|This is just one of the "something-limit" series |
these guys put out. There is one on one,
one on two, city scenarios, and more.
So I recently purchased the xanthic product pictured to the right at ye olde Yellow Submarine (a chain of gaming stores in Japan). It was just so unique a product I was intrigued. But my chances of actually playing one of the scenarios in Nipponese are pretty slim. That would be a lot of pressure! And I'm too lazy to read a whole scenario before hand. Play by post to the rescue!
Through Discord, I (Claytonian) ran the first scenario, Smoking-room, with Coalhada (Tom of Fear of a Black Dragon fame--hey, they talked about a thing I did) as I translated need bits of it at a leisurely pace--mostly during my commuting times. I didn't tell Tom, but the scenario is actually a comedy one. He took it like a champ though.
There is a cut-off point in this post (fingers crossed it works), so you will have to click through. It's only a seven page adventure, and Tom managed to find one of a few possible endings. A sexy dice-bot helped us.
I will say that, in retrospect, I probably should have located the smoking room more concretely on the side of a larger structure, separate, yet not separated, contrary to how I started the scenario imaging it. I also didn't get part of the translation of the clock mechanism quite right, but to catch what I screwed up, I guess you'll have to get fluent at the ol' moon-speak yourself.
|This is an actual image used to |
advertise this line of
Without further ado, I give you your smoke break!
What's the most generic modern Japanese name possible? Male or female, either way
Akira (both genders)
Akira, slightly portly OL, 30 years old, amateur boxer. STR 15, CON 9, SIZ 16, INT 11, POW 7, DEX 8, APP 10, EDU 12 // SAN 35 / Luck 35 / Know 60 / Idea 55 / HP 13 / MP 7 / Damage bonus +1d4
180pts for Occupation skills (I'll use the Lawyer template), 60 for general skills
Occupation Skills (points spent/total with starting score): Accounting +40/50; Credit Rating +20/35; Fast Talk +40/45; Library Use +40/65; Psychology +40/45.
General skills: Punch +10/60 (damage = 1d3+1d4); Electrical Repair +10/20; Mechanical Repair +10/30; Read/Write Japanese +10/70; Spot Hidden +20/45
.. and that's all, I think.
Okay, office lady Akira. You've been out on some business, and are now looking for a designated smoking area so you can take a break. You've managed to find a nice, new one in an urban area where many of the buildings are new too. It has frosted-over glass, and as you slip in you note there are benches, ash-trays, and vending machines. The usual. A couple of guys have been in here for a little while it seems. As you start to sit, you overhear a curious conversation:
"Hey, it's probably about time we head out.."
"Oh. Yeah! It's time! If that magic circle becomes active, we all will be able to take our place at the side of our god."
"Well, we can't be late. Let's get back"
Perhaps this peaks your curiosity. Before you can say or do much, these guys rush out the door.What do you do?
BTW you are free to do anything, including nothing, at this point.
I guess it's not OK to smoke while walking along? If there's a designated smoking area.
You mean you want to smoke while following them, outside of a publicly designated smoking room? Bad manners, but that doesn't stop most men. Never seen a woman walking and smoking in Japan, now that I think about it...
Yeah, never mind - I'm curious enough to put my cigarette back in the packet and follow these guys. You know, discreetly. What do they look like?
They seem to be in business-casual clothes. No ties. You did note they both were sporting darkly-colored bead bracelets. Lots of people wear them in Japan. Somewhat part of the background radiation of lax-Shinto-Buddhism, that. Or just fashion. Just as you are about to crack the door fully open and let in the comparatively fresh air, your pursuit is interrupted by a flash of blue light so bright it causes you to wince. When your vision returns, you glance about. The interior of the room seems unchanged, but beyond the frosting of the glass about you, you can tell something has changed. The city about this smoking room is... gone. The light from outside seems pale now. There are several things you could look at in the room, or you could open that door now. You could jump up onto a bench and try to peer over the frosted section as well.
