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UNIT Campaign: Operation SECRET GARDEN : Session Two

Stubber has written up last mondays session of Matt’s #unitcanpaign game in the style of his character Sergi.

Sergi

From Sergeis notebook

So we finally learn from journalist (Brett) hotel room that there are evidence of at least 8 other kids gone missing. 8 too large to be coincidence. Police must be all over this – but no evidence of this. Police officer (Rawson) was Bretts contact (confirmed in her notes) and as inspector, he has power to start significant investigations. Why has this not happened? Has he been compromised?

Still, now we have Liz in western temple of consumerism, in HMV, where awful decadent music cannot be drowned out. Still, good place to talk to Liz – though would have preferred a proper interrogation, as she obviously scared & overwhelmed. As taught: never reach for pliers when honey can work. Good advice. Still, we learn a lot. We find the missing youths have a hang out – a bus shelter (not ideal, not good place for hiding anything) – then Claire makes excellent realisation: all the people who have disappeared were invited – in one way or other – to happy capitalist Metroland.

Excellent Claire ( Ed… also Claire’s player)

Journalist was going to meet someone, students were invited for a party & the Liz’s hoodlums were informed by someone that there would be a gap between cleaners & when security turned up. Liz very reluctant, mentions a friend of a friend who works for the cleaning company. At this point, Liz makes run for it, we can follow, but she almost certainly heading home to her mother.

So what next step. Have discussion: could speak with the guards – there are cameras here, so could perhaps see the CCTV & perhaps see the druids arriving? Then remember, Amber security has the same director as that of the cleaning company. Clearly linked, so if we investigate them without power to shut them down, we might be ‘tipping them off’ – allowing them to delete incriminating evidence and possibly disposing of kidnap victims.

Whilst there, we walk around outside searching – and find – Bretts car. It’s covered in leaves etc & we force entry, confident that we will find evidence relating to her disappearance. Once we open it, the remains of this womans existence comes spilling out. What a mess! Food, cigarettes, cans etc. Check for receipts, wrappers etc. Should be something about her life. Are successful eventually – partially – by finding another bullet in the glove compartment. Also, in the central well in a Styrofoam coffee cup, we find some scribbled napkins – these have a sketch of a circular thing. It’s the logo of the security company. Big line around it, 2 triangles on top of it – seems to be important – there is also a comment about watches.

It reads: “Watches? Need to get one?” – we remember that when we intercepted Liz, there were 2 security guards that had special watch-like machines around their wrists, allowing them to talk to their control station. Very high technology – would expect this if there is something military / industrial / research, but a shopping temple? Seems unusual. Perhaps this is what she is referring to?

Harry has idea – has seen symbol Brett has sketched before. Goes to bookshop – WHSmith & gets book – it is a symbol for a classical Greek maze layout. Labyrinth. Claire gets childs book on greek mythology from WHSmiths. Minotaur. Is this a consumerist temple a Labyrinth? The children did get lost here. Claire very excited, 12 people sacrificed to minotaur. Heros called Theseus. Ariadne helped him. Gave him some twine. Smuggles sword in, violence solves problem.

With this, not sure what to do. Talk about possibility of getting wiring diagrams of the center – good idea, but it might take time to get & people are missing. Team divides; Harry, Sid & Claire to go & visit the police.

Hetty & I stay behind to look at the place to see if we can find any secret passages (more secret than usual. Turns out that most shopping centres have concealed entrances, though the rest of the team are unmoved at the fact that I find no fewer than 17 of them within 15 minutes of casual observation!). Perhaps Liz got lost in one of these? Unlikely – very – but if doors were open, it might become more of a maze – though she seems to know the difference between upstairs and downstairs so I doubt that reason.

We do find lots of weird cameras in the cut-throughs, less so in the main areas.

I do manage to convince Hetty that we should look at the security officers – specifically their watches – they seem to be broadly as you would expect, with them focussed on shoplifters & trouble makers – in which case, why was Liz specifically being followed when we found her earlier on? The uniform looks typically paramilitary, except tan in colour. Not camouflage, with a tie & sensible boots. One thing though, there are no walkie talkies, only watches, work on their left wrist. We manage to get a closer look – they seem to be like calculator watches and they seem to have 10-ish mechanical buttons. Unusually, on their underside, there is another block to the watch, though it seems to be slightly smaller & is held quite tightly on the wrist. We watch the guards talk into them, so they are obviously communicators of some description though not like anything we’ve seen before (though, as that does not mean it is suspicious) – but fact that is being used to protect the shopping centre is unusual. As mentioned, if it were in hi-tech research lab or nuclear bunker, yes, high-tech apparatus would be if not expected, then certainly not unusual. Here? In shop? Nyet.

