Author Topic: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify  (Read 17181 times)

Faust

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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #495 on: February 14, 2020, 02:15:50 pm »
In Berlin for a couple of days, forgot how much I like this city
Narrator: In time you will know the tragic extent of my failings

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Doktor Howl

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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #496 on: February 14, 2020, 02:39:00 pm »

Official statement by Australia's government regarding the bushfires:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BmbvTvFQ3g

That was amazing.   :lulz:
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Cain

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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #497 on: February 14, 2020, 02:43:40 pm »
Anything that references that fucking tourism ad gets my seal of approval. That was just taking the piss.

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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #498 on: February 16, 2020, 05:56:23 pm »
I hate it when I fail to translate knowledge to practice.

So, I'm getting an oil change, and the guy asks if I want my lights checked.  Blink the high beams, signal left, tap the brakes, etc.  Then he tells me my license-plate light is out.

This strikes me as a little odd, since my headlights weren't on.  But I explain this to myself as "I-guess-the-license-plate-light-must-supposed-to-be-always-on-and-he-sees-a-lot-more-cars-than-I-do-so-I-he-must-know-what-he-is-talking-about."

The cost is $17 installed, so I tell him not to bother.

Yesterday, I'm going out for errands, so I figure I'll drop by Canadian Tire and get a new bulb. I'll remove the old one first, so I have something to match against.  It's -20 C, and I spend five minutes freezing my hands while trying to remove the fixture, before I check youtube and discover I can pop out the lens in about five seconds with a screwdriver.  Duh.

Then, because OCD, I check the bulb filament.  But I can't find the break.  I turn it over, shake it to make the coil wiggle, but nope.  There's no darkening of the glass, and I can't find the break.

So I plug the bulb back in, turn on the car lights, go back around to check, and there's nothing wrong with the bloody thing.


How I fucked up:
1.)  When I noticed an oddity, I rationalized it away, instead of flagging it.  The 'lesswrong' site's mantra for this is "I notice I am confused."
2.)  When someone reported a problem, I believed them, instead of spending five seconds checking it myself.  Even if I believed the light was off when he looked at it, I shouldn't have accepted the conclusion that this meant the bulb had burnt out.  I should absolutely have checked the bulb before spending time removing it.

Detecting these sort of trivial mental errors is a significant part of what allows to function at my job, so why did I botch this in real life?

And what else am I screwing up, right now?
"When I say 'engineering', I have unreasonable expectations.  It must - as you know - look good in PADS AND give you plenty of help ducking and weaving in meetings.  But it must also, at some distant point in time, function.  If it does not, then you must accept that you are not in fact an engineer but instead an MBA.  Hang your head in SHAME, sinner!"

Cain

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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #499 on: February 17, 2020, 10:53:46 am »
So, DM plotting question incoming.

The basic premise of the "main story" that I'm running is that our mercenary company managed to stumble into a covert military operation gone off the rails. Think 1960s CIA, but with less drugs and more necromancy, and you're roughly in the right area. To find out just how deep the shit they are in is, they're going to the capital to meet with a spy. The idea here is pretty simple, the spy himself isn't high-ranking enough to be read into these kind of operations, but his boss is. If the PCs help him by doing stuff to make his boss look good, they get access to some files and some names they can follow up on for the next leg of the adventure.

My initial thinking was to have the PCs hunt down an assassin in the city. This seems like the kind of thing a spy would be involved with, it's politically neutral (important, given the composition and employment history of most of our group) and it could be fun: I can make up a few different leads and see how the group goes from there.

However, they are a mercenary company. And this is the capital. While this isn't a huge amount of distance for them to travel (about a day by boat), there are considerations there about picking up contacts and contracts. So I'm thinking I should maybe do something more extensive while they're there, so they can capitalise on being in the city for maybe a couple of weeks instead of a couple of days and have a proper deployment to this crucial area. Obviously I could complicate the above story, or just throw more contracts at them, but I've had them doing a lot of investigative and exploration stuff recently, so I'm thinking that I want to do something more fighty. The problem is what however. I was wondering if perhaps they might need to rescue an informant to discover the assassination plot in the first place (said informant being held by bandits or something outside the city), but I thought I'd ask and see if anyone else also had some good ideas.

The Johnny

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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #500 on: February 17, 2020, 12:18:19 pm »
So, DM plotting question incoming.

Something, something, Russians. Something something competing or confrontational agencies that despite that are your allies so you cant just snuff them out.

And using the sewers and metro tracks as useful settings away from the public eye.
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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #501 on: February 17, 2020, 12:37:28 pm »
Maybe you could open with an ambush and set to surprise combat as a series of harrying actions intended to lure them through the city and cut hard and fast deals for territorial passage or temporary harbor with various powers in the city.

Why this is happening is up to you of course, but if you're going to commit to combat don't be a tease. Instill in the players a deadly mystery and existential dread.

People like existential dread, apparently.
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

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Adjective_Noun

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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #502 on: February 17, 2020, 12:45:42 pm »
So, DM plotting question incoming.