I think I'll peer over the frosted section first. Then the looking at of things in the room.
You get up there and look through. You see a rather barren plain of what looks like ash. It seems the pale-blue illumination is coming down from twin moons... make a sanity check (0/1d3)... then give me your feels
Oh, combing through 3rd ed CoC now. Witnessing a bizarre occurrence can result in 1d8 sanity damage, so, stakes just got raised, son!
Oh, and you probably curious, but the Japanese original did not mention this San roll, but I get the impression that maybe it's going soft of the players. You'll be fiiiiiiinnnne
3rd ed. example is "sky turns green" You're witnessing even more.
From this point on, it will probably be less taxing on your mind... we'll see. I think they use a kinder edition for their die sizes.
!roll 1d100 ! SAN check
coalhada Roll:  Result: 9 Reason: SAN check
I am surprised, but perhaps less perturbed than you'd think.
Perhaps you rationalize that this is some sort of trick or something. A variety show prank? Up to you. Shall we look around the room now? Or you could go explore this strange landscape...
No, no, outside looks terrible. What's inside here?
There is a poster, benches, ash trays, a tobacco vending machine, a lost and found box, and a drink vending machine. As you are kinda turning this way and that, you step on something with a light crunch. It is a mostly blank cigarette box. No brand name. Says "sample product." Would you like to examine it, or examine one of the other things in the room?
Yes, let's inspect the sample product first.
Maybe those men were smoking something weird and I've breathed in the hallucinogenic secondary smoke.
Inside you see 10 cigarettes and a piece of paper which says:
Brand name: undecided as of this date. Description: this special blend has been found to have the following effect: the nerves are calmed, and one feels an elation that can help with mental difficulties
What's the lost & found box? A kind of one-way mechanism like those bins for recycling clothes? I'll get a Pocari from the machine, might need to rehydrate soon. I'll put the experimental cigarettes in my handbag.
Wait, what's the poster?
I'll describe them in the order you said, unless you want to look at the poster
No, go ahead in that order. I guess what I'm really asking about the lost & found is if you can take things out as well as put them in.
Yeah, it's an open box with things in it.
Ah, then I will inspect the things and see if anything in there might be useful in a weird, two-mooned landscape. Clutching at straws, perhaps.
Let's see... it's fairly small. There are things like lighters and pens. If you need something that could reasonably be found in such a box, we can roll Luck for it. Maybe save that option for later?
Next up, a refreshing drink?
Yes, a drink. That's the ticket.
You approach the machine, which seems to have labels of all the drinks you'd expect, but do note that the bottom-leftmost product is blank. Despite this, it is priced at ¥500. You do have that much...
What the hell, let's get the blank drink.
You get what you pay for, that's my motto.
Oddly, what drops out is not a drink, but a pamphlet: Escape Manual.
It contains the following steps:
1: Remove the ashtray's metal fixture. 2: Place the ashtray aside. 3: Turn the winder of the wall-clock stored inside. 4: Touch the clock, pay the price, and open the clock's doors. Next?
Interesting. If I still have any money for an actual drink, I'll get that. Then, look at the poster, then inspect the ashtray base for a 'fixture'.
I don't really want to go outside if I don't have to.
Pocari Sweat in hand, you wander to the poster...
There is a pentagramatic design. It seems to be like an appeal to manners poster or something. It says: A place for a smoke is an opportunity to make a community. Enjoy chatting with your fellow tobacco enthusiasts.
Around this time, the door opens...You turn around at the sound. What you see is wearing a private security guard uniform. It has a form similar to a human, but is definitely not one. It's a bit as if a koala had been twisted into another beast. It's eyes and ears are extremely large. The sight taxes your sanity. Roll! 0/1d6
!roll 1d100 ! Scary koala SAN check
coalhada Roll:  Result: 23 Reason: Scary koala SAN check
Maybe I'm just not quite taking in what's happening here, but I seem to be OK.
"Is something the matter.... um, officer?"
