SCP Phase Four

SCP: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game is by Jason Keech and 26 Letter Publishing. You can find it on DriveThruRPG. Content relating to the SCP Foundation, including the SCP Foundation logo, is licensed under Creative Commons Sharealike 3.0 and all concepts originate from http://www.scpwiki.com and its authors. 


Last time, we were with Basil and his friends as they brought their first session in the SCP Tabletop Roleplaying Game closer to this, its thrilling conclusion. 

Our intrepid heroes chased off the green-flamed giant before retreating to Hafner's Foods in the once-sleepy town of Manor Cove. Boomer has just gotten through to HQ with his radio on the roof while something sinister plays out in the backroom below...

THE ACTION

Int. Hafner's Foods Backroom

This looks like the backroom from before, with a few exceptions. Its corners are utterly dark, and the quiet is thick like that in a cave. Bright light from above shines on Vaya, who stands before a chair knocked over backward. Close behind her back, partly in shadow, towers Uten-lugalbandu, facing her with his male torso. He stands close as if to whisper in her ear.

 

Basil: A quiet voice, smooth as silk and sweet as honey, creeps into your ear and wraps itself around your brain, making the backs of your eyeballs buzz in a pleasant, warming sensation. Your stomach feels agreeably full, and you have the taste of chocolate on your tongue. The voice purrs, "If you wish to know something about me, why not ask?"

Vaya / Cat: Is it… standing behind me?

Z / Max: C-can I shoot it?

Chia / Veri: (shouts) WHERE THE FRELL AM I?!?

Basil: Okay. Veri, Cat, Max. Go take a break. David, you're up.

Max: Best of luck, man.

Veri: Nice knowing you.

(The others get up and go into the other room.)

David: Uh. Guys?

Basil: First things first. What's your Cognitive Resistance?

Boomer / David: It's 7?

Basil: Well, then. You are on the roof with Claire, and you begin telling headquarters about the creature. Suddenly, there's a loud burst of static. The radio sparks and burns out.

Boomer / David: Oh, damn. Can I fix it?

Basil: You're taking a look at it when you notice that you can see your breath. Hoarfrost limns the hair on your arms. Something in the fog, just at the edge of your hearing, is whispering.

Boomer / David: Brr. How's Claire doing?

Basil: You don't actually see Claire. In fact, it's suddenly hard to see more than two feet from your face. The fog is thick as soup.

Boomer / David: I get—

Basil: There's an angry shout. You can't make out the words, but you definitely recognize Claire's voice.

Boomer / David: I get out my Glock and go toward the shout.

Basil: You nearly stumble over a crumpled body lying on the ground.

Boomer / David: Shit. Is it Claire? Is she… dead?

Basil: Did you say you were proficient in First Aid?

Boomer / David: Yeah, I have 2 in it.

Basil: Then you see with a second glance that she is not dead. She appears to be in a deep slumber. 

Boomer / David: Any sign of what put her out?

Basil: You suddenly notice a tall creature standing beside you. It has goatlike legs, but the upper bodies of a man and a woman are fused at its torso. The man has solid abs and powerful arms, thick brown hair, and a full beard. A blue halo wreaths his head in splendor. On the other side, the woman is voluptuous and beguiling, with long, lustrous black hair and full, pouting lips. Around her head, a red halo of light glows.

It's the woman that speaks. "Son of Adam, I perceive that you are a tracker and a great hunter like unto Nimrod the Mighty. I greet you warmly."

Boomer / David: Whoa. I—hey. Wait a minute. Did you say she was nekkid?

Basil: She is.

Boomer / David: Uh… whoa. I… uh. Excuse me, ma'am. I… uh. Hello, yourself.

Basil: She adjusts her hair to cover herself, noticing your discomfort. "Is this better?" she asks in an innocent voice.

Boomer / David: (clears throat) Uh. Yes, ma'am. Thank you. Say. You wouldn't happen to be… the leader around here, wouldja?

Basil: She averts her eyes demurely. "Nothing so grand, no. I am but a simple servant, and I only carry out the will of my master."

Boomer / David: And your master is… Is it this guy?

Basil: She giggles, and her laughter sounds like tiny bells caught in a stream of bubbling water. "Of course not. He is me, and I am he. Our master is more majestic than we."

