Wednesday, January 4, 2017

(Savage Showdown) #11 It Crashed Upon the Desert Sand

Sohai is a rough town, full of treasure seekers, hardened mercenaries, and men trying to escape the rest of the world.  Every night is full of gun shots, glass breaking, and a general mayhem pervading the desert air.  Every night, except one:  Christmas Eve.

Every Christmas Eve, the bars and clubs shuttered by dinner, most people heading home to spend one night with their family and friends.

Now, a few innocent souls who reside there may ask, "Where do the mean people go that have no friends?" and the best answer that can one can give them is that those poor folks commiserate together in the darker corners of town, and perhaps a few friendships are made for future Christmases.
For the soldiers patrolling town, working Christmas Eve was a gift in and of itself.  The one  quiet, safe night out of the year.  The loudest interruption might be a radio transmission about a distant sandstorm.

This Christmas, there was a murmur going through the streets.  At first, it was a report of a dust storm that might juuust clip the edge of town, but then there was a loud bang.  The rumors started spreading:  Meteor, an exploded hooch still, even the failed flying experiment of a local science kook.  The true answer was even stranger:  a large sleigh, far better suited for the Russian Steppes than the desert, had struck the palm trees in front of the Hotel Hatari.  Even stranger, people kept finding boxes festooned in bright papers  and gaudy bows, all over the town.

For the heroes of the town, the truth was obvious:  Santa had crashed in the worst place in the world.  It was up to them to recover the gifts and save Christmas. 

For the worst of the ne'er do wells, it was a chance to advance their street cred.  Murder, robbery, and torture were routine, but stealing presents for Santa Claus?  That would shoot them straight up to the top of any naughty list!

Team Millie (Age 5)
*Maja Millie - Speedy Archeologist with a "No Guns" Policy
*Nils Lingonberry - Swedish Adventurer
Dr Stewart Vuitton - World Famous Surgeon and Aeroplane afficiando.

Team Maja (Age 7)
*Julie of the Jungle Patrol  - Back for a second unscheduled visit to Sohai.
*Captain Larry - But waitaminute, Cap'n Larry died last session... It's a Christmas miracle!
*Hayden -  Big Game Huntress

Team ViscountEric
*Dr Edmund Penhew - part-time archeologist/wizard/weird scientist.  Definitely a bad guy.
*"The Steam Beast"  - a masked mass of muscle, steel, and steam. 
*Claus (Non-Santa)
Something Odd Has Crashed Outside the Hotel Hatari

Objective:  Get as many presents as you can.  Of course, many of Santa's gifts took a bit a tumble, so successfully grabbing one required a random skill check, giving a choice of two (Agility, Strength, or Heart), but a sometimes it was the higher of the two skills (if it was just repacking a doll) or the lower (if the kid in question was getting a pet cobra).  Presents run off the table edge were safe. 

Claus from the bad guys had a jump on the rest, filling a sack full of swag from the sleigh and trying to dash away, dash away, dash away home.

Team Millie:  While Maja Millie and Nils crept up towards the sleigh, Dr Vuitton flew up the stairs to the roof of an apartment building and found a flailing clockwork ninja.  Luckily, he was able to deactivate it and run back down the stairs.
Stewie Vuitton reaches the first gift,  a clockwork ninja!
Team Maja had a bout of bad luck.  That trio had just gotten into town and spending the night with lukewarm coffee at Big Daddy's Donuts, the only shop open on Christmas Eve.  Captain Larry and Julie help each other to climb up to the roof of the shop while Hayden wandered onto the main road.  Julie checked the present and a giant jack in the box sprung to life, knocking her off the roof and onto the street below.   The head of the jack in the box hit the palm of Captain Larry's hand and he leisurely shoved it back into its prison.
Julie takes a tumble.
With no one paying any mind to Claus, Penhew unleashed his plan.  He cast on charm onto Maja Millie, making her believe the nice man in the strange purple robes deserved a Christmas present, like the one over there.  She fetched a nearby gift and dropped it at his feet. 
Nils can't stop the power of Penhew.
Nils knew something was wrong with his friend and had two choices: plead to her to break the spell, or stop the sorcerer.  Two missed shots, a wild haymaker, and a singed backside from a magic bolt, and the Swede was hiding behind a column, pleading with his friend.

The Steam Beast noisily lumbered through the back alleys, encountering no opposition, save scaring off a local and his team of pack mules.   It reached down to pick up the present, only to find it was a broken jar of marbles.  The colorful spheres went everywhere and the creature made a cruel tumble.
This is sooooo embarrassing....
Maja Millie and Nils decided checking out Santa's sleigh was safer than fighting some wrapping paper obsessed magic-user.  Stewie Vuitton had just gotten back from stowing away his present, saw Penhew and fired at him with his handgun. 
Penhew seemed impervious to bullets (or they missed), but with another wave of his hand and Stewie seemed under his spell.   Stewie and Penhew grabbed the Steam Beast and headed out of town.
Soon thereafter, the other characters could feel sand hitting their faces, an obvious warning sign of the sandstorm that was coming.  But this sand stuck to their faces, then turned to water....


Amongst the flurries emerged the man himself, Santa Claus.  Our heroes clamored around him.
Thank God the magic dust shrinks presents and makes the reindeer fly.
He had one more home to deliver to in the area, just before the sandstorm hit, scattering his reindeer.  Some nice nomads had helped him round them up, and it appeared some nice souls found most of the presents.  

"Don't worry about the ones that went missing.  I always carry a few extras.  This isn't my first Rod-e-HO-HO-HO!!!" 

Despite an impressive effort by the bad guys, Captain Larry was determined to be the individual winner, being the only one to snag two presents.  Outside of Julie's fall and a failed attempt by Penhew to charm Hayden, Team Maja did yeoman's work finding presents and avoided the drama. 

It only took four weekends to get some time to time to run a Christmas game for the girls, and by that time it was the day after New Years! 

I had planned the first "volume" of Savage Showdown scenarios to fill up 12 scenarios, before moving onto a new theme.  I've got one more city adventure to run before the group "hopefully" decides to travel south with new clues.  The new scenarios are simpler, I don't have much on my to-buy list to fill out the other characters, and they might work with a few of the kids' friends.

But we also have the issue with the kidnapping Stewie Vuitton, if they need to rescue him. Just this morning I happened to have based and primed the figures I would need for that game. 

Of course, like many of my recent games, the scenario was previously played out with better figures, better terrain, and just as much fun by Preacher By Day

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