Strange thing happen as we shadowing the guards – they turn a corner to go into Aztec & they simply not there. I am certain there is secret door, perhaps trapdoor? – but cannot find any evidence. Decide that best plan – to further investigation whilst not raising suspicion – is to obtain watch from guard. Hetty very experienced and I try to help, but am very rusty and make string of mistakes. Control would have had me whipped – or worse – for my stupidity had I done this in Lubyanka! Decide best plan is to distract them so play up accent and start talking about Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – guards not sure what to be more concerned about – strange man who try to steal watch or strange man who talks with Russian accent and is clearly spy. Anyway, manage to get thrown out of holy temple of capitalist excess. Suspect I should feel like am cast from heaven into darkness, but not really. Beside Hetty with me – though she very busy getting aspirational prawn sandwiches for Claire, as part of stakeout supper. What similar traditions we have! Though I don’t think that Claire drinks vodka. ( More of a babysham or cider and black girl Ed)

Meanwhile, team-2 goes to talk to DI Rawson. He is reportedly happy to meet them and is mid-30s DI: he has professional manner – but Sid realises he’s very well dressed. He has good quality suit & watch, which is unusual as only just affordable for his salary range. Not entirely out of his price range, but not dressed as you would expected.

between harry

Rawson observes that we’re a long way from home – and he’s definitely talking to Harry & Sid, dropping in casual sexist behaviour & blanking out Claire almost entirely. Harry follows the cover story that we’re doing investigations of missing person.

Rawson IDs Brett, describes accurately as “Smokes, quite sweary, nice legs”. Confirms they did have some conversations about investigation of the missing teenagers. The team notes that he’s strangely unmoved at this & bristles when challenged: he mentions that kids disappear and they’ll be back soon enough when they run out of money. He is obviously hiding something & is equally casual about the students too – is a bit more concerning, but he protests they probably headed home – though is flustered at Harrys “But then they’d not be missing, would they?” Rawson starts to act high-handed, informing them that he’s got other things to do than chase after missing kids. When asked who reported the students missing, he reports that he hasn’t got the crime report – which is clearly a lie as he’s been referring to his otherwise comprehensive notes all along. He has all the other details to hand, so this is not correct.

He makes to end the conversation, noting that he went through all of this with Brett; she was noted that all of the disappearances were out of towners – and is stumped when Claire retorts that “She is now also missing, sir”

The team confirms that they’re looking into this as we think that there is some sort of organised kidnapping ring involving gangs across the country. Rawson looks aghast at this and nervously starts fiddling with his wrist where a glimpse of a tattoo is seen. Given his reaction, we suspect he’s probably not involved directly, but might have been encouraged to “not prioritise seemingly unimportant tasks” at the request of unnamed friends (director of Amber?)

He gets very twitchy & leaves, but only after agreeing to let Claire get the files immediately – though not before trying to unsuccessfully stall her by asking her to come back in a few days.

On checking the files, there is nothing about Brett (yet), and other files are very thin, leading to impression that they’ve just not been investigated. Student disappearances should definitely have been larger than it was and what we see agrees with what Brett already done.

Reconvene.

We decide to follow Hettys plan and hide in the shopping centre. I was prepared to put on a disguise, but Hetty rolled her eyes at me dismissively in very English manner “They’re only security guards for goodness sake, Sergei”

Though we refuse to hide in cleaning cupboard – instead take different places. We see that there are obvious CCTV cameras that cover the main areas, so as long as we steer clear of them, we will be fine.

We meet up again in central section & then go to Medieval to see the place where Liz reported she got lost. Area closed, but shuttered. We see that decorations have many strange cameras in them. Probably Japanese as very advanced. We realise they seem to be focussed (in each area) on cut-through entrance ways – at place guards vanished when we were following them earlier!

Get closer and find obvious static charge / cold spot at very focus point of cameras: Claire has compass & sees that it goes crazy in that place. No light-switch or controls there, but on the wall is health & safety wall a sticker. No instructions given, but there is series of coloured symbols. Coloured square triangle circle. Red square orange etc. Hetty & I realise that buttons are the same on the security guard watches!

Clearly we need a watch.

At this point, we remember that we were going to check the stones themselves in Ancient cut-through: are genuine stones with faded inscriptions on them. We make rubbings of the stones, could not translate, but odd word becomes clear, something about religion – though we do translate ‘Mithras’ – late Roman word/deity. Carving is of soldiers fighting a larger figure – but cannot see anything clearly as its all worn away. Could be a cow, not sure. After checking, we decide to investigate the security station as there could be watches stored there.

We realise that something is wrong. The office is manned – when Liz was here (she reported) that there were no guards at the time they were engaging in antisocial behaviour. A thought… if the guards are the cultists / druids, and there was reports of blood in the police report, perhaps one of the guards might be injured. After whispered conversation, we realise that we have seen at least 1 of them (who was following Liz) who was definitely bandaged.

We decide to go into backrooms, Hatty picks lock with ease. Area is open plan – we can hear voices & the TV playing. There are 2 guards relaxing, watching “Play your cards right” on ITV. Behind them are a series of about 20 lockers. Some are open. Half of them have their keys taken out. Suspect that people have their own locker. Half locked, quarter open, quarter closed, but unlocked. We think.

We debate. Could go in & grab the guards and coerce information from them – or we could sneak in. Some discussion as we are not the “baddies” in this scenario & there is a real difference between “torturing suspected kidnappers for information” and “torturing known kidnappers for information”. Decide to not cross that line. Yet.