Boomer / David: Uh… all righty then. So what is it you want? And why'd you put Claire here to sleep?

Basil: The woman? Her mind could not bear the sight of us—she has not your strength.

Boomer / David: Oh. Is that so?

Basil: Indeed. You are a true champion among men. You faced our Emissaries without flinching, and you dared to stand against our Torchbearer. You are impressive, indeed.

Boomer / David: Emissaries? What are… hold up. 'Torchbearer'? You ain't talking 'bout the giant what tried to burn me up, are you?

Basil: My apologies for my subordinate's fervor. He thought he was acting in our master's best interest.

Boomer / David: 'Sorry my employee almost killed you an' your friends,' huh? No way, lady. That ain't gonna cut it.

Basil: That is why I have come to you: in recompense for my servant's folly. Name your wish—anything in this world your heart desires—and I will make it so. I ask nothing in return but that you let me enter your mind. I shall erase the memories of everything you've seen here, and you will be free to go.

Boomer / David: Can I tell if she's lying?

Basil: She seems earnest. Do you have Empathy?

Boomer / David: No. I got a bonus to Intuition, though.

Basil: You can roll that if you like.

Boomer / David: 19. I exploded a few dice.

Basil: Good roll.

Boomer / David: Do I get to add d6 tenths to my proficiency?

Basil: Mm. Technically, I didn't ask you to roll it… sure. Why not?

Boomer / David: I rolled 5!

Basil: Nice. As for your check, you believe the woman is being truthful. You do suspect she's not being entirely forthcoming, though.

Boomer / David: Yeah, okay. I can respect that. So I ask, "What ain't you tellin' me, lady?"

Basil: Her eyes widen for the briefest of seconds—or were you just imagining it? She gnaws her bottom lip before replying. "You're even more magnificent than I thought, champion. I see now I cannot deceive you. I would be a fool to make an enemy of one such as you."

Boomer / David: Glad we understand each other, ma'am. Now, it's my job to get information about you and bring it back to my bosses.

Basil: But think. Do your masters truly care what befalls you? After all, they sent you here without any warning of what awaited. Had you been a weaker man, you would have died several times over. Consider: I may not be able to give you whatever your heart desires, but I can give you powers your 'bosses' would never entrust to you. Allow me to erase your memories of this event, and I will impart strength you could not imagine. You will have the power to seize everything your heart desires by your own hand.

Boomer / David: What about my friends?

Basil: Those with whom you travel? They must make their own decisions, of course, but I can promise you this: for your sake, I shall proffer the same choice you have been given. Abilities beyond your comprehesion are within your grasp.

Boomer / David: Tch. And all I gotta do is forget about the past day?

Basil: Simply lower your guard so I may erase your memories. Or, if you wish a taste of the power I offer, I would be delighted to demonstrate.

Boomer / David: Wait. So. I could give this power a spin?

Basil: Of course.

Boomer / David: Well, let's just lay all our cards on the table, then.

Basil: The woman whispers something you don't catch. Suddenly, your senses are burning. You can see every pigment in every rod in the woman's golden irises. Your hearing is so sharp you can hear a cat bathing on the fence a few blocks over and a dog searching through the dumpster behind the Mexican restaurant. You smell the chamomile shampoo in the woman's long hair and the tinny, floral scent of her deodorant.

Boomer / David: Whoa. That's intense. Now, what about this strength she talked about?

Basil: What do you try?

Boomer / David: Let's pick up Claire. Gently, now.

Basil: In your arms, she weighs no more than a feather. You feel like you could pick up a car with your bare hands.

Boomer / David: Okay. That is cool.

Basil: The pagan goddess favors you with a catty grin. "You now see that I speak the truth. What is your answer?"

(Boomer makes his choice. Once they finish, Basil asks him to go into the other room and have Cat come in.)

Cat: Okay, I'm here. Is Vaya dead?

Basil: (laughs) So dramatic. Sit down, silly.

Vaya / Cat: So what is it behind her? And why isn't Max in here, too?

Basil: Z isn't in the room with you anymore. In fact, there's no one else here. No one except Uten-lugalbandu. And the whispering voices that pay him tribute.

Vaya / Cat: Gulp.

