I wanted to ask you about.” With an uncomprehending hum, the bartender asks the muscle to continue. “Are there Russians we shouldn't be messing with?”

Her clarification fails at such, the woman's reply, “... I'm not quite sure I follow. Dangerous, you mean?”
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>>73509922
Altina is perfectly happy to provide a much more comprehensive explanation. “The ones we met before were deserters, apparently! So that explains why they were just going after us for no good reason. But -we- were wondering about the 'official' ones and what we should be doing when we meet them. Because I liked the ones we did just meet and would rather not cut them apart.”

“Oh. Well, I'm not sure you'd meet many of the nice Russians around here. They're not supposed to be here when it's under Chinese rule and all that!” Ah, the wonders of national borders and political disputes. Even in the world of the undead, they're unavoidable.

“So are all the other ones we might see around here not supposed to be here?” A close guess by Adrian, but one in need of some correction.

And boy oh boy does Rita have a correction to deliver, plenty rolling off her tongue as she gets going. “Well, the Russians aren't supposed to be here, end of story. It's just that the nice ones know that and avoid coming here unless they have a good reason. The others, well... Who knows. The nice Russians don't really want to give the Chinese a reason to end the ceasefire they have in Asia, so they're pretty quick to disassociate themselves with deserters and such.” Quite the useful rundown on the current state of relations, too. How nice of her to- “I hear they even execute deserters in public. It's a bit extreme in my opinion.” Perhaps so, but it's hard to deny it sends a clear message.

“So whatever ones we find around here are alright to break?” That's the ultimate lesson that the muscle takes away from things.

“Most likely.” Not that she's wrong, as Rita confirms. And violence is more enjoyable to latch onto than who's brokering peace with whom. What is some distant, unseen war to four fresh faced dolls? Of interest to Rita however is, “What did you talk to the nice ones about?”
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>>73509935
“They wanted to know about some of the not so nice ones around. We told them what happened.” And so Rita, with a thoughtful hum, is up to speed. Save one detail.

“And what did they say?” This she asks of Adrian as the radio segues to another song, a tune most morose that doesn't seem to much harm the bartender's air of cheer. Still, Carla will undoubtedly be getting more complaints.

“They were happy we took care of them. Just don't tell'em about the mule if they come back around.” A simple condition for simple knowledge, finding agreement in short order. “Well, now that's cleared up, we're gonna head down town, see ya later.” With a wave, she's out the door.

“Bye again, honey.” Interesting final words from the woman, as Aida follows Adrian with a spring in her step and a fire in her eyes. They may just find the bad people yet.

Altina is soon to follow, with one thing coming first. “Have a lovely day. We plan on one too!” Clapping her hands together and bowing, she then all but prances out the door. Where it's found that Alexis has just abandoned Ana's cargo on the side of the road, without caring what might be in it. Adrian cares considerably more. One thin box of metal, shut tightly, is all that stands between her and whatever goodies are inside – that might as well be air for how it shatters when her fist connects.

“Whoops,” she says, as the contents engage in a slight bout of scattering.

“Awww, it broke.” Slightly disappointed though Aida is, treasure abounds with the tinkling of scattering metal. Where one box was lost, now can be found the trophies of victory, thoroughly numerous. … Most of them are spent bullet casings. Alongside these are some actual objects of potential value. Two different maps, one of which bears a considerable number of doodles; several cans of an unidentified foodstuff; and last, but not least, a bottle containing an unknown, clear liquid.

(That map was actually our default Roll20 screen when combat wasn't underway.)
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>>73509960
As Adrian takes the lot, her brain produces a thought. Without the smashed box, she has nowhere to keep this stuff. She sees a solution to this: off one of Aida's arms hangs a basket of picnic persuasion, perfectly suited. “Hold these,” she asks of the smallest. Doing so is far from automatic, each item appraised for worthiness. In turn they all pass muster, a nod allowing their stowing.

“We have claimed prizes from our enemies! This is good.” Altina is satisfied as well, our conquest of the Russians now made complete by these material things. Ana is absolutely giddy to not be carrying those burdens any longer. Adrian is perfectly happy to be carrying them now, by dint of carrying Aida. But one final preparation is required before we set out: having liberated Ana of her box of goodies, Alexis climbs aboard. While the mule doesn't object, her jubilant leap of ten meters straight upwards with no warning does require holding on for dear life. Hold on she does, and so two paths stand before us. Either looks to take us downtown, where might be found clothes and Russians – but one of them is where the friendly Russians went. So rather than risk bumping into them with Ana, the other path is settled upon.
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>>73509976
Over several dreary kilometers do the girls trek without much of interest. The ramshackle, slum-like buildings become more sparse as they go, horizon dominated increasingly by vast stretches of desert. The first sight of any remote potential is a fork in the path, a dirt road leading elsewhere. Where exactly? The Chinese writing on the sign offers no hints; the English writing beneath reads, 'Quarry.' Curious, however, is the trail of black smoke wafting into the distant air. Does the mining of rock usually produce that, especially in such vast quantities? Curiouser still are the sounds: guns presumably do not shear free rock in any useful amount, yet we hear no shortage of shots. It certainly grips Adrian's attention. “Huh... maybe we should take a look at that.” Who will raise objections to this plan of action?

“I see no reason not to! Violence might happen, even!” Altina and her enthusiasm certainly do no such thing.