"Huh? I'm just taking a break." It holds up a pack of cheap fags. " Uh, I'm not an officer, by the by, just security. Nothing more special than that." It sits with a weary sound and pats its pocket. "Hrm. Hey, lady, could I bother you for a light? Jeez, I'm a mess today."
You realize you don't have a lighter. D'oh! Your next action?
"Sorry, I think I left my lighter... somewhere. I don't know where. Do you work nearby?"
I'm not going to mention the twin moons and alien landscape, or how weird he looks. In case I'm hallucinating it all.
"No lighter huh. This suuuucks. Yeah, this room is part of my rounds actually. Dang. I don't want to walk all the way back for a lighter. Maybe someone dropped one around here." He looks under his bench. "By the way, I don't see many humans come this way. How'd you swing that?"
"I don't know. I'm here by accident. Maybe the lost and found box has a lighter."
I'll see if it's possible to follow those instructions, taking a look at the base of the ashtray in a way that suggest I might be looking for a lighter somewhere in the vicinity.
You do see a catch that could be grabbed. "It's over there," mutters the guard, gesturing with his head to the box, further off. "So, you got, what, stuck here? Tough luck, that. Well, we all have our elder-signs to bear." sigh
The meaning of 'prop it open' is not immediately clear to me OOC. What sort of sized object would I need to fit under the catch thingy?
"Yes, I'm trying not to panic about it. I'm sure a solution will present itself at some time."
I mean to prop it open.
I guess I can't tell until I pull it, really. I'll pull it.
"Maybe it's best to just wait here. I don't think human flesh fares well under... Oh, what are you doing to the ash-tray?"
It pulls open, swinging up like a panel. You see a little hole under there.
"Under the moonlight? Moons-light. I thought perhaps not. There's a little hole down here."
"Huh. Don't know anything about that... um, so... that lighter?"
"In my other jacket, sorry."
You figure that might be the panel you just pulled open
With a sigh, the thing starts to get up.
It rifles through the box. "Bingo. Here's one. Yeah. The moons. Leng just ain't for earthings. That organization is crazy to want to come here, but most cultists are. Oh, sorry. You're not a member, are you?"
*er riffles is a better word for his laconic actions, I guess
"No, I just work for a cosmetics company. It's a little bit like a cult. Who are these human people that come here on purpose?"
"Well, they don't usually come to the smoking room on purpose. Beyond that wall..." it points to the opaque wall, " is the headquarters. I guess you got caught up in the 'great transposition'. Maybe Azathoth will fill finally touch down soon... Wish I could get back at these jerks before then. Everybody takes me too lightly. I'm one of the blessed races, for crying out loud." sigh "How can I get stronger to really show them? Any advice?"
Looking at the ashtray assemblage, is there anything that looks like a key?
"Stronger how? If you mean, like, arm strength I can show you a few things. I do boxing, when I'm not being looked down on at the office."
I'm not sure that the arms of Leng people even have the same elbows, but it's nice to be helpful.
"Oh, you understand! Screw the guys at your office, right! Always sending you cut up bits of investigators and heretics. Let's exchange a couple pointers! You show me how to 'box' their organs, and I'll show you a bit of Leng-fu. Eh? Not what boxing is you say? Whatever it is, please, be my sensei for a while... after I finish this cig." You search for a key-like object while he talks. No dice. If you want to give boxing lessons, roll them bones.
(boxing skill roll)
!roll 1d100 ! Demonstrating the importance of correct follow-through.
coalhada Roll:  Result: 49 Reason: Demonstrating the importance of correct follow-through.
Surprisingly, that is a success.
"Thanks! I'm gonna try a jab the next time a deep one is getting wise in the canteen!" It fishes a golden thing, shaped kind of like a toy winder, out of its pocket. "You humies like shiny things, right? I fished this out of the (unpronounceable) the other day. I want you to have it. Well, see you on my next break, unless the strange radiations have gotten to you." He exits. wut are next?
