Monday, 17 July 2017

Babes in London: Act Three, Scene 3B (Part 1: University Investigation)



Note: If PCs have already encountered the beby and gained information on the cult of Set, GMs may need to make some adjustments to the boxed text below. While no new information is gained, and the professor also has a copy of the book, the beby is still summoned to protect it. If PCs have already played Final Battle, that scene does not occur again.

When you arrive at the university, it seems to take a moment for the receptionist at Administration to understand your request, and then it takes a good few moments more (approximately a half an hour, to be exact) before she recommends someone. When she does and you ask to see them, the receptionist looks affronted.
“That,” she says, “will require an appointment.”
Arrangements for the appointment takes more time – another three quarters of an hour and by now, the receptionist has noticed you becoming slightly fidgety. “The professor can fit you in Tuesday next month,” she says, “or, if you really must, she says she will see you now – but she can only spare you a quarter hour; she has an appointment.”

Give the PCs a chance to respond and then read, or paraphrase, the following:

You get lost on the way, but stopping students or other professors and asking you directions soon sees you standing in front of a door bearing the name plate: Kate Wyman. There’s a bunch of letters after the name but what is most intriguing is the fact that the door is firmly closed and, upon closer inspection, locked.
Before you can turn away, however, a trim-figured, petite, dark-haired woman in what could be her mid-forties arrives with a cup of coffee and a large paper bag from the canteen in one hand, and a bundle of keys in the other: “You’re later than I’d like,” she says, looking you up and down. Her gaze sweeps over you like a searchlight and you almost begin to sympathize with her students. “Never mind,” she says before any of you can speak. “Come in and explain what you need. Reception was vague.”
Her office consists of a large desk and chair curving out of one corner, and every available piece of wall space except for three five-drawer filing cabinets is lined by bookshelves. There are even shelves behind the desk and under the large window that looks into a hidden quadrangle several floors down. When Kate Wyman has seated herself behind the desk, coffee and lunch bag placed to one side, she gestures for you to take a seat in one of the four seats in front of the desk: “How can I help you?” she asks.

Allow the PCs to explain what they want, then read, or paraphrase, the following once they show the professor the disc.

The professor is fascinated by the disc and turns it over several times in her hand. “I think I’ve seen this somewhere before.” Reaching behind her, she half turns and runs her fingers along the spines of the books. Stopping at a particularly ancient-looking tome, her hand curls around the spine and she carefully lifts it down to the desk. Placing the disc on the table in front of her, she begins leafing through the pages. “Set,” she mutters. “L, M, R… Ah, now here we go.” She turns the book around so that the chosen page is the right way up for you to read. There, on the page before you is the same symbol engraved on the disc but, as you lean forward to read the curling script beneath it, there is a sudden flare of light.
For an instant, the light is too bright to see through and, then a thunderous roar shakes the office and Kate lets out a gasp of surprise before disappearing beneath her desk.

Give the PCs time to react and roll initiative, then read, or paraphrase the following:

Under the desk might not be a great hiding place but it might be better than where you’re standing, right now. The creature that has appeared on top of the desk looks like a horrendous cross between a hippopotamus, crocodile and lion – and its attention is squarely focused on you. There is no sound at all from where the professor has disappeared.

A successful Earth (Senses) test (TH6) means the PCs see the professor reach up and slide the book off the desk from behind the creature’s forepaws. (It’s standing on her lunch bag and has crushed her coffee cup beneath one of its powerful hind claws.)
Any PC may make a Mental (Knowledge: Ancient Cultures or Mythology: Egypt) test (TH4) to recognize the creature as a ‘beby’, the creature that eats the hearts of those whose hearts fail when judged for entry into the Egyptian afterlife. A TH6 success reveals that the devouring god had animal counterparts in earlier mythic ages.
This beby has been summoned to protect the disc, and prevent anyone from discovering the identity of the group behind it. At this point, it attacks.

Battle Space: Battling in the office is crowded. The room is 10-feet wide and 15-feet long. Palatial by professorial standards, but too cramped for proper battle. All combatants suffer a -1 penalty. This penalty affects all actions, such as dodging, that rely on manoeuvrability for success. Note: It is possible to lead the beby to a more open space (such as the quadrangle outside) so that PCs manifest their draconic body to battle it. NPC Reactions: If PCs try to keep the battle contained to the office, they attract outside attention some three rounds in. It requires a successful TH6 Air (Senses) check for any of the combatants to notice the office door opened a careful crack, and the startled face of a student peeking around it, before pulling it quickly shut again. The student calls the police and LN7 is alerted, as described below. If, however, the PCs try to lead the beby to a more open area, university students and professors alike scatter out of the beby’s and PCs’ path, and PCs must outrun the monster down several corridors and stairwells in order to reach the courtyard. NPCs who see them, hide for a good while, and someone calls the police, one of whom calls LN7. By the time LN7 arrive, the battle is over and the creature has disappeared.

Professor Kate Wyman: hides under her desk for the duration of the battle, although she does take the chance to film what she can see of the beby on her phone. She later posts this on her social media pages, including the video collection where she talks about creatures of myth and legend, as well as giving lectures on her other areas of professional interest. She also blogs about the creature, and the disc of Set, which could make for interesting adventure opportunities later.

Era: Mythic
Race: Supernatural Animal
APL: 4
Aspects: Fire 6 (4), Water 5 (4), Air 2, Earth 2
Initiative: 8
Health: km; <5 / 10+ / 15+ / 20+ / 25+ / 30+ / 35+
Size/Reach: 1 / 5 ft
Armor: 6
Taint: 10
Stride: 30 ft
—Bite: 18H
—Foreclaw (2): 8M
—Hindclaw (2): 12M (Grab ready requirement)
—Tail: 8M
Sequences: Ravager
Agg—F9/W6/A0/E2—Power + Power + L Foreclaw Strike + Power +R Foreclaw Strike
Skills: Athletics 9, Interaction 2, Melee 7, Stamina 7, Quickness 6, Senses 8, Stealth 4, Will 4
Edges: Action Junkie, Aggressive, Brutal, Daunting
Powers: Undeterred
Traits: Tainted
Tactics: The beby has only one mission: to destroy all those present when the description of the symbol on the disc was found. This includes the professor, who is most grateful if PCs save her life. If successful, the PCs earn the reward Friend of Professor Kate Wyman.

NOTE: This adventure is not sanctioned in any way, shape or form by Fantasy Flight. It is not an official product, and I am in no way affiliated with them or they with me. There is no relationship between us. This adventure is mine, for fun, and for you, because some of you asked me to finish it.

Also, if you like this adventure and want to play it, please go buy the official rulebooks from somewhere where the original creators and publisher of the setting will be paid. I got mine from a Melbourne game store, but I’ve found PDF versions of the Player's Handbook and the Gamemaster's Handbook are now available from DriveThruFiction. If you enjoy their world, this is the best way to thank them.

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