“It sounds like bad people! Let's go find them!” Clapping eagerly and nodding, Aida would never turn down a chance to work towards repentance. Alexis has no vote to cast – but democracy's victory is already absolute. The detour taken, we find a worksite which has been fenced off; rather pointless when the gate's wide open, isn't it? Perhaps that's not intentional. The source of the smoke cloud is clearly visible as well, a truck not dissimilar to Lola's. Needing a manner of distinguishing itself, it has chosen to be set on fire. Mayhap that's also not voluntary.
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>>73509989
“Well, looks like we've found our entertainment for the morning,” Adrian is content to say as another fire starts in the distance, catching upon the prefab building of a construction site. Cheers and celebrations echo; the voices sound off, banged up, but it's easy to recognize what Russian sounds like after hearing some at the bar. As rounds are fired into the air in a salvo that praises success, both sides spot one another. Buinov and her friend are going to be very happy; not terribly long ago, they described some of these girls to us.

Before the conflict, as the tension builds, Alexis hops off of Ana. “You go hide somewhere!” she orders the mule. Whistling heartily, Ana leaps behind a mound of sand; with how she soars, she hardly counts as hidden, considering everyone saw where she landed. Irrelevant. The lines close, and the Russians jeer. They shout, they spit, they curse, they laugh; their eyes are empty, missing both life and meaning. No one understands a single word of slurred Russian; no one fails to understand weapons pointed at them. Her lightsaber springing to life with a familiar hum, Alexis taunts, “Do you speak a civilized language?” And so things commence.

Before us are a motley assortment of Russian deserters. Half of their numbers seem to have come from the count of missing troopers, as most are girls covered in varying amounts of body armor and other miscellaneous kit. Supporting these brave troopers is an equal count of the missing, flying cyborgs. The alloys that shield them in place of skin are obvious, and don't weigh them down enough that gravity can enforce itself, owing to the V-shaped wings that extend in place of shoulderblades. Their limbs consist of haphazard replacements – bizarre, and yet more useful when skybound than what evolution provided the human form.
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>>73510014
Little of that matters to Adrian, who falls into the routine immediately. What matters to her is the trooper before her, and that trooper alone, into whom she lays; the grating screech of cloven metal is heard when her fists reach bone, proving those to be of steel. A sound that can't stop Adrian from coming around again, as the soldier tries for a sweep to unbalance her. To no avail, Coach ever attentive. “Kid, watch out for the foot!” Twisting into the blow further, she finds purchase and rends flesh, rapidly divesting the soldier of much. Altina's attempt to finish her off is imprecise, but a few wide lasers hardly match up to the incompetence of the back row. The pin is pulled on a grenade, a hand rearing back. In whatever passes for her mind, a countdown must tick, assuredly – it ticks one time too many, as shrapnel spreads across the quarry what was once fingers and palm, Adrian's cackle dueling with the sound of the blast. Undaunted and unchallenged, a strike sure to finish the terribly torn trooper comes in. It finds no flesh, but only by the sacrificial dive of a flier, whose rent torso cannot hope to wholly abate the fury all her muscle can produce. “-Let's see how many birds are willin' to die for you.” The banter, too, commences.
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>>73510034
And there are two answers to that question posed as statement. The first is that the flier isn't willing to do so again; she's not willing to do much of anything after Alexis leaps into the air and swipes her blade through several integral sections, leaving the cyborg as little more than orange-hot scraps clattering to the ground in a sizzling pile, stirring no more as unlife is hewn from her. As to the other... Altina puts it best. “The answer is one.” Proof of this assertion is the barrage of course-corrected fire, streaks of blue burning away and popping what remains of the wounded trooper, until smoke, smolder and smears are all that hint something may have stood there before. Having not yet even posed trouble, she'll pose no more.

Their ranks thinning before they've even had a chance to whip themselves into shape, the Russians succumb swiftly to the terror which Adrian is apt to induce. What does one do, so gripped by the fear of an impending return to death? They level a machine gun and loose from it round after explosive round, ill caring who besides the enemy might find themselves beset by fire. Such lack of concern combines with sheer volume to ensure holes are ripped gorily from the chests of Adrian, Altina, and Alexis... never mind the punctured plating, errant bullets finding a flitting airborne ally. Comical is the sight of the twirling jedi, whose skills of defense are found wanting compared to her skills at offense. “You think bullets can get past my lifesaver?!” she demands, ignorant – willfully or otherwise – of her contribution to the spaghetti of strewn guts.