Basil: He has goat legs, but his body splits at the trunk. Half the upper body is a woman with long black hair; you recognize the advance operative from the files. A red corona emanates from the crown of her head. The other half is a man's upper body with thick brown hair and piercing blue eyes, and the halo atop this head is blue. His voice is smooth and steady. Musical, even. 

"If you want to know something about me, why not just ask?"

What dice do you roll for Intuition?

Vaya / Cat: 3d8 + 1d10 + 3.

Basil: Good enough. When you look at the man, you notice a striking resemblance to young Theo Hafner.

Vaya / Cat: You mean like his dad, maybe?

Basil: You believe so.

Vaya / Cat: That's… unfortunate. "Where am I?" Vaya asks.

Basil: He gives you a mischievous grin. "I wasn't interested in your friends. You, on the other hand. You're intelligent, bold, breathtaking. You are fascinating."

Vaya / Cat: Sorry, I'm not into married goat-men. You can just let me go now.

Basil: "Let you go?" He seems puzzled. "But it was you that called me."

Vaya / Cat: Uh. No, pretty sure I didn't.

Basil: You spoke my name three times. I heard your call and took heed. Here we are.

Vaya / Cat: Oh. Crap. Is this all in my head?

Basil: "Intelligent as always." He gives you a broad grin.

Vaya / Cat: Okay, then. If this is my mind, then I have all the power, right?

Basil: Of course. I came solely in answer to your summons. If you wish it, I will go.

Vaya / Cat: I do wish it.

Basil: Certainly. May I pose a question first?

Vaya / Cat: If I say no, will you leave?

Basil: I'll leave if you but answer a simple query.

Vaya / Cat: Fine. Ask.

Basil: What would it take for you to leave this place and never return?

Vaya / Cat: I don't suppose you can resurrect the dead?

Basil: You know I cannot.

Vaya / Cat: … Okay. I did not expect you to admit that.

Basil: I am a god of wealth. You're far too rational to believe that my grasp extends into the afterlife. What would be the profit in lying to you?

Vaya / Cat: So you're gonna tell me the truth?

Basil: I swear it on gold and precious gems.

Vaya / Cat: Why are you really here?

Basil: I contracted with a human. I am here to collect my due.

Vaya / Cat: Okay, but why involve all these bystanders?

Basil: All were involved.

Vaya / Cat: 'All?' Like, the entire town?

Basil: Everyone I have taken.

Vaya / Cat: We weren't involved, but it didn't stop your servants from trying to kill us.

Basil: You came in order to interfere with my tribute.

Vaya / Cat: How do you know why we came?

Basil: I know your masters all too well. I have dealt with them before.

Vaya / Cat: You're saying you know about the Foundation?

Basil: I know more than you do.

Vaya / Cat: Okay… good to know.

Basil: I cannot bring your friends back to life, but I can return you to your old life if that is your wish.

Vaya / Cat: I'm listening.

Basil: You have already summoned me. Seal a pact with me here, and I will erase your name from the Foundation's books and give you a new life in the place of your choosing. I have that power.

Vaya / Cat: I'd be able to finish school and keep racing, and the Foundation would never find me?

Basil: Of course.

Vaya / Cat: And what would happen to the people of this town?

Basil: Their fate is sealed. It cannot be undone, but yours remains in your own hands.

Vaya / Cat: 'Their fate is sealed'? What does that mean, exactly? If their fate is sealed, why are you still here?

Basil: There is yet one piece of the bargain to retrieve.

Vaya / Cat: Keira. You want Keira.

Basil: Smart girl. Something in this building weakens my influence, but it is a matter of time before the girl comes to me.

Vaya / Cat: Okay, I have what I need. Vaya conjures up a gun and blows this creeper out of her mind.

Basil: What kind of gun?

Vaya / Cat: How about the one Z was using?

Basil: Make a Handgun check, but use Intelligence instead of Dexterity.

Vaya / Cat: No problem. 13.

Basil: You catch Uten-lugalbandu off guard, so he is limited to his Reaction Defense. You hit.

Vaya / Cat: Bossa nova. Now, how much damage does it do?

Basil: 6d12 Base damage and 2d12 X damage.

Vaya / Cat: So 10d12? That's... ridiculously powerful. I roll 61.

Basil: Describe how you kill the manifestation.

Vaya / Cat: Vaya blows its head clean off.