Hetty sneaks in & makes it look easy. Might have to let former colleagues know that she is clearly very experienced at these sorts of things. She returns, and the watch is more a sort of bracelet that widens and contracts – but it is clearly very advanced.

At this, we are faced with choice. Do we:

A: Sneak out & do more investigation into students, the watch, Amber security (their security tapes etc) & find the contact who invited kids to the site after-hours?
Pros: Get more information in general.
Cons: Suspected kidnapping, might be leaving people to suffer / chance they would get killed in any time wasted. Gives them time to destroy evidence.

B: Go to a cold spot & start mashing buttons on the watch, to potentially open a secret door?
Pros: Its proactive (might be able to disrupt the kidnapping – find Brett or the kids? Would be a major break in the case).
Cons: No backup. If it goes south, we are in trouble (and we know Brett & others could be in danger already).

Option-3: Something else.

We decide to… (continued next week Ed)

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UNIT Campaign: Operation SECRET GARDEN: Session one

Alastair writes up this session of Matt’s scenario in the personality of his character Hatty..

Operation Secret Garden Thursday morning

Settling in at our hotel in Gateshead, we reviewed our briefing documents.


The reason for our involvement, our unit contact (Gwen Brett) has disappeared, 72 hours overdue.


Strangely around the same time of the disappearance there was a late-night event opening of Metroland a fancy American style Mall. Lots of media interest as I don’t think there are many of this type of thing up here. Is this connected to our agent?


Gwen Brett had been reporting through to UNIT via a drop off point. Included within the file was a police report. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary here. Break in reported by Amber Security on Wednesday night, officers attending, one suspect arrested, but released without charge. A young girl that seemed quite scared.


So what was our approach going to be? Obtain more info from the released suspect. Investigate the shopping mall further, try and uncover more from where Gwen Brett was staying. We spilt up.


Myself and Harry headed to Elizabeth Leadman’s home. She’s not in but we have some time to search her bedroom. Messy teenagers aside it looks like she’s not slept here, bag out, tapes on the floor etc. it looks like she’s running away from home. On the table is a NatWest piggy bank. Opened up.


Sid heads to shopping centre and notes damage to the escalators. In some of the corridors (Made up to look like different thematic zones, Aztec, Future etc) Sid notices that rather than plastic some of the “Set

Dressing” looks exceptionally realistic. Checking the security detail it appears 24hrs with a night watch staff off 10.


Claire and Sergi in their 1982 Crusader, headed out of town…stopped at little chef. Checking Brett’s apartment. Apartment is a mess with notes everywhere. A number of items were found Dictaphone and bullets unspent. There’s something stashed in the headboard.


In Brett’s notes, she mentions in briefings Rawson snr (From the station) the good cop. He talks about a case of another group of kids (Council estate type group) looking for a big score. I wonder where they are now?
Further information gained included info on the businesses connected with Metroland. Amber security set up to service the metro centre, linked with a cleaning company. Director Ariadne Borge “Warren Industrial cleaning”.

Claire, undercover copper


Meeting back up together we decide to find Liz, the only one who really knows what happened that night. She is spotted by Claire in HMV flipping through records, She approaches her “I guess you want answers…we can help.”

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UNIT Campaign: Mission Briefing: Operation Billy

Situation: The British fishing vessel Aberdeen Mantra has sank with loss of all hands off the sure of Estil, Irmvankia in the Arctic ocean. It’s crew reported being fired on from the shore by a ‘death ray.’ Irmvankia does not have UNIT detachment being small and non-aligned.

The election of the Volksirmvanka Partie government replacing the traditionally slightly pro-western Liberal party with a ethnic Scandinavian socialist party which is more pro-soviet.

Mission To go undercover to the island state and establish if the higher technology is of alien and/or Soviet origin.

Sustainment As this is an undercover misson in a foreign and possibly hostile power false identities will be provided. There is some hostility to the British from occupation in the world wars, British Irmvankian control of the economy and recent oil rig workers rowdiness.

No weapons will be issued but can be handguns obtained from an MI6 contact at the embassy in Breasvick at request and her discretion. A Royal Navy Oberon class submarine Onyx CODENAME TUNA will be patrolling locally and have a SBS team CODENAME MAYO on board if assistance is needed.

Execution The team CODENAME BATCH will travel as Irish nationals – academics on a cultural visit of Celtimvankian iron age sites. Hire cars and local currency is provided for a wide ranging investigation.

MI6 contact is Carolyn Marten CODENAME SWTCHBLADE her cover identity is Sonja Turjan, an German left wing writer.

Codename Switchblade

Command and Control a hidden radio will be supplied for communicating with the Onyx. Other than that the team can communicate via the MI6 contact. If caught the Foreign Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.

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UNIT Campaign; Telly Savalas looks at Irmvankia

Cheesy Telly Savalas voiced promo (such as below) for a location of a future #Unitcampaign scenario

Nestled in the arctic Ocean between Iceland and Norway is Europe’s hidden gem with a rich heritage and burgeoning oil wealth. There may not be flying fishes playing but they’re are dolphins and whales a plenty in Irmvankia , Pearl of the Arctic.