(Altina's smile wouldn't let up even in the middle of combat, and would indeed transition to a combat variant. Very dedicated to that routine, the girl.)
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>>73510062
Funny as that may be, no humorous aside steels the nerves for the muscle locking on, the gunner quite certain her life is near to over. “-A volunteer, good.-” With that it indeed seems that laser fire affords Adrian an unbroken, headlong charge towards the girl. and she is doomed without recourse – but again the fliers save the day. This time with less self-sacrifice and more unveiling of what their replacement limbs do, a thin wire proving to have impressive strength as it launches, weaving between blue to drag Adrian back. “-Oh, you did not just do that!-” She did. She looks to regret this decision, given the muscle's proximity. But temporal magics are not hers, and she's going to have to deal with the fallout, however long she lasts to do so. Perhaps, through the force, Alexis could have prevented this – but her attention is elsewhere. Another of the airborne girls launches a wire to drag Aida forward – away from the cluster into which she's been positioned. As a wave of the jedi's hand provides the equal and opposite reaction of which Newton spoke, a third bird pitches in, instinct warning it against the tiny presence that seems to almost crave wounding. But while the force may not be stronger than muscles, wires are another story, and the bomb stays in place as forces pry at her from every direction.
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>>73510077
That bomb tries to jump and scratch at birds, and even willingly begins tugging at her lattices, but she refuses to explode. Why, then, do Alexis' senses warn her of danger? That likely has something to do with the second volley of machine gun fire, or more specifically, the seemingly unarmed soldier the gunner catches in this bout of friendly fire. A distant cousin of Aida's it seems, for when a shot tears through her stomach, it expands grotesquely and explosively, flesh and bone becoming as shrapnel while she severs herself, mangled halves spread apart on the battlefield. It does a fine job of wounding some of ours, at least; perhaps not a fair trade, when it also knocks another of theirs from the sky, barely leaving the thing enough time to get an arm pointed at Altina and gouge into her with a laser of its own. This chaos, however, Alexis leaves behind, having hurled herself forward with mystic speed. She'd like to know the same thing Aida would, “Why aren't you blowing up?!” She can solve this problem though. She merely needs to apply saber to torso, which is precisely what she does. The bomb doesn't blame her; it also doesn't catch her. By Allah's will is the resultant explosion more carefully shaped, sparing her sister its divine wrath, even as it ravages all enemies around her.
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>>73510089
Russians limping and half-eviscerated, by this point, the flow of combat reaches that moment where one wonders if there's really anything left to do but break out the mops. This would be the case, were it not for what approaches the dolls' ears – the engine's roar, the report of gunfire, the distant taunting. Onto the scene skids another of the missing miscreants, the vehicle of which we were told. Another humble military model of jeep, yet hardly some dull vehicle from before the age of necromancy. Its construction far fleshier, no one rides in it – for the girls upon the seats of meaty upholstery have been sewn in, lower halves cut down to size to reach appropriate seated stature. Behind it are yet more Russian troops, grounded and airborne alike. A sizzling kicks up inside the jeep with its arrival, the fuse of dynamite turning to ash... only to be hurled at one of the aviators, tearing her down and ending her unnaturally extended existence. Perhaps there is nothing left but wrapping up, if this is indicative of their level of competence.

In truth, as the punching, sabering, shooting and suicide bombing all carry on, such misfires are not the only thing these Ruskies are capable of. Bodies shred and dwindle, Aida cut in halves half by her own continued detonations, Adrian missing much that isn't her metallically muscled arms. The muscle has, however, enough intact at the end to scrounge for the remains of the jeep that brought with it reinforcements. With fury writ plain upon her face she hefts it into the air and brings it crashing down upon every pile of gore and giblets in her immediate vicinity, carrying on until the chassis of bone has bent forty-five degrees at least. Aida watches Adrian vent with curiosity, pausing in her efforts to find meat on which to snack and regrow. “Did the bad people start moving again?”
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>>73510110
There's no answer for a few seconds as the haze of rage finishes draining away, the twisted and useless section of jeep dropped. “Just making sure,” Adrian assures her littlest sister. And as heads cool, further inspection of the area becomes possible. It now resembles a slaughterhouse, so much viscera has been flung across it – not merely from us and our foes, but from the workers, girls and shambling zombies alike. It seems as though our dolls are the only things left here with even a grim mockery of life.

Altina presently can't see this. She's busy fumbling for her severed head, accidentally kicking it at least once before she manages to claim it. Then, triumphantly, she sticks it back on... backwards. She looks very confused for a second before she puts two and two together. “Oh, goodness, this isn't right, hold on.” With violent twisting, snapping, and cracking, she gets it turned around. “-There- we go.” Satisfied, she may now drink in the scene of carnage, like everyone else.

Alexis' course of action, meanwhile, is to hop onto Ana once she's patched up. With a surprisingly serious consideration in doing so. “We must quickly let people know what happened! Back to town!” She's not wrong; Altina does her one better.

“There were others here that were being shot before we arrived, no? I feel we should at least see to them first.” The muscle does her one better still, already going over the bodies to look for any twitches or spasms that might indicate life. By and large it's grisly, pointless work, the best she can manage being to tell whether a corpse was once Chinese or African. In a pool of blood however, she finds one form squirming, covered in bullet holes, limbs missing with wounds cauterized. There's but one problem with this lucky find – this is the body of a Russian trooper, puffy-eyed from crying as it might be. No good. An arm raises for the execution.
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>>73510121
“Kid, hold up.” Coach stays that execution though. Not that it makes Adrian too happy. “Juste ma chance, un russe qui ne mérite pas une raclée.” A French lament for bloodshed lost, she lowers her arm without embedding it in the trooper, picking the girl up instead.

Having gotten herself fully intact, Altina traipses over, hands folded behind her back, inspecting the scene from Adrian's side. “A foe who survived? How rare!”

“She ain't a foe,” Coach corrects the girl. “She was shot up by what those bastards were using.” Indeed, her wounds are consistent with some of the weapons of our enemies – good that Adrian has a more attentive half.

“Oh? Oh! So she is! Apologies.” While verbal reparations are made, the girl's lifting unveils yet another curiosity. A bug, the same sort our group was killing last night. Already dead however, withered and dry with no immediately discernible cause. Little can be gleaned by its presence.

Adrian decides now is the time to start questioning this girl. “What t-” “Kid.” Coach cuts off a more brash beginning in its infancy, trying to rein the muscle in. Sighing, she starts again with a more calming voice. “What happened?” Still, no changing of tones changes the facts, and the fact is this girl's in no emotional state to be asked questions. She only seems to have stopped crying because there's no tears left. It's likewise debatable she even understands English.