Basil: Headshot? Are you certain?

Vaya / Cat: Positive.

Basil: Very well. His head explodes in a shower of brains and blood. In response, the woman's head bares its teeth in a feral scream. She rakes both her claws at you. Her to-hit roll is 22.

Vaya / Cat: Oh. Right. Two heads. Fine, Vaya dodges.

Basil: Roll Intelligence plus Dodge.

Vaya / Cat: I get 16.

Basil: Then it's not a critical hit. She rolls 17 damage as her claws rake your side, leaving terrible gashes that expose your fear and vulnerability.

Vaya / Cat: Tsk. Vaya only has 19 hit points!

Basil: Now she has 2.

Vaya / Cat: So her armor doesn't work?

Basil: Oh. Was she wearing armor? I didn't hear you say she was wearing any armor.

Vaya / Cat: Fine. She has 2 hit points. Expose her vulnerability, huh? I'll expose this creeper's freaking brain matter. Vaya is shooting again—wait. Actually, can I roll Persuade to feint and lower the target's defense?

Basil: Good idea. Give it a go.

Vaya / Cat: Can I add Vaya's Appearance bonus?

Basil: Yes.

Vaya / Cat: Oh, crap. I forgot Vaya's Charisma is 1d8.

Basil: If you can make a case, I'll let you use Intelligence instead of Charisma.

Vaya / Cat: All too easy. Vaya calculates the movement it would take to convince the target she's shooting in one place and executes her deception.

Basil: That's fair. What's your roll?

Vaya / Cat: 14.

Basil: You have her flustered, so that's good enough as long as you don't roll low on your attack.

Vaya / Cat: To hit, I roll… 15.

Basil: Hit. Damage?

Vaya / Cat: 67!

Basil: You get her to dodge left, then put a bullet between her eyes. Half her brainpan winds up on display, while the other half is just gone. The manifestation disappears in a swirling vortex of black smoke.

When you open your eyes, the room is dark, and you're alone and bleeding. Apparently, the wound was real enough. From the front of the store, you hear gunfire and screaming.

Now, go on out with the others and tell Max to come in, please. Tell Veri she'll be up in a minute.

Cat: Vaya is looking through the files for anything she can find that might help us beat that monster.

Basil: Very good. Go on, then.

(Cat nods and walks out. A minute later, Max enters.)

Max: Hey, chief. What's up?

Basil: Vaya leans over her laptop like she's running a race. Suddenly, she sits bolt upright. Her body starts rocking from side to side, and a strange grinding noise comes from her direction.

Z / Max: Whoa. Weird. I snap her out of it. "Hey, Hotrod? Vaya?"

Basil: She doesn't answer, but a tear escapes one eye, and blood soaks her shirt. Suddenly, Phillip runs in, panting. "They're inside! That damned bitch opened the door and let them inside!" You don't know when you noticed it, but there's a low, insistent whispering coming from the shadows around you.

Z / Max: Uh-oh. Where's Chia?

Basil: Not here. Doug and Joel are running back to the front of the store.

Z / Max: Daaamn iiiit! "Hotrod, wake up and get out here!" I shake her.

Basil: She spins about and glares at you. Her eyes glow red, precisely like the things outside.

Z / Max: Aargh! I— Okay. I leave her alone. Can't deal with her right now. I run to the front of the store with my gun out. I said I loaded it, right?

Basil: Perfect. Now return to the other room and bring Veri back with you, please.

(Max goes out and brings Veri back.)

Basil: Z. When you get into the front of the store, you're met with utter chaos. A horde of the things is in the store, chasing the civilians into corners. Officer Sterns has a gun. She's shooting wildly at her attackers while the others try to fend them off with hoes and pitchforks. Glass bottles and soda jugs explode. Sticky, sugary suds splatter across the floor.

Veri: Where am I?

Basil: Chia, you find you're standing next to the front door while several of the creatures push through it. Your barricades are down. There are already a dozen or so of the monsters inside the store. You have no memory of how you got there.

Chia / Veri: Do I have my gun?

Basil: Your assault rifle is in your hands.

Chia / Veri: Phew. Let's shoot a group of the monsters with full autofire!

Basil: I'll make a check for you, but you can choose between Awareness and Resist Distress.