In Braevirk the capital you can get a rich sense of the countries history. From the dry stone houses of the original Celts who are still going strong, the fine nordic churches of the viking settler’s descendants to the modern hustle and bustle brought by British immigrants with the whaling and oil trade.

Braevick

Fiercely independent after allied occupation in both World Wars Irmvankia welcomes investors from across the globe to fuel the development of the islands. You’ll find a business friendly, low tax, welcoming set of islands with a how to , can do approach.

Midget Musk Ox not that Midget

I went up into the mountains on all three islands and saw all three varieties of midget Musk Ox and the Irmvankian arctic goat but don’t get close they can be feisty! I stretched my legs on the pebble beaches and saw the seals including the impressive Elephant seals – best appreciated from a distance. The wildlife is occasionally supplemented by polar bears who float in one ice floes and ice bergs but the good chaps of the Irmvankian PD can handle any problems.

IPD Constable

It’s a safe law abiding place even on a friday night when oil rig workers party in the bars and restaurants of the four big towns with discos and nightclubs to rival any European city. These are my kind of towns !

ATTENTION this promotional film has been pulled by the new Volksirmvanka Partie government of Irmvankia you should not be watching this capitalist anglo-centric film.

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My approach to Dungeon23

10 days into Dungeon 23 and i actually have a plan!

Hang on you say – what is Dungeon 23 ? This was an idea of Sean McCoy on Twitter and in essence is simple:

  • 12 Months – Levels
  • 52 Weeks – Themes
  • 365 Days – Rooms

The idea is to do this in a journal format. It’s a good writing prompt.

But i’m not much of a Dungeon man….

Step up the Llyn Peninsula

Frame by daughter

Since last April by the landscape around are holiday camp at Hafan y mor on the Llyn Peninsula i’ve been mapping out a new campaign inspired by the landscape.

My initial idea was player characters will be shipwrecked refugees – using a session zero to find out exactly where from Swords of Cesphsus traveller like character generation will give PCs a backstory. They will explore communities battered and dramatic landscape with a celtic sword and sorcery feel.

However looking at this through the Dungeon23 lens doing a tomb dungeon has developed the idea further.

The idea

Fleeing the fall
  • With the party I have in mind use a simple system Blackhack with human PCs and develop backstory through play.
  • Session Zero – have the players develop a set of Gods for their original society using Jim Holloway’s Pamphlet of Pantheons as a tool.
  • Build more on home society in the session zero.
  • Use the fall of their home city as Level Zero Funnel trying to escape as it falls to attackers and disaster.
  • Survivors of the funnel adopt character classes on the voyage.
  • They arrive in the Llyn Peninsula to find a new home and new hope.
  • Attempt to navigate the factions and threats of the Peninsula
  • Develop experience and levels
  • Transition into a Domain game

Dungeon23 activity

  • Many smallish dungeons
  • Encounters
  • Detail factions and tribes
  • Resources and threats
  • Use ‘an echo resounding’ ( a labyrinth lord supplement to support this and the Domain game.

Themes

A story of refugees and survivors seeking a new home – possibly in the face of hostility and seeking allies ? Yes this is a theme i’ve expressed an interest in before the Aeneid (or Battlestar Galactica) combined with elements of Geoffrey of Monmouth.

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D&D 5th Edition: Fishmas Part II

After some sessions which didn’t get write ups are Rhyme of the Ice Maiden party played in DM Lockdown’s christmas special it has fallen to me to narrate last thursdays adventure in the character of my fighter Le Mesurier writing to an old army comrade.

Le Mesurier

Sergeant Hubert, Ducal Barracks, Florencine

Happy Fishmass Hubert

I trust you are well and mid-winter finds you well. As the wheel of the year turns i find myself reviewing my my ‘big book of policy ideas if i ever overthrow a tyrant and take over a kingdom’ for insight and reflection.

However i digress once again I and what i will generously term my adventuring party. I say adventuring party I mean egos, mischief makers and budfoons I have fallen in with. Speaking of buffoons Captain Lowe has turned up and is responsible for our current predicament.

He put on the trail of ‘a brotherhood of red and white’ in some celebration of a frozen prince. To cut a king story short we went to reconnoiter their castle but they were rude to us and a red mist descended at first metaphorically and secondly via halberd, long bow and magical nonsense from my esoteric colleagues.

We penetrated deeper into the castle only to meet a custodian the Mr Locke managed to persuade through some psychic paper cantrip to persuade him we are inspectors of some type. I think officialdom should have recognised and numbered badges and have written a short thought shower on the topic in my journal.

Anyway this rather tiresome and demonic looking fellow – a tiefling who waffled on about cheer and the like. Suffice to say under or despite the expert grilling of our team it revealed they had acquired the castle through a arrangement with the local speaker.

The game afoot we went post haste to interrogate the speaker a filthy article pooing on a golden commode would was unpleasant and arrogant. He was in hock from his corrupt living and was allowing the cult to use his establishment to cover his pilfering of the towns supplies.

