A Clever Zinger [adventure]

Discussion of GMing 1879. Warning: Here there be spoilers!
Joined:Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm
A Clever Zinger [adventure]

Post by Slimcreeper » Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:54 pm

Spoiler if you are in my group! No cheating!

Rough Draft, for your perusal.

A Clever Zinger
Party sent to Gruv by Faraday Firm to escort Promethean who wants to help the All Saints Workhouse because of the infection.
Head Dr. Rajagopalan sent for help
Problem is a previously unknown parasite. Lives nowhere else. Small, birdlike have venomous saliva. Flies and suck blood as well as life energy. Mutated by forgotten and malfunctioning Annunaki device. They must remove the device and get it back to Fort Alice. On the way back the device is stolen!

Short term prevention: mosquito netting, Prometheum device that repels parasites, spell adapted from Saurid Shaman spell.

Get Assignment
The party is called to the Faraday Firm. Sir Faraday, Mrs. Blaiss, and Mr. Verne are in the meeting, as well as Ms. Kipling.
Sir Faraday speaks. “Thank you all for coming. You’ve been of great service. Your work with the Loup Garou … I just can’t say enough about it. A young woman has come to our firm requesting an escort on a journey of some importance, and you were the first we thought of. This will involve quite a bit of time out of London, and some considerable danger. In fact, the destination is the Gruv. However, there are some real opportunities for you. We are looking into founding a Gruv investigative arm, and I understand you may have some hesitations; I’ll let the young lady answer for herself. Mrs. Kipling?”
Mrs. Kipling rises and opens a door to a small waiting room off of the conference room. The aforementioned young woman, and an Indian woman of perhaps 30 enters. She is strikingly handsome, with aggressive eyebrows and a streak of early grey in her hair. She is wearing a sari of rich gold and reds. She raises an eyebrow at Sir Faraday. “Sir Faraday, it is Dr. Young Lady, if you don’t mind.” She reaches out a hand for you to shake.
“I am Dr. Vishwakarma. I am your ward for the journey, as it were. This is a humanitarian mission, but not without the chance for profit.
“You may be familiar with the All Saints Workhouse in the Gruv.”
See what the characters know. It is populated with the inhabitants of 9 workhouses brought to the Gruv. They haven’t been convicted of crimes, aside from their poverty.
“They have been struck with a mysterious ailment that afflicts them monthly. A few dozen fall ill, and a few die. Dr. Rajagopalan is completely baffled, as evidenced by her willingness to actually reach out to me.” She chuckles. “She doesn’t approve of my approach, in general.”
Due to the hazards of travel in the Gruv, the pay is somewhat better. You will get £8 per day to get Dr. Vishwakarma to All Saints, with a potential bonus if you are needed to help investigate the illness itself. Mr. Verne will accompany you as well, to establish a department of investigation for the Faraday Firm in the Gruv at Fort Alice. At that point, the party is invited to be agents of investigation for the Gruv Investigative Department, or to return to London on their own recognizance.
They can be convinced to offer an advance of up to £10

Dramatis Personae
Dr. K (Kazhipattur) A (Aadhish) Maadhini Vishwakarma
Weird Scientist Prometheum, Human, Tamil Indian.
Dr. Rajagopalan
Human Doctor.
Nurse Fielding
Agoraphobic, head nurse