Chia / Veri: Resist Distress is 2d8 + 1d10 + 2.

Basil: (rolls dice) When you aim down the barrel, you realize it's Doug and Joel in your sights, not the creatures.

Chia / Veri: Mm. That was close. Is there any telling which groups are which?

Basil: You... believe so?

Chia / Veri: Ughnn. Fine. The gun goes back over the shoulder. Time to go hand-to-hand.

Z / Max: Am I there?

Basil: Yes. Chia is at the front, holding the door open for several of the creatures—

Chia / Veri: Wait. I was doing what?

Basil: and then she takes her assault rifle and aims it straight at Doug. She doesn't pull the trigger, though. Instead, she seems to reconsider and puts the gun away.

Z / Max: "Fluffy! Those guys! Shoot at those guys right there!" I point at a group of them and get ready to shoot.

Basil: Z points out a group of humans cowering away from some monsters to you. Then he aims his gun at them.

Chia / Veri: No! Those are humans, you idiot!

Z / Max: Chia, babe, look. You're delusional. Who was it that let those things in? Trust me. Those are monsters.

Whatever. I shoot one. 

Basil: You blast a hole the size of Connecticut in the one in front.

Chia / Veri: Ugh. He's right. Fine. How are those kids Vaya was talking to?

Basil: Several of the monsters are dragging Keira towards the front door. Theo lies on the ground behind them.

Chia / Veri: Drawing my survival knife, I run over to rescue her!

Z / Max: "Hey! Chia! Catch!" I throw her my brass knuckles! They add 2d8 to your Strength damage when you're punching.

Chia / Veri: Nice! Got those on!

Basil: Do you both have Catch / Throw?

Chia / Veri: For sure.

Z / Max: Got it.

Basil: Then you catch them, Chia. Two of them carry Keira: one has her legs, while the other takes her shoulders. A third is shuffling after them to open the door.

Chia / Veri: I'll clobber the one with her legs. 20.

Basil: He's unable to dodge while holding Keira. You score a critical hit.

Chia / Veri: 26 damage before doubling.

Basil: How do you take him down?

Chia / Veri: My knucks go into the base of the thing's neck, right where the nerve bundles are located. The pain takes it down with a single hit.

Basil: The one following them goes after you—

Z / Max: Can I shoot him first?

Basil: Okay. Go ahead. You suffer a -2 penalty because he's near Keira and Chia. Try not to fumble.

Z / Max: 13.

Basil: You hit.

Z / Max: 78 damage. Suck it, douchebag!

Basil: Ah. Quite. He's dead, Jim.

You dispatch the last of them with equal ease. Keira seems fuzzy but awake. Her brother has blood coming from his nose, but he is still breathing.

Chia / Veri: Keira. Can you take your brother someplace safe?

Basil: Keira nods groggily. "Father's office."

Z / Max: No, hold on. Hold it. You're saying your father is…

Basil: She squints at you. "I don't recognize you. Yeah. Our father owns this store. You didn't know?"

Z / Max: I take out the book and wave it right in her face. "Then, do you just happen to know anything about this little doodad?"

Basil: The color bleeds from her face. "My dreams… I think. I think I've seen that book before."

Chia / Veri: Are any more of those things headed our way?

Basil: Yes. A group of six is pulling away from a fight with… someone to head towards you. It's still difficult for you to tell who's friend and who is foe.

Chia / Veri: "We need to move, people." I'll pick up the boy.

Z / Max: Fine. Come on. Let's sneak through the frozen section. I take up the rear position.

Chia / Veri: How about not? My perception is still crooked. And I have zero Stealth.

Z / Max: You know what? You're right. I let Fluffy take up the rear position.

Basil: Make a Stealth check, then. Since it's for the entire group, use your Intelligence instead of Dexterity.

Z / Max: 19.

Basil: Heavens. You're all rolling exceptionally well tonight. In all the fighting, you manage to slip through. While you're en route, there's a bloodcurdling, inhuman scream from the roof. That distracts the things long enough for you to make it to the back hallway.

Z / Max: We get to the office, I take it?

Basil: You do. Once you're inside, Keira goes to the desk and reaches behind one of the filing cabinets. A section of the wall slides away. "Safe room," she explains with a grimace.

Z / Max: Go on. Stay in there with your brother until we tell you it's safe.