The cult was storing coal to distribute to villagers as part of Fishmass cheer – we investigated it throughly but found no mischief about the coal. It seems ‘the frozen prince’ can send coal to believers and we think the plot, such as it is, is to recruit more believers.

At which point Lowe burst into the room singing some nonsense.

Because what is a Christmas adventure without a bit of singing:

Do you wanna kill some cultists?
Come on, let’s go and slay!
We need to see you slay some more
Come out the keep
It’s like you’ve lost your sword!

We used to be shield buddies
And now we’re not
I wish you would tell me why!

Do you wanna kill some cultists?
It doesn’t have to be some cultists . . .”

I am developing some strong views on appropriate policies to treat mental illness.

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UNIT Campaign: Cold Open OPERATION SECRET GARDEN

Map of the shopping centre

To start Matt Farrs #Unitcampsign scenario we played local charvers who attempted to tip off the local shopping centre and got more than they bargained for – this in their own words is the story of Arthur, Barry, Darren, Claire and Liz.

We raided a North East Debenham’s in 1-9-8-2, we met some Cultists
and didn’t know what to do

Opening lines, Gateshead Folly, Tactical Jockstraps 1990 EP Droppings of Love

Barry

‘Ah man it was meant ta be dead good and then it was shite. Caus’ like I was able to sneak into the shop and steal a fur coat for me mam and play about with a mannican and all that but then these freaky fellas talkign foriegn rolled up and acted like they were the polis. And I tried to set a bed on fire to get the fire bizzies out but no luck, and tried the old charm but no luck and then a rode a mannican down that bt between to escalators to make an escape. And it was dead good like something out James Bond ya know before he shoots the baddie is his fuckin dick or summit and cops off with a bonny lass. Anyways we then get shot by ths wand or summit by this wizard so I try and get pass pushing a rack of blazers but no luck. Honestly me luck was fuckin shocking. An get get nabbed and I’m threaten them we me Uncle Derek and then the Wizard sends me to sleep. And that’s truth like.

Liz

i’m too young for this shit

Police interview with suspect Elisabeth Leadman on staticnineteeneightystatic. Interview commenced at 14:17. DS Henshaw & DI Rawson in attendance.

Rawson: So, I just don’t understand. Liz, Can you go through it again it in your own words. What happened?

L: Well, y’see the guys, they’d heard said on the telly that there was a late night sale on at Debenhams, so we decided we’d go and take a peek in case there was any bargains and..

Henshaw: A late night sale? At Debenhams? Do you think we’re bloody stupid or sommat?

L: Don’t know. I think your mam was though

R: Henshaw! Sergeant Henshaw! Sit down! Look, that’s enough lip from you Liz. We’re trying to help you here & you’re not making it easy for yourself.

L: Why? All we did was take a look in the open shop. Nothing wrong with browsing is there? And then all these foreign people, like druids or sommat started chasing us.

H: I’ll tell you why you stupid cow! We’ve found blood all over Debenhams. We’ve checked – its human & there’s a lot of it. So you & your friends are on the hook for Assault, GBH & attempted murder at the least. The. Least.

L: Wha??! We didn’t do nuffin! We was taking a look at a shop and these druids turned up and started shouting at us. They turned the lights out and then we ran.

R:Its ok Liz, I believe you. But… who did you say were there with you?

L: Oh there were a few of us. Baz & Claire and Darren and Arthur. You know – me mates.

H: The same mates who were involved in the fire behind the library last month? The same ones who have been stopped & cautioned three times of burglary & shoplifting? Those friends?

L: Nothing proven, no crime. And besides, I was sick in bed when the fire happened. Me mam confirmed, right? This is harassment, so bog off.

R: Liz, we need to know what happened because someone has, at the very least, been badly injured. I know you’re a good kid, but we really need to find this person. Have you seen your friends since this incident?

L:No! I told you, When the lights went out it all went… strange. We all split and sort of got lost trying to get out.

H: You got lost? Walking in a straight line? Its cos you’re a liar or a stupid cow.

L: Bog off, would ya? I said, it got all weird. I remember running down the same stairs like three times! I was in the medieval corridor going to BHS – then in the Ancient corridor heading to Metroland!

R: Look. I’ve got a drawing here of the site. Can you point to where again?

L: Look there must be another way around this because I was here, then I was here.

H: You bloody liar! Pull the other one. And that coat you’re wearing with the Debenhams sticker is yours too, right?

L: Look. I put that on as a disguise to try and hide from the druids. And I was. I really was. I was here at BHS and then I was in Metroland!

R: You can see that this looks really strange from our side, can’t you? People don’t magically disappear and reappear, do they?

L: You know what? I’ve had enough. I want my phone call. To hell with you.

Interview ends 14:21.

Big Daz

Wanted a Cadillac. Got a suitcase. Then weirdos turned up and I hid. Tried to run and get help but got lost. Found a room full of TVs and a big chair. Sat in it. But then the owner came back and…AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

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Culture List 2022

Best of the Year
TV The English – splendidly gothic western


Books A Game of Birds and Wolves (about the Western Approaches Tactical Unit who wargamed solutions to U Boat tactics)


Comics Barbarian Lord – Matt Smith – noirish nordic saga-like stripped down comic.