“Well, I say we can't simply leave her be.” A very humanitarian stance for Altina to take, as she turns her eternal smile on Adrian. “You may carry her.” So gracious she is, allowing this to pass.
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>>73510145
Not that protests come. “Of course I will.” She's already getting up to find the necessary bits to piece this Russian back together... and to give the quarry another once-over. One survivor could imply there are more to be found. But while there's plenty of body parts and organs littering the place, they're as still as death should make them. Even Altina's help, born of a lack of any better way to spend her time, doesn't turn up a single extra girl to tally as wounded rather than dead. With no option then but giving up and a mentally shattered trooper in hand, Adrian makes up her mind. “Let's just go back to the bar, those Ruskies said they'd head back there later and we can let them deal with her.” Perhaps she missed the part where deserters are publicly executed – or perhaps she believes circumstances may provide clemency. Either way, the sun is setting.

“We can all have lots to drink again.” Rising from her cannibalistic binge, the bomb now possesses all the fleshy wiring that keeps her ticking, ready to do exactly that as the time of day closes on one appropriate to this pursuit. With the muscle trying her best to comfort the barely functional husk she's holding, the course is set. Onward to booze. On our way, dusk fades, night taking over in earnest – no shortage of stars hang in the sky once again, another falling from the heavens, should any hold a wish strongly in their heart. That aside, the trip back is as dull as the trip out – soon enough the bar comes into sight. Sure enough, there's a jeep parked in front of it.

“You should probably hide somewhere,” Adrian advises the mule, to a whimper. “What? You think they'll be okay with seeing you?” Surely not, given Ana's already slinking off to the back patio.

She needn't suffer alone at least. “Don't worry, I'll hide with you,” Alexis says as she walks with the mule, earning herself chipper whistling and affectionate face rubbing. Aida waves them off and clambers into the bar, followed closely.
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>>73510162
Prying open the door reveals the brunette from earlier, in the midst of some recounting. “And then I tell her: what the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch? I'll have you know...”

A suave looking woman, the only figure we don't recognize here, cocks an eyebrow at these claims. “I think I heard that somewhere before.” Actually, while she's visually unfamiliar, that voice...

“I get that feeling too,” Rita agrees with this mystery woman.

“Nonsense.” Buinov shuts them both down, coming to the aid of her partner as Adrian puts the pieces together.

“You're from the radio, aren't you?” she asks the mystery woman.

Altina interjects before any response can come, addressing the whole of the bar. “Also, hello! Greetings are important too.”

Wearily, the woman all but confirms herself as Carla with a sigh of, “Don't tell me you came here to complain about the songs too.”

“I doubt it,” Rita states as she looks Adrian up and down. “Is that a corpse?” she wonders, being the owner of the bar into which it's been dragged. Buinov jumps up at the statement, coming over to inspect the body; her companion soon follows suit.

“No, but you've got a news story,” Adrian answers the bartender as her charge is pored over. “I don't think she's a deserter, or a willing one.”

“Well, what do you think, Vulovic?” Buinov asks the brunette now named.

“What makes you believe that?” Vulovic inquires, not quite seeing it from the wounds alone.

“She was with all the other corpses they shot up in the quarry.” Adrian's explanation raises yet more questions.

Those being, “Come again?” from Carla, to whom this is certainly news

As well as, “What's that about the quarry?” from Rita at essentially the same time.

Catching them up requires merely a quick, “The quarry's trashed and they gunned down everyone working there.”

Altinna would, however, like to append, “And then we killed them for it. Instant vengeance.”
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>>73510178
“Well, that's something...” But is the story something, or the vengeance?

“... That's a scoop, alright,” Carla decides. “Good thing I got out early.”

“I was decapitated when a jeep hit me! It was unpleasant.” Altina recounts more anecdotes, with more merriment than may be necessary.

“A jeep? Alright, alright, hold on.” It's time for Buinov to pull out the clipboard again, as there's yet more to recount. “How many?” she asks, once everything's in order.

“Ah, right, let me- one jeep? With the riders attached, of course.” Altina feels it prudent to assure they don't forget to put that on the list. “And...” Pity about the things they don't yet know of she can't immediately add.

Adrian picks up the slack. “I think four flying ones? And four who didn't fly.”

Aida must also pick up some slack. A hand extends, five fingers upraised; the other soon follows. “There were five of the flying things! And five of the not flying ones!” Ten more sacrifices to Allah the girl is pleased to report.

To excuse herself and the muscle while Buinov thanks the bomb, Altina states, “Yes, perhaps relying on us two isn't the best idea, considering we both lost our heads.” Hardly something one can hold against a doll; wounds are a fact of unlife.

Buinov certainly doesn't. “It's very helpful regardless,” she tells Altina over the note taking.

“Well, I can't say I'm very happy about having you do my work for me but it does save us time,” Vulovic admits as the information pours in.

“It's okay. It makes Allah happy, so it makes me happy.” Aida smiles brightly at Vulovic, assuaging worries by means of religious fervor.

Rather than manage that, it gets her to scratch her head. “You middle easterners are always so eager to throw yourselves into battle.”

“It's commendable, really,” happens to be Buinov's stance.

(Ah, christ. Forgot to post the Jeep stats during the fight. At least there's another mention of it here.)
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>>73510207
The topic thus changes, as Vulovic gestures at the near corpse. “Lay her down on the couch, we'll have a talk.” Adrian does so, and as the brunette squats by her side, what follows is a back and forth that kicks off rather slowly, the girl still in shock. The familarity of Russian drags her back to reality though, and soon enough the ball gets rolling. After a decent chunk of time and a veritable hail of words that mean nothing to the party, a verdict seems to be reached.

Buinov offers the report. “I don't think we have the authority to absolve her right now. But if we put in word for her she will likely survive trial.” How about that, Adrian didn't fix her up just to have her executed.

