PinkCat: Running in the Shade “Great Rasputin’s Ghost! ” (A different sort of SR campaign report)

26 August, 2018

To understand what is going on here, you had best read the first PinkCat: Running in the Shade post, but short summary, this is a campaign report for our Shadowrun campaign set in NorCal through the filter of a cartoon made by one of the team members.

Episode Thirty-Eight: Great Rasputin’s Ghost!

Guest Starring: Clawz, DD, DoubleUp and Rani.  And introducing:

  • Bobin, hyperactive ex-corporate Chihuahua multi-tasker who is always trying to catch up.  (Stand in for Tobin, ex-Horizon corporate shrink who plays in my Seattle game and was “guest starring” in the NorCal game this week.  Played by M.)

Like this but a wolfThe class is on a field trip to the Museum of Old and Not at All Boring Art, where Bobin is taking in the art, when all of the doors and windows close and lock.  From the Treasures of the Czars exhibit, a ghostly voice announces, “I return!” in a comic Russian accent.  Light flicker and eerie music plays.  Poking their head around the corner, they see, well, a wolf version of Rasputin standing among the various Czarist treasures.

He laughs maniacally and rants about forging a new Ruzzian Empire once he finds a new Czar to lead it.  Clawz choose this moment to lean to far forward and falls, attracting Rasputin’s attention.  Rasputin uses hypnotic powers to convince Clawz to be the new Czar and instantly Clawz is wearing a Ruzzian Imperial Uniform and giving commands in a Russian accent.

The rest of the episode is the rest of the team dodging Rasputin and Clawz as they convert people into Russians while trying to figure out how to trap the returned Rasputin.  Lots of good chases ala Scooby Doo before they team works out how to use a Faberge Egg as a spirit trap and tricks the ghost of Rasputin into opening it, setting off the trap; thus freeing everyone from his influence and saving the day.

What really happened:

The team is given a meet location at the Pasta Palazzo, a chain restaurant, which is unusual, additionally there is no matrix or physical countermeasures in place.  Our “Mr Johnson” does come with an obvious bodyguard but otherwise seems out of place.  He has a Russian accent so we are immediately on our guard, as if we were not already with Tobin as an unknown factor on our side of things.  We are hired to pry his nephew, Alexi, from the clutches of a gang (the Sinister Sons of Rasputin).  The pay is good and the cause just, so we agree.

We start with our usual scouting and research, trying to learn about the gang, which was a Russian nationalist guardian/dealer gang but recently have turned more violent, clashing with other local gangs and taking territory from the Fighting Misfits, another combat gang.  Alexi was, prior to joining the gang, a good kid, maybe a little too focuses on being a successful Brawl player, but no signs of criminal or even unusual activity.  His change was sudden and unexpected, reviewing video of him leaving the house for the last time, he walked differently.  PinkCat speculated that he might be an awakening adept.

Russian Cigarette Boxes (metal)We try to lure him out by advertising auditions for Brawl competitors, no luck.  Annoyingly the Sinister Sons have gone dark on social media and their headquarters is warded.  So, difficult to get any information about them or their plans by the usual means.  An investigation of Lexi’s room turns up a fragment of a Russian tin box, Renny says it has residual magic to it.  We research Alexi’s social feed, before it went dark, and found that he and two other teenage found an old Russian metal cigarette box it in the wild area on the fringes of the sprawl (we buy the rest of the box off the other two for research purposes).  So, we now pivot to the idea that Alexi has been possessed by a spirit, one that thinks that is it Rasputin (because it could not really be Rasputin, right?) and that, we think, has taken over the gang.  This is confirmed when Tobin shows a picture of Alexi to the leader of the Fighting Misfits and it is identified as “Grigori”, the new leader of the SSoR.

We make a copy of the box and let it be seen in glimpses in support of a mock “Antique Roadshow” we set up.  It manages to lure the possessed Lexi out . . . along with six gangers as bodyguards.  We ambush them but it does not go all our way as Renny takes a ice spear through the shoulder which almost puts her down.  But we are able to disable the guards and take Lexi, alive, we mage hood him and deliver him to our employer with a list of Russian Orthodox Exorcists in the area, collect our money and leave.  Exorcisms are way out of our area.

Notes: Back to the big group, six players plus GM.  Good game, with interesting red herrings, some player generated.

Previous Episode 37 “Art Attack”.  Next Episode: 39 “?

Rasputin Photo By Unknown[1], Public Domain, Link.  Cigarette boxes unsourced, status unknown.

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