Film Magic (1978) – superbly disturbing evil ventriloquists dummy movie.


Games – Day the Music died (liminal) – magnificent magical adventures in a mythical Manchester music scene by Jonathan.

TV (79 different programs)
Avenue 5 s1
Toast of Tinseltown
Book of Boba Fett
Stay Close
hidden assets
mandy
parkinson – peter cook & david niven
alma’s not normal
the responder
Lazy Susan
the curse
cobra kai S4
dodger
hero academia
picard s2
Disenchanted s4?
Killing Eve s4
last kingdom S5
Peacemaker
this is going to hurt
Wellington Paranormal s1-4
grace
chivalry
idris elba fight school
bridgerton s2
legends of tomorrow s7
Commando : britain’s ocean warriors
Abigail’s party
Doctor Who: The Daemons
Bergerac S2
today at the test
beyond the boundary: women t20 WC documentary
Outlaws S2
sweeney S1
Stranger things S4
Sherwood
hip hops open secret
Eddie Hall: the beast vs the mountain
Freddie Flintoff: Field of dreams
Dark side of the ring murder of bruiser broadie
Womens ODI & T20 v SA
Lionesses Euro Finals win
two doors down
Who killed the KLF ?
Cheat
Sandman S1
Train wreck Woodstock 99
Derry Girls S1 S2 S3
She Hulk Attorney at law
lower decks S3
9-11 S1 & S2 , S3 , S4 S5 S6
Rivals of Sherlock Holmes: The horse of the invisible (carnacki/ donald pleasance)
Ghosts S4
bloodlines S2
Crossfire
mortimer and whitehouse go fishing S5
make me prime minister
andor S1
cabinet of curiosities
the english (best wonderful performances, scenery & cinematography with a growing sense of the gothic)
godless (rewatch)
detectorists 2015 christmas special
9-11 Lone Star S1 &S2
Slow horses S1
fleetwood mac: don’t stop
fleetwood mac: a musical history
A Ghost Story for Christmas: the Dead Room
A Ghost Story for Christmas: The Mezzotint
A Ghost Stiry for Christmas: Martin’s Close
Borgen: The Power and the Glory
Inside Number 9 S8 E1
A Ghost Story for Christmas : Count Magnus
Two Doors Down Christmas special
Motherland 2022 Christmas special
Ghosts 2022 Christmas special
Detectorists 2022 Christmas Special
Worlds strongest man
2 random episodes task master

Books(14 most read on holiday)
A game of birds & wolves – Simon Parkin
Dame Kelly Holmes Running life
small gods – terry pratchett
Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
The reluctant dragon – kenneth grahame
swords and dark magic (anthology ) – ed Jonathan Strahan & Lou Anders
British Tanks 1946-70 TAC Tank Museum Bovington
The Vanishing Tower – Michael Moorcock
Young Man in a Tank by Patrick Hennessy
The Cardinals Peril – Pierre Pevel
The Owl Service – Alan Garner
Dancers at the End of Time – Michael Moorcock
A mindfulness guide for the Frazzled mind – ruby wax
focus on armour camouflage & markings – no2 British North Africa -Kenneth M Jones

Comics (17)


Southern Bastards volume 1 Here was a man
Harlem Heroes collected paperback

Xena Warrior Princess

  • The Warrior Way of Death (by John Wagner, with pencils by Joyce Chin, Clint Hilinski, Mike Deodatoand Ivan Reis and inks by Walden Wong, Mike Deodato, Grant Nelson, TPB, collects Xena #1–3, 2000, ISBN 1-56971-452-5)
  • Slave (by John Wagner, with pencils by Joyce Chin and Mike Deodato and inks by Clint Hilinski, Fabiano Neves and Walden Wong, TPB, collects Xena #4–6, 2000, ISBN 1-56971-471-1)
  • Blood and Shadows (by John Wagner, with pencils by Davide Fabbri and Mike Deodato and inks by Mark Heike, Neil Nelson, TPB, collects Xena #7–10, 2001, ISBN 1-56971-521-1)
  • Tales of the New Gods

Barbarian Lord – Matt Smith (best stripped down norse-barbarian story telling)
Bruce – Jaws from the sharks perspective – david cooper (webcomic)
Cairo webcomic @itsdeenasaur
a different aftermath webcomic @ursulaV
Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard – Petersen & others
Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol 2 – Petersen & others
Ada Lovelace comic – Sydney Padua (webcomic)
Grey suit – project monarch – pat mills / john higgins
Southern Bastards Vol 1: there was a man (re read) jason aaron/ Jason latour
Southern Bastards Vol 2: Grid Iron jason aaron/ Jason latour
Copperhead Vol 1 – Faerber, Godlewsji, Riley, Mauer

Films (86)