In fact, Vulovic has remained by the girl's side, caressing her face to offer comfort. “I wanted to go back to the center and look around some more but I guess we're going back to Anatolia for now. Don't wanna leave her here.”

While that is a fine outlook, Adrian poses an alternative. “Or she could stay with us.” We do already have Ana, not that our slavic friends are aware. Why not add to the collection?

“You sure about that?” Vulovic asks, with any number of reasons to reconsider. We can't even talk to her, for starters.

Rather than reconsider, Adrian redirects the onus. “Ask her what she'd rather do. Go back to your trial or stay with us.”

A brief discourse later, and another verdict comes down. “The poor thing just wants to go home,” Vulovic reports.

Adrian can accept this, but she does have one question before the girl's carted away. “So who is she?”

Of the answers she may have expected, that list does not include a surprised, “Oh. We didn't even ask.” The brunette makes such inquiries while the muscle stares at her in utter befuddlement.

“How the hell do you even know where her home is if you didn't even ask who she was?” the muscle would much like to know.
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>>73510224
“Because that's how they work.” Adrian knows nothing more now, but Vulovic continues. “Apparently she's Number three-six-three-one-three-zero-four-four. Assigned to Anatolia.”

Of all the details to latch onto, Adrian chooses the latter. “So what's she doing here?” The number-name can be set aside for later, evidently.

“Remember those bugs we told you about?” Buinov cuts in now, having let her comrade handle enough. “Well, apparently a swarm took over one of our outposts and disappeared along with all the guards stationed there.” Acknowledged with this information is the number on the couch. “Including her.”

Vulovic handles the other half of what they've gotten. “According to her they burrow in your head starting from the back of your neck and you go berserk. She doesn't seem to remember much between now and her initial disappearance.” A pause passes to allow for rumination, a crucial thought thus spawned. “Actually, I may need to check this.”

While the neck is inspected, Adrian vouches, “We did find a dead one under her.” And the Russian finds a hole upon the neck.

It's enough for Buinov. “Well, if there was a dead bug and she's not acting up that means the bugs really do control them. Do you happen to know how the bug died?” Adrian does not, nor do the rest of us. That kills that line of inquiry then and there.

Adrian will bring back another. “So why ain't she got a name?”

“Well, she's not quite on our level.” That may be the most delicate way Buinov can put it. “I'm not entirely sure she understands the concept of names in any case.”

“That's how they're made,” Vulovic chimes in, basically repeating herself. It doesn't make the muscle look any less puzzled. “Well, you understand how this works, right? The necromancers don't give everyone free will and all that good stuff.”

“I am fine with being the exception to that rule.” Commentary provided by Altina, who otherwise has little to offer.
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>>73510265
Ignoring her to expound, Buinov asserts, “Free will is very rewarding. But equally dangerous.”

This is a little too high-concept for Aida, who chooses now to voice her minimal comprehension. “How's it dangerous?” At the same time, Adrian looks from the number to the named, trying to reconcile the difference. Yet at a glance, there isn't one. She's a girl, same as every other person in this room.

“Free will means you have the choice to rebel. If you were making soldiers you wouldn't be very keen on that.” Buinov's crash course in preventing coups gets more interest from the muscle than the bomb who asked the question.

“So how do they do it? Make'em smart or dumb.” Her curiosity's rewarded with a shrug.

“Beats me,” Vulovic answers unhelpfully. “The factory either spits them out smart or it doesn't.” Running her hand through the number's hair, she takes another close look at her. “At least you can see her face now. She's very pretty. We didn't use to be like this.”

“Right, scary wartime Russians.” What she's referring to, Rita's evidently aware of as she watches from the sidelines.

Vulovic has a more in-depth history lesson, for anyone who cares to listen. “When Europa was still a threat we had our faces covered in metal plates and our hair was shaven. Some unlucky girls don't grow that back, you know. To top it off, we're built with damaged tear ducts. Apparently our necromancer doesn't take kindly to showing weakness. We also had voice distortions with the masks. Good times. Kinda.” It's difficult to pin down if she's reminiscing, or to what degree. Some people probably aren't even trying.
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>>73510280
Such as Adrian. “Aida, give me that bottle.” Stretching out her hand as she asks for this, she receives a blank stare for a time. When the bomb recalls what she put in her basket, her face lights up in understanding and the digging begins, a bottle procured and placed into muscle hands in short order. “Thank you.” Armed with it, there's mere moments preceding its opening and Adrian taking a swig, despite having at best a guess as to what it might be.

“Starting early, are we?” Rita calls, knowing vodka when she sees it.

“... Where did you find that?” Vulovic demands, knowing well the alcohol of her motherland.

“Deserters,” Adrian answers, needing no more specificity.

“See?” Buinov says, indicating the booze. “This is why we'd rather do this ourselves. So we don't miss out on stuff like that.”

She seems to have forgotten the location she finds herself in. The bartender reminds her. “Well, you can drink here as much as you'd like, my bed is yours.” Though this may be more of an invitation to Adrian, who laughs as she takes another drink before offering the number some.

It certainly earns her a sidelong glance from Carla and a low, “Don't tell me you...” As asked, Rita tells nothing.

At the same time, not far off, Vulovic chastises the muscle. “Cut it out, she'll think it's water.” This doesn't seem contrary to Adrian's plans, who drains yet more and again proffers what remains.

“I don't understand what you intend to accomplish here, but it's entertaining.” Taking considerably less umbrage, Buinov watches eagerly to see what happens, Rita likewise amused by the goings on. By this point, the couch-bound girl has cottoned onto the fact she's being offered a drink. She's barely mobile however, and while she reaches for the bottle, she can't take it of her own volition.
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>>73510299
“Are you going to give her vodka like it was milk to a baby? It is beyond amusing.” Vulovic's tone has changed rather rapidly, while Adrian tips alcohol into the number's mouth, exactly like some kind of infant. She barely takes a few sips however, before the taste disagrees with her and she ceases to suckle.