The basic premise of the "main story" that I'm running is that our mercenary company managed to stumble into a covert military operation gone off the rails. Think 1960s CIA, but with less drugs and more necromancy, and you're roughly in the right area. To find out just how deep the shit they are in is, they're going to the capital to meet with a spy. The idea here is pretty simple, the spy himself isn't high-ranking enough to be read into these kind of operations, but his boss is. If the PCs help him by doing stuff to make his boss look good, they get access to some files and some names they can follow up on for the next leg of the adventure.

My initial thinking was to have the PCs hunt down an assassin in the city. This seems like the kind of thing a spy would be involved with, it's politically neutral (important, given the composition and employment history of most of our group) and it could be fun: I can make up a few different leads and see how the group goes from there.

However, they are a mercenary company. And this is the capital. While this isn't a huge amount of distance for them to travel (about a day by boat), there are considerations there about picking up contacts and contracts. So I'm thinking I should maybe do something more extensive while they're there, so they can capitalise on being in the city for maybe a couple of weeks instead of a couple of days and have a proper deployment to this crucial area. Obviously I could complicate the above story, or just throw more contracts at them, but I've had them doing a lot of investigative and exploration stuff recently, so I'm thinking that I want to do something more fighty. The problem is what however. I was wondering if perhaps they might need to rescue an informant to discover the assassination plot in the first place (said informant being held by bandits or something outside the city), but I thought I'd ask and see if anyone else also had some good ideas.

Idea from a stranger that may or may not fit into your setting at all -
Some local unrest has reached boiling point and now people in an area of the city have taken up arms and built barricades, hoping to force the authorities to make some changes. The authorities are preparing to storm the barricades, of course, but they're worried that an influential ringleader or figurehead will escape in the action. Capturing the target alive would be a political coup and win some/all of the influence they need with the spy's boss.

The barricades would establish a clear "action area", could have a messy brawl through whatever type of buildings you've picked out. House to house, docks, industrial buildings. The rebels would be mostly weakly armed but more would be drawn to any fighting, so the group would have to move quickly. Then either take the target by surprise (extract them or hold out until the authorities retake the area?), or chase scene with whatever appropriate getaway method the target has planned. Action filled sidequest, basically. Add parkour opportunities, crazy improvised weapons, human shields and moral dilemmas to taste.

If you want more spy stuff after that, they could handle some interrogations to identify ringleaders from a group of captured rebels, or run a witch hunt to find sympathisers.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 01:01:59 pm by Adjective_Noun »

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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #503 on: February 17, 2020, 02:56:55 pm »
The assassin is currently posing as a minor functionary in a heavily defended compound associated with $foreign_country, waiting for the heat to subside before making his next move.

The spy has discovered the identity of the assassin, but can't get at him; he needs a major distraction in order to flush him out.  He wants the mercenary company to do this.  The mercenary company does not have enough firepower to take out the whole compound, but they need to convince the assassin that a major attack is in progress, and that he's no longer safe there.

Of course, your company will have made a powerful enemy in the process...
"When I say 'engineering', I have unreasonable expectations.  It must - as you know - look good in PADS AND give you plenty of help ducking and weaving in meetings.  But it must also, at some distant point in time, function.  If it does not, then you must accept that you are not in fact an engineer but instead an MBA.  Hang your head in SHAME, sinner!"

Doktor Howl

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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #504 on: February 17, 2020, 11:18:16 pm »
"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
~ The Good Reverend

Evil doesn't work without good people. Good people will do the most repugnant, nasty shit for what they think are "the right reasons"

Cramulus

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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #505 on: February 17, 2020, 11:41:55 pm »
How about a mission where they have to extract the double agent, but make it seem (to the group he's embedded in) that he was killed in action.

So the PCs have to fight a group of enemies, but for the scenario to be a victory, two conditions need to occur:

1. They have to identify which one of the enemies is the double agent (he's wearing some signal you might need to use a Perception or Insight check to pick out in combat), and then knock him out using nonlethal damage

2. Someone needs to tell the Boss that the Double Agent is dead. Which means the PCs have to allow at least one of the enemies to escape.


if you want to add an extra dramatic complication:

The guy running away from the fight, the one who they need to let get away -- he is also being chased by a city guard or vigilante or something... if the PCs don't intervene, someone else will capture / kill the guy. So the PCs need to take out the pursuer without being noticed, as well.

"You can tell the two of them are headed towards the marketplace, and you know a shortcut to get there..."


Cain

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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #506 on: February 18, 2020, 04:02:40 am »
Interesting ideas! Thanks everyone.

Not sure what I'll do yet, but you've definitely given me some things to work with.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #507 on: February 18, 2020, 07:23:36 pm »
This is another reason people are stupid.

https://apnews.com/a2d312755662ca7c7b5f0bb49dfe8633
"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
~ The Good Reverend

Evil doesn't work without good people. Good people will do the most repugnant, nasty shit for what they think are "the right reasons"

Cain

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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #508 on: February 18, 2020, 08:36:13 pm »
I specifically got a Chinese takeaway last Friday, just to do a bit to support a good company.

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Re: Open Bar: Subpoenaed by Congress, but still refusing to testify
« Reply #509 on: February 18, 2020, 08:37:42 pm »
Same.  There's a really popular dumpling house here, with lines for a seat out the door.  I was able to stroll in and gorge myself last weekend.