Chia / Veri: Here you go, kid. Let's get you inside here.

Basil: You watch the children hide inside the safe room while mayhem reigns just outside the door.

Okay, you two. Go collect Cat and David. It's time for everyone to get back in here.

Z / Max: It's… the final countdown! (Plays a brief riff on his cellphone.)

(Veri leans out the door and calls to the others, who file into the room and take their places.)

Basil: Okay. Chia and Z are in the back office. Vaya, you're still in the backroom, and you think you've found something. There's mention in the notes of a Sutra of the Seven Winds that will terminate the ritual.

Vaya / Cat: A chant? Do the notes have the proper words to recite?

Basil: They do not. But, they do remind you of a passage you saw in the journal.

Vaya / Cat: Z. Where is he?

Basil: And David, you're… still on the roof. You know.

Boomer / David: Yeah. Got it.

Basil: Vaya, as soon as you leave the stockroom, you run into Z and Chia at the door to the office.

Z / Max: Freeze. My gun is on her. Does she have glowy eyes?

Basil: She appears normal.

Vaya / Cat: Wait. Glowy what, now? Get that thing out of my face.

Z / Max: It was a thing. Never mind. Did you find anything while you were off in the Twilight Zone?

Vaya / Cat: I think I discovered how to end this. Do you have the journal?

Z / Max: Yeah. It's right here. Turns out, it belongs to your friend Keira's old man.

Vaya / Cat: "I know. The god has possessed Mr. Hafner's body." Vaya takes the book.

Z / Max: What? Really? How long have you-- never mind. What do you mean, "possessed?"

Chia / Veri: Hey. Are those things still leaving us alone?

Basil: In point of fact, no. It seems all of them have decided to converge on you at once.

Vaya / Cat: Should we retreat out the back?

Z / Max: Can't. The kids are holed up in a safe room in the office. Those things might be able to get into it.

Chia / Veri: Locked and loaded.

Vaya / Cat: Good point. If they get Keira, this whole thing is over.

Basil: They're getting closer.

Z / Max: What? Really?

Chia / Veri: Hey, guys? Focus!

Vaya / Cat: Any sign of Uten--er. Their lord?

Basil: Not yet.

Chia / Veri: Hss. That's it. I start shooting.

Z / Max: Yeah, I'll help. "Here, Vaya. It's all yours." I hand her the book.

Vaya / Cat: I accept it and search for the Sutra of the Seven Winds.

Basil: Chia, your assault rifle lays waste to their ranks. Z, you take down any of them that get through Chia's field of fire. Suddenly, there's a flash of blue light from the greeting cards aisle.

Z / Max: I, uh... I think that lord guy is here, Vaya. You might wanna hurry.

Basil: Vaya, you've definitely found the text.

Vaya / Cat: Can I read the sutra now?

Basil: Make an Ancient Languages check.

Vaya / Cat: And if I don't have that…

Basil: It's just Intelligence.

Vaya / Cat: Oh. So the star next to it just means…

Basil: It's harder to learn. 

Vaya / Cat: Gotcha. I roll… tsk. 11.

Basil: Fair enough. You manage to muddle through the first part of the passage, but it's slow going, and you feel like you're butchering the pronunciation. Still, as you read each word, you feel a mounting pressure in the air and a crackling like static as the tips of your hair start to lift into the air.

As you read the words, they seem to echo in your head, gaining meaning with each reverberation. You can add d6 tenths to the skill.

Vaya / Cat: 4.

Chia / Veri: Nice frizz, amiright?

Vaya / Cat: She needs some hairspray.

Boomer / David: Good thing we're in a grocery store, yo?

Vaya / Cat: (ignores him pointedly) Vaya keeps chanting.

Basil: Chia and Z, they start to press you harder as the creatures pile over each other's lifeless corpses to get to Vaya behind you.

Roll shooting checks. And do roll high, if you will.

Chia / Veri: 15.

Z / Max: 15 for me, too.

Basil: Inch by inch, they closing in on you. There seems to be no end to them. And now you can see the goat-creature behind them, glowing red and blue, chanting something in arcane gutturals that seem to bolster the strength and fortitude of its minions. It's taking you more bullets than before to bring down each one. Meanwhile, the corners of the room are all whispering in chorus something arcane and awful.