Through the Portal
The party may want to make preparations for the trip, but no more than a day or two. People’s lives are on the line, after all.
See London p. 97 for description of the Portal District.
The station on the London side of the Rabbit Hole is a cross between a military and civilian facility. People are shuffled from station to train by military personnel. The station master and conductors are less concerned with tickets as they are with double-checking paperwork and connections. Mr. Verne and Dr. Vishwakarma handle this and implore the party to keep their mouths shut. Everyone is questioned about contraband (bulk goods, medicine and drugs, untaxed alcohol, etc) and their luggage is searched. Then the party is loaded on to a specially reinforced passenger car. Everything is strapped in, and even the people are given harnesses to wear that they can clip to the seats. The tension is palpable. The wagon is full. Some of the people appear to be settlers and others are military personnel on rotation.
An army Lt. stands at the front of the car. “If this is your first time traveling through the portal, listen up. If this is your second, or fourth, or fortieth trip, you listen even closer. 9 times out of 10, this trip is uneventful, or mostly. Uncanny things happen with time, your things might be rearranged, or come out a different color, and so on. The more complicated the device or more reactive the substance, the more likely it is to be, well different on the other side, so go through your things carefully when we arrive.
“And stranger things have happened. Hold onto your hats, chaps, they might be bananas on the other side.” He latches his own harness to a D-ring bolted to the wall and stands, gripping onto a strap equally well-secured to the ceiling.
You hear the scream of the whistle, and the car lurches as the engine begins pulling you into the yawning portal. As you pass the portal’s surface, you watch as the walls of the carriage are swallowed up, the surface of the portal both inside and outside. The Lt. grimaces and lets the surface cover him, his knuckles white on the strap. Then the secured baggage, then the first passengers, then your friends, then you are pulled through the surface of the portal and you are stretched. You are no longer a solid, and you can’t remember being a solid. The air is thick and choking, but powerful fans engage and force clean air into the car. It’s not enough though, and the acrid smoke fills your nostrils, your mouth, and your lungs.
Each player must give their Toughness Step plus their Mystic Defense. Or, they should pick their most complicated substance (potions, medicines, devices) and give the Barrier rating + Mystic Defense. See the chart GMG p. 11 for the Step of the Portal Resistance. The only thing that is guaranteed is that Cusa is going to undergo LGF.

Type: Debilitation (Effect vs Tou Step. -1 per success to action tests per success)
Onset: Hours, Effect: 7, Once per hour until it fails. Penalties last until treated by physician and stack with Harried penalties
Duration: Until transformed. Once LGF fails to cause penalties, it stops making effect tests. However, every day the character spends recovery tests to change their default Attribute Values and gain Racial Abilities. Until the transformation is complete, the character is feverish and Harried. The fever can be treated with appropriate medicines using the Physician skill to eliminate the Harried penalty. Each Recovery test increases the changes an Attribute Value by 1 or adds a Racial Ability.

Fort Alice Adventures
You arrive, disoriented. There are 4 tracks that run through the portal, and they exit into a switchyard watched over by bunkers with blast shields, heavy rifles and cannon. There is a cry of “Gremlins!” and the whole car rocks on the rails. Through the narrow windows you can see strange, leathery humanoids no more than a foot tall leaping off from the car roof. Two seem to be holding a massive iron plate that had been part of the tunnel. Taken by a frenzy, they take huge bites out of the metal. There is a terrific retort of dozens of rifles going off, slamming into the beasts, who lunge and rush the bunkers. They absorb an enormous quantity of bullets each before they fall, twitching, to the ground.
The party is escorted off the train with surprising gentleness - everyone in the Gruv understands. There is a tall, older Scotsman bellowing orders at the engineer and porters. You hear him addressed as Colonel MacIan. The other passengers come off of the car in a daze, then begin going through their things. The whole yard is shaken by an earthquake, but while the freshly-arrived Earthlings clutch each other and cry out, the veteran hands barely notice, explaining that it’s just the shivers, that you’ll get used to it.
Once the party has gone through their things, Mr. Verne and Dr. Vishwakarma arrange for your luggage to be transported to apartments that have been reserved for your party, and invites you to the tearoom for the chance to get your bearings. Cusa begins to come down with fever.

Seeing Saurids for the first time, dressed in tribal clothing, speaking with a group of military folk.
A group of ne'er-do-wells headed for a workhouse.
A group of even worse-do-wells headed for the penal colony.
A group of shell-shocked settlers from China.
A British officer riding on a Hunchbeak
A contingent of Zulu regulars grinning and shouting good naturedly at the newcomers.
A Josisaur breeder and salesman
A geealong harnessed to pull a heavy wagon with a massive artillery piece on it.

Rail trip to New Islington then All Saints
This is uneventful, unless the party has something they want to do. The scenery is gorgeous, if alien. They see a covey of rail runners and a storkasaur, but nothing bothers them. There is a very brief stopover in New Islington, then on to All Saints before supper.

All Saints
The description is in the GMG p 68.
Dr. Rajagopalan agrees to meet them right away. There is a rivalry between her and Dr. Vishwakarma. They were in school together and always seemed to be going after the same honors and sweethearts. If one wanted it, the other immediately had to have it.