Oh, and check off that skill for post-scenario XP
The winder thing might be a key... is there anything around that would fit into the little hole revealed under the ashtray? Like a stick or a mop handle or whatever.
Actually, the cylindrical part of this looks like it could fit. As you are peering at that, you hear the door open again.
shudder "Uh, I mean, afternoon!"
What has come through the door is a person in a dark business suit... from the neck down. The head, however, is rather pisciform. Gills and all that. San check! 0/1d6
!roll 1d100 ! AHHHH!
coalhada Roll:  Result: 90 Reason: AHHHH!
!roll 1d6 ! SAN loss
coalhada Roll:  Result: 5 Reason: SAN loss
Akira, slightly portly OL, 30 years old, amateur boxer. STR 15, CON 9, SIZ 16, INT 11, POW 7, DEX 8, APP 10, EDU 12 // SAN 30 (max 35) / Luck 35 / Know 60 / Idea 55 / HP 13 / MP 7 / Damage bonus +1d4 Occupation Skills: Accounting 50; Credit Rating 35; Fast Talk 45; Library Use 65; Psychology 45. General skills: Punch 60 (damage = 1d3+1d4); Electrical Repair 20; Mechanical Repair 30; Read/Write Japanese 70; Spot Hidden 45
"AHHHHH! I mean, hello."
"Oh, man. I'm never gonna get a girlfriend, am I?" He sadly sits down and pulls out a menthol cig. "Um... so what brings you to Leng?"
"I honestly don't know. I'm here by accident."
I put the key-thing into the hole.
It fits in snugly. "Are you... maintenance? Not with those clothes, I guess. Well, since your here, and of the fairer sex, do you think I could impose on you for advice? About women, I mean."
"..... Go on."
(Skeptical expression. )
"I mean, I moved all the way to Japan from Innsmouth, learned a bit of the language, all that. But nobody seems to care about my foreign mystique. They just all get repulsed by my face. My mom keeps going on about wanting to see grandchildren, and I just don't know how to get ladies to go on dates." He takes a puff. "Just today, I was trying to chat up Tanaka, but she wasn't having any of it. How can I seem appealing?"
"I don't know if it's a good idea to date within your workplace. What happens if you break up? You still have to see them. Maybe you should join a hobby club, so that you know the people you meet have something in common with you. Something besides working in the same place, I mean. And it will make you feel less stressed. Being relaxed and chilled out is attractive in itself, you know."
I try to rotate the key in the ashtray base.
The price mentioned in the manual is extracted! 8 MP and 1d6 sanity lost. If you don't have that much MP, and you don't, for each you are short you take a further 5 San damage. So 1d6+5 SAN loss! I'll describe what happens next when I see how much San you've lost in this short period and consult my 3rd ed.
well, looks like we already missed a roll for the first 5 sanity you lost... We'll roll that maybe, but I'll see if you lose 20% of you total sanity is a second here...
Which roll did we miss?
Back when you lost 5 san, that was a temporary insanity check situation
But that's okay, we are now looking at indefinite insanity, unless I have mathed wrongly
so we don't need to worry about temporary insanity so much
we missed that small, crazy window
Claytonian Roll:  Result: 6
Claytonian Roll:  Result: 2
I just made some rolls for later, waiting for your roll.
!roll 1d6+5 ! SAN loss
coalhada Roll:  Result: 9 Reason: SAN loss
Okay, it seems that this thing has sapped you mentally. For a brief flash your consciousness was stretched across an ineffable medium. When you come to your senses again, you are being shaken by fish-head. More than his face, you are now repulsed by his accent. You have a fear of foreignness now. Xenophobia. You also don't trust machines. Machinophobia? Luddomania? "Uh, looks like you're better now. Hey, I gotta get back, but thanks for the encouraging ideas. Very inspirational. Good luck!"
"Oh, one more thing though, as a token of my gratitude. The company was going to throw this out, but maybe you'd like it. I couldn't read this Japanese manual, but of course you... 0h, you seem a little disturbed now. Sorry, I'll just put it here..."