John Rambo
The Wooden Horse
Polar
Miss Bala
kate
Hell is a city
Went the day well
The Eagle has landed
The Hunt
Hummingbird
The Giant Behemouth
master of the world
the One
the lighthouse
hard target 2
the dunwich horror
brightburn
The Kings Man
Death on the Nile
The Meg
hour of the gun
galaxy quest
never surrender: galaxy quest documentary
brannigan
saturn 3
once upon a time in hollywood
24 hour party people
The Devils Men/Land of the Minotaur
Jeepers Creepers
The Nice Guys
Top Gun: Maverick
senior year
jurassic world: Fallen Kingdom
the gentlemen
plague of the zombies
The Good Liar
Satanic Rites of Dracula
ready or not
the beast in the cellar
gods and monsters
Birds of Prey and the Emancipation of the fabulous harley quinn
Prey
Predator 2
A Clash of Arms (stanley baker suez heist) calm with horses

31 Days of Halloween movies

  1. event horizon
  2. alien
  3. The Abominable Snowman
  4. alien: covenant
  5. alien: resurrection
  6. werewolves within
  7. nightbreed
  8. prometheus
  9. nightwing (native american cop & david warner v vampire bats)
  10. underwater
  11. werewolf by night
  12. Takes that witness madness
  13. rezort
  14. Cell
  15. let us prey
  16. bloodbath at the house of death
  17. sacrifice
  18. house of the gorgon
  19. nightmare on elm street
  20. Magic (best film of the year, tremendous performances)
  21. Salems lot
  22. The Mist
  23. 1408
  24. Tales from the lodge

Rogue One
Cromwell
Enola Holmes 2
LA Confidential
Troll
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
jennifer’s body
The Flesh and Blood Show
50% cannonball run II (it’s terrible )
Countess Dracula
Howling III: Marsupials
The First Great Train Robbery
DC Legion of Super Pets
Heroes of the Tekemark
The Batman
Elvis

Games – reading (8)
Matrons of Mystery
Whitehack 3rd edition
Troika Iluminous edition
microscope
mothership players guide
delta Green handlers guide
Hostile – Crew expendable
Hostile – Colony Builder
Hostile – Synthetics

Games – playing (12)
GURPS ( White hounds holocaust tenerife )
Godlike (devacon)
Random Something Vocation Animal and other quirkyness (my hack) (devacon)
Microscope (devacon)
UNIT Campaign (Delta Green hack)
5th Edition D&D Rhyme of the Ice Maiden (Thursday nights)
D for Dragon ( WW2 Only War WH40k RP hack)
Grogmania (mothership)
Who killed Doc Cowie ( Matrons of Mystery)
The Day the Music Died (Liminal)
Operation Broadsword: Shuttlecovk heroes (MSPE)
The centaur of Ophanos (Agon)

The Day the music died

Conventions / F2F Gaming (3 F2F Cons 1 Virtual 9 F2F Games)
Devacon ( Godlike / Random Something Vocation Animals / Microscope)
Go Play Manc August (Only War) D for Dragon ( WW2 Only War WH40k RP hack)
ObaWS Virtual – UNIT campaign – Operation dungeon

GROGMEET

Grogmania (mothership)
Who killed Doc Cowie ( Matrons of Mystery)
The Day the Music Died (Liminal)
Operation Broadsword: Shuttlecock heroes (MSPE)
The centaur of Ophanos (Agon)

Radio / podcasts ( new or one off 16 ‘core ones’)
Brief lives (R4) series 1-13 Mancunian Legal drama)
The lovecraft investigations (R4)
The Orgasm cult (R4)
Talk to me : HP Lovecraft (R4)
House on the Borderlands (R4)
Fictoplasim
death by conspiracy (R4)
The Superhero Complex
Deliver us from Eeveril
Cadfel – Monks hood (R4)
Dr Who redacted ( BBC Sounds)
Analysis
the trojan horse affair
The long history of arguement (rory stewart R4)

chained a series of alien, event horizon and outland review podcasts including tworp back issues, evolution of horror, perfect organism and alien minute podcast

Greatest movies never made
Empire
Twixt the Sheets
Bad Gays

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2023 Gaming Plans – looking ahead

Having spoken about my gaming experience 2022 let’s look ahead at 2023. All this is very much planned in pencil as work and life might send all kinds of surprises.

UNIT

I aim to keep running and playing in the #unitcampaign .

We have Matt’s Operation Secret Garden in the New Year with the Monday group.

With three rotating GMs and scenarios taking around 3 sessions – 5 missions each will cover the year. Roughly. There is also convention scenarios. I am thinking of:

  • Operation COPE – Russian space station crashes nearly Silbury Hill, Averbury Stoke Circle and the West Kennet Long Barrow. A hunt for the crew.
  • Operation CRISP – an alien big cat in Borcestshire and Ambridge.
  • Operation THOR – live action roleplaying exploring smugglers caves in New Brighton encounter something beyond childish fantasy fun,
  • Operation TRITON – set in Howard’s Way ‘s Tarrant where a regatta is celebrating a consortium between the Triangle line and the Princess cruises.
  • Operation BILLY – in a neutral but newly Soviet leaning Scandinavian island chain a popularist leader seems to be misusing alien technology and local ethnic tensions. A deniable commando misson results.
  • Operation CLINTON – signs of alien interference at science fiction conventions demands our spies and soldiers hide amongst nerds as wolves in sheep’s clothing.
  • Operation DOUGLAS – a visiting American politician requires an extra special security detail.