Investigation of Disease
But that’s neither here nor there. In a couple days, they are expecting another outbreak of disease. Dr. Vishwakarma asks the party to interview the people who’d been sick.
See p. 68 for description of disease.
One of the victims has what was a nasty bite on her neck, perhaps from an insect.
When they tell Dr. Vishwakarma about it, she applies a patch of goo from a sort of biological machine. The machine incorporates a glass screen that projects an image of a bird-like saurian. This is what caused the injury.
Anyone in the area recognizes it. It is mostly harmless, called a wingéd zinger. They do give a painful bite, like an oversized mosquito, but normally they feed on the larger saurids. This one has an unusual purple throat, and a second tail like a tentacle. The bite here is much larger and nastier than normal.
Wingéd zingers usually gather in a nest with a dozen or more. Usually in a tree.
Several other people have the nastier Wingéd Zinger bite, some of which have fallen ill and some of which have not.

Meet Oriella Fielding
It is important they meet her. She will coordinate the interviews with the sick, though she is agoraphobic and will not actually leave the hospital for any reason.
Careful observation will reveal that she is quite pale, as from blood loss.

Visit to Shaman
They may think to visit a local Saurid tribe for more information. Xanter B’Lix is a priest who might be convinced to talk to them. If Dr.Vishwakarma comes, she will trade several jars of glowing slime. The slime can adhere to a surface and each jar the equivalent of 4 torches. It stays lit for about 15 years.
He will tell them there have been uncanny mana flows in the area, but doesn’t understand what is causing it. They seem to be focused on the workhouse. He advises burning the whole thing down and treating the survivors with a purification ritual, then starting again somewhere else.

Traveling in Forest - Opportunities for Excitement
- Grinning Monkey Orchid p 386.
- Normal Wingéd Zinger nest - these normal Wingéd Zingers do not have the tentacle. They bite to protect their nest, and will feed opportunistically. When they feed, a blood bladder swells visibly.
1 per character, or near nest 3 per 2 characters
- Ambush by Pythonipedes (1 per 2 characters) p 399

Watching for Wingéd Zingers
They may find them, but the pests will try to escape.

It happens

Mosquito nets
Obviously a good idea, if the party can get together the resources.

Dr. Vishwakarma is Kidnapped!
The good Dr. goes missing, as does Nurse Fielding.
Nurse Fielding snatched her when the doctor was in the field hospital studying the new victims. Some tracking and exploration will need to locate her, but it shouldn’t be too tricky.
Nurse Fielding drugged her and dragged her into a natural cavern under her bed. It is just wide enough for a human to squirm through - she had actually widened it in order to fit. Any trolls will need to widen it more to get through. It connects to a limestone cavern that is somewhat larger. A troll will still need to crawl on their belly, but can make it. It will take 3 movement tests (6 for snark and smaller folk, 8 for trolls and hulks.) They may fit 3 abreast, but are prone. Unfortunately, as soon as the first person succeeds, on escaping the cavern, the zingers will attack and anyone still crawling will be quite at a disadvantage! They will attack anyone who speaks or calls out. Firing a gun will cause Step 4 sonic damage to everyone in the cavern, including the zingers, and deafen them all.

In the Lair
The cavern opens up to a stone doorway through a wall of thick, smoothly cut stone. The room inside is filled with the woven nests of wingéd zingers. The Dr. is bound, eyes wide with panic. Nurse Fielding is petting an obese wingéd zinger the size of a goat. It is sitting in her lap with its beak embedded in her arm. Her head is lolling on her neck, and she is extremely pale. The queen zinger rolls its eyes menacingly at the interlopers and all of the zingers attack at once.
There is a strange mechanical device on a stone table in the room. It is about the size of a tabletop difference engine. Shaped roughly like a rectangular prism, its ornate surface is covered with gears and pistons which are whirring and clicking softly. Occasionally there is a grinding noise as though something is not quite right.
If the party engages, the zingers will attack whoever is closest. If anyone attacks the queen, the queen zinger will use her acidic vomit attack and the others immediately attack that person.
If they leave, the queen will finish feeding on the nurse and then move to the doctor, injecting her with a mind-controlling substance and she will use some of her inventions to defeat the party.