Vaya, you're about halfway done with the chant. Your ears are starting to feel the pressure that's building in the air around you.

Z / Max: I don't guess you brought some grenades, Chia?

Chia / Veri: Grr. They weren't on the list.

Vaya / Cat: Just a bit longer, guys. I've almost got this!

Basil: Another round of shooting checks, please.

Chia / Veri: 18 this time.

Z / Max: 14.

Basil: Chia, you lay down their front line. When she has to stop to reload, though, one of them almost gets her before you can bring her down, Z. That was too close.

Chia / Veri: Don't break down on me now, soldier! We're almost there!

Z / Max: I got it, I got it! Just keep shooting!

Basil: Vaya, you're on the last page of the chant. Make me one more Ancient Languages check.

Also, one more round of attack rolls, please.

Vaya / Cat: Um. 12.4?

Basil: Okay, two more rounds of attack rolls, then.

Chia / Veri: 18 again.

Z / Max: Oh, yeah! I got 20 this time!

Basil: You lay into the crowd, driving them back with well-placed shots and unrelenting fire. Vaya, you begin the last line of the incantation. Chia, you're mopping up everyone on the butcher's side of the store. Z, a brawny hulk leaps out of nowhere at Chia's side--and at the same time, there's a sudden flash of blue light. The goat-man now stands behind you. He coughs blood. His right eye is crushed to an oozing, bloody pulp inside its socket. But he reaches out a hand for Vaya's throat!

(All three speak at the same time.)

Vaya / Cat: Vaya dodges!

Z / Max: I shoot him!

Chia / Veri: Gonna kick him!

Basil: Roll. All of you.

Chia / Veri: Ugh. 12.

Z / Max: I roll 18.

Basil: Subtract 2, since he's close to Chia.

Z / Max: 16, then.

Vaya / Cat: And I get… tsk. I get 6. That's actually worse than Vaya's Reaction Defense.

Basil: Do you have Wrestle / Disarm?

Vaya / Cat: Uh… no.

Basil: Okay. Then you get your roll or your Reaction Defense, whichever is higher.

Vaya / Cat: 8, then.

Basil: Okay. Chia, yours rolls 19 to dodge. Then he rolls 9 to hit you.

Chia / Veri: Is dodging an option?

Basil: You shot, then made a melee attack. Have you an Exertion Point to spend on a dodge?

Chia / Veri: Yes. For... 14.

Basil: He misses, then. Z, your target fails to dodge. Roll damage.

Z / Max: 54 points.

Basil: You blow a hole in his side, but he is still moving.

Z / Max: Dammit! This is one tough bastard!

Basil: Vaya, Uten-lugalbandu rolled 13 to grab you by the throat. It doesn't do damage to you, but you can't breathe nor speak. You can feel the pressure on your ears and the static electricity in the air starting to drop off as each long second ticks by with you silent. 

"My firstborn," he rumbles in velvet. "You will give her to me now."

Chia, your attacker moves to strike you again.

Chia / Veri: Dodging and shooting him.

Basil: He rolls 14 to hit.

Chia / Veri: Grr. No good.

Basil: 20 damage.

Chia / Veri: Oh, crap. That puts me down to 3 below, even after armor.

Basil: You collapse under the thing's weight as he jumps on you, clawing, and you feel his sharp talons tear open your neck around your armor.

Chia / Veri: Ugh. Thought that gorget looked like a good idea.

Z / Max: Can I shoot him now?

Basil: He's so excited about beating the gun-woman that he won't even dodge.

Z / Max: Well, shit. I rolled 10.

Basil: That was anticlimactic. At least you get a normal hit.

Z / Max: 73 damage!

Basil: His entire skull implodes under the force of your bullet. His limp body flies off Chia and bounces off a cooler like a rag doll.

Since Chia has not been shooting, several more of the things have crept up on you.

David, you're off the roof now.

Boomer / David: That's what I'm talking about!

Basil: Vaya. You're losing the ritual. What are you doing?

Vaya / Cat: Pepper Spray. To the face. It's in my arm pocket.

Basil: Handgun check, please.

Vaya / Cat: 15.

Basil: Uten-lugalbandu tries to dodge, but he's hindered by the fact that he's holding you. He rolls 13.