“-I- believe in sharing alcohol with all, equally.” As the child is fed, Altina delivers this philosophy with a turned up nose and a haughty sniff. Its intended effect is undermined by her ceaseless smile.

“I can get behind this policy.” Buinov is still perfectly willing to raise a glass to that. If she had a glass. Rather than get one, she takes over the duty of making the poor girl feel better, sitting on the couch and petting her.

“I'm not sure I understand,” Vulovic admits, looking over at Adrian. Was that all just for a laugh?

“Perhaps you're not supposed to?” Buinov guesses. Accurately, apparently, as the muscle offers no further explanation, merely shrugging and downing more proper Russian vodka. This is the tipping point.

“I can't stand this. Give me another glass.” Leaving the number to Buinov, Vulovic gets up and goes to the bar, where the sweet, mind-numbing nectar may be procured without issue.

This is Aida's cue to rush over and pull herself onto one of the seats by the counter. “I want more of the special stuff!” she declares once she's managed it, that she may enjoy more meat.

The cascade then continues as Altina's left practically alone. “Well, I'm not going to be the only one who isn't drinking!” She bounces over to the bar, claps her hands down on it, and fixes Rita with her biggest smile. It's unnerving. “I will take another alcohol surprise! Non-meat! Also, please!” Propriety is important, even in matters of getting blitzed.
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>>73510313
Aida, already having her drink by this point, looks over to Altina with blood dribbling down her cheek. “But it's really good,” she protests, failing to see why one would exclude this option made from rotten flesh.

For a good while, Altina stares at Aida. Stares and stares and stares, until she starts to giggle. Coincidentally, this is when her drink arrives, a decent shot of something brown. “I like my drinks to be drinks. And not meat. But thank you for recommending it to me anyway!” Stance thus illuminated, she picks up her glass, looking it over a moment. After which she simply downs the entire thing, little there in the first place. It burns going down her throat, and as its taste follows, she reaches her decision. “... This is a new variety of terrible. I approve!” She'll doubtlessly be enjoying more of it over the rest of the night.

“I’m glad you like it.” With another satisfied 'customer', Rita now finds herself confronted with Adrian, who has not finished that bottle of vodka. What could she want?

“Give me a glass of that vodka too.” The bartender is just slightly perplexed, but she's not in the business of telling people they can't have alcohol, so Adrian now has two forms of vodka. Coach gets to sample the Russian stuff, while she tries the shitty swill that communism creates. “Hey, this ain't too bad.” Coach approves of authentic slavic booze, and then they trade, trying to figure out what the difference is.

“Mixing things up is bad~” Rita cautions as she watches them go. “You'll get drunk faster~” She will. They will. But faster or slower, Adrian will get drunk. And so will Altina. And probably everyone else besides Aida. How many nights in a row can they keep this going? How much booze does this place have? Who wakes with a hangover, and who can handle their drink? Only time will tell.
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>>73510326
And that, my friends, is session three, all wrapped up in far, far too many words and posts. I'd feel bad, but a Nechronica thread that hits bump limit might as well be a myth, so it's not like those posts were likely to go to something else. As before, hopefully you enjoyed, and I have at least a good few hours of existence in me, on the off chance anyone's through this goddamn behemoth any time soon and has questions I can help with.
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>>73510382
Thanks a lot for taking your time to tell about all this anon!
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>>73508109
The players need to understand that madness is their biggest enemy in the early game. They generally need to be making those conversation checks to get rid of what little madness their limited starting memory count will let them, since all their fetters are one point from full.

Also GMs need to understand the above too and avoid using enemies with spirit attacks until the PCs have developed more memory fragments and other things to help them deal with madness points. Unless you are running some kind of meat grinder campaign where chewing through a lot of PCs is expected. Or you are having the players start with more favor or empty fetters.
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>>73509701
Another session of Gravel Storytime?
Awesome!
Looking forward to reading this when I get off work.
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>>73513054

Following on this, you can't make convo checks freely in combat so while you can lose madness in combat, you have to get skills/parts that let you do so, which are really valuable in the early stages.
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>>73508109
I recommend doing a practice combat before you play. To get used to the AP system, battle map, and also how parts are hit points.
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>>73508109
the court skill Composure is for things out of combat. "Action Checks" are just confusingly named.
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>>73480748
>W-well, shit. Guess I'm doing this live. For the record, I'm a different player from that campaign, because the thought of leaving the entire campaign to one man alone is so heinous that I couldn't conscience it, so we're splitting the workload by handling separate sessions. Speaking of, for those wanting a refresher, here's the link to the first episode, as it were. http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/72655511/#p72732935

How long has this game been going?
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>>73519250

It had gone on over a year, so at the rate they're going, you might see the whole thing wrapped up by the end of 2022.
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>>73509701

Thank you both for storytiming this.
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>>73481817
You're very welcome. I'm over the moon to see all these people enjoying themselves and sharing stories with each other. Nechronica is good fun!

>>73510382
That was a good read. I like the custom art and portraits you've made too. Well done!
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>>73458052
I've always wanted to be a servo-skull!
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>>73465412
i don't... i don't think that tom scott is an emotionally vulnerable robot child?
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>>73465412
Are you comparing Tom Scott to the discovery channel or something?