Acquired: A thing in a paper bag.
Are there any lighters left in the lost and found box? I need a cigarette.
Also I will look in the paper bag.
Security dude dutifully returned the one he was borrowing from it. Ah, nicotine! You wanna try this mysterious, unbranded tobacco?
"Machine" is from a Greek root so I think it would rather boringly be "mechanophobia"
I might save experimentation for another time. When I'm feeling less deranged.
I'll stick to my regular brand.
Dragging deep, you open the package with tremulous hands. Inside is a bottle of pills with a label obviously printed on an ink-jet printer the brand name is Ryotan, and the characters, 遼丹, evoke the concepts of "far" and "great medicine." An actual, out-of-game, well-known brand name has the second character. The also-enclosed manual explains its function:
Take this to go back whence you came. Be aware, though, that you will also come face to face with the terrible, august presence which visits this sphere. You can't go back without going through this awesome experience.
It's about this time that a third visitor comes through the door...
It is very tall. Shaped much like a man, but lacking any skin over its musculature. It does have a business suit on. It has a third eye in its forehead, and its three eyes are quite busy darting about constantly. It rather casually greets you with a "Heya, skin-job." 0f course a sanity check is in order. 1d8/1d20!
!roll 1d100 ! AAAAaaaaaaaahhh
coalhada Roll:  Result: 8 Reason: AAAAaaaaaaaahhh
!roll 1d8 ! SAN loss
coalhada Roll:  Result: 2 Reason: SAN loss
"Ah, the distressed sound, right? I get that a lot from newbs." He takes out a pack of Marlboros and offers you one. "Please, put this in your orifice."
You might be too busy going madder; I have to consult 3e again.
"Oh geeze, who opened the ash-tray?"
Okay, I think the rules of 3e just expected you to be useless once you slipped into indefinite insanity, but I guess we'll just ride this scenario out. Also, I don't know if you ever gave yourself the 5% mythos skill you were due for going bonkers… but take that.
"What is that, a clock key? Huh. Hey, can I get a human perspective on something? You want one of these? Menthol flavor. No? So anyways, I was thinking about a drink some lady gave me one time. I'm rather new to human experiences, so I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Gosh, I'd sure like to have it again. Those pods give you drinks for money, right?"
Did I already follow the "open the doors" instruction? I'll do that if I can.
"Yeah yeah yeah put money in the thing for drinks yeah."
I'm not really able to focus on anything but the escape mechanism.
You touch the winder again and wind it. It seems to not cost anything this time. As you turn it, one of the vending machines starts to raise towards the ceiling...
"I don't think that's how the drinks usually come out." The machine's upward progress is at an end. A tunnel into darkness is visible, if you care to venture under the ponderous pop provider.... "so the drink was kinda fizzy..."
"Lilt, maybe? Would you describe the flavour as 'totally tropical'?"
I crawl under the machine.
They don't even have Lilt in Japan and Akira has never heard of it. Signs of madness abound.
You feel yourself being tugged. You fall through time and space...
"Lillllt youuu sayyyy?"
When you come to, you find yourself in an empty lot. A stripped lot, actually. The building next to this room is gone too. People are milling about, gawking at the lack of building. Some are mumbling about how it was filled with weirdos. The news becomes the talk of the town, nay, the world, for a time. But nobody will ever know what happened except for you. Three years later, just before bed, you find a Lilt on your pillow (or maybe cardboard box you sleep on because who knows if you ever get back to normal, functional sanity. Maybe the dice know. Regain 2d6+1 SAN for solving all those monster problems. And I think you have a chance to increase one of your skills...
!roll 2d6+1 ! A sense of accomplishment
coalhada Roll: [2, 1] Result: 4 Reason: A sense of accomplishment
Maybe this is not the end for your PC's investigations...
Share good posts with good goblins. Claytonian at the gmails.