Vaya / Cat: He makes Health plus Resist Distress against Difficulty 9.

Z / Max: Whoa, that Difficulty is way too low. Have you ever felt pepper spray?

Chia / Veri: Uh, no? And I'm seriously wondering why you have... (Scoots her chair further away)

Z / Max: Oh, you know. It was a party, and they were passing around the weaponized condiment. What can you do?

(Everybody laughs)

Basil: Okay. Well, he only rolled 7, so…

Vaya / Cat: He loses 4 actions! Does he drop me?

Basil: He does not, but you will be able to escape next round while he's distracted.

Z / Max: I pick up Chia's assault rifle and start hosing down the zombies!

Basil: Speaking of which. Chia. Make me a Death Save. It's Fate plus Resist Death.

Chia / Veri: Crap. Both stink.

Basil: The good news is, the Difficulty is only your Hit Points below zero.

Chia / Veri: So 3?

Basil: That's right. If you get a critical success, you return to zero HP.

Chia / Veri: Come on, 2d8… 9! Got it!

Basil: You're at zero. Z, make a roll.

Z / Max: Uh… 11?

Basil: You do scare them, but I'm afraid it's more sound and fury than death by lead. At any rate, they aren't overrunning you yet.

Z / Max: Well, that's… something?

Basil: Boomer. What are you doing?

Vaya / Cat: Help? A little help, please?

Boomer / David: I come out of the backroom into the hallway.

Basil: Vaya, you see a familiar form emerge from the stockroom door… at least. You thought it was familiar. It looks taller, bulkier, with bulging muscles and glowing red eyes. It's Boomer.

Vaya: What?! NO!

Chia / Veri: Why, you foul little scavver!

Z / Max: Hah. Nice.

Boomer / David: So all I gotta do is kill my friends, right?

Basil: The woman, who has not been maced, turns to face you, her hair dropping to reveal round, full breasts. "Kill them for me," she bids, her voice dripping with sex and candy.

Vaya / Cat: I swear, if you do this…

Boomer / David: "Yeah… about that. Vaya's way cuter'n you are, lady. And scarier, too. So… sorry, no." I punch her in the kidney.

Vaya / Car: Scary?! What's that supposed to mean?

Chia / Veri: No, he's right. You are scarier.

Z / Max: Definitely.

Vaya / Cat: But… guys?

Basil: Very well. Boomer, make me the highest Self-Control roll in the history of dice.

Boomer / David: Don't worry, guys, I got this. I roll… uh. 7?

Basil: Ah. Well. You find yourself punching Vaya instead, and your fist goes entirely through her body—

Boomer / David: Reverence! I have 2 RP left. I can use those, right?

Basil: Go ahead.

Boomer / David: Let's go. This time, I roll… Hah! 17!

Basil: That's… that is good enough.

Boomer / David: Yeah! Take THAT, bitch! Boo-ya!

Basil: Your fist goes entirely through her peach-fuzz skin and out the other side, still gripping her kidney, which drips with bloody ichor. Vaya, you're free.

Vaya / Cat: I shriek the last bar of the sutra in his hideous face!

Basil: As you wrap up the chant, green lightning floods the air all around you with dazzling sparks and shocking static. A whirlwind catches up Uten-lugalbandu's form in a cyclonic storm. The ceiling above you starts to drip ponderous, freezing raindrops. When the wind and lightning finally do subside, the broken body of the corporate operative and Mr. Hafner's unconscious form lay atop each other, both naked, in a pile. The terrifying creatures that came after you have returned to ordinary townsfolk, but the deadly wounds you inflicted upon them have not changed.

Chia / Veri: Does… does that mean we won?

Basil: You won. The Foundation brings in a crew to collect all the specimens and administer amnestics to the surviving townsfolk. They package up Hafner and his daughter in a containment vehicle and whisk them off to a base somewhere. You three (points at Z, Cat, and Chia) are no longer Class Ds. And you, Boomer, are something else entirely.

Boomer / David: Uh-oh. I'm totally a lab rat now, aren't I?

Basil: Well. You see, there's this thing called 'Thaumiel Class'…


There you have it, folks--that's the SCP Tabletop Roleplaying Game in a session. Have a safe and spooky Halloween!

And until next time, game well, my friends.

Jonathan Andrews

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