And Nechronica to World of Darkness, Traveller, or Dungeons and Dragons?
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>>73453448
Yes.
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Anyone here ever tried to utilize humans in their campaign? I ran a mini-campaign recently where they were actually part of the opfor, and treated encounters with them in the adventure phase more like area hazards you could kill rather than anything serious. I think the party mowed down like a dozen of them and their truck. I thought it helped a bit to kind of underscore how beyond humanity the party was while still making the enemy feel actively present.

The combat encounter had two dudes in power armor that I statted as Horrors, with a Savant and some automaton Legions in tow. I didn't want them to be the main show but they gave the party a hard enough time.

Curious to see if anyone else has used human opponents, or possibly had one or two pop up as friendly characters.
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>>73520945

Go to the sup/tg/ archive and search for the tag Nechronica.

You should find a bunch of threads with storytimes from about a year ago (July 2019) to now.

http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Nechronica
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>>73521340
Well I was going to say PortAnon ran a 4 session game that features humans but I'm pretty sure that's YOU.

So no. I don't know any other examples of people using humans in Nechronica asside from Sam's Mom's squad but you were there for that too.
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>>73521356
>You should find a bunch of threads with storytimes from about a year ago (July 2019) to now.
>http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Nechronica

Don't forget to upvote the threads you like.
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>>73509960
Yeah, I guess holding onto your brass would be especially important in the post-apocalypse.
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>>73521425
>but I'm pretty sure that's YOU.
Welp. Good sleuthing Violet.

Also, Cleoh was Samantha's... aunt or something. I was never told exactly, but Samantha refers to her as 'Ms. Cleoh' in the memory segment. Safe to say that they were close regardless.
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If anyone wants to read the storytime for the game I was talking about here >>73521425 it's in the same thread as part 1 of Gravel storytime
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/72655511/#p72667093


>>73521603
>Also, Cleoh was Samantha's... aunt or something. I was never told exactly, but Samantha refers to her as 'Ms. Cleoh' in the memory segment. Safe to say that they were close regardless.

Thank you.
Clarification acquired.
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>>73510014

>their eyes are empty, missing both life and meaning.

Are these deserter soldiers heartbroken dolls? I mean stat wise they are probably horrors or savants.

Storywise however are they meant to give an example of what the party could become if they don't stay ontop of sanity management?
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>>73522196

The effects of Madness on NPCs is something that comes up every so often, but in this specific case, these baddies are afflicted with something else. I'd go into more detail, but eh, spoilers.
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>>73522860
>I'd go into more detail, but eh, spoilers.

Understood.
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I'm looking at banning autoseparate from both player and non player units in a game I'm looking to run.

Mostly because I don't want a game mechanic, dismember, to be flat out negated since it severely disadvantages players build around dismember and also makes enemies who are based around dismember much less of a threat.

I don't have a problem with steel bones because its not always on all the time. It's a powerful but limited resource.

Autoseparate just tosses a game mechanic out the window for whatever unit is equipped with it.whatever unit is equipped with it.

Is banning auto separate a bad idea for the reasons above a bad idea?

What are the reasons to keep it?
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Stat me.
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>>73524176
I wouldn't toss Autoseparate on enemies completely; you'd just have to be very particular about which enemies you used it on and be aware of how the non-dismember based members of your party could handle the threat in question while still giving the dismember party member something to do.

A player geared around dismember can still go ape on Horrors and Legions, given the correct build, while the other party members deal with your Savant. On the flipside, having a frontliner with auto-separate gives you leeway to make something that's kind of stupid dangerous to the rest of the party without just causing a TPK since you have someone available who can actually deal with it.

I think the most I'd do would be to institute a One-Of rule for parts like Autoseparate or Instantaneous. Having a single character with special rules can be a cool gimmick and make the character feel unique, but having it on more than one person limits play too much.
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>>73524176

For PCs taking a T3 enhancement to negate a single property is a huge investment. If they're a melee combatant they're giving up access to one of the strongest attacks in the game or +1 damage for all their attacks as well as constant defend 1 on their arms.

For enemies, it is entirely necessary to deal with the fact that dismember can be spammed very heavily and a PC built for it can batter down any limited use dismember negation very easily. Dismember is arguably one of the most universally strong properties in the game. It deals double damage to horrors and as long as 1 point of damage goes through, a savant could outright instantly lose a hit location. With Monofilament or Lightsaber, a PC can potentially 100% annihilate savant in 4 AP, regardless of actual part count. And that's not even counting if more than one PC has dismember attacks. It forces considerations like making sure the party has multiple specialties so that they can't just batter everything down with dismember attacks, or if they want to, they have to earn it by breaking autoseparate first. Auto separate can still be broken. There's also enemy only parts that negate movement, stagger, explosive and area, for good reason. These properties existing without hard counters can render certain fights essentially nonexistent.
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>>73525447

Instantaneous is one of those "Don't put this on enemies." And if there's something you should ban PCs from having, it's that fucking skill.
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>>73525520
I dunno. I find Instantaneous to be pretty feast-or-famine. But my groups also don't minmax for spit so it might be more broken than I anticipate.
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>>73524176
Ban automaton.
It is the most boring position.
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>>73525711
Alice and Sorority are the most boring positions.
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>>73525520
>>73525633
What makes instantaneous noteworthy?
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>>73510077
>as it launches, weaving between blue to drag Adrian back.