What should we do with this device? It has unpredictable effects on nearby creatures, gradually fusing their genetic materials. It is a weird science device. It causes mana flows that are far beyond the capabilities of the party to understand. It is the source of the mysterious disease - it has mutated a normally harmless bacteria carried by Gruv biters - basically mosquitoes. There will need to be some sort of barrier put around it to contain it’s magical currents, then the toffs back at Fort Alice will want a look at it. Any reasonable solution the party comes up with should work. Dr. Vishwakarma can cobble together a biomechanical device if necessary.

Joined:Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: A Clever Zinger [adventure]

Post by Slimcreeper » Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:56 pm

I hope this wasn't a hook you had grand plans for!

Joined:Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Re: A Clever Zinger [adventure]

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun May 03, 2020 2:40 pm

The Device That Causes the Disease

There is a strange mechanical device on a stone table in the room. It is about the size of a tabletop difference engine. Shaped roughly like a rectangular prism, its ornate surface is covered with gears and pistons which are whirring and clicking softly. Occasionally there is a grinding noise as though something is not quite right.

It has unpredictable effects on nearby creatures, gradually fusing their genetic materials. It is as beyond a ‘conventional’ weird science device as an Analytical Engine is beyond a stone hammer. It causes mana flows in ways that are far beyond the capabilities of the party to understand. It is the source of the mysterious disease. It has mutated a normally harmless bacteria which is carried by small insects called Gruv biters. Gruv biters are basically mosquitoes. The disease cannot reproduce on its own, so when the device is shut down, shielded, or removed, the disease will come to a stop.

If any living things in the area are viewed astrally, it becomes obvious that small slivers and strands of magical energy are being pulled from one living thing to another. The process is slow and uncertain and fails far more often than it succeeds. However, very occasionally, threads from two living things will connect and there will be a pulse of magic as information is transmitted from one to another. The living thing that receives the information is changed. Also, the two living things become more likely to connect.

If a party member simply carries the device around for more than a day, the party member will begin growing leaves out of some of their hair follicles. This will be a life-long affliction, though the leaves can be trimmed without ill effect.

It has a Mystic Defense of 16. Understanding what it does will require four Magic Theory (16) tests. Studying it requires viewing it Astrally at least once, and each additional success on Astral Sight against it reduces the TN for the Magic Theory test.Each Magic Theory test must be followed by Research (10) on Samsut and Annunaki technology, each requiring a week of study in a specialized library or lab. If successful, the device can be turned on and off. It can also be used to blend the genetic material of 2 or more species together in an unpredictable way. Repairing the device will be a life-long project and involve inventing new sciences and maths from first principles, requiring technologies that have yet to be invented. Fully understanding the machine and how to control it would take a second or perhaps third lifetime.

Joined:Mon Jun 12, 2023 6:34 am

Re: A Clever Zinger [adventure]

Post by Janesbenth1 » Tue Jun 13, 2023 4:37 am

Thanks a lot for the useful information you bring. I hope that in the future you will always write as many great posts as you can.
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Joined:Fri Jun 23, 2023 7:23 am

Re: A Clever Zinger [adventure]

Post by reedinstrument » Fri Jun 23, 2023 7:24 am

It's where the weird illness first appearedsoccer random. Gruv biters, which are tiny insects, are carriers of a strain of bacterium that has undergone a mutation that renders it dangerous.

Joined:Thu Jun 29, 2023 4:45 am

Re: A Clever Zinger [adventure]

Post by Supole » Thu Jun 29, 2023 4:47 am

There are far more failures than successes due to the process's sluggishness and uncertainty. However, in rare occasions, a pulse of magic is passed from one living creature to another by a connection of threads.backrooms

Joined:Fri Sep 08, 2023 2:44 am

Re: A Clever Zinger [adventure]

Post by superrobe » Fri Sep 08, 2023 2:47 am

It is the location where the strange sickness first manifested itself. The small insects known as gruv biters are carriers of a bacteria strain that has undergone a mutation that makes it hazardous. mario games

Joined:Wed Dec 06, 2023 4:04 pm

Re: A Clever Zinger [adventure]

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Re: A Clever Zinger [adventure]

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Re: A Clever Zinger [adventure]

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