Stealth Mod Developer Journal #6

Hello everyone and welcome to our sixth dev journal about the Stealth Mod we are making for the Sigil System.

In our previous five journal we have covered all the important mechanics in the Stealth Mod and so this journal will give an example of play using these rules.

Stealth in Action

The Scenario

It’s the roaring twenties and, on the upper east coast of the USA, the Italian mafia has its claws sunk into anything and everything they can get their hands on, including booze. Two young and brave entrepreneurial lads (Jack and Bucky) have decided to break into one of the mafia’s warehouse and steal some crates to sell and make themselves a tidy profit. The warehouse is guarded, however, and these mafia thugs aren’t liable to play nice with anyone they find snooping around.

The Game

It’s the dead of night and Jack and Bucky, dressed all in black (or as close as makes no difference) and with scarves around their faces, have decided tonight is the night they get rich. They’ve circled around the warehouse and have seen that there are only two entrances: the larger doors at the front where trucks pull up to load and unload and a small side door near the rear of the building, both of which have mafia goons hanging around. There are windows, but they are small and almost touching the roof, so it will be a long climb to get up there, and anyone can walk by and look up.

Jack decides that a distraction is their best bet. More dangerous, but if they keep quiet it should all work out well. So while Bucky waits around the corner from the warehouse’s side door, Jack skulks towards a car a street over, uses a knife to jimmy open the gas tank’s cover, rips a bit of his shirt off, stuffs it in there, and then he uses his lighter to make sure it catches fire.

The GM all lets this happen since it’s far enough away from the warehouse to not have been perceptible by the mafia thugs, and it’s too late at night for anyone to be wandering about this neighbourhood. He does however make Jack roll athletics to see if he can get back to Bucky before the flame reaches the gas in the car, which Jack succeeds on.

Jack just reaches Bucky before the car explodes and lights up the night. Exclamations are heard from the thugs and the thieves hear one of them tell the others to go find out what’s going on. Three thugs, including the two at the side door leaves to investigate. The GM tells the players that the Awareness Level is now at Level 3.

The door is open and the players slip into the darkened warehouse, succeeding on an easy Stealth Skill Check to see if they are noticed.

The only light inside is coming through the windows and so the warehouse is streaked with shadows. The players hear more thugs inside and a successful Perception Skill Check tells them that they just broke up a poker game on the far side of the warehouse with their explosion. The thugs are now on foot and restless.

Around the players are just cases of beer, cheap stuff that won’t make them much of a profit. They need to go hunt for the strong liquors in here. They decide to split up and both roll Investigation Skill Checks. Neither succeeds, it seems their eyes haven’t adjusted to the dark quite yet, but there is more warehouse still left to search. However, they aren’t the only ones here, so the GM has them do a Stealth Skill Check to make sure they haven’t been spotted. Unfortunately for Bucky, he failed by 16 and so he was seen for just a second by one of the goons walking around.

After a “hey, who’s there” and “who the hell are you talking to, Jim” and a “I just saw someone over there”, the goons are now properly on edge. This is not the night they were expecting. The GM says the the Awareness Level is now at Level 4.

The players know what this means: Paranoia. They know that it will take a good 20 odd minutes to subside. For their characters, they feel the tension in the air and can hear this paranoia in their voices and know it’s suddenly not safe anymore. They decide to hide, but 20 minutes is a long time and a lot can happen, so Jack spends a Sigil to lower the Awareness by 1 Level. Level 3 is easier to deal with and only 10 minutes long.

Jack and Bucky hear a goon say “you’re seeing ghosts again, Jim” and “I’m not, I swear I saw someone” and finally “well then go look yourself, we’ll right here, you meathead”. A Perception Skill Check reveals to them that the rest of the goons have gone back to their poker game, but Jim is determined to see what’s what. Jack and Bucky regroup and try to find their liquor once again. Both were successful on their Stealth Skill Checks from Jim, and on their Investigation Skill Checks.

They found a heavy case of liquor, but now they have to get it out. The GM tells them the Awareness Level has dropped to Level 2 and Jim has decided to set up post where he heard Bucky last. The players are feeling confident so they each spend another Sigil to drop the Awareness Level to 0. Jim goes back to his poker game shamefaced and everything outside becomes quiet. The players decide to take their time with the heavy case and move as slowly as possible with it back to the side door.

An easy Skill Check later and they are back at the side door with the poker players none the wiser. The only problem now is that they are hearing voices on the other side of the door. The players had forgotten that with the Awareness dropping back to Level 0, they guards would naturally return to their posts after having sorted out their concerns. They are now stuck in the warehouse.

But this is America and Bucky has always enjoyed the vague wording of the second amendment. He pulls out a revolver and the players decide that they’ll simply shoot the guards and make a run for it. Either that or wait here. Jack rolls a Stealth Skill Check to open the door slowly and quietly for Bucky (ready and aiming), but fails miserably and the squeaking reverberates through warehouse, raising the Awareness to Level 3 again. The door opens and Bucky at the goons locks eyes before Bucky fires, hitting him the in the gut and the other goon in the arm as he tries to dodge.

It takes all six rounds in quick succession before the two goons are no more, but by then Jack and Bucky can already here every other thug in and around the warehouse running towards them, shouting and presumably drawing their own weapons. They make a run for it, but with the heavy case between them, the penalties on their Athletic Skill Checks are too severe and they don’t even make it a 100 yards before they hear gun shots behind them and see the ricochets off the cars, building and streets ahead of them.

There are far more goons than they can handle, especially now that Bucky is out of ammo. They come to the unfortunate conclusion that this isn’t a fight they can win, so they drop the case of liquor and run away as fast as they can. They walk away empty handed tonight, but at least they are alive. But the mafia will now be looking for two thieves around here, and who knows, perhaps they’ll run into the goons again one day.

Next time

And that’s all folks! The entire Stealth Mod done. Next time we’ll just do a wrap up, talk about the things that did indeed change over the course of these journals (like using Sigils to lower Awareness) and answer any questions you throw at us between now and then.

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