What does "weaving between blue" mean?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IJiHDmyhE1A
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>>73525863

It (almost) completely cockblocks two timings, rapid and check. So a single skill makes you completely immune to hinders. Some will try to say that it's balanced because friendlies can't support you, but you can just grab bolt head piss easy and everyone has 1 support 1. Hypothetically they can get around "Can't rapid you" by declaring it in response to someone else that count but smart play can mitigate that too.
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>>73525863
>During the Battle Phase, when you declare an Attack Maneuver, no one other than you can perform Maneuvers at the 'Check' and 'Rapid' timings in response.
Basically, only you can Support or Hinder yourself and Rapid maneuvers can't block off any of your actions.
>The good
You're fast as fuck, boy. Enemy Hinders or Rapids just kinda don't exist for you.
>The bad
It removes a dimension of play from your character. Allies can't support you, enemy Hinders or Rapids just kinda don't exist for you. It removes some of the strategy from the game and is kinda boring.
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>>73525974
It's describing the reel finding a path between Altina's lasers to snag Adrian without getting severed by them; the muscle's advance was being made free via Cover, which makes the most sense as a laser barrage with Altina's setup. Mechanically, Cover can't break a Wire Reel, sure, but I'm by and large just going with whatever would be sensible in-universe for how I describe the various skills and parts declared during combat.
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>>73510313
>“-I- believe in sharing alcohol with all, equally.” As the child is fed, Altina delivers this philosophy with a turned up nose and a haughty sniff. Its intended effect is undermined by her ceaseless smile.

I don't know why, but of all the fuckedupshit in the post-apocalypse so far this scene has hit me the hardest.
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>>73525995
>>73526053

Ok yeah, definitely don't want that.

Thank you.
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>>73525711
>>73525814
What makes you think those positions are the most boring?
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>>73510382
You have no reason at all to feel bad.

Getting two episodes of Gravel storytime in one thread has been a huge treat.

>>73480748 >>73510382
Thank you both so very much.


You know, this game has given me deeper insight into how alcoholism spiraled out of control in the Soviet Union under Leonid Brezhnev's era of stagnation, paranoia, and corruption.
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>>73526453
Alice talks, sorority beats up team mates.
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>>73526721
Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev are all travelling together in a railway carriage. Unexpectedly the train stops. Lenin suggests: "Perhaps, we should call a subbotnik, so that workers and peasants fix the problem." Stalin puts his head out of the window and shouts, "If the train does not start moving, the driver will be executed!" But the train doesn't start moving. Khrushchev then shouts, "Let's take the rails behind the train and use them to construct the tracks in the front". But it still doesn't move. Brezhnev then says, "Comrades, Comrades, let's draw the curtains, turn on the gramophone and pretend we're moving!"
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>>73525711
Automatrons attract people who don't want to roleplay as well as easily distracted players who can't remember last session and spend most their time snacking or playing an MMO.
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Do you have any advice on how to incorporate vehicles into Nechronica mechanically.

Especially combat vehicles requiring a crew that the players may want to salvage or steal and then crew?
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>>73453577
I came here to say this.

Nechronica is a mechanically sound and super enjoyable game. It is also degenerate filth.
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>>73528290
Have you played or run it anon?

What have your games been like?

Do you have a character(s) or NPC(s) who you have especially fond memories of?
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>>73510382

A thread need not reach the bump limit to be good.

I very much look forward to more Gravel storytime next thread.
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>>73509762
Did you expect the party to adopt the mule?
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>>73528770
Absolutely.
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Bully responsibly.
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>>73528243
My group looted an APC once. The DM statted it up like a Doll, with different parts in different locations, and then basically put each of us in charge of something relevant. We had one doll driving, one running the turret in the back, and my character in the copilot seat running the secondary MG on the front.

It... kinda worked. For the one combat we got to use it. He ditched the normal AP system for a more traditional turn order and basically gave everyone an action in sequence, since we were doing more of a mad dash through a warzone than actual combat.
Crew served stuff always has the issue of basically paring down player responsibilities to a single thing, whether that's shooting a gun or driving or whatever. I'm not sure it neatly fits into Nechronica's gameplay loop.
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>>73529356
Keep in mind, this is Fran's sister. Friend holds life as sacred even if she doesn't really hold the living conditions of bad people as sacred. This particular sister on the other hand was built to kill, and sees the fates worse than death Fran gives to evil patience as worse than killing them. So I think in this scene Fran is trying to dissuade her sister from solving problems through murder By killing and then reviving her until she starts to feel bad about inflicting death on others.
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>>73527940
I think this is more of a problem with your players specifically than with the the position.
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>>73484647
>>73481114
>>73481163

The art that comes with Gravel Storytime is neat.
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>>73532489

From personal experience, Holic is the most potentially problematic position. That's not to say no one can play a good holic, just that if someone was gonna pick a position to be a shit, it'd be a holic.

Automaton is the opposite side of that, but generally people have been ok with it.
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Someone beat me to archiving the thread on sup/tg/ by minutes.

I applaud your initiative.
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As the thread rapidly careens off the board, I've taken the liberty of archiving things here, considering just how many storytime things got thrown about. Apologies if my tags are inadequate here, since I'm not used to doing this kind of thing and the thread's close enough to death that I wasn't able to give it a proper reread to catch everything I could tag. Hopefully I got the important parts, though. http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/73453448 A link, and a heads-up for those who want to upvote (or downvote, if that strikes your fancy) stuff.
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>>73534413

...And then I immediately see that someone else was going to do it too, aha. Well, the important thing is that the thread's saved, so everyone wins.
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>>73534470
I could have very easily missed the thread today had things gone differently for me.

Archiving good threads relies on anons with the presence of mind, knowledge, and gumption to do so.

Having more of those around is a good thing.
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>>73534282
As a contracting example I've had a very good Holic player in Imp's player.

Though they are also the only holic player I've had as that campaign is the first and so far only time I've GMd Nechronica.



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