Hostile

I absolutely love hostile as i’ve written here and hope to run some. mini-campaigns /extended scenarios either as pallet cleansers on Mondays or for short-run F2F gaming. The short run (3-5) sessions face to face gaming might look to replace convention going i need to think about cost and commitment.

Boothill / Gangbusters ‘Fargoesque’

Building on gangbusters in particular the Troubkr brewing campaign I ran I want to take a leaf out the show Fargo’s book.

I want to run the classic boothill campaign Ballots & Bullets. Set a few decades prior to the roaring twenties of Gangbusters it will act as a prequel. Depending on what the player/characters do will depend whether Promise City is a place of virtue resisting Lakefront City gangsters or a sordid den of vice for later 1920s players.

I see this as 5-6 week mini campaign for Monday nights or a F2F short run game.

Dungeon 23

Dungeon 23 is the idea of doing a level a month and room a day Dungeon. Thing is i’m not a MASSIVE dungeon nerd but i might dust off my llyn peninsula game idea (a game based on a fantasy version of the Llyn peninsula and populate 12 mini dungeons/cities or monsters.

Thursday Group Conundrum

This group is currently playing Lockdown DM’s Rhyme of the Ice Mariner D&D – Dave G will no doubt want to run something but i think i should contribute.

It’s tricky because i’m aware the group has a rotating cycle of players, play is on the more whacky end of the scale & system knowledge is varied.

From my thinking this rules out

  • long character gen/ backstory (ie hostile)
  • long running plots
  • anything requires knowledge of a world background

I’d normally think of something like Gangbusters or Boothill but players in the group have rejected Gangbusters as too like Cthulhu and Boothill i’d be running ballots & bullets which i’ve run for some of them as a Blackhack game.

So I need something lose and goosey .

A few options i think

a) run the lynn peninsula but maybe blackhack or troika rather than Swords of Cesphesus.

b) run a persuaders / cool playboy detective game set in the same background of UNIT

Playboy / girl detectives in the Tower Restaurant 1970s Liverpool in

c) a UNIT game as a commando misson into a foreign power possibly using Heroes of the Telemark or 633 Squadron as base but with Falklands era technology. IE Operation BILLY

d) Maybe a crisis matrix game – playing politicians or military dealing with a fictional international crisis possibly inspired by Borgen: Power & the Glory or dusting off old idea Operation Topaz.

e) dust off the idea for a lords of creation game but maybe frame more like Amber with drama system ? Feuding siblings across multi-verses

Longer Term plans

In the margins work /make notes on

  • Eaglese across the Mersey ACW Union spies in Liverpool
  • Very marginal notes for Cheshire Pendragon, Flashing Blades, a VBCW peace talks gane
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UNIT Campaign: Mission Briefing OPERATION SECRET GARDEN

Briefing for Matt Farrs #Unitcampsign scenario starting next week : A series of disappearances have been linked to the local Shopping Mall in Gateshead. Local authorities seem unconcerned with a handful of dissolute youths who have probably just moved away in search of better opportunities, but a pattern is emerging that has put it on UNITs radar. What Dark Deeds are afoot in this shining beacon of modern consumerism?

Situation: Civilian contact has been investigating disappearances in local youth groups that have been written off by local law enforcement. Her investigation leads to Gateshead shopping centre “The Metro Centre” as a common element in last known activities. Contact reported they are investigating directly, and has been out of contact for last 48 hours.

Mission: Confirm status of Civilian Contact, Assess case for UNIT relevant threats, resolve threats as appropriate.

Sustainment: Local Hotel Accommodation has been secured. One of the disappeared is resident in Stockton-on-Tees, and cover identities as a small team from Cleveland Police is available and should withstand local scrutiny. Given possibility of hostile action firearms are approved with the strong caveat that primary investigation target is a civilian heavy environment.

Execution: Police Powers in line with cover; additional judicial support available if needed. note you are technically operating outside county lines so local law enforcement can be involved at discretion.

Command and Control: Walkie Talkie Radios are available. Local vehicles and Observation Vehicle (Radio) will need to be driven to target location.

Other Factors: None noted

INTELLIGENCE APPENDIX

Intelligence Update: Metro Centre, Gateshead

• Large, covered shopping mall. Divided into 4 main colour-coded “wings” for ease of navigation. Split over two levels.

• Wings are connected by a central section and 4 “cut-throughs” (2 on each level). These Cut-Throughs are themed with stucco decoration and feature smaller, niche stores compared to the main thoroughfares populated by major chains

• The “Red” Wing includes “Metro Land”, Europes largest indoor theme park, which includes a roller-coaster and several additional rides.

• Lower thoroughfares include small “Pop up” stall space for passing trade.

• Car Park access to lower floors direct or via store fronts, Train station access is to Upper Floor. Escalators and Lifts placed at central junctions and end of each wing. Flagship stores include internal access to both floors, smaller stores extant